Cleveland, Ohio – $15 a month really buys you a good Mint Mobile Cell Phone Plan? Ryan Reynolds wants you to think so.
And the I tend to agree with him – With some caveats. But I’ve cut costs using prepaid cell phone plans over the past decade.
Reynolds, part owner of Mint Mobile since 2019, has been constantly inflating the cellular carrier in commercials. Being the “Sexiest Man Alive” might help him impress some people, but I was skeptical. In fact, I couldn’t find anyone else using it.
I took the chance and signed up for Mint Mobile seven months ago. I can say with confidence that he is fine. And “fine” is great when it saves you money.
What is a prepaid phone plan, and why is Mint Mobile so cheap?
There are two common themes when it comes to budget-friendly cell service options. They use another carrier’s network, and they use prepaid plans that require payment For service on the front end instead of waiting for the bill.
Prepaid plans aren’t just for lesser known carriers. VerizonAnd the AT&T And the T-Mobile Offer their own prepaid plans. And some off-brand options, like Visible or Metro by T-Mobileowned by the largest companies.
The good news is that customers of every major network have a cheaper option. But for a lower price, you also sacrifice some speed and other features.
And you’re kind of a second-class customer because of “lowering priority”
Simply put, wireless companies will slow down customer data speeds if the network is congested. Since I am a Mint Mobile customer, T-Mobile will prioritize their customers over me. This is a bit oversimplifying, because no priority is used for multiple reasons.
But Mint’s cheapest plan is $15 versus T-Mobile’s base plan of $45.
These are some of the ways budget cell plans cut costs. Although mint is more simple.
There are no “Mint” stores for personal service. Mint customers also have to purchase up to 12 months of service up front to get the best savings.
Is it worth saving money Mint Mobile drawbacks? I say yes.
Despite the shortcomings, handling the Mint has been worth the savings in the past seven months. It even outperformed Verizon in my daily life.
I have two cell phones, a personal phone that uses Mint and a work phone on a Verizon plan. More than once I’ve had intermittent calls on my more expensive business phone and had to call people back with my cheap cell phone plan.
However, Verizon has a few dead zones. I only live in one. And for people who live elsewhere, the opposite may be true.
When I first switched to Mint Mobile, I lived in Cuyahoga Falls, where my Verizon service was better, and my Mint mobile had a problem downstairs.
Cell carriers far exceeded “Can you hear me now?” days. Most carriers, even cheap ones, work well in populated areas.
I’ve used some versions of the prepaid plan since I started paying my cell phone bill years ago. Cricket Wireless (AT&T Network) worked well enough when I went to school downtown and lived in Parma.
Both AT&T Prepaid and Verizon’s prepaid plans were just as good, albeit worse than the traditional cell phone plan.
Mint Mobile is the cheapest I have; Offer unlimited data For $30 a month. He was fine.
Actual experts seem to agree. The Unlimited plan tied to second place in US News’ cell phone plan rankings – Only win the $10 Tello plan. Mint Mobile’s $20, 10 GB plan ranked fifth.
Keep in mind that the $15 Reynolds plan that advertises in commercials only gives you 4GB of data. I think paying $20 for a 10GB plan makes more sense.
But I may be wrong. When asked about cell phone plans on TwitterOne of my readers told me they have Google Fi and rarely use more than 1GB per month.
More caveats on Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile is fine, but you should know that these things happen.
The carrier sells three, six, and 12-month long plans, and offers discounts on longer commitments. So, to keep the basic $15 per month plan, or the $30 unlimited plan, you need to purchase a year’s worth of service.
However, new customers get a promotional price for the first three months.
Another option is for you and another Mint Mobile customer to sign up for a family plan. This allows you to get the best rate with only three months of lockout.
And if you have a family, your prepaid savings start to collapse.
Takes Verizon unlimited plan as an example. When you buy one, the cheapest unlimited plan is $70 per month. If you pay for five or more lines, it’s $30 a month. Major carriers offer discounts for families, and this may make the “premium” option a better value for your money.
Nor did I drive through rural America to test Mint Mobile in desolate places. Your service may vary, particularly in the T-Mobile dead zone. On the flip side, another budget-friendly carrier may operate in your area.
Finally, phone financing will vary from carrier to carrier. I always buy my phone outright, opting for phones in the $300 range.
Traditional carriers may offer better deals on phones or better ways to fund them. Mint Mobile does offer deals over the phone, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Cell phone options
The best option for your cell plan may vary, but here are a few. Note that terms vary and you may need to set up automatic payment to get the best rate. Prices listed per month for one line.
Also, companies have a habit of offering promotional prices, and then raising them later. Be wise and check. I can’t test drive every carrier.
* Mint (T-Mobile network) The cheapest 4GB plan is for $15, but 10GB for $20 is more reasonable. Unlimited data $30. All plans must be purchased in bulk.
* Verizon – The cheapest unlimited plan is $70 (but it’s the cheapest per line within family plans). The cheapest plan is the prepaid option, 5GB for $25.
* AT&T The cheapest unlimited plan is $50, and it’s only available for one line. AT&T’s other unlimited plans start at a higher price but get cheaper with multiple lines. If you choose AT&T Prepaid, there’s a 5GB plan for $30 a month. There’s also a 16GB plan for $25 a month, if you buy an entire year in advance.
* T-Mobile The cheapest unlimited plan is $60, and the cheapest plan is 20GB of data for $45. T-Mobile prepaid offers a 10GB plan for $40.
* Visible (Verizon Network) Unlimited data for $30 per month. The $45 option is also unlimited and has more perks.
* Cricket (AT&T Network) The cheapest 5GB plan is $30. Get Unlimited for $55. It gets cheaper with more lines.
* Mobile Boost The cheapest option is a 1GB plan at $100 for 12 months of service (data likely won’t be enough). There is an unlimited plan at $40 per month and $30 per month if you buy in bulk.
* google fi – The cheapest strange plan. $20 per month and then $10 for each GB you use. There’s also an unlimited plan for $50.
* tell – 1 GB package for $10 and $29 unlimited.
* Metro by T-Mobile – Cheapest 5GB plan for $30; The cheapest unlimited plan is $40.
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