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How to Bring Your Own Phone to AT&T

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How to Bring Your Own Phone to AT&T
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Thinking of switching to AT&T? You probably have a lot of questions. What plans are available? How much will it cost you? Can you keep your own phone?

Fortunately, it's easy to find affordable AