Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile

Download speed
Up to 5G speeds
Download speed
Up to 5G speeds

*Speeds slowed after certain limits are reached; limits vary by plan.

Dave Schafer
Nov 17, 2023
Icon Time To Read7 min read

Mint Mobile is one of the most popular mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) on the market. MVNOs rent space on another carrier’s network rather than owning and operating their own, which allows them to offer service at a much lower cost than the big providers. That lower price is Mint’s primary draw.

T-Mobile is one of the largest carriers in the U.S., and it provides the network infrastructure for Mint Mobile. That makes this comparison interesting.

In this article, we’ll take a dive into everything you need to know about Mint Mobile and T-Mobile to help you decide which is best for you.

Mint Mobile plans

High-speed data
Hotspot data
Download speed
5GB$15.00/mo.Unlimited5GB5GB*Up to 5G speeds
15GB$20.00/mo.Unlimited15GB15GB*Up to 5G speeds
20GB$25.00/mo.Unlimited20GB20GB*Up to 5G speeds
Unlimited$30.00/mo.Unlimited40GB10GBUp to 5G speeds

*Mint Mobile plans share the same data pool for cellular and hotspot use.

The Mint Mobile plan lineup is pretty straightforward. The selection is based on how much high-speed data you want, from 5GB up to unlimited (more on that in a bit). There are no hard data caps—if you go over your plan’s allotment, you’ll see reduced speeds, but no overage charges or service interruptions.

The Unlimited plan is a bit odd in that it’s not any more unlimited than any of the others. It actually still has a 40GB high-speed data limit, after which your speeds are reduced, just like the other plans. That said, despite the misleading name, it’s a fantastic deal—probably the best value of any of the plans.

Each plan also comes with a hotspot feature that shares data with your regular cell service. Again, the Unlimited plan is the exception—it only offers 10GB of hotspot data. This actually makes the 15GB or 20GB plans better if hotspot is your primary use case.

T-Mobile plans

Premium data
Hotspot data
Download speed
Essentials$60.00/mo.Unlimited50GBUnlimited (slower speeds)Up to 5G speeds
Go5G$75.00/mo.Unlimited100GB15GB high-speed, then unlimited at slower speedsUp to 5G speeds
Go5G Plus$90.00/mo.UnlimitedUnlimited50GB high-speed, then unlimited at slower speedsUp to 5G speeds
Go5G Next$100.00/mo.UnlimitedUnlimited50GB high-speed, then unlimited at slower speedsUp to 5G speeds
Home Internet$60.00/mo.UnlimitedN/AN/A72–245Mbps

T-Mobile’s plan selection is relatively small, but trying to decipher the differences between them can be a bit tough. Basically, all plans come with unlimited high-speed 5G data. However, the Essentials plan has 50GB of “premium data”—once that’s used up, you may see slower speeds, because T-Mobile prioritizes data for customers on the higher-tier plans. This is similar to what you sometimes see with MVNOs, where data is deprioritized during high-traffic times.

The basic Go5G plan is the next step up. You get 100GB of premium data (double what you get in Essentials) and 15GB of high-speed hotspot data. Go5G Plus gives you unlimited premium data (basically, you’ll never be deprioritized), along with 50GB of high-speed hotspot data.

Finally, Go5G Next keeps all the benefits of Plus, but ensures that you can upgrade your phone every year (if you want to). It’s also worth noting that Go5G Plus and Next both include Netflix at no additional charge, which is a nice bonus.

The Home Internet plan is something T-Mobile offers that Mint does not, and it might be the deciding factor for you. T-Mobile Home Internet is 5G internet service with unlimited data that is intended to replace your normal home internet—whether satellite, cable, or fiber. T-Mobile is our favorite 5G home internet provider thanks to its excellent performance and low cost. You're also eligible to receive a $10 to $20 discount if you bundle it with a cellular plan.

More cell phone plans

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Performance

Generally speaking, performance between these two providers should be the same, since they both use T-Mobile’s network. That means 5G speeds in most areas, falling back to 4G LTE when necessary. It’s hard to nail down a speed range for mobile internet—it can vary a lot from place to place—even from one minute to the next in the same place, depending on how many people are using it. That said, T-Mobile’s Home Internet service usually ranges from 72–245Mbps, and that’s probably a good benchmark for typical real-world use.

One thing that may impact performance for Mint customers is deprioritization. Mint uses T-Mobile’s network, which normally means similar performance. However, during high-traffic times, T-Mobile may give priority to its own customers over those on an MVNO like Mint, so MVNO users may see reduced speeds during these times. This is a potential concern for all MVNOs, and it’s the main tradeoff for the lower prices.

Ultimately, this means that if round-the-clock performance is a top priority for you, you’ll likely want to stick with T-Mobile itself rather than Mint or another MVNO. That’s not to say that they have poor performance—just that you won’t have to worry about it slowing down when you need it.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Data

Mint and T-Mobile both offer unlimited data. However, they differ in implementation. 

Mint’s plans offer increasing amounts of high-speed data, and once you hit the monthly cap for your plan, speeds get reduced. Even the so-called Unlimited plan has a cap on high-speed data (40GB), so none of the plans truly offer unlimited full-speed 5G data.

T-Mobile, on the other hand, offers unlimited 5G data on all its plans, but the two lower-tier options have soft data caps. After you hit these limits, your connection won’t automatically slow down, but you’ll be subject to deprioritization (much like an MVNO) for the rest of the month.

However, T-Mobile’s highest-tier plans (Go5G Plus and Go5G Next) come with truly unlimited data—you can use as much as you want and you won’t have to worry about deprioritization, throttling, or any other slowdowns.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Price

This one’s not even a comparison—Mint is significantly more affordable than T-Mobile. In fact, Mint’s most expensive plan is only half the price of T-Mobile’s least expensive plan. Granted, that price comes with some tradeoffs, such as the risk of deprioritization. However, it’s hard to argue with everything you get on Mint’s $30.00 unlimited plan.

It’s worth mentioning that the prices we’ve covered in this article are for a single line. If you have multiple lines in your household, the price per line does go down. For example, the price for two lines on Essential is $90.00 per month at the time of this writing, so you’re saving a fair bit on each additional line you add. The Essentials plan matches Mint’s Unlimited plan in price when you hit three lines, but the better Go5G plans are still more expensive.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Equipment and installation

Being cellular providers, there’s not much in the way of equipment or installation involved. You’ll need a phone, of course—if you need to buy one, both providers will happily sell you one. T-Mobile offers its own financing that rolls the price of the phone into your monthly bill, while Mint gives you the option of either buying the device outright or financing it through Affirm.

If you go with T-Mobile’s Home Internet, you’ll have one additional piece of gear with the wireless gateway. Fortunately, T-Mobile provides one at no additional cost, and the setup is extremely simple, so it’s not really something you’ll need to worry about.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Customer support

Both providers offer similar options for customer service. Your first stop will likely be the online help center, which should cover most simple questions. There are also live chat options available in the bottom right of most pages on each provider’s website. Finally, both Mint and T-Mobile offer actual phone support with a real person, if you need it. This isn’t something we can say for every MVNO, so we’re happy to see it here. The author has had to use T-Mobile’s phone and live chat options in the past and has been very happy with them.

Mint Mobile support options

  • Support site
  • Live chat available in the bottom right corner of most pages on the Mint website
  • Phone support at 1-800-683-7392 (7 days a week, 5am–7pm PST)

T-Mobile support options

  • Support site
  • Live chat available in the bottom right corner of most pages on the T-Mobile website
  • Phone support at 1-800-937-8997 (available 24/7)

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Availability

This one’s pretty simple. Since Mint uses T-Mobile’s network, both providers have the same availability. That availability happens to be quite good, as well: T-Mobile’s got nearly nationwide 5G coverage, and most areas without it have 4G LTE to fall back on. You can check the provider’s coverage map to see availability in your area.

Alternatively, if you want to see all internet providers available in your area, you can use our handy ZIP checker:

Enter your zip code to see all the best internet providers available near you.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile Home internet

Up to this point, we’ve been speaking mostly about Mint and T-Mobile as cellular service providers. However, some users might be looking for an on-the-go internet option, or even a rural home internet replacement. How do the two stack up?

Mint Mobile offers a hotspot feature with all its plans, topping out at 20GB per month. For the price, it’s a solid option if you need internet for the road, an RV, or a campground. It could also work as a backup option for home internet, but the low data cap and the fact you’d likely be using your phone as a hotspot makes it impractical as a true home internet replacement.

T-Mobile, on the other hand, offers a full-fledged 5G home internet service. The technology is the same as Mint’s hotspots in that it uses 5G networks. However, the application is different. T-Mobile’s wireless gateway picks up 5G signals and rebroadcasts it as a Wi-Fi network all of your devices can connect to.

The gateway is tied to a single home address, so it can’t be used on the road. However, T-Mobile Home Internet features truly unlimited data as home internet service. In fact, it’s one of our favorite alternatives to satellite internet.

T-Mobile isn’t the only carrier that offers 5G home internet—Verizon also has a service. However, T-Mobile’s service is slightly more affordable. You can check out our full comparison of T-Mobile vs. Verizon 5G home internet for more details.

Enter your zip code to see if T-Mobile home internet is available in your area.

The verdict

Mint Mobile is awesome for users on a budget, but T-Mobile offers more data (and Home Internet).

It’s hard to argue with Mint Mobile’s prices, particularly the Unlimited plan. It’s a fantastic deal for wireless service. T-Mobile, on the other hand, is an excellent option for customers who don’t mind paying more for even more data and first priority. Finally, T-Mobile’s Home Internet service is a fantastic option for rural customers looking for high-speed internet access for relatively little money.


At, we base our analyses on thorough research, including customer interviews, first-hand testing, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. We also dive deep to get all the details on plans, fees, and future developments. We then bring this info together in one place so you can find it easily. Finally, we use our satellite internet industry expertise to help you make the best decisions you can for your household. As always, thanks for reading!

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile FAQ

Does Mint Mobile have better coverage than T-Mobile?

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network, so the two have identical coverage. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cell provider that does have better availability than T-Mobile—the provider offers nearly nationwide 5G coverage.

What’s the difference between Mint Mobile and T-Mobile?

Although the two providers use the same network, they offer significantly different plans. Essentially, Mint Mobile is more affordable, but T-Mobile offers more data and, in general, more options.

What are the downsides of Mint Mobile?

There are two main downsides with Mint Mobile. First, none of the plans offer more than 40GB of high-speed data, which could be a problem for heavy streamers and certain other users.

The other downside is the potential for data deprioritization—when an MVNO’s parent network prioritizes its own customers during high-traffic periods, potentially impacting the MVNO customers’ performance. In other words, you might see slower speeds during peak hours in congested areas.

What carrier is Mint Mobile using?

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network. This enables it to provide inexpensive 5G coverage nearly nationwide.

Dave Schafer
Written by
Dave Schafer
Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).