Free Cell Phone With No Deposit and No Activation Fee: Is It Real?
Cell phones have in the last two decades become the device that people rely on the most. We rely on mobile devices for private communication, work, education, healthcare, emergency services, ordering food and groceries, browsing the internet, using apps, entertainment, and more. Unfortunately, many people are unable to get one of those almost omnipotent devices, as high-quality models tend to be relatively pricey.
Luckily, though, nowadays, there are certain ways to receive a high-quality device from a reputable brand completely free of charge.
For example, several carriers and wireless providers offer promotional offers on a regular basis. Through these special deals, customers can receive a free phone. However, most deals include certain conditions, such as switching to the provider’s services, adding a new line, purchasing an expensive plan, paying a deposit, activation fee, or other taxes, and trading in an old phone in good working condition. In addition, most companies will also require you to pass a credit check before they approve you for the promotion.
Getting a free cell phone with no deposit and no activation fee may sound too good to be true. However, there actually are some methods and generous providers that do offer free cell phones with no deposit and no activation fee in 2022. Find out more in the following chapters.
What Should You Be Aware of About Free Cell Phones With No Deposit, or Activation Fees?
Before you choose a carrier or wireless provider that will provide you with a free cell phone with no deposit and no activation fee, you have to take certain important factors into consideration.
- Lifeline government free phones indeed come with no deposit, activation fee, or credit check, as they are only available for low-income people in the first place. However, Lifeline phones come with limitations. First, customers are usually unable to choose the device themselves and the devices don’t include the latest models (even though the devices are of high quality and by trustworthy brands). Lifeline also only offers one free device (and service) per eligible household.
- Free cell phone deals by prepaid and postpaid operators are limited-time offers and each offer is only valid for a short time. As such, you must check the providers’ websites frequently and act quickly.
- Credit check requirement. Most carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon conduct credit checks for postpaid service activation and mobile phones. Prepaid services generally do not require credit checks. In addition, there are two providers that offer device financing without a credit check – Boost Mobile on the BoostUP! Program for royal customers and T-Mobile on the smartphone equality program for royal customers.
- Deposit requirement. When you apply for device financing, most companies may ask for a down payment. Some carriers, however, do not require a deposit, including Google Fi, T-Mobile, Verizon prepaid, and AT&T prepaid.
- Activation fee requirement. Most postpaid and prepaid carriers will charge an activation fee. Exceptions include Boost Mobile and Google Fi.
Is It Possible to Get a Free Cell Phone With No Deposit and No Activation Fee?
As we have established before, it is possible to get a free cell phone with no deposit and no activation fee. There are these general ways to do so:
- Receiving a free phone from the government through the Lifeline Assistance Program
- Receiving a free cell phone with no deposit and no activation fee through a commercial phone provider
Now, let’s learn exactly which Lifeline and commercial providers offer free cell phones with no deposit and no activation fee and how exactly can you receive such a device in the following chapters.
The Process to Get a Government Free Cell Phone With No Deposit No Activation Fee
You can get a free phone from the government through the Lifeline program – a government assistance program that offers discounts on monthly phone, wireless, or internet services for eligible low-income households. However, many Lifeline providers also participate in the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers discounts on internet services, and customers who participate in both Lifeline and ACP tend to receive the most benefits. Luckily, being Lifeline-eligible makes you automatically ACP-eligible as well.
The process of applying for the government assistance program (Lifeline/ACP) and receiving a free cell phone with no deposit and no activation fee is as follows:
- First, you have to qualify for the assistance program. A household is Lifeline-eligible if its annual income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a household member participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or certain Tribal assistance programs. Lifeline subscribers in turn automatically qualify for the ACP program as well. In order to qualify for any assistance program, you must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where your selected provider offers its services.
- Secondly, you must prove your eligibility during the application process. You may be asked to provide copies of official documents that prove your income or program participation (depending on your eligibility criteria). You may also be asked to provide documentation that verifies your identity, address, age, etc.
- Lastly, you must apply for the Lifeline assistance program and, in case you wish to receive a more generous offer, the ACP program as well. You can do so through the National Verifier or Lifeline/ACP Support Center at https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline (or https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true for ACP) or directly through the Lifeline/ACP provider that offers free phones in your area.
Government Lifeline Phone Providers for Free Cell Phone With No Credit Check, Deposit, or Activation Fee
Q Link Wireless
At Q Link Wireless, Lifeline and ACP-eligible customers can receive a free phone (in certain states), a discounted tablet, and free unlimited monthly cell phone service with unlimited talk, text, and data. To apply, visit https://qlinkwireless.com/. Enter your ZIP code and email address in the provided search boxes and press ‘Get It Now’. Then, follow the on-screen instructions and fill out the digital application form by providing all the required personal and eligibility information and documentation.
You can apply for an AirTalk Wireless free phone (of your own choice), discounted tablet, and unlimited plan with high-speed data, talk, and text at https://airtalkwireless.com/. Simply press ‘Apply Now’, select your state, select the plan (if available and if you qualify, aim for the Lifeline + ACP Combo plan), and fill out the provider’s online application form by providing all the information and proof.
Cintex Wireless is AirTalk Wireless’ (and NewPhone Wireless’) affiliate company, therefore it offers the same generous benefits – a free phone of your own choosing, an ACP tablet, and unlimited monthly services with high-speed data, talk, and text. To sign up, go to https://cintexwireless.com/, press ‘Apply Now’, enter your ZIP code, and assuming that the company offers its services in your area, you will then be able to choose the plan and complete the application form.
Just like the previous two Lifeline and ACP providers, NewPhone Wireless also offers a free phone, which the customer is allowed to pick from a large variety of available phones (including Android smartphones and iPhones), a discounted tablet, and a free unlimited plan with the monthly data, talk, and text. Enroll by visiting https://newphone.com/, pressing ‘Apply Now’, providing your ZIP code, choosing the plan, and completing the application form.
Lifeline and ACP customers can receive unlimited talk and text, as well as free data every month. SafeLink Wireless also receive a free smartphone. You can start your application process by visiting https://www.safelinkwireless.com/, entering your ZIP code, pressing ‘Start’, and filling out the online application form, which requires you to provide personal information, address, device information, eligibility, and proof.
Another popular Lifeline and ACP provider is TruConnect.TruConnect offers unlimited monthly talk, and text, free international calling to select countries, and up to 14 GB of monthly data. Plus, you can get a free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot. To sign up visit https://www.truconnect.com/, enter your ZIP code and email address, and press ‘Enroll Now’. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to fill out the application form.
Tag Mobile is a wireless provider that offers free Lifeline phone service with free data, global talk, and text. Eligible customers enrolling in California will also receive a free smartphone. Start your application process by visiting https://www.tagmobile.com/, entering your email address and ZIP code, and pressing ‘Enroll’. Follow the instructions to complete the application form.
StandUp Wireless is considered one of the most generous Lifeline and ACP providers, as it offers unlimited monthly talk, text, and data (10 GB of high-speed data), nationwide coverage, a free phone, and a discounted tablet. Begin the online application at https://standupwireless.com/ by entering your ZIP code and email address. Then, you will be required to qualify through the National Verifier (we have provided the instructions above) and fill out the company’s own application form.
At SafetyNet, eligible customers can enjoy unlimited monthly talk, text, and data, plus a smartphone for $0 a month. Start your enrollment process by visiting https://safetynetwireless.com/ and pressing ‘Let’s Go’. You will then be redirected to a page, where you have to provide your email address and ZIP code, and press ‘Check Availability’. If the company’s benefits are available in your area, proceed to fill out the application form.
Assurance Wireless provides its eligible customers with a free smartphone, free unlimited data, texts, and minutes, and 10GB of free mobile hotspot data. You can get these benefits by visiting https://www.assurancewireless.com/ and starting your application by entering your ZIP code in the provided search box above. Then, you will be redirected to a page that displays available plans in your area. When you select the plan that best fits you (again, aim for the most valuable Lifeline and ACP combination plan), press ‘Apply Now’. Then proceed to follow the on-screen prompts to complete the application form.
enTouch Wireless is a service provider that offers free government phone services in 34 states. Eligible customers can receive a new premium Android smartphone and a free plan with unlimited talk, text, data, and free international calling. Of course, there are no hidden fees. Sign up by visiting https://entouchwireless.com/, pressing ‘Enroll Today’ at the top of the page, choosing your state in the pop-up window, choosing your plan, and completing the online application form.
