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US Mobile buyer's guide: Build a plan that's right for you

Choose your own talk, text, and data, and save a little money while you're at it.
By
March 15, 2022
US Mobile Starter Kit with two SIM cards

No two people are exactly alike, and no two people need the same phone plan either, at least not on US Mobile. You can completely customize your connectivity or go the safe route with unlimited service, and both options are affordable. It’s an MVNO, though it’s not bound to a single network. Intrigued? You don’t know the half of it yet.

In the simplest of terms, 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: The best phone plans | The best prepaid plans

US Mobile at a glance

US Mobile is a relatively mature MVNO compared to some competitors nowadays, having launched back in 2015. It’s an independent operation and relies on Verizon for CDMA coverage and 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.

Though it’s already six years old, US Mobile still 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 carrying a solid F-rating, and there are just five customer reviews. As for complaints, it’s closed a total of nine in the last three years. The small stack 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 plans
US Mobile

There are just two basic ways to build your US Mobile plan. You can either get unlimited service or save money by limiting your access. Better yet, all US Mobile plans now include Warp speed 5G access at no extra cost. However, there are so many tiers of talk and text that it can be overwhelming to decide. We’ve cleaned things up in this table, so check out the basics here first:

TalkTextDataUnlimited talk and text plus data
Talk
0 minutes - $0
Text
0 texts - $0
Data
0 data - $0
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and no data - $10
Talk
75 minutes - $2
Text
50 texts - $1.50
Data
50MB - $1.50
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and 1GB of data - $12
Talk
150 minutes - $3
Text
100 texts - $2
Data
100MB - $2
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and 5GB of data - $15
Talk
300 minutes - $4
Text
300 texts - $3
Data
500MB - $5
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and 12GB of data - $20
Talk
500 minutes - $5
Text
1,000 texts - $4
Data
1.5GB - $10
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and 18GB of data - $25
Talk
700 minutes - $6
Text
2,000 texts - $5
Data
2.5GB - $15
Unlimited talk and text plus data
Talk, text, and 30GB of data - $30
Talk
Unlimited minutes - $8
Text
Unlimited texts - $6
Data
5GB - $20
8GB - $26
Unlimited talk and text plus data

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 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 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 1GB of 4G LTE or 5G data for $12 per month or work your way to 5GB of data for $15, 12GB for $20, 18GB for $25, or top out at 30GB of high-speed data for $30 per month.

Of course, you could try to recreate any of these options 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 $45 for one line, $30 for a second line, and $25 each past the third line, US Mobile offers one of the most accessible unlimited plans around. Your basic $45 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 relatively extensive and offers 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 effortless to build a flexible plan, but most families will find themselves drawn towards the new unlimited plan discounts. You also get 5G access with all plans for no extra charge now, so powerful Warp speed 5G doesn’t have to be your deciding factor.

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

mint mobile header

US Mobile’s ability to run on 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
Cost
US Mobile
Build a plan from as low as $5
Unlimited starts at $40 per month
Google Fi
Flexible plan starts at $20 for one line and $10 per GB of data
Unlimited starts at $70 per line
Ting
$6 per line for monthly access plus various usage costs
Mint Mobile
Introductory plans start at $15 per month
Renewals cost $25 per month
Talk & Text
US Mobile
As little as 75 minutes and 50 texts
Up to unlimited
Google Fi
Unlimited
Ting
Use what you need
Mint Mobile
Unlimited
Data
US Mobile
As little as 50MB
Up to unlimited
Google Fi
Pay per GB on the Flexible plan
Unlimited up to 22GB on the Unlimited plan
Ting
Use what you need
Mint Mobile
4GB
10GB
15GB
Unlimited
Hotspot
US Mobile
Included with custom plans
Available with unlimited plans
Google Fi
Full-speed available at per GB rate
Full speed available with unlimited
Ting
Available
Mint Mobile
Included with your data cap
International
US Mobile
Up to 10GB of free data, low rates around the world
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
Ting
Calling included to 60 countries at no extra cost
Mint Mobile
Calling to Mexico and Canada
Extras
US Mobile
Add perks with three or four lines of unlimited
Google Fi
Bill protection with the flexible plans
Google One membership with Unlimited plans
Ting
None
Mint Mobile
Seamless 5G data access

Google Fi

A single carrier doesn’t own Google Fi, and that’s good news for you regarding service. 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 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 final price before you start, Ting offers a $10 Flex plan that grants as much talk and text as you need. Then you can pay just $5 per Gig of data you use. If that’s not your cup of tea, Ting also has Set 5, Set 12, and unlimited options to guarantee some data.

Mint Mobile

If you’re looking for solid options with limited data plans, Mint Mobile is an affordable alternative. You can grab 4GB all the way to unlimited data, and each plan is less than $35 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?

A Samsung Galaxy S9 in front of a brick wall with the Visible logo on the display.

Though the last section primarily focused on carriers 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
US Mobile
$40 for one line
$70 for two lines
$90 for three lines
$110 for four lines
Visible
$40 per line
Metro by T-Mobile
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Talk and Text
US Mobile
Build your own or go unlimited
Visible
Unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile
Unlimited
Data
US Mobile
Select a cap or go unlimited
Visible
Unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile
Unlimited
Host Network
US Mobile
Verizon
T-Mobile
Visible
Verizon
Metro by T-Mobile
T-Mobile
International
US Mobile
Free international data up to 10GB
Visible
None
Metro by T-Mobile
Available
Extras
US Mobile
Hotspot available
Streaming perks with three or four unlimited plans
Visible
Mobile hotspot
Metro by T-Mobile
100GB 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 perks for a lower base price. There’s only one plan to choose from, and it offers unlimited talk, text, and data. The plan also allows for hotspot access, and you can now dial to Canada and Mexico. Visible has even climbed onto Verizon’s Nationwide 5G network for even faster speeds.

Party Pay is what really sets Visible apart, as you can join as many other friends as you please, and each of you will 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 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.

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?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Apple iPhone 13 rear on table
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Although it’s pretty easy to bring your own device to most MVNOs, US Mobile is finally catching up with its own offerings. Die-hard iOS users will be happy to know that you can get the iPhone 13 series. You can step back a generation and go with the iPhone 12 or 12 Mini, too, if you want.

See also: The best Android phones

You can grab select Samsung Galaxy S22 series flagships or save some cash with a Galaxy A device. US Mobile recently added access to the Motorola Moto G series, as well as the Pixel 6 and the OnePlus 9 series. If you’d rather keep your current device, a SIM card costs just $4. 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
Frequency
1900MHz
Band
2
Network Supported
2G
Frequency
1700/2100MHz
Band
4
Network Supported
4G LTE
Frequency
700MHz
Band
12
Network Supported
4G 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.