Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless – Which Service Is Right For You

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It’s no secret: As a society, we fork over substantial amounts of money to call, text, and swipe. In a time where cell phones and lightning-fast coverage are a must, how can you save on this necessity? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the typical American spends $100 per month on their mobile devices and services. That’s over $1k just to stay connected per year. 

The good news? There are alternatives to spending thousands on something so needed. That’s where we come in.

What is Mint Wireless?

Mint Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that uses T-Mobile towers. MVNO is a term for a mobile phone network that doesn’t own the cell phone towers themselves. They simply operate on the infrastructure that the cell phone network provides. 

Mint Mobile doesn’t own or build the cell phone towers themselves; however, Mint can operate at a lower cost than major cell phone networks. 

Since Mint Mobile doesn’t build cell phone towers, they do not spend as much money on materials, labor, and upkeep. This low overhead means that Mint Mobile passes these savings to customers with more affordable pricing.

Read a full Mint Mobile Review.

What is Cricket Wireless?

Cricket Wireless, like Mint Mobile, is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that uses AT&T cell towers.

Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless are “alternative carriers,” meaning that they’re not the ‘big four’ wireless service providers that are commonly used in American households, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.

Switching to an MVNO can save you money because they lease coverage from one of the more extensive networks and resell it to customers.

Read a full Cricket Wireless Review.

How Are Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless Different?

Other than being on different networks, Cricket Wireless and Mint Mobile have different plan structures altogether.

Unlike Cricket Wireless and most other cell phone companies in the ‘big four’ who charge a monthly price, Mint Mobile plans are prepaid every three, six, or twelve months. “Bulk” purchasing saves you more money in the long run with Mint Mobile. All Mint Mobile plans also include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data. Unlimited international texting is also included in all plans.

Cricket Wireless offers a more traditional approach. Unlimited talk and text plans with varying degrees of data. All plan prices are flat fees, with taxes and fees included. You only pay $30 per month if you choose the $30 monthly plan. 

Most plans from Cricket Wireless come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G data. Prices vary depending on how much data you choose for your specific plan.

Plans offered by Cricket Wireless + Mint Mobile

Cricket Wireless Plan Options:

*Save $5 per line, per month on plans $40+ when you opt into autopay

2GB 5GB Unlimited Unlimited +15 GB HotSpot
$30 $40 $55 $60

Mint Mobile Plan Options:

Pros & Cons of Mint Mobile

The largest trepidation when considering converting to Mint Mobile, Cricket Wireless, or an ‘alternative’ mobile provider is service disruption or degradation. 

As previously stated, Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile’s infrastructure and Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T’s infrastructure. This means that as long as you’re in an area with reliable T-Mobile or AT&T service, you should get dependable Mint Mobile service.

There’s no argument here that alternative service providers have less coverage than the large mega-networks based on the coverage maps.

Just like any other phone company, check the coverage in your area. For the majority of households living within a couple of hours of a large metropolitan area, you should not have a problem with Mint Mobile or Cricket Wireless.

As a warning, if you are currently living paycheck to paycheck, purchasing a plan in “bulk” will be challenging. Paying upfront translates to larger savings over time; however, not everyone has large amounts of money set aside for a bulk phone service purchase.

If you’re one of those people who look forward to phone upgrades perks, Mint Mobile is not the right option for you.

Pros & Cons of Cricket Wireless

If you are a low-income earner or live paycheck to paycheck, Cricket Wireless is a better option for you, as you do not have to pay for your service upfront. 

You will lose savings in the long run; however, it is still better than overpaying for other ‘big four’ providers.

To reiterate, Cricket Wireless relies on the same exact infrastructure as AT&T. The service is the same at a much lower cost. 

Cricket Wireless also offers affordable upgrades, unlike Mint Mobile. According to Cricket’s website:

To upgrade your phone:

  • You must have an existing line of service with Cricket
  • You must have a Cricket monthly rate plan that costs $30/mo or more
  • The upgrade phone must be new and purchased from a Cricket store or online at cricketwireless.com
  • You can upgrade your phone only once every 90 days
  • A $25 device upgrade fee applies to phone upgrades in Cricket stores and online

How Does Cricket Wireless Pricing Compare To Mint Mobile?

Let’s take a look to see how the costs between the two platforms compare.

Cricket Wireless 5GB vs. 3 Month 8GB Mint Mobile Plan

Service Cricket 5GB Mint 8GB Savings (Month) Savings (Year)
Cost $40 $20 $20  $240

Cricket Wireless 5GB vs. 6 Month 8GB Mint Mobile Plan

Service Cricket 5GB Mint 8GB Savings (Month) Savings (Year)
Cost $40 $25 $15  $180

Cricket Wireless 5GB vs. 12 Month 8GB Mint Mobile Plan

Service Cricket 5GB Mint 8GB Savings (Month) Savings (Year)
Cost $40 $20 $20 $240

With Mint Mobile, you begin seeing savings immediately. A modest $20 savings each month, but at 60% more data. 

Over the full year, you are looking at $240 in savings. Over five years, you are talking $1,200. 

If you have more than one phone in your family, the savings will be more massive

Final Verdict: Do We Prefer Mint Mobile Or Cricket Wireless?

The Finance Twins loves both Cricket Wireless and Mint Mobile and would recommend either company. If you can get good Mint Mobile service and can afford to pre-pay, they are a solid option. Paying in bulk could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year on a single bill. 

We urge you to check the reception of each company network in your area. Choose the plan that will work best in your geographic location.

No matter what you choose for yourself or your family, we prefer Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless over the “big guys” any day.

You can sign up for Mint Mobile here, and you can sign up for Cricket Wireless here.