Mint Mobile and Visible Wireless are two of the most popular prepaid cell phone plans. With these providers, you don’t need to pay exorbitant costs to a phone company or be in a contract.
Both services offer unlimited data for significantly less than you will find with legacy carriers. If you want to save money on your monthly phone bill without sacrificing reliable coverage, our Mint Mobile vs. Visible review compares the two carriers to determine which one is best for you.
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Visible vs. Mint Mobile
Visible by Verizon and Mint Mobile offer no-contract cell phone service. Think of them as the phone version of TV streaming services. You get similar service without a bloated contract.
We’ve tested both prepaid carriers, and each one offers reliable coverage for a good value.
Mint Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates on the T-Mobile network. It rents space from T-Mobile, so you receive similar reliability to that major network.
This differs from Visible in that they’re not an MVNO. Visible is owned and operated by Verizon, so they technically own the network infrastructure for service.
Both companies provide nationwide coverage and offer various prepaid plans with no contract. You only pay for the data, minutes, and perks you need.
But choosing the right phone plan depends on your data needs and how much money you want to spend upfront.
Mint Mobile Plans
Mint Mobile is one of the cheapest phone plans available, with pricing as low as $15 per month if you’re a new customer.
Mint uses a prepaid model, so you pay upfront for your plan. However, they are unique in that they only let you buy three, six, and 12-month increments.
There’s no month-to-month option. However, they do have a family plan called The Modern Family Plan. It offers multi-line pricing, with only two lines, at the lowest available prices.
All plans include unlimited talk and text, hotspots, and 5G or 4G LTE depending on your location and device.
Pricing can vary based on Mint Mobile’s first-time customer bonus, how many months you prepay for, and how much data you want.
Here is the base pricing for Mint Mobile plans:
|3 Mo. (New Customer)
The pricing may seem confusing at first, but it’s simple to understand. If you’re new to the service, you may want to test it with a three-month plan.
For example, let’s say you want the 5GB plan. That costs $15 a month or $45 for the quarter. If you want to renew at the end, you must sign up for an annual plan to receive the same pricing.
Selecting a shorter timespan will increase the cost slightly. If a multi-month discount is more important and you like the service, choose the annual plan.
International calls and texts are available with all plans. You can call over 160 countries and text more than 190 countries.
You can view pricing for our first three months here.
As you can see, taxes and fees are not included, so you pay more than the quoted price.
Read our Mint Mobile review to learn more.
Visible by Verizon is simpler from a pricing perspective. The carrier has two plans, and both offer unlimited talk and text as well as data.
There is no data cap with Visible. Here is the pricing for the two Visible plans:
Both plans include the following:
- Unlimited 5G and 4G LTE data, talk, and text
- Unlimited hotspot data
- Calling and texting to Mexico and Canada, plus Wi-Fi calling on compatible devices
- The ability to bring your own phone number
The more expensive Visible+ plan offers 5G ultra-wideband service and a premium network experience. You also receive international calling to over 30 countries and can text over 200 countries.
Visible doesn’t offer family plans. They did offer Party Pay until August 2022, which offered a lower monthly rate for multiple lines of service. That service has been discontinued with no replacement option.
Here you can see our pricing for a month of service:
There are no taxes or fees, so you pay just $25 for a month of service.
Read our Visible review to learn more.
How Much Data Do You Get With Mint Mobile and Visible?
Legacy carriers want people to believe they need unlimited data plans to be happy. Unfortunately, these providers often charge a premium to receive a healthy data limit.
If you use Wi-Fi frequently, you may not need a lot of high-speed data. However, cheap cell phone plans are often able to give customers what they want.
Visible Wireless offers customers unlimited data. This includes unlimited hotspot access for people on the go.
Mint Mobile has an unlimited plan, but data speeds drop once you reach 40GB of data. Even with the lower speeds, you still receive unlimited data.
Pricing is only similar when comparing Visible vs. Mint Mobile if you choose annual pricing with the latter when you’re up for renewal. Otherwise, you will pay more with Mint Mobile.
If you need a lot of data, Visible offers the best deals. However, if you use Wi-Fi often, you will likely be happy with Mint Mobile.
