California offers 1,000 minutes or texts, plus 200MB data!
Access Wireless is quickly becoming one of the major players in the free government cell phone business. They currently offer the Lifeline Assistance program in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
If you live in one of those states, we’d say Access Wireless is definitely a company to consider.
Access Wireless is the brand name of the Lifeline service provided by i-wireless. Please be aware that there are three different Lifeline Assistance providers doing business under VERY similar names. In addition to Access Wireless provided by i-wireless, there’s iWireless in Iowa and Cincinnati Bell’s i-Wireless (which dropped out of the free government cell phone business as of July 1, 2014).
The specifics of the Access Wireless program
As with most free government cell phone programs in most states, Access Wireless service is absolutely free if you’re eligible. In all states other than California (which has a better plan), you’ll get a free cell phone, at least 250 voice minutes, unlimited texts per month. The minutes can be used for local or domestic long distance calling and tex messaging. There are a variety of plans, based upon your state and potentially what you are looking for. Here’s how it breaks down:
All States other than California
Free Talk, Text & Data Plan: Includes 500 MB Data, Unlimited Text Messages and 100 Voice Minutes each month. This is geared to those who need more data than they do minutes.
Free Talk & Text Plan: Includes 500 Free Voice Minutes, Unlimited Text Messages and 50 MB data each month. This plan is really meant for those who have extremely minimal data needs. You’ll blow through only 50 MB in absolutely no time at all.
Free Talk, Text & Data Plan with State Funds (KY, NE, OR with smartphone only): Includes 350 voice minutes, 500 MB data, unlimited text messages.
Free Talk & Text Plan with State Funds (KY, NE, OR with feature phone only): Includes 750 voice minutes, unlimited text messages and 50 MB data each month.
Qualifying residents of California get a considerably better deal. The free plan comes with 1,000 minutes or texts — four times their standard plan. In addition, you’ll get 200MB of data usage. And if you are willing to pay $10 a month, you’ll get unlimited voice and texting, plus 500MB of data. They have several other plans from $5 to $25 a month.
Note: California residents should view our California Lifeline page to compare all the generous offers from all the companies.
Of course, you won’t receive any monthly bills; you won’t be required to sign any long-term contracts; you won’t be required to pay any activation fees, recurring fees, or surcharges.
Access Wireless is a government supported program that ensures everyone can get a mobile phone. Even if you have previously been unable to get a wireless phone, you may now qualify for a FREE Access Wireless phone and phone service. You can use your phone for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing 911 services.
Two bonus programs
Bonus program #1: Kroger, one of the largest grocery store chains in the country, has partnered with Access Wireless in a very generous free government cell phone bonus program.
Here’s how the program is spelled out on the company’s website: “You can earn free wireless service each time you shop at the Kroger family of stores. For every $100 you spend in-store, you’ll automatically receive a FREE MINUTES reward applied to your account.”
If you live near a Kroger supermarket, shopping there could give you more minutes every month.
Bonus program #2: Access Wireless will give each customer 100 free minutes for each friend they refer to the program. You can refer as many as ten friends and earn up to 1000 minutes. Not a bad deal at all.
As with every other free government cell phone participant, Access Wireless says that service varies by state. Depending on individual state regulations, the number of minutes and other services offered may vary and the ways in which you can qualify may vary.
In general, it’s fair to say that you may qualify for if you participate in a number of the government assistance programs or if your household income is 135-150% of the federal poverty guidelines (the percentage varies by state).
Website: Access Wireless
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