How to Get Free Cellphone Service

Photo (cc) by Ed Yourdon

If you no longer had a cellphone bill, how much money would you save each month?

Nowadays, many of us are attached to our smartphones and are willing to pay whatever it costs to make sure we can chat, text or check email throughout the day. But you typically require a data plan to take advantage of all of these capabilities.

Fortunately, a few providers offer plans that allow you to completely eliminate your cellphone bill or slash it in half.

Wondering where you can find these plans? Money Talks News money expert Stacy Johnson discusses a plan that allows you to use your smartphone without spending a dime. Watch the video below and continue reading to learn more about other cheap plans.

FreedomPop

Through the Sprint network, FreedomPop offers 200 talk minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MB of 4G data each month at no cost to you. Sound too good to be true? Well, there are a few costs that you’ll have to absorb, but it still beats paying the wireless giants hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.

First and foremost, you must have a Sprint Android device to participate. If you don’t have one on hand, FreedomPop sells refurbished versions of the HTC Evo 4G for only $179 plus shipping and handling. And if you want voice mail, you’ll have to pay $2.50 per month for that as well.

Not a bad deal so far, but what happens when the well runs dry? Additional minutes and text messages can be purchased for only 1 cent each. You can also choose from unlimited talk and data plans to give you more flexibility throughout the month.

Ready to hop aboard the FreedomPop train? Be sure to check the coverage map to see if service is available in your area.

Scratch Wireless

If you’re frequently in areas with Wi-Fi connectivity, Scratch Wireless offers something much better than FreedomPop. All you need is a Motorola Photon Q, which costs $269, to get started. Since the service operates primarily on wireless networks, texting, data and voice calls are always free. Even when you lose connectivity, texts can still be sent over cellular networks free of charge.

Need to make a call or use data on your cellphone and no Wi-Fi is available? Simply purchase a 24-hour or 30-day pass to fill the void. For $1.99, you can access 25MB of cell data or 30 cell minutes. With the 30-day option, $14.99 will get you 200MB of data or 250 cell minutes.

SafeLink Wireless

SafeLink Wireless offers a free cellphone along with 250 minutes and 1,000 texts per month free of charge to qualifying customers. It is part of the federal government’s Lifeline program, which helps low-income people who receive government benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 or Supplemental Security Income. To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit the Federal Communications Commission website.

Talkatone

Looking to minimize the cost of your current plan without switching providers? The Talkatone mobile application allows you to make a call or send a text message over a Wi-Fi or data connection without exhausting the minutes or data included in your monthly plan. You can also retrieve a phone number from Google Voice to call and text from your iPad, iPod or Kindle Fire.

Service is available in the U.S. and Canada. Premium ad-free plans that offer a slightly enhanced call quality are also available for $1.99 per month, $10.99 for six months or $19.99 per year.

Discounted cellphone plans

A number of providers offer steeply discounted cellphone plans. Among these is Republic Wireless, which has contract-free talk, text and data plans ranging from $5 to $40. MetroPCS is very popular down here in the Sunshine State because of its unlimited talk, text and data plans that start at $40 and do not require a Wi-Fi network to function.

Check out this article from PC Magazine for a comprehensive list of providers of low-cost plans.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to keep paying top dollar for your smartphone plan. You may have to do a little searching to find a provider with plans that meet your needs and cover your area, but your wallet will thank you in the end.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments
10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments

Here are 10 things that could mean less money in your pocket during retirement.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree
5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree

Yes, it’s possible to pay less than a buck for items from a dollar store.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

The 10 Worst States for Retirees in 2021
The 10 Worst States for Retirees in 2021

Based on factors like affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.