We all agree that the best thing in life should be free. But let’s face it, it does not include costly yet necessary things like mobile phones. Although technology enthusiasts have no problem paying hundreds of dollars one-off for a new gadget, it’s different for individuals and families on a budget. That’s why offers of a free phone with new service make an attractive alternative. It means purchasing a cell phone for nothing or owning one without paying its recommended retail price. You’re probably already wondering, ‘Where can I get a free phone, or How do I qualify for a free smartphone?
You can get a cellphone for nothing from select carriers and MVNOs. But each company has different requirements to sign up for free phone deals. Some wireless providers also attract customers by allowing them to switch and get a free phone. And nearly all four major carriers are running promos, offering a free phone for new customers. It means getting a free phone with new service activation. Apart from a free device, you can also get free cell phone plans from several providers like the little-known carrier Freedom Pop. This post will share everything you need to know about different types of free phones with new service deals and how to sign up for them.
What Is a Free Phone Deal
Before telling you who has the best free cell phone deals, let’s first explain what a free phone means. The phrase, ‘free phone’ can mean many things depending on the context. Ordinarily, it refers to the availing of a cell phone without paying. However, it’s nearly given that when a wireless operator offers something for free, there’s always a catch. For instance, a free phone with a new service is the most popular deal on cell phone freebies today. In this case, the trap is to activate a new line of service from the carrier before you can sign up for free phone offers.
Another type of free phone deal is where you buy one device and get the second one free. You have probably already heard the major cell phone companies marketing Buy One Get One Free or BOGOF phone deals. Such offers come with many different conditions, including network locks for months or buying select monthly phone plans for a specified duration.
Have you come across any zero-dollar cell phone options? You could also get a free phone on contract. It often requires you to sign up for a twenty-four-month service plan with a carrier to receive a brand-new smartphone with $0 upfront and no monthly fees. Even so, it is a tough choice between relinquishing your freedom to switch carriers and plans and getting a new device with a service commitment or network lock.
The most genuine free phone with a new service option is with the government Lifeline Assistance program. It is a federal government initiative that offers free cell phones and services to underprivileged individuals and families. The deal includes a new handset and phone service for nothing if you qualify.
Therefore, a new phone with new service can mean two things:
- Buying and activating a new voice line on select monthly plans for an agreed period to receive a cell phone at no cost.
- Getting a new cell phone that comes with a monthly plan, all without paying.
In the first instance, you may or may not return the phone at the end of the contract, depending on the nature of your agreement with the cell phone company.
What Are The Benefits Of a Free Phone
Note that free phone with new service deals is not for everyone. Here are some compelling reasons to sign up for a free phone offer:
1. Free Monthly Cell Phone Service
All Lifeline Assistance free phones include a dedicated monthly service plan at no cost. You can make unlimited domestic calls, send texts, and browse the internet with no data caps, depending on your Lifeline provider.
2. Enhanced User Experience
A majority of wireless carriers offer free smartphones in their new monthly phone plan deals. The gadgets often come with the awe-inspiring Android OS, allowing and encouraging you to multitask. On top of that, you get to access several apps for educating, entertaining, and achieving personal and professional goals while driving improved user convenience and productivity.
3. Affordable Phone Upgrades
Upgrade to the latest smartphones every so often without breaking the bank. Most wireless carriers allow subscribers to trade in their free device for an updated one after some months. Although you may have to top up some money to avail of the new phone, it is still a great relief compared to paying the full RRP on a flagship device. For example, it costs about $25 for Lifeline customers to upgrade to a new smartphone with Assurance Wireless and Safelink Wireless.
4. Save On Cell Phone Purchase Price
Although cell phones are powerful gadgets, they do not come cheap. Flagship phones are not among the best affordable pieces of wireless tech, costing a thousand dollars or more. While we all need phones, even if we just use them for calling and texting without browsing, not all of us have such amounts of money to spend, and not everyone requires the latest device. Sometimes all you need is a cell phone that works.
Therefore, getting one that you can use without paying is a game-changer, particularly for those watching their budget. Subscribers can use the window of relief to save up towards a new affordable smartphone, even if the contract requires you to return the device after twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four months.
