8 Ways to Get Cheap (Even Free) Cell Phone Service

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Everyone seems to have a cell phone with them at all times now. We carry them everywhere. It’s our lifeline.

It is almost terrifying how dependent most of us are on our cell phones. In fact, when I forget my cell phone, it almost feels like I forgot my pants at home.

Most people use them to call and text, but many others also use added data features.

No matter how you use your cell phone, the least favorite part of everyone’s experience is the bill. You no longer have to live through that painful part of the month.

Cell phone bills can be really expensive if you sign up for the wrong plan. I mean ridiculously expensive.

Some people literally pay hundreds of dollars a month to their cell service provider, but no one has to do that anymore! Here are some ways to get cheap and even free cell phone service.

Plans to Get Free Phone Service

Check out some of the options below to get a free or incredibly cheap cell phone plan.

1. FreedomPop’s Basic Plan

FreedomPop homepage

You will not have to pay a monthly bill with FreedomPop‘s Basic 500 plan. You will have to pay a one-time activation fee of $49.99 in order to start taking advantage of this mobile phone deal.

The plan includes 500MB of data, 500 texts and 200 minutes of calls. If you go over this allotment you will be charged, so make sure to keep track of what you are using.

FreedomPop also has a variety of relatively cheap plans with higher amounts of data. Be sure to look into that if you don’t think the free allotment will cover your needs.

Some of the cheap plans include deals such as:

  • 2GB data for between $9.99 a month and $24.99 a month
  • 5GB of data for between $14.99 a month and $34.99 a month
  • 10GB of data for between $19.99 and $59.99 a month

The more months you pay up front, the cheaper the service. Check out their website to find out more about coverage with FreedomPop.

Plans to Get Very Cheap Cell Phone Service

2. FreeUP Mobile

freeup mobile homepage

FreeUP Mobile has several cell phone plans that are cheaper than what you might find at mainstream carriers. .

Their most expensive plan is $45 and it includes unlimited talk, text, and data. There are a variety of other options as well, so just choose the affordable option that works best for you.

Here’s a rundown of their other affordable plans.

  • $15 a month for unlimited global talk and text with500MB of data
  • $20 a month for unlimited global talk and text with 2GB of data
  • $30 a month for unlimited global talk and text with 6GB of data

Note that FreeUP used to have a free cell phone plan. However, that plan has been discontinued due to new ownership. See the website for information about existing Free Plan customers being grandfathered in.

Even though they no longer offer the free plan, FreeUP still has great low prices on monthly cell phone plans.

3. Ting

ting homepage

Ting is a cheap option if you know you can limit your cell phone usage. You only have to pay for what you use, so there is no overcharging for stuff you don’t even need. It seems like a very fair and economical way to use a phone service.

For example, if you know you will be tight on cash one month, then you can simply use your phone less in order to save some money for other things.

The number of lines, minutes, messages and data you use will be tracked on your phone so that you always know exactly what your phone bill will be. The current costs are $6 per line, $3 for 100 minutes, $2 for 100 texts, and $3 for every 100MB of data.

So, for example, let’s say you’ve got three phones in your family. You’ll pay $18 per month to have the three lines. You use between 501 and 1000 talk minutes, which will cost another $18 per month.

Then you use between 1001 and 2000 texts between the three of you for one month. That’s another $8.

You use a combined total of between 1.1GB and 2GB of data per month. That’s another $20 per month.

Your bill will average out to $21.33 a month per phone.

Again, you will only be charged for what you use during the month. You don’t have to choose a level beforehand. So if you don’t make any calls one month, you won’t be charged for minutes at all.

According to the Ting website, the average user only spends $23 a month on their cell service. That would be a huge discount for me, maybe it is for you too!

Ting has no contracts and you can cancel at any time. One huge plus is that you can make international calls and texts to over 60 countries at no additional charge.

4. Republic Wireless

republic wireless homepage

Republic Wireless is a popular affordable cell phone service provider. They have a great reputation as a wifi based cell service provider because they have been around the longest. They have always done a really good job according to many users.

The cheapest plan on Republic Wireless starts at just $15 a month. For that $15, you will get unlimited talk and text.

If you need data, you have the option to buy it on an as-needed basis with the most basic plan. The cost is $5 per GB of data.

Oh, and if you pay annually for this plan, they’ll lower the rate down to $12.50 per month. Republic Wireless has other plans for those who know they’ll be using data, too.

For instance, they’ve got a plan for $25 a month. You get unlimited talk and text and 2 GB of data each month. You can pay annually with this plan too, and get a discount of $50 per year.

Republic Wireless does not require you to sign a contract and you can leave at any time.

You can bring your own phone. They seem to have very few restrictions on what kind of phone you can use on their networks.

5. Consumer Cellular

consumer cellular homepage

Consumer Cellular is a highly rated cell service provider.

It has won the J. D. Power award for “Highest in Customer Service among Non-Contract Value Wireless Providers” four years in a row. Plus, it carries many of today’s top smartphones including the iPhone X.

The cheapest monthly plan you can get with Consumer Cellular is just $25. That will give you unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data. If you happen to be an AARP member, then you will receive 5% off of your bill.

Note that if you need two lines, the monthly price goes down to $20 per line per month. However, the 500 MB of data is now shared.

You do not have to sign a contract with Consumer Cellular, so you are free to leave your plan at any time. That kind of flexibility is important for many of us.

