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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24 Consumer Reviews for Mint SIM

Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 6 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  13
Bottom Line: 29% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 24
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    I didn't even get to try them before they showed their incompetence

    • Seattle, WA,
    • Sep 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Their online form was telling me that the zip I was entering to port my old number with was invalid. It wasn't.

    Then I called them and was told the port request went through, and I should call back tomorrow morning to verify. I called the next morning and was told to call the next morning yet again, and there was no update to my request.

    I said screw it, I'll just get a new number, but upon trying to do that I get an error from their site, so now the SIM I purchased is useless until I hear from them.

    But now my old service has expired so I can't call Mint without paying my old carrier for another month of service, just to have Mint cancel it and port the number. Screw that, they should have done their job in the 6-7 hour period they told me it would take. I requested a refund.

    Also, I sent an email before I called them, and I only got a generic unhelpful response to that after 3 days.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    False advertising - not all devices supported on the network and customer service not trained

    • New York,
    • Sep 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was very excited to join the Mint Mobile movement. Following a very intuitive interface, I managed to check the compatibility of my zip code (one in NYC) and phone (Huawei Mate 10 Lite) with the service: 100% compatible, no disclaimer added. I proceed to order my 3-month starter package, which arrived early, fantastic.

    Unfortunately, I did not manage to make the SIM work. I followed all instructions and called customer support twice; the two people that took my call were very nice, but did not have answers and told me I must be doing something wrong. Desperately, I recharged 10USD to see if this could be of any help. Nothing.

    I called customer service a third time and then, a very kind and detail oriented assistant (Evelyn) took time to review my case and informed me that the website had not been updated and that my Huawei phone was really not compatible with the Mint Network. In this sense, it was not my fault, and there was a reason I never managed to try the service. I was therefore entitled to a full refund (extra 10USD included), beyond the 7-day trial period - it was day 10 when I managed to speak with someone that could give me answers.

    Evelyn directed me to the website to fill up a returns form, so I did and sent it along. I received a very nice, standardized answer within 2 business days:

    "We are sorry to hear that you were not able to use our service as we expected, but kindly be informed that upon further review of your account, we find that we are unable to refund you, due to the fact you are outside of our refund policy."

    I proceed to call customer service again and a very kind assistant (Adderly) reviewed my case and encouraged me to reply to the returns team email stating the particularities of this case; that is, that I was never able to try the service due to false advertising from the firm's side. He apologized again for the error on the website, and I encouraged the firm to solve it.

    I replied to the email further explaining the situation. It is been 7 business days and I have not received a reply. I have called customer service again and another assistant told me that if the returns team is not emailing me back, it is because they do not mean to refund me the USD100 because technically, I am beyond the return policy window.

    All this hassle for USD100 seems ridiculous. And it is, if we were not handling a false advertising case. Oh, by the way, I have checked the website and now they have added a disclaimer stating that your phone could, or could not, be compatible to the network. So watch out. In the meanwhile, I entered my phone specs and still get a 100% compatibility message (general disclaimer added).

    I recommend Mint Mobile maybe if you have a standard phone (such as an iPhone), live in a well-covered area such as California and have spare time to enjoy talking to kind, friendly (yet poorly trained) customer services representatives.

    Beyond this, I strongly feel this promising start-up needs to upgrade its game.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Data usage is inaccurate

    • California,
    • Aug 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Stay away. Their data usage is inaccurate. Two days ago my usage on my phone app was at 1.8 Gigabyte and Mint Mobile showed 4.5 Gigabyte. I immediately turned off my cellular data usage on my phone and strictly used Wi-Fi. Today, two days later, I checked my data usage on my phone app and had the same 1.8 Gigabyte. While Mint Mobile is now showing that I have used 6.4 Gigabyte. How could I of used two Gigs of data with my data turned off? I definitely won't be renewing after this after three months. I'm running away not walking. As the old saying goes, if it's to good of a deal, it's not they are making up the money somewhere and it's my data.

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

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Buyer beware - bait and switch after trial period ends

    • Belmont, NC,
    • Jul 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Voice and data coverage is throttled and declines after you join. Worked perfectly at my home until I switched from the trial period to the pre-paid 6-month plan. Now I went from 3-4 full voice bars to 1/16th of one bar.

    I called customer service and they offered to do a process for me to take my SIM card out and they send a signal to my phone to correct the issue. They could not give me details as to what this does or why it works. They stated it "always" works and I have to be on the phone with them on another phone while this process is completed. I COULD NOT power the cell phone off, remove the SIM and have them send the magic "signal" that restores my service to normal. They refused to perform this step for me.

    I asked for my account number and PIN and will be switching back to a reputable carrier. I spoke to my local T-Mobile rep, and they explained what they are doing and why I have poor to no voice signal after moving from the trial period to the 6-month plan (remember NO REFUNDS). Do yourself a favor and go into your local T-Mobile store and they will give you all the info you need on Mint Mobile. You can them make an informed decision.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    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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  • 5 out 5 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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  • 2 out 4 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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  • 5 out 5 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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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    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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  • 5 out 7 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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