Which is better for you?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The major mobile carriers have a lot to offer, but sometimes it’s better to go back to basics and go with a prepaid plan. MVNO operators usually have the best options. These tend to provide fewer bells and whistles, but they also cost less. Today we’ll be comparing two of the most popular budget carriers in this Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless comparison.

We’ll cover pricing, plans, coverage, phone selection, and more. Let’s jump right in and see what the best bet is for your specific needs.

Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless. Pricing and Plans

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If you look at Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless, we can assume you’re trying to find a good deal. Fortunately, both have great options. Their offerings, however, come with some differences.

Before we jump into the offers, it’s important to note that all these plans come with unlimited calls and texts. Plus, all of these plans essentially come with unlimited data. Allowed data options will still allow you to browse after you exceed the set limit. You’ll just suffer with slower data speeds.

Mint Mobile plans Cricket Wireless Plans

Limited data plans

Mint Mobile plans

4 GB.
$75 for three months
$120 for six months
$180 for a year

10 GB.
$105 for three months
$150 for six months
$240 for a year

15 GB.
$135 for three months
$210 for six months
$300 for one year

Cricket Wireless Plans

5 GB.
$30 per month

10 GB.
$40 per month
$35 per month with Auto Pay
$70 per month for two lines
$90 per month for three lines
$110 per month for four lines
$130 per month for five lines

Unlimited data plans

Mint Mobile plans

$120 for three months
$210 for six months
$360 for a year

Cricket Wireless Plans

$55 per month
$50 per month with Auto Pay
$80 per month for two lines
$90 per month for three lines
$100 per month for four lines
$125 per month for five lines

Unlimited + 15 GB mobile hotspot.
$60 per month
$55 per month with Auto Pay
$90 per month for two lines
$110 per month for three lines
$130 per month for four lines
$160 per month for five lines

Are there any introductory deals?

Mint Mobile new customer offers

Both Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless have their ways of luring you in, but they are different types of offers.

Cricket Wireless has many smartphone discounts that require you to port your number from a competitor. Since AT&T owns Cricket, this won’t work if you’re coming from AT&T. Device deals can be very juicy if you can take advantage of them, but many of these phones are actually free if you go through the process.

Mint Mobile takes a different approach to make switching to it more attractive. Instead of device discounts, it gives a huge discount for the first three months of service. The plans listed in the table will cost $45 for the first three months for the 4GB plan, $60 for the first three months for the 10GB plan, $75 for the first three months for the 15GB plan, and $90 for the first three months for Unlimited. plan

Just remember that prices will return to normal after the first three-month period when the plan is renewed. This is a great offer if you’re thinking of switching and bringing your own device with you.

Data Limitations

Mobile data usage settings from top to bottom

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As we mentioned above, plans with data allocations will slow down once the agreed threshold is reached. What about unlimited plans, anyway? Mint Mobile has a fair usage policy of 35GB for its Unlimited plan. After that the speeds will decrease.

Cricket Wireless is more lenient with data speed limits. Previous unlimited plan subscribers were only slowed down when exceeding 22GB and network congestion. This means that you can simply use the data away if you are not in a congested area.

Throttling has become one of Cricket’s differentiators between its two Unlimited plans. The basic Unlimited plan can slow down your speeds if the network is congested, and now there’s no question of a 22GB soft cap. This can be bad news, as Cricket can throttle you even if you don’t use much data.

Heavy data users will love the benefits of the Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot plan. Cricket Wireless strongly states that this plan comes with “unlimited high-speed data that won’t slow down based on your data usage.” This is very neat and actually rare on the market.

Which is more affordable?

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No matter which plan you get, Mint Mobile has the edge in terms of pricing. At least if you get one line.

Mint’s basic 4GB plan costs $15-$25, depending on how many months you prepay. This competes with Cricket’s 5GB plan which costs $30. We know this isn’t a direct comparison, but here goes.

Both carriers offer a 10GB plan. Mint costs $20-$35, again depending on when you pay ahead of time. Cricket provides the same data allowance for $40, but it can be reduced to $35 with Auto Pay. This means that carriers offer the same value, but only if you pay for three months with Mint Mobile. Move it up to six or 12 months and Mint Mobile wins.

