What are the Reasons for Wanting to Receive a Free Phone?
Having a mobile device is nowadays a basic necessity. It enables us to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, browse the internet, use convenient apps that make our lives so much simpler, and much more.
However, while cell phone prices have become relatively affordable (especially if you opt for older phone models or refurbished devices), normally, they are still not completely free of charge, which is precisely why some people are unable to purchase them. So, why do people need a free phone? Simply because they are struggling to pay for it. Receiving a free phone would enable low-income individuals and households to:
- Find a new job
- Educate themselves
- Attend virtual lessons
- Stay in touch with family members and friends
- Take photos and videos
- Take notes
- Play games, watch videos, listen to music, and enjoy other forms of entertainment
- Order food
- Order items and services
- Contact their healthcare providers
- Contact emergency services
Is There Any Way to Get a Free Phone From Straight Talk
Straight Talk is a popular wireless provider owned by TracFone. The company offers a selection of the latest mobile devices from the most reputable brands, a large variety of flexible monthly no-contract service plans, access to nationwide coverage of any of its network providers (T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T), and other reliable products and services.
Many wireless providers offer free phones. You may be wondering if Straight Talk is one of them. Is it possible to get Straight Talk free phones? Let’s figure it out!
First of all, Straight Talk is not a Lifeline provider, therefore the company does not offer eligible customers free government phones through the Lifeline program. However, the company does participate in the new Affordable Connectivity Program that offers discounts on monthly internet services and in certain cases, on broadband-connected devices, such as tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Still, Straight Talk does not provide free phones through its ACP program. Instead, it only offers discounts on monthly broadband services. As such, when it comes to getting a free phone from the government, Straight Talk is not the right provider.
Nevertheless, the company does sometimes offer some Straight Talk free or discounted phones through their promotional offers.
When it comes to promotional offers, it is important to note that they tend to change and update on a regular basis. The phone that may have been free or discounted a month ago may not be discounted, free, or even available anymore. Straight Talk’s promotional offers depend on several factors, including availability, location, and other conditions.
In addition, all of Straight Talk’s promotional offers come with certain conditions. For example, some deals are only available to new customers who decide to switch to Straight Talk. Existing customers may be required to add a line and/or purchase a select plan (which tends to be relatively pricey). Customers may also be required to trade in an old device in good working condition or buy a device at full price in order to get another one free of charge.
Note that Straight Talk is a prepaid wireless provider, therefore, you won’t be required to sign a lengthy contract to receive a free device, nor will you have to deal with credit checks or activation fees. You will, however, have to choose an unlimited plan. Also note that Straight Talk often offers refurbished phones, older phone models, or devices with simpler specifications.
As mentioned before, Straight Talk’s promotional deals change on a regular basis, as such, it’s best to check whether or not you can currently get Straight Talk free phones and under which conditions by visiting straighttalk.com/deals/all-deals.
What You Can Get for Free From the Straight Talk
Depending on availability, location, and other factors, the company may not always offer free or discounted phones. However, the wireless provider does offer some other free services.
Straight Talk Free ACP Program
First of all, Straight Talk is participating in the government assistance program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers discounts on monthly broadband services to eligible low-income households. Qualifying customers can expect to receive a discount of up to $30 (or even $75 for eligible Tribal households) on monthly services. Straight Talk’s ACP customers can get free monthly phone service with:
- Free limited or unlimited data (depending on the location)
- Free unlimited talk and text
- Up to 10 GB of free hotspot data (depending on the location)
- The opportunity to keep your own device and number
- Access to a nationwide network by one of the country’s largest carriers
Straight Talk Free Refill
Sometimes, you will be able to refill your plan easily and free of charge online. To do so, visit straighttalk.com/refill/refill-your-plan, log into your account, and refill your services.
Straight Talk Free Services
Straight Talk offers a free service plan. To get it, you must:
- Log in to your Straight Talk Rewards webpage at rewards.straighttalk.com/refer to receive your unique referral code.
- Refer a friend to Straight Talk.
- Tell your friend to join Rewards using your code within 14 days of activation.
- Once you do all of the above, both you and your friend get a free service plan.
Moreover, Straight Talk offers a huge Rewards program that may earn you all sorts of perks and discounts. Learn more about the program at rewards.straighttalk.com.
Straight Talk Free or Discount Plans
In addition to the Rewards free service plan, sometimes, Straight Talk will offer other discounts on monthly services. See the company’s current plans at straighttalk.com/plans.
If I Don’t Get a Free Phone From Straight Talk, What are Other Ways to Get a Free Phone?
As mentioned before, Straight Talk free phones may not always be available. The company namely does not offer free Lifeline (or ACP) phones and its promotional deals are unreliable and inconsistent. If that is the case at the current moment, do not worry, as there are many other ways to receive a free phone. Review the ways to receive a free phone below.
Lifeline Free Phones
Lifeline is a government assistance program that helps make communication services more affordable for low-income households. The program provides a discount of up to $9.25 (or up to $34.25 for eligible Tribal households) on monthly phone, wireless, or internet services. Some Lifeline providers (depending on their own generosity) also offer Lifeline free phones.
Wireless providers that only participate in the Lifeline program have limited funds, therefore, they tend to offer entry-level to mid-range Android smartphones or basic feature phones.
