Get totally free phone service and messaging

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Watch for sales on Freedompop SIM cards. Normally they run as much as $19.98 shipped.


Freedompop

People say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but if I rack up enough points on my Which Wich rewards card, eventually I’ll be eating a sandwich gratis.

OK, but free cell service? Definitely no such thing. Except, yes, there is, thanks to Freedompop. For the price of a SIM card (about $20, but much less if you’re able to find a sale — see below), you can get a free basic service plan that includes 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 200MB of 4G LTE data every month.

Unfortunately, the company no longer includes unlimited (zero-rated) global WhatsApp calls and messages in its free offering for US customers. But if you spend most of your time connected to Wi-Fi or you want a plan for your backup phone, Freedompop is worth a look. Let’s take a look at how this freebie really works — and how you can protect yourself against unexpected charges.

The price of FreedomPop

To sign up for the service, you’ll need the following:

  • An unlocked GSM phone or tablet running Android or iOS.
  • A FreedomPop 3-in-1 LTE SIM Kit.

That SIM kit normally runs $9.99, plus $9.99 for shipping. But at the time of writing you can grab one for 99 cents shipped as part of a limited-time offer — I’m not sure when it’s set to expire. However, if you start at the Freedompop store (as opposed to the special offer page) and pay full price, you’ll get 5GB of bonus data. But it’s not clear if it expires after the first month or rolls…

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