Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Which carrier is best for you?

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Which carrier is best for you?

Data focused

Mint Mobile


Mint Mobile Logo

Max flexibility

Republic Wireless


Republic Wireless logo

Mint Mobile makes a lot of sense for most smartphone users with good T-Mobile coverage, thanks to three data sizes that work for most people plus an unlimited plan. With a low three-month introductory rate and three, six, and 12-month options renewal, you save money the more you’re willing to buy in advance. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, including free calls to Mexico and Canada

From $15/mo. at Mint Mobile

Pros

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 5G support
  • Unlimited 2G data
  • Hotspot included
  • Free calls to Mexico, Canada

Cons

  • Only uses T-Mobile
  • All plans require data
  • Unlimited plan only get 5GB of hotspot data

Republic Wireless has a plan that can grow with you without the risk of buying more than you need. Data can be added to plans at $5 per 1GB, with base plans starting at 1GB, 2GB, or no data. You can also save money on the base plans by paying for the year. Your service will most likely activate on T-Mobile’s network, but the Sprint network is also available.

From $15/mo. at Republic Wireless

Pros

  • Sprint or T-Mobile network
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 5G support
  • Hotspot included
  • Plan flexibility

Cons

  • Data can get expensive
  • No international calling

Republic Wireless is a good fit for most light users that only use a couple of gigs per month with the flexibility to use more as needed. With Republic, you have access to plenty of data for a road trip, but if you’re staying, you can save by using Wi-FI instead. Mint Mobile’s plans make sense for pretty much any smartphone user with consistent month-to-month usage. Mint Mobile makes more sense for more people with packages that will work for light, average, and heavy users with no risk of data overages or ever being completely cut off.

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: How much data do you use?

Mint Mobile Unliminted

Source: Android Central / Samuel Contreras

Wi-Fi is virtually everywhere now, so a lot of people will be able to stay connected for the vast majority of their day without touching their data plan at work, at home, and even in their car. If this is the case, you might not even need Mint Mobile’s smallest 4GB allotment of data. Republic Wireless is the perfect fit for this type of user, and even though the price of data can add up if they’re away from Wi-Fi, it might still even out over the year.

With Mint Mobile, you want to have a solid idea of how much data you’ll be needing in the next few months, as the minimum term is three months. While you can upgrade your plan in the middle of your cycle, it’s much easier to overbuy with Mint Mobile. On the other hand, it might be worth it for someone that isn’t sure of their data needs to start with the smallest plan and work up as needed.

Mint Mobile Republic Wireless
Network T-Mobile T-Mobile
Sprint
5G support Yes Yes (T-Mobile)
Data amounts 4GB
10GB
15GB
Unlimited (35GB)
None
1GB
2GB
Additional data $10 – 1GB
$20 – 3GB
$5 – 1GB (up to 15GB)
Hotspot Shared with data
5GB with unlimited
Shared with data
Talk and Text Unlimited Unlimited
International calling Yes
Free to Mexico and Canada
None

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Make sure you’re covered

Mint Mobile only uses the T-Mobile network, but these days, that means most people will have great coverage. Of course, you should check out Mint’s coverage map before signing up, but at this point, T-Mobile has great coverage for most people. You should have a great LTE or 5G connection if you have coverage and a fairly modern phone. Speaking of 5G, Mint Mobile treats 5G data the same as LTE, and with T-Mobile’s 5G coverage moving quickly, Mint Mobile can be a great 5G option.

Republic Wireless makes use of both the Sprint and T-Mobile network, but unlike a carrier like Google Fi, you will only be connected to one network and won’t be able to switch. Republic Wireless determines which network will work best for you when you sign up, though today, that will more than likely be the T-Mobile network. One of the easiest ways to check your compatibility is to grab the Republic Wireless app from Google Play.

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile Unliminted

Source: Android Central / Samuel Contreras

Mint Mobile only sells data in multi-month packages, starting at three months at Mint’s lowest rate. You get the best monthly price by renewing for a full 12 months at once, but if you don’t want to make that kind of commitment, you can also get a good price with a six-month renewal.

