In a Nutshell
- Unlimited calls to 80+ countries
- No long-term contracts
- Up to 10 GB mobile hotspot
- More expensive than other prepaid plans
- Poor customer service ratings
- Unlimited plan data speeds slow down after 32-50G
Ultra Mobile at a Glance
Best for: Flexibility of short prepaid plans
Price: $15-$49/month for 1-month plan, $10-$40/month for 12-month plan
Plan: Unlimited domestic and international calls and text (selected countries) plus varying high-speed data
Use your own phone: Yes
What Services and Features Does Ultra Mobile Offer
All Ultra Mobile plans come with the following features:
- 5G and 4G LTE coverage (whichever is best at the time)
- Wi-Fi calling and text
- Unlimited global text
- Unlimited talk to 80+ international countries
- Mobile hotspot (varies - up to 10 GB on Unlimited plans)
- Bring your own phone or buy one from Ultra Mobile
- Bring your current number or get a new one
- Free 3-in-1 SIM card
Prices, Plans and Value for Money
When you purchase a prepaid plan from Ultra Mobile, the price is determined by two factors: the high-speed monthly data limit; and the number of months you’re willing to commit to. The longer your commitment, the cheaper it is.
If you find yourself needing more monthly data while in the middle of a multi-month plan cycle, you can pay a prorated fee to upgrade to a higher data allotment plan for the remainder of the cycle. However, keep in mind that you can only upgrade, not downgrade.
The other piece of good news is that you can get $10 renewal credit when you refer a friend or family member and they activate a plan. Your friend/family member will also get $10 credit when they sign up with your referral code.
When you sign up to Ultra Mobile, you get a choice of bringing your own device or upgrading to a new one. If you’re bringing your own device, check compatibility using the free tool on the Ultra Mobile website.
Your free SIM card should arrive within 2-3 days of order or you can pick it up from a participating retailer. When it arrives, just follow the instructions on the Ultra Mobile website (see the FAQ section to activate).
Selection of Phones Available
When you sign up to Ultra Mobile, you get the option of purchasing or financing any of the newest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy devices. As a provider of prepaid plans, Ultra Mobile doesn’t match the attractive deals offered by the bigger providers (who offer phones at discounted prices when you commit to 12 months or more). However, it does offer 0% financing through Affirm for a range of new phones, including the iPhone 12 Mini (starting at $31/month) and iPhone SE (starting at $17/month).
Ultra Mobile Call and Text Performance
Ultra Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network, one of the big-three U.S. wireless networks covering more than 99% of Americans. Based on a study of the IHS Markit RootMetrics map of the T-Mobile network, call performance is good across the vast majority of locations in the United States, with fair or poor performance in only a handful of rural areas.
Ultra Mobile Data Speeds
When you use Ultra Mobile, you get high-speed data through T-Mobile’s 5G and 4G LTE network. High speeds continue until you hit your data limit, after which it slows down to 2G. Note that the data limit on the Unlimited plan is 32-50 GB, depending on the length of your plan. T-Mobile currently has the largest 5G network of the big-three wireless networks, covering more than 80% of Americans.
Ultra Mobile Customer Service
Ultra Mobile has poor customer service reviews (1.7-star rating from 1,102 reviews on Trustpilot), which is a little surprising given it’s a small player and its subsidiary Mint Mobile is one of the most popular operators on the market. Common complaints include the cost (although this is part and parcel of most prepaid plans), unreliable service (particularly with the international calling features), and billing errors.
To speak to customer service, call 888-777-0446 from any phone or 611 from an Ultra phone. Alternatively, the Ultra Mobile website has an extensive FAQ section.
What People Say About Ultra Mobile
Here’s a sample of (rare) 5-star reviews about Ultra Mobile on Trustpilot:
“For the price 5 stars. If it was big carrier prices, 3 stars. Been using for 1.5 months. Used in San Francisco, San Jose, Hawaii. Overall, works well. Made fixed line calls to Japan for free with no problems. Kept on dropping calls on the Motorola G6 phone and unusable. Totally fine on Pixel 2XL.
In congested areas like airport, Internet seemed to slow down somewhat but fine elsewhere. Strangely, sometimes Internet speed was faster than T-Mobile, the network it uses. (I tested for a month before switching over.) Played data heavy games like PUBG no problem.” – Joe
“Had no issues - bought the SIM at the airport activated it myself and we were able to use it with no trouble while we were on vacation in Los Angeles. The data worked fine for google Maps and WhatsApp - which was mainly what we needed it for, and I loved the fact I was able to call back home to the UK both on my mums home phone and cell phone at no extra cost. lol it costs me more to call her cell phone when I’m in London!! definitely recommend.” – Nanditas Shower
“This is not for everyone so if you hope to save money on a plan without reading ALL terms and conditions, it is on you if you're not getting something you thought you would have.
The roaming wasn't working the best when I joined them in 2013 but recently it got better (whenever you go abroad, it is cheaper to buy a $20/30 local simcard if the length of your trip is more than 3 days). Never had problems calling abroad to the countries I made sure where listed as Free Calls Countries I was interested in (all the big companies charge you a load per minute). Another thing with data - low limit on 4G LTE but I just use Wi-Fi wherever I can. I'm not getting group messages or MMS unless through iMessaging (thanks Apple) but I wasn't interested in those - I wanted to be able to call my family and friends around the world FOR FREE and Ultra has the best combination for me. Highly recommended if that's what you are looking for.” – Olimpia Z
Q. Who owns Ultra Mobile?
A. Ultra Mobile was founded in Costa Mesa, California, in 2011 by David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim.
Q. Does Ultra Mobile throttle or limit data?
A. Yes, you will notice a slow-down in your data after exceeding your monthly limit. The Unlimited plan slows down after 32-50 GB of monthly data usage (depending on the length of your plan).
Q. Does Ultra Mobile have any physical stores?
A. Ultra Mobile works with countless retailers across the U.S. Check the “Store locator” tool on the Ultra Mobile website to find one near you.
Prepaid mobile plans serve a certain purpose and as long as you know what it entails, then Ultra Mobile may be a good choice for you. If you’re in the U.S. on a temporary basis, have reasons to not want to use your credit card, or don’t want anything more than a one-month commitment, Ultra Mobile’s prepaid phone plans are a viable option for you.