Mobile Hotspot Comparison Between Visible and Mint Mobile
A mobile hotspot is vital if you work while traveling. You may also want one if you stream or game on the go.
Visible by Verizon has an unlimited mobile hotspot. We have used it numerous times while traveling and here in Omaha. It generally performs well for us and at decent speeds. They claim to cap the speed at 5Mbps, but we’ve seen it perform better.
Your experience with any provider may vary and depends on several factors, including network type and strength.
You can see our data speeds while on Visible and Mint below.
Mint Mobile does offer hotspot data but with the caveat that your data comes out of the overall data included in your plan. It’s possible to purchase more data, but it’s not something we have tested.
Like Visible, speeds cap at 5Mbps, but we’ve experienced better rates while traveling and here in Omaha.
Overall, either plan offers a reliable mobile hotspot. You may run into issues if you’re a heavy gamer or try to stream many movies.
We prefer Visible since it offers unlimited mobile data. If you’re on Wi-Fi a lot or don’t need loads of mobile hotspot data, Mint Mobile will work well for you.
Read our guide on the best mobile hotspot plans to learn how the two compare.
Does Mint Mobile or Visible Wireless Have Better Coverage?
Reliable coverage is essential when choosing cell phone plans. We experienced good performance with both prepaid plans.
Visible operates on the Verizon network, and they claim over 99 percent of the U.S. population has coverage.
You can see the Visible coverage map below. Dark blue represents 5G coverage availability, while lighter blue is 4G LTE coverage.
We have traveled across the country numerous times using Visible and only experienced issues in heavily rural areas.
Mint Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network. As you can see in the coverage map below, their availability isn’t quite as good as Visible.
However, aside from rural areas in the western part of the country, we’ve had a good experience with Mint Mobile.
It’s important to remember that 5G connectivity depends on the devices you use and your location. You may also occasionally experience some deprioritization during periods of heavy data usage.
Both companies have a coverage checker on their site to verify availability in your area. Consult both before you decide to switch carriers.
Additionally, unlimited roaming is possible with each, but there is a charge for international calling.
Can I Bring My Own Phone to Mint Mobile or Visible by Verizon?
Keeping your current phone is a fantastic way to save money when moving carriers. Thankfully, both Mint Mobile and Visible Wireless let you bring your own phone.
To do so, your device must meet the following requirements:
- Unlocked: Your phone can’t be tied to a single carrier or locked into a current plan
- Compatible: Your phone must be compatible with 4G LTE and VoLTE (voice over LTE)
The easiest way to check phone compatibility is to use each website’s compatibility checker. If you dial #06# on your phone, it displays an IMEI number. Then, you can enter your phone’s IMEI number on Visible and Mint Mobile to see if your phone is compatible.
Signing up for either carrier is straightforward with compatible phones. After creating an account on either website, you just need a SIM card.
Mint Mobile sends you a SIM card for free once you purchase a plan. Visible by Verizon also sends you one for free.
Both carriers let you keep your phone number or create a new one. Number transfers can take a day or two to complete.
If you don’t have an unlocked phone, you can buy one from either company when signing up. Visible has phones starting at $105 or $10 per month with Affirm. Mint Mobile has phones starting at $69 if you sign up for a 12-month plan.
Both companies include a one-year warranty on phones, and you don’t pay an activation fee for new or used phones.
Which Phones Work on Visible and Mint Mobile?
Generally, most unlocked phones are compatible with Mint Mobile and Visible. Using each company’s compatibility checker is the best way to see if your phone works.
When it comes to specific phones, both providers work with numerous phones from popular cell phone brands like:
- Apple iPhones (iPhone 12, iPhone 14, iPhone SE, etc.)
- Android phones (Pixel 5, Pixel 4, Pixel XL, etc.)
- LG (G8 ThinQ, Stylo 6, K51, etc.)
- Motorola (Ace 5G, G Power, G Play, etc.)
- Samsung (Galaxy 10, Galaxy A21, Galaxy A42, etc.)
