Mint Mobile’s Pre-Black Friday Promo

Today, Mint Mobile launched a promotion where new customers can purchase a three-month plan and get three extra months of service at no cost. The latest promotion stacks with Mint’s existing introductory offer allowing new subscribers to buy three months of service at the monthly rate normally reserved for subscribers that purchase twelve months of service upfront.

Mint Mobile promotional image for the pre-Black Friday deal

With the combined offers, Mint’s plan with 3GB of data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts costs only $45 for six months (or $7.50 per month). While I haven’t seen an official end date for the latest promotion, I expect it’ll run until at least Black Friday (November 27).

Pricing

Total prices for six months of service (before taxes and fees):

  • 3GB plan – $45
  • 8GB plan – $60
  • 12GB plan – $75
  • Unlimited plan – $90

Effective monthly prices for the first six months (before taxes and fees):

  • 3GB plan – $7.50
  • 8GB plan – $10
  • 12GB plan – $12.50
  • Unlimited plan – $15

The final price of Mint’s services will typically be about 10% higher after taxes and fees. You can find additional details or subscribe on Mint’s website.

AT&T’s “Free” iPhone 12 Offer

AT&T will be offering the iPhone 12 for pre-order starting on October 16. The phone will be available for regular ordering online and in stores on October 23. AT&T is running a big promotion that can make the phone kinda-sorta free for both existing customers and new customers.

Customers that buy the iPhone 12 on a 30-month installment plan and trade-in a phone AT&T values at $95 or more are eligible for 30 monthly bill credits that effectively cancel out the cost of installments. Customers that cancel service before the 30 installments are complete will be responsible for paying off the remaining cost of the iPhone 12.

Customers wanting to take advantage of the promotion must meet two more conditions:

  • Customers must be “well-qualified” according to AT&T’s criteria.
  • Customers must subscribe to one of AT&T’s postpaid, unlimited plans.

Is it really free?

While the promotion is a great deal, there are two senses in which the iPhone 12 won’t truly be free. Customers that take advantage of the promotion will still need to pay a $30 activation fee. Further, the eligible trade-in devices are limited.

While $95 doesn’t sound like a lot relative to the iPhone 12’s purchase price of $800, only fairly recent phones make the cut. AT&T values the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 at less than $95, so those devices won’t work for the promotion. The iPhone 8 and Galaxy S9 are among the oldest phones that are eligible. You can see how AT&T values different trade-in phones here.

AT&T Prepaid Adds 6 Month Option To Its 8GB Plan

In one of my recent posts, I discussed the awesome deals AT&T is offering on its prepaid plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 8GB of data each month. At the time I wrote the post, AT&T offered the plan with three different price structures:

  • Month-to-month payments ($40 per month)1
  • Three months purchased upfront ($33 per month or $180 total)
  • One year purchased upfront ($25 per month or $300 total)

Now, AT&T has added another option. Customers that purchase six months of service upfront can get the 8GB plan for $30 per month.

Before AT&T added the six-month option, I was comparing AT&T’s plan to Mint Mobile’s 8GB plan. The plans look even more similar now that both carriers offer 3, 6, and 12-month payments options.

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