How does Mint SIM stack up against Cricket Wireless? Here's our comparison!
Mint SIM and Cricket Wireless are mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs for short. At the end of the day, they're "alternative carriers", meaning that they're not the Big Four (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint).
Switching to an MVNO can save you money because they simply lease coverage from one of the larger networks and resell it to customers. Plans are often prepaid, so you don't have to worry about overages.
Let's take a look at two major players — Mint SIM and Cricket Wireless — and see how they compare to one another.
- Mint SIM background
- Cricket Wireless background
- Mint SIM plans
- Cricket plans
- Best phones available from Cricket
- Which should you go with?
Mint SIM background
Who owns it? Ultra Mobile
Which network does it use? T-Mobile 4G LTE
How long has it been around? Since 2016
Tethering allowed? No
Cheapest plan: $35 for 1 month: 2GB 4G LTE, unlimited nationwide talk, text, and 2G data
Cricket Wireless background
Who owns it? AT&T
Which network does it use? AT&T 4G LTE
How long has it been around? Since 1999
Tethering allowed? Yes, $10/month
Cheapest plan: $30/month: 1GB 4G LTE, unlimited talk, text, and 2G data
Mint SIM plans
Mint SIM doesn't operate with traditional contracts. You pay upfront for your term, which can be 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months, with "buying in bulk" saving you more money in the long run. All plans include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data, though you only get so much 4G LTE per month. Unlimited international texting is included in all plans.
|Duration||Small (2GB LTE)||Medium (5GB LTE)||Large (10GB LTE)|
|3 months||$23/month ($69 upfront)||$33/month ($99 upfront)||$39.67/month ($119 upfront)|
|6 months||$19.83/month ($119 upfront)||$28.17/month ($169 upfront)||$34.83/month ($209 upfront)|
|12 months||$16.58/month ($199 upfront)||$24.92/month ($299 upfront)||$33.25/month ($399 upfront)|
As far as add-ons are concerned, Mint SIM's selection is very slim:
- 1GB/month: $10
- 3GB/month: $20
Mint SIM's plans contain no international calling, though unlimited international texting is included. You can add international calling credit to your account in $5, $10, or $20 increments.
You can see a list of international rates here.
All Cricket Wireless plans include unlimited talk, text, and data, but your 4G LTE access is metered and you can choose how much you want, per month. There are no annual contracts with Cricket; you pay on a month-to-month basis.
|1GB||Basic (3GB LTE)||Smart (8GB LTE)||Unlimited (22GB LTE)|
|With Auto Pay||$25||$35||$45||$55|
|Extras||Eligible for Group Save Discount||International texting, roaming in Canada and Mexico, eligible for Group Save Discount||International texting, roaming in Canada and Mexico, eligible for Group Save Discount|
1GB of 4G LTE data:
$10/month. All remaining data expires at the end of your monthly plan cycle.
Turn your phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for $10/month. Uses data from your monthly high-speed allowance. Not all phones are compatible, so double-check first.
For $7/month, Cricket protect covers you if your phone is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged physically or by liquid. You're also covered for in-warranty exchanges and out-of-warranty mechanical/electrical problems. Deductibles vary from $10 to $250, depending on your phone model.
Deezer free trial:
Get a free trial to the music streaming service. Length of free trial is at least 15 days and depends on when you sign up and when your next monthly bill date falls. After the free trial, it's $6/month.
Terms and conditions
Group Save Discount: Cricket gives you a monthly discount for each line you add to your account. Each line must have a plan of at least $40 a month. Lines with the $30 per month plan are ineligible.
- 2 lines: $10 monthly discount
- 3 lines: $20 monthly discount
- 4 lines: $30 monthly discount
- 5 lines: $40 monthly discount
- Up to $100 in total monthly savings
International texting: This only covered text messages to select countries and does not cover picture or video messaging.
Mexico and Canada roaming: Calling and texting while in Mexico and Canada are included, as well as calling between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Usage in Canada and Mexico cannot exceed 50% for texts, voice minutes, and data usage sent, received, or used. For example, if you send 100 texts in a month, no more than 50 can be sent to or received from Mexico and Canada.
Best phones available from Cricket Wireless
You can bring an unlocked phone to Cricket Wireless; just check compatibility first. If you don't have a phone to bring, we recommend the following:
- Samsung Galaxy S7: $649.99
- iPhone 7 32GB: $649.99
- iPhone 7 128GB: $749.99
- iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769.99
- iPhone 7 Plus: 128GB: $869.99
- Samsung Galaxy S6: $499.99
Which should I go with? Mint SIM
From a purely price-conscious perspective, Mint SIM is the better option, especially if you have an unlocked phone of your own. T-Mobile's network is solid and Mint SIM's plans are straightforward. So long as you sign up for 3 months or longer at a time, you get a lot more data for your money.
If discounted phones and roaming in Canada and Mexico are important to you, then you'll have to go with Cricket (if you're choosing between the two). It just sucks that Cricket charges $10 a month for tethering, though Mint SIM doesn't offer it at all.
Alternative carriers (MVNOS)
- What is an alternative mobile carrier?
- What are the advantages of going with an alternative carrier?
- How to make sure your phone works on a prepaid alternative carrier
- 8 Important Considerations When Switching To An MVNO
- These are the cheapest data plans you can buy in the U.S.
- Mint SIM vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?