How to Get a Free Cellphone Plan

There are plenty of low-cost carrier options, but if your cellphone use is modest you may be able to get your service for free -- yes, zero, zip, nada.

How to Get a Free Cellphone Plan Photo by Neyman Kseniya / Shutterstock.com

This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.

Free cellphone plans probably sound too good to be true. But if you’re not a heavy cellphone user, you could be overpaying for your plan each month and spending too much for talk, text and data amounts you never use.

While there are plenty of low-cost carrier options, several cellphone providers now offer free to eligible customers. And when we say “free,” we mean it: You’ll get a set amount of minutes, text messages and data each month, all completely free of charge.

If you’re a light phone user and you’re looking for a work-around to paying a cellphone bill each month, here’s everything you need to know.

And keep in mind, you may also be eligible for the Lifeline phone subsidy program; more info is available below.

About this plan:

  • 200 minutes voice calls
  • 500 texts
  • 500MB of 4G LTE data

Note: While there are no contracts or requirements to move up to a paid plan, know that if you exceed your data amount, you will incur a Top Up charge of $15 when you have used all the data included in your plan. Also, you can bring any compatible unlocked CDMA device. In this case, there will be $20 initial Top Up to activate this plan.

Lifeline: Government subsidized services

The U.S. government’s Lifeline phone service helps low-income residents by providing free cellphones and service to qualified applicants. Participants include big carriers such as , , and, as well as a host of smaller regional providers.

Lifeline operates as part of the Universal Service Funds, and gives either free or heavily discounted prepaid wireless service to residents with an income that is either at, or below, 135 percent of the federal Poverty Guidelines.

You may also be eligible if you receive assistance from programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public House Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, and certain qualified Tribal Programs.

Low-income households may receive one Lifeline discount or service each, on either a landline or mobile service. A National Lifeline Accountability Database exists to ensure multiple carriers don’t issue services for the same customer or household.

For more information on these programs, and to apply for assistance, .

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