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Boost Mobile buyer's guide: Pricing, plans, and more

Boost Mobile's new plans hope that you're ready to crush your current carrier.
By
May 20, 2022
Boost Mobile logo on phone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Boost Mobile was Sprint’s top MVNO in the years before the T-Mobile merger. Now, it’s become the flagship member of Dish Network’s mobile service. However, it’s still Boost at heart and definitely worth your money. If you have a long list of carrier-based questions, this handy guide should help put your mind at ease.

See also: The best Boost Mobile deals

Like most MVNOs, Boost doesn’t go for post-paid service, but we’ll walk you through all of your pre-paid options. A network isn’t complete without the proper device either, so we’ve covered some of your best bets there, too. Finally, we’ve added information on other cost-saving MVNOs for you to consider.

Boost Mobile at a glance

Boost began its journey as an Australian carrier in 2000 before coming to the United States in 2001. It was acquired by Sprint Nextel in 2005 and began launching unlimited plans in 2006. Boost remained with Sprint until 2020, when it passed to Dish Network as part of the merger with T-Mobile. All previous Sprint-based customers will slowly transition to the T-Mobile network while new customers automatically use T-Mobile service.

 We also tracked down Boost Mobile at the Better Business Bureau and found that it currently has an A-plus rating with the organization. This is relatively rare for a carrier, though it does carry just over a one-star average review with customers. That average comes from 143 reviews, and Boost has closed 1,162 customer complaints in the last 12 months. You can check out the entire coverage map right here.

Pre-paid Boost Mobile plans

As mentioned before, there are no post-paid plans available through Boost Mobile, but there are quite a few pre-paid options and add-ons available. None of the plans include baked-in international access, but you can add calls and texts for as little as $5 per month. All available plans include Boost Perks for giveaways, deals, and more. Since its move to Dish Network, Boost has even added more affordable low-capacity data plans.

Boost has also joined the Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP, which helps to provide reduced-cost cell service to qualifying families and individuals. You can learn more about the application process and discounts here.

You have a total of seven plans to choose from, so get the quick facts from the table below:

2GB Plan5GB Plan10GB PlanGo UnlimitedGo Unlimited PlusCarrier Crusher
Cost
2GB Plan
$15 per month
5GB Plan
$25 per month
10GB Plan
$35 per month
Go Unlimited
$50 for one line
$80 for two lines
$110 for three lines
$140 for four lines
Go Unlimited Plus
$60 for one line
$100 for two lines
$140 for three lines
$180 for four lines
Carrier Crusher
As low as $8.33 per month
Talk and Text
2GB Plan
Unlimited
5GB Plan
Unlimited
10GB Plan
Unlimited
Go Unlimited
Unlimited
Go Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Carrier Crusher
Unlimited
Data
2GB Plan
2GB 4G LTE
5GB Plan
5GB 4G LTE
10GB Plan
10GB 4G LTE per month
Go Unlimited
Unlimited
Go Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Carrier Crusher
1GB per month
Up to unlimited
Hotspot
2GB Plan
Included up to data cap
5GB Plan
Included up to data cap
10GB Plan
Included up to data cap
Go Unlimited
12GB included
Go Unlimited Plus
30GB included
Carrier Crusher
Up to 12GB included
International
2GB Plan
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
5GB Plan
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
10GB Plan
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Go Unlimited
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Go Unlimited Plus
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Carrier Crusher
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Extras
2GB Plan
Available to new in-store customers only
5GB Plan
Available to new customers only
10GB Plan
Standard Definition streaming
Go Unlimited
Tidal for 6 months
Standard Definition streaming
Go Unlimited Plus
Tidal for 6 months
High Definition streaming
Carrier Crusher
None

Limited-capacity data plans

The most affordable way to make the switch is to get one of the limited data plans. You get unlimited talk and text along with up to 10GB of data to do whatever you want. It’s a great plan as long as you know you can stay below the cap, but your data access cuts off entirely when you hit that limit. The available limits include 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB, and the cost of each plan increases by about $10 as you go.

