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How To Get a Free Smartphone

Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular — and no wonder. With a smart phone, you can carry everything you need in the palm of your hand.

Your smart phone can act as a camera, GPS device, and do so much more than just allow you to talk to others. You can check email, complete banking transactions [3], and update your social media statuses.

But smart phones can also be expensive. I know. I finally ditched my prepaid cell phone [4] and got a smart phone on a family plan with my husband. We didn’t want to lock in to a two-year plan, and we found that the contract-less deal offered by T-Mobile would save us money in the long run — even if we did buy the phones up front.

Others, though, are more about the cash flow than the long-term savings. And that can make sense if you aren’t prepared to shell out between $350 and $600 for a smart phone.

Where to Get a Free Smart Phone

Of course, while your smart phone is technically free, the reality is that you are still paying over time. In many cases, you have to sign up for a two-year contract in order to get the free phone. But it still seems like a good deal, especially if you are signing up for a family plan and you and your partner (and maybe a child or two) want smart phones.

Here are some available smart phones:

When you sign up for your free phone, make sure that you understand the entire process. You may need to pay a little up front (like $50) and then send away for a mail-in rebate. This is common practice with Sprint.

It’s also worth noting that, with T-Mobile, you don’t have to pay the entire cost of your smart phone at once. You can pay a small amount each month — interest free — over the course of two years. You aren’t locked into a contract, though, so if you decide to jump ship and you are on a payment plan with your smart phone, you’ll have to pay the entire balance. It’s not the same as the cancellation fee that you pay when you switch carriers before a two-year contract is up, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

Image: Carissa Rogers [5]