Mint Mobile and AT&T’s prepaid plans are popular carriers that offer solid deals for their customers. Each carrier has its positives and negatives, but which offers better phone plans? Let’s compare them and see which is better.
In this article, we plan to discuss the details of both carriers and what they offer. We’ll also cover:
Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNOs. This means that they purchase service access wholesale from one of the three major networks that own infrastructure across the country – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – giving customers service at a much cheaper price. Mint Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile. AT&T prepaid is a branch of AT&T, which is one of the major phone networks.
Often, the quality of coverage comes down to your area. One carrier’s coverage may be better in New York, while another’s coverage may be better in California. It’s important to compare between providers on a coverage map of your specific city. Ookla’s coverage map allows you to see where cellular towers are located and which company owns them. This coverage map provides information about coverage from 2G to 5G for several providers.
However, T-Mobile’s 5G coverage and access is hailed as the best coverage overall.
Both carriers give you unlimited talk and texting options with any plan you choose. Both companies deprioritize data, meaning you’ll have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and shopping centers.
Mint Mobile offers plans ranging from 5GB to Unlimited (40GB) data, giving customers more options to meet their needs. Mint Mobile only offers 3, 6, or 12 month plans to sign up for. However, your data is reset every month. Their current New Customer Offer allows you to purchase a 3 month plan at the best deal. Mint Mobile also offers a deal where you can get 6 months of free service if you purchase a phone and a 6 month plan. Mint Mobile allows up to 5 lines on one account, each with their own customizable plan data to draw from.
As a T-Mobile MVNO, Mint Mobile is on tier 7 of 9 Quality of Service Class Identifiers (QCIs).
This indicates the priority level of the carrier on T-Mobile’s network compared to T-Mobile specific plans. This means they’re at a higher priority compared to MVNOs on Verizon or AT&T’s networks. As such, you may experience higher speeds while being deprioritized than other MVNOs.
Image courtesy of Mint Mobile’s website.
Mint Mobile keeps your phone locked for the first year after purchase. After, you must request to have your phone unlocked. Taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price.
This plan gives you 5GB of data and mobile hotspot access. The plan is again deprioritized, then slows down to 2G speeds after the 5GB allotment. With 2G speeds, users can expect to send text messages and emails or scroll the internet, but streaming video or playing games will be difficult. Hotspot data comes from the 5GB and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $15 per month and $45 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 5GB for $3 per GB.
This plan gets you 15GB of full speed data and mobile hotspot data. This plan is also deprioritized and slowed down to 2G speeds after 15GB. Your hotspot data comes from the 15GB allotment and stops after 15GB. The plan costs $20 per month and $80 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 15GB at $1.33 per GB.
As it says in the name, you get 20GB of full speed data. This plan is deprioritized, however, and it slows down to 2G speeds after you reach the 20GB cap. The plan also includes mobile hotspot capabilities. Data comes from the 20GB allotment and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $25 per month and $75 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 20GB at $1.25 per GB.
With Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan, you get 40GB of data. Your data is deprioritized, and it slows down to 3G speeds (512 kbps) after 40GB. At 3G, you can still send texts, send emails, and scroll through social media without too many issues. Streaming video might be a bit slower. While this may be a negative for those who use large amounts of data, most users use about 20GB of data per month or less, according to Ericsson Mobility. This plan also gives you 10GB of mobile hotspot data, allowing your phone to become a WiFi connection for other devices. Data stops after 10GB.
The plan costs $30 per month, or $90 for the first 3 months. After that, the price is $40 per month. To get the same $30 per month deal, you need to buy 12 months worth of service. At this rate, you get 50GB at $0.60 per GB.
Image courtesy of AT&T’s website.
AT&T offers 5 plans, varying between limited and unlimited data offerings. Their plans are deprioritized, which means your data will slow down during high traffic. All plans include unlimited talk and text, and all but 1 plan allows for up to 10 lines. Their limited data plans are on QCI tier 8, while their unlimited monthly plan is on QCI tier 8.
Image courtesy of AT&T’s website.
If you purchase your phone from AT&T, your device will be locked for 6 months after activation. The plans they offer renew monthly, except for two plans, and taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price.