Highlights:

  • Starts at just $15 per month per line
  • Up to 10GB of 4G LTE data per line for any purpose

Best for:

  • Low data users looking to save some money

Go Unlimited

If you want truly unlimited access, but you may not be as worried about top-end speeds, the Go Unlimited plan is the way to go. You’ll get as much talk and text as you could want and 35GB of top-speed access to the 4G LTE and 5G networks. It’ll also cost you just $30 to add a new line of service afterward.

Starting at just $50 per month, you’ll also have access to 12GB of high-speed hotspot data and six months of Tidal streaming.

Highlights:

  • 35GB 4G LTE or 5Gaccess
  • 12GB of hotspot with each line

Best for:

  • Data users who don’t want limits but don’t need top-end streaming speeds

Go Unlimited Plus

All of you speed demons considering a switch to Boost Mobile should head right for the Go Unlimited Plus plan. You can use your unlimited talk, text, and 35GB of high-speed data however you please, and each line comes with 30GB of high-speed hotspot access. Six months of Tidal access are on par with the other options, but the streaming speeds set Go Unlimited Plus apart.

If you’re itching for some music, you’ll be able to stream at 1.5Mbps. Gaming streams at an impressive 8Mbps, and video is available in high definition 1080p resolution. It’s the media lover’s mobile plan.

Highlights:

  • 30GB of hotspot access per line
  • The fastest streaming speeds on Boost Mobile

Best for:

  • Users who spend all day streaming with their phones

Carrier Crusher

Boost Mobile is trying something new with its latest batch of plans. The goal is to help you save on the cost of your phone bill by paying a few months at a time. It calls the setup its Carrier Crusher, and you can get service for as little as $8.33 per month. That works out to $100 per year and grants unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data per month.

Of course, you can work your way up with 5GB of data for $15 per month, paid three or six months at a time, or $14 per month when you pay one year at a time. Finally, Boost has an unlimited Carrier Crusher for $30 per month, paid every three months. The limited-data plans offer a hotspot up to your cap, while the unlimited versions top out at 12GB per month.

Highlights:

  • Save big when you pay multiple months at a time
  • Up to unlimited data without the high costs

Best for:

  • Users who want to save money on their mobile service

Boost Mobile Add-ons and hotspot plans

Basic service might not be enough for all users, so Boost Mobile has various options to add to your service. Add-ons range from an HD boost to safe tracking for your family. The prices will vary, though, so be careful how many you add.

Check out the table for prices:

PerkCost
International Services
$5 per month for Todo Mexico Plus
$10 per month for International Connect Plus
Boost Shield
$7 per month
Secure Wi-Fi
Free app plus $2 per month subscription
HD Buy Up
$10 per month
Safe and Found
$7 per month
Call Screener Plus
$3 per month
Visual Voicemail
Basic is free
Ad-free is $0.50 per month
Premium is $2.99 per month
AirG
Free app
$5 per month for VIP
50GB Hotspot Plan
$50 per month
K Health
$7.99 per month

International Services

One of the only drawbacks to Boost Mobile’s plans is the lack of international access. If you want to call Canada, Mexico, or any other country, it will cost you. The Todo Mexico Plus add-on offers unlimited talk and text to and from Mexico and unlimited calls to Canada. You can also take 8GB on the road with you for a trip south of the border.

The more expensive International Connect Plus plan swaps roaming access for unlimited landline calls to 70 countries and 200 minutes for mobile calls in 50 countries. If you want to call other countries or you burn through your minutes, International Connect Plus slashes rates for 200 or more destinations.

Boost Shield

Let’s face it — drops happen. Even with a heavy-duty case on your phone, it’s crucial to have a little extra protection. Boost Shield adds insurance for physical damage and McAfee software for a layer of digital security. At just $7 per month, it’s more affordable than having to replace a screen or pick up a brand-new phone.

Secure Wi-Fi

Along with Boost Shield’s added security, Secure Wi-Fi offers protection while you browse online. Whether you’re on a private network or at a public coffee shop, Secure Wi-Fi works somewhat like a VPN and protects your passwords as well as your sites.

HD Buy Up

Since you’ve already gone through each one of the plans Boost has to offer, you’ve probably noticed a lack of high-definition options. HD Buy Up can change that, though, and turns your standard definition quality into luxurious 1080p content. This add-on kicks music streaming up to 1.5Mbps levels and gaming up to 8Mbps levels too.

