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Can Ryan Reynold’s carrier compete with Big Red?


Verizon logo on smartphone with a colored background Stock photo 4

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Prepaid carriers used to be looked down on in the US, seen as an option mostly for those with poor credit or little cash to spare. They offered inferior service and tons of compromise. Thankfully this hasn’t been the case for years. Many prepaid carriers have upped their game to the point they can more favorably compete with postpaid options from carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

In this article, we pit one of the most popular prepaid services against the most popular traditional carrier. When it comes to Mint Mobile vs Verizon, which carrier is the better fit for your needs? Let’s take a quick look at the following chart to see what each carrier offers, and then we’ll break it down into more detail below.

Update (12/8/23): We’ve updated this article to reflect new Verizon and Mint plan changes and a few other small details. 

Plan Cost Talk & Text Data Extras
Plan

Verizon MyPlan Unlimited Wecome

Cost

$65 for one line
$55 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$30 for four lines
$27 for five lines

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
480p streaming

Extras

Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
Can add perks for $10 each, including 100GB hotspot data, Apple Music, Apple One, Disney Plus bundle, and more

Plan

Verizon MyPlan Unlimited Plus
Cost

$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$42 for five lines

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
Ultra wideband 5G
480p streaming

Extras

alk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
Can add perks for $10 each, including 100GB hotspot data, Apple Music, Apple One, Disney Plus bundle, and more

Plan

myPlan Unlimited Ultimate

Cost

$75 for one line
$65 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$40 for four lines

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
5G wideband

Extras

Everything from Plus, as well as 10GB high-speed international data

Plan

Verizon Prepaid 15GB

Cost

$35 w/ autopay
$5 discount after 3 months
$10 discount after 9 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

15GB of LTE/5G access
480p streaming

Extras

$5/day for calls, text, and data in Mexico or Canada

Plan

Verizon Unlimited Prepaid

Cost

$50 w/ autopay
$5 discount after 3 months
$10 discount after 9 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited LTE/5G data
480p streaming

Extras

Calling, text, and data in Mexico & Canada

Plan

Verizon Unlimited Plus Prepaid

Cost

$60 w/ autopay
$5 discount after 3 months
$10 discount after 9 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

Unlimited LTE/5G data, including ultra wideband 5G
480p streaming

Extras

Calling, text, and data in Mexico & Canada
Plan

Mint 5GB

Cost

$45 for first three months promotion
$75 for three months
$120 for six months
$180 for 12 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

4GB LTE/5G access

Extras

Hotspot up to data limit

Plan

Mint 15GB

Cost

$60 for first three months promotion
$105 for three months
$150 for six months
$240 for 12 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

10GB LTE/5G access

Extras

Hotspot up to data limit

Plan

Mint 20GB

Cost

$75 for first three months promotion
$135 for three months
$210 for six months
$300 for 12 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

15GB LTE/5G access

Extras

Hotspot up to data limit

Plan

Mint Unlimited

Cost

$90 for first three months promotion
$120 for three months
$210 for six months
$360 for 12 months

Talk & Text

Unlimited

Data

40GB premium data
Unlimited 4G/5G and unlimited slowed speeds

Extras

10GB hotspot access

Mint Mobile vs Verizon: pricing and value

Stock photo of Mint Mobile fox on phone with money 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Right now, the economy is in a tough place, and that’s driving many of us to cut costs where we can. This is likely one of the main reasons prepaid phone service has seen so much growth in the last few years. To little surprise, Mint Mobile offers significant savings over Verizon’s postpaid and prepaid offerings. However, there is a catch: you have to pay for months of service in advance to see truly substantial discounts.

Mint Mobile lets you start with a 3-month offer that gives you its highest discount rate. As an example, the 5GB plan is $45 for the first three months, but after that, it goes up to $75 for three months unless you switch to a six or 12-month plan. The yearly plan sees the best discounts, as a year of service will cost you the equivalent of $15 a month.

Mint Mobile’s yearly plans range from $180/yearly to $360/yearly — which is the equivalent of $15 to $30 a month. In contrast, Verizon’s plans range from $35 to $80 a line. Of course, Verizon has the advantage of family discounts which can make it a better deal long term for those with larger families. Mint Mobile also bundles things for families, but the discount rates aren’t much different than what you’d pay when getting a single line.

One big difference between Mint and Verizon is the way they handle data allotments. Verizon only has one limited plan with 15GB of data, and it’s a prepaid option. You can use it for mobile data as well as a hotspot, but when you’re out, there is no more data for the month. Mint Mobile has several data plans going from as little as 5GB to its “Unlimited” plan, which actually only gives you 40GB of high-speed data. After you hit those caps? You’ll get unlimited data on every plan, just only at 600Kbps.

Verizon’s 15GB will stop providing when you hit the cap, but its unlimited plans have no caps. However, you might see some deprioritization depending on the exact plan.

Mint Mobile coverage vs Verizon: how do they compare?

mint mobile map

Verizon’s network needs no introduction as Big Red is known for its extensive US-wide network. While it’s not without its dead zones, Verizon tends to be a reliable option almost anywhere you travel. Just keep in mind that its prepaid packages won’t have the same roaming agreements as the postpaid options, so they might have a few more dead zones in certain rural areas particularly. You can take a closer look at their 4G and 5G coverage by looking at Verizon’s official coverage map. 

