On Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, Mint Mobile launched their new $30 unlimited data plan. They promoted their plan on Twitter with humorous advertising videos from Ryan Reynolds, and I’m sure you’ll see many more ads for the plan on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. (Seriously, check these videos out though! They are great. Watch the one with Rick Moranis below).
Okay, what does Mint Mobile's unlimited data plan actually include?
Mint Mobile’s $30 unlimited plan includes the following:
- 35GB high-speed 4G LTE or 5G data
- Unlimited data at 2G speeds after high-speed allotment
- 5GB dedicated hotspot data
- 480p video streaming
- Wi-Fi calling
- Add-ons for international calling
- Add-ons for international data roaming
- 5G access on T-Mobile's nationwide 5G network
The first thing you'll notice is Mint Mobile's $30 unlimited plan isn't actually unlimited. It's a 35GB plan. You get 35GB of high-speed 4G LTE or 5G data, and then after the high-speed allotment you get unlimited data at 2G speeds. 2G speeds are enough for iMessages, visual voicemail, group messaging, picture messaging, and text-based emails, but too slow for anything else. So this is effectively a 35GB plan.
Is 35GB enough to call a plan “Unlimited”?
I think the big question here is this: is 35GB of high-speed data enough to call a plan unlimited?
Well, it turns out that for most people, yes, 35GB is plenty of data and will effectively feel like an unlimited plan.
And it's not just Reach Mobile finding low average data usage. Statisista has a report where the average monthly smartphone cellular data usage is only projected to reach 8.9GB in 2021. The Motley Fool published an article in 2018 where the average monthly data usage was between 4GB-6GB for users on the major carriers. And even Cisco published their annual internet report white paper where only 4% of mobile users consumed over 50GB of cellular data each month.
With 35GB of high-speed data, Mint Mobile’s plan will meet the needs of 93% to 95% of users where the plan will effectively feel like an unlimited plan.
Not only that, but for $30 bucks a month Mint Mobile’s plan is one of the most affordable ones out there. Considering it meets the needs of a 93% to 95% of customers at an affordable price point, Mint Mobile’s $30 unlimited plan is going to be a great option for a lot of people.
What is the experience like using Mint Mobile?
Like with all Mint Mobile plans, their $30 plan offers a great experience along with a great price. Mint Mobile supports all the premium features you’d expect to find with more expensive plans, including support for the mobile hotspot, VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, and options for making international phone calls or enabling international data roaming. You also get a freshly redesigned Mint Mobile application to manage your plan and your account.
A new feature Mint Mobile recently launched is Mint Family. Mint Family lets you manage up to five lines under one Mint Mobile account. This makes it easy for families to share billing information and for parents to manage the lines of their children.
I’ve been using Mint Mobile as my personal cell phone provider for the past year and a half, and I’ve honestly really been enjoying the service. I’ve enjoyed sharing my cellular data with my laptop while traveling thanks to the mobile hotspot feature, and I’ve especially enjoyed the VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling features for better audio quality during phone calls.
A new feature Mint Mobile supports is 5G. You get 5G access on T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network, which is the network Mint Mobile uses for coverage.
I’ve had a positive experience using Mint Mobile as my personal provider, and I plan to continue using them going forward. In my opinion their prices for their service are unmatched, and the updates they've been adding continue to make the service better.
How Can Mint Mobile afford to offer such cheap plans?
This is a great question, and I think an important one to answer. We have a full article on how Mint Mobile can be so cheap, but here’s the short version:
Mint uses five key strategies to help reduce their costs and pass on these savings to their customers in the form of affordable plans.
- They are online only
- They offer their plans in bulk
- They offer awesome self-help tools
- They make strategic marketing investments
- They know exactly how much data their customers will use
Mint Mobile is Online-Only
A big reason Mint Mobile’s plans are so cheap is because they are an online-only carrier. They save on rent, heating, electricity, keeping inventory, and staffing sales associates in the store locations. Mint passes on these savings to their customers in the form of affordable plans. Instead of selling in physical stores, Mint Mobile sells their plans through their online website.
Mint Mobile Sells Their Plans in Bulk
Another way Mint offers such affordable plans is by selling in bulk. They offer their plans in 3-, 6-, or 12-month packages. It’s a lot like going to Costco and buying huge quantities of toilet paper in bulk. The more you buy, or in this case the longer you sign up for, the more you save.
Awesome Self-Help Tools
Mint has been investing heavily in their self-help tools. We saw this most recently with their new app update. Mint introduced the “Fox Bot,” an automated chat bot, to help answer commonly asked questions. The goal of the Fox Bot was to help reduce the load on the customer care team. This means when you do require a customer care agent, wait times are shorter and you can more quickly get the help you need. Mint Mobile also hosts a variety of helpful tutorials on their YouTube channel. Creating these self-help tools allows Mint to help more people faster, and means they require fewer customer care agents to meet their support needs.
Strategic Marketing Investments
Ryan Reynolds purchased an ownership stake in Mint Mobile in November of 2019, and since doing so Mint has been able to leverage the voice, reach, and audience of Ryan to market their service. Ryan has promoted Mint’s plans on his YouTube channel, Twitter page, and Instagram profile, reaching a huge audience at an almost next-to-nothing cost.
Also, instead of spending $5 million on a super bowl commercial this year, Ryan and the team crunched the numbers and realized they could literally give away 300,000 months of free service and still save money. So that's exactly what they did with their Free Super Bowl Promo. This promotion drove a huge number of people to sign up for Mint. Strategic marketing allows Mint to acquire new customers while maintaining their affordable plans.
Mint knows exactly how much data their customers will use
Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network for coverage, which means they have to pay T-Mobile for every gigabyte of data that Mint customers use. By having plans with set data amounts, either 3GB, 8GB, 12GB, or now 35GB of 4G LTE/5G data, Mint knows exactly how much data to expect their customers to use and can budget accordingly.
All these reasons combine to help Mint Mobile save money, provide you with a better experience, and be able to offer some of the best prices in the wireless industry.
Who is Mint Mobile’s $30 Unlimited plan for?
Mint Mobile’s plan is a great option for the following people:
- The 93% to 95% of people who use less than 35GB of cellular data per month
- Families, thanks to Mint Family
- People with good T-Mobile coverage in their area
- Anyone who wants T-Mobile 5G access at affordable price
- Anyone looking for a great value on cell service
- People with unlocked smartphones
- People who enjoy that “no bill chill” where you don't have to worry about your cell phone bill for an entire year
- People who enjoy getting occasional voicemails from Ryan Reynolds
Who is Mint Mobile's $30 Unlimited plan NOT for?
Mint Mobile’s $30 plan isn’t for everyone. It may not be a good option for the following people:
- People who use over 35GB each month
- Anyone who uses more than 5GB of hotspot data each month
- International travelers
- People who need domestic roaming on T-Mobile's partner networks
- People who prefer to pay monthly for the service (Mint's plans are a great deal, but you need to pay annually for the best price)
- People who prefer to finance their phones (currently, the only option is the iPhone SE where you get the phone and service each for $15/month. Other financing is done through Affirm, and let’s be real, you don’t want to finance your phone through Affirm)
- People who have poor T-Mobile coverage in their area
While it may not be a true unlimited data plan, Mint Mobile’s new $30 35GB plan offers a ton of value and will be a great, affordable option for a lot of people.