Mint Mobile Activation Deadlines

I had heard that the $20/3month 5GB SIM had to be activated within 45 days, but it's clearly printed on the back, "Activate by 8/31/2021", almost 3 years from now.

If you don't mind a changing phone number it looks like you could buy these for future use.

No brainier if you can get the $20 ebates and risk only $3.36. Otherwise, will risk $13.36.

It is 45 days. The date on the sim is not the activation deadline. Doesn't make sense but I wouldn't hoard these if I was you.

Why would they print on the SIM, under my activation code, the "Activate by" date? It's not something that was originally printed on the SIM. It was printed with my specific activation code.

I don't really know but it is well discussed that there is a 45 day activation requirement despite what it says on the sim card. The 45 days comes straight from mint support and has been repeated many times.

They probably make the same sims available to dealers and what they print is probably the shelf life of the sim or something.

But yes I agree it is misleading.

How does ebates work?

How did you calculate $13.36?

Tax/fees on the SIM was $3.36, so $23.36 total cost.
Ebates is offering $10 cashback (plus free shipping) when buying the SIM through the Ebates link.
So: $23.36 - $10 cashback = $13.36

For a few 1-2 day periods since Thanksgiving, Ebates has doubled their cashback offer to $20, making the final cost only $3.36.

To use Ebates, sign up for an account at Ebates. If you're a CellNuvo user, you can get roughly 10 Gold bonus for signing up via the Super Silver offer for ebates. (If not CellNuvo user, you should sign up using someone's referral link if possible. PM someone mentioning ebates offers in the forum & ask for a referral.)
From the Ebates site (or the ebates phone app), search the store you want to shop at, click through to that store from the ebates site, and shop as usual.

They are T-Mobile SIMs and those always have an expiration date. It's probably when Tmo will purge them from their system to be recycled later. The Mint deadline is an activation time limit in their own system, independent of the SIM dates.