In general, Safelink is one of the well-known providers of free touchscreen government phones. Just like with other lifeline programs, though, you need to re-qualify every year, and if not your service will expire. But the million-dollar question now is, can I transfer my Safelink phone number to another carrier, let’s say if my enrollment is declined?
Well, to begin with, you can switch to different phone carriers with your existing number at any time. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), your old phone company cannot refuse to port your number. Not even if you owe them for an outstanding plan balance or early contract termination fees.
Also, this number porting policy applies to both prepaid and lifeline assistance programs. So, Safelink cannot refuse to transfer your phone number to another carrier even if you’re switching to competitors like Access Wireless or Assurance Wireless.
Should You Switch from Safelink to Another Carrier?
Overall, Safelink Wireless is a great service if you have what it takes to qualify The program is under Tracfone Wireless, a prepaid network operator that offers service through the three major carriers, namely Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. So, it has nationwide coverage, including the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Needless to say, Safelink Wireless has varying requirements when it comes to qualification through the total household income. That of the contiguous states is relatively lower than that of Hawaii and Alaska, though it’s also dependent on the household size.
It’s worth noting that Safelink does allow you to bring your own device to the program if it’s compatible. In truth, this is really convenient as the ones they provide are entry and mid-range models that are a few years old.
If you don’t have the latest device that you can bring, the Safelink Wireless online shop could be a great upgrade stop for you. It features even luxury brands like Apple iPhone 12 series, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, or S21 Ultra 5G. And to make it even better, the store supports buy now pay later mobile phones financing through Affirm company.
Furthermore, Safelink Wireless is one of the few providers of Free cell phone service for life unlimited everything. The limited-time offer involves the recently-approved Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), which brings you unlimited talk, text, and data, plus a 10-15GB Hotspot for free.
Other benefits that you can get with Safelink Wireless service include:
- It requires no contract to use their free phone service
- Provide you with a free smartphone when you enroll
- Offers additional minute and data plans at reasonable pricing
- Has nationwide 4G LTE coverage for smooth calling and browsing
- You can keep your phone even after leaving your Safelink program
Meanwhile, the Safelink free service plans also have a generous plan structure, but the allotments vary from state to state.
Safelink Free Phone Service: Features and perks
As I’ve just mentioned, the free plan structure from Safelink Wireless varies from one location to another. On the regular days (without EBB), for instance, the Kansas residents who qualify usually get:
- A free android smartphone
- 4.5GB of browsing data
- Unlimited text messages
- 350 voice minutes
- Voicemail/ Caller ID
- Free access to 911 and 411 service
In case the free allotment isn’t enough for your monthly usage, you can add additional credit from as low as $10. Alternatively, you could upgrade for one of the Safelink Unlimited service plans from $15 to $39.
But again, the Californians have the advantage of the unlimited service plans for free. So, you might not need to get additional credit or plan upgrade unless it’s for the browsing data as they only give 6GB (previously was 2GB).
Safelink Wireless: Unfaithful at Best
If you experience any issues with your Safelink service, you can always get help through the phone number 1-800-378-1684. Sadly, however, all the toll-free calls are not exactly free, but from the airtime minutes if you’re using your Safelink cellular phone. The calls, including customer service, only become free when you use a landline phone.
But again, can that be a reason for you to cancel your service with Safelink Wireless?
How to Transfer Your Safelink Phone Number To Another Carrier
Technically, Safelink Wireless currently has worldwide coverage since it uses the existing Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T towers to offer service. So, the only two reasons you might think of switching is when you find a provider with a better free plan structure. Or else you fail to re-qualify for the lifeline enrollment and need to upgrade to a monthly paid phone service.
In the case of a better free plan structure, a provider like Cintext Wireless usually provides unlimited minutes and texting. So, it could be a great option if your monthly airtime usage is high and need a free service.
Fees Associated with Safelink Phone Number Transfer
Various cellphone providers offer upgrade plans and additional minutes at varying fees. The same applies to the fees for transferring your phone number to another carrier, whereby some will charge a certain amount and others not.
As for our Safelink Wireless service, the basic monthly allotments comes at no charge. So, you’ll hardly fall into debt, unless you’ve leased a cell phone from them. But even then, the FCC provides that the company “cannot refuse to port your number”, whether you’re switching to another lifeline or prepaid service.
Please note, the fees associated with porting a number will be with the new company that you want to start using. So, you could ask whether the amount can be waivered or negotiated.
Factors To Consider For A Successful Transfer Of A Safelink Phone Number To Another Carrier
The number porting process is very easy today, thanks to the new age of the internet and also smartphones. Of course, you can still visit or call your new prospective company about the switch, but online is much simpler and convenient. It’s self-service, plus many companies include all their features and perks on the website. So, you can easily compare the offerings of the new and old companies to ensure you’re making the right decision.
But, anyway, the three key factors you should consider to successfully transfer your Safelink phone number to another lifeline or prepaid carrier are:
The Primary Safelink Account
All phone providers will need you to provide personal and old account information if you need to switch services with your current number. This includes the physical address, account number, and security PIN. So, you’ll need to be the primary holder of the Safelink phone number you want to transfer.
Qualify for the New Lifeline Program
In a nutshell, you’ll need to pre-qualify for the lifeline program you want to start using before you can transfer your Safelink phone number. So, you have to satisfy either of the two eligibility requirements: participate in government welfare benefits or satisfy the federal low-income conditions.
It’s after enrollment the new lifeline provider will now contact Safelink and start the phone number transfer process.
Active Safelink Account
For a successful phone number port-in, your current Safelink service will need to be active. If you deactivate it beforehand or before the transfer completes, you’ll create a service gap that also deletes your account data. So, the new provider won’t manage to recover your phone number.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need a cell phone compatible with your new service, even if the phone number is an old one. This is so as different carriers and MVNOs operate at varying frequency bands, even when the cellular technology (3G/ 4G/ 5G) is similar.
More on that, Safelink and most of the other lifeline providers support up to 4G LTE technology. So, you’ll need to upgrade your device if you’re switching to a prepaid service that supports the new 5G service.
In any case, many providers today are using GSM technology, which uses SIM cards. So, you can be able to use it with most unlocked cell phones.
Common Related Questions
Who is the carrier for Safelink?
Safelink is a subsidiary of Tracfone Wireless, a prepaid mobile virtual network operator. That means you’ll have access to the Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T towers whenever using your free mobile phone service. Thus, ensuring nationwide coverage, including states like Hawaii and Alaska.
Can I switch my Safelink phone to a smartphone?
Like other free government cell phone companies, Safelink Wireless provides qualified individuals with a free smartphone. However, the provided devices are entry-level models, which means they don’t have many latest bells and whistles. But then, the provider does allow you to use your own phone. So, Yes, you can switch your Safelink phone to a smartphone of desire.
What smartphones are compatible with Safelink?
As was mentioned moments ago, Safelink Wireless does give you the option to enjoy the free service with your own phone. The device has to be compatible with their network and cellular technology. So, you’ll have to run it on their online IMEI checker.
Regardless, some of the best smartphones that are compatible with Safelink Wireless include:
- Apple iPhone 7
- Motorola Edge
- LG Phoenix 3
- Google Pixel 4
- Samsung Galaxy S10E
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy A71, and others.
Indeed, Safelink is a remarkable lifeline program, especially right now you can get unlimited data, texting, and data. However, the EBB program (with unlimited plan allotment) is a limited-time offer that will end with a public health emergency or if the allotted funds get depleted. So, there are chances some people will switch to other lifeline providers with more free miutes, perhaps unlimited rates.
Fortunately, you have the freedom to switch between different providers and even move with the current number that people know. If it’s Safelink Wireless, we’ve covered everything you need to know for this process.
But again, do you really need to switch the lifeline company, considering it has service across all US? It also has the option to financing the latest smartphone brand that you may not afford but do want to own. Or isn’t that enough reason for you to stick around?