The prepaid phone service is finally getting the attraction it deserves. As of 2023, the category is now more competitive than before as even the supposedly postpaid carriers are now offering it. But then, can you get a free phone when you switch prepaid service as with the postpaid providers?
Well, first, prepaid phone service is primarily for the average customer who can’t/doesn’t want to spend the hefty fee on postpaid. Hence, the reason people would join MVNOs like Cricket or Visible instead of their carrier networks- AT&T and Verizon.
Anyway, some prepaid services do have several extra perks to smile about when you’re with them. And in this review, I’ve put together five providers who give free phones when you switch to their prepaid network.
What’s the Best Free Phone When you Switch Prepaid in 2023?
Not long ago, I’ve confirmed 30+ free phones that you can get after switching to various prepaid providers. All the selections are the latest brands, including those with 5G support if you’d want to experience the ultra-fast download speeds.
Sadly, however, the phone promos don’t include the likes of the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S20 Fe on T-Mobile and Verizon postpaid deals.
In fact, the only Apple device on my list is the iPhone SE (2020 Edition) from Metro by T-Mobile.
Features a brilliant Retina HD display, Apple A13 processor, 64B internal storage, 4K@60fps, Touch ID unlock, & IP67 water/ dust protection
Supports up to 5G networks, video recording in 4K@30fps, 1TB MicroSD card, NFC payments, fingerprint unlock, dual-band WiFi, & fast charging
Includes Snapdragon 665 processor, built-in stylus, 128GB internal storage, video recording in 4K@30fps, fingerprint scanner, Dolby audio, &water-repellent coating
Has an extra-wide 6.6” display, Snapdragon™ 662 processor, HD voice capable, 64GB built-in storage, & M3/ T3 hearing aids compatible
Comes with carrier unlocked, 6.5” HD display, Snapdragon 460 processor, 32GB internal storage, dual-camera system, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, & Water-repellent design
Should You Really Switch to Prepaid Network?
In truth, the answer to this question varies from one user to another. For instance, the postpaid phone plans from the Big Three- Verizon, T-Mobile, & AT&T usually offer some of the best perks. That includes prioritization during network congestion, as well as “Truly” unlimited plans with high-speed data that can’t be throttled.
Nonetheless, the postpaid cell phone packages usually cost between $60 to $90/ month per line. And, to be honest, that’s relatively expensive, considering prepaid services like Mint Mobile and Spectrum Mobile cost from as low as $15/ month.
So, we can say, the first beauty of switching to a prepaid network is cutting down your monthly service bill. Other advantages include:
- Doesn’t require the hefty security deposits
- You can cancel anytime without cancelation penalties
- Easy to qualify with even bad credit or poor credit score
- Some prepaid carriers also support device financing
- No Overage charges for calls, data, or texts to worry about
How to Get the Free Phone When You Switch Prepaid Service
At this point, you should know all the carriers out there operates differently. Even for the likes of TracFone and Straight Talk, who share a mother-daughter bond, the experience you get totally differs. And so, the question of how to get the free phone when you switch to prepaid service also varies.
Some carriers will ask you to switch with your phone number while others don’t require it. Then, most providers will require you to retain your new device on their network for about a year while few it’s only two or three months.
But, anyway, here are the various prepaid services you can get a free phone when you switch, plus their featured devices.
Boost Mobile was in our previous list of phone companies that give free phones when you switch. I’ll list it here again since it’s a prepaid provider and also has some pretty decent devices on the $0 deals.
But as we concluded in the other post, the free Boost Mobile phone promos are exclusively in-store. So, the first requirement of qualifying for the featured devices is to visit the nearest (authorized) Boost Mobile dealer.
After you have located a local store, you can now go ahead and make the switch to Boost Mobile prepaid with an eligible port-in. Then, activate the new line on the advised rate plan.
The two best phones you can get in the Boost Mobile free-phone-switcher deals are:
- It can work with both 5G & 4G LTE networks
- Records video in vibrant 4K & 1080p@120fps
- Can handle contactless payments through NFC
- Includes a built-in fingerprint reader for quick unlock
- Has 64GB internal storage and up to 1TB SD support
- It has an expansive, HD+ display for a crisp viewing experience
- It runs on the MediaTek Helio G37 processor
- Supports both Fingerprint & Face ID unlock
- Has a bold, 90HZ display for smoother viewing
- Captures crisp photos and vivid videos in 1080p
- Has 64GB internal memory & 512GB SD support
- It includes a water-repellent casing to protect against spills
Metro by T-Mobile
Metro (formerly MetroPCS) is one of the oldest prepaid carriers you can opt for when you want to cut down your monthly phone bill. It’s currently a brand of T-Mobile and runs on the same network using GSM technology.
Furthermore, Metro by T-Mobile is one of the providers giving free phones when you switch to their prepaid service. It has up to a dozen free phone deals, including 5G-capable models if you’d like to start your service on the Ultra-Capacity spectrum. And the best part is you can get up to two of the free deals with your single account.
