Assurance Wireless is a wireless and telephone service provider subsidized by the Federal Lifeline Assistance program – a government assistance program designed to help make communications services more affordable for low-income people and supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. Assurance offers its Lifeline discounts to eligible residents of many U.S. states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The provider offers great monthly plans that come with a lot of free minutes and data. Moreover, Assurance Wireless also offers FREE phones.
However, as the FREE phones provided by Assurance are rather basic and often not able to completely satisfy the client’s needs, many decide to upgrade their phones.
Herein, we will do our very best to provide you with as much information as possible regarding the Assurance Wireless upgrade phones, which will help you with your upgrade or just to decide whether you want to give Assurance Wireless a try in the first place.
What Do We Mean By Assurance Wireless Phone Upgrade?
In order to understand what Assurance Wireless upgrade phones are, it’s important to first understand what the company’s original phones are like.
Assurance Wireless is not a regular wireless provider, one that would offer customers to sign up without any eligibility requirements and simply purchase both a phone and monthly service. Instead, only Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program subscribers can sign up for Assurance’s services. Eligible low-income customers then receive both monthly service and a phone free of charge. As the free services and devices are funded by the government and the funds are limited, Lifeline providers tend to offer mid-range Android smartphones that come with all the basic features, however, are not considered the latest or more advanced devices. Like most Lifeline providers, Assurance also offers free mid-range Android phones, however, the phone brand and model are unknown in advance, as the offer depends on availability. Moreover, the customer is unable to choose the device in advance – instead, the phone is chosen by the company itself.
By ‘Assurance Wireless phone upgrade’ we refer to phones that you can purchase and use with Assurance Wireless’s free Lifeline plan. These phones are better than the ones you get for free when you sign up with Assurance Wireless, thus you upgrade to a better phone, which brings us to the ‘Assurance Wireless phone upgrade’ expression.
A phone upgrade refers to any type of phone change. With Assurance Wireless this will normally be the upgrade of a FREE government phone that you were initially provided with or the upgrade of the upgraded phone, which occurs with users that have been a part of Assurance services for a longer period.
NOTE: Upgrade can also refer to the downgrade; you may want to use a flip phone instead of a smartphone that you’ve been provided with, which is technically a downgrade. However, if you are interested in a flip phone or basic phone, it might be worth mentioning to the Assurance Wireless support, as you might be able to receive one directly (instead of a smartphone).
Why And When You Want To Upgrade Your Assurance Wireless Phone?
There are several reasons why you may want or even need to upgrade your phone or Assurance Wireless upgrade phones. The most common reason is that a client is simply not satisfied with the capabilities of a free phone that came with the FREE Lifeline plan or they have had this free phone for a year or more and it stopped working properly.
Moreover, there are additional reasons, such as damaged, lost, or stolen phones. However, these are far less often than the above two reasons.
Let’s say that you are an Assurance Wireless user (this means that you are enjoying their FREE Lifeline plan) and that your current phone stopped working or your needs exceeded its capabilities. For you to continue enjoying the Assurance Lifeline FREE phone and plan and also have a working device that suits all your needs, you will want to upgrade to a better/working phone.
Why Should I Upgrade To The Assurance Wireless Phone?
If you are an Assurance Wireless user and your phone stops working and you are not able to get a FREE replacement phone (which is a possibility but more on that later on), you definitely should consider upgrading. The amount you may have to pay for a replacement phone may not be much lower than the price of an upgrade phone, thus it makes sense to check the available upgrade phones (more on that below).
NOTE: Your Assurance Wireless phone comes with a one-year warranty from the original equipment manufacturer. If you experience an equipment malfunction, call them at 1-888-321-5880 and they will arrange for a similar replacement phone. The replacement model may not be the exact model of the original device.
What is the Assurance Wireless Phone Upgrade Policy
Assurance Wireless doesn’t have any specific upgrade policy set in place, therefore, you can upgrade your current Assurance phone at any time. However, compared to some other wireless providers offering Lifeline plans, Assurance Wireless doesn’t allow you to bring your phone, which means that you can’t upgrade your device by purchasing it elsewhere and then using it with your Assurance Wireless services. ONLY PHONES PURCHASED AT THE ASSURANCE WIRELESS ONLINE STORE WILL WORK WITH ASSURANCE WIRELESS PLANS!
