Purchasing basically any type of object has been moving online over the last decade. The latest development with the COVID-19 situation further boosted this transition to online shopping. Smartphones are no exception here. Basically, all wireless providers have nice websites set in place that let you purchase plans, SIM kits, and even mobile phone online and have them delivered to your mailbox.
But we are here to let you know how to get a FREE smartphone online, which is possible either based on your household income or participation in any of specific government-supported programs, or by taking advantage of the special deal offered by wireless providers.
Herein we will address all the details of both ways, which will enable you to apply the obtained information and get a free smartphone online ASAP.
We will do our very best to explain everything with maximum simplicity and clarity. So are you ready to learn how to get a free smartphone online? Let’s dig in.
What Do We Mean By ‘Free Smartphone Online’?
By ‘free smartphone online’, we mean that you can stay in your home and use your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC to access certain websites, where you can obtain an actual smartphone for FREE, which will then be delivered to you.
As mentioned above, generally there are two ways to obtain a free smartphone online:
- Either through the government Lifeline Assistance program which is there to assist families with low income to obtain telecommunication services.
- Via special deals offered by wireless providers, which include FREE smartphones.
Aside from the two main options, there are some online quizzes, giveaways, surveys, smartphone lotteries, and other chance games that can also win you a smartphone. However, those give you a very small chance and there are also many scams and shady campaigns related to that kind of promotions, thus we will focus completely on the two legit options on how to get a free smartphone online listed above.
Can I Really Get A Free Smartphone Online?
For those of you who are not familiar with neither of the two options, this may sound like a fairytale, however, let us ensure you that both the Lifeline program and carriers deal actually can get you a free smartphone online.
Of course, certain conditions must be met in order to get a free smartphone online through either of the two options.
When it comes to the Lifeline Assistance program, there are two options that make you eligible:
1. Your household’s income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or
2. A member of your household participates in one of the following federal assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Tribal Programs (and live on federally-recognized Tribal lands):
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
On the other hand, the free phone deals offered by many wireless providers, especially major ones, are not limited to any specific social or program-oriented group of population. However, they do typically require you to be a new client (t.i. that you are switching over to their network) or that you add an additional line. Some deals may also require a phone (your old smartphone) trade-in, and/or signing up for a very specific monthly plan.
Both Lifeline and special deals can be obtained online. As we move along, you will learn the details of both ways, which will help you to actually get your hands on a free smartphone online.
How To Get A Free Smartphone Online?
In this section, we will focus on the Lifeline option of getting a free smartphone online.
NOTE: If you are not a part of a household that has an income of 135% or lower than the federal poverty guidelines nor have a member that participates in the above-listed programs, you won’t be able to get a free smartphone online that way. As such you may move on to the next section.
Here are the steps for obtaining the Lifeline support:
- Make sure you qualify (as per eligibility above)
- Apply online:
- Either through the National Verifier (https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline), or
- Directly through a wireless provider that offers Lifeline deals and free smartphones
- Find a wireless provider that offers Lifeline support and free smartphones (in case of the 2.a step) and sign up for their plan (here is an online tool: https://data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/Download/Report)
- Receive your free smartphone and enjoy free Lifeline plan
Based on the above steps, you can see that it is rather simple to obtain a free smartphone online. The only part that you may find tricky is the filling out of the online application (either via the National Verifier or a wireless provider). However, simply follow the instructions and fill in the information. If you have problems at any step, feel free to call the wireless provider’s support.
To complete the application process you will need to provide specific documentation (scans or photos of the document):
- Identity proof (any of the following document will do)
- Driver’s license (unexpired)
- Birth certificate
- Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Social Security card
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
- Permanent resident card (unexpired)
- Permanent resident alien card (unexpired)
- S. government, military, state, or Tribal issued ID (unexpired)
- Passport (unexpired)
- Military discharge documentation
- Weapons permit (unexpired)
- Government assistance program document (that includes proof of identity)
- Statement of benefits from a qualifying program (that includes proof of identity)
- Unemployment or worker’s compensation statement of benefits
- Income proof (one of the following document is usually enough):
- The prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub
- Social Security statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information
- Program participation proof (a cover letter or a copy of a member’s card is often enough) – a document that proves the following information is needed:
- Your name, or the name of your benefit qualifying person (BQP);
- The name of the Lifeline-qualifying program, such as SNAP;
- The government or Tribal program administrator or the managed care organization (MCO) that issued the document; and
- An issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date that aligns with the benefit period.
NOTE: You should know that you can also apply for the Lifeline assistance by mail or even in person with certain wireless providers’ representatives, however, herein we are focused on getting a free smartphone online.
The Process Of Getting The Non-government Free Smartphone Online
When it comes to getting a non-government free smartphone online, things are typically much simpler.
- Find a wireless provider that has special free smartphone deals (start with the largest providers, including, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint).
- View the specifics of their offer and choose the plan that is required or the one that suits you (if they give you the option)
- Select a free phone model (sometimes you can choose between several models)
- Make a down payment (in some cases you need to pay the activation fee or first monthly fee for your plan)
- Receive your FREE smartphone, activate it, and enjoy using it.
Since finding a company that runs special deals may be a tricky part for some of you, we decided to do that research for you. Below you will find 6 wireless providers that offer free Lifeline plans and free smartphones and 6 wireless providers that offer free non-government smartphones.