Mint Mobile sells more phones, but compatibility is largely the same for both companies. Each carrier offers discounts if you purchase compatible phones from them, but purchasing through them isn’t required.
If you have an Android or Apple-based phone that works with the service, you can bring it. Otherwise, you can find unlocked cell phones on Amazon if you need to replace your current device.
Our Experience With Customer Service
Neither carrier offers in-person customer service. That’s part of how they keep costs low.
You can reach representatives for both providers via real-time chat or social media. Mint Mobile does offer a phone number to call, but we’ve had limited success with that.
Overall, we’ve had decent customer service with both companies. Representatives are typically well-educated about plans, prices, and features. They’ve also generally been able to help us with any issues we’ve had.
The main problem you will face is long wait times at certain times of the day.
What it’s Like to Port Your Number to Mint Mobile and Visible
Porting your number to a new carrier is one of the last steps to start service. You need a virtual or physical SIM card from the new company to start this process.
Our experience with Visible Wireless was relatively painless. We received a physical SIM card within two days of signing up, and it was a seamless process.
Since we wanted to keep our existing number, we chatted with customer service for assistance.
Within about 20 minutes, they had successfully ported our number over, and we were able to use all features of our service on our phone.
Unfortunately, that was not the case with Mint Mobile. We experienced a few more problems with Mint Mobile. They sent us a physical SIM card, and we had it within three days of joining.
However, it took two days to port our number. There were difficulties moving the number over, which led to some frustration.
This may not have been entirely their fault since we entered the wrong password to our Twigby account, which was the service we were porting our number from. That mistake caused numerous issues and delays.
After an unsuccessful chat, we called Mint Mobile customer service. We reached someone right away. After about 60 minutes, we had our number ported over.
However, we also had issues creating an account and setting up a password with Mint Mobile. Even Twigby’s customer service representative said they tend to have multiple problems with Mint Mobile.
While the experience was not great, we ended up with the desired result. Just make sure to have your login and password information correct for the service you are leaving, and call Mint Mobile when beginning the porting process.
Pros and Cons
If you’re trying to decide between Mint Mobile and Visible, it’s vital to look at the pros and cons of each company. Here is how they compare.
Mint Mobile Pros
- First-time customer bonus makes plans as low as $15 per month
- Discounts for buying more months upfront
- Free international calling to Canada and Mexico
- 5G coverage for all plans
- Free international calling to Canada and Mexico
Mint Mobile Cons
- You can’t change your plan until your current one ends
- No monthly pay-as-you-go plans
- Mobile hotspot data comes out of your data allotment
Visible Wireless Pros
- Affordable unlimited talk and text
- Runs on the Verizon cellular network
- Unlimited data and hotspot on all plans, similar to Xfinity Mobile
- 5G service is included
Visible Wireless Cons
- Video streaming is capped at 480p
- No discounts available for multiple lines
Both low-cost phone plans provide quality service. Mint Mobile offers a seven-day money-back guarantee if you learn you don’t like the carrier. Visible includes a 15-day free trial.
Who is Better: Mint Mobile or Visible?
You will likely save money with either Visible Wireless or Mint Mobile. Both offer unlimited data plans and have reliable coverage.
The similarities end there, which dictates the service you should choose. Mint Mobile charges less, but this means less data. Coverage also isn’t as dependable.
However, if you want to customize your plan, they are a better choice since you can pick the plan that works for you. You just must wait until your current period is over.
Additionally, if you don’t need a lot of data and don’t mind the pricing structure, Mint Mobile is the better choice.
Visible is best if you want unlimited data. The service is also more reliable since it runs on the Verizon network.
Plus, if you want the simplicity of one plan and unlimited everything, Visible is the better choice.
Neither carrier offers true international plans, but you can make international calls and texts with both. Keep in mind that you may incur an extra charge for this, so neither company is superior when it comes to this factor.
Prepaid phone plans can be a terrific way to slash your phone bill and save money. Visible and Mint Mobile offer reliable coverage, 5G speed, and healthy data limits.
Low-cost phone carriers let you significantly cut costs, and they’re contract-free. Use that to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to leave if one isn’t meeting your needs.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.