Safe and Found

The COVID-19 lockdowns have made it pretty easy to keep track of your family members, but they — probably — won’t last forever. Once your family can venture back out into the world, it might offer some peace of mind to know where they are and receive emergency alerts. Safe and Found also adds parental control functionality to other devices on your account.

Call Screener Plus

Before you answer any phone call, you probably look to see who’s calling. Unfortunately, the answer is often spam. Call Screener Plus helps save some of that wasted time by analyzing numbers and eliminating likely spam options for you. You might be able to screen your mother-in-law too, but we can’t advocate for family chaos.

Visual Voicemail

If you skip on Call Screener Plus or get a high volume of voicemails, you may want a visual option to keep track of them. After all, it can be hard to understand the messages you receive sometimes. The Visual Voicemail takes each phone message and converts it into text so you can read it for all of the correct details.

AirG

AirG is another add-on that’s perfect for the COVID-19 age. It’s an app that lets you connect with people near and far to play games and write in forums. Don’t worry, though; there’s a kid-friendly version where your little ones can play educational games with no ads or in-app purchases.

50GB Boost Mobile Hotspot

Another add-on you might consider when you join Boost Mobile is a 50GB hotspot plan. Sure, all of the plans offer a built-in hotspot, but none of them comes close to a 50GB capacity. You can work from anywhere or stream movies on long car rides to keep your kids calm in the back seat. Boost also has a Coolpad Surf hotspot device if you need a way to host your data.

K Health

One final option to add to your plan makes it easier than ever to get in touch with a doctor. K Health serves as your telehealth gateway 24/7 to get affordable answers regarding your health. However, you’ll have to download the K Health app and wait for activation from Boost before you can proceed.

Which of Boost Mobile’s plans is right for you?

Boost Mobile switch button

It’s tough to recommend one Boost Mobile plan for all users. Instead, you’ll have a better time weighing your needs against our table above. If you plan to use mountains of data wherever you are, go for an unlimited option. 

The loss of the Shrink It! plan means that the 10GB limited data is the best way to go if you’re not ready to spend on heaps of data. It comes in at just $35 per month with unlimited talk and text to round things out. Choosing an unlimited plan primarily depends on how much data you plan to use on a hotspot. The Unlimited Plus option offers significantly more and higher-quality streaming for just $10 more per month.

Now, the Carrier Crusher offers an enticing alternative if you’re willing to pay for multiple months of service at one time. It can slash your bill below $10 per month, but it’s nice to know that unlimited data is always an option, too.

Boost Mobile plans vs the competition

Metro by T Mobile logo on phone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Comparing Boost Mobile to the competition is an interesting task right now. It used to rely on Sprint, but now new customers will be using the T-Mobile network until Dish gets its structure in place. For the time being, it aligns closest with Metro by T-Mobile, Visible, Cricket Wireless, and Google Fi as far as top alternatives are concerned. Check out the table below for a closer look at each option.

Metro by T-Mobile Better UnlimitedVisibleCricket Wireless Cricket MoreGoogle Fi UnlimitedBoost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Cost
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Visible
$40 per line
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$110 for three lines
$130 for four lines
Google Fi Unlimited
$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$45 for four lines
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
$60 for one line
$100 for two lines
$140 for three lines
$180 for four lines
Talk and Text
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
Unlimited
Visible
Unlimited
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
Unlimited
Google Fi Unlimited
Unlimited
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Data
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
Unlimited up to 35GB
Visible
Unlimited
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
Unlimited
Google Fi Unlimited
Unlimited up to 22GB 4G LTE
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Host Network
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
T-Mobile
Visible
Verizon
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
AT&T
Google Fi Unlimited
T-Mobile
US Cellular
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Sprint
T-Mobile
International
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
Available
Visible
Not Available
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
Mexico and Canada usage up to 50%
Texting to 37 countries
Google Fi Unlimited
Free calls to over 50 countries
Free texts and data abroad
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Add-ons available
Extras
Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited
100GB Google One storage
Amazon Prime
15GB Mobile hotspot
Visible
Mobile hotspot
Cricket Wireless Cricket More
Standard Definition streaming
15GB Mobile hotspot
Google Fi Unlimited
Full-speed hotspot
Google One membership
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
30GB of hotspot per line
Tidal Hi-Fi for six months

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro is its own carrier in many ways, but it’s wholly owned by T-Mobile and acts as an MVNO on the network. That means it can offer a unique set of plans with varying talk, text, and data at great rates.