In order to receive a free phone through the Lifeline program, follow the process described below:
- You must meet the Federal Communications Commission’s eligibility criteria, which are universal for all Lifeline providers (although the criteria may vary slightly depending on the state). To qualify, the applicant must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where their selected provider offers its services. The household must also either have a low annual income (at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines) or participate in one of the qualifying government assistance programs, such as SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Medicaid, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or a Tribal assistance program.
- You must be able to prove your Lifeline eligibility by providing certain unexpired official documents that contain all the necessary information that verifies your identity, age, address, or other personal data, and prove your Lifeline eligibility.
- You must apply for the Lifeline program through the National Verifier. You can do so online at nv.fcc.gov/lifeline or by printing out an application form at lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf, adding the proof documentation, and sending the package to Lifeline Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742. You may also be able to apply by contacting your selected Lifeline provider directly.
- Select a Lifeline provider that offers free government phones through the Lifeline program in your state of residence. Search for Lifeline providers in your area at lifelinesupport.org/companies-near-me.
Lifeline providers that offer free phones through their Lifeline program include:
- Access Wireless
- American Assistance
- Assist Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Easy Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Infiniti Mobile
- Life Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- SafetyNet Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- True Wireless
ACP Free Phones
The Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP is a brand new government assistance program that offers a discount of up to $30 (or up to $75 for eligible Tribal households) on monthly broadband services and thus enables low-income people to get the internet access they need for work, education, healthcare, and other services. Depending on their program and funds, certain ACP providers may also offer a one-time discount of up to $100 on internet-connected devices (tablets, laptops, or desktop computers). Some ACP providers (especially the ones that offer both ACP and Lifeline benefits) may also offer free phones. Providers that offer free phones through the ACP program only are very limited and they have limited funds, therefore their free devices are of mid-range and quality.
In order to receive a free phone through the ACP program, follow the process described below:
- You must meet the Federal Communications Commission’s eligibility criteria, which are universal for all ACP providers (although the criteria may vary slightly between states). To qualify, the applicant must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where their selected provider offers its services. The household must also either have a low annual income (at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines), participate in one of the qualifying government assistance programs, such as Lifeline, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, WIC, Medicaid, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, or a Tribal assistance program, or have received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- You must be able to prove your ACP eligibility by providing certain unexpired official documents that contain all the necessary information that verifies your identity, age, address, or other personal data, and prove your eligibility.
- You must apply for the ACP program through the National Verifier. You can do so online at nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true or by printing out an application form at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf, adding a completed Household Worksheet (available at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf) and the proof documentation, and sending the package to ACP Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742. You may also be able to apply by contacting your selected ACP provider directly.
- Select an ACP provider that offers free government phones through the ACP program in your state of residence. Search for ACP providers in your area at affordableconnectivity.gov/companies-near-me.
ACP providers that offer free phones through their ACP program include:
Lifeline + ACP Combo Free Smartphone
While wireless providers only participated in the Lifeline program they did not have enough funds to offer newer and more advanced free phones to eligible customers. However, ever since many of the previous Lifeline-only providers also decided to participate in the ACP program, their funds have grown and they are now able to provide higher-end Android smartphones and iPhones to qualifying customers. As the Lifeline + ACP combo plan always offers more benefits than the Lifeline Only or the ACP Only plan, it is advisable to try to find a provider that offers both discounts. As all Lifeline subscribers automatically qualify for the ACP program as well, Lifeline subscribers can easily search for a Lifeline + ACP combo plan instead of settling for a Lifeline Only plan.
In order to receive a more advanced free phone from a Lifeline and ACP provider, follow these simple instructions:
- Make sure that you qualify for both government assistance programs (see the Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria above).
- Make sure you are able to prove your Lifeline and ACP eligibility by providing proof documentation.
- Apply for the Lifeline and ACP program through the National Verifier of Lifeline/ACP Support Center. Some Lifeline and ACP providers may also allow you to apply directly through them.
- Choose a Lifeline and ACP provider that offers free government phones in your area.
Lifeline and ACP providers that offer free Lifeline and ACP phones include:
- Access Wireless
- AirTalk Wireless
- Cintex Wireless
- Easy Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Life Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- NewPhone Wireless
- SafeLink Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
Switching Free Phone
In case you are not Lifeline or ACP-eligible or are unable to find a provider in your area that offers free phones from the government, you can surely find a free phone among carrier deals. That’s right! Most large carrier companies offer frequent promotional deals for discounted or even free phones.
As mentioned before, all these promotional deals come with certain requirements and conditions, which ensure that the company will still profit from you in the long run. For example, the customer may be required to switch carriers, add a line, purchase a select plan, pay for the device in small monthly installments, trade in an old device in good working condition, or buy a phone at full price in order to get another one for free.
To get a free phone when you switch to another provider, simply visit the provider’s website or physical store, select the free or discounted device that you wish to receive, place it in your cart, and follow the on-screen instructions to place the order.
Carriers and wireless companies that offer free phones when you switch include:
Adding a New Line Free Phone
While some carriers and wireless providers only offer free phones to new customers who decide to switch to their services in order to attract new subscribers, some companies also try to make sure that their old customers don’t decide to switch providers. To do so, they offer promotional deals with other conditions, such as adding a new line.
You can get a new phone when adding a new line online or in-store. If you do so in-store, the agent will guide you through the entire process. If, on the other hand, you decide to do it online, you can simply choose the device that best fits your needs, place it into your cart, and place the order by following the on-screen instructions.
Companies that offer free phones for customers who add a new line include:
- Metro by T-Mobile
- Boost Mobile
- Cricket Wireless