As cell phone technology increases, does the quality cell service matter more? The answer depends on what you need. If you are always connected to Wi-Fi or have no problem waiting a few extra seconds for the latest funny gif to load, then perhaps a Bring Your Device Plan like Mint Mobile makes way more sense financially than getting into any cell phone contract.
The Free Year of Sprint service we tried has officially ended and we were looking for a solid replacement. We didn’t need anything fancy like unlimited data included with Netflix or Hulu; we wanted a pure no holds barred service that had reliable connection and price. With tons of options out there, does Mint Mobile stack up to prepaid cell plans like Cricket and Metro?
What is Mint Mobile Exactly?
If you’ve read our posts on bringing your smartphone to other plans, you’ll know that top cell services like Sprint and AT&T reseller their bandwidth to other smaller companies for profit. Companies like Straight Talk and Boost Mobile take advantage of cell towers that broadcast these companies’ signals for a much lower cost.
AT&T and Sprint make more money, and the customer gets cheaper plans…everyone wins. Mint is a newer player in this industry and offers a replacement for your AT&T and T-Mobile phones. Sorry if you own a Sprint or Verizon Phone, you cannot bring it over to Mint. If you want you can always purchase a used phone that will accept AT&T, T-Mobile, or Mint try using Gazelle or eBay!
Mint offers a steep discount, and we mean steep. Reason being if you buy from them, they only offer 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month plans so that you’ll be buying plans in bulk at a discount, much like the Costco’s or BJ’s of Cell Phone Plans.
- 3 Month Plans start at $15/mo = $45
- 6 Month Plans start at $20/mo = $120
- 12 Month Plans start at $15/mo = $180
Once your three-month plan is over, it’s $69 for three months, since you are using a special of theirs. Still, $69 for three months of cell service (2gb of Data) is very good on the wallet. The higher range of service you pick the steeper the discount.
*Keep in mind, this is unlimited data at 2GB for each month. Once those 2GB are up, you are switched a 3G*
What’s truly unique about Mint Mobile = Their Trial System
We’ve never encountered something like this before, but when you order or not with Mint Mobile you’ll be supplied with two trial sim cards. Meaning, you can test out their service using a temporary card with:
- 100MB of Data
- 100 Texts
- 100 Minutes
The trial was amazingly simple to use and was pleasantly surprised how we just popped in the sim (they included the sim insert tool) and got started using the service. You have seven days to try out MintSim, but we found this to be an excellent side tool in case you lose service with one cell service.
You can also hand a trial sim card to a friend to try out as well. In total: we were very impressed with this trial system, and we expect other cell companies to do the same thing.
Mint’s Actual Service (Paid)
After 24 hours of using the service, we found it to be well worth the price of admission. Porting numbers is straightforward, but you’ll need a few things to a tee:
- Account Number from Current Company (Check the BILL!)
- Pin Number from Current Company (They can send it to you if you forgot)
- Zip Code of Service
What’s cool about porting numbers is that you can call up the service line, which is quicker of course, or you can chat on the Mint smartphone app and tell them the numbers directly. We, of course, recommend calling service to get everything squared away. They picked up our call within 30 seconds, which is a lot nicer than Sprint’s response time (15 minutes)
Regarding data reception, you’ll be pleased since it utilizes AT&T’s Cell Towers so you shouldn’t have issues in most parts of the USA.
A bonus: a mobile Hotspot is automatically included in your plan, although because you are limited in data usage, we recommend using this sparingly.
Mint Sim is exceptional regarding the BYOD plans. You get to TRY IT for seven days which is unheard of and offers a full refund policy if you hate the service within those seven days.
*Remember* Don’t Get Roped Into a Phone Contract
Signing up for the latest Apple iPhone, for example, will cost you money…lots of it. But attaching the financing with a cell phone contract is an absurd deal. Imagine this; the latest phone is released, and yet, you are still paying off a phone that was considered top of the line almost two years ago. Sure you can pay it off, but you may be subject to early cancellation or other related charges.
Buying the phone outright through a retailer isn’t such a bad idea if you have the money, but the fact is, that technology always changes so make sure to pick what can hold you off for at least a year or so. iPhones and Samsung Galaxy are two expensive choices, but there are other options out there that will surely be worthy of your purchase including:
- OnePlus Phones
- The Re-launched Nokia Line
We totally recommend OnePlus if you want a brand new phone though. The specs are out of this world and will definitely rival any Samsung or Apple (perhaps exceed them). Yes, I use a OnePlus 6 with my Mint Mobile account and people are always blown away with my OnePlus 6 smartphone.
What Exactly is a BYOD Plan?
Most carriers worth through cell towers. You know, those massive metal towers that may be nearby. Well, perhaps Sprint operates out of one, or possibly AT&T. Either way, your cell provider uses these towers to transmit whatever you are doing, whether that be data or voice calling.
Secondary Cell service providers like Mint Mobile are actually a reseller of TMobile and AT&T cell services, and it’s likely that others are doing the same exact thing!
Here is a list of some incredible BYOD Cell Services worthy of a look!
- Republic Wireless (Sprint Reseller)
- Twigby (Sprint Reseller)
- Straight Talk (AT&T Reseller)
- Virgin Mobile USA (Sprint Reseller)
- Cricket Wireless (AT&T Reseller)
- Mint Mobile (T-Mobile Reseller)
- Project FI (Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T)
- Xfinity Mobile (Verizon Reseller)
- …and hundreds more!
Each of these services comes with unique selling points. Cricket, for example, you don’t need to worry about paying taxes since you’ll be spending one flat fee every month. Again most of the providers here offer no contracts, and it’s per month service!
Mint Mobile Alternative for Kids?
Republic Wireless is another company that takes growth and innovation seriously. They’ve recently introduced a new way to stay connected to your family through their “Relay” device. Give each child their one button phone that acts as an extension of your cell plan. If the child or person needs to connect with you, it’s just one button away! It’s an interesting alternative for those seeking a plan for their child!
Finding unique ways to save like the Mint Mobile cell plan is just one of our major money hacks. If you want a super list of over 80 apps that could change your financial situation, take a look at all of our suggested money apps!