The cell service provided by Consumer Cellular is nationwide, so you can travel around the states and not lose your coverage.

The company also has a 30-day risk-free guarantee. So if you are not happy with your first money, then you can simply cancel the service and try another.

6. Page Plus Cellular

page plus cellular homepage

At Page Plus Cellular, you can get a phone plan for just $12 a month. The plan is appropriately called “The $12.”

The plan comes with 500 minutes of calling, 500 text messages and 100MB of data. All of that for just $12! And if you sign up for auto refill, the plan price goes down to $10 per month.

You will need to be careful about staying within that allotment of minutes, texting, and data because the company will charge you automatically if you go over the limit.

Some examples of potential overcharges are .05 per minute over, .05 per text over, .10 per MB over, and .20 for international text messages. Just make sure you know the rules of the plan before you sign up.

Those little charges can add up and you don’t want to be stuck with a huge bill at the end of the month.

One thing to note about this $12 plan is that it is a 3G plan. You will not be able to bring a 4G device into this plan. There are many affordable 3G phone options, but make sure you like your options before signing up for this plan.

7.  Project Fi

project fi homepage

Project Fi is offered by a brand you already use every day, Google. The giant tech company is making its way into the phone service business through their Project Fi venture.

The plan starts at $20 for unlimited calling and texting. You can then add data as needed for $10 per GB.

The company also offers bill protection, which stops charging you for data after you hit 6GB. You can continue to use data after that point, but you will no longer be charged.

The structure of data in this plan is great because some months you need data and other months you just don’t. The plan gives you the option of using unlimited data if needed, but you could also not use any data the next month.

I find this feature amazing because some months I might be traveling more and need the data for a variety of things, but other months I can just use wifi for the entire month. The plan feels like an unlimited data plan but without the insanely high price tag.

One thing to note about Project Fi is that you will have to buy a Google Smartphone at an unsubsidized price. At other carriers, they usually help to cover the cost of a phone in order to entice you for signing up for their monthly service. However, Google’s Project Fi does not do that.

For some of their phones, you do have the option of spreading out your payment over many months but these are still very expensive phones. It will be up to you whether a phone like that is worth the payments.

8. TracFone

TracFone homepage

TracFone has an amazingly cheap plan for anyone who uses their phone infrequently. They have a plan for just $9.99, plus if you auto-refill your plan it will only be $8.99.

The plan only includes 30 minutes of talk, texts or data use. Although that is a seemingly small amount of time available, it is still a good deal if you do not need that much data.

It might even help you to stop using your phone so much. If you know your phone time is limited, then you are more likely to put it down.

TracFone has other plans with more options, so you can find a plan that will suit your needs. You will have to prepay for an airtime card, so make sure you get enough minutes at the time of your purchase.

How to Get a Free Cell Phone

All of the plans above are great options for free or cheap phone service, but you might be more interested in a free cell phone. You have many options when it comes to free cell phones. Free things are always good.

You might be asking yourself why there are so many free cell phone options. It is because certain carriers want you to sign up for their plan.

While you will have to pay a monthly fee for all of these plans, you’ll have a free cell phone. Thus, you’ll have to decide what is important to you.

You should always be aware that some carriers may seem like they are giving you a free phone, but you are actually just paying off over the course of a multi-year contract.

Sometimes you might actually only be leasing the phone for a few years, which means that the phone was not actually free. Make sure to read through all of the details of your free phone and new service plan before you sign up.

If you are looking for a discounted phone instead of a free phone, then check out this article about the best places to find a used phone.

With that being said, there are plenty of legitimately free cell phones deals that you can use to your advantage. If a free cell phone is important, then keep reading to find out more.

We’re features two MetroPCS deals where you can get free phones.

1. LG Aristo 3 Plus

You can get the LG Aristo 3 Plus for free. That is a pretty amazing deal considering that the phone is worth almost $140. In order to get this phone for free, you will have to sign up for an unlimited plan with MetroPCS.

The plan includes unlimited talk and text, but you will have to add data depending on the amount you use.

The phone itself seems to be a very good smartphone. It has some great features like a 5” HD display, a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera,  and 16 GB of storage. All of these features indicate that most of us would like this phone.

If you are looking for a free smartphone, then this might be the way to go.

2. LG Q7 Plus

The LG Q7 Plus is another great free phone that you can claim. Again, it is MetroPCS that is willing to give you this great phone just for switching to their service.

The LG Q7 Plus is a smartphone with a variety of good features including an 8MP front facing camera, 64 GB of storage and a 5.5” HD display.

The most exciting part about this phone is that it is water resistant, so if you spill something on it you do not have to be as worried about it. It could be the perfect phone for you if you spend a lot of time outside near the water.

You will have to sign up for an unlimited plan with MetroPCS, but the phone will be absolutely free. At an original price of $289, this free phone is a great deal.

3. Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is a Federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile for low-income families.

You may qualify for a free cell phone based on income as well as if you are on certain public assistance programs, like Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


Every phone service has its good and bad qualities, you will have to decide which service will work best for your lifestyle.

Make sure to be realistic about your phone usage before you sign up for a plan, you don’t want to be trapped in a plan that will never work for you.

You likely use your phone all of the time. Try to choose a phone and a plan that will keep you happy, but not break the bank.

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