The post blew up and we got a bunch of emails and messages asking if the process was actually simple. We decided to throw this guide together to walk you through making the switch from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint to a Cricket Wireless plan!
If you have your eye on a Mint Mobile plan instead, the process is SUPER similar. You can't really go wrong by paying less for your phone plan!
Cricket Wireless At A Glance
Before you get started there are a couple of things that you should do. First off, check the coverage map below and make sure your area is covered. Once you have verified that, you are ready!
To make the switch online here is a simple checklist for you!
#1 Is your current phone unlocked?
An “unlocked” phone is simply a phone that can be used on another network. This has to do with the setting with your current carrier. Switching networks is typically done by taking out your SIM card and putting in another card from another carrier. You can also contact your current company and ask them if your phone is unlocked.
#2 Are you currently under contract with another carrier?
Early termination fees for smartphones are less common now with most carriers having phone installment plans. AT&T was the last of the major carriers to end two-year contracts for smartphones. But you’ll face early termination fees if you are still stuck on a two-year contract. Don’t forget that you’ll still have to pay off your device before you switch or turn it back in!
Remember, Cricket Wireless does not buy out contracts, pay off contracts, or buy out your current phone.
Once you’ve confirmed you can switch carriers you’re ready to move on!
#3 Is your current phone compatible with the new carrier?
You probably want to keep your current phone and not spend money on a new one. Good call. That is what we did too. Once you decide which company to switch with, you’ll need to check with them to make sure the phone is GSM compatible.
You’ll also need your phone’s IMEI number handy. Cricket does a good job of walking you through the simple process of finding it.
#4 Now you’re ready to pick a plan!
You have made sure your phone is “unlocked”, you are not under contract with your current company, and your phone is compatible. Now you can take a look at the plans and see which one will fit your needs and most importantly, your financial plan (budget)!
#5 Wait for the new SIM and begin to save that money!
Once you insert your new SIM card into your phone you’ll be ready to go!
Lastly, be prepared with what you plan to do with your saved money, otherwise it’ll disappear. Trust us. If you aren’t sure what to do with your money, make sure you read our Personal Finance 101 post, and it’ll become crystal clear.
As a reminder, here are some of the things you can expect when switching to Cricket Wireless:
- Able to bring your own phone and keep your current number
- Lower cost plans plans
- Nationwide coverage through the AT&T network
- No overages or additional fees like other carriers
- All-in pricing (prices already include tax)
- $5 per month discount for using their automatic billing
- Low-cost devices, if you don’t need the latest releases
- More data, less cost
- Over 3,000 stores nationwide
Happy saving 🙂
Francisco Maldonado, MD is a personal finance expert who was raised in poverty by a single mother and had to learn everything about personal finance on his own. In addition to running his personal finance site, The Finance Twins, with his twin brother, his site has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC, US News, The Simple Dollar and other top publications. Francisco is a physician who borrowed over $200,000 to pay for his medical training and understands debt payoff strategies and frugal living. He received his M.D. from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, the most selective medical school in the country, and a Bachelors degree in physiology from the University of Minnesota. He is currently a radiology resident at Northwestern University. You can contact Francisco here or via Instagram @thefinancetwins.