Mint’s Unlimited plan is also very similar to Cricket, and that’s where the fundamental differences start to emerge. Mint’s Unlimited plan costs the equivalent of $30-$40 per month. Whereas Cricket charges $55 or $50 with Auto Pay. This means that even the most expensive Mint Unlimited offering is $10 cheaper than the Cricket alternative.

Cricket Wireless is much cheaper than Mint Mobile if you need multiple lines.

Mint’s Unlimited plan also comes with 5GB of hotspot data, for which Cricket charges extra. That is, unless you revert to Cricket Wireless’ Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot plan, which Mint Mobile doesn’t really have competition for. Instead of a higher-end plan, Mint offers something mid-range with its 15GB plan.

However, Mint Mobile is technically cheaper if you have one or two lines. Those with multiple lines will benefit from Cricket’s multi-line discounts, which are quite substantial. Not to mention, Mint doesn’t offer discounts on family plans, claiming you’re already saving a lot of cash.

For example, say you want four lines on the Unlimited plan. On Mint Mobile, this will equate to $160, $140, or $120 per month, depending on the months you pay. The same family plan with Cricket Wireless will cost you $100, and you won’t need to pay upfront for future months.

Other features and benefits

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Of course, price isn’t everything, even if it is a significant factor. The truth is, we’re all willing to pay more if we think the service is worth it, and that’s why we think extra features and benefits are important.

Mint Mobile doesn’t offer any real add-ons. It’s a simple drive with no bells and whistles, designed to save you as much money as possible. They have left all advantages. The Cricket is a bit more like the larger drives in this regard.

If you regularly visit our neighboring countries, you will definitely prefer Cricket Wireless. All Cricket plans except 5GB offer free roaming in Mexico and Canada, as well as calls to the specified countries. On the other hand, Mint Mobile only offers free calls to Mexico and Canada. roaming charges are additional.

If you’re a fan of HBO Max, Cricket Wireless also includes an ad-supported free subscription with its Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot plan. This is a great benefit that you won’t see often with these MVNO operators. The same plan also comes with 150GB of cloud storage, but that’s via myPhotoVault, which is a Cricket app and not one of the best cloud storage solutions out there.

Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless. Coverage

5G logo on graphics

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What good is a great price or a great selection of features if coverage in your area is poor? That’s why it’s important to check which network your MVNO operator uses to provide its service.

Mint Mobile is powered by the T-Mobile network. Since AT&T owns Cricket Wireless, that’s the network that Cricket piggybacks off of. Your area and device will affect your data and signal performance, but in general, AT&T is known to have more coverage. You’ll quickly notice this if you check the Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless coverage maps.

The difference in coverage may not affect you, however. And you get both 4G LTE and 5G support with both carriers. Most city dwellers will be fine with either network.

Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless. Phone selection

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Cricket Wireless’ selection isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s less extensive. The choice of phones is not that desirable either. There are some popular phones like iPhone 14 series, Samsung Galaxy A14 and iPhone SE. All other options are either older or less popular.

That said, Cricket Wireless is much more generous with its device discounts. Mint Mobile doesn’t usually offer deals on smartphones. Free or heavily discounted phones with Cricket are very popular.

Can I bring my own phone?

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Galaxy A34 5G camera trio

You can certainly bring your own device to any of these MVNOs. You just need to make sure they are compatible with their respective networks. Both Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless have tools to check compatibility.

Be sure to check out our list of the best unlocked phones if you need help getting a new device.

Which carrier is right for you?

If price is your main deciding factor, which is the best carrier in the Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless dilemma will depend on your needs. More specifically, it depends on whether you sign up for multiple lines or not.

Mint Mobile does not discount lines and all its offers are either equal or more affordable than Cricket. The price difference becomes more significant if you pay more months in advance with Mint Mobile. On the other hand, the discounts can be substantial when you start adding more lines to a Cricket Wireless account.

When it comes to coverage and performance, AT&T’s network is known to be better than T-Mobile’s. This means you can get a better connection if you go with Cricket Wireless. However, your experience may vary depending on your location, your device, congestion, and other factors. It’s best to ask about your location to see which network is better.

Those looking for a more complete plan with additional benefits and features can also take a closer look at what Cricket Wireless has to offer. Free roaming in Mexico and Canada would be a great addition for many of you, not to mention a possible free subscription to HBO Max.

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