About Mint SIM

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: Nov 9, 2017

By selling bulk prepaid wireless plans completely online, Mint SIM delivers unlimited nationwide 4G LTE talk, text, and data service at the lowest prices of any national carrier. In fact, they claim that the more you buy, the more you save.

And with the company’s bring your own phone (BYOP) program, customers can obtain mobile service on their existing unlocked GSM phone, simply by switching out their SIM card.

Mint SIM seems to offer a lot of convenience at competitive prices. But does this necessarily mean they’re the right prepaid wireless carrier for you? Before answering your important questions, let’s quickly cover some background information to ensure we’re all on the same page.

What Is a SIM Card?

Lifewire’s Sam Costello writes that SIM (short for Subscriber Identity Module) cards are “small, removable smart cards used to store data like a your mobile phone number, the phone company you use, billing information and address book data,” and are required in order for most cell, mobile, and smartphone to operate.

Not only does this allow for easily transferring phone numbers and other important information from an old phone to a new one, but it also makes international travel easier, as users can simply swap out SIM cards in their current country.

However, as also mentioned on the Mint website, Sam reiterates that not all SIM cards are the same size:

  • SIM – The original, and the largest.
  • Micro SIM – This was first utilized by the iPhone 4, which is substantially smaller than the original.
  • Nano SIM – 12 percent smaller than the micro version and originally debuted in 2012 in the iPhone 5.

Which of these sizes does Mint SIM offer? Let’s take a closer look.

How Does Mint SIM Work?

Overall, the process works across three steps:

Step 1: Verification

Before doing anything on the Mint website, you’ll want to make sure a) they stock a SIM card that’s compatible with your phone, and b) that they offer coverage in your area. This is as easy as clicking on the Bring Your Phone and Coverage links on the company’s website (see below).

Mint SIM Before Signing UpWhile Mint SIM stocks a wide variety of cards and offers service across much of the U.S. (especially the Eastern half), you’ll want to double check compatibility and coverage before proceeding.

Step 2: Activation

After receiving your card (Mint sends a standard, micro, and nano size in the same order) and signing up for a service plan (more next), you'll need to visit www.mintsim.com, click on the Activate link, and enter the 11-digit ACT code in the upper right-hand corner of your SIM card.

If you want to keep your existing number, click on the Port Existing Number link and enter your old account number and password from your previous company. This will tell them to release your phone number, which often takes just a few minutes. In some instances, though, Mint notes that it could take up to 24 hours.

Then, get out your manual to find out what size SIM your phone requires; standard, micro, or nano. You can also find out where your SIM slot is located.

If the slot is on the side, you can pop it open using the appropriate tool (with your phone turned off, of course) and replace it with the Mint SIM, logo facing up.

In some models, you might need to remove the phone’s back cover, find your SIM slot (which may also require removing the battery in some models), and insert your Mint SIM into the designated slot. Again, with the logo facing up.

Finally, replace your back cover and turn your phone on.

Step 3: Configuration

The last step in the process is to configure your data and Access Point Names (APN) settings to make sure everything’s working properly with your new Mint SIM card.

For iPhones: Go to Settings à Cellular à Cellular Options à Cellular Data Network. Enter the appropriate settings shown in the pamphlet that came with your SIM card (also shown in the corresponding video on Mint’s website).

Mint SIM Cellular Data DetailsEach Mint SIM card will include a pamphlet that provides key information necessary for proper configuration. Image credit: Mint SIM

For Android Phones: Go to Settings à Cellular (or Mobile) Networks à Access Point Names (APN). Tap the + sign to create a new APN. Enter the appropriate settings shown in the pamphlet that came with your SIM card.

To wrap up, you’ll press the menu icon, click the Save button, confirm the Mint Internet and MMS profile, and restart your device.

How Much Do Mint SIM Cards Cost?

Each Mint SIM plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data delivered on a 4G LTE network. The data purchased is on a per-month basis, and the company will send you an SMS text each time it resets. However, data does not accrue or carry over from one month to the next.

The only differences are the length of service, the amount of data available each month, and how much you’ll pay:

3-Month Plans

  • 2GB: $45 total ($15/mo)
  • 5GB: $60 total ($20/mo)
  • 10GB: $75 ($25/mo)

6-Month Plans

  • 2GB: $108 total ($18/mo)
  • 5GB: $144 total ($24/mo)
  • 10GB: $180 ($30/mo)

12-Month Plans

  • 2GB: $180 total ($15/mo)
  • 5GB: $240 total ($20/mo)
  • 10GB: $300 ($25/mo)

According to Mint SIM’s FAQ, international call rates can vary by country, although you can access additional details on their International Rates page.

All three-month plans come with a seven-day money back guarantee, less S&H, as long as the merchandise is in original condition, with the original box and software, and no pad printing. If any items are missing or damaged, the company will charge a $15 per-item fee.

What Are Mint SIM Customers Saying In Their Reviews?

While we didn’t encounter a ton of online customer feedback for Mint SIM during our research, most of what we did come across was positive.

For example, Android Central obtained detailed feedback from several of their members, who agreed Mint was easy to set up (basically plug-and-play) and provided good instructions, if needed. They noted “performance was good, not great,” and that “it varied wildly depending on the time of day and the location.”

Most users tended to think that these slowdowns occurred since Mint piggybacks off of T-Mobile, who could prioritize their retail subscribers.

In the end, all members agreed that it was a good deal, and “even with its sometimes-spotty LTE data speeds,” that it could be effective if you’re looking to watch media on the go for less money.

The Gadgeteer also liked Mint SIM’s affordable plans, and noted that their service could work great if you “live, work, or travel in an area with T-Mobile coverage.” And if you exceed your data allotment for the month, you’re not cut off—instead, they liked that you’ll only drop to 2G speeds.

Along these same lines, NY Magazine’s Nick Swearingen found that Mint offers “a significant savings for service that isn’t noticeably any worse (and in some cases better) than what I’d get by going to one of the four major carriers.” However, he pointed out that if you’re traveling to more unpopulated areas, you could be out of luck.

From a company perspective, Mint SIM is based out of Costa Mesa, CA and has been in business since 2012. They held a B rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on two negative reviews and 18 closed complaints, as of 11/8/17. These referenced everything from porting problems to coverage issues, and a company representative responded with resolutions in each instance.

Mint SIM vs. Other Prepaid Alternative Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

First, What's an MVNO?

In a different Android Central article, Daniel Bader explains that an MVNO is a third-party business that leases access to one of the Big Four’s (Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) networks at a heavily discounted rate.

Then, the voice, messaging, and data provided by these networks is sold back to consumers at a slightly higher rate. This way, customers get much of the same quality and coverage provided by bigger networks but at a lower price, and the MVNO makes a profit.

“In other words,” he writes, “alternative carriers are exactly that: meant to capture the customers remaining in the margins, or those looking to pay bottom dollar to avoid the often-superfluous frills that are, many times, built into the cost of the plans of the incumbents.”

Are There Other SIM-Based MVNO Companies?

There are dozens of pre-paid wireless companies in the marketplace, although most work like calling cards—each minute of data used or text message sent ‘spends’ a certain amount of money. Then, once funds run out, they can be topped off again to repeat the process.

However, there are only a couple options that offer flat rate service like Mint SIM (although none feature the same SIM-based model). These include:

Company SMS/Data Pricing Network Things to Note
Mint SIM $15-$25/mo, must pay upfront T-Mobile Works with a wide range of phones (including some iPhones), only MVNO with bulk pricing, no data rollover
Project Fi $20-$120/mo, depending on data needs Google Limited phone selection, users are credited for unused data
Republic Wireless $15-$45/mo, depending on data needs Sprint 4G LTE service, no international calling, compatible w/Google Wi-Fi

How can you choose between these services (or another) and Mint SIM? Let’s wrap up as we address this final topic.

Our Final Thoughts About Mint SIM

When choosing an MVNO, NerdWallet's Stephen Layton emphasizes that they could help you save a lot of money, but you should keep in mind that customers can receive lesser priority than the carrier’s direct customers. As a result, this could cause data speed problems.

Also, in most instances, you can’t change your plan after buying in bulk, so make sure that you’re fully onboard before placing your order.

But in the end, if you’re willing to pay upfront and don’t need a family plan, the Android Central article above notes that Mint SIM’s “call quality and messaging are more than adequate, so if you really need a cheap phone plan with the promise of internet in uncongested areas and off-peak times, this could be the answer for you.”

If you’re on the fence, though, we might recommend starting with the three-month plan, since it’s the only option that comes with a seven-day satisfaction guarantee.

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20 Consumer Reviews for Mint SIM

Average Consumer Rating: 2.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 6 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  9
Bottom Line: 35% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 20
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  • Trash customer service

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid for roaming in London, which didn't work, but they refuse to give me the refund. So I called my credit card company to disconnect the service, and they now disconnected my service without my consent.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Poor service

    • Utah,
    • Jul 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I live in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah, which is within their coverage. Despite this, I am constantly on the edge of data range and my phone moves in and out of coverage throughout the day. It doesn't matter how much data I buy because I can virtually never use it. Their voicemail service is terrible with delayed notification. Texts take a very long time to send, poor service across the board. I would never buy this again nor would I recommend it. It is the antithesis of reliable cell phone coverage.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Can't beat their price nor their service

    • New York,
    • Jun 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    You're basically getting T-Mobile service for $15 a month without any commitment, isn't this heaven on earth? Unlimited call, text and 2/go per month! Unbeatable service, love it.

    I live in New York and when I traveled to Boston and my brother to Miami we had perfect service! Love it!

    I tried Lycamobile, and it was a disaster, the service is so unstable plus it's more expensive at $20/month!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Broken promises, not receiving calls, voicemail notifications late, service down issues

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jun 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Calls were not coming through, and voicemail notifications are not showing up until days later. Last month there was a complete service outage for a day and through all this zero compensation was given. I'm switching back to Boost Mobile. It will cost about $10 more a month but you get what you pay for, and Boost has excellent service.

    Also, there were countless times when my internet data didn't work with Mint, but they never mailed me the new SIM from tech support (I knew they wouldn't as they sounded apathetic) and literally a day after my data reset on a 3 GB plan they would say I used all my data. With Boost, that data would last a couple of weeks. Something fishy here. NOT recommended. You have been warned. No wonder they gave away three months free to switch to them. It's no good if you can't get your important calls or use the internet.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Boils down to where you live and where you travel and how often

    • South Florida,
    • Jun 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Living in an area with great T-Mobile coverage helps. If you travel rarely to places where you can deal with not getting great data coverage, but still talk and text some or most of the time, it's up to you.

    My experience with customer service has been positive overall. If you port a number and decide that the service isn't for you, they require you to port your number off of their network before they will give you a refund (this was when helping a friend switch and having to go back to his old provider when we found out he uses 50GB data monthly). For me, it's great not having a monthly bill for a whole year. OpenSignal shows more accurate coverage map than Mint Mobile's site to help you do your coverage homework.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Huge holes in coverage

    • Gold Hill, OR,
    • May 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently signed on for the three-month introductory Mint plan. I was very satisfied with the service for the first couple of weeks until I drove to a neighboring community and had zero reception. I had plenty of bars, just no service. I have since discovered that Mint only works if there is 4G reception; they claim 2G also, but I haven't seen it yet. It works great if 4G is available, but if you leave the more populated areas, you have mostly 3G, and no Mint service. I have had to carry a cheap AT&T back up just for basic communication. Not what I had in mind when I signed up.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Not sure why there's so much hate

    • Florida,
    • May 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love my service from Mint, it's a fraction of the cost of T-Mobile and works just as well. I honestly don't know why there's so much hate here! I hate AT&T, hate T-Mobile, and hate Verizon because of their monopolies. Mint offerers the same thing for less. Also, international calling on big networks are scams; T-Mobile was charging me $2.25 a minute to call another country, whereas Mint was charging $0.14.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Awesome service

    • Salt Lake City, UT,
    • May 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They have the best service for the lowest prices I can find anywhere. I will admit, they don't have a lot of bells and whistles associated with the service; however, if you're interested in the lowest prices for the industry combined with quality coverage, then you're looking in the right place. I would highly recommend anyone to use this service.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Liars. Fraud.

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • May 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Absolute garbage. Why isn't there a negative star option? Mint SIM would be getting that for sure.

    They lie about why their service is failing for you. They told me to try buying more GBs even when I hadn't used one byte of data. $80 later, the SIM still delivers slow 2G service (when it works at all) because they are using T-Mobile as the carrier.

    BIG run around until you get past the eligibility point of getting a refund. Then you hear "unfortunately sir, our SIM isn't compatible with that device and we aren't giving your money back."

    So let me get this straight, you charged me for something that doesn't work, which I didn't use because it never worked, and then you double talked me past the date your 'corp policy' dictates whether I get my money back.

    So basically it's fraud then. Got it. So, like I told you on the phone, be ready for the fees that come with the Visa charge back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Cheaper isn't always better.

    I got Mint SIM for my wife, and after I developed a virus in my SIM card with Straight Talk, I decided to switch to Mint SIM. In checking the network in my phone's settings, I learned that Mint SIM operates on T-Mobile towers. T-Mobile is notorious for poor sound quality in my area. On both my wife's and my phone we are experiencing terrible sound quality. On most calls, it's impossible to understand what is being said. This is the case with both incoming and outgoing calls but seems to be worse on incoming calls. After hanging up and calling back, I was able to get clear reception. I've had both Verizon and AT&T and never had a problem with either one.

    I've known other people with T-Mobile who experienced the same problem. Mint SIM is T-Mobile. I don't know if they operate on any other networks, but T-Mobile is the pits! My wife has had service with Mint SIM for about a week, and this is my second day and we are both very disappointed and dissatisfied with the service from Mint SIM. We both have a three-month plan which is paid in advance.

    If our service doesn't improve, we will be looking for another carrier at the end of our three months. I'm being perfectly honest and cannot give Mint SIM a good recommendation.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Worst customer service I've seen in a long time

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Apr 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Someone in my family needed the Mint SIM a week after I placed the order. After I got the delivery notification, it appears to have been sent to the wrong address (similar but different address number with completely different zip code). I went back to my email to check that I entered the right address/zip code, and there was nothing wrong with it.

    So next I called Mint SIM customer support and after a long wait (30 minutes or so), someone finally answered. I explained what was going on and asked them to ship out another SIM card to the right address with two-day shipping since I needed this in two days. Julia says she cannot accommodate and I'd have to cancel this order, request a refund, and then place another order and pay extra for the expedited two-day shipping. She keeps on saying it's USPS or UPS's fault for delivering it to the wrong address, and I asked her for the invoice. She emails me back a PNG image of my billing and shipping address back, which looks like it's just two addresses copied and pasted.

    "Thank you for contacting Mint SIM this is Julie and I will be more than happy to respond your concern.

    This is the proof that we made the correct order if the post office made a mistake on their end we are not accountable of. I will try again on my end to get a resolution for you but is not a warranty.

    Best Regards, Julie."

    I wasn't getting anywhere on the phone, and the PO was giving me attitude. So I just did what she said "the only thing" I could do, which was to request a refund online, cancel the initial order, and place another order with extra payment for expedited shipping. I then called Mint SIM support again and have them verify that they were going to send the sim to the right address this time. They confirmed it two days later, and I got the delivery notification. Guess what? They shipped it to the exact wrong address again with different zip code.

    I've used Mint SIM once in the past and liked their pricing, but after this snafu, will never use their services and lack of customer experience again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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