4GB 10GB 15GB Unlimited
3 months (introductory rate) $15/mo. ($45) $20/mo. ($60) $25/mo. ($75) $30/mo. ($90)
3 months $25/mo. ($75) $35/mo. ($105) $45/mo. ($135) $40/mo. ($120)
6 months $20/mo. ($120) $25/mo. ($150) $35/mo. ($210) $35/mo. ($210)
12 months $15/mo. ($180) $20/mo. ($240) $25/mo. ($300) $30/mo. ($360)

You can add additional data at $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you find you are using more than usual. If your normal usage is higher than your plan allows, you can upgrade to a larger plan in the middle of your cycle.

The Unlimited Plan comes with 35GB of high-speed data with 5GB of hotspot data. If you use this much data, your speeds will be slowed to 2G until the beginning of the next month’s cycle. Hotspot data is shared with normal data on the data plans, and speeds are also slowed when you run out.

Mint does offer international calling at an additional rate, typically just a few cents per minute, but Mexico and Canada are free. You can also roam internationally though you will be paying by the minute, text, and megabyte, so it’s best to make use of Wi-Fi as much as you can if you travel. You can also grab a VPN service if you are concerned about security and privacy.

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Republic Wireless plans

Republic Wireless Plans

Source: Republic Wireless

On Republic Wireless, you start with unlimited talk and text and add data as needed. You can save by buying a year’s worth of service up to the first 2GB of data. Beyond that, data comes in at $5 per 1GB, and you can buy up to 15GB. This does not automatically happen, though, and you will need to add more in the Republic Wireless app, so there’s no risk of overages.

Republic Wireless does not offer international calling or international roaming support but does work with Wi-Fi calling, so you’re not completely out of options if you want to travel. You’ll just need to pick up a travel hotspot or find public Wi-Fi.

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Get the right phone

Mint Mobile SIM card

Source: Android Central / Samuel Contreras

Mint Mobile works with most GSM-compatible phones, including Android and iPhone. You can buy a phone directly from Mint Mobile’s website with financing options available through Affirm. These phones include new devices like the Galaxy S21 series, Pixel 5 series, and even iPhone 12.

For the best 5G experience, you should get a phone that works with as many T-Mobile 5G bands as possible. Look for support for band n71 (600MHz) and n41 (2.5GHz) as a minimum, with bands n260 (39GHz) and n261 (28GHz) providing some improved capacity in a few urban areas. Just about any of the best 5G phones will work on Mint Mobile.

Since both carriers can use T-Mobile’s network, you can use any of the best Android phones without issue. Just keep in mind that 5G phones will only be able to use LTE on Republic.

If you’re looking for a new phone, Republic Wireless does sell a handful of solid Android though the selection is quite limited. Still, you can get the Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5 if you want something with great performance.

One important thing to note is that Republic Wireless does not support iPhones so if you have someone on your plan that demands one of Apple’s smartphones, it’s going to be a hard sell. There was an iPhone beta program in 2020; however, Republic has ended the program and decided not to proceed with iPhone support.

Mint Mobile vs. Republic Wireless: Which makes sense for you?

Which carrier works best for you will come down mostly to how much data you use and whether you use it consistently. For lighter or more infrequent data users, Republic Wireless offers a lot of saving with great coverage. For most people, Mint Mobile has some of the best cell phone plans around to fit in with their uses much more, especially if they use a lot of data. Mint Mobile’s iPhone support and international features are also going to be a big deal to many people. Therefore, mint Mobiles comes out as the strongest option for most users as long as they’re willing to buy multiple months.

Data focused


Mint Mobile Logo

Mint Mobile

Plenty of data for smartphone users

Mint Mobile keeps its prices low by offering plans in three, six, and 12-month terms with enough data options for most people, including 5G support.

Max flexibility


Republic Wireless Logo

Republic Wireless

Only pay for what you need

Republic Wireless lets you start small with unlimited talk and text in the United States. Add data at $5 per 1GB up to 15GB and save money by paying for the entire year up to 2GB.

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