Access Wireless offers free government cell phone service with unlimited monthly talk, text, and data, as well as a free smartphone per every eligible household. Commence your application process by visiting https://www.accesswireless.com/, entering your ZIP code, and pressing ‘Apply Now’. Then, you can select the best plan available in your area, proceed to follow the instructions, and eventually, fill out the application form.
Finally, Infiniti Mobile is another Lifeline and ACP provider that offers free wireless services with free talk, text, and data every month. Lifeline services also include a free smartphone. To begin, go to https://infinitimobile.com/, press ‘Get Started’, enter your information, and press ‘Continue’. Follow the prompts to fill out the application form. If accepted, you will be notified via email (this applies to all other government service providers as well).
What Phone Does the Government Provide Without Any Activation and Deposit?
Until recently, the government only offered Lifeline benefits, therefore providers had limited funds, which enabled them to only offer entry-level Flip phone to mid-range Android phones. However, during the pandemic, the FCC launched the new ACP program, and Lifeline providers that also started offering ACP benefits suddenly got enough resources to offer newer and better devices. Nowadays, some of the most generous Lifeline + ACP providers offer high-quality Android smartphones, basic flip phones, and Apple iPhones (only a few providers offer the latter). Still, government assistance providers do not offer the latest phone models. All of these devices are available for free without any deposit, activation fee, or any other hidden expenses.
While most providers don’t reveal the available phone models in advance, some companies not only reveal which devices they offer but even allow customers to choose whichever device they wish to receive. Depending on which Lifeline/ACP provider you choose (which in turn depends on your location), you may expect to receive one of the following free cell phones with no deposit and no activation fee through the government:
- Alcatel Go Flip 3
- Alcatel Go Flip 4
- Apple iPhone SE
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPhone 6s
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus
- Apple iPhone 7
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus
- Apple iPhone 8
- Coolpad Belleza
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel 2XL
- Google Pixel 3XL
- Google Pixel 4XL
- LG Aristo 4 Plus
- LG K51
- LG Stylo 6
- LG V50 ThinQ 5G
- Motorola G Play
- Motorola G Stylus
- Motorola Moto G7
- Motorola Moto G8 Power
- Motorola Z4
- OnePlus 6
- OnePlus 7T
- OnePlus N10 Nord 5G
- OnePlus N200 Nord 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A01
- Samsung Galaxy A21
- Samsung Galaxy A32
- Samsung Galaxy A50
- Samsung Galaxy On5
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Note 8
- Samsung S9 Plus
- Unimax U693CL
- And many others
Best Commercial Phone Provider Offer Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee?
Verizon Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee
Verizon is one of the largest carriers in the country. It has the largest 4G coverage and a fast-growing 5G coverage. Verizon is a huge company that offers a large selection of mobile devices, accessories, plans, etc. The company also frequently offers deals on cell phones. Through one of those limited-time deals, you can get a discounted or even free phone.
Currently, Verizon offers the following free phones under these conditions: A new line and a specific plan are required. Financing over a promo credit applied to your account over 36 months. 0% APR. Taxes and fees may apply.
- Apple iPhone 13 mini
- Apple iPhone 12 mini (online-only deal)
- Apple iPhone 12
- Apple iPhone SE (3rd Gen)
- Google Pixel 6a
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW
- Motorola edge 5G UW
- Motorola moto g pure
- Certified pre-owned devices: Apple iPhone 12 Pro, Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW, Apple iPhone 12, Apple iPhone 12 mini, Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Apple iPhone X, Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 8, iPhone XS. These are online-only deals. A new line and a specific plan are required. Financing over a promo credit applied to your account over 36 months. 0% APR. Taxes and fees may apply.
T-Mobile Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee
T-Mobile is another one of America’s three largest carriers. It has the third-largest 4G coverage and the single-largest 5G coverage. The company offers many versatile plans, mobile devices, and other services. T-Mobile also offers a user-friendly financing option that won’t affect your credit score. It also offers frequent deals that are only available for a limited amount of time.
