*UPDATE: This post is about the best (in my opinion) free cell phone provider. However I just wrote a book about all 17 providers available and all of the ins and outs of how many minutes and what states each provider has service :) How to Get a Free Cell Phone & Free Minutes on Amazon or over at Barnes and Noble.
In this day and age having a cell phone is more of a necessity than a luxury. But that doesn't make it any easier to add yet another bill.
You might need a cell phone for job or apartment searches, because you don't have a home phone (they are expensive) or perhaps to leave with your teen if he or she picks up their siblings from school or child care in case of emergencies.
Well, there's hope, here are a few companies that offer a completely free cell phone including free monthly minutes if you qualify under the Governments Lifeline program and they limit your participation to open Lifeline service/cell phone per household.
Every State has different guidelines for qualifying, but in most states if you receive any type of assistance or live at or near the poverty level you will qualify.
Assistance such as:
Free or Reduced Lunch for your children
Please visit each site to see if your state participates.
The first is in my opinion the best option as far as call service and quality as it is owned by and operates on the Sprint Network.
You get a free cell phone and 250 free minutes every month. You are also able to add additional minutes and texting starting at $5 a month. You can get an application sent to you via mail by calling 888-898-4888. You can also print an application directly from their website and fax it in, this is the quickest way and you will usually receive your approval letter and cell phone within two weeks, though it may take longer.
To see if your state participates (they are servicing 33 states as of today) and if you qualify please call or visit their website.
I have sent many of my friends, family and my sons friends' parents to them and they are all happy with the service.
Another added bonus is that you can purchase almost any Virgin Mobile cell phone you like (you can find cheap ones on Craigslist, just call Auurance first to be sure it is a phone allowed) and attach it to your free Assurance Wireless account since Virgin Mobile is also owned by the Sprint Network.
Also offering a free cell phone with 250 free monthly minutes
Q Link Wireless
Safelink Wireless (owned and operated by TracFone)
There are others including Cricket Wireless and AT & T, however it seems while they will apply a credit to your wireless account if you qualify for Lifeline they do not provide completely free cell phones and monthly minutes.
So if you are in a bind I suggest contacting one of the companies listed above to get your application process started.
Have a great one,