Generally, you can upgrade your phone (either a FREE government phone or an already upgraded phone) at any time. There are no restrictions as to how often you are allowed to upgrade your device.
When it comes to Assurance Wireless Lifeline plans, California may be a kind of an exception, as it offers the best plans with the most benefits. However, when it comes to upgrade phone policies, California doesn’t have any specific rules or terms. When it comes to Assurance Wireless upgrade phones, the same rules apply to all other states.
How To Upgrade Assurance Wireless Phone
If you are an Assurance Wireless customer and wish to upgrade your phone, you will be glad to learn that the Assurance Wireless phone upgrade process is very quick and simple. All you have to do to receive an Assurance Wireless upgrade phone, is to follow these easy steps:
- First, visit the Assurance Wireless online shop, which is available at https://shop.assurancewireless.com/phones.html.
Note: If the website is currently not working, don’t worry, as the store is probably temporarily closed for scheduled maintenance and it will be back online soon.
- Select a phone. Make sure it meets your needs and your budget. The selection of available phones changes over time as the stocks are changing and newer models are coming to the market.
- After choosing the phone, simply click on it to view extra details or directly add it to the cart by clicking the “ADD TO CART” button. Then complete the purchase and wait for your phone to be delivered to you.
After receiving your Assurance Wireless upgrade phone, you will need to complete one final step, which is transferring your Assurance Wireless service from your old phone to the new one. This process is explained in detail in one of the following sections.
Can I Upgrade My Assurance Wireless Phone for Free?
While some wireless providers offer free phone upgrades, Assurance Wireless is not one of them. The company does not allow customers to upgrade their phones for free. Nevertheless, the phones offered in the company’s online store are generally considerably discounted. The company offers certain smartphones for under $30 and some iPhone models are available for under $200.
12 Best Assurance Wireless Upgrade Phone
The Assurance Wireless philosophy follows the rule, that those using the Lifeline support normally aren’t able to afford the latest smartphone, thus they offer only specific older types of models.
Below is a full list of phones that are currently available for upgrade, including their prices. We have arranged them from the most affordable to the most expensive ones.
All phones and models purchased elsewhere on carriers such as Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are not compatible with the Assurance Wireless system. Only devices purchased from the Assurance Wireless Web Store are compatible with your account.
NOTE: Phones availability is constantly changing and to obtain the most up-to-date information you should visit the Assurance Wireless online shop (https://shop.assurancewireless.com/phones.html).
Unimax U683CL ($29)
Powered by the Android Go 8.1 operating system and boasts a 5″ FWVGA capacitive touch display. Take selfies with the front-facing 0.3MP camera or photos with the 2MP rear camera. Connect to Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices on the run and expand your memory with up to a 64GB microSD card (sold separately).
Coolpad Legacy Go ($49)
Packed with the essential features you need, and fits your budget. A 5″ display, crisp 5MP rear camera, and fast quad-core processor, all optimized on Android™ Go OS. The Coolpad Legacy Go is the perfect choice for those seeking an impressive value at an affordable price.
Coolpad Snap Flip ($54)
It delivers a simple, easy-to-use communication experience. Enjoy voice and text messaging and 4G LTE coverage, so you can stay in touch with friends and family. The Coolpad Snap is best for customers who mainly use their phones to make calls and text.
LG Tribute Dynasty ($69)
It has a big, vibrant and bright touch display. At a full five inches, its high definition resolution stands out. Capture unforgettable moments perfectly with the LG Tribute Dynasty’s 8MP rear camera and make selfies a snap with Auto Shot and Gesture Shot.
Motorola E5 Play ($79)
It has an advanced 8 MP Autofocus camera and a solid selfie camera as well. It also has a front-facing flash. It runs up to 24 hours on a single charge. It also has a water-repellent coating, a solid 2 GB of RAM and a quad-core processor.
Samsung J3 Achieve ($104)
It is an easy-to-use Galaxy smartphone. It lets you shoot and share on a simple camera with plenty of storage to keep your photos. It comes with an 8MP main camera and a great selfie 5MP front camera. It is also equipped with a 16GB of built-in memory.