Mint Mobile works a bit differently, as it’s what they call an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). The short explanation is that Mint doesn’t have its own towers and instead buys wholesale coverage from T-Mobile and resells it to consumers at a discounted price. The good news is that T-Mobile’s coverage is pretty solid, even if not as extensive as Verizon’s. T-Mobile claims 99% of Americans can receive 4G LTE reception — of course, that stat might not translate perfectly to Mint Mobile as an MVNO.

While it will likely come very close, big carriers tend to have roaming agreements, at least for their postpaid plans, which sometimes help fill in the holes in their coverage. Mint Mobile wouldn’t have that arrangement in place. Just something to keep in mind. For a better idea of their coverage, be sure to check out Mint’s official coverage map.

Another consideration is deprioritization, which applies to Verizon prepaid plans and all of Mint Mobile’s plans.

Verizon will always prioritize its own postpaid plans and then its prepaid options. T-Mobile does the same. That means Mint Mobile may see deprioritization in times of extreme congestion. In most cases, this shouldn’t hinder using your phone; it just means you might not always get the same exact speeds as you would with a T-Mobile postpaid account. 

For those that go with Verizon, prepaid will see deprioritization over the paid plans in times of congestion. The same applies for postpaid, as the Welcome plan will see deprioritization from time to time, though in my own tests, it’s never a real issue. You’ll still get good speeds, just maybe not as fast as you’d get with Unlimited Plus during congestion. 

Mint Mobile vs Verizon: Extras, perks, and promotions

Disney Plus main screen 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Mint Mobile is a no-frills option when it comes to extras, though it does give you free calling to Mexico and Canada. There are also low rates available for calling 160 other countries as well.

As for promotions, Mint often runs specials on phones. For example, you can buy a Pixel 8 from Mint for $579 with a 12-month plan, which is already cheaper than the retailer price but even better, you’ll get a free pair of Pixel Buds Pro too. 

Turning to Verizon, there are so many promotions, and trade-in offers that it’s hard for Mint to compete on volume. Check out our deals guide for more of the best Verizon deals.

Verizon used to offer a ton of perks, but now it takes a different approach. All plans give you international access in Mexico and Canada, but perks like streaming services and cloud storage are now optional add-ons. Most add-ons cost $10 each a month.

The total list of optional perks is currently:

  • Disney Bundle (Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN Plus)
  • 2TB Cloud Storage
  • 100GB Mobile hotspot
  • Walmart+ Membership
  • Apple One
  • Apple Music Family
  • Smartwatch Data
  • 3 TravelPass Days

Mint Mobile vs Verizon: Phone selection

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Pixel 7 Pro close up

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Verizon is compatible with pretty much every major phone sold in the United States and offers a wide range of brands such as Samsung, Google, Apple, and Motorola. This includes popular phones like the Galaxy S23, Pixel 8, and iPhone 14, to name a few. You can check out their full list of phones on the Verizon website.

Mint Mobile is surprisingly just as extensive. There are phones from OnePlus, LG, Motorola, Samsung, TCL, Alcatel, Google, Apple, and much more. There are a few different buying options as well.

First, you can sign up for a “phone deal” and get six months of service for free. You have the option of paying for the phone upfront or at a monthly rate, thanks to Mint’s partnership with Affirm. You’ll have to have qualifying credit, of course.

Not every phone Mint offers is compatible with the Phone Deal packages, so if you are interested in a phone that isn’t eligible, you also have the option of just buying a phone outright or with Affirm, but without the bonus six months of free service. You can take a look at their complete list of phones at their official site.

Regardless of which service you choose, both also allow you to bring your own device as long as it’s compatible with their network. Sometimes buying unlocked can actually be cheaper, as well as give you more options than you’d get solely from the carrier. For more phone options check out our guide to the best Android phones and best cheap phones.

Mint Mobile vs Verizon: Which carrier is right for you?

Stock photo of Mint Mobile fox on phone with money 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Technically Verizon had more wins than Mint, but perks and promotions can be pretty subjective. Not everyone wants or cares about the extra perks Verizon can add, so it’s really closer to a tie there, too — I just opted to give Verizon the win because it does offer more (though you pay a lot for it). 

Ultimately there are a lot of great things about both carriers, and there’s really no clear winner. It’s all down to you. In the end, Mint Mobile is a prepaid carrier, and it’s going to have a few compromises to keep costs down. Those compromises result in a very good value though. 

If you live in an area with strong T-Mobile coverage and are looking to save money, Mint Mobile is really hard to pass on. It’s the kind of service where you can pay for a whole year at tax time and then completely forget about it. Of course, you’ll also have slower speeds than what you could get at Verizon, especially during peaks. That’s just the nature of an MVNO.

Verizon is the better choice if you don’t get great T-Mobile coverage or just really want the fastest speeds possible. It also has extras like perks, even if these aren’t free like they used to be. You’ll also find roaming and just general coverage are going to be stronger with Big Red.

Like Verizon’s network but want deeper savings? You’d do well to check out US Mobile or Visible, both of which operate on Verizon’s network. If you are interested in Mint but don’t like the idea of slower speeds in congestion, you could also consider T-Mobile directly. It’s going to be more expensive than Mint, but typically still a cheaper option than Verizon.



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