Most people think free is free and that’s as good as it gets. But when it comes to free government cell phones, some free plans are better than others.
Please allow us to explain:
The vast majority of companies that compete in the Lifeline Assistance program offer the same basic program: A free cell phone, 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages every month. Some of the competitors even offer less attractive plans, but a few companies offer bonus minutes, bonus texts, and additional services that make their free plans stand out.
As part of our ongoing effort to bring you the best of Lifeline Assistance, FreeGovernmentCellPhones.com does what no other website has ever done: We’ve combed the details of scores of competing companies to ferret out the finest free phone bonanzas. And without further ado, here they are:
One note before we begin: Due to state regulations, the free government cell phone program isn’t free in all states. For example, Alaska and Oklahoma cell phone companies typically charge $1 per month, but offer more minutes, texts and services.
With that brief caveat and a dramatic drumroll, we proudly present FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net’s 10 Best Deals in Free Government Cell Phones (in descending order):
10. Safelink (38 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico)
Safelink, the big fish in the Lifeline Assistance pond, is now offering new customers a special sign-up bonus. You’ll get 500 minutes and 1000 texts for free for the first three months of service and then you’ll revert back to Safelink’s standard offer — 250 voice minutes and 1000 texts for free. The company says the offer is for a limited time only, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it extended or see it become the company’s standard offer.
9. Assurance Wireless (40 states plus the District of Columbia)
Assurance, the second biggest names in the free government cell phone business, is now making special bonus offers to attract new customers. Any new customer can get 500 voice and unlimited texts for the first four months. After that, you’ll get 250 voice minutes but the texts will still be unlimited.
8. TelAlaska (Alaska only)
Get free unlimited local calls (calls placed to and from communities within the TelAlaska Cellular Network), 400 long distance minutes per month, voicemail and other calling services, plus nationwide unlimited texting.
7. Easy Wireless (Oklahoma)
Easy Wireless will give you 1000 free minutes/texts every month for free.
6. Assist Wireless (Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri and Oklahoma)
Once again, Oklahoma has some quirky laws regarding Lifeline Assistance. The plans aren’t free, but for just $1 per month, you’ll get 1000 free voice minutes or texts. And for just $6.20 per month, you can get unlimited talk.
5. Infiniti Mobile (Oklahoma only)
It will cost you $1 per month, but Infinity gives you 750 voice minutes plus 1000 texts per month.
4. AT&T Mobility (Alaska only) It’s not quite free due to a quirk in the Alaska Lifeline Assistance program, but for just $1 per month you’ll get a free cell phone plus 1200 anytime minutes and national long distance. (We hope AT&T Mobility will soon extend this program to other states.)
3. Dart (Oklahoma only)
DartPhone is a small company — so small that we haven’t given them their own page here at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net — but they offer a couple really great plans. The Oklahoma Lifeline plan costs $1 for unlimited talk and text. The Oklahoma Lifeline 1000 + Data Plan costs $1 but gives you 1000 voice minutes or 2000 text messages plus 50 mb of data.
2. GCI (Alaska only)
GCI, one of Alaska’s largest communications companies, and several of its sister companies offer unlimited talk and texts for just $1 per month. The company serves such a small population that we haven’t given it its own page here on FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net, but it’s offer is definitely big.
Here’s the best deal in America. The second largest Lifeline Assistance company is firing a shot across the bow of all its competitors by offering free unlimited minutes and free unlimited texts for California customers. Keep your fingers crossed hoping that this program spreads to other states.
The editor of FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net visited China last year. During a discussion of the incredibly crowded Chinese roads, a Chinese citizen told us, “In China, traffic rules are just suggestions, not absolute laws.”
That appears to be true with the laws of Lifeline Assistance, too. The companies on our list are proving that 250 free minutes and 250 free texts per month is merely a suggestion, not a law. You’ll notice that Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless, the two largest Lifeline companies, are now offering their customers more. But where are Life Wireless, Budget Mobile, and ReachOut Wireless, the number three, four and five companies?
Our nation’s Founding Fathers liked to say that the states were laboratories of democracy, meaning that concepts could be tested on the state level to see if they worked on a smaller basis instead of being imposed on the entire country.
The same seems to be true with Lifeline Assistance. Local and regional companies are pushing the boundaries of what can be done and that’s great for free government cell phone customers.
The sooner all Lifeline companies begin offering more free minutes, more free texts and more free services, the better — for them and for their customers.