Boost Mobile switch button

For a long time, Boost Mobile was the go-to Sprint MVNO for budget-friendly service. Now, Sprint has merged with T-Mobile and Boost has joined the Dish Network family. However, there are still plenty of reasons to leave your current carrier behind and make the switch. If you have a long list of carrier-based questions, this handy guide should help to put your mind at ease with a look at the best Boost Mobile plans.

See also: Best Boost Mobile deals

Like other MVNOs, Boost doesn’t offer post-paid service, but we’ll walk you through all of your pre-paid options. A network is nothing without the right device though, so we’ve covered some of your best bets there too. Finally, we’ve added options for some other cost-saving MVNOs for you to consider.

Boost Mobile at a glance

Boost began its journey as an Australian carrier in 2000 before coming to the United States in 2001. It was acquired by Sprint Nextel in 2005 and began launching unlimited plans in 2006. As a Sprint MVNO, the T-Mobile merger has played a key role in the future of Boost Mobile. The carrier is now part of the Dish Network family and all previous customers will slowly transition to the T-Mobile network while new customers will use T-Mobile service automatically.

The T-Mobile merger is likely to prove beneficial for the MVNO as new customers will be on the massive nationwide network without any extra hoops to jump through. You can check out the entire coverage map right here.

Pre-paid Boost Mobile plans

As mentioned before, there are no post-paid plans available through Boost Mobile, but there are a number of prepaid options and add-ons available. Although none of the plans include baked-in international access, you can add calls and texts for as little as $5 per month. All of the available plans include Boost Perks for giveaways, deals, and more. Since its move to Dish Network, Boost has even added more affordable low-capacity data plans.

You have seven plans to choose from, so get the quick facts from the table below:

  1GB Plan 2GB Plan 5GB Plan 10GB Plan Shrink It! Go Unlimited Go Unlimited Plus
Cost $10 per month $15 per month $25 per month $35 per month $45 per month
$40 after three on-time payments
$35 after six on-time payments
$50 for one line
$80 for two lines
$110 for three lines
$140 for four lines
$60 for one line
$100 for two lines
$140 for three lines
$180 for four lines
Talk and Text Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data 1GB 4G LTE 2GB 4G LTE 5GB 4G LTE 10GB 4G LTE per month 15GB 4G LTE per month
Can add data at any time
Unlimited Unlimited
Hotspot Included up to data cap Included up to data cap Included up to data cap Included up to data cap Included up to data cap 12GB included 30GB included
International Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Todo Mexico Plus available for $5 per month
International Connect Plus available for $10 per month
Extras Available to new in-store customers only Available to new in-store customers only Available to new customers only Standard Definition streaming Standard Definition streaming Tidal for 6 months
Standard Definition streaming
Tidal for 6 months
High Definition streaming

Limited-capacity data plans

The most affordable way to make the switch is to get one of the limited data plans. You get unlimited talk and text along with up to 10GB of data to do whatever you want with. It’s a great plan as long as you know you can stay below the cap, but your data access cuts off entirely when you hit that limit. The available limits include 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB and each of the first three options costs around $5 per gig.

Highlights:

  • Starts at just $10 per month per line
  • Up to 10GB of 4G LTE data per line for any purpose

Best for:

  • Low data users looking to save some money

Shrink It!

When you’re great at paying on time, you deserve to get rewarded for it. At least, that’s the idea behind Boost’s Shrink It! plan. Access starts at $45 per line per month, but after just three on-time payments it drops to $40. Three more on-time payments will knock another $5 per month off so you pay just $35. Even better, your on-time payments don’t have to be in a row so one late month doesn’t mean starting over.

Outside of the great price, the Shrink It! plan offers 15GB of high-speed data access as well as unlimited talk and text. You can use that data to feed a mobile hotspot and even add data packages as recurring monthly bonuses. However, those add-ons cannot be used as hotspot fodder according to the fine print.

Highlights:

  • Save money by paying on time
  • 15GB of expandable high-speed data

Best for:

  • Customers who pay on time and want a healthy pool of data

Go Unlimited

If you want truly unlimited access but you may not be as worried about top-end speeds, the Go Unlimited plan is the way to go. You’ll get as much talk and text as you could want, and unlimited access to the 4G LTE network. The only reason we point out the lack of top-end speeds is that music is limited to 500Kbps and gaming sticks to 2Mbps.

Starting at just $50 per month you’ll also have access to 12GB of high-speed hotspot data and six months of Tidal streaming.

Highlights:

  • Unlimited 4G LTE access
  • 12GB of hotspot with each line

Best for:

  • Data users who don’t want limits but don’t need top-end streaming speeds

Go Unlimited Plus

All of you speed demons who are considering a switch to Boost Mobile should head right for the Go Unlimited Plus plan. You can use your unlimited talk, text, and data however you please, and each line comes with 30GB of high-speed hotspot access. Six months of Tidal access are on par with the other options, but the streaming speeds really set Go Unlimited Plus apart.

If you’re itching for some music, you’ll be able to stream at 1.5Mbps. Gaming streams at an impressive 8Mbps and video is available in high definition 1080p resolution. It’s really the media lover’s mobile plan.

Highlights:

  • 30GB of hotspot access per line
  • The fastest streaming speeds on Boost Mobile

Best for:

  • Users who spend all day streaming with their phones

Boost Mobile Add-ons and hotspot plans

Basic service just might not be enough for all users, so Boost Mobile has a variety of options you can add to your service. Add-ons range from an HD boost to safe tracking for your family. The prices will vary though, so be careful how many you add.

Check out the table for prices:

Perk Cost
International Services $5 per month for Todo Mexico Plus
$10 per month for International Connect Plus
Boost Shield $7 per month
Secure Wi-Fi Free app plus $2 per month subscription
HD Buy Up $10 per month
Safe and Found $7 per month
Call Screener Plus $3 per month
Visual Voicemail Basic is free
Ad-free is $0.50 per month
Premium is $2.99 per month
AirG Free app
$5 per month for VIP
50GB Hotspot Plan $50 per month

International Services

One of the only drawbacks to Boost Mobile’s plans is the lack of international access. If you want to call Canada, Mexico, or any other country it will cost you. The Todo Mexico Plus add-on offers unlimited talk and text both to and from Mexico, and unlimited calls to Canada. You can also take 8GB on the road with you for a trip south of the border.

The more expensive International Connect Plus plan swaps that roaming access for unlimited landline calls to 70 countries and 200 minutes for mobile calls in 50 of those countries. If you want to call other countries or you burn through your minutes, International Connect Plus slashes rates for 200 or more destinations.

Boost Shield

Let’s face it — drops happen. Even with a heavy-duty case on your phone, it’s important to have a little extra protection. Boost Shield adds insurance for physical damage and McAfee software for a layer of digital protection. At just $7 per month, it’s more affordable than having to replace a screen or pick up a brand-new phone.

Secure Wi-Fi

Going along with the added security of Boost Shield, Secure Wi-Fi offers protection while you browse online. Whether you’re on a private network or at a public coffee shop, Secure Wi-Fi works somewhat like a VPN and protects your passwords as well as your sites.

HD Buy Up

Since you’ve already gone through each and every one of the plans Boost has to offer, you’ve probably noticed a lack of high definition options. HD Buy Up can change that though and turns your standard definition quality into luxurious 1080p content. This add-on kicks music streaming up to 1.5Mbps levels and gaming up to 8Mbps levels too.

Safe and Found

The COVID-19 lockdowns have made it pretty easy to keep track of your family members, but they — probably — won’t last forever. Once your family can venture back out into the world, it might offer some peace of mind to know where they are and receive emergency alerts. Safe and Found also adds parental control functionality to other devices on your account.

Call Screener Plus

Before you answer any phone call, you probably look to see who’s calling. Unfortunately, the answer is often spam. Call Screener Plus helps to save some of that wasted time by analyzing numbers and eliminating likely spam options for you. You might be able to screen your mother-in-law too, but we can’t advocate for family chaos.

Visual Voicemail

If you skip on Call Screener Plus or you get a high volume of voicemails, you may want a visual option to keep track of them. After all, it can be hard to understand the messages you receive sometimes. The Visual Voicemail takes each phone message and converts it into text so you can read it for all of the right details.

AirG

AirG is another add-on that’s perfect for the COVID-19 age. It’s an app that lets you connect with people both near and far to play games and write in forums. Don’t worry though, there’s a kid-friendly version where your little ones can play educational games with no ads or in-app purchases.

50GB Boost Mobile Hotspot

One last add-on you might consider when you join Boost Mobile is a 50GB hotspot plan. Sure, all of the plans offer a built-in hotspot, but none of them comes close to a 50GB capacity. You can work from anywhere or stream movies on long car rides to keep your kids calm in the back seat. Boost also has a Coolpad Surf hotspot device in case you need a way to host your data.

Which of Boost Mobile’s plans is right for you?

The easiest way to pick a Boost Mobile plan is to sit down and look at your needs. If you plan to use mountains of data wherever you are, go for an unlimited option. However, if you use little data and you always pay on time, then the Shrink It plan will pay you back.

If you can swing it, the Shrink It plan beats even the Everything You Need plan thanks to the 5GB of extra data. As long as you make your on-time payments, the prices will even out after a while. Music lovers might do best with the 3GB of 4G LTE data plan though because Spotify and other top options don’t count against the total usage.

Boost Mobile vs the competition

Metro by T Mobile logo on phone stock photo 1

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Comparing Boost Mobile to the competition is an interesting task right now. It used to rely on Sprint, but now new customers will be using the T-Mobile network until Dish gets its own structure in place. For the time being, it aligns closest with Metro by T-Mobile, Visible, Cricket Wireless, and Google Fi as far as top alternatives are concerned. Check out the table below for a closer look at each option.

  Metro by T-Mobile Better Unlimited Visible Cricket Wireless Cricket More Google Fi Unlimited Boost Mobile
Unlimited Plus
Cost $60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
$40 per line $60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$110 for three lines
$130 for four lines
$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$60 for one line
$100 for two lines
$140 for three lines
$180 for four lines
Talk and Text Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data Unlimited up to 35GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited up to 22GB 4G LTE Unlimited
Host Network T-Mobile Verizon AT&T T-Mobile
US Cellular
Sprint
T-Mobile
International Available Not Available Mexico and Canada usage up to 50%
Texting to 37 countries
Free calls to over 50 countries
Free texts and data abroad
Add-ons available
Extras 100GB Google One storage
Amazon Prime
15GB Mobile hotspot
Mobile hotspot Standard Definition streaming
15GB Mobile hotspot
Full-speed hotspot
Google One membership
30GB of hotspot per line
Tidal Hi-Fi for six months

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

Google Fi

Google Fi isn’t owned by a single carrier, and that’s good news for you when it comes to service. The hybrid MVNO uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular towers to constantly switch to the best signal available. 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. Each line gets unlimited data up to 22GB, a Google One membership, and full-speed hotspot tethering.

Highlights:

  • Impressive phone support
  • Plenty of international connection
  • Google One membership included

Cricket Wireless

Cricket’s most expensive option, the Cricket More plan, offers the best Cricket has to offer along with 15GB of a monthly hotspot. You can text 37 other countries and you can even use your service in Canada or Mexico as long as it’s less than 50% of your overall usage.

Many of the best Cricket features are available as add-ons, so it’s easy to run your bill up by a few bucks. However, that’s really the secret to unlocking Cricket’s full potential. Options include more hotspot, better international access, and extra data on select plans.

Highlights:

  • Customizable service with add-ons
  • 15GB of hotspot included

Visible

Last but not least, we have Verizon’s wholly-owned MVNO, Visible. Unlike the others, there’s just one plan to choose and it offers unlimited talk, text, and data. You can use as much of that data for hotspot as you please, but don’t expect international access. Quite simply, there isn’t any.

One of the best reasons to choose Visible’s service is Party Pay. You can go in with up to three friends, and you’ll each cut your bill down to $25 per month. If one of you pays late it won’t even impact the other partiers.

Highlights:

  • One simple plan
  • Party Pay can save you $15 per month

Looking for other MVNOs similar to Boost Mobile?

Boost Mobile is already an affordable alternative to the Big Three carriers, but what if it’s not for you? We can’t really offer Sprint-based alternatives as the network is slowly converting, but there are a lot of T-Mobile MVNOs you can consider. Here are a few of our favorites, broken down for easy skimming:

  Google Fi Metro by T-Mobile Mint Mobile Straight Talk US Mobile
Cost Flexible plan starts at $20 for one line and $10 per GB of data
Unlimited starts at $70 per line
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Plans start at $25 per month after intro promo Basic plans start at $30 per month
Unlimited plans start at $35 per month
Build your own plan for as little as $5 per month
Unlimited starts at $40 per month
Talk & Text Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Basic plan includes 1,500 minutes
Unlimited on other plans
As little as 75 minutes and 50 texts
Up to unlimited
Data Pay per GB on the Flexible plan
Unlimited up to 22GB on the Unlimited plan
Unlimited up to 35GB 3GB for $25
8GB for $35
12GB for $45
Basic plan includes 100MB
Other plans range from 5GB to unlimited
As little as 50MB
Up to unlimited
Hotspot Full-speed available at per GB rate
Full speed available with unlimited
15GB included Included with your data cap 10GB hotspot included with unlimited (Not available with AT&T SIMs) Included with custom plans
Add-ons available
International Flexible includes unlimited texts, low rate for calls, $10 per GB
Unlimited includes data and texts, low rate for calls outside of included list
Available as an add-on Calling to Mexico and Canada Global calling cards available Up to 10GB free
Traveller and Jetsetter add-ons available
Extras Flexible plan has a monthly cost cap
Unlimited includes a Google One membership
Google One membership
Amazon Prime membership
Free SIM Card None Pick your perks with multi-line unlimited plans

Google Fi

We’ve already talked about the Google-owned MVNO as a direct competitor, but it makes for a good budget option too. Thanks to the low-cost flexible plans, you can pay per gig of data and never go over a certain limit. It’s a great option for travel abroad too with data and text included in many countries.

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro is another familiar face as it’s basically a half-sibling of Boost. It was the original T-Mobile-owned MVNO and offers similar perks for many of its plans. You might find that it’s easier to sign up for Metro too as it’s not undergoing the same network switch process.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile, the carrier owned by Ryan Reynolds, is an affordable alternative for service if you only want limited data. Plans range from 3GB to 12GB and you’ll never pay more than $45 per month for one line of service. You may not get much by way of extra perks, but if you sign up for multi-month plans you’ll save even more money.

Straight Talk

One of the easiest MVNOs to sign up for, Straight Talk is available at most Walmart locations and actually supports most of the main carriers. You can go for a limited talk option with just a little bit of data, or spend more for unlimited service. Affordability is key, so you’ll pay a bit extra for bonus features like international access, but Straight Talk is an easy way to grab the basics.

US Mobile

If you want a plan that’s perfectly tailored to your needs, US Mobile is the way to go. You can choose your ideal level of talk, text, and data for as little as $5 per month or go unlimited for $40. 5G access will cost you a little extra, but it’s nice to know that it’s available. When you add multiple lines of unlimited you’ll get the chance to add subscription services like Disney Plus, Spotify, and Playstation Plus.

What phones can you use on Boost Mobile?

iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 Pro back

Like many low-cost MVNOs, Boost Mobile skews towards affordable devices from many of the major manufacturers. You can get flagship favorites like the iPhone 11 family and the Samsung Galaxy S20, but here are some of your best chances to save money:

  • Samsung Galaxy A11
  • LG K51
  • Motorola Moto g Fast
  • Motorola Moto g7 Play

As you can see, there are plenty of budget-friendly devices available from Boost. If you want to dig into even more choices, check out our list of the best Boost mobile phones you can get.

If you love the phone you’ve got, it doesn’t take much to bring it with you. You’ll just have to remember that new customers will be on a T-Mobile based version of Boost so you’ll need a GSM phone. In months prior, a CDMA phone would have worked too but the merger and sale to Dish have changed that for good.

See also: The best Android phones | Best cheap Android phones

As with any carrier, the most important factor in bringing a phone is band support. Check the table below for all of the T-Mobile 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE bands you’ll need to support a device.

Frequency Band Network Supported
39GHz N260 5G mmWave
28GHz N261 5G mmWave
1900MHz 2 2G
3G
4G LTE
1700/2100MHz 4
66
3G and 4G LTE
4G LTE
850MHz 5 4G LTE
700MHz 12 4G LTE
600MHz 71 4G LTE
5G

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Boost Mobile?

Boost Mobile was previously owned by Sprint. It is now owned by Dish Network. 

What network does Boost Mobile use?

The Boost Mobile service uses the new T-Mobile, which combines T-Mobile’s original network with the newly merged Sprint network. 

What phones are compatible with Boost Mobile sim cards?

The full list is too extensive to answer here, but phones designed specifically for Boost will work, as will many Sprint and T-mobile compatible devices. 

Can Boost Mobile phones be unlocked?

Yes, for most devices. You’ll need an account in good standing and have been activated for at least twelve months. 

Does Boost Mobile give extensions?

If you register as a Boost Mobile Premier member, yes. You’ll need to have a monthly unlimited plan to be eligible. With this perk you will have a 14 day payment grace period where your service will not be interrupted.