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3.7

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: June 13th, 2023

Virgin Mobile is a provider of non-contract cellular phone and wireless services. It is a wholly owned brand of Sprint and has been providing telecommunications products in the United States since 2002 using the wireless Sprint 1900 MHz PCS, CDMA, and digital network. 

The company provides customers with branded handsets and broadband devices, which are sold through the company's website or at 40,000 retail brand locations. In fact, Virgin Mobile has one of the largest storefront presences among wireless provider companies. Customers can also get Virgin Mobile products at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Wal-Mart, and many convenience stores.

It is easy for customers to purchase “top-up” cards at more than 150,000 locations throughout the country. 

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The Good

  • "Unlimited" Service Plans
  • Add-Ons
  • Simple Payment System
  • Variety of Phone Options
  • Member Benefits

"Unlimited" Service Plans

Virgin Mobile makes it easy for a customer to get set up with an affordable cellular phone or another wireless device with calling, text messages, and data. The company doesn't require an annual phone contract and has a 7-day, no-questions-asked return and refund agreement period if customers are unsatisfied.

Virgin Mobile offers three unlimited plan options. Note that after using the allotted LTE for each plan, Virgin's terms state that data speeds are then reduced to 2G.

  • For $35/month your phone plan comes with unlimited talk, data, and text with 5GB of mobile data.
  • For $45/month, you get unlimited text, talk, and data plus 10 GB of high-speed 4G LTE data. Also, the client gets 100 international minutes and unlimited international texting.
  • For $60/month, your cell phone plan gets unlimited everything, including unlimited 4G LTE data.

Add-Ons

The carrier caters to additional needs and preferences by offering add-ons for mobile hotspot, phone insurance, and international calling.

  • Mobile hotspot — Share data with up to five devices (starting at $3/day)
  • Phone insurance —  Protect your device against damage, theft, or loss ($7/month per device)
  • International calling —  Make unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico and choose from 70+ other countries for more coverage (starting at $5/month)

Simple Payment System

In addition to providing a number of service plans, Virgin Mobile also makes it easy for customers to pay their bill. Customers can get a top-up card at any of the 150,000 stores throughout the United States and add money to their current balance. This lets you pay for your phone however you'd like. You can even pay your monthly charge on your phone; there is no need to log onto an online account for you to pay with your top-up card.

Plus, it's easy to change your plan if you want more or less data, talk, or text.

Variety of Phone Options

Another thing customers enjoy with Virgin Mobile is the variety of phones available. Even though there aren't Windows or BlackBerry phones, there are several Apple smartphone and Android device options to choose from. The cost listed for most of the phones listed is significantly less than the suggested retail price. Additionally, there is also an affordable $19.99 basic flip phone that customers can use if they only need standard calling and texting (Alcatel GO FLIP).

Device brands include:

  • Alcatel
  • Apple
  • Coolpad
  • LG
  • moto
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • ZTE

To assist during the phone selection process, Virgin Mobile includes customer reviews of each specific phone model available online. This information helps prospective customers choose the phone that will work best for their situation.

If you want to bring your iPhone, you have the option to do so by ordering a Virgin Mobile iPhone SIM card for $9.99. Most iPhone versions work with Virgin Mobile, but make sure to check your phone's compatibility before purchasing a SIM card.

Unfortunately, you cannot bring your own non-Apple current cell phone to Virgin Mobile.

Member Benefits

In addition to network coverage and phone services, Virgin Mobile rewards customers with a number of member perks (at no additional cost) with its partners. Partnerships and deals are subject to change but benefits have included discounts for Virgin Hotels, Virgin Wines, Turo car rentals, Priceline hotel reservations, Papa John's pizza, Shaw Academy online courses, and even SoFi student loan refinancing (0.125% discount).

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The Bad

  • 4G LTE Speeds Actually Limited
  • Coverage Gaps
  • User Complaints

4G LTE Speeds Actually Limited

The word "unlimited" is somewhat misrepresentative when applied to the two cheaper unlimited plans. Even though the carrier advertises unlimited data, there is actually significant data throttling if a customer goes over the stipulated quota for the month. Customers have noted that data was incredibly slow (reduced to 2G speeds) on their phone after using the LTE GBs available with their specific plans.

Coverage Gaps

Though Virgin Mobile's network reaches 99% of people, some areas of the country, such as most of Montana and Wyoming, don't have voice coverage through Virgin's network. In some other places there is only very basic data plan coverage or voice coverage, meaning that if a customer is traveling to communities outside their normal coverage area, they might not be able to easily get a signal for their phone.

User Complaints

Customer reviews describe some potential challenges to be aware of:

  • Customer service communication issues
  • Poor coverage as compared with other carriers
  • Device issues

If customers have a problem, they can request assistance from the company seven days a week between 7:00 AM-9:00 PM CST.

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The Bottom Line

Virgin Mobile's strengths lie in its simplicity: simple plans, a simple payment system, and a straightforward inventory of phones and available services. Many customers are more than content with what Virgin Mobile can provide.

However, its less-than-perfect coverage, 4G LTE data limits, extra international fees, and lack of a multi-line family and friends discount should give potential customers pause.

Read through verified Virgin Mobile reviews on our site below for further insights.

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Star Rating

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3.1

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44 Reviews

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Becky

I have been with Virgin Mobile almost 8 years now and I am somewhat satisfied with the service overall. The service has never been up to par in my area since I have been with them since 2009, but in other areas in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex seem to be just fine . Whenever I need to speak with customer service, they have always been friendly and helpful to me. I never recall being on the phone for very long waiting for the next available to rep...usually within a couple minutes at most. The phones to choose from are are ok I guess. Like another person who rated said that some seem to be second hand Sprint phones, and that Boost Mobile that also is a Sprint sister company does seem to offer more phones and better prices at times, too. I am with the company mainly because the service is very affordable even if at times their service signal is not always up to par in my area. The service and phones are in no way bad enough for me to leave. Maybe one day I will seek into another service provider, but not anytime soon.

6 years ago

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Anthony Lodi, NJ

Virgin Mobile has been my cell phone provider for nearly 7 years, but by no means does that mean I love the company. It's just not costly. I use the $35 dollar plan, and what you see is what you get. It's $35 dollars plus tax. However, with that cheap cost comes cheap phones,Sprint hand-me-downs, and a few flagship phones. They sell out quickly of phones, so if you have a phone that you want, then buy it asap. They take forever to restock their supply. Not to mention, their phones range in price with huge gaps. You may be able to get a smart phone for $70 or $80 dollars, with no clue as to the phone's quality, or you'll see that they have the newest iPhone and last generation's Galaxy S5, but very little in between. So if you wanted to drop some money on a "good enough smart phone", you'd be hard-pressed to find on. This is strange, since their sister company, Boost Mobile, has a very wide range of phones and plans. Customer service isn't bad. They are very honest, and in my experience, try very hard to make sure that you are satisfied. However, if your phone has a manufacturer's defect and your phone still falls under the company's 1 year warranty, they will make you pay a $25 dollar fee to cover the cost the manufacturer's processing fee. Service is nothing spectacular, but it isn't bad. For $35 dollars a month, you get what you pay for. However, it does show the short -comings of the sprint network, as I live in a pretty populated area of New York State and the service drops, and is sometimes none existent. So if you are lost and without WiFi, you may be upset by the GPS functionality on your phone. Also, if you go past the data cap for your month, your data speed gets dropped to 2g speeds, and with speeds comparable to dial-up, it makes loading a 21st century webpage a very annoying experience. For Virgin Mobile, what you see is what you get, and I appreciate that philosophy, but they are lacking in many areas. However, if you manage to find a phone and you don't mind the quality, or you can afford an iPhone, and you don't mind inconstant nature of the Sprint Network, or you always have WiFi, and you don't mind paying a fee for a phone that is under warranty- than Virgin Mobile is right for you. It is a solid performer in the prepaid market, and in my experience, has gotten better, but still is not that good. With Sprint, I can't imagine them getting better any time soon. However, it still seems to be the prepaid company with the most bang for your buck. If you do not want a contract, and are wary of the T-Mobile's Uncarrier philosophy, then Virgin Mobile might be your best bet.

8 years ago

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McKinzie Figueroa Provo, UT

I have used Virgin Mobile for years. I originally signed up for it as a teenager because I could not afford much else. I really liked how affordable it was, but ultimately had to cancel because the area of coverage was not very good. I would not get service in places where my family members (who had Verizon) would. I would recommend this to someone who is looking for a cheap and affordable service.

5 years ago

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Bridget Walker Gulfport, MS

Virgin Mobile was one of the first cell phone services I ever had. They were an average service. I was living in the country and the service went in and out too much. It wasn't the right service for me.

1 year ago

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Dasha Directo Provo, UT

We bought my grandma a plan with Virgin Mobile. It's great for those grandparent aged people. The service wasn't too great though. My grandma's call wouldn't catch at certain places.

5 years ago

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Tony's Babygirl Staton St Louis, MO

Ok company, doesn't have very wide service range in areas. Plans are reasonable.

1 year ago

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Jeanine Crawford Valencia, CA

Need more people that speak "American" English. It's too time consuming, repeating etc.

4 years ago

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Isabel Managua, MN

Virgin Mobile is okay. The service only works in certain locations, but it’s good for the low price.

4 years ago

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Christina Shumway Managua, MN

Virgin mobile has okay service. It can be really spotty at times and doesn’t work in certain locations.

4 years ago

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Darius Williams Alexandria, VA

Pretty good service at an affordable cost. Reception can be spotty at times but you get what you pay for

5 years ago

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Rebecca Managua, MN

Virgin mobile doesn’t have very good service. It only works in the city but no where else

4 years ago