Buying a cell phone used to be a luxury. However, nowadays, you can easily get one for free simply by switching to another carrier. Many cell phone service providers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, offer decent smartphones at very affordable prices (sometimes even for free). Sometimes they offer free Android smartphones and sometimes they also offer free or discounted iPhones when you switch. However, the latest phones generally don’t come free of charge, but high-quality slightly older models do.
Getting a free iPhone when you switch may seem like a dream deal. Nevertheless, it’s important to bear in mind that carriers and service providers do so to encourage you to transfer your service to their network and to get you locked into a lengthy contract with them. As such, you better make sure the special deal is worth it.
How Do You Get the Free iPhones When You Switch?
The majority of the well-known mobile carriers in the country provide deals on discounted or free phones on a regular basis. Many of these special deals require the customer to do some of the following:
- Trade-in an older eligible phone in working condition
- To buy one and get one free
- To sign up for a select unlimited plan
- To add a new line
- To switch to their services
Doing one or more things listed above may qualify you for getting a free Android smartphone or a free iPhone from a carrier.
If a phone comes for ‘free’, it doesn’t mean it is actually completely free of charge. It means that you do not have to pay for it upfront. Instead, you can pay it off in smaller monthly installments over 12 to 36 months, which requires you to sign a contract with the carrier. The more expensive the device, the longer the contract. When signing such a contract, make sure you will be able to stick with the provider for a fixed period of time. In addition, check if there are any early termination fees or other hidden costs.
As you can see, any ‘free phone’ deal comes with a catch. As such, many customers prefer to pay for the device upfront and thus gain the flexibility and freedom to switch providers. Still, these kinds of free deals allow low-income people to get one of the most advanced smartphones on the market instantly and with a $0 down payment.
What Phone Companies Give Free iPhones When You Switch
There are plenty of service providers and carriers that offer free smartphones when you switch. But only some of them also offer free iPhones when you switch. In this section, you can take a look at the best phone companies that offer free iPhones when you switch.
Get free iPhones when you switch to Verizon
Verizon is one of the ‘big three’ carriers’. They offer the largest network in the country, a large selection of flexible plans, and a huge assortment of advanced mobile devices. In addition. Verizon is known for often offering special deals on discounted or free phones. Verizon’s special offers on phones tend to change and update frequently, however, currently, Verizon offers several free Android smartphones as well as some free iPhones when you switch.
Currently, Verizon offers the following iPhone models
- Apple iPhone 12
- Apple iPhone SE (3rd Gen)
You can get one of these iPhone models when you switch to Verizon or when adding a new line. No trade-in is required. You also have to sign a 36-month contract and get an unlimited plan. Some of these offers are online only.
When it comes to certified pre-owned devices, many other iPhone models are also available for free, including iPhone 12, Apple iPhone 12 mini, Apple iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Apple iPhone X, Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple iPhone XR, Apple iPhone 8 Plus, Apple iPhone XS, and Apple iPhone 8.
Learn more about Verizon’s free iPhones when you switch at verizon.com/deals/free-phones.
In addition to iPhones, when you switch to Verizon, you can also receive some high-quality Android smartphones free of charge. Currently, new customers can receive the following free Android devices:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- Motorola g pure
Get free iPhones when you switch to AT&T
AT&T is also one of the three major carriers in the U.S. They offer a long list of benefits, including many versatile plans, a nationwide network, a large selection of the most advanced smartphones by the most reputable brands, and regular deals on discounted or free phones. AT&T’s special offers on phones tend to change and update frequently. Currently, the carrier offers several discounted Android smartphones as well as some free iPhones when you switch.
However, currently, the company doesn’t offer completely free iPhones. The highly discounted iPhones are:
- Apple iPhone 13 (up to $700 off)
- Apple iPhone 12 (for up to 50% off, starting at $10.14 a month)
The first model (iPhone 13) can come with a discount of up to $700. To get this discount, you must purchase an eligible smartphone on a qualifying installment agreement, including taxes on the full retail price and a $30 activation or upgrade fee. You must also trade in an eligible smartphone in good working condition within 30 days of activation. In addition, you need to activate or keep postpaid unlimited voice & data wireless service (minimum $75 a month for new unlimited customers).
