Yes, you can get a free prepaid cell phone or no-contract phone from a couple of different companies online. This is a surprise because there’s no contract to tie you down. True, these phones, with one or two exceptions, are not really high-end phones, but they do the job.
The companies take the risk that if they give you a free phone with the purchase of and airtime card that you’ll be inclined to stick with them for a while even without a contract.
AT&T used to offer the ZTE Maven 2 free when you sign up for a new line of service and make at least a $30 payment for airtime. However, they have discontinued that offer and now charge $30 for a refurbished model and about $40 for it as a new phone. Shipping is free.
Net10 offers the Alcatel A521L Pop Star LTE 2, the Huawei Magna, and the reconditioned Alcatel Pixi Eclipse. These are free when you purchase them with one of the monthly airtime cards which start at $35.
You get free overnight shipping when you buy a phone, phone bundle (phone + airtime card) over $19.99.
Tracfone also offers the reconditioned Alcatel Pixi Eclipse free with airtime purchase. These are Android 4.4 or phone with 4.0 inch screen but only a 2MP camera.
Straight Talk currently offers quite a few free phones with the purchase of airtime cards:
These smartphones requires the $45 or higher monthly plans.
Prepaid Plans › Free Phones w. Airtime Purchase
In addition to choosing the right plan, there are a few other ways of saving money. One thing you can do is look for promo codes for phone and airtime purchases.
Promo Codes from Tracfone help you save money and get more minutes.
The sister brands, Net10 and Straight Talk also sometimes have these codes, but not as often.
If you are interested in smart phones, and who isn't these day, these are now available for $100 or less without a contract. These are not the high-end models, but still, I think one or two of them have a basic front-facing camera.