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- Pay as you go — no contracts or credit checks required
- Boost Mobile now uses T-Mobile’s cellular network
- Unlimited data plans are slightly cheaper than competitors
- All plans come with six-month TIDAL subscription
- Most phones are discounted by about $100
With more than nine million customers, Boost Mobile is one of the most popular prepaid phone companies in the U.S. It’s only gotten better in recent months, too. DISH recently purchased Boost from Sprint, which will put it on T-Mobile’s network for the next seven years — a significant upgrade in terms of coverage and reliability.
Like all prepaid cellphone plans, you’ll pay for everything upfront with Boost Mobile, and you’ll only pay for what you use — that means no overage fees or roaming charges. Prepaid plans generally have lower prices than postpaid plans from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, and you won’t have to sign a contract or go through a credit check.
The tradeoff is you won’t get the same deals on new phones. Boost Mobile does offer some discounts on new phones, but the most you’ll save is $100. With postpaid carriers, you can often get the latest phones for free when you commit to paying them off over two years.
Boost Mobile phones
Boost offers discounts of about $100 on most new phones — less than you’d typically save by adding a new line on AT&T or Verizon, but still cheaper than retail.
Most prepaid phone companies have a smaller selection of phones than their post-paid counterparts, and Boost is no exception. You currently only have 29 phones to choose from with Boost, compared to more than 40 from AT&T and 60 from Verizon.
That said, Boost does have a lot of the most popular phones out there, including most iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. What’s more, you’ll get discounts on every phone that Boost has, and they’re often cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere. Here’s how Boost’s prices compare on seven of the top phones:
|Phone||Boost Mobile||Retail price|
|iPhone 12 Pro||$1,000||$1,000|
|iPhone 11 Pro||$900||$900|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max||$1,000||$1,000|
|Samsung Galaxy A10e||$80||$180|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 5G||$900||$1,000|
Prices updated 11/03/20
*Monthly payments and new Unlimited line required
In general, Boost’s cellphone prices are cheaper than T-Mobile’s, but more expensive than AT&T and Verizon. But unlike those carriers, you won’t have to open a new line and commit to paying it off for two years to get Boost’s phone discounts. You can also find a number of deals on phones when you visit a Boost Mobile store in-person.
Boost Mobile insurance
Boost Mobile is one of the few wireless carriers that offers phone insurance, which it calls Boost Shield. This program costs an extra $7/mo. on top of your monthly bill, and covers things like water damage, cracked screens, theft and lost phones. To use Boost Shield, you’ll have to sign up within 30 days of activating your new phone.
BoostUP! phone financing
Once you’ve made 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments with Boost, you’re eligible for its phone financing program. The devices that are available through this program change over time. Right now, you can get a Samsung Galaxy A20 ($250 retail price) for a $1 down payment and 18 monthly payments of $12.
Boost Mobile plans
Boost’s plans are a little confusing, but they come with perks you don’t often see from prepaid wireless companies.
Boost Mobile has seven plans to choose from, all of which come with unlimited talk and text. Here’s how your options break down:
|Plan||Price||Data allowance||Hotspot||Six months of TIDAL||Video streaming|
|1GB||$10/mo.||1GB||Shared with 1GB mobile data||✔||480p|
|2GB||$15/mo.||2GB||Shared with 2GB mobile data||✔||480p|
|5GB||$25/mo.||5GB||Shared with 5GB mobile data||✔||480p|
|10GB||$35/mo.||10GB||Shared with 10GB mobile data||✔||480p|
|Shrink-It!||$45/mo. (discounted to $35 after six on-time payments)||15GB||Shared with 15GB mobile data||✔||480p|
All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/03/20.
Boost has two plans for $35/mo. — one with 15GB of data and one with 10GB. So why wouldn’t you go with the plan that gets you more data?
If you go with Boost’s 15GB Shrink-It plan, your price will get cut by $5 after three months of on-time payments, then another $5 after another three months. So after six months, you’ll be paying $35/mo. for 15GB of data — the cheapest price any prepaid carrier offers for that amount of data.
How do Boost Mobile’s prices compare?
Its limited data plans are also pretty inexpensive, but you can find cheaper plans elsewhere. Boost has four limited data plans for $30, $35 and $45/mo. — only $5 cheaper than its unlimited plan — with an average price of about $8 for every GB of data. For comparison, Mint Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and T-Mobile all charge around $4 per GB.
|Carrier||Price per GB*||4GB or less||5-9GB||10-25GB||Unlimited|
|UNREAL Mobile||$3.19||$15 (3GB)||$20 (8GB)||$25 (12GB)||–|
|Mint Mobile**||$3.19||$15 (3GB)||$20 (8GB)||$25 (12GB)||$30|
|Metro by T-Mobile||$4.00||–||–||$40 (10GB)||$50-$60|
|Red Pocket||$4.03||$19 (3GB)||$30 (8GB)||$40 (20GB)||$60|
|Net10||$4.24||$20 (2GB)||$35 (5GB)||$40 (10GB)|
|Straight Talk Wireless||$4.40||–||$35 (5GB)||$45 (25GB)||$55|
|U.S. Cellular||$5.00||–||$40 (8GB)||–||$55-$65|
|T-Mobile||$5.50||$15 (2GB)||$25 (5GB)||$40 (10GB)||$50-$85|
|Simple Mobile||$5.67||$25 (3GB)||$30 (5GB)||$40 (15GB)||$50-$60|
|Boost Mobile||$5.80||$10 (1GB)|
|$25 (5GB)||$35 (10GB)|
|H2O Wireless||$5.89||$20 (2GB)||$30 (6GB)||$40 (15GB)||$50-$60|
|Page Plus Cellular||$7.50||$30 (3GB)||$40 (8GB)||–||$55|
|Verizon||$8.75||–||$55 (5GB)||$65 (10GB)||$65-$90|
|FreedomPop||$8.92||$17 (1GB) $25 (4GB)||–||$35 (10GB)||$55|
|Ultra Mobile||$9.00||$19 (1GB) $23 (2GB)||$29 (5GB)||$39 (15GB)||$39|
|Credo Mobile||$9.15||$50 (3GB)||$55 (9GB)||$70 (15GB)||$70|
|Cricket Wireless||$9.50||$30 (2GB)||–||$40 (10GB)||$55-$60|
|Republic Wireless||$9.75||$20 (1GB) $25 (2GB) $30 (3GB) $35 (4GB)||$40 (5GB) $45 (6GB) $50 (7GB) $55 (8GB) $60 (9GB)||$65 (10GB) $75 (12GB) $90 (15GB)||–|
|AT&T||$10.00||$30 (2GB)||$40 (8GB)||–||$50-$85|
|Total Wireless||$11.33||$25 (1GB)||$35 (5GB)||$50 (25GB)||–|
|Tracfone||$14.17||$20 (1GB) $25 (2GB) $30 (3GB)||–||–||–|
|Consumer Cellular||$16.83||$25 (0.5GB) $30 (3GB)||–||$40 (10GB) $50 (15GB)||$60|
|Google Fi||$18.80||$30 (1GB) $40 (2GB) $50 (3GB) $60 (4GB)||$70 (5GB) $80 (6GB)||–||$70|
*Unlimited plans not factored in.
**Introductory rates, also available with 12-month renewal
All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/06/20.
That doesn’t mean Boost isn’t a good option for prepaid plans — the extra cost could be offset by its extra perks or cellphone deals — but if you’re looking for the lowest possible phone bill, Boost probably isn’t your best option.
Boost Mobile deals
Boost has some of the best deals of any prepaid phone company, including a free six-month subscription to TIDAL HiFi.
As we covered above, many of Boost’s phones are discounted by as much as $100. But there are plenty of other perks like streaming subscriptions to entice new customers, too.
Boost throws in a six-month subscription to TIDAL HiFi, a $20/mo. value on its own. What’s more, music streaming from TIDAL, Spotify and Pandora won’t count against your data cap on Boost’s limited data plans.
You’ll also have access to Boost Perks, a rewards program for Boost Mobile customers that gets you deals from companies like Papa John’s, AMC Theaters, Sam’s Club and Hotels.com.
Boost Mobile coverage and speed
Boost Mobile now uses T-Mobile’s cellular network, which has solid coverage, reliability and speed.
One of the biggest downsides to Boost’s service has always been its coverage — especially if you live outside of an urban area. For more than a decade, Boost has run on Sprint’s network, which almost always gets the worst coverage scores from third-party testing firms.