You can get the iPhone 12 with a 50% discount for $10.14 a month without a trade-in if you purchase it on a qualifying 0% APR installment agreement, including taxes on full retail price and a $30 activation or upgrade fee, and if you activate or maintain postpaid unlimited wireless service (minimum $75 a month for new unlimited customers).
In addition to these iPhones, these Android smartphones are also available:
- Samsung Galaxy S22 (for free)
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G (for $2 a month)
- Google Pixel 6 (for $15 a month)
Get free iPhones when you switch to T-Mobile
T-Mobile is the third of the three largest carriers in the United States. It offers a nationwide 4G network and the largest 5G network in the country. The company also offers many different limited and unlimited plans, a huge selection of advanced mobile devices, and frequent special offers on discounted or free phones. The carrier’s deals on phones tend to change and update on a regular basis. Nevertheless, currently, T-Mobile offers certain free Android phones and a few free iPhones when you switch.
At this moment, you can get one of the iPhone models listed below at T-Mobile:
- Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) (for free via 24 monthly bill credits when you add a new line on a Magneta MAX Plan. The online-only offer is available while supplies last)
Learn more about T-Mobile’s free iPhones when you switch at t-mobile.com/offers/apple-iphone-deals.
In addition to the iPhone deals, T-Mobile also offers several attractive free Android deals:
- OnePlus Nord N20 5G
- TCL Stylus 5G
- Motorola moto g 5G (2022)
- OnePlus Nord N200 5G
- T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G
- OnePlus Nord N20 5G
- Motorola moto g stylus 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- TCL 30 XE 5G
- Nokia X100 5G
- Motorola moto g pure
Get free iPhones when you switch to Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile is a popular U.S. wireless service provider that offers versatile and relatively affordable plans, high-quality phones, and sometimes they even offer exciting deals on discounted and/or free phones for both existing and new customers. Their deals on devices change frequently. However, currently, Boost Mobile offers a couple of free Android smartphone models, as well as one free iPhone model when you switch to their services.
Currently, Boost Mobile offers the following iPhone model:
- Apple iPhone SE
You can get this iPhone for free when you switch to Boost Mobile and if you buy another phone at full price. Otherwise, customers who are planning to switch can get it for $19. Either way, the customer must also activate a select plan. This offer is only available for new customers and it is not available on Bring-Your-Own-Phone plans.
In addition to this iPhone model, new customers can also receive a free Samsung Galaxy A32 5G Android smartphone when they switch.
Learn more about Boost Mobile’s free iPhones when you switch at boostmobile.com/stores/offers.html.
Get free iPhones when you switch to Metro by T-Mobile
Metro by T-Mobile is a prepaid wireless service provider and company owned by T-Mobile US. It was previously known as MetroPCS. They offer T-Mobile’s nationwide coverage, flexible plans, high-quality phones and devices, and regular special deals on discounted or free phones. Like most other service providers, Metro also changes its deals regularly, therefore make sure not to miss a great offer. Currently, the provider offers several Android phones and the following iPhone model with a considerable discount:
- Apple iPhone SE (for $99.99)
To get the discount, you must switch to Metro by T-Mobile and activate a qualifying plan. This is a limited-time, in-store-only offer.
In addition to this discounted iPhone and other discounted phones, Metro also offers the following 5G Android devices completely free of charge when you switch to Metro.
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- Motorola moto g stylus 5G
- Nokia X100
- OnePlus Nord N200 5G
- TCL 30 XE 5G
- REVVL V+ 5G
Learn more about Metro by T-Mobile’s free iPhones when you switch at metrobyt-mobile.com/apple-iphone-deals.
Get free iPhones when you switch to Cricket Wireless
Cricket Wireless is an American wireless service provider, owned by AT&T. It provides nationwide coverage, plenty of affordable plans, great mobile devices from the world’s most reputable brands, and regular deals on plans and discounted or free cell phones. Their special offers expire and change quickly, however, currently, they offer some great Android phones and iPhones for free or with substantial discounts.
Cricket Wireless currently offers the following deals on iPhones:
- Apple iPhone SE 64GB from $0.00
- Apple iPhone 11 64GB from $399.99
While Apple iPhone 11 64 GB can now be with a considerable discount (its original price is $499.99), the iPhone SE can be obtained free of charge. To get the Apple iPhone SE for $0, you must activate a new line and a new account on a $60 a month plan. This is an online-only offer.
