8 Strategies Mint Mobile Uses To Stay Cheap

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Mint Mobile offers some of the cheapest wireless plans on the market. This often leads people to wonder if they are a scam?

I can tell you Mint Mobile is definitely not a scam. And there are some very good reasons why they are able to offer service for so cheap. Mint Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Aron North, once actually addressed some of those reasons in a Reddit thread.

How is Mint so cheap? from r/mintmobile

So what Aron is basically saying is that they are able to sell cheap service by:

  1. Offering service in bulk, customers must pay several months in advance to subscribe
  2. They don’t have any stores
  3. They spend wisely on advertising
  4. Invest heavily in customer support
  5. Engineers that focus on future innovation

Now I’m going to add a few other reasons that Aron didn’t mention. Then I’ll further explain how Mint Mobile is able to offer highly affordable service.

  1. They don’t have their own network
  2. They have a creative marketing strategy, ties in with spending wisely on advertising
  3. No premium priority data plans

1). Wireless In Bulk

Mint Mobile does not sell pay by the month phone plans. Instead, they sell multi-month phone plans where customers must pay for 3-months, 6-months, or 12-months of service in advance. Mint Mobile refers to this as wireless in bulk. This is probably the number 1 reason why their plans are so cheap.

With customers locking into their plans for a longer period of time than just one month, Mint Mobile is able to collect more money upfront than a standard provider. This can also help them to be more profitable on a per-customer basis sooner than some of their competition can.

Wireless in bulk also gives Mint Mobile a guaranteed amount of revenue for a guaranteed amount of time which makes it easier to run the business and pay the bills. And if a subscriber leaves a few months before their 3, 6, or 12-month plan expires, Mint Mobile still gets to keep the revenue. In contrast, if that customer were with another provider, the revenue for that provider would stop as soon as the customer leaves.

If Mint Mobile were to sell pay by the month phone plans at the same rates they do for their multi-month plans, the margins would likely be too low and unpredictable for the business to be sustainable. But with multi-month plans, the low margins and reduced predictability are made up for by selling service in bulk.

2). They Don’t Have Any Stores

This reason is pretty easy to understand. Unlike the big carriers and their prepaid brands like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Cricket Wireless and Metro By-T-Mobile, Mint Mobile does not have any stores of its own to manage. That means they don’t have to lease storefront space or pay for any of the bills that are associated with running a store. The savings Mint Mobile achieves by not having stores to run also gets passed on to consumers through lower prices.

3). Invest Responsibly And Creatively In Advertising

Per Aron’s remarks in Reddit, Mint Mobile “smartly spend(s) every dollar” on advertising. Mint Mobile doesn’t have the big money to spend on advertising that some carriers like T-Mobile do. In fact in 2019, T-Mobile spent approximately $1.6 billion on advertising, a number that likely far exceeds Mint Mobile’s revenues. So in order to stand out from the crowd with a smaller budget, Mint Mobile has had to do things creatively.

Mint Mobile’s logo and mascot is a fox. And since launching in 2016, they’ve used that fox with a lot of provocative marketing. At times the fox can be seen saying phrases such as “F*!xing Genius,” or “Mind F*!ing Blown,” for a play on words with, well you know. But those same ads are also quick to point out to readers “we said foxing.” So Mint Mobile has used a play on the “F” word to its advantage to garner attention where other brands were afraid to use it. And it has certainly noticed around the web where they first began to advertise.

Mint Mobile Creative Display Advertising Example
Mint Mobile F*!ing Marketing Examples With Old Mint Mobile Phone Plan Rates

Mint doesn’t often run TV commercials, but when they do, they make sure they reach a large audience. Mint Mobile’s Super Bowl commercial featuring “chunky milk” raised eyebrows and consumer awareness of the brand when it aired.

The company is also partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds. Having an owner that’s also a famous actor with millions of followers on social media also helps a lot with free to low cost advertising.

4). Invest Heavily In Customer Support

This one could seem counterintuitive. A lot of smaller brands and even some bigger ones often skip out on putting together a good customer support team. They do this to cut costs and to try and increase profits for themselves. But Mint Mobile takes a different approach here. According to Aron, they make big investments in “Care” which is how the brand refers to customer care/customer service.

Having a great customer care team seems to help the brand to be able to retain customers. Returning customers are also cheaper than acquiring new ones. But those happy customers can lead to brand growth through their recommendations to friends. It’s like free advertising. And the money saved on advertising is money saved on the cost of the plans.

5). Focused On Innovation

Mint Mobile does have its own backend software solutions that help it to keep costs down for itself and its customers. They also developed their own app available on Android and iOS. Engineers continue to work to innovate and improve efficiency and costs.

6). Mint Mobile Doesn’t Have Its Own Network

Mint Mobile does not have its own wireless network. Instead, Mint uses T-Mobile’s network to provide service to its customers. Without a network of its own, Mint Mobile does not have to spend money on nationwide network infrastructure build-outs and upkeep. That’s all left to T-Mobile. And once again, the money saved here gets passed onto customers.

7). No Roaming Agreements With Other Carriers

Unlike carriers such as AT&T, DISH, T-Mobile, and Verizon, which own and operate their own wireless networks, Mint Mobile lacks roaming agreements with other providers. This means in areas where T-Mobile has not built out its network, Mint Mobile users will have no coverage. T-Mobile customers, however, might still receive coverage due to T-Mobile’s operating agreements with other carriers, allowing the use of their networks in such areas. By not investing in roaming agreements, Mint Mobile can maintain its competitive pricing.

8). No Priority Data

Mint Mobile’s wireless plans do not include any priority data. Without priority data, in locations where T-Mobile’s network is congested, you may experience slower data speeds with Mint Mobile compared to other customers on T-Mobile’s network that do have priority data. You may be more likely to run into this issue if you use Mint Mobile on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network or 5G Extended Range network (your phone’s status bar will say 5G when on this network). Fortunately, T-Mobile’s 5G Ultra Capacity network (your phone’s status bar will say 5G UC when connected) is available to nearly 300 million people. Mint Mobile customers on this network are far less likely to notice data speed changes when connected to this network which offers the fastest data speeds possible on T-Mobile, and the most capacity.

Mint Mobile’s Cheap Phone Plans

And after all of that, here’s a summary of what Mint Mobile’s cheap plans look like.

5 GB
Mint Mobile
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts
  • 5GB Hotspot
15 GB
Mint Mobile
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts
  • 15GB Hotspot
20 GB
Mint Mobile
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts
  • 20GB Hotspot
40 GB
Mint Mobile
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts
  • 10GB Hotspot

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T Murphy

The 35 GB column has a typo and should read 35 GB Hotspot, not 5GB Hotspot.

Aimee OH

I’m not exactly sure how they’ve invested heavily in customer support – is that a joke? I’ve been a Mint customer for 3 years. Their customer support is atrocious. Unfortunately, if you have a problem, they are likely to wash their hands of you > they will not escalate your case to someone more knowledgeable. And they don’t have weekend hours, so if something happens on the weekend to your service, you’re screwed. Most recent example: I purchased an unlocked used iPhone. I was able to transfer over all data successfully, however, I could not get the cell service to… Read more »

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