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How does Mint Mobile international roaming work, and is it worth it?

Mint Mobile offers international roaming, but the rates are on the high side.
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Published onJanuary 22, 2024

Stock photo of Mint Mobile fox on phone with money 1

In the last few years, we’ve seen international roaming become more common on MVNO carriers, including Mint Mobile. Mint Mobile international roaming works a bit differently from some of the other options on the market. In this brief guide, we explain how Mint Mobile international roaming works, if it’s worth it, and some possible alternatives.

Mint Mobile International rates and how it works

Mint Mobile has an UpRoam feature that lets you use calls, texts, and data. That said, it’s something you have to prepare ahead for. The Mint Mobile app lets you buy $5, $10, or $20 credit increments to use for roaming. These credits never expire.

The good news is you don’t have to worry about unexpected overages like you might when using international roaming on a postpaid carrier. The bad news is the rates for data are very poor, to say the least. Here are the exact rates below:

CallsTextData
Traveling to Canada & Mexico
Calls
$.06 per minute
Text
$0.02 per text
Data
$.06 per MB
Traveling to 160 other countries
Calls
$.25 per minute
Text
$.05 per text
Data
$.20 per MB

The talk and text rates are quite good, especially in Canada and Mexico. It’s the data rate that’s the absolute killer. An entire gig in Canada will set you back $60, and an even more outrageous $200 per gig for other nations.

Is Mint Mobile international roaming worth using?

Honestly, we wouldn’t recommend using Mint Mobile as your sole international traveling plan unless you’re willing to blow thousands of dollars in roaming. Considering you’re on a Mint Mobile plan, odds are you are trying to cut costs, not add unnecessary ones!

Mint Mobile international roaming is best for those who just need to send a few texts back home or make calls back home. Data use is so expensive we’d only recommend it in an absolute emergency — like using an internet connection for map data on your GPS app of choice.

If you plan to be in areas with good Wi-Fi availability, maybe that’s more than enough for you. Otherwise, you might consider pairing your Mint Mobile service with a local carrier’s data-only plan. That said, you’ll have to switch out SIM cards unless you have a dual SIM phone or a free e-SIM slot.

The best Mint Mobile alternatives for international roaming

Looking for another carrier with better international roaming? You could consider going with T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon but you’ll be paying a lot more per month for service. If you’re still looking to keep costs low, there are a few prepaid services that could fit the bill as well. We highly recommend Google Fi Wireless in particular. The Google-owned carrier provides free calling and texting to Canada and Mexico from within the US on all its plans. Unlimited Plus (starting at $65 per line) gives you even more, including calls in 50 countries, and unlimited data in over 200 countries.

Another decent Mint Mobile alternative is US Mobile. The US Mobile Unlimited Premium plan includes 10GB of international data a month. That’s in addition to 100GB of premium data for use in the US, 50GB hotspot access, and more. All of this starts at just $45 a line.

For other potential options be sure to check out our guide to the best prepaid phone plans.