Smarter Smartphone Service — How to Get Free Talk, Texts and Data

Woman Kissing Phone
Photo by AstroStar / Shutterstock.com

Wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate your cell bill entirely? Well, believe it or not, it is possible, at least if you don’t use your phone much.

Example: FreedomPop

Free talk, texts and data

You can get free cell service from FreedomPop two different ways:

  • Buy a SIM card from FreedomPop for $0.99 (including free shipping) and stick it in your existing compatible phone. (You’ll need an unlocked AT&T or T-Mobile GSM phone.)
  • Buy a used phone from FreedomPop (Example: As I write this, they’re offering a refurbished iPhone 5 for $169.99.)

You can transfer your existing phone number or receive an entirely new number. Either way, when you sign up, you’ll get a one-month free trial of their Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan.

After one month:

  • Do nothing. You’ll automatically be transferred onto an unlimited Talk, Text and 2GB data plan for $24.99/month.
  • Downgrade to the free plan. Downgrading can be done online, or by calling or emailing customer service. Once you’re on the free plan, you’ll get 200 talk minutes and 500 texts monthly at no cost. If you bought a SIM card from FreedomPop, you’ll also get 200 MB of data free. If you bought a phone from FreedomPop, you’ll get 500 MB of data free.

Bottom line: If you don’t use your phone much, it’s possible that you’ll never pay for cellphone service again. And this is also a great opportunity to have a no-cost back-up phone. If your phone gets lost or stolen, wouldn’t it be great to have another waiting in the wings?

Ready for free cellphone service? Click here!

Other important stuff

FreedomPop operates on Sprint and AT&T’s 4G LTE and 3G networks. Here’s the coverage map:

FreedomPop Coverage Map
FreedomPop / Money Talks News

As with most phones, when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you’re not affecting your FreedomPop data allotment. So if you’re online primarily where there’s Wi-Fi, no worries. But if you know anything about cell phones, you know that 200 MB, or even 500 MB, isn’t all that much. So before switching cell plans, it’s critical to go through the last few months of your phone bills and see how much data you typically use.

What happens when you exceed your FreedomPop data cap?

As with any cell provider, exceeding your cap means paying for more data.

If you exceed your data limits with FreedomPop (200 MB on the SIM plan, 500 MB on the phone plan, 2GB on the $24.99/month plan) you’ll automatically be charged $15. That credit will then be used to “top up” your account.

Example: If you get down to the minimum of 100 MB of data, unless you’ve disabled it, the “top up” feature kicks in. You’re charged $15, which then becomes a credit used to “top up” your account at a cost of $2.50 per 100 MB.

This means you’re essentially being charged $25 per gigabyte, which is in the ballpark of what other cell providers for data overages. You can, however, prevent getting charged simply by going to your account online and disabling the Automatic Top-Up feature. You can also monitor usage from your phone.

So while there may be no such thing as a free lunch, there is such a thing as free cellphone service, especially if you’re a very light user. Just go to FreedomPop and sign up. But if you want your free service to stay free, you’ll have to downgrade after your free initial month, then turn off the automatic top-off feature.

If this isn’t your cup of tea, we can still help you find the right cellphone service plan. Simply go the cellphone page of our Solutions Center. There you’ll find an easy-to-use comparison tool that will help you find the best plan for you.

One last thing: You can also get a rebate for purchases from FreedomPop by using the cash-back site Ebates. You can learn more about that here.

How much are you paying your cell provider? Share with us in 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
New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind
New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind

Tech startups are making it easy to find the best rates for all kinds of insurance policies — and get covered fast.

This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

If you wait too long to apply for coverage, you could be denied. So, when’s the sweet spot to apply?

7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

These products from Amazon add elegance to your home without the expense.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
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.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

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.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

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.