Best Cheapest Cell Phone Carrier: Mint Mobile

MintMobile is arguably the best mobile service provider on the market. And the best part of it all . . . It’s also the cheapest.

If you’re like me, cutting costs wherever you can is vitally important.

Personally, I think people spend way too much money for cell service, just ask around.  It’s easy to find people who pay one, two, three, or even four hundred dollars a month for cell service. Granted, some of those are family plans, but still . . . It’s insane!

I switched to Mint Mobile about four months ago, and have been very happy with it.  Let me share a few reasons why I think you should make the switch, too.

First things first . . .

What’s the coverage like?

Naturally, this seems to be the first question that comes to mind (it was for me, too).

Surely the coverage has got to suck since it’s so cheap, right?

Well, not exactly.

It’s important to understand that it’s not cheap because the coverage sucks . . . It’s cheap because you’re buying the service in bulk (more on that in a minute).

The website does a good job showing you what kind of coverage you can expect. They even have a nationwide coverage map to check out as well.

mint mobile coverage map

If you’d like to get real specific, you can also enter your zip code.  That will give you an even better idea of the coverage in your area.

A quick glance at the coverage map does reveal some spotty areas. For example, in some remote areas of Nebraska you might experience some interruptions.  Overall, however, I think you can tell that the coverage is pretty solid.  And there’s a good reason for that: most service providers share the same towers.

In fact, I believe Mint Mobile operates on the same network as T-Mobile.  So if you have T-Mobile currently, you shouldn’t notice a difference in coverage if you switch.

That time I lost service

Before I get into that, let me first say this:  I have been with Mint Mobile for about four months now and have no complaints, despite having lost service a couple of times.  Here’s why.

The first week I had Mint Mobile, was the same week I left town to visit my sister who lives in rural Missouri (remember the spotty areas).

The drive down there was fine, but once I got there, I started having issues.  I ended up losing service a couple of times while at Pomme de Terre Lake (apparently that happens when you’re in wooded areas like that).

I admit, I was a little taken aback at first, but I got over it once my service restored (it was only down for a few minutes each time).  Nonetheless, I can’t deny that it did happen.

However, since then, I haven’t had any issues with coverage, especially since remaining closer to high populated areas.

Other than that one time, I have been unbelievably happy with the service and the coverage.  But nothing makes me more happy than the cost; you can’t beat it!

Related: 11 Benefits of Being Frugal

Can you keep your number with Mint Mobile?

Absolutely!  I was worried about this, too, since I’ve had the same number for 17 years! 

On second thought, perhaps changing it would have served me well since I get a lot of calls from telemarketers and such. 

Either way, its nice to keep your number if you want.  Here’s how you do it.

Keeping your number

If you want to keep your number, you want to make sure you don’t cancel service with your current provider (that will most likely cause you to lose your number for good).

Transferring your number from one provider to another is very common; this is called porting your number out.  To do this, simply let Mint Mobile know that you plan to transfer your existing number, and follow their instructions.

You will probably need to give them your account number and pin number through your existing provider, but that should be all they need to port the number out.  When this happens, your existing service will automatically cancel (at least that’s how it was for me).

This is also a blessing!  It was nice to not have to call and argue with Sprint as to why I wanted to cancel my service.  Giving Mint the information they needed made it seamless for me.

I can’t imagine how that conversation would have went had I called to cancel my service:

Sprint – “Why do you want to cancel?”

Me – “Because you’re too expensive; that’s why!”

The truth is . . . they can’t even come close to matching the price . . . much less beat it.

If your provider is able to beat it, congratulations!  You just found an even better deal, so don’t forget to share.

Changing your number

If decide to change your number, you will probably have to call your existing provider to cancel, and that kinda sucks . . .

At that point, when your service cancels, all you have to do is insert the new SIM card, and you’re on your way.  They will activate your service and issue you a new phone number.  Easy enough.

Can you bring your own phone to Mint Mobile?

Yes!  This is exactly what I did.  In fact, if you want to get real serious about saving money, it’s best to do it this way.

What you want to do is buy your phones outright, if you can, that way you can take them wherever you want, any provider you want.  Freedom.

Unfortunately, most people don’t think that way and some even lease their phones.  This ends up being an even bigger waste of money.

Not only is it expensive, but when you do that, you basically become a slave to that provider.  Not a good plan.

My advice?  Pay the phone off, even if you don’t switch carriers right away.  It’s good to have the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and it ends up being a lot cheaper that way.

Bonus tip for more savings

If you really want to get crazy on savings, don’t even buy new phones; buy refurbished phones through Amazon or something.  That’s what I plan to do next time!

Refurbished phones are basically brand new phones:  new parts, tested, inspected, and even warrantied. They work like new . . . only at a fraction of the price.

The iPhone I currently have can probably be bought for $100 to $150 refurbished.  Add that to the cheapest service provider there is, and you have an iPhone with a year’s worth of service for about $300. That’s what I’m talking about! Remember, some people pay close to that a month for a phone they don’t even own.

Related: How to Save Money: 8 Simple Tips

Why is Mint Mobile so cheap?

It’s simple . . . they buy in bulk and pass the savings on to you.

Their plans are pretty basic and straight forward.  You can choose from 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB of 4G LTE data per month.  All plans have unlimited talk & text nationwide.  Their website is probably the best place to check out their plans.

mint mobile 3gb data plan

mint mobile 8gb data plan

mint mobile 12gb data plan

When you pay for a year’s worth of service, the price for each comes out to $15, $20, and $25 a month respectively (this is also the cost for their 3 month intro plans).  However, after the intro period, if you don’t purchase a year’s worth of service, the price for each will go up to $25, $35, and $45 a month, but that’s still dirt cheap.

Personally, the 3GB plan is plenty enough for me.  I like that it’s the cheapest, and since I’m always on WiFi, whether at work, home, the store or where ever, I don’t ever find myself using more than 3GB of data per month.  Everybody’s situation is different, I guess, so choose what works best for you.

As with most prepaid plans, your data doesn’t just turn off if you go over, so it’s somewhat unlimited.  However, if you do go over, your speeds are significantly reduced until your data starts fresh the following month.

And worse case scenario, you can always buy more high speed data if you need to. For example, you can buy 1GB for an additional $10, or 3GB for an additional $20. That makes it nice.

Can you try it before you buy it?

You can absolutely try it before you buy it.  Mint Mobile will send you a trial kit for $5.  This comes with two SIM cards (one for the trial, and one for the actual plan if you decide to switch).

I didn’t even bother with the trial, but that’s just me. I went ahead and bought a year’s worth of service right away. There were two reasons for that.

First, because my brother told me about it, and he seemed to really like it.

And second, I couldn’t talk myself out of the savings. In my mind, it would have been dumb not to.

Seriously! People are paying way too much for cell service, and I refuse to be that guy.  I’m gonna go where I can save.

At the very least, give it a try.  For me, I would have eventually done it anyway.  Like I said, I can’t pass on those savings.

Regardless, I’m glad I did it. I haven’t regretted it since.

By the way, my next bill isn’t due until 8 months from now.  I’ll pay about $180 and be set for another year!

my mint mobile plan

Bottom line

Mint Mobile is killing the phone game.  The coverage is as good as any, and the rates are unbeatable.  What’s not to like about it?

Do you like paying $150 for cell service?  You could be saving over $100 a month if that’s the case.

Here’s the deal:  if you were to take that savings and invest it in, say, any good growth stock mutual fund for 30 years or so, you would have over a million dollars come retirement; that’s insane.

I guess some people would rather have fancy phones and expensive service than money for retirement. Not me. I’m all about making my cost of living as cheap as possible, so I can save for the future.

Cell service is one of the many bills that people pay way too much for. If saving money is important to you, then switch to MintMobile today!

For me, it was a no-brainer.