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Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless: Which carrier is for you?

One network is excellent for families, the other is great for hotspots. But which should you choose?

Published onMarch 30, 2023

Boost Mobile logo on phone stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Beyond the big three US carriers with sprawling infrastructure and coverage, there are no shortage of MVNOs in the US offering great prepaid deals. These networks strip the fat and provide the essentials for budget-minded shoppers. Two options in this category are Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless. Both operators offer a great selection of plans and devices and cover a vast swathe of the US. But which should you pick? Find out more in our Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless comparison.

Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless: Pricing and plans

Boost Mobile plansCricket Wireless plans
Limited data plans
Boost Mobile plans
Stackable Rate Plans:
$15 per month

$25 per month

$35 per month

Cricket Wireless plans
$30 per month

$40 per month
$35 per month with Auto Pay
$70 per month for two lines
$90 per month for three lines
$110 per month for four lines
$130 per month for five lines

Unlimited data plans
Boost Mobile plans
Unlimited Plans:
35GB (12GB mobile hotspot):
$50 per month for one line
Additional line for $30 per month

35GB (30GB mobile hotspot):
$60 per month for one line
Additional line for $40 per month
Cricket Wireless plans
$55 per month
$50 per month with Auto Pay
$80 per month for two lines
$90 per month for three lines
$100 per month for four lines
$125 per month for five lines

Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot:
$60 per month
$55 per month with Auto Pay
$90 per month for two lines
$110 per month for three lines
$130 per month for four lines
$160 per month for five lines

Immediately after browsing the plans above, you’ll notice that Boost Mobile dips to a much lower price point than Cricket Wireless. The latter’s cheaper offering starts at $30 per month with 5GB of data, while Boost Mobile’s cheaper plan includes 2GB of data for $15 per month. It’s worth noting that Boost Mobile’s equivalent 5GB plan comes in at $5 cheaper than Cricket, and this pricing differential is apparent throughout the range.

Interestingly, you can shave off $5 for all but the cheapest plan on Cricket Wireless when using its Auto Pay payment method. This will effectively charge the full amount due each month. With this option selected, Cricket Wireless reaches price parity with Boost across several plans. For instance, with Auto Pay activated, Cricket Wireless’ 10GB plan costs the same as Boost Mobile’s 10GB plan.

However, things change when you factor in multiple lines. While Boost Mobile lets users pick and choose plans for their own family plan, Cricket Wireless offers lower monthly rates when selecting multiple lines under the same plan. For instance, a family of five pays $130 per month or $26 per line for the 10GB plan. Want a similar setup on Boost Mobile? You’ll end up paying $45 more per month for the equivalent.

The value balance changes somewhat when considering the two carriers’ unlimited plans. Boost Mobile’s entry-level plan in this segment fetches $50 per month for 35GB of high-speed data, 12GB of which can be used for mobile hotspot purposes. Users can add an additional line for $30 per month. Cricket’s entry-level unlimited option starts at $55 per month, and includes no data cap. Cricket seems a better option for larger families, with five lines on the $55 plan demanding just $25 per line.

However, Boost Mobile’s top-tier Unlimited Plan will entice those seeking multi-device connectivity while traveling. Its $60 per month plan includes 35GB of data, but 30GB is available for hotspot use. This is compared to the equivalent plan from Cricket, which only allocates 15GB for this purpose. Cricket’s perks may sway you somewhat. The premium tier includes HBO Max with ads, and gain access to 150GB of cloud storage.

Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile’s plans offer unlimited calls and texts if you don’t care much about data. Cricket’s unlimited service also works in Canada and Mexico without additional premiums, provided less than 50% of your allotted data, calls, and text usage originate from beyond the border in a three-month period. You may be suspended from the network if you go beyond this figure. Nevertheless, the seamless North American roaming agreement makes Cricket a better option for brief cross-border trips. Boost does offer roaming plans but at an additional cost.

Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless: Coverage

Boost Mobile covers much of the US, especially the mid-west and eastern seaboard. You may find less reliable network availability in western states, but major cities are supported without issue. Check out Boost Mobile’s coverage map here.

Cricket Wireless has access to AT&T‘s network, and its impact on its coverage is clear. There are few blindspots on the mainland US, with coverage extending as far north as Baffin Bay, Canada, and south as Tapacula, Mexico. Cricket has Boost beaten on this particular measure. Find its coverage map here.

Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless: Phone selection

samsung galaxy S23 plus front
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Cricket Wireless doesn’t have many phones on offer, but its spread is broad. Buyers can opt for budget devices like the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, Moto G 5G (2022), the mid-range Galaxy A53 5G, or the range-topping iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Boost has more devices on its roster, but it lacks the latest iPhone range. Instead, you can opt for the iPhone 13. Regarding Android flagships, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 are available. Additionally, Boost Mobile includes several older flagships, like the Galaxy S21, iPhone Xs, and Galaxy S10.

If you don’t like these options, both Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless allow you to onboard using your own device. You can check your device’s compatibility with Boost Mobile here, and with Cricket Wireless here.

Which carrier is better for you?

Cricket Wireless stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

When faced with Boost Mobile vs Cricket Wireless, which carrier should you opt for? There’s no clear winner across every category, but each network wins prizes in select scenarios.

Boost Mobile is the better bet if you’re looking for the cheapest plan, and don’t require oodles of data. The $15 package undercuts Cricket Wireless’ cheapest offering by $15, even if the latter does offer 3GB more data.

Cricket Wireless makes it easier (and cheaper) for larger families to get set up. Its 10GB package can go as low as $26 per line for five users. Boost Mobile offers no such discounts for multiple Stackable Rate plans, but it does allow for more flexibility when connecting these plans.

Boost Mobile offers multitaskers more mobile hotspot data with its unlimited plans, trumping Cricket Wireless by 15GB with its premium offering. However, Cricket does lump in some enticing value adds, like HBO Max with ads and cloud storage.

Cricket Wireless covers you if you regularly cross the northern and southern borders, while Boost has a much broader spread of devices available to purchase.

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