Learn more about Cricket Wireless’ free iPhones when you switch at cricketwireless.com/current-phone-and-plan-deals/iphone.
In addition to these free or discounted iPhones, the company also offers several free Android phones for customers who switch to Cricket:
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- TCL 30 Z
- Cricket Icon 3
- Cricket Debut
- Cricket Dream 5G
Get free iPhones when you switch to US Cellular
U.S. Cellular Corporation is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that attracts millions of customers with its nationwide coverage, affordable plans, quality cell phones from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and other reputable brands, and with regular special deals on plans and devices for both new and existing customers. The company’s deals tend to change often, however, currently, the provider offers several great Android phones as well as the following free or discounted iPhone models:
Currently US Cellular free or discounted iPhone models
- Apple iPhone 13 (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan, a qualifying device trade-in, and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 13 mini (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan, a qualifying device trade-in, and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Even Better plan, a qualifying device trade-in, and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Even Better plan, a qualifying device trade-in, and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone SE (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 12 (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan, a qualifying device trade-in, and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 12 mini (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan and paperless billing.)
- Apple iPhone 11 (For free after monthly bill credits for 36 months. The promotional pricing requires Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plan and paperless billing.)
The company also currently offers several Android free phones, including:
- Samsung Galaxy S22
- Samsung Galaxy S22+
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Motorola moto g power 2022
- Samsung Galaxy A13
- Google Pixel 6 Pro 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A03s
- Motorola moto g pure
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
- Cat S62
- Motorola moto g stylus (2020)
- Motorola moto g play 2021
- Samsung Galaxy A12
- Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
- TCL A30
Alternative Ways to Get a Free iPhone
As you have seen throughout the article, carriers often offer deals on free iPhones. However, if you don’t want to commit to a carrier, there are also some other ways to get a free iPhone. You can:
- Get a government free phone (for eligible low-income people)
- Get a free phone from charities
- Get a free phone from non-profit organizations
- Find a trade-in deal
- Buy a refurbished or used phone for a much lower price
- Participate in an online giveaway (make sure to avoid scam contests)
- Get a free phone as a marketing agent
- Get a free phone as a reviewer
- Get a free phone from Amazon Vine
Best Wireless Providers That Offer Free Government iPhones Under the Lifeline/ACP Program
As mentioned above, you can already get a free iPhone from the government. The government offers two assistance programs that provide discounts to eligible low-income households on phone and wireless services and phones (Lifeline) and monthly internet services and connected devices (the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP). Lifeline is an old program with limited funds, therefore it traditionally offered entry-level to mid-range Android phones. However, since the launching of the new ACP program in 2022, there are numerous wireless providers that participate in both assistance programs and therefore have more funds, which enables them to offer better smartphones, including Apple iPhones.
The process of receiving a free government iPhone is the same for all providers:
- First, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
- You must also be a resident of one of the states where your selected provider offers its services.
- You must make sure that you qualify. A household is ACP-eligible if it meets any of the following requirements:
- The annual household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- A household member participates in any of the following government assistance programs (federal or Tribal):
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- You must collect the documents that prove your eligibility.
- You must apply for the Lifeline/ACP program at the Lifeline/ACP support center or directly at your selected provider.
The majority of Lifeline and ACP providers still only offer free Android phones, however, there are a few that also offer free government iPhones, including:
- Cintex Wireless (see its selection of free phones at https://cintexwireless.com/free-phone)
- AirTalk Wireless (see its selection of free phones at https://airtalkwireless.com/free-phone)
- NewPhone Wireless (see its selection of free phones at https://newphone.com/free-phone)
What Do I Need to Know Before Switching Carrier?
Before you switch from your current carrier to a new one, there are certain things you should keep in mind and take into consideration.
Check if the new carrier has some special eligibility requirements. Some carriers only offer their services in certain U.S. states and only residents of those states can sign up. In addition, many free iPhone deals require you to trade in an eligible phone in working condition, to purchase one and pay for it upfront, to add one or more new lines, and to sign up for a rather pricey service plan. Whatever their condition is, make sure you check all the boxes.
Before you commit to a carrier for a considerable amount of time (up to 36 months), you should definitely check if the carrier’s network is available in your area. Verizon has the largest 4G network in the U.S. It covers over 70% of the territory and connects more than 99% of the entire population. T-Mobile, on the other hand, has the largest 5G coverage. MVNOs all use networks from other carriers, however, in times of congestion the owners of the network tend to have a slight advantage. All carriers and MVNOs have coverage maps available on their websites. You can check the coverage in your area by simply searching the map or entering your address.
Plans and Pricing
While large carriers that have their own networks tend to have a slight advantage in coverage availability and speed over MVNOs that only rent their networks, MVNOs, on the other hand, have the upper hand when it comes to pricing. MVNOs often offer considerably cheaper plans and services than large carriers.
However, nowadays, all service providers offer multiple versatile plans. Some of these come with limited minutes, texts, and monthly data and are perfect for people on a tight budget, while others come with unlimited everything but tend to be rather pricey.
Before you choose a carrier, review their plans and prices and choose the option that best fits your needs.
If you are planning to buy a new phone when you join the new service provider (or to get one for free), it’s important to review their phone selection. Most large carriers and mobile phone service providers offer the most advanced phones from the most reputable brands. However, they may have different prices and different deals on discounted or free devices. If you wish to get a free iPhone when you switch, you can review the current plans in the previous section.
Some plans include mobile hotspots, while others don’t. If having a mobile hotspot is important to you, consider checking all the plans from all the providers for this option and choose a plan that offers it.
Lastly, if anything goes wrong or if you have any questions regarding your phone, the switch, the plan, or anything else, it’s also great to be able to contact reliable customer service. Make sure the carrier you wish to subscribe to offers professional and responsive customer service that is available at all times.
How Do You Switch Carriers?
Nowadays, switching carriers is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is to follow the easy steps below.
- Step 1: Before choosing a carrier, make a list of requirements and review which carrier offers everything you need. Once you find the best match, make sure it offers services in your area and that you have all it takes to get a free iPhone when you switch (if that is what you wish to do).
- Step 2: When you find a suitable new provider, contact them and tell them you want to subscribe, get a free phone, etc. Make sure not to cancel the existing service until the switch is complete, otherwise, you may not be able to use your current number. Only when you have a successful porting transfer, you can keep your current phone number.
- Step 3: When the porting transfer is complete, you will be able to order a new line, purchase a new phone, activate your service, and begin to use your plan. You can keep your old phone and simply purchase and activate a SIM card, trade-in your old phone for a new one, or get a new phone. If you wish to get a free iPhone when you switch, you can get one from the free iPhone offers above.
How Do I Activate With My Carrier When I Buy an iPhone With a Carrier Deal Online?
In case you have chosen the carrier and deal that best fits your needs and with to activate one of the carrier deals, all you have to do is to authorize activation of the new iPhone with your carrier’s qualifying plan at the time of purchase.
In case you have any questions whatsoever, you can simply contact your new carrier’s customer service.
Free iPhone Related Questions and Ans
Why Do Phone Companies Offer Free Phones When You Switch Companies?
Generally, phone companies do so to get you to engage in a lengthy contract. This way you will have to pay monthly installments and often pretty pricey monthly plans, which will benefit the company.
Are Free Phones Free?
Not exactly. You may not be required to pay for the device upfront, but you will be required to pay for small monthly installments over 24 to 36 months. Doing so will tie you up to the company’s services. However, if you don’t have the money to pay upfront, this may be a great option.
In addition, some carriers give you a credit or a discount in exchange for switching to their services, trading in another phone, or adding a new line.
Do I Get a Free Phone if I Switch to MetroPCS?
Yes, if you switch to MetroPCS (now called Metro by T-Mobile) you may be able to get a free Android or iPhone. See the company’s latest phone deals at metrobyt-mobile.com/shop/deals.
Can I Get a Free Phone From the Government?
Yes. However, to get a free phone from the government you must come from a low-income Lifeline or EBB-eligible household.
Can I Get a Free Phone Online?
Yes, there are many ways to get a free phone online, including getting an online carrier deal, participating in an online getaway, becoming a reviewer or a marketing agent, etc.
Can I Get a Free Phone Without a Contract?
Yes, however, it depends on the phone company, the deal, or the way you wish to obtain the free phone.
Can I Get a Free Phone Under the EBB Program?
Yes, the EBB is a government assistance program that provides one-time discounts on wireless devices for low-income households affected by the pandemic. However, most EBB providers offer discounts on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Luckily, EBB-eligible customers are also Lifeline-eligible and most Lifeline providers offer free phones to eligible customers.