T-Mobile sent me a SIM card kit to switch from the Sprint network six weeks before they shut it down last year. Swapping the physical SIM cards in my iPhone XR took only five minutes to complete. I didn’t notice any difference between the two networks in Silicon Valley.
Three months ago, I swapped SIM cards again.
This time from the T-Mobile physical SIM card to the Mint Mobile virtual SIM card. Swapping between the two types of SIM cards took only five minutes. I didn’t notice any difference since Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network.
What I did notice was I’m paying $40 less per month for cellular service.
Why Switch to Mint Mobile?
When I swapped physical SIM cards last year, I started thinking about how I use my iPhone XR.
When I got up at 4:30AM to catch the 6:00AM express bus to start work at 7:00AM, I used my iPhone during the commute. I read the news in the morning and browse the web in the afternoon. I almost always ran out of data towards the end of the month.
Since I work from home for the last two-and-a-half years, I use about 200MB per month for data. Why was I paying $55 per month for something I was barely using?
If I switched my cellular plan from Sprint to T-Mobile, I would have to pay $60 per month. That was the cheapest plan that T-Mobile has to offer to former Sprint customers. An extra $5 per month for the same level of service.
During the summer, I saw many ads for Mint Mobile at $15 per month on YouTube. Probably because I’m a huge Ryan Reynolds fan.
The Mint Mobile Experience
Three months ago, I switched from T-Mobile to Mint Mobile. I paid $45 plus fees and taxes for three months of the 4GB plan. I also paid an extra $15 for extended support that included canceling my old account on my behalf.
After I downloaded the Mint Mobile app and logged into my account, I follow the steps to switch carriers.
I didn’t know that my iPhone XR supported virtual SIM cards. I thought that feature was available only on the latest and greatest iPhones. Installing the virtual SIM card took only five minutes.
Keeping the phone number that I had for 20 years took a few hours.
Mint Mobile canceled my old account a week later. My timing was perfect on the billing cycle as I didn’t owe anything on the last bill. Since I’m using the same T-Mobile network as before, the quality was the same.
After being a Sprint customer for 20 years, I’m now a Mint Mobile customer.
What’s The Catch?
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the catch?”
The biggest catch that most people have with Mint Mobile is not being able to pay monthly for service. Plans are available in three-, six- or twelve-month intervals.
If you want the lowest rate at $15 per month for the 4GB data plan, you have to pay $180 plus fees and taxes for a whole year. Some people may have trouble paying that much money up front for cellular service.
I paid for an entire year and won’t have to pay again until January 2024.
Should I Upgrade My iPhone XR?
I’m due to replace my iPhone XR this year, as I upgrade every four years. Waiting that long gives me the last trade-in value for my old iPhone and a discount for buying the previous year’s iPhone.
When I traded in my iPhone 6S and bought the iPhone XR in 2019, I saved $250.
This year I would have traded in the iPhone XR for an iPhone 14 after Apple introduces the iPhone 15 in September. I may hang on to my iPhone XR for a few more years.
If I switched to Mint Mobile to pay less for cellular service because I’m using my iPhone less, I really don’t need a new iPhone.
If you’re interested in Mint Mobile, you can use my referral link. You will get a $15 credit when you pay for a three-month introductory rate plan.