But with DISH Network finalizing a deal for Boost in July, Boost will now use T-Mobile’s network for the next seven years — a significant step up from Sprint. Boost’s coverage is strongest on the East Coast, with more sporadic coverage in western cities.
|Ookla Consistency Score||79.2%||73.8%||79.7%||66.1%||79.2%|
|RootMetrics Overall Performance||86.9||94.8||93.2||86.7||86.9|
|OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience||8.7||9.7||9.3||8.2||8.7|
|Consumer Reports Data Score||Good||Good||Fair||Fair||Very good|
|Consumer Reports Reception Score||Good||Good||Poor||Poor||Good|
Things may improve even further as Boost moves off of T-Mobile’s network and onto DISH’s, but Boost customers probably won’t start to see those benefits for several years. Until then, you’ll still get solid internet, talk and text coverage from T-Mobile’s network.
How is Boost Mobile’s 5G network?
Currently, T-Mobile’s (and by extension Boost’s) 5G network ranks dead last out of the wireless carriers. In both OpenSignal and Ookla’s tests, T-Mobile’s network came in last for 5G speed. However, OpenSignal ranked it first for availability, finding that T-Mobile’s users had 5G access nearly 20% of the time, compared to only 0.5% for Verizon.
How does Boost Mobile compare to other prepaid carriers?
With cheap unlimited plans, a decent wireless network and solid sign-up deals, Boost Mobile ranks in the middle of the pack for customer satisfaction.
|Carrier||Consumer Reports Reader Score||J.D. Power Purchase Experience||ACSI Score|
|Metro by T-Mobile||83||843||74|
Boost Mobile is a slightly above average wireless company in almost every way. You can find cheaper prices elsewhere, but Boost’s plans are generally reasonably priced, and you’ll get good discounts on phones when you sign up.
Across 21 prepaid companies, Boost’s price per GB is $8.29 compared to a median of $8.15. It’s unlimited data plans start at $50, compared to $55 on average.
How do Boost’s customers actually feel about their service? Overall, pretty happy. Boost didn’t rank as high as other prepaid services on customer satisfaction surveys from Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and the ACSI, but it still received decent scores.
Boost Mobile customer service
It’s never fun spending time trying to reach your phone company, but Boost makes it pretty easy. You can contact a representative a few different ways:
- Phone: 866.402.7366
- Online chat
- Community forums
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boostmobile/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/boostcare
Boost Mobile FAQs
Who owns Boost Mobile?
Boost Mobile was officially sold to DISH Network on July 1, 2020. As a part of the deal, all Boost customers will have access to T-Mobile’s cellular network for the next seven years. DISH is also working on building out its own network of cell towers, so Boost customers may switch to DISH’s network before that seven years is up. Before the sale to DISH, Boost had been owned by Sprint since 2005.
What network does Boost Mobile use?
Since July 1, 2020 Boost Mobile has used T-Mobile’s network. Before that, it had used Sprint’s. As DISH builds out its own wireless network in the coming years — in particular its 5G network — Boost customers will begin using those cell towers.
Can you keep your phone when you switch to Boost?
You can bring your phone over to Boost, but you’ll need to unlock it with your current wireless carrier first. If your phone was made in the last few years, this shouldn’t be a problem, as it will likely be universally compatible. You can check ahead to see if your phone will work on Boost’s network by entering your device ID.
How do I talk to a live person at Boost Mobile?
It is excruciatingly difficult to get a live person on the phone at Boost, but it can be done. Here’s how you do it:
- Dial 866.402.7366.
- Enter your phone number or select “*” to go straight to the main menu.
- Choose option 5, “to locate a store or anything else.”
- After the bot has read all the menu options, press 0.
- Press 3 for technical support or 0 for customer service.
- Select option 2 to speak with a customer care representative.
It’s also fairly easy to get a hold of a live representative on Facebook, Twitter or Boost’s online chat feature.
Should you switch to Boost Mobile?
You can find good cellphone deals through Boost Mobile, and the six months of free TIDAL HiFi is one of the best sign-up promotions you’ll find with any wireless company. But it’s worth looking into other prepaid companies like Mint Mobile, Consumer Cellular and Cricket Wireless before you commit to Boost. Most customers report higher levels of satisfaction with those providers, and you can often find cheaper plans, especially if you don’t need unlimited data.
*Originally written 07/29/20. Last updated 11/03/20.
Written by:Joe Supan
Senior Writer, Wireless & Streaming Content
Joe oversees all things wireless and streaming for Allconnect. His work has been referenced by McAfee, Fox network and more. He has utilized thousands of data points to build a library of… Read more
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