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US Mobile Starter Kit with two SIM cards

No two people are exactly alike, and US Mobile has taken that idea and run with it. You can customize your plan or go for unlimited access, and both options are incredibly affordable. It’s an MVNO, though it’s not bound to a single network. Intrigued? Read on, it only gets better from here.

When you boil it down, US Mobile only offers two plans — one with limited access and another with unlimited. You can also choose between two distinct networks for GSM or CDMA service. We’ll walk you through the details and touch on the selection of phones you can use. Let’s get building.

See also: Best phone plans | best prepaid plans

US Mobile at a glance

In the grand scheme of things, US Mobile is a relatively mature MVNO, having launched in 2015. It’s an independent operation and relies on Verizon for CDMA coverage as well as T-Mobile for GSM connections. You may not find a coverage map, but you can check which network is available near you on this page.

As a newer MVNO, US Mobile isn’t easy to track down over at the Better Business Bureau, and that might be a good thing. The page we did find for the carrier’s headquarters location was less than glowing. It’s brandishing a solid F-rating and there are no customer reviews at all. As for complaints, it’s closed a grand total of four in the last three years. The lack of reviews isn’t too big of an issue though, carriers rarely seem to have great customer comments at the BBB.

US Mobile plans

us mobile unlimited all discounts

Credit: US Mobile

In the simplest terms, there are just two ways to build your plan. You can either get unlimited service or save money by limiting your access. However, there are so many tiers in terms of talk and text that it be overwhelming to decide. We’ve cleaned things up in this table, so check out the basics here first:

TalkTextData
0 minutes - $00 texts - $00 data - $0
75 minutes - $250 texts - $1.5050MB - $1.50
150 minutes - $3100 texts - $2100MB - $2
300 minutes - $4300 texts - $3500MB - $5
500 minutes - $51,000 texts - $41.5GB - $10
700 minutes - $62,000 texts - $52.5GB - $15
Unlimited minutes - $8Unlimited texts - $65GB - $20
8GB - $26
Unlimited talk and text - $10Unlimited talk and text - $10Unlimited talk, text, and data - $40

Build a plan

US Mobile’s bread and butter is the Build Your Own Plan feature. You can build a custom plan for each member of your family, with as much or as little talk, text, and data as they need. If you wanted the bare minimum but you needed all three, you could technically craft yourself a plan for as little as $5 per month.

To make the custom plans just a bit better, each one comes with ludicrous speeds that can reach up to 250Mbps as well as hotspot access up to your data cap. You’ll likely find the most value if you keep your usage low, as the top tier of each service will put you at a $37 per month plan.

Highlights:

  • Select your own talk, text, and data limits for each member of the family
  • Custom plans come with Ludicrous 250Mbps speeds as well as hotspot access

Best for:

  • Users who want to save some money by placing caps on their service.

Unlimited Talk and Text

If you find yourself choosing the unlimited tiers of talk and text in a custom plan, you may want to consider the Unlimited Talk and Text plan instead. It bundles the two together and adds data to the mix at a much cheaper rate than if you picked the data yourself. You can opt for either an unlimited plan with 2.5GB of 4G LTE data for $15 per month or jump up to 10GB along with unlimited talk and text for $30 per month.

Of course, you could try to recreate either one as a custom plan, but it’ll cost you at least $10 extra and you won’t get the same data cap. Unfortunately, these unlimited talk and text plans eschew hotspot access — though you can pay to add it — but at least Ludicrous speeds are still included.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy unlimited talk and text along with solid data caps at lower prices
  • Ludicrous speeds are included though hotspot costs extra

Best for:

  • Users who need loads of talk and text, but not necessarily all of the data

Unlimited All

The high-end US Mobile plan may have just launched itself onto the podium of best family plans thanks to a new set of discounts. At $40 for one line, $30 for a second line, and $20 each for the third and fourth lines, US Mobile offers one of the most accessible unlimited plans around. Your basic $40 payment will get you access to the standard Fast speeds, though you can splurge and get Ludicrous speeds or add a hotspot for $5 and $10 respectively.

Once you start to create a family plan — or at least add three lines of unlimited to an account — you’ll get to start adding streaming perks to the mix. It’s like a grown-up goodie bag and you get one perk with three lines of service or two perks when you add a fourth. The list is fairly extensive as well, offering Spotify Family, HBO Max, the Disney Plus bundle, and Xbox Live Gold to name a few.

Highlights:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data at a low, family-friendly rate
  • Add your choice of streaming perks with three and four line plans

Best for:

  • Families who make the most of their usage and want a new streaming perk

Which US Mobile plan is right for you?

US Mobile Starter Kit

We say it often when recommending plans, but the best plan for you is probably the one that fits your usage. With US Mobile, it’s very easy to build a flexible plan, but most families will find themselves drawn towards the new unlimited plan discounts. You can also get early 5G access with a special plan, though it costs extra and you’re not really guaranteed to be on a 5G network at all times.

If you can get away with limited caps on talk, text, and data, then do it to save some money, but it’s tough to find a more affordable unlimited setup. US Mobile is also making a modernization push with an in-depth app and brand new usage insights. You’ll be able to see how much data you use and adjust your plans accordingly right inside the app.

US Mobile vs the competition

Ting MVNO carrier stock photo

US Mobile’s ability to use both GSM and CDMA networks places it at a distinct advantage over the competition. We’ll see how US Mobile fares against Google Fi and Ting, as both offer the ability to build a plan or pay as you go. Mint Mobile also makes the cut as another independent carrier that emphasizes affordability on the T-Mobile network.

Check out the table below before you dig into the plans:

 US MobileGoogle FiTingMint Mobile
CostBuild a plan from as low as $5
Unlimited starts at $40 per month
Flexible plan starts at $20 for one line and $10 per GB of data
Unlimited starts at $70 per line
$6 per line for monthly access plus various usage costsIntroductory plans start at $15 per month
Renewals cost $25 per month
Talk & TextAs little as 75 minutes and 50 texts
Up to unlimited
UnlimitedUse what you needUnlimited
DataAs little as 50MB
Up to unlimited
Pay per GB on the Flexible plan
Unlimited up to 22GB on the Unlimited plan
Use what you need3GB
8GB
12GB
HotspotIncluded with custom plans
Available with unlimited plans
Full-speed available at per GB rate
Full speed available with unlimited
AvailableIncluded with your data cap
InternationalUp to 10GB of free data, low rates around the worldFlexible includes unlimited texts, low rate for calls, $10 per GB
Unlimited includes data and texts, low rate for calls outside of included list
Calling included to 60 countries at no extra costCalling to Mexico and Canada
ExtrasAdd perks with three or four lines of unlimitedBill protection with the flexible plans
Google One membership with Unlimited plans
NoneSeamless 5G data access

Google Fi

Google Fi isn’t owned by a single carrier, and that’s good news for you when it comes to service. Fi supports an absolutely massive list of phones, covering options from many major US manufacturers as well as Huawei and even Red Hydrogen. As for the plan, Google Fi’s unlimited plan is a great international option. You can call over 50 countries and territories for free, and contact with other areas can start at just one penny.

Ting

Ting, like US Mobile, is a per-use powerhouse. Instead of naming your price before you start, Ting will only charge you the $6 monthly access fee and you’ll pay for the talk, text, and data used at the end of the month. You won’t find much in the way of bonus perks, but it’s tough to top Ting’s prices.

Mint Mobile

If you’re looking for solid options with limited data plans, Mint Mobile is an affordable alternative. You can opt for 3GB all the way to 12GB, and each plan is less than $45 per month for one line. There are no streaming perks like Netflix or Hulu, but long term plans can slash your prices even lower.

Want similar service from another carrier?

Metro by T Mobile logo on phone stock photo 2

Though the last section primarily focused on carriers that are closest to US Mobile, what if you want a pre-built plan on a similar network? That’s where Visible and Metro by T-Mobile come in. Each one offers an alternative for the two main US Mobile networks — Verizon and T-Mobile. Check out the table for some quick info before you dive into each carrier.

 US MobileVisibleMetro by T-Mobile
Cost$40 for one line
$70 for two lines
$90 for three lines
$110 for four lines
$40 per line$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Talk and TextBuild your own or go unlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DataSelect a cap or go unlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Host NetworkVerizon
T-Mobile
VerizonT-Mobile
InternationalFree international data up to 10GBNoneAvailable
ExtrasHotspot available
Streaming perks with three or four unlimited plans
Mobile hotspot100GB Google One storage
Amazon Prime
15GB Mobile hotspot

Visible

Visible, like Metro, is a wholly-owned subsidiary carrier. However, it relies on the Verizon network and swaps some of the perks for a lower base price. There’s only one plan to choose, and it offers unlimited talk, text, and data. The plan also allows for hotspot access, but there are no international add-ons and Verizon makes no mention of 5G access.

Party Pay is what really sets Visible apart, as you can join three other friends and each pay as little as $25 per month. One late payer doesn’t hurt the others, and you’ll all save money. Visible has no physical stores though, so customer service can be a challenge.

Highlights:

  • One plan, one rate
  • Everything is unlimited

Metro by T-Mobile

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

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

Highlights:

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

What phones can you use?

Black iPhone 11 Pro on a gray iPad Pro

Credit: Adam Molina / Android Authority

Although it’s pretty easy to bring your own device to most MVNOs, US Mobile is a bit lacking in terms of the phones it will sell you. Die-hard iOS users will be happy to know that you can get any device from the iPhone 11 family, including the new iPhone SE. You can step back a generation as well and go with the iPhone XR if you want.

See also: The best Android phones

On the Android side of things, you can pretty much only get a refurbished Moto G6 Play or the LG Rebel 3. Not all hope is lost though, SIM cards cost just $4 if you want to bring a device with you. The easiest way to tell if your device will work on the US Mobile network is with band support. Check out the list of requirements below:

FrequencyBandNetwork Supported
1900MHz22G
1700/2100MHz44G LTE
700MHz124G LTE

Also, US Mobile is one of the first carriers to launch a CDMA-less option on its Super-LTE network, which should mean fewer dropped calls and faster texts.

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