Currently, customers can get one of the following free phones under these conditions: A new line is required. Financing over a promo credit applied to your account over 24 months. $0 down + tax.
- T-Mobile REVVL 6 PRO 5G
- T-Mobile REVVL 6 5G
- Motorola moto g stylus 5G (2022)
- TCL Stylus 5G
- Motorola moto g 5G (2022)
- OnePlus Nord N200 5G
- OnePlus Nord N20 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- Nokia X100 5G
- Motorola moto g pure
- TCL 30 XE 5G. A new line or an eligible trade-in are required. Financing over a promo credit applied to your account over 24 months. $0 down + tax.
- Google Pixel 6a. A new line on a qualifying plan is required. Financing over a promo credit applied to your account over 24 months. This deal is available to well-qualified customers, plus tax.
AT&T Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee
AT&T is the last of the three major carriers. It offers the second-largest 4G and 5G coverage, wireless services, plans, mobile devices, and more. The company currently offers these phone models free of charge:
- Apple iPhone 14 Plus. An eligible trade-in is required. Requires 0% APR over a 36-month agreement. Available for well-qualified customers only.
- Google Pixel 7. An eligible trade-in is required. Requires 0% APR over a 36-month agreement. Available for well-qualified customers only.
Boost Mobile Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee
Boost Mobile is an MVNO that offers affordable phone plans, reliable wireless services, phones and other devices, and frequent deals. The company often offers free cell phones with no deposit and no activation fee. Currently, they do not offer any free phones, but they do offer a variety of discounted ones, including:
- Apple iPhone SE 2nd Generation up to $350 off.
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G up to $180 off.
- Samsung Galaxy A03s up to $70 off.
- Apple iPhone 11 up to $300 off.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G up to $400 off.
- Motorola g pure up to $70 off.
- Motorola moto g power up to $100 off.
- Celero 5G up to $200 off.
Cricket Wireless Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee
Cricket Wireless is another MVNO known for offering great deals on phones. The company currently offers the following devices for free:
- Samsung Galaxy A03s. Available when you bring your number and activate a $60/month plan.
- Motorola moto g pure. Available when you bring your number and activate a $60/month plan.
- TCL 30 Z. Available when you activate a new line on a minimum $30/month voice plan.
- Cricket Vision Plus. Available when you bring your number and activate a $55/month plan.
- Cricket Dream 5G. Available when you bring your number and activate a $60/month plan.
Free Cell Phone No Deposit No Activation Fee Related FAQ
What is a Phone Activation Fee?
It is a one-time fee that carriers make you pay when you set up a new account.
How Can I Avoid Cell Phone Activation Fees?
Competing cell phone providers often waive activation fees as a selling point. Find a provider that does this.
What is a Credit Check?
It is a search of your credit report to understand your financial behavior and abilities.
Phone Providers Vs Credit Check Requirements
Most phone providers perform a credit check for postpaid service activation, however, they tend to skip the check for prepaid services. Boost Mobile and T-Mobile offer device financing without a credit check.
Phone Providers Vs Deposit Requirement
If you have a good credit score, you won’t need to pay a deposit. If, however, you have bad credit, you may have to pay a deposit of $100 to $400. Carriers that charge a small deposit or none at all are Boost Mobile, Google Fi, T-Mobile, Verizon Prepaid, and AT&T Prepaid.
Phone Providers Vs Activation Fee Requirement
Phone providers tend to charge an activation fee when you buy a phone and activate a new line. Google Fi and Boost Mobile usually don’t charge an activation fee. Under certain conditions, the following providers may also not charge a fee: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and Metro by T-Mobile.
Do I Qualify for a Free Phone if I Have Poor Credit?
It depends on the carrier. Some don’t perform a credit check and some offer affordable financing conditions.
Can I Switch My Phone Carrier Without Having to Pay Charges?
Yes, some carriers offer such great deals. However, some taxes may apply and you must also pay any outstanding balance with your previous provider.
What is the Minimum Credit Score for Someone Buying a Cell Phone?
There is no established minimum credit score. It depends on the provider. Some will even offer you a device with no credit score.
How Can I Find Free Phone Stands Near Me?
You can find a free phone provider near you at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/companies-near-me/. Provide your ZIP code and you will get a list of available Lifeline providers.