Best 6 Free Government Phone Companies That Provide Free Smartphones Online
NOTE: There isn’t a single wireless provider offering free Lifeline plans and free smartphones that would be available throughout the nation. Moreover, many have ZIP-code-specific deals and offers, thus makes sure to visit their official website and check availability in your area.
Access Wireless is a very popular provider and well spread. They offer Lifeline support in over 40 states. Access Wireless provides its customers with a free monthly allotment of 250 minutes, unlimited text messages, and 3GB free data each month. Depending on your state, you MAY also receive a mobile phone free of charge once accepted into the Access Wireless’s Lifeline plan.
Assurance Wireless is a reputable Lifeline-focused wireless provider brought to you by the Virgin Mobile. Assurance Wireless provides a free smartphone, along with free phone service each month to low-income residents in over 40 states. Their Lifeline plan includes 3GB FREE Data Each Month, Unlimited FREE Texts Each Month, and 350 FREE Voice Minutes Each Month.
Safelink Wireless is a Lifeline-devoted program provided by TracFone Wireless, Inc. Since it is fully committed to the Lifeline program, they only offer free plans. Their services are available for residents of over 40 states. In some states you can expect to receive a FREE smartphone as part of their Lifeline program, however, there are many states where they only offer BYOP option to their Lifeline plan users. As such, make sure to check their offer for your ZIP code.
Q-Link Wireless is one of the leading providers of Lifeline, a free government benefit program that offers FREE cell phone service to eligible Americans and is available in over 30states. Q-Link Wireless Lifeline FREE plan includes 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB of data. Moreover, as part of the Q-Link Wireless Lifeline program, you can expect to receive a free entry-level smartphone.
Infiniti Mobile serves over 97% of the United States with the most reliable coverage available. Their Lifeline support is available in specific areas of Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin, where eligible clients get includes 1000 free voice minutes, unlimited texts, and 1GB of data each month. As their Lifeline client, you also get a free government phone.
TerraCom was founded to help low-income consumers get the communications services they deserve. It operates in over 20 states. They offer several different plans, however, their most common one (Voice Base Plan 1000 MOU) includes 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB of data. As part of the Terracom Wireless Lifeline program, you can expect to receive a free of an entry-level smartphone.
Best 6 Free Non-government Phone Companies That Provide Free Smartphone Online
NOTE: The catch with getting free cell phones from carriers is that you need to sign up for a plan with that carrier also. And more often than not, they specify which plan you need to sign up for. However, since you need to have a plan or purchase airtime anyway, why not get a free smartphone on top, right?
Verizon has been voted for the best wireless provider in the USA. They offer great service, great customer support, and the best coverage. They often have free-smartphone deals available. Currently, you can obtain the following smartphones for free: Apple iPhone 7, LG Stylo 5, Alcatel AVALON V, Motorola Moto g7 Play, and Nokia 3 V. They constantly change their offers, thus it is best to visit their official website and check out all the details.
T-Mobile is one of the most reputable and largest wireless providers in the USA. They currently run a special deal, where you can get quite impressive smartphones for free. Of course, special conditions apply, thus make sure to check details at their site. Phones that can currently be obtained for free, include LG Stylo™ 5, T-Mobile REVVLRY, Samsung Galaxy A10e, LG K40, Motorola Moto g7 Power, and LG Aristo 4+.
AT&T is also a highly reputable and very large wireless provider. They are best known for the amazing deals for military personnel and veterans. They currently offer several special deals that can get you a free smartphone. Phones that can be yours for free include Samsung Galaxy A10e and awesome iPhone 8. Specific conditions apply, thus make sure to visit AT&T’s official website.
In 2020 Sprint joined T-Mobile’s family, which means that their 4G and 5G phones operate on the T-Mobile network. They are a very reputable and reliable wireless provider that makes constantly offers amazing deals. Signing up for specific plans you can get many different smartphones for free. Including some lower range smartphones, such as LG Tribute Royal, or even the latest iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S10+. Visit their official website to view all the details.
Cricket may not be as reputable and big as the above providers, though it offers very affordable deals and solid prepaid phones. Cricket Wireless is offering several free smartphones, including LG Harmony 3, Nokia 3.1 C, Samsung Galaxy J2 Pure, Samsung Galaxy Amp Prime 3, LG Fortune 2, Alcatel Insight, Alcatel TETRA, Alcatel ONYX, and Cricket® Icon Smartphone. The great thing about this deal is that you can pick Cricket’s cheapest plan at $30/month to be eligible. Visit their official website for more details.
Metro by T-Mobile
Metro by T-Mobile is currently offering a number of cell phones for free if you switch to their Unlimited Plan and port in your number from your current carrier. This amazing deal includes Samsung Galaxy A20s. Visit their official website to view all the details and to order your free smartphone online.
Note: In some of the above case you will need to visit a local store to finalize the purchase.
We did our best to provide you with as much information on how to get a free smartphone online as possible. Now you should know that there are two main ways to get a free smartphone; either through Lifeline support or special wireless provider deals. The first one has special eligibility requirements and is not available to everyone, while the second one is. Use the information obtained herein to get your hands on a free smartphone online today and enjoy your calls, texts, and browsing during these strange times.