The carrier’s unlimited plans include 100GB of Google One cloud storage, and the $60 plan comes with an Amazon Prime membership. Metro’s plans don’t have international service at the base price, but you can add talk and text to hundreds of countries for a fee.

Metro by T-Mobile has also recently joined the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP. This essentially offers a more affordable way for qualifying subscribers to access their smartphones. The basic 5GB plan becomes free, while all other plans are reduced by $30 per month.

Highlights:

  • 10GB 4G LTE data from $40 per month
  • Hotspot data included on unlimited plans
  • 100GB Google One storage with unlimited plans

Google Fi

A single carrier doesn’t own Google Fi, and that’s good news for you regarding service. The hybrid MVNO uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular towers to switch to the best signal available constantly. Fi supports a massive list of phones, covering options from many major US manufacturers and Huawei and even Red Hydrogen.

As for the plan, Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan is a tremendous international option. You can call over 50 countries and territories for free, and contact with other areas can start at just one penny. Each line gets unlimited data up to 22GB, a Google One membership, and full-speed hotspot tethering. If you want to save a few bucks, you can try the Simply Unlimited plan as well.

Highlights:

  • Impressive phone support
  • Plenty of international connection
  • Google One membership included

Cricket Wireless

Cricket’s most expensive option, the Cricket More plan, offers the best Cricket has to offer along with 15GB of a monthly hotspot. You can text 37 other countries, and you can even use your service in Canada or Mexico as long as it’s less than 50% of your overall usage.

Many of the best Cricket features are available as add-ons, so it’s easy to run your bill up by a few bucks. However, that’s the secret to unlocking Cricket’s full potential. Options include more hotspot data, better international access, and extra data on select plans. You’ll have to splurge on the high-end Cricket More plan if you want 5G speeds, though.

Highlights:

  • Customizable service with add-ons
  • 15GB of hotspot included

Visible

Last but not least, we have Verizon’s wholly-owned MVNO, Visible. Unlike the others, there’s just one plan to choose from, and it offers unlimited talk, text, and 4G or 5G data. You can use as much of that data for a hotspot as you please, and now you can call select North American neighbors.

One of the best reasons to choose Visible’s service is the revamped Party Pay feature. You can go in with up as many friends as you want, and you’ll each cut your bill down to $25 per month. If one of you pays late, it won’t impact the other partiers. If you have some family and friends that you’d like to bring along, you can refer up to 12 per year. Each time you bring a new user, both of you will pay just $5 per month.

Highlights:

  • One simple plan
  • Party Pay can save you $15 per month

Looking for other MVNOs similar to Boost Mobile?

US Mobile Starter Kit with two SIM cards

Boost Mobile is already an affordable alternative to the Big Three carriers, but what if it’s not for you? We can’t offer Sprint-based alternatives as the network is slowly converting, but you can consider many T-Mobile MVNOs. Here are a few of our favorites, broken down for easy skimming:

Google FiMetro by T-MobileMint MobileStraight TalkUS Mobile
Cost
Google Fi
Flexible plan starts at $20 for one line and $10 per GB of data
Unlimited starts at $70 per line
Metro by T-Mobile
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Mint Mobile
Plans start at $25 per month after intro promo
Straight Talk
Basic plans start at $30 per month
Unlimited plans start at $35 per month
US Mobile
Build your own plan for as little as $5 per month
Unlimited starts at $40 per month
Talk & Text
Google Fi
Unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile
Unlimited
Mint Mobile
Unlimited
Straight Talk
Basic plan includes 1,500 minutes
Unlimited on other plans
US Mobile
As little as 75 minutes and 50 texts
Up to unlimited
Data
Google Fi
Pay per GB on the Flexible plan
Unlimited up to 22GB on the Unlimited plan
Metro by T-Mobile
Unlimited up to 35GB
Mint Mobile
3GB for $25
8GB for $35
12GB for $45
Unlimited for $40
Straight Talk
Basic plan includes 100MB
Other plans range from 5GB to unlimited
US Mobile
As little as 50MB
Up to unlimited
Hotspot
Google Fi
Full-speed available at per GB rate
Full speed available with unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile
15GB included
Mint Mobile
Included with your data cap
Straight Talk
10GB hotspot included with unlimited (Not available with AT&T SIMs)
US Mobile
Included with custom plans
Add-ons available
International
Google Fi
Flexible includes unlimited texts, low rate for calls, $10 per GB
Unlimited includes data and texts, low rate for calls outside of included list
Metro by T-Mobile
Available as an add-on
Mint Mobile
Calling to Mexico and Canada
Straight Talk
Global calling cards available
US Mobile
Up to 10GB free
Traveller and Jetsetter add-ons available
Extras
Google Fi
Flexible plan has a monthly cost cap
Unlimited includes a Google One membership
Metro by T-Mobile
Google One membership
Amazon Prime membership
Mint Mobile
Free SIM Card
Straight Talk
None
US Mobile
Pick your perks with multi-line unlimited plans

Google Fi

We’ve already talked about the Google-owned MVNO as a direct competitor, but it also makes for a good budget option. Thanks to the low-cost, flexible plans, you can pay per gig of data and never go over a certain limit. It’s also an excellent option for travel abroad, with data and text included in many countries.

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro is another familiar face as it’s a half-sibling of Boost. It was the original T-Mobile-owned MVNO and offered similar perks for many of its plans. You might find that it’s easier to sign up for Metro, too, as it’s not undergoing the same network switch process.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile, the carrier owned by Ryan Reynolds, is an affordable alternative for service if you mainly want limited data. However, there’s a new unlimited plan that’s worth a second look. Limited plans range from 4GB to 15GB, and you’ll never pay more than $35 per month for one line of service. You may not get much by way of extra perks, but if you sign up for multi-month plans, you’ll save even more money.

Straight Talk

One of the easiest MVNOs to sign up for, Straight Talk, is available at most Walmart locations and supports most main carriers. You can choose a limited talk option with just a little data or spend more for unlimited service. Affordability is critical, so you’ll pay a bit extra for bonus features like international access, but Straight Talk is an easy way to grab the basics.

US Mobile

If you want a plan that’s perfectly tailored to your needs, US Mobile is the way to go. You can choose your ideal level of talk, text, and data for as little as $5 per month or go unlimited for $40. 5G access is even a standard feature on all plans now. When you add multiple lines of unlimited, you’ll get the chance to add subscription services like Disney Plus, Spotify, and Playstation Plus.

What phones can you use on Boost Mobile?

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion showing back of the phone in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Like many low-cost MVNOs, Boost Mobile skews towards affordable devices from many major manufacturers. You can get flagship favorites like the iPhone 11 family and the Samsung Galaxy S20, but here are some of your best chances to save money:

As you can see, there are plenty of budget-friendly devices available from Boost. If you want to dig into even more choices, check out our list of the best Boost mobile phones you can get.

If you love the phone you’ve got, it’s pretty easy to bring with you. You’ll have to remember that new customers will be on a T-Mobile-based version of Boost, so you’ll need a GSM phone. A CDMA phone would have worked months prior, but the merger and subsequent sale to Dish have changed that for good.

See also: The best Android phones | The best cheap Android phones

As with any carrier, band support is the most critical factor in bringing a phone. Check the table below for all of the T-Mobile 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE bands you’ll need to support a device.

FrequencyBandNetwork Supported
Frequency
39GHz
Band
N260
Network Supported
5G mmWave
Frequency
28GHz
Band
N261
Network Supported
5G mmWave
Frequency
1900MHz
Band
2
Network Supported
2G
3G
4G LTE
Frequency
1700/2100MHz
Band
4
66
Network Supported
3G and 4G LTE
4G LTE
Frequency
850MHz
Band
5
Network Supported
4G LTE
Frequency
700MHz
Band
12
Network Supported
4G LTE
Frequency
600MHz
Band
71
Network Supported
4G LTE
5G