Samsung Galaxy A10e ($134)
Combines performance and reliability from a brand you can trust. Do more with a long-lasting battery, keep all of your stuff with a 32GB built-in memory, and experience it on a 5.83″ edge-to-edge Infinity display.
LG Tribute Empire ($144)
It features an 8MP camera to capture all of life’s important moments, and a vibrant 5” HD display to see your content vividly. Packed into a slim, premium design, this phone offers the processing power and speed you need to take on the day.
Apple iPhone 6S ($169)
This is an older model, still more than able to please Apple fans. It packs 2GB of RAM, 32GB storage, 12MP rear camera, 5Mp front camera, and very solid battery life.
Apple iPhone 6S Plus ($229)
For those looking for a high-performing smartphone with a large screen.
Apple iPhone 7 ($249)
This is a model to please Apple fans. It packs 2GB of RAM, 32GB storage, 12MP rear camera, 7Mp front camera, and very advanced battery life. It also has a 4.7” Retina HD display.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus ($299)
It is very similar to the above model with an even bigger display of 5.5 inches.
Can I Upgrade the Assurance Wireless Flip Phone(Basic phone) to a Smartphone?
If your needs outgrow your phone’s abilities at any time and you wish to upgrade our Assurance Wireless flip phone to a smartphone, you can easily do so by following the same upgrade rules and process described above.
Can I Upgrade the Assurance Wireless Smartphone to a Better Smartphone?
Yes, of course. Currently, you can upgrade to any of the phones presented in the list above.
How To Get Your Assurance Wireless Phone Replaced?
There are some cases when you can get a FREE replacement phone. Generally, all phones, even free government phones provided by Assurance Wireless come with a 1-year warranty, which means that any malfunction that has not occurred due to misuse (water damage, drops, falls, etc.) of the phone within the first year can get you a FREE replacement phone.
Moreover, Assurance Wireless’s extreme generosity can even get you a FREE replacement phone if your device is lost or stolen.
If your device is damaged, lost, or stolen, call 1-888-321-5880 right away so no one else may use your remaining account balance. You may be charged for a replacement device and shipping.
Can I Get Free Minutes Or Data After The Upgrade?
Currently, there are no special offers available that would get you extra free airtime as you upgrade. However, there might be a special offer running as you decide to upgrade.
Moreover, you can always call Assurance Wireless support and ask if they can offer you a special deal if you upgrade.
What To Do After Upgrading Assurance Wireless Phone?
After purchasing an upgrade phone and receiving it, you must complete a final step, which is to switch your Assurance Wireless service from your old phone to your new one. Details on how to do that are provided in the next section.
How Do I Switch My Assurance Wireless Service From My Old Phone To My New Phone?
To transfer your Assurance Wireless service from your old phone to a new phone:
- Use a computer to go to assurancewireless.com
- Select Account Login then enter your Assurance Wireless phone number and Account PIN
- Go to Account Overview on the My Account page
- Select Swap Phones from the choices listed under I Want To…
- Follow the on-screen instructions to enter and verify your ESN/MEID number (this number is found under the battery after removing the cover).
NOTE: If you are switching to a new plan at the same time you are transferring to a new phone, you will be prompted on how to switch plans.
Assurance Wireless will transfer your phone number and account balance to this phone. Your phone should work after you’ve activated the device and it completes all updates.
How Do I Activate My Assurance Wireless Service?
Here is the activation process:
- Press and hold the Power Button to turn on your phone. Allow hands-free activation to connect the phone to our network and then allow the phone to check for any updates. The phone will power off.
- After the phone turns back on, it may ask you to customize your phone. You may need to skip the setup screens and complete Step 3 first.
- Dial 611 and follow the recorded directions.
- When prompted, enter your Assurance Wireless Account PIN – it can be found at the top of your Assurance Wireless approval letter.
Is the Assurance Wireless Upgrade Phone Unlocked?
If, after a while, you decide to take your Assurance Wireless upgrade phone (or original device for that matter) to another wireless provider, you will have to figure out if your Assurance phone is carrier locked and if so, how to unlock it.
To answer your question, Assurance Wireless phones are carrier-locked, as such, you will need to unlock the device before taking it to another carrier. Learn how to do so below.
