Visible by Verizon and Mint Mobile are two very different low-cost cell phone service providers, but they can both save you money compared to Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.
Visible vs. Mint Mobile Comparison
I’ve reviewed more than 15 cheap phone plans and have a long history with these providers.
- Visible by Verizon: My primary line of service since 2019
- Mint Mobile: Four separate three-month tests since 2018
In this article, I’ll use everything that I’ve learned through my extensive testing of Visible and Mint Mobile to help you decide which service is best for you.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents:
- Plans and Pricing
- Network Coverage
- Call, Text and Data Performance
- Additional Features
- Phone Options
- Customer Service
Plans and Pricing
Visible and Mint Mobile are prepaid carriers, which means that you pay for service in advance. But when it comes to plans and pricing, that’s where the similarities stop.
Visible offers two truly unlimited data plans for $30 and $45 a month, with taxes and fees included.
Meanwhile, Mint Mobile has no monthly payment option. Customers must pay for three to 12 months of service upfront. Taxes and fees are not included in the advertised price.
Mint Mobile offers one unlimited plan (speeds reduced after 35GB) and three other plans with set amounts of high-speed data per month.
New customers pay for three months of service and get the best pricing. When it’s time to renew, you can keep the lowest price by paying for a full year of service in advance.
However, those with Mint Mobile’s family plan can lock in the best pricing and pay only three months at a time.
In addition to smartphone plans, Visible lets you add a smartwatch plan for $5 a month. Mint Mobile doesn’t support smartwatches.
Low-cost wireless providers like Visible and Mint Mobile rely on different networks to provide coverage.
- Visible by Verizon runs on Verizon’s network
- Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network
If you have one of the major networks (Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile) and like the coverage, my general recommendation is to choose a low-cost carrier that uses the same network.
But if you decide to switch to a carrier with a different network, review the coverage maps carefully.
Visible and Mint Mobile both have 5G and 4G LTE coverage maps on their websites. You can enter your address to confirm that there’s adequate coverage where you live, work and travel.
You can also take advantage of free trials from Visible and Mint Mobile to evaluate the coverage.
There are plenty of cities where Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all provide excellent coverage. Enter your city on RootMetrics’ website to see how Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rank.
Call, Text and Data Performance
Your call, text and data performance will vary depending on the network coverage where you live. Remember that Visible uses Verizon’s towers, and Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network.
I’ve stayed with Visible for more than three years because Verizon’s network is the strongest in my area.
More often than not, I receive excellent 5G data speeds with Visible and Mint Mobile. Download speeds for both services exceeded 50 Mbps in a side-by-side speed test that I conducted for this review.
In other tests, I’ve recorded speeds around 200 Mbps for Visible and Mint Mobile.
With both low-cost carriers, your data may be deprioritized during times of network congestion.
The most expensive plans with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile typically offer premium or priority data. When the network is busy, data speeds for those without premium data will be slowed down or deprioritized.
Occasional deprioritization is something I expect with a low-cost provider. It’s not a dealbreaker for me.
I don’t have a problem if my data speeds are slower than someone paying twice as much with another provider as long as I’m able to watch videos, stream music and surf the web.
If deprioritization is a problem for you, Visible’s most expensive plan ($45/month) includes 50GB of premium data and access to faster speeds with 5G Ultra Wideband.
Unlike the major networks, Visible and Mint Mobile don’t offer special perks like free Netflix with their plans. Some people may view this as a con, but I see it as a pro.
These low-cost providers stick to their main product — affordable phone service!
When it comes to additional features with Visible and Mint Mobile, I’m often asked about international calling/texting, mobile hotspot and Wi-Fi calling.
Visible’s mobile hotspot feature is one of the reasons why I’ve stayed with the service. Customers get truly unlimited mobile hotspot data with either plan, capped at speeds of 5 Mbps.
Mint Mobile offers mobile hotspot as well, but it counts against your monthly high-speed data limit. The unlimited plan gets only 5GB of mobile hotspot data per month.
Although Visible’s mobile hotspot data is capped at 5 Mbps, I’ve recorded speeds closer to 10 Mbps.
That’s fast enough for me to connect my laptop to the hotspot and work remotely at airports, coffee shops and places without Wi-Fi.
International Calling and Texting
Free international calls to Mexico and Canada are included with all of Visible and Mint Mobile’s plans.
The premium Visible+ unlimited plan includes these additional features:
- Unlimited talk, text and data roaming in Mexico and Canada
- International calling from the United States to 30+ countries
- International texting from the United States to 200+ countries
If you’re in a spot with a strong Wi-Fi signal but poor cellular coverage, Wi-Fi calling will come in handy. This is a standard feature with most carriers, including Visible and Mint Mobile.
To take advantage of Wi-Fi calling, make sure to enable it from your phone’s settings.
Low-cost cell phone service providers have expanded their phone options over the years. Visible and Mint Mobile are no exception.
- With either provider, you can buy a new phone or bring your own device
- Both services let you transfer your existing phone number or get a new phone number
If you’re planning to keep your existing phone, make sure that it’s unlocked. Then, check Visible and Mint Mobile’s websites to confirm compatibility before you sign up.
Visible and Mint Mobile also sell phones, including the latest Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel devices.
The major networks (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) offer “free” high-end phones to attract and retain customers, but the plans are sometimes double the price of low-cost providers.
Don’t expect the same type of deals with Visible and Mint Mobile. Here are two frequent deals:
- Visible by Verizon: Buy a new phone and get up to a $200 virtual gift card
- Mint Mobile: Buy a new phone and a 6-month plan, get 6 months of free service
I recently compared the deals from these providers. Visible was slightly cheaper than Mint Mobile when I looked at the price of buying a new iPhone 14 Pro and a year of cellular service.
If you can’t pay for a new device in full, Visible and Mint Mobile offer financing through Affirm. Those who qualify can spread payments over 24 months with 0% financing.
Low-cost cell phone service providers like Visible and Mint Mobile don’t offer in-person customer support.
While Mint Mobile gives customers a phone number to call for support, Visible does not. When you need help with Visible, you initiate a live chat with a representative through the service’s app or website.
Visible’s chat-based customer support hasn’t been an issue for me personally. But I’ve heard from readers who’ve had long wait times and struggled to get quick resolutions to their problems.
To avoid issues during the initial activation process, follow these tips:
- Check the coverage maps and take advantage of free trials to evaluate network coverage
- Make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with your new service
In addition to its standard phone and chat support, Mint Mobile offers customers access to personal wireless advisors for $15 a year. Advisors can help with activation and other service-related issues.
Visible and Mint Mobile both offer eSIM with compatible devices. With eSIM, you can sign up in a matter of minutes and don’t have to wait for a physical SIM card to be mailed.
If your phone isn’t compatible with eSIM, they’ll mail you a free SIM card.
When you download the Visible and Mint Mobile apps, you’ll find simple instructions to get started. But consider whether you’re comfortable doing without in-person customer support before signing up.
Visible and Mint Mobile offer affordable phone plans, but which one should you choose? Here’s a summary of some things to consider:
- Which network do you want?: Visible uses Verizon and Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile
- Unlimited or fixed data?: Only Mint Mobile has plans with data caps
- Monthly or multi-month plan?: Mint Mobile users pay 3-12 months in advance
- Truly unlimited data?: Visible’s plans offer truly unlimited high-speed data
- Deprioritized data?: Visible’s $45 plan includes premium data and faster speeds
- Need mobile hotspot data?: Only Visible offers unlimited mobile hotspot data
- Family plan?: Mint Mobile has a family plan and Visible does not
- Phone customer support?: Mint Mobile has a number to call and Visible does not
Before you sign up, make sure to check the latest limited-time deals on services and devices for both Visible and Mint Mobile. Let me know in the comments which service you prefer!
- Do Visible and Mint Mobile use the same towers?
Visible and Mint Mobile use different towers. Visible runs on Verizon's network, while Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network.
- Are taxes and fees included with Visible and Mint Mobile?
Only Visible includes taxes and fees in the advertised price. With Mint Mobile, you can preview the additional taxes and fees during the checkout process.
- Is data deprioritized with Visible and Mint Mobile?
Like most low-cost providers, Visible and Mint Mobile users may experience slower data speeds during times of network congestion. However, Visible's most expensive plan includes 50GB of priority data.
- Do Visible and Mint Mobile offer unlimited data?
Both of Visible's plans include truly unlimited data. Mint Mobile has an unlimited plan, but high-speed data is limited to 35GB per month. After that, you'll receive slower speeds for the remainder of the monthly billing period.
- Does Visible have a family plan?
Visible by Verizon doesn't have a family plan. Every line of service has its own account.
- Does Mint Mobile have monthly plans?
Mint Mobile doesn't offer a monthly payment option. You must pay for service in bulk for three to 12 months at a time.