3 Ways to Get a Free Phone in 2021

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Woman excited with new phone
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

It’s probably never been easier to get a brand-new cellphone for free in 2021. All three major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, currently have free phone promotions going on right now.

Let’s run through the best free cellphone deals currently running and how you can qualify for them. The basic rules for every free phone deal right now go as follows:

  1. You need to switch your service to the carrier offering the deal (AT&T is the exception to this rule).
  2. You need to sign up for an unlimited data plan on the new carrier.
  3. You need to trade in your old cellphone.
  4. You need to purchase your phone on the 24-month payment installment plan.

Do all these four things, and you can own a brand-new phone today.

Get a free iPhone 12 from T-Mobile

The best free cellphone deal happening right now comes from T-Mobile. You can get a free iPhone 12 (or $830 off the iPhone 12 Max) if you switch to T-Mobile from another carrier, trade in your old phone and buy a new iPhone 12 with the 24-month installment payment option.

You’ll get up to $830 in monthly credits that will apply to your bill over the course of the two-year contract. In short, you just won’t have a phone payment on your monthly bill because the credits will automatically deduct the charge every month.

Once the two years are up and all of your credits have been applied, you’ll own the phone outright. Just make sure not to cancel your cellphone plan before all the credits apply, or else you’ll owe the balance left on your iPhone 12.

Get a free iPhone SE (2020) from Verizon or T-Mobile

You can get the newest iPhone SE from either Verizon or T-Mobile for free, so it really comes down to personal preference.

To qualify for either deal, you’ll need to switch to Verizon or T-Mobile unlimited data plan from a different carrier, trade in your old phone and buy an iPhone SE via the 24-month payment installment option. Credit will automatically offset your cellphone payment from your bill every month over the next two years.

At the end of the contract, you’ll own the iPhone SE outright and are free to keep it, sell it or trade it in to get whatever new smartphone the future has in store for us.

Get a free Samsung Galaxy S21 from AT&T or Verizon

AT&T and Verizon both offer a free Samsung Galaxy S21 (up to $800 off). To qualify for the Verizon deal, customers need to switch over on an unlimited data plan, trade in their old phones and opt for the 24-month payment installment option with their new phone.

In this case, Verizon will actually sweeten the deal even more and throw a $200 e-gift card your way along with a Verizon streaming device if you go for this deal. AT&T, on the other hand, allows current customers to get the deal if they upgrade to their data plan and trade in their old phone.

I actually took advantage of this deal last week to upgrade my phone. In my case, I already use AT&T’s top-tier Elite data plan, so I just needed to trade in my old phone to qualify for the deal. Big props to AT&T for giving free phones to current customers.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.