Question - Can you please explain how can we get cell phone in USA for free?
For folks who are coming to USA for the first time, refer to Cell Phone Buying Guide in USA.
You must have heard from your friends about free cell phone in USA and wondering how is it possible to get cell phones for free in USA.
Free Cell Phones in USA
In the US, cell phones are sold by the cell phone service providing networks.
Cell Phone Service Providers
- Major – ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint
- Minor – Boost Mobile, US Cellular, Cricket, Virgin Mobile, etc
The network will set the base price for the cell phone and this base price is generally cheaper than the original retail price set by the manufacturer.
In addition to base price, you will have to sign a contract for a fixed period (generally 2 years) during which you will make monthly payments – Post paid plan.
You can choose the monthly payment amount by selecting a plan that suits you. (as discussed in the above post)
Monthly bills can be anywhere between $30 and $ 100 depending on your cell phone plan.
Free iPhone Example – AT&T
Looking at the following screenshot taken from AT&T iPhone cost (I have selected to show only free iPhone)
As you can see iPhone 3GS is available for $0.01 or $0.99 with 2 years contract.
Cost of iPhone 4S 16GB(today)
- Refurbished – $149
- New – $199
Likewise you can find other cell phone for 1 cent or totally free.
What happens after 2 years contract?
After 2 years contract, you can get another cell phone with new 2 year contract or continue to use the same phone.
For instance, if you iPhone 4, purchased in September 2010. 2 Years contract will expire in September 2012.
If iPhone 5 comes out in October, you have following options
- Continue to use iPhone 4
- Buy iPhone 5 with new 2 year contract (sell iPhone 4)
You should be able to sell iPhone 4 for $150 to $250 when next iPhone comes out.
Now, you know how to get free cell phones in USA.
Questions about Cell Phones?
Post your question, comments or suggestion about cell phone plans, contracts, new cell phone, old cell phones, etc below in the comments section.