Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

These carriers will offer you a free phone when you switch

Looking for a free phone when you switch carriers? You have quite a few deals to pick from across multiple carriers.
By
January 26, 2024
Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 hero standing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Today’s best smartphones are not exactly cheap. Most flagships start at around the $600-$800 mark for the base model, and options often exceed $1000. But what if you don’t have much cash to spend on a phone? While opting for a budget phone, like the Pixel 7a, is one solution, those in the US have another option. It’s possible to get some of the hottest flagships either for free or at a significantly reduced rate through your carrier.

Let’s take a quick look at all the carriers that offer a free phone when you switch to their network, as well as a few deals that apply to existing customers as well.

How do you get a free phone when you switch, what’s the catch?

You can’t expect something for nothing so how exactly do these carrier deals work? The exact terms and conditions will vary not only from carrier to carrier but even from phone to phone or plan to plan, though generally, they work mostly the same way. You typically have to either pay for the phone upfront and get reimbursed through monthly bill credits or you have to sign up for an installment plan and then each month you’re active with your carrier you’ll get a credit that brings the total down to zero over the length of the installment period. Most of these free phone deals will also require select plans to qualify. If a plan requires you to sign up for a new line you may also be asked to transfer an existing number to qualify.

If you decide to change providers at any time you’ll have to pay off the remaining balance on your “free phone” or you’ll have to wait until it’s paid off to leave.

Verizon

Verizon logo on smartphone with a colored background Stock photo 12
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Who’s eligible: Most deals require you to either switch from another carrier, add a new line to an existing account, or trade in a phone. The exact terms and conditions will vary and some offers will only be available for higher-tier plans.
  • Are trade-ins required? Many deals don’t require a trade-in, though several offers do.

Verizon offers a wide variety of free phones for those who switch to Verizon or sign up for a new line, with dozens of options available at the time of this writing. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind. Any free phone offer that doesn’t require a trade-in will only be valid with select unlimited plans, typically higher-tier options like Unlimited Ultimate. In other words, if you are on Unlimited Welcome or another entry-level plan, you’re likely going to have to trade something in to get a phone for free. Even then, you’ll sometimes get better trade-in values if you have a top-tier plan.

Let’s start with some of the best Verizon deals that require you to add a new qualifying line or have a certain plan level, but don’t require a trade-in:

For those willing to trade in a device, you have even more options, including the Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15. Really Verizon tends to give its users good deals on older trade-ins so it’s possible to get just about any phone for a reduced rate, if not free. These are just some of the highlights. For a comprehensive look at the best Verizon phones you can get for free, head over to Verizon’s website.

AT&T

ATT logo stock image 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Who’s eligible: Most deals require you to either switch from another carrier, add a new line to an existing account, or have a higher-tier plan that qualifies. The exact terms and conditions will vary.
  • Are trade-ins required? Yes, all these promotions require a trade-in.

AT&T has a notably smaller selection of free devices typically, with only around a dozen options at the time of this writing. All of these also require a trade-in deal, unlike many of Verizon’s deals. Unlike the other two big carriers, most of these promotions don’t require a specific plan other than it needs to be unlimited and not an older legacy line.

Here’s a look at some of the best AT&T deals for free phones:

Of course, promotions change fast and it’s possible there could be others added to this list before we have a chance to update the guide. In that case, be sure to check out the AT&T website for a closer look.

T-Mobile

T Mobile logo angled MWC 2022
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Who’s eligible: Most deals require you to either switch from another carrier, add a new line to an existing account, or have a higher-tier plan that qualifies. The exact terms and conditions will vary.
  • Are trade-ins required? Not typically, though you may have to trade in a device for a discount if you don’t have Go5G Plus or Next.

T-Mobile doesn’t have as many free offers as Verizon, but it slightly one-ups AT&T. It also offers the most flexibility in how you qualify. For example, the Google Pixel 8 is free on T-Mobile for those who add a new line of Go5G Plus or Next but if you’re an existing customer you can also trade in your device and get the phone for free if you have Go5G Plus or Next. Don’t have one of those fancier plans? You can still trade in a device for up to $500 off, which might not be enough to get the Pixel 8 free but it gives it to you at a significantly discounted rate.

Here’s a look at just some of the best T-Mobile free phone deals available:

That’s a look at just some of the better deals but be sure to check out the T-Mobile website for a deeper look.

Google Fi

Google Fi Wireless logo on smartphone with SIM card and SIM ejector next to it Stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Who’s eligible: All new Google Fi customers.
  • Are trade-ins required? No, free deals don’t require a trade-in.

Google Fi is easily one of the best prepaid carriers around and a large part of the appeal is that it feels a bit more like a traditional provider with perks like some of the best roaming of any carrier and a billing model that is a hybrid between post and prepaid depending on the plan you sign up for. It’s also a good place to get cheap or even free phone deals, though there are usually only a few available at a time.

Right now the main promotion is $700 off on the Google Pixel 8 or 8 Pro, which makes the former phone free and the latter device just a few hundred dollars. To qualify you’ll have to sign up for Google Fi Wireless Unlimited Plus as a brand-new customer (or have been gone for more than 180 days). It’s also possible to trade in your phone for a few other devices, though these deals aren’t nearly as significant.

To sign up for Google Fi Wireless’ latest promotion you’ll want to head over to the Fi Website.

Boost Infinite

Boost Mobile logo on phone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Who’s eligible: All new Boost Infinite users.
  • Are trade-ins required? No, free deals don’t require a trade-in initially.

The Dish-owned Boost Infinite is a bit different from Boost Mobile as it’s an actual postpaid carrier that’s attempting to compete with the Big Three. The good news is that Dish is trying hard to win customers and that means great free phone deals. You can get the following phones completely free:

There’s no trade-in required here at all and you’ll get great coverage as Infinite utilizes a combination of Dish’s 5G network, T-mobile, and AT&T for coverage. You will have to commit to Boost Infinite for three years or pay back what you owe, but that’s to be expected. It’s also worth noting that Boost Infinite allows you to trade in and upgrade your phone a year later, though you’ll basically restart the clock on how long you’ll have to stay on the network before you can leave.

You’ll want to head to the Boost Infinite website to learn more and to sign up for a free phone deal.

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T Mobile logo on phone stock photo 2
  • Who’s eligible: All new Metro lines that sign up for the $65 plan.
  • Are trade-ins required? No, free deals don’t require a trade-in.

Another prepaid carrier that often offers free phone deals is Metro by T-Mobile. Unlike most of its competition, most of its free phone deals are B1G1 or similar. Metro also focuses on more entry-level or older devices, as opposed to the latest flagship deals. Here’s all the devices you can get for free right now:

  • iPhone 11 – You can get the iPhone 11 for free with an instant rebate. Number transfer required.
  • REVVL 6X Pro – Buy one for X, get the second for free with an instant rebate. Number transfer required.
  • Samsung Galaxy A15 5G – You can get the A14 for free with an instant rebate, for up to 4 devices in total. Number transfer required.

While Metro is probably the least exciting of the “free phone when you switch” deals, it’s still a decent option for those on a budget who don’t mind older or more entry-level devices.

You’ll want to head to the Metro website to learn more and to sign up for a free phone deal.