The other day, we looked at some of the phone companies that give free phones when you switch to their network. At the time, we didn’t get to discuss in detail the specific devices. And that’s what we’re going to look at this time, specifically the free cell phone no credit check no deposit no activation fee deals.
Yeah, unfortunately, the majority of the phone providers usually perform a credit check before approving you for the free phone promo. And that means the chances of qualifying are slim for many, considering how things have been going lately with #COVID.
Anyhow, in this article, I’ve managed to put together at least seven free phone deals that you can get with no credit check, deposit, or activation fee required.
What’s the Best Free Cell Phone with No Credit Check, Deposit, or Activation Fee?
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Apple iPhone 12 Mini from Verizon are the best free cell phones with no credit check no deposit no activation. They’re not only high-value brands but also have the latest built-in technologies, including 5G and NFC payments.
Continue reading below to learn how you can qualify for these free phone promo with no credit check, deposit, or activation fee required.
What You Should know about the Free Phone with No Credit Check, Deposit, or Activation Fee
First up, the free touchscreen government phones are the only ones you can get at no cost all year round. And since the lifeline deals are primarily for the underprivileged, you can apply with no credit check, deposit, or activation fee required.
Sadly, however, these free government phones have their downside as well. The biggest of all is the fact that you can’t choose the device to have, thereby you’ll have to wait for what will come through the mail.
On the other hand, the free cell phone deals from prepaid and postpaid carriers are usually limited-time offers. Hence, the reason you’ll find an operator like T-Mobile or Verizon has up to a dozen of the $0 deals today. Then, tomorrow or the day after has like four or even none on that catalog.
Secondly, the free phone deals from the paid carriers can come with or without the credit check, deposit, or activation fee requirements.
Phone providers vs Credit Check Requirement
Basically, your credit history is a key ingredient to your financial health. It’s not only crucial when applying for a new cash/ equipment loan but also now when applying to join some of the phone services.
In fact, all the Big Three carriers, including AT&T, Verizon,& T-Mobile perform a credit check for postpaid service activation. The same applies when ordering new products, including cell phones, either the free deals or at a regular cost.
Similar to the buy now pay later financing programs, the purpose of the credit check is to determine if you’re creditworthy. That’s your trustworthiness and the ability to manage your money-or rather bills in this case. But again, the credit check that carriers perform is a soft pull, which doesn’t impact credit scores or stay on your report for long.
It’s worth noting while prepaid services don’t require a credit check, the benefit will apply on the phone plans for the most part.
But, anyhow, only two phone carriers I can think of right now have device financing with no credit check.
- Boost Mobile – on the BoostUP! program (for only royal customers)
- T-Mobile – on the smartphone equality program (for only royal customers)
Phone Providers vs Deposit Requirement
When applying for device financing, the phone providers may or not ask for a down payment. They casually don’t advertise why they may approve or disapprove of you for the no deposit agreements. But the wireless phone service is just like any other business, whereby your financial health determines the privileges you get.
In other words, the wireless provider will perform a credit check on you before approving your contract account (postpaid). And depending on where your credit score stand, they may ask you to place a refundable security deposit.
In most cases, you won’t need to pay the deposit if you have a good/ perfect credit score. However, you may need to put down $100 to $400 if you have no credit or bad credit.
Even so, your security deposit for the service contract will extend to your device financing. So, the carriers don’t see the need to charge again, apart from the case of prepaid providers.
Yes, indeed, a prepaid carrier like Boost Mobile charges a small deposit, then lets you finance the rest in small monthly installments. But I’d say it’s a pretty fair deal, considering they don’t check credit.
Anyway, other phone carriers that don’t require a deposit on phone financing are:
- Google Fi
- Verizon prepaid
- AT&T prepaid
Phone Providers vs Activation Fee Requirement
In a nutshell, phone providers (not all) charge an activation fee when you buy your device and activate the line. The fee is usually one-time and it’s more of compensation to cover for the expenses that the company spent to set up your new service.
But then, don’t confuse the activation and upgrade fee.
In the upgrade fee, the provider charges you the amount when moving your existing line to a new device. And unlike the activation fee, you can get a refund for this one if you return your purchased device within the given 30-day window. In some cases, you can even ask the carrier to waive it, or else evade paying by activating the new upgrade phone yourself.
Meanwhile, the majority of carriers, both prepaid and postpaid will charge an activation fee during the free phone deals. This is so as the promos require you to add a new line in your account to qualify.
However, Google Fi and Boost Mobile usually don’t charge an activation fee. As for the others, the activation fee varies on whether you activated online by yourself or through an agent. They include:
- Cricket Wireless
- Metro by T-Mobile
The 6 Best Providers of Free Cell Phone No Credit Check No Deposit No Activation Fee Deals
If we put together all the facts above, we can agree that only T-Mobile has phones with no credit check no deposit no activation fee required. However, the GSM provider doesn’t allow combining its free phone deals with other promos (like the smartphone equity program).
So, the only way you can qualify for a free phone with no credit check, deposit, or activation required is through the family plans. In this case, the carrier only needs the primary account holder to pass the credit check. Then, the other additional lines can qualify for the free phone even when the owners have a poor credit score.
Also, this principle applies to Verizon and Google Fi since they also have free phone deals and multi-line options. But AT&T won’t fit in this list as it usually requires an eligible trade-in to give the free phones.
However, you can get a free phone with no credit, deposit, or activation fee required with Cricket or Metro service. But the trick here is to take advantage of their ongoing “rebate” deals.
In the case of Boost Mobile, the BoostUP! program is primarily for device financing and does require a minimum down payment. So, the easiest way to get a free phone with no credit check no deposit no activation fee is through the exclusive in-store offers.
That brings us to the final part of our discussion, whereby we’ll look at the best free cell phone no deposit no activation fee 2023.
The Best Free Cell Phone No Credit Check No Deposit No Activation Fee Required
|Free Cell Phone Brand||Promo Provider||Supported Networks||ROM vs RAM|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G||Verizon||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 6GB|
|Apple iPhone 12 Mini||Verizon||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 12GB|
|Samsung Galaxy A32 5G||T-Mobile||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Apple iPhone SE (2020 Edition)||Metro by T-Mobile||4G LTE||64GB, 3GB|
|Motorola Moto One 5G Ace||T-Mobile||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 6GB|
|Motorola Moto G Power||Boost Mobile||4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Motorola Moto G Stylus||Metro by T-Mobile||4G LTE||128GB, 4GB|
|Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max||Verizon||4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Motorola Moto G Play (2021 Edition)||Google Fi||4G LTE||32GB, 3GB|
|Cricket Ovation||Cricket Wireless||4G LTE||32GB, 3GB|
|Samsung Galaxy A12||Cricket Wireless||4G LTE||32GB, 3GB|
|OnePlus Nord N200 5G||T-Mobile||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
Verizon Carrier-Locked Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is one of the best high-end smartphones you can get with 5g support. Verizon has the device online for free and with no trade-in required if you switch or add a new line to your account. So, you can ask your line’s account holder to pick it up for you, assuming you’ll manage to keep an unlimited postpaid plan in the next 30 months.
Some of the best features of the Galaxy phone include:
- Supports both 4G LTE & 5G networks
- Uses a powerful Snapdragon 865 mobile chip
- Designed with IP68 dust & water protection
- Has a superior pro-grade camera with 3x optical zoom
- Supports both fast & reverse wireless charger
- Includes an NFC tag for contactless payments & other
- Has a wide, cinematic display with a 120Hz refresh rate
- Also has a Fingerprint reader for quick unlock & access
- It supports 128GB internal storage & up to 1TB SD card support
Verizon Branded Apple iPhone 12 Mini
The iPhone 12 Mini is yet another 5g-capable device that you can get for free on Verizon. It also doesn’t require any trade-in for as long you join or add a new line to your account.
Similar to Galaxy FE 5G, the promo requirements demand that you must activate the line on either unlimited postpaid plan. Then, you’ll have to remain on that plan for the next 30 months.
Some of the best features of the iPhone 12 Mini include:
- It can connect either 5G or 4G LTE
- Has the highest, IP68, dust/ water protection
- Uses a powerful Apple A14 bionic processor
- Has a dual 12MP camera system with 2x optical zoom
- Can capture videos in full 4K video recording @60fps
- Has Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120fps or 240fps
- Includes built-in NFC chip for seamless & secure Apple pap
- Support video playback in HDR with Dolby vision & HDR10
- It also supports hands-free control with your voice through Siri
T-Mobile Carrier-Locked Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is one of the few mid-range phones you can use to take advantage of T-Mobile Ultra-Capacity data speeds. The provider is currently giving it away for free, with no trade-in required if you can add a new line of service at any rate of the postpaid plans. Then, keep that line active and pay for it on time in the next 24 months.
The seven best features and pros of the Galaxy phone include:
- It can connect with up to 5G network
- Has a 6.5-inch edge-to-edge HD display
- Operates on MediaTek MT6853 Dimensity 720 5G
- Can record videos in full 4K@30fps or 1080p@120fps
- Has a built-in 64GB storage and a dedicated Micro SD slot
- Includes a rear-mounted Fingerprint reader for quick access
- It has an NFC tag for Android pay & other contactless payments
T-Mobile-Branded Motorola Moto One 5G Ace
The Motorola phone here is another that could be yours for free when you activate a new line on any of the T-Mobile plans. It also falls under the mid-range phone category but does have some incredible features and functionalities to smile about. They include:
- It supports both 5G & 4 LTE networks
- Uses a powerful Snapdragon 750G 5G processor
- Has a wide 6.7-inch Full HD+ display with HDR10
- Designed with IP52 dust & water protection level
- Captures decent photos & videos in full 4K@30fps
- Has a rear-mounted Fingerprint sensor for quick access
- Includes built-in 128GB storage & up to 512GB SD card
- It has NFC support for digital payments & content sharing
Boost Mobile Network Motorola Moto G Power
The Motorola Moto G Power is more like an entry-level smartphone, but it does have a lot of decent features and functionalities. And the best part, it could be yours for free if you meet the few requests by Boost Mobile.
The first requirement is to visit the nearest Boost dealer as the prepaid operator has the device on its limited catalog of the in-store exclusive offer. But again, will the phone be worth the trip? Let’s some of the features:
- It works with only 4G LTE
- Runs on the MediaTek Helio G37processor
- Has a 6.5” HD+ display with a 90 Hz refresh rate
- Doesn’t have NFC support or wireless charging
- Include 64GB built-in storage & up to 512GB MicroSD card
- Supports both Fingerprint & face unlock for quicker access
- It boasts a 50MP triple-lens camera that record 1080p@30fp
Factory Unlocked Motorola Moto G Play (2021 Edition)
Indeed, Google Fi is still offering factory unlocked phones, and the Moto G Play (2021) here is a good example. The prepaid carrier currently has it on a limited-time offer, whereby you can get a full $120 discount and another $50 credit rebate. In total, that should save you about $170, which is the retail price of the device.
But before you can qualify for that promo, you need to activate a new line on a full-service plan. Then, keep your device active on the network (Google Fi) for 90 consecutive days.
Another thing you should know is that the Moto G Play series falls in the category of entry-level phones. Some of the crucial features it has and doesn’t have include:
- It’s fully unlocked for other carriers
- Has 6.5-inch Max Vision HD display
- Utilizes SM4250 Snapdragon 460 processor
- Uses 13MP dual-camera system for 1080p@30fps
- Doesn’t support NFC or wireless charging function
- Features a water-repellent design to protect against spills
- It has built-in 32GB storage & up to 512GB MicroSD card
Cricket-Locked Samsung Galaxy A12 32GB Android
Last but not least, Cricket wireless has this Samsung Galaxy A12 on its $0 limited-time deals. So, you can also check it out if you’ll still hunting for a free cell phone with no credit check, deposit, or activation required.
However, the AT&T prepaid brand provides that you must add a line and activate it on the $60 Cricket More unlimited plan. Then, retain your Samsung device on the Cricket service for the next six months after activation.
The seven Key Features of the Galaxy A12 include:
- It works with only 4G LTE
- Has a wide 6.5-inch HD+ display
- Supports video recording in 1080p@30fps
- Has a fingerprint scanner & face unlock
- Runs on the MediaTek MT6765 Helio P3 chip
- has 32GB built-in storage & up to 1TB SD card
- It supports NCF for digital payment & content sharing
As I’ve mentioned in similar previous articles, living without phone service is a personal choice. And as we’ve just seen above, not upgrading your old device is still your choice, even when you don’t have money.
Of course, the device financing option is usually the best way to get your desired phone. But many of the free phone deals we have today include decent gadgets from even the high-end category.
Perfect examples are the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Apple iPhone 12 Mini that Verizon offers. But considering the CDMA carrier usually runs a soft credit check, you’ll want to apply for the promo deal through a qualified account holder.