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Mint Mobile's new switcher deal bundles an extra six months of service with a new phone

For a 4GB plan, it's a year's worth of service at the price of six months.

Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile has a new promotion and this time it isn't a one-day-only deal of a 25-year contract. On Wednesday the Ryan Reynolds-owned wireless carrier revealed a new offer for those looking to switch from another carrier and buy a new phone on one of its six-month plans. 

The deal, currently only available online and to new Mint customers, will include devices such as the iPhone 12, 12 Mini and SE on Wednesday. Aron North, Mint's chief marketing officer, tells CNET that Android devices including the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 as well as Google Pixel 4, will arrive next week. 

"Because of the global chip shortage we've had some challenges getting Android devices, however, they will be there within a week," he says. 

Other phones, including Samsung devices, will also be added to the promotion in the future.

Under the deal, you would in essence be getting $90 in credit towards your plan. For the 4GB plan, which normally runs $15 per month for new users, this would equate to paying for half a year's worth of service. 

Those looking for a plan with more high-speed data would get what amounts to a $90 discount applied to the plan they select at checkout. As the payment for service is due upfront, the carrier isn't doing any rebates or monthly bill credits. Instead, it will be sending out a SIM card with 12-months of service instead of a SIM card with six months of service after you place your order. 

Unlike traditional "postpaid" monthly plans from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile that allow you to pay a regular monthly bill, Mint requires you to prepay for its service. Once your introductory year is up you would need to purchase additional months, which is available in three-month, six-month or 12-month options. 

Renewing for a full year would keep the $15 per month rate for the 4GB plan, but switching to a six-month plan would raise the cost by $5 per month (to $20 monthly for the 4GB plan). Choosing the three-month option would raise the cost by $10, or $25 per month for this particular plan.  

Beyond the 4GB offering, Mint has plans with 10GB or 15GB of high-speed data per month as well as an option for unlimited data that runs $30 per month (if purchased on a 12-month plan). All plans include unlimited talk and text as well as access to 4G or 5G networks (the latter of which requires getting a 5G device like the iPhone 12, 12 Mini or OnePlus Nord N10 5G).

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's 4G LTE and 5G networks for its coverage and service. 

Those who don't want to outlay the total cost of the phones will be able to set up a monthly payment plan through the carrier and financing company Affirm. North anticipates users taking advantage of a 12-month financing plan, though an 18-month or 24-month option will also be available. 

As for why the carrier is now offering the promotion, North sees it as an "opportunity for disruption" when it comes to wireless promotions. In a bid to keep people tied to their networks carriers have become more aggressive in recent months with their device deals, offering free phones to both new and existing users so long as you commit to a 24-month or 30-month payment arrangement and are on a modern unlimited plan.

"When you look at the total cost of ownership over the course of two years... it's more expensive to get a free phone" from a larger wireless player, North says, "combined with their service than to get this deal with us."  

"So really what this was... this was a way to do something different, do something disruptive and get people thinking about like, 'wait, is that phone really free?'"