Boost Mobile sticks out from other Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in that they offer not only low monthly rates, but also some perks to go with them. In these respects, we’d say Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans can compete with some of the Big 4 carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint) - and for some people Boost Mobile may be even better.
However, since Boost is a prepaid MVNO that runs on Sprint’s network, you will find more limitations. Even so, it can be a great choice for saving on your monthly bill and streaming music.
But for whom is Boost best? Read on to find out everything to know about Boost Mobile’s plans, coverage, phones, hotspots, deals, and more.
Boost Mobile: Plans + Pricing
|3GB 4G LTE||3GB|| ||$35/mo.||View plans|
|Unlimited Gigs||Unlimited|| ||$50/mo.||View plans|
|Boost Unlimited Plus||Unlimited|| ||$60/mo.||View plans|
|Ultimate Unlimited||Unlimited|| ||$80/mo.||View plans|
Subscribers get a solid selection of Boost Mobile prepaid plans to choose from: 4 to be exact. That’s comparable to most of the major carriers and more than some that other MVNOs provide. And although initially the Ultimate Unlimited plan’s price seems high, take a closer look at what it includes.
You can’t penalize the carrier for providing a higher-priced plan on the top end – you get a 50GB hotspot for that price. That’s better than Verizon and T-Mobile’s top-tier 20GB hotspot options, each of which costs the same or more for less.
Only Sprint offers an equivalent hotspot to Boost Mobile’s best option.
Boost’s limited-data option – the 3GB plan – is right in line with industry prices, though. And the cool thing that Boost offers with that one (and every other plan minus “Unlimited Gigs”) is free music streaming.
A quick caveat on music streaming
But a quick note about that: you only get free music streaming – i.e. it doesn’t count toward your data cap – if you use one of the music companies Boost partners with.
And strangely, if you check out Boost Mobile’s prepaid “Plans” page on their website, the Unlimited Gigs plan doesn’t include this free streaming – but every other plan does. It’s an odd omission.
Multi-line discounts, international service, and deals
Boost Mobile does well for an MVNO when it comes to handing out discounts for multi-line plans – comparable even to the big networks.
For example, with the 3 Gigs plan, you save $5 per line for every line you add – which means 4 lines costs you just $120 bucks. And the savings only get better.
Each of the unlimited plans save you $20 per month per line you add; a plan with 5 lines saves you $80 bucks a year across the board. Nice.
When it comes to international texting and calling, though – you’re out of luck with Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans. But you can grab a $5 a month add-on for unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada plus 8GB of data while you’re there.
Or, grab a $10 international add-on for those plus calling and texting to even more countries.
Boost also has some great specials going on right now, too – check out our Q&A at the bottom of the page to find out more.
Right now, pick up any of Boost Mobile’s plans and you get a FREE Tidal music subscription for 6 months.
Boost Mobile: Coverage + Performance
MVNOs lease space off of the major networks’ cellular towers; in Boost Mobile’s case, that means Sprint. Coverage and performance-wise, you’ll get about the same level of service as with Sprint, but that comes with some caveats.
- As an MVNO subscriber rather than a direct Sprint customer, when the network gets congested, you’ll see your speeds slowed down (data deprioritization);
- Sprint is in 4th place of the Big 4 carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint) for performance and coverage, according to OpenSignal’s latest tests.
With that said, data deprioritization is always a risk when you choose an MVNO – it’s a fact of life. In addition, if you live in or near a city or metro region, you probably won’t even notice a difference – Sprint is great when you’re in populated areas. It’s primarily rural areas (like the West) where you may see dropped signals and slow speeds.
In either case, check out Boost’s coverage tool to find out for yourself the level of service you might have available to you.
Boost Mobile: Devices
|Brand||Sample phones||View more|
|Apple||iPhone XR, iPhone 6s, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhon 7 Plus, etc||View more|
|Samsung||Galaxy A10e, J3 Achieve, J7 Refine, Galaxy A20, Galaxy S10e, etc||View more|
|Miscellaneous||LG Tribute Empire, Tribute Dynasty, LG Stylo 5, Coolpad Legacy, Legacy Go, Snap, Motorola e6, Wiko Ride, etc||View more|
Boost does well with devices: they offer the flagship and latest from Apple and Samsung, alongside pre-owned and options from other brands. In fact, behind Straight Talk, Boost Mobile has the largest selection of devices of any MVNO.
However, Boost’s bring-your-own-phone program has some weird limitations to it.
Boost’s limitations aren’t obvious when you go to the BYOP page on their site, so it’s best to pop your device ID into the search bar and find out for yourself.
Boost Mobile: Customer Service
The cell phone industry does not have a good reputation for its customer service – just check out this forum for a few nasty words.
However, we also found some great reviews elsewhere, like these:
But by J.D. Power’s estimates, Boost comes in about average.
Of course, you’ll have to decide for yourself. And in any case, Boost’s online experience and support resources are good. You can check out their FAQs, ask questions on the Community Forums, or contract company reps in several ways:
- Phone: 1-866-402-7366
Recap: Is Boost Mobile Good?
Boost Mobile’s plan options are solid: their unlimited data options are spot-on for price, hotspot data reaches levels far past nearly all of even the major carriers, and perks like free music streaming are a nice addition to the MVNO.
However, since Boost operates on Sprint’s network, you may find spotty coverage depending on your region, as well as slow-downs when the network gets busy.
But overall, Boost Mobile is a great MVNO. They blend the features common with these smaller carriers – like no contracts and cheaper rates – with some of the things we’ve come to expect from traditional carriers – perks and hotspot data.
Is Boost Mobile GSM?
No. Boost Mobile runs on Sprint’s network, which is CDMA. A GSM-compatible phone will not work with Boost (unless it’s also CDMA-compatible).
Are there any overages or fees for going over your data limit?
No. If you go over the data limit (on the 3 Gigs plan), your data speed will simply be slowed down.
Are Boost Mobile’s unlimited plans really unlimited?
Yes and no. Boost Mobile’s one caveat to their unlimited plans is that during “network congestion” your data may be slowed down. That can apply at any time.
Does Boost Mobile have any deals going on?
Yes. Right now, when you grab Unlimited Plus you get the international add-on included for free. You can also check out their “Deals” page here for discounted phones, but Boost is also running some deals on their plans: