Free Cell Phones

Written by Charles Peacock
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Free cell phones aren't as hard to get your hands on as you might think. If you're looking for top of the line models, you're definitely going to have to pay something, but there are still plenty of high quality phones out there that you can get absolutely free. Free cell phones are available from virtually any manufacturer and cell phone provider.

If you're looking for free cell phones, there are a few different ways to get them. The main ways to get free cell phones are through pre-paid plans and through extended service contracts. Each of these methods has its risks and its benefits, so the best thing to do is to gather as much information as possible before making a choice. It's important not to be tempted simply by the idea of a free cell phone--you should always pay just as much attention to the service plan that comes with the phone.

Free Cell Phones with Prepaid Service

The cheapest and easiest way to get free cell phones is to sign up for prepaid call phone services. Prepaid service basically means that you put a certain amount of money down in advance--usually $25 to $100--and you basically use the phone until the money runs out. Most prepaid service plans give you around 1,000 minutes for $50, so once you've used your 1,000 minutes the phone will no longer work.

The good thing about prepaid phones is they can easily be "recharged"--all you have to do is add more money to the account in order to get more minutes. They also allow you to avoid costly overage charges, since you're only using what you've already paid for. There is no surprise at the end of the month in which you find out you've used a lot more minutes (and have to pay a lot more money) than you expected.

Even the cheapest prepaid plans typically come with free cell phones. They aren't the best phones on the market, but they're still way ahead of what was on the market only a few years ago. They have features like downloadable ring tones and color screens, and you can usually even keep the phone once your prepaid service plan has expired.

Free Cell Phones with Long-Term Service Contracts

The only way to get a really good cell phone completely free is usually to sign up for a long-term contract with a reputable service provider. Since the cell phone companies are constantly competing with each other for customers, long-term contracts help them out by locking you in to their service for periods ranging from six months to several years. This sounds a bit scary, but if you find a good provider, it can work well for both parties.

Since signing a long-term contract ensures the provider that you will be paying a minimum amount each month for at least six months, they are able to offer you freebies. Typically, when you sign up for a plan they will give you a free phone that might regularly cost as much as $250. They do this by subsidizing the price of the phone with some of the money that they know you'll be spending each month on your service.

If you're already locked in with a service provider, there still is hope for you for getting a new free cell phone. If your contract has expired or is nearing its expiration date, you can always call your service provider and tell them you are thinking about switching to another company. In an effort to keep your business, they will usually offer you a brand new phone free of charge!

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