Piggy bank

AT&T’s Killer Deals On Prepaid Plans

AT&T tweaked its prepaid plans a little while back. I think some of the current offerings are awfully good for people who want a balance between cost and performance.

AT&T’s prepaid plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 8GB of data is a particularly good option. This plan has enough data for most people, and as best as I can tell comes with the same level of priority during network congestion as most of AT&T’s postpaid plans. The plan has a base price of $50 per month, but there are several ways it can be purchased at a significant discount.

  • $40 per month on a month-to-month plan with automatic payments enabled
  • $33 per month with three months paid upfront
  • $25 per month with 12 months paid upfront

The plan is a solid competitor to Mint Mobile’s popular 8GB plan. Mint’s plan is priced a bit differently. New customers or those purchasing a year of service upfront can get Mint’s plan for as low as $20 per month.[1] While Mint’s plan can be a bit cheaper, the carrier runs over T-Mobile’s network, which has a smaller coverage profile than AT&T. Mint subscribers will also have low priority data access, which could lead to slow speeds during periods of network congestion.

AT&T is also offering a pretty great deal on one of its prepaid unlimited plans. With automatic payments enabled, AT&T’s Unlimited Data Plus plan is only $50 per month. Unlike a lot of prepaid unlimited plans, subscribers on this plan will have high-priority data for the first 22GB of data use each month.

Verizon To Offer Student Discounts

Starting July 2, Verizon will offer student discounts on its postpaid, unlimited plans. Students enrolled in programs of higher education (undergraduate, graduate, or vocational programs) can take advantage of $10 per month off of one line of service or $25 off of two lines of service. As far as I can tell, students on plans with three or more lines will not be eligible for any discount.

Verizon website screenshot

Verizon has a page on its website about the new discount. Here are further details on the offer’s terms, per Verizon:

For eligible students actively enrolled (including online enrollment) in a U.S. secondary educational institution of higher learning, including undergraduate, graduate, and/or vocational school or institution. Approved verification documents req’d. Offer good for a max of four (4) years as long as annual eligibility evaluations are met. Discount limited to max of 2 phone lines. Eligible students must be account owner or account manager; one offer per account. Cannot be combined with most offers.

Mint Mobile’s iPhone SE Promotion

Mint Mobile is running a promotion on the iPhone SE. For $720, customers can get an iPhone SE and two years of cell phone service on Mint’s 3GB per month plan. Customers who want more data can pay an extra $120 for 8GB of data or an extra $240 for 12GB of data.

Customers have the choice of either paying outright or paying 12-24 monthly installments through Mint’s partner Affirm. If a customer’s credit is good enough, they may not have to pay Affirm any interest. On a 24 month plan with zero interest, a customer would pay about $30 per month for the iPhone SE and Mint’s 3GB plan.

I recommend avoiding paying for phones on installment plans, and this latest promotion isn’t an exception. That said, there is something unusual worth pointing out here. Typically, I think Mint only lets customers finance phones through Affirm. With this promotion, customers can effectively finance both their phones and their service with Affirm.

The iPhone SE is usually priced at about $400. Mint’s promotional bundle has a base price of $720. Two years of Mint’s 3GB plan would typically cost $360. You can think of the promotion as discounting the iPhone SE’s price by $40 (from $400 to $360).

While I’m a big fan of Mint, I don’t think this promotion is a great deal. In most situations, I don’t think a savings of $40 justifies locking yourself into a long-term arrangement with a wireless carrier.

If you take advantage of Mint’s promotion, you’ll be charged a $32.50 recovery fee during checkout. This fee isn’t for the iPhone SE. It’s consistent with the recovery fee Mint usually charges on wireless plans.[1]

Tracfone’s $40 Per Year Plan

Tracfone is offering a super cheap annual plan through its eBay store. For $39.99, customers can get a plan with:

  • 365 days of service
  • 1200 texts
  • 1200 minutes
  • 3GB of data
  • Service over AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile’s network

The allotments of data, texts, and minutes last for an entire year and do not renew each month.

It’s awesome to see that the offer is available on AT&T and Verizon’s extensive networks. As I understand it, Tracfone will ship a SIM card for each of the three networks, and subscribers can then choose which network to use.

This is one of the best deals I’ve seen for an extremely low-use plan. Unlike some of the other companies offering ultra-cheap plans, I have a lot of faith in Tracfone. I’ve gone ahead and ordered a plan, and I expect to post an update once I’ve had a chance to trial the service. I don’t know how long this deal will be around for. Tracfone has suggested it’s a limited time offer.

Tello Offering 50% Off To Subscribers From Virgin Mobile

Tello, an MVNO running over Sprint’s network, is offering 50% off the first month of service for subscribers that switch from Virgin Mobile. As I’ve previously discussed, Virgin Mobile is in the process of shutting down and will transfer its subscriber base to Boost Mobile.

Tello’s new promotion is available to customers who enter “VIRGIN” as a coupon code during checkout. A bit more information about the promo can be found on Tello’s website.

Tello is an extremely low-cost operator, and it may be a convenient option for subscribers leaving Virgin Mobile. Since both Virgin and Tello run over Sprint’s network, most people won’t encounter device compatibility issues when migrating from Virgin. According to the information I received, the promotion is set to run until February 10.

Mint Mobile’s Super Bowl Promo: A Retrospective

During the Super Bowl, Mint Mobile was offering new customers three months of free service. In my earlier post about the promotion, I said that I thought the deal wouldn’t have any serious catches or gotchas that made it less appealing. Sure enough, that’s how things panned out. I really appreciate that Mint Mobile doesn’t engage in gimmicks to nickel-and-dime its customers.

As expected, new customers were able to get free service, a free SIM card, and free shipping:

Mint Checkout

Before the promotion launched, I wondered whether Mint Mobile would try to push people into plans that renewed automatically. I’m happy with the approach Mint took. On the checkout page for the promotion, Mint conspicuously featured details about its auto recharge program. While the auto recharge box was checked by default, the program was clearly explained, and the box was easy to uncheck:

Mint Mobile Auto Recharge

Promotion duration

In my last post, I wrote:

It sounds like the promotion will last for something like 3-5 hours. Mint is suggesting that the promotion will end when the final whistle blows at the end of the Superbowl (though I won’t be shocked if the promotion stays available for a bit longer).

Sure enough, Mint extended the promotion. Here’s a screenshot from Mint’s website last night:

When I checked Mint’s website shortly after midnight on the West Coast, the promotion looked like it was still running. When I checked Mint’s website this morning, the promotion was over.

Mint Mobile Offering 3 Months Free During The Superbowl – No Serious Catches

Mint Mobile is going to run a huge promotion this Sunday during the Superbowl. Once the game starts (around 3:15PM PST), new customers can go to mintmobile.com/free/ to get 3 months of service for free on Mint’s plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB of data per month. The promotion doesn’t appear to involve any serious catches. There’s no long-term commitment or device purchase required.

Those who take advantage of the promotion will need to give Mint a credit card number and temporarily pay a $0.01 charge. Here’s how Mint explains it:

This 3-month 3GB plan is 100% on us. There is just a $0.01 temporary payment verification to verify the credit card used is valid. And even that will be refunded within 5-7 business days.

It sounds like the promotion will last for something like 3-5 hours. Mint is suggesting that the promotion will end when the final whistle blows at the end of the Superbowl (though I won’t be shocked if the promotion stays available for a bit longer).

This promotion looks like an awesome deal for people who want to try Mint. I’ll be surprised if there end up being any unexpected catches or gotchas.

Terms

Here are some more details about the terms of the promotion.

  • Only one person per household may take advantage of the promotion.
  • Service must be activated within 45 days.
  • As usual, Mint will allow subscribers to port existing numbers or receive new numbers.
  • As with Mint’s other plans, if you use up your 3GB data allotment, you can continue using additional data at very slow speeds.
  • If you want more than 3GB of high-speed data, you can upgrade by paying the prorated difference between the 3GB plan’s price and the price of a plan with a larger data allowance.
  • After the 3 free months are over, you can purchase further service according to Mint’s standard plans and prices.

Reynolds’ tweet

Actor Ryan Reynolds, an owner of Mint Mobile, tweeted about the promotion earlier today:

Ryan Reynolds tweet about Mint Mobile's 3 months free promotion

T-Mobile Launches New Test Drive Program

In the last couple of days, T-Mobile has begun a new trial program. Non-customers can get a mobile hotspot along with 30 days of service and 30GB of data at no cost.

The program provides an easy option for people to test how well T-Mobile’s network could work for them. Once a hotspot is turned on, users can connect their existing phones and devices via Wi-Fi. The hotspots are compatible with LTE band 71, so hotspot users can experience the benefits of T-Mobile’s new Extended Range LTE signal.[1]

What’s the catch? As far as I can tell, there isn’t one. Signing up is easy, no credit card is required, and it’s not even necessary to return the hotspot at the end of the trial. I’ve joined the program, and I’ll probably post again in about a month with an update on my experience.

You can sign up for the program here. T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, discusses the program in more detail in the video below.

Cell phone in use

AT&T Prepaid 8GB Promo Plan

Disclosure: At the time of writing, I have a financial relationship with AT&T. However, I don’t believe I receive commissions on prepaid service plans.


AT&T recently began offering its prepaid plan with 8GB of data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts for only $300 ($25 per month) for those who are willing to purchase 360 days of service upfront. According to AT&T, this promotion is a limited time offer that’s set to end on October 21, 2019.

If you’re willing to purchase nearly a year of service all at once, this is an awfully good deal for a large data allotment on AT&T’s network. My own experience with AT&T’s prepaid service when I trialed it a few months ago was positive.

The $300 base price may not be the final price of 360 days of service. If you need to order a SIM card, that comes with an additional charge. When I went through the checkout process and indicated that I needed a SIM card shipped to Boulder, CO, my final price came to $305.43:

  • $300 for service
  • $4.99 for a SIM card
  • $0.44 in sales tax

In the grand scheme of things, the final price was awfully close to the base price. With a lot of carriers, I’d expect to see more extensive taxes and fees beyond the base price of service.

Additional details about the AT&T plan:

  • Mobile hotspot access is included. Hotspot use draws from regular data allowances.
  • Rollover data is included (only one month of unused data will rollover).
  • AT&T’s Sponsored Data deal is offered. Certain types of data use won’t count against monthly data allotments.

Comparison with Mint Mobile’s pricing

At $25 per month, a year of AT&T prepaid service with 8GB of data is competitive with the cost of a year of Mint Mobile’s 8GB service. Mint Mobile currently charges $20 per month on annual 8GB plans. Taking advantage of a current promotion, customers can get six months of Mint Mobile service for only $60.

While Mint Mobile continues to offer a lower monthly price, it may make sense for many people to spend a few extra dollars each month to access AT&T’s network. At the national level, AT&T’s network offers more extensive coverage than Mint Mobile’s service over T-Mobile’s network.

Mint Mobile Fox Mascot

Mint Mobile’s 6 Months For The Price Of 3 Deal

In this post, I discuss a promotion Mint Mobile is running. I think Mint Mobile is an excellent carrier for many people, but I’m not impartial. I receive commissions from Mint Mobile. If you purchase Mint service after clicking a link on my website, I’ll likely receive a commission (further details here).


Today, Mint Mobile began a new promotion on its plan with unlimited talk, unlimited texts, and 8GB of regular data each month. New customers that purchase 3 months of service at $20 per month during the promotional period will get an additional 3 months of service for free. In other words, $60 (plus taxes and fees) buys six months of service.

Taking advantage of the deal will not lock customers into longer service terms with Mint. After 6 months, subscribers can cease using Mint Mobile’s service with no penalty. Alternatively, customers can continue service at Mint’s regular rates, which vary based on the number of months of service purchased. Here are the current prices for the 8GB plan:

  • 3 months: $35 per month
  • 6 months: $25 per month
  • 12 months: $20 per month

The current deal is only available on Mint Mobile’s plan with 8GB of data. If Mint’s 3GB plan is sufficient for your data usage, consider purchasing the 8GB plan during the 6-month promotional period then renewing with the 3GB plan.

Mint Mobile described the promotion as its best deal ever. I think that’s accurate. $10 per month for unlimited talk, unlimited texts, and 8GBs of data is an awfully good deal.

Mint calls the deal a “limited time offer,” but I haven’t heard when the promotion will end. I share extensive details about Mint Mobile in my review of the service.