5. Avail Of The Latest Advancements And Breakthroughs In Cell Phone Tech
Free cell phone shoppers have every reason to be amazed by the existing smartphone industry. Customers can access state-of-the-art device technology through the free smartphone deals that wireless carriers are offering. Market rates on these latest phones keep going up with the increasing breakthroughs in novel mobile phone tech. But thanks to free cell phone offers, everyone can experience amazing new phone features without breaking their budget.
6. Avoid Sales Tax And Other Surprise Charges
Irrespective of your credit score, you will still pay the required sales tax when purchasing a new phone. Furthermore, the carrier may ask you to shell out an upgrade or activation fee if you activate the handset on a new service line or account. Most phone companies will levy anything between $30 and $40 for each device. You can avoid paying the sales tax and activation charges with a free phone offer, depending on the provider.
Types Of Free Phone
All free phone deals are not equal. Some companies have better offers than others, depending on the type of offering. There are three main free phones with new service deals you should shop for if you need a cell phone at no cost.
1. Lifeline Assistance
It is a government-funded initiative helping to reduce the cost of wireless services for eligible persons. Qualifying individuals will get a $9.25 monthly phone service subsidy plus a free smartphone.
You can join the program if you:
- Earn below 135% of the federal poverty index annually, amounting to $16,862 yearly for a one-person household.
- Participate in either of these government-sponsored programs:
- Food Stamps or SNAP
- Supplemental Security Income
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Tribal programs
The subsidy is only available to one person in each household, regardless of the number of qualifying persons. Besides, the support will pay for your whole phone plan if it costs less than $9.25 per month.
2. Free Phone On Lease
Another way to avail of the free phone with new service deals is through lease programs. Sprint Mobile is currently the only carrier with authentic lease specials on mobile phones through its Sprint Flex initiative. In this arrangement, you will get a new smartphone with no money down. Furthermore, you will be eligible for upgrades to the latest models upon completing an 18-month commitment to the program.
The downside is that the free phone is never really yours because you’ll turn it in at the end of your agreement for a newer version or switch providers. It also comes with a long-term commitment to Sprint like other free cell phone deals, denying you the freedom to change providers or use a no-contract plan.
3. Buy One Get One Free Phone (BOGOF)
Sometimes, wireless carriers run different versions of the “Buy One Get One Free” phone offer, encouraging consumers to grab two expensive new gadgets. But it is hardly as easy as purchasing one device and taking the second one home at no cost.
The previous AT&T iPhone BOGOF deal is a great example, showing how the promos work. In the offer, you would be eligible for the second iPhone 8 with no more to pay if you purchased the first on the carrier’s next payment plan. However, the catch was to add a second service line to your monthly plan. Also, you were required to remain on AT&T for thirty months, at which time the provider would complete crediting your monthly phone bill for the full value of the free iPhone.
Adding a new line to your account is the mandatory qualification to get a free phone. It means paying at least $45 a month on top of your regular phone bill. The offer can quickly become an unmanageable expense for the long term, more so if you were not already looking to expand your cell phone plan.
Overall, while it is technically a free phone after the carrier applies all your credit bills, you are still giving out cash for the second service line, not to mention applicable taxes or levies.
4. Free Cell Phones on Contract
A $0 phone deal may not be a rare offer if you’re a regular cell phone shopper on the free side of things. The free phone on contract involves signing up for a twenty-four-month service plan with the wireless company in exchange for a brand new device with $0 upfront and nothing more to pay. It is a typical example of a free phone with a new service offering since you must get a new service line to qualify for the cost-free gadget.
Most of the outmoded wireless subsidization models worked similarly. There is no down payment or monthly repayments apart from taking out a preferred contract plan to own the new device. You’ll pay a fixed monthly fee for the whole package, including your talk time, texts, and data, plus the standard line access fee for each cell phone you add to your plan.
Like most freebies from carriers, the catch is an inflated fee for purchasing a device on a twenty-four-month plan. While the provider doesn’t show you that you are paying a separate bill every month for the phone, they often include your handset cost in the price of your cell plan.
Thankfully, most carriers are no longer offering phones on a contract because the gadgets are never really free. The deal would wrap line and phone fees into a single long-term commitment with the wireless operator.