This plan gives you 5GB of data. This connection then slows to 128 kbps, or 2G speeds. With these speeds, you can send texts and emails or browse the internet. However, playing games or streaming video will be difficult. This plan also includes mobile hotspot access, which users can use all plan data with. This access stops after 5GB. It also features rollover data, which means any data you don’t use rolls over to and is added to the next month of service. For example, if you use 2GB of data one month, the last 3GB of unused data will be added to the next month.
The plan costs $30 per month. At this rate, you get 5GB at $6 per GB.
This plan requires you to purchase 3 months of service, and it gives you 8GB per month. Data slows to 2G speeds once again after you hit this limit. You get mobile hotspot access for 8GB, then access stops once you hit the 8GB limit. Your data is also able to rollover to the next month of service.
The plan costs $33 per month when you pay $99 for 3 months. At this rate, you get 8GB per month at $4.13 per GB.
This plan gives you 15GB and allows you to pay monthly. Again, data slows to 2G speeds after the 15GB cap. This plan also gives you mobile hotspot access, which stops after the 15GB data allotment.
The plan costs $40 per month. At this rate, you get 15GB at $2.67 per GB.
This plan gives you 16GB of full speed data before slowing to 2G speeds. You do not get hotspot access with this plan. This plan also requires a new single line upon sign up, and you can only have one line on this plan.
The plan costs $25 per month. At this rate, you get 16GB at $1.56 per GB.
As their biggest plan, AT&T prepaid’s unlimited monthly plan gives you unlimited deprioritized data. Your data will slow down during times of congestion. You also get 5GB of hotspot data, which stops once you reach this cap.
The plan costs $65 per month before the Autopay discount, and $50 after.
If you’re looking for a plan with more included features, such as international connection or domestic roaming data, it’s best to compare carriers with what they offer. AT&T prepaid offers more features included with their plans.
Mint Mobile does not include this feature. All AT&T prepaid plans include domestic roaming capabilities.
Mint Mobile offers talk and text in Mexico and Canada included and roaming data at $0.06 per MB. All AT&T prepaid plans include talk, text, and data abilities in Mexico and Canada, except for their 5GB prepaid plan. Data in Mexico and Canada may be slowed to 2G.
Mint Mobile gives you international text included, while international talk and data are pay-per-use. International talk is $0.25 per minute, while international data is $0.20 per MB. AT&T prepaid plans include international texting, but international talk and data requires an additional add-on.
Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan streams at 480p Standard Definition, while their limited data plans stream at 4k Ultra High Definition. AT&T prepaid offers 720p High Definition on their annual unlimited plan and 3 month 8GB plan, and 480p Standard Definition on every other prepaid plan.
Mint Mobile and AT&T do not offer this feature.
Mint Mobile and AT&T do not offer this feature.
If you buy a phone from Mint Mobile, the carrier allows you to pay for your device in installments over time. AT&T prepaid does not offer this feature.
Both carriers offer WiFi calling, which allows you to send and receive phone calls over a WiFi connection rather than cellular reception.
Mint Mobile does not offer this feature. All AT&T prepaid plans include Active Armour with their plans, which blocks spam and fraud calls and secures WiFi connections.
Mint Mobile offers a 7 day free trial. AT&T prepaid does not offer this feature.
Mint Mobile is a digital-only carrier, meaning they only offer customer support online and over the phone. Mint Mobile offers chat support 24/7 and support over the phone at (800)-683-7392 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST every day of the week. AT&T offers thousands of brick-and-mortar stores across the country, and you can find one near you with their store locator. For help specifically prepaid plans, you can text “prepaid” to 75421 on Mon. to Sat. at 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and on Sundays at 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. You can also call (800) 901-9878 on Mon. through Sat. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
In conclusion, Mint Mobile offers better limited plan deals than AT&T’s prepaid plans. When it comes to the price of data per GB, Mint Mobile offers a much better deal for its users. However, AT&T prepaid offers an unlimited plan that doesn’t slow down at a data cap. If you use a lot of data or travel often, you may want to consider this plan. However, most people don’t use more than 20GB of data per month.
We’d recommend checking your data usage before committing to a plan.
Are you still unsure which carrier to choose, or which phone plan to pick? Use really.com to compare your top choices and find the best deal to fit your needs. Really allows you to compare and sort between most phone plans on the market without the hassle!