Once a device meets the Assurance Wireless unlock eligibility requirements, the company will automatically and remotely unlock the device within two business days (that is, if the device supports remote unlock). In case the device does not support remote unlock, the company will send you a text message with further instructions on how to unlock the device manually.
In order to unlock the device, the phone must be provided directly by Assurance Wireless and active for at least 12 months. In addition, it mustn’t be reported as lost or stolen or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked. In case you abuse any of the company’s policies, the provider may refuse to unlock your device.
Keep in mind that Assurance can’t guarantee that an unlocked device will work on another carrier’s network, as that depends on the new carrier and its policies.
Recertify Your Lifeline Eligibility
Various wireless providers use various terminology, so to avoid any confusion, by ‘recertify’, we refer to annual recertification or ‘Annual Certification’ as Assurance Wireless names it.
To continue receiving your free Lifeline service from Assurance Wireless, you must certify each year that you still qualify for federal Lifeline assistance. Qualifying conditions are the same as if qualifying for the first time.
You will be contacted before your annual certification due date with instructions on how to certify, what is needed and where to provide the information.
NOTE: There is also a so-called ‘Reverification process’, which is a one-time-only process to check that all Lifeline customers are eligible for Lifeline service.
How to Get an Assurance Wireless Free Phone?
As we have mentioned receiving an Assurance Wireless free phone so many times, you may be wondering how to get a free device in the first place. Well, the process is actually relatively simple.
- First, you have to make sure that you qualify for the Assurance Wireless Lifeline (and/or ACP) government benefit program. Only customers who meet the FCC-determined Lifeline and/or ACP eligibility criteria can enroll. To qualify, your annual household income must be at or below 135% (Lifeline) or 200% (ACP) of the federal poverty guidelines, or a household member must participate in a government assistance program, such as SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, FPHA, a Tribal program, etc. The customer must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where the company’s benefits are offered.
- Once you make sure that you qualify for Assurance Wireless assistance program benefits (including a free phone), you must be able to prove it, otherwise ineligible people would take advantage of the program. To do so, you may be required to provide an official unexpired document that proves your annual household income, your program participation, your identity, your address, and your age.
- Apply for the Assurance Wireless government benefit program by visiting https://www.assurancewireless.com/ and entering your ZIP code in the provided box above. You will be redirected to your state’s offer. Review it and press ‘Apply Now’. Then, fill out the online application form by providing all the required information and supporting documentation. Submit the application and expect to receive news about your application status within a few days. If approved, you will be notified via email.
Can I Upgrade My Government Phone?
Yes, you can absolutely do so. See how in the sections above.
Can I Put My Assurance Wireless SIM Card on Another Phone?
You can do so, however, other phones won’t work on Assurance’s network, as the provider does not offer a Bring Your Own Phone program.
What Carrier Does an Assurance Phone Use?
Assurance Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator that uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network.
Can I Use Any Phone With Assurance Wireless?
No. You can only use phones received or purchased directly from Assurance Wireless with Assurance’s services.
Is it Possible to Use a Virgin Mobile Paylo Phone With An Assurance Wireless Account?
As mentioned above, the Assurance Wireless services are strictly limited to free phones provided by the Assurance Wireless or to those upgraded via the Assurance Wireless online store.
Are Virgin Mobile Phones Compatible With My Assurance Wireless Account?
- The same answer applies as above.
Is the iPhone Compatible With An Assurance Wireless Account?
The only way to use an iPhone with Assurance Wireless is if it is purchased (upgrade) via the Assurance Wireless store. Currently, there are iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus available.
Can I Use An Android Phone With An Assurance Wireless Account?
Yes, but only those provided by Assurance Wireless for free or upgrade to via their online shop.
Where Can I Find My Assurance Wireless Pin?
Your Account PIN is the 6-digit number you created during the Assurance Wireless application process.
Customers who receive their phone in the mail will find the Assurance Wireless Account PIN at the top of their Assurance Wireless Welcome Letter. Customers who sign up with a representative will receive a business card with their Account PIN written on it.
Be sure you don’t forget Account PIN and never share it with anyone – it’s the key to your account.
What Should I Do If I Forgot My Assurance Wireless Account Pin?
Your Account PIN is very important if you lost it, call Assurance Wireless support to discuss your options.