But to get the absolutely free Metro phone deals, you’ll need to switch to the prepaid network with an eligible port-in. Then, activate your new line on the $60 unlimited plan, which is the premium package from the operator at the moment.
Two of the best phones you can get in the Metro free-phone-switcher promo offers are:
- It has a compact, sleek design
- Runs on the powerful A13 processor
- Has 64GB built-in storage & 3G RAM
- Supports IP67 rated water/ dust protection
- Records vibrant videos in full 4K@60fps
- Can do slo-mo videos in 1080p at up to 240fps
- Has built-in fingerprint sensor for quick access
- The True Tone display keeps images natural to the eye
- It can work with both 5G & 4G LTE
- Has a 90Hz display for smoother interaction
- Runs on a fast Snapdragon 690 5G processor
- Includes 128GB internal memory & 6GB RAM
- Support video recording in regular & slow-Mo
- Has a built-in NFC tag for contactless payment
- It has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader for quick access
Cricket Wireless is another great provider that is giving free phones when you switch to their prepaid network. It has a wide range of selections to chose from, but most of them are 4G LTE brands.
As a matter of fact, the switcher deals has only two devices capable of connecting with 5G network. But, in my opinion, they’re much better than the parent company, AT&T, which only gives a free phone through a trade-in.
As for the eligibility, you can get the free Cricket phone deals when you switch to the prepaid service with an eligible port-in. You’ll also need to activate your new line on the $60 unlimited plan and keep it on the subscription for at least two consecutive months.
The two best phones you can get on the Cricket free-phone-switcher deals are:
- It has an ultra-wide HD+ display
- Runs on a powerful Snapdragon processor
- Captures bold photos & videos in 1080p@60fps
- Includes a high-capacity battery with fast-charging
- Also comes with a convenient fingerprint & face unlock
- It has 64GB of built-in memory & up to 512GB of SD support
- It works with both 5G & LTE networks
- Supports quick fingerprint/ face unlocking
- Has a wide, 6.7” display for cinematic viewing
- Records videos in full 4K@30fps & 1080p@60fps
- Include 128GB built-in storage & up to 1TB SD support
- Has a sturdy plastic casing with a water-repellent coating
- It has an NFC tag for digital payments & content sharing
Verizon is no doubt the best wireless phone provider. In our previous T-Mobile vs Verizon review, we saw the carrier has the widest coverage, including in the rural areas. It also has the fastest browsing speeds, peaking up to 4,000Mbps. And just recently, you can now get unlimited postpaid plans with high-speed data that’s never throttled.
Although not many know it, Verizon also has prepaid services that you can get from as low as $25/ month per line. And the best part, the category has its selection of phone deals, with all the latest brands.
Of course, the various Verizon prepaid free phone promos aren’t as many as with the postpaid subscription. But it’s still great, considering both AT&T and T-Mobile don’t have one.
Another thing, Verizon Prepaid doesn’t necessarily need a port-in to qualify for the free phone deals or promo discounts. It only requires a new line activation on the Unlimited or Unlimited Plus prepaid plan.
The Motorola One Ace 5G is the only device on the absolutely free-phone-switcher deals on Verizon prepaid, for now. Some of the features of the phone include:
- It can work with 5G or 4G LTE
- Runs on the Snapdragon 750 5G processor
- Supports NFC payments & content sharing
- Includes a wide HD+ display with HDR10 support
- Can record videos in full 4K@30fps & 1080p@60fps
- It has 128GB internal memory & up to 1TB SD support
Last but not least, you can also get a free phone when you switch prepaid service with Google Fi. You just have to make sure you’re within the T-Mobile or US Cellular coverage zones for a strong and reliable signal.
As for the ongoing phone deals, Google Fi also doesn’t have many selections to choose. There’s actually only a single device on the free promo offer as the rest are primarily with partial discount.
Furthermore, to qualify for the free Google phone promo, you’ll need to switch to the network with an eligible active wireless number. Then, activate the new line on a full-service plan and maintain the subscription for ninety consecutive days.
The best free-phone-switcher deal with Google Fi include:
- It comes fully unlocked
- Has the famous Max Vision display
- Runs on the Snapdragon 460 processor
- Includes a convenient fingerprint & face unlock
- Captures crispier photos & decent videos in 1080p@60fps
- Has a sturdy plastic casing with a water-repellent coating
- It has 32GB internal storage & up to 512GB of MicroSD support
Even though not the best, you can see it’s still possible to get a decent free phone when you switch prepaid service. Metro by T-Mobile has the overall best deals, including the Apple iPhone SE, plus 5G-capable Samsung Galaxy A32 and OnePlus Nord N200 if you want to make the most of the ultra-fast data speeds.
But as you make the switch, do remember Metro doesn’t offer device financing. So, the free phone deal requires you to first purchase your desired iOS or Android handset at the regular price. Then, you’ll receive an instant full rebate as bill credits or a virtual prepaid card that you can use to shop online or in accepted in-stores.