Best Free Phone With New Service Deals From The 4 Major Carriers
If you are trying to find a cell phone, you are probably already aware of the Big 4 providers in this industry. Verizon Wireless, Sprint Mobile, AT&T, and T-Mobile own a significant size of the market share in this landscape. Each of these Telcoms has an infrastructure of phone signal towers spreading across the United States. In addition, the carriers have a great deal of influence on the market rates for some of the most popular cell phones available.
These wireless providers often run promos, making it easy to find an appealing deal and still confusing to decide which offer is best.
The 10 Best Free Phone With New Service Providers
Finding the best family cell phone service can be a real challenge, but receiving a free phone in the process can be a great advantage. Free phones with new service deals are a moving target, so you’ll want to check with these wireless operators for their latest promos.
It is practical, to begin with, the most exciting free phone with a new service deal. AT&T is allowing customers to get the new iPhone 11 Pro without charges. But make sure to read the fine print on this offer since it has some serious red tape.
How To Get The Free Phone From AT&T
The AT&T free iPhone 11 Pro is available in a Buy One to Get One Free offer as follows:
- Purchase an eligible device to get the freebie
- Activate both phones on select unlimited monthly plans for 30 months
- AT&T will pay for the second phone through reward gift cards and bill credits over the course of the 30 months
Note that AT&T allows you to finance the first phone in thirty, equal monthly installments if you cannot afford the one-off payment.
Save $1,000 when you purchase two qualifying iPhones on an eligible installment plan and select an unlimited plan to get:
- BOGOF credits amounting to $700 spread over thirty months
- A reward card worth $300 if you buy online
AT&T has a few other less complicated deals for those who are not seeking the latest and greatest phones.
2. Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless avail of one of four cell phones free with a twenty-four-month commitment on a new service line. Eligible devices include Samsung Galaxy A10e, Motorola Moto e6, iPhone 7, and Nokia 3 V.
How To Get A Free Phone From Verizon Wireless
- Pay $399.99 for each of the two devices through a device payment plan
- Purchase and activate a new smartphone line
- Keep both lines for twenty-four months
- Verizon will deposit your credit back via monthly bills over 24 months.
T-Mobile has a similar offer to Verizon’s, providing four free phone options under a two-year contract on a new service line. On this deal, available cell phones are the Motorola Moto e6, Motorola Moto G7 Power, Samsung Galaxy A10e, and T-Mobile Revvlry.
How To Get A Free Phone From T-Mobile
- Buy an eligible device on the promo
- Switch to T-Mobile for non-customers
- Get the second phone on credit
- Activate a new service line on select monthly plans on the cell phone
- Have both lines on active service for twenty-four months
- T-Mobile will pay for the free phone by crediting your monthly bill for two years
Note that T-Mobile will bill you for the phone’s outstanding fees if you fail to keep your service for the contract period. But unlike other T-Mobile deals, you don’t need a trade-in to receive these free phones.
4. Sprint Mobile
Sprint Mobile has a robust ‘Sprint Flex’ lease program, allowing customers to acquire a cell phone without putting down money. You’ll also qualify for upgrades to newer models in eighteen months because it is a lease. Eligible devices on Sprint’s free lease program include the iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10, and LG G8 Thinq.
How To Get A Free Phone From Sprint Mobile
- Switch to the Sprint Mobile network
- Get a new line of service
- Spend a minimum of $37.50 every month on your service plan for two months
- Sprint will let you sign an 18-month free phone lease on one of the above devices
Keep in mind that you only qualify for the deal with approved credit. Besides, the carrier will bill you for the remaining balance if you cancel early.
Best Free Phone With New Service Offers From First Rate MVNO
The initials MVNO stand for Mobile Virtual Network Operators if you are unfamiliar with the word. Unlike the Big Four carriers, these service providers don’t have cell phone towers across the country. Instead, they depend on the Big 4 providers’ infrastructure via paid partnerships.
You can get a great deal without compromising reliability by using one of these wireless operators for your cell phone service. However, it’s always best to check your area’s coverage maps to see if your preferred MVNO will provide sufficient connectivity.
5. Boost Mobile
If you are shopping for a free phone with new service deals, Boost Mobile has some of the best offers right now. The company runs a promo, giving up to four LG Stylo 5 phones at no cost for switching to their network as a new subscriber. Moreover, you can avail of the Samsung A10e without charges.
How To Get A Free Phone From Boost Mobile
- Purchase $50 or more in a monthly phone plan
- Confirm if the monthly service package qualifies for a port-in
- Switch to the wireless plan with a non-Sprint number
- Claim your free smartphone from Boost Mobile
The provider allows you to activate up to four free LG phones on an eligible plan. Furthermore, you can purchase one Samsung Galaxy A10e and get three at no cost, each with a single new service line and a select monthly plan.
6. Cricket Wireless
Free phone shoppers can choose from nine different cell phone models on Cricket Wireless, including LG Stylo 5, Nokia 3.1 Plus, Motorola Moto e5 Cruise, LG Fortune 2, Motorola Moto G7 Supra, Samsung Galaxy J2 Pure, Nokia 3.1 C, LG Harmony 2, and Alcatel Tetra.
How To Get A Free Phone From Cricket Wireless
- Port in your existing cell number to Cricket Wireless
- Buy $55 or more in a monthly phone plan
- Complete the port-in process by activating the line on an eligible plan
- Pay any extra charges to begin using the free phone with the new service
Indeed, some of these devices don’t come with the best specs, explaining the mixed reviews on the carrier’s website. The Motorola Moto G7 Supra remains the top-rated phone of the nine available options.
7. Straight Talk
Straight Talk is a great choice for consumers who need a free phone with new service without committing to a carrier for 18 to 30 months. Pick from a handful of cell phones, such as the LG L61AL, LG Stylo 3, Alcatel ZIP A5577VL, and Alcatel Avalon V.
How To Get A Free Phone From Straight Talk
- Switch to Straight Talk
- Get Straight Talk eligible new service plan
- Activate the new service package on a preferred free phone
Note that Straight Talk plans are non-refundable upon purchase. And while it’s mandatory to buy a plan to get one of the cost-free handset offers, the commitment isn’t long-term. In some instances, it can be as brief as one month. But before you start celebrating, here are the details on their phones:
- All phones are reconditioned
- The gadgets are older models
- The devices may not have some modern smartphone features you may want to enjoy
Best Free Cell Phone With New Service Deals From Select Lifeline Companies
The federal government offers free cell phones to eligible low-income families and individuals through its Lifeline Assistance program. There are tens of Lifeline providers giving free phones with new services to qualified consumers. You can qualify for one of these freebies by meeting the federal income guidelines or enrolling in a government-sponsored aid program like SNAP, Medicaid, and Food Stamps, among others.
Apart from the free mobile phone, you will get an affordable or un-levied wireless plan. Most Lifelink providers are now offering free smartphones, a tremendous improvement from the previous basic phone they provided. The Universal Service Fund entitles every qualified consumer on the program with $9.25 in monthly phone service.
8. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is among the best Lifeline companies that give a full range of smartphones at no cost.
How To Get A Free Phone From Assurance Wireless
- Check if you qualify for Lifeline Assistance from the government
- Prepare your proof of eligibility documents
- Apply for Lifeline services by sending your documents supporting your eligibility
- Assurance Wireless will mail your free phone plus instructions on activating the free wireless service
You will get unlimited nationwide talk-time and texts with 2 GB of data every month at no cost, to use the free smartphone. Furthermore, you can sign up for a different monthly plan if you want additional talk, data, and texts.
9. SafeLink Wireless
SafeLink Wireless is another top-rated Lifeline provider with attractive cell phone deals. The company lets you bring your own phone on the free wireless service or pick a free Android smartphone upon signing up.
How To Get The Free Phone From Safelink Wireless
- Confirm your qualification for the Lifeline Assistance program
- Gather documents showing your eligibility for the program
- Apply for LifeLink support by sending the documents to SafeLink
- SafeLink Wireless will mail your free phone plus instructions on activating the free wireless service
The carrier has different monthly plans depending on your location. For example, in Massachusetts, they offer a voice-focused service with 1000 talk-time minutes plus 1GB of data every month instead of the regular 2GB of data and 350 minutes. Californians have the best deal with 3 GB of data and unlimited voice minutes. Using your own phone will get you up to 4 GB of data in California and a 500 MB data bonus in other areas.
