Ultra Mobile Review: Free International Calling and More

Ultra Mobile Review
Ultra Mobile Logo 2024

Product Name: Ultra Mobile

Product Description: Ultra Mobile is a prepaid cell phone carrier offering free international calling to over 90 countries.

Summary

Ultra Mobile is a prepaid cell phone carrier that offers free international calling to over 90 countries. It operates on the T-Mobile network and offers discounted pricing on plans of up to 12 months. 

Overall
4

Pros

  • Free international talk and text to over 90 countries
  • Overseas callers can communicate at no extra cost with the “Call Me Free” feature
  • Nationwide 5G and 4G LTE data speeds on T-Mobile network
  • All plans include mobile hotspot 
  • No hidden taxes or fees

Cons

  • Must purchase multi-month plans to get lower plan costs
  • Unlimited plan only offers up to 40GB of high-speed data
  • No family plans or multi-line discounts
  • Limited selection of Apple iPhones for sale online

Ultra Mobile is a prepaid phone service offering unlimited talk and text to over 90 international destinations. Its affordable monthly plans start at $8. With all plans, you can enjoy a free mobile hotspot and fast data speeds on the 5G mobile network with capable Android and Apple devices.

At a Glance

  • Unlimited talk and text to 90+ countries
  • Free talk and text in Mexico and Canada are available
  • Free mobile hotspot with every plan
  • The lowest prices require a 12-month subscription

Who Should Use Ultra Mobile

Consider Ultra Mobile if you want free talk and text to international destinations. The international roaming feature can also be practical for world travelers. It’s a competitive and low-cost option with reliable T-Mobile coverage quality.

You can choose from talk, text-only, fixed, and unlimited data plans without contracts. Buying a 3, 6, or 12-month plan gets you Ultra Mobile’s lowest rates at a fraction of the cost of a traditional plan from T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon Wireless.   

Get Started with Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile Alternatives

tello logo 2024mint mobile logovisible logo
Pricing $5 to $25/month$15 to $30/month$25 to $45/month
Payment PlanMonthly3, 6, 12 monthsMonthly or yearly
NetworkT-MobileT-MobileVerizon
Learn MoreLearn MoreLearn More

What Is Ultra Mobile?

Ultra Mobile launched in 2012 and was acquired by T-Mobile in 2023. The prepaid cell phone carrier’s signature feature is its free international calling, which originally included 40 countries and now includes over 90 foreign destinations. 

screenshot of Ultra Mobile homepage

Every plan includes free domestic talk and text, 5G data speeds (where available on compatible devices), and free Wi-Fi calling.

The carrier also offers several complimentary perks that some traditional and prepaid carriers may charge an extra fee for or only reserve for unlimited plans. Examples include free mobile hotspots, free talk and text in Mexico and Canada, and a “Call Me Free” local number for friends and family in international destinations to avoid pricey overseas calling rates. 

You can switch to Ultra Mobile by bringing your unlocked device. You’ll receive a free 3-in-1 SIM card or a digital SIM. The carrier offers discounted phones if you prefer to buy a new device. All Ultra Mobile plans utilize the T-Mobile 5G network. You can enter your street address to estimate data speeds and coverage quality.

While T-Mobile owns Ultra Mobile, as a prepaid subscriber, you can only access the host’s excess capacity. That means you’re likelier to experience slower data speeds and lack of coverage before full-fledged T-Mobile users in peak periods and remote areas. But you save a lot of money with a cheaper phone bill.     

Free International Calling

As mentioned, all Ultra Mobile plans include free talk from the United States to over 90 countries and free texting to over 190 countries. Additionally, friends and family in those destinations can contact you through a local number to avoid international call rates. 

Ultra Mobile free international calling

If you need to call a country not included in the plan, Ultra Mobile lets you purchase international calling credits online or in the app. You enjoy 25% bonus credits, so purchasing $5 in credits yields $6.25.  

Other noteworthy international calling perks include:

  • Call Me Free: Available in over 40 countries at no extra cost, share a local number with friends and family. You get to answer as a free international call.  
  • Free talk and text in Mexico and Canada: Plans with at least 3 GB of data can enjoy free talk and text while in Mexico and Canada. Your phone can function as it does in the United States without purchasing additional credits or switching SIM cards.
  • International Roaming: Ideal for globetrotters, purchase credits usable in over 210 countries for talk and text. Unused credits roll over into future months. Roaming rates vary by country.
  • uTalk: Connect to 10 unique numbers in 39 countries in addition to the 90+ free international talk and text destinations. Enjoy from 50 to 1,250 bonus minutes depending on the country. This perk costs $10 monthly and is available with every plan. 
  • Globe Unlimited: For $10 monthly, you can get unlimited calls for up to five numbers in the Philippines. This add-on is available with every plan.

Related: 8 Cheapest Family Cell Phone Plans

Free Wi-Fi Calling

Android and iPhones can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide to facilitate free calls, texts, and internet browsing. This feature isn’t proprietary to Ultra Mobile, but it makes opting for a cheaper phone plan easier as you can get unlimited data from a local Wi-Fi network.

Get Started with Ultra Mobile

Free Mobile Hotspot

All plans include free mobile hotspot capability with a compatible smartphone. The unlimited data plan offers 10GB of high-speed data, while Unlimited+ users (available in-store only) can enjoy up to 20GB of data. 

You can connect up to 15 devices, but the hotspot data is drawn from your monthly data cap. Non-unlimited plans can purchase more hotspot data mid-month, but it can get expensive so you might be better off looking for free Wi-Fi

Phone Deals

Instead of bringing an unlocked device, you can purchase 5G-capable phones from Ultra Mobile. The discount carrier usually runs special sales, such as 0% financing through Affirm or $100 off an Android phone if you purchase a 3-month plan and port your number.

Ultra Mobile phones

Note that the online phone catalog is almost entirely Android smartphones. When writing this review in March 2024, only one iPhone model was for sale.

Online phone buying is usually the most convenient option, and shipping is free. Still, you can visit Ultra Mobile stores and licensed retailers across the United States. You can also buy phones and top-off cards at select Walmart, Target, and Best Buy locations if you don’t have an Ultra Mobile location near you.  

Get Started with Ultra Mobile

Pricing

Ultra Mobile allows you to pay month-to-month like a traditional prepaid phone company, but you can save money by choosing a multi-month plan of up to 12 months. Longer durations have the cheapest prices.  

Ultra Mobile Online Phone Plans

Talk & Text3GB5GB10GB15GBUnlimited
1 month$15$19$24$29$39$49
3 months$13 ($39 upfront)$16 ($48 upfront)$22 ($66 upfront)$28 ($84 upfront)$36 ($108 upfront)$46 ($138 upfront)
6 months$9.83 ($59.40 upfront)$13.50 ($81 upfront)$18.83 ($113.40 upfront)$24.33 ($145.80 upfront)$31.50 ($189 upfront)$40.50 ($243 upfront)
12 months$8 ($96 upfront)$11.17 ($134.40 upfront)$16 ($192 upfront)$20 ($240 upfront)$24 ($288 upfront)$32 ($384 upfront)

The entry-level Talk & Text plan includes 250 MB of high-speed 5G or 4G LTE data. This isn’t enough for more than basic emails or a few quick web searches. All plans can access unlimited slower data speeds for simple browsing and web communication. 

If you choose 3GB or more of data, you get up to $5 in monthly international call credits and a one-time $5 international roaming credit. You can buy additional mobile data through the app or online.

Finally, the Unlimited plan offers up to 40GB of high-speed wireless data. Up to 10GB is accessible through a mobile hotspot. 

Unlimited+ Plan

If you live near an Ultra Mobile authorized retailer, you can purchase the Unlimited+ plan. This is an in-store exclusive with up to 60GB of high-speed 5G data and 20GB of hotspot data.  

You will pay the following monthly rates contingent on the plan length:

  • 1 month: $59
  • 3 months: $56 ($168 upfront)
  • 6 months: $55 ($330 upfront)
  • 12 months: $50 ($600 upfront)

Add-A-Line

Available in-store only with the Unlimited plan, you can add up to five lines at $24 per extra line. This is roughly half the cost of the primary line allowing you to save up to $100 monthly.

Get Started with Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile vs Alternatives

Tello

tello logo 2024

Tello is an excellent option for international calls with over 60 free destinations for talk and text. Its Unlimited plan can also be more affordable at $25 per month with 35GB of high-speed data without a multi-month commitment. This plan also includes up to 5GB of hotspot data.   

Similar to Ultra Mobile, it uses the T-Mobile network. However, it remains an independent mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and is not owned by the cellular juggernaut.

You can customize the voice, text, and data allowances to find a budget-friendly plan that fits your phone usage. Learn more in our Tello review.

Get Started with Tello

Mint Mobile

mint mobile logo

Mint Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network and offers discounted plans when purchasing a multi-month commitment of 3, 6, or 12 months. You can enjoy the first three months by paying $45 upfront.

This special pricing applies to the Unlimited plan containing up to 40GB of high-speed data and up to 10GB of mobile hotspot usage. Limited data plans are available too.

Interestingly, Mint Mobile was a subsidiary of Ultra Mobile and both were acquired by T-Mobile simultaneously in 2023. Its monthly pricing and phone deals are competitive. Thus, it’s worth comparing features for your desired monthly data allowance to choose the best option.

Read our Mint Mobile review for more.

Get Started with Mint Mobile

Visible

visible logo

Visible uses the Verizon Wireless network and it can be the best Ultra Mobile alternative when T-Mobile coverage quality is spotty or slow in your area. The entry-level plan includes unlimited 5G/4G LTE data and hotspot, plus unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada for just $25 monthly.

The Visible+ plan is comparable to Ultra’s, with free international calls to over 30 countries and international texting to more than 200 destinations.

You also enjoy up to 50GB of premium Verizon high-speed data (where available) that can be quicker than the standard 5G data speeds most cell phone plans offer. This plan costs $45 per month.

Read our Visible review for more.     

Get Started with Visible

FAQs

Is Ultra Mobile good?

This is one of the most affordable international calling options. You can call international landlines and cell phones in over 90 countries, and free international texting is available in over 190 countries. It’s also a low-cost alternative to T-Mobile when that network offers consistent coverage in your area.

What is the Ultra Mobile refund policy?

Unopened and non-activated SIM cards can be returned within 15 days. Phone return policies differ by device, and you must review the terms and conditions. 

What are the Ultra Mobile customer service options?

Live chat and phone-based support is available daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific. 

Get Started with Ultra Mobile

Summary 

Ultra Mobile is a compelling choice for free international talk and text as you can communicate with friends and family worldwide at low rates. It’s also a good option for domestic calling when you live in a T-Mobile coverage area. The monthly and multi-month bulk discounts can help you pay less than a traditional cell phone plan while having reliable service when needed.

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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