Mint Mobile vs Verizon is a real battle of the giants. On one side, we've got the plucky upstart carrier Mint Mobile - a newcomer that's quickly established itself with some of the best prepaid phone plans on the market. On the other, we've got Verizon, an established industry veteran with one of the most expansive 5G networks around.
As you'll see, both carriers have advantages, but they operate in very different ways indeed, and they appeal to very different types of user too. On this page, we'll compare each carrier's offerings in detail to help you decide which is right for you. To start, let's run down the main features and cost of each service, starting with a general overview of what you can expect from each.
Mint Mobile vs Verizon: at a glance
Mint Mobile: prepaid plans from $15 per month
Mint Mobile's been making strides recently towards becoming the nation's top prepaid carrier - and it's easy to see why. Super-low monthly rates, generous data allowances, 5G speeds and, of course, no contracts mean it's a great alternative to any of the big carriers. The carrier has recently upped the data allowances across the board on its range of excellent prepaid plans for 2023, making it an even better choice. Note, however, that Mint Mobile operates a buy-in-bulk pricing scheme where you have to pay for multiple months (up to a year) upfront to get the lowest average prices.
Verizon: unlimited data plans from $50 to $90 per month
Verizon specializes in feature-laden unlimited data plans with heaps of speedy data. In a nutshell, the carrier's plans tend to be pricey on a per monthly basis and feature lengthy 36-month service contracts. They do, however, offer access to excellent savings on the latest phones, streaming perks like Disney+. and Walmart+ membership. Verizon plans feature significant savings if you bundle in multiple lines, which can be a good option for families. Note that Verizon does also feature a selection of fairly decent prepaid plans, but they don't offer the excellent range of perks that you'll get with the postpaid unlimited data plans.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Mint Mobile||Verizon|
|Contract length||No contract (3 to 12 month plans)||36-month contracts|
|5G data||Up until 45GB (128Kb/s after)||Yes (4G on Start Unlimited)|
|Video streaming||480p||4K UHD (480p on Start Unlimited)|
|Streaming perks||No||Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+|
|International calling||60 countries||200+ countries|
|Mobile hotspot||10GB cap on unlimited plan||None on Unlimited Welcome, 30GB on Unlimited Plus|
|Deprioritization||Yes||No (w/ Unlimited Plus plan)|
As you can see from our quick Mint Mobile vs Verizon features comparison above, Mint generally offers a much more stripped-down plan, but at a lower baseline cost. Verizon, meanwhile, offers excellent streaming perks and resolutions, but at a price - and you'll need to sign up for a lengthy contract too.
The case for Mint Mobile
First things first, Mint Mobile is a prepaid carrier and therefore tends to offer plans that are a lot cheaper than the big carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Generally speaking, with Mint Mobile you'll pay a lot less on average each month with the added benefit of being able to change your plan more frequently. While Mint does require you to buy multiple months of data upfront, there's no associated contract required like with certain Verizon plans.
$15 to $30 per month (average)
As a rule of thumb, Mint Mobile's $30 per month unlimited data plan costs about half of what you'd pay on average for an unlimited data plan at Verizon. However, as a prepaid plan, you'll be subject to what's called 'deprioritization' with Mint Mobile, which means that T-Mobile (the network that Mint uses) may slow down your speeds if the local area is network. This isn't a cut-and-dry issue as it depends heavily on the local area - and certain cheaper Verizon plans are also subject to deprioritization to a lesser extent.
Mint Mobile's unlimited data plan also features a soft 5G data cap of 45GB. While this has recently been bumped up from 35GB, if you do exceed this allowance on a monthly basis your data speeds will be reduced down to 128KB/s. Certain Verizon plans are also subject to this, although the soft data caps tend to be a little more generous (the Unlimited Welcome plan has 50GB).
The case for Verizon
On the whole, the biggest selling point of any major carrier (Verizon included) is that you get direct access to the network from the company that actually runs it. Put simply, you'll get prioritized access to the network as a preferred customer, meaning you won't be subject to any slow-downs on your data if the local area is busy. This is particularly the case with the premium Plus plan, which gets unlimited access to the premium (fastest) ultra-wideband 5G network at Verizon.
$35 to $85 per month (average)
Verizon plans tend to be pretty pricey if you opt for one of the flagship unlimited data plans, but you do tend to receive other perks to sweeten the deal. As of 2023, you can now pick and select perks to include with your plan - these include streaming service subscriptions like Disney+, extra mobile hotspot allowance, international roaming, and Walmart+ memberships. Unfortunately, you do have to pay extra for your perks but you have the choice to forgo them completely if you'd prefer to keep things simple.
You'll also get up to 4K HD video streaming, depending on which plan you choose, which means Verizon's a great option if you're looking to stream content in the highest possible quality while on the go. This is a crucial difference versus Mint Mobile in particular, which caps out streaming quality at 480p for video.
And lastly, as a larger carrier, Verizon also offers really great deals on handsets for anyone signing up for a new line on an unlimited data plan. For example, the best Verizon deals can score you things like free iPhones, the latest Samsung Galaxy devices, plus cash bonuses for switching - which can really offset the cost of Verizon's expensive unlimited data plans. With Mint, you either have to bring over an unlocked device, or buy one outright at the Mint Mobile phones page.
Coverage, coverage, coverage
It's worth noting that both Verizon and Mint Mobile run on completely separate networks. This means your data speeds and call reception will vary depending on how well your local area is covered with either carrier.
As you've probably already guessed, Verizon runs its own network, whereas Mint Mobile utilizes T-Mobile's greater network as a subcarrier. Both Verizon and T-Mobile have excellent nationwide coverage on paper, although you'd be wise to check into each network's site (Verizon, T-Mobile) and enter your zip code to see how well you're covered. It's also worth asking around in your local area to see how existing customers are faring with their carriers.
If you don't get tip-top coverage in your area, it's probably worth excluding that particular carrier from your choices - it is, after all, no use paying for all that 5G data if you can't use it due to patchy reception.
Also, if you have an unlocked device, you may find that it's not compatible with either Verizon or Mint Mobile. You can check whether your existing device is compatible with Mint Mobile over at this page and at Verizon at this page.
Comparing Mint Mobile and Verizon is like comparing apples and oranges: both are great options, but they each suit very different types of users. If you're looking to cut down your bills drastically, then you simply can't beat Mint Mobile for value. Mint's unlimited plan at just $30 per month is under half the monthly price of the basic Verizon Welcome Unlimited, and arguably offers a better range of perks thanks to its included mobile hotspot allowance.
However, Verizon's plans are a better choice for anyone who wants a premium data plan that ticks all the boxes in regard to streaming and service. You'll have completely uncapped 5G data speeds depending on your plan, 4K video streaming, and your choice from an excellent selection of perks. Just make sure you're ready to lay down some serious cash - and sign up for a three-year contract.
What other carriers should I check out?
If you like the sound (and lower price) of Mint Mobile, but need to use the Verizon network for coverage reasons, we recommend Twigby. The service has a roaming agreement on Verizon's network and offers basic prepaid plans for as little as $10 per month currently.
Another good alternative for Mint Mobile, especially if you're looking for family cell phone plan options, is Boost Mobile - a service that offers a three-line unlimited plan for just $30 per month, with access to a customer perks scheme too. For more excellent options, head over to our cheap cell phone plans article for more.
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Alex is deals editor at TechRadar. With over three years of experience on-site and eight years working in e-commerce, Alex has made it his personal mission to share all his favorite tips, bargains, and deals with our readers here at TechRadar. At work, he specializes in computing, phones, and covering huge sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Outside of work, you'll find him indulging his keen love of photography and PC gaming, or down at the local climbing gym hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities. His editorial bylines also include contributions to T3 and GamesRadar.