10. Q Link Wireless
Q Link Wireless has a host of freebies under the Lifeline program, including a free phone with a new service. It is famous for giving some of the best free government smartphones with a SIM card or free wireless service if you bring your own phone.
How To Get The Free Phone From Q Link Wireless
- Check your qualification for the free government phone program
- Collect documents proving that you qualify for LifeLink services
- Apply for a free phone with monthly service by sending Q Link the necessary paperwork
- Q Link Wireless will mail your free phone plus instructions on activating the free wireless service
Successful applicants will get 1000 minutes, 1GB of data, and unlimited texts every month without paying, on top of the free smartphone.
Factors To Consider When Looking For A Free Phone With New Service
It is very important to exercise caution and apply due when getting a free phone with a new service offer. You have seen that all free cell phone deals are not the same, and one wrong move could see you in an expensive long-term commitment with a wireless operator. For that reason, you may want to consider the following factors as you shop for cost-free phone deals.
- Unlocked Cell Phone: Is the free phone locked to the carrier network? If yes, what must you do to get a SIM to unlock? Avoid signing up for long-term contracts with a carrier, especially when it involves locking the phone to their network. You will miss out on every new affordable phone deal from major carriers and MVNOs.
- Total Savings: It’s always best to know the retail recommended price of the free phone. You can then compare the cost of your service plan commitment to the overall savings to see if the deal is worth it. In some instances, customers can save more by purchasing a refurbished or reconditioned handset and using it with the cheapest no-contract plan.
- Commitment Period: Does the free cell phone offering come with a commitment requirement? If yes, you should find out how long you must use the handset on the network to fulfill your agreement. Besides, you’ll want to establish if you can terminate the contract early. Most companies apply hefty surcharges for ending the deal prematurely. It’s best to consider all these costs beforehand to avoid nasty surprises down the road.
- Quality of Network Coverage: Check out the carrier network coverage in your region before grabbing a free phone with a new service. The free device won’t be useful if you pay for a monthly plan with no signal reception. Nearly all mobile companies today have network coverage maps showing the quality of signal strength in each area. Use these maps to determine if you’ll have reliable phone service in your geolocation.
- Selection Of Eligible Service Plans: The majority of phone providers want you to subscribe to a service plan to get a free device. Look for free cell phone offers that allow you to qualify by picking from various monthly packages. Also, check out the selection of features in each eligible phone plan. You don’t want to commit to a deal, providing features you won’t use.
What Phone Deals Don’t Need Carrier Commitment
A majority of consumers today don’t like committing to one cell phone provider, irrespective of the length of time. Carrier commitments can be expensive, and the freedom of choice minus consequences is powerful bargaining leverage. Understandably, the free phone with new service offerings is not for everyone.
If you are looking to avoid cell phone commitments, you should probably shift your goal from free to the best affordable or cheap phones. There are plenty of deals up for grabs if you are ready to invest in a unit that isn’t the latest model. Similar to auto dealers wanting to make room for the coming year’s models, mobile carriers and manufacturers must also clear phone inventories in readiness for the annual upgrade replacements.
A vital tip when shopping for a handset without using carrier subsidies is to ensure you are purchasing an unlocked phone. In this way, you can take the device with you from one provider to another by only replacing the SIM card. You will always look around for the most affordable or suitable monthly plan with confidence.
There are tons of free phones with new service offerings in the market. Whether you should get one of these deals will depend on the specifics of your situation. For instance, you’ll want to commit to one of these cell phone providers in exchange for a cost-free device if you often need the newest tech with no money to pay for it beforehand.
However, you must keep in mind that most of the modern and finest models are not always going to be available without charges. You might end up sacrificing both the freedom of choice in your carrier and the quality of the handset without applying due diligence. If you have no problems using a smartphone that is a few models older, you can find an incredibly cheap gadget that you’ll likely not see the need to go for a free phone with carrier commitments.