US Mobile provides cheap cell phone plans that rely on two of America’s major wireless networks, but is the service worth the savings?
I signed up for the service and tested its unlimited plan using Verizon’s network.
In this US Mobile review, I’ll share my experience with the low-cost carrier and compare it to my main provider, Verizon-owned Visible.
US Mobile Review: Cheap Phone Plans on Two Major Networks
- What is US Mobile?: US Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers prepaid cell phone plans with no contracts.
- What towers does US Mobile use?: As an MVNO, US Mobile doesn’t own any cell phone towers. Instead, it partners with Verizon and T-Mobile to offer its customers plans that run on their 5G and 4G LTE networks.
- How much is unlimited data on US Mobile?: Unlimited plans start at $45 a month for a single line, but family plan discounts and perks are offered.
- Can I bring my phone to US Mobile?: In most cases, you can bring your unlocked phone to US Mobile. If your device is not compatible, there are phones for sale through the company’s website.
- Does US Mobile have any stores?: US Mobile is an online-only company with no retail locations. It offers 24/7 customer support by phone and chat.
During my month-long test, I carefully reviewed the service’s overall value, call and text performance, data speeds, phone options and my interactions with customer service.
Read on to learn what you should know about US Mobile before you sign up!
Table of Contents:
- Plans and Pricing
- Network Coverage
- Additional Features
- Phone Options
- Customer Service
- Pros and Cons Summary
1. Plans and Pricing
US Mobile’s cell phone plans are generally cheaper than the major networks. However, the service could do a better job of simplifying the process of choosing the best plan.
US Mobile has plans with data caps, unlimited data, shared data and even the ability to build your own plan.
From my five years of experience helping people switch to cheaper phone plans, most consumers want either a light data plan or an unlimited data plan, which is what I chose to test for this review.
Light Data Plans
For light data users, US Mobile offers unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data for $12 per month or you can get 5GB of data for $15 per month.
However, the price you see on the website is not what you pay.
Taxes and fees are extra for US Mobile’s plans with data caps. The company adds a $2 service fee and Regulatory Cost Recovery charges ($1 to $5 per line).
Add-on data is available for purchase if you run out during the middle of a billing cycle.
Unlimited Data Plan
US Mobile’s unlimited plan is more straightforward.
The single-line price for unlimited talk, text and high-speed data is $45 per month.
Families on the unlimited plan will receive a discount. With three unlimited lines or more, the price drops to $25 per month for each line.
If you have three or more lines of unlimited, you’ll also be eligible to receive a free subscription to an audio, streaming or gaming service. Options include Audible, HBO Max, Netflix and PlayStation Plus.
Taxes and fees are included in the advertised price for the unlimited plans. Learn more here.
IMPORTANT: In addition to the plan price, US Mobile charges $4 to mail a Starter Kit. This kit includes a SIM card and simple instructions to activate your service. I used the promo code FREEKIT to waive the $4 charge.
US Mobile vs. Visible Price Comparison
For people who want unlimited data on Verizon’s network, Visible may be a better value than US Mobile.
Visible offers a single plan with unlimited talk, text, data and mobile hotspot for $40 a month, taxes and fees included.
However, the price drops to $25 a month when you take advantage of Party Pay.
This is similar to a family plan or multi-line discount, but everyone in the party is billed separately.
For that reason, many Visible members add total strangers to their party and everyone gets the lowest rate. (If you don’t want to form a new party, you can join mine here.)
2. Network Coverage
US Mobile customers get access to either Verizon or T-Mobile’s 5G and 4G LTE networks.
From its website, US Mobile has a tool where you can enter your current carrier, location or device to determine which network is best for you.
Super LTE Network refers to Verizon, and GSM LTE Network is T-Mobile.
When your Starter Kit arrives, it will include SIM cards for both networks. Since my primary line is with Verizon-owned Visible, I wanted to test US Mobile on the Super LTE Network. That’s the black SIM card.
Verizon’s network is strong from my Los Angeles test location, so the results didn’t surprise me.
I experienced no major issues with calls, texts and data speeds on US Mobile’s network.
For my testing, I spent about 120 minutes making calls using an Apple iPhone 12.
The audio was slightly fuzzy and muffled for the first few calls, but US Mobile’s customer support made a change on their end and resolved the issue.
I sent many text messages throughout the month-long test. All of them went through without a delay.
US Mobile’s data speeds exceeded my expectations. Download speeds surpassed 100 Mbps for 10 out of the 20 speed tests that I conducted using the Speedtest by Ookla app.
A download speed of 10 to 20 Mbps is typically fast enough for my needs, including video streaming.
US Mobile Speed Test Results
|Date||Download Mbps||Upload Mbps||Ping|
The company says on its website that unlimited plans on Super LTE (Verizon) are “uncapped and unthrottled.”
However, unlimited plans on the GSM LTE Network (T-Mobile) have a 50GB cap on high-speed data. If you go over that limit, US Mobile says that your data speeds may be reduced.
3. Additional Features
My test of US Mobile focused on the ways people most frequently use their phones: calls, texts and data. However, there are several additional features with US Mobile that are worth mentioning.
- Mobile hotspot: Hotspot data is not included with the unlimited plan. However, you can purchase 20GB of hotspot data for an extra $10.
- International data: Unlimited plan subscribers get up to 10GB of high-speed roaming, and international data packs are available for other users to purchase.
- WiFi calling: WiFi calling is only available to Android users on the GSM LTE Network (T-Mobile).
In addition, US Mobile provides Usage Analytics from its mobile app and website. Reviewing your talk, text and data history can help you determine if you’re on the best plan for your needs.
4. Phone Options
Like nearly all cell phone service providers, US Mobile gives you the option of buying a new phone or keeping your current device.
I used an Apple iPhone 12 for my testing. To confirm that my device was compatible, I followed the instructions on US Mobile’s website and entered the phone’s IMEI number.
Since the service has two network partners (Verizon and T-Mobile), it says nearly all unlocked phones with a SIM card slot will work.
If you prefer to purchase a new unlocked phone, you probably don’t want to shop through US Mobile’s website.
At the time of this writing, fewer than 10 devices were for sale and there were no discounts.
5. Customer Service
US Mobile has no retail locations where you can get help troubleshooting your phone or service, but 24/7 customer support is available by phone or live chat.
To evaluate the company’s customer service, I called them twice and initiated three live chat sessions.
US Mobile’s live chat is available from the app and website. Although it was faster to chat than call, I found that it required more work to explain myself over chat.
Both test calls to customer service were efficient, including one that resolved the audio issue that I mentioned earlier.
The availability of 24/7 phone support is a real plus compared to my main provider, Visible. With that service, most issues are handled over chat and there’s no 800 number to call.
MORE DETAILS: US Mobile’s Starter Kit and the included activation instructions were very easy to follow. I also liked the design of the account dashboard from the mobile app.
US Mobile: Pros and Cons Summary
If you’re thinking about switching away from Verizon or T-Mobile, US Mobile is worth considering since it offers affordable plans on both networks.
The plan page on US Mobile’s website says it has “Something for Everybody.” That’s true, but the long list of plans can be confusing for people who are moving to a low-cost provider for the first time.
Still, the pros of US Mobile outweigh the cons. You will save money compared to Verizon and T-Mobile.
|Affordable fixed data, unlimited and custom plans||Excessive number of plans|
|Family plan discount and perks with unlimited||Taxes and fees are extra with some plans|
|Choice of networks: Verizon or T-Mobile||Mobile hotspot is extra|
|Most phones are compatible||Limited phones for sale|
|Availability of 24/7 phone customer support|||
If you’re a current US Mobile customer or had the service in the past, leave a comment below to add to my review!