Mint Mobile SIM Activation and Number Port Transfer Review

My free year of Sprint Unlimited service ends this month, and I’m moving on before I get charged $100 a month + postpaid taxes for 2 lines. It was nice paying under $8 per month, but I was also stuck with slow data speeds (3G?!). Today, I switched to Mint Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO). Here’s my quick review and tips regarding the switching process.

Prices start at $15/month for unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of LTE data (3 months prepaid). After the initial period, you will have to prepay for 12 months to keep the $15/month price. You can also upgrade to $20/month for 5 GB LTE data or $25/month for 10 GB LTE data. After your high speed data runs out, you still get “unlimited” data at 2G speeds (throttled to 128 kbps). All plans also include free international calls to Mexico and Canada.

1. Buy your SIM card and service online. You can bring your own unlocked GSM phone including both Android and Apple iPhones. You can check phone compatibility here. The $15/month 2 GB plan x 3 months worked out to an all-in price of $45 + $3.13 in taxes and fees in California. I got free shipping added automatically, but it might cost $5. See screenshot below.

2. While you wait for it to arrive, collect the following from your existing carrier: Account number, Account PIN/password, and zip code on bill. This will be required for an instant and smooth port-out of your existing phone number.

3. Install the new Mint Mobile SIM card in your phone and then visit mintmobile.com/activate. Don’t do this until you are ready to activate your service, because it will start immediately. I wanted to try out the 7-day guarantee, so I gave myself a little wiggle room. You’ll need the activation code on the back of the SIM “credit card” from which you punched out the SIM. After providing the carrier information from above, my old number was ported to Mint Mobile in a minute. Everything was done online, no calling in required.

4. Change your APN settings. You will need to change a few settings on your phone to get MMS messages. Here are the instructions for both iPhone and Android. Turn your phone off and on, and everything should work fine again. At this point, I’d spent under 10 minutes and my phone was back to full working condition.

Note: Their 7-Day Money Back Guarantee starts at activation, not order date or ship date. You can request a full refund (minus shipping if any) if you let them know within 7 days of activation. You won’t need to ship back your SIM card.

5. Cancel your old plan. But first, test out your voice, text, and data. After the 7-Day Money Back Guarantee is over, you can call your old carrier and officially cancel. They should see that you ported out your number already and not hassle you about it.

Thoughts on Mint Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO) network so far. In my neck of the woods, Verizon is tops and T-Mobile and AT&T are about tied for second. I ran the Speedtest app and got 5 Mbps down from Mint Mobile as opposed to 1 Mbps down from Sprint in the same spot. I don’t stream much video on my phone so it’s not a huge deal, but I do hope to get more LTE coverage in places where Sprint left me with 3G.

Bottom line. Mint Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO with prices starting at $15/month for unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of high-speed LTE data (unlimited slower 2G data above that) when you prepay for 3 months initially (12 months after that). $20/month for 5 GB LTE data. $25/month for 10 GB LTE data. 7-Day Money Back Guarantee. Following the directions above, I was able to swap SIM cards, port my old number, and activate everything in under 10 minutes.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links above, I may be compensated.

Comments

  1. Patricia C says:

    Looks like a good deal for people in T-Mobile coverage area. Where I am I need Verizon coverage. So I’m with Boom Mobile. I get unlimited talk/text + 2 gig LTE and US based customer support for $29.99… Red Pocket (thru eBay) has best Verizon prices if you pay annually. Unfortunately most Verizon MVNOs are more expensive than the others. Guess coverage costs.

  2. Why didn’t you just get another year of the Sprint deal?

    • Another year of Sprint would have required another hard credit check and a port-out/port-in. Sprint was $8 a month with taxes vs Mint/T-Mobile at $16 a month with taxes with faster and wider coverage (I don’t use that much data), so I’d rather try paying the extra money and get better service. I think it was worth it to save the money last year and the big savings from Verizon was a good push to live with worse service for less money, but I think it’s time to try something in the middle. I might try a Verizon MVNO next and see if that is even better.

      • Can you speak more to the possibility of staying with sprint for a low price, possibly even renewing the original deal as Alex suggests above? I’ve been happy with the service in my area during the free service year and would like to stay with sprint for a low $ amount if possible. Thanks.

        • Basically, you can’t do it again technically, but you can try to get the deal again if you find another person to sign up as the primary account holder. If for the first year it was you as the primary (and spouse used the 2nd line but they didn’t have their info), then you could cancel, port to a major provider like T-Mobile via SIM card temporarily, and then try to sign back up at Sprint under your spouse’s name and Social Security Number. The spouse would have a credit check and then become the new account holder at Sprint.

  3. I’ve had Mint for about 2 months now thanks to your earlier post about MVNOs. It’s been smooth sailing the whole time, and I’m saving a whole bunch of money even over my old Metro PCS plan (which was itself supposed to be a discount T-Mo plan).

  4. Patricia C says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    So far I’ve been very happy with Boom. I’ve been with them about 6 months. No dropped calls, good reception and plenty of data for my use (2 gig and I never come close to using that. Mostly I stay on Wifi.) Before Boom I was with Pageplus for 3 years. (PP was a US company eventually bought up by TracFone.) Customer service wasn’t as good, under Tracfone, but what made me leave was for the same $ I could get 2 gigs of data at Boom. Since I left, PP also has gone to $29.99 for 2 g data. Also PP gives a price break of $2.99 for being on auto pay. So something to think about.

    I was Verizon post-paid for too many years before I wised up.
    Hope this helps

  5. What do you do when you travel overseas? Typically I visit 3-4 countries in a month when in Asia or Europe and swapping SIMs is not fun or easy. What would you recommend in those cases?

    • I plan on renting a mobile WiFi LTE hotspot when I do long-term international travel now. It is more expensive but it makes getting around easier, as I can call/track an Uber/Lyft, look up the websites of museums, make calls, etc.

    • For International roaming Knowroaming.com is pretty cool. They even have a ‘sim sticker’ option to apply on your existing sim card (so no sim swap hassle when traveling overseas). Ping me for referral code

  6. Newyorker says:

    I switched from Cricket to Mint about 1 month ago. No service (phone calls or data) in my apartment. I have wi-fi in my apartment so it’s not a deal breaker but I have to go outside to make a phone call. I purchased the SIM card from e-bay and already passed the return period. The service in where I live is really bad and not too much better in Manhattan. I called MINT and they said that my phone is too old (but everything was fine when I was with Cricket). It’s not a reliable service to me. I will switch back to Cricket later. What do you think about Red Pocket? There are so many MVNOs and so many plans and it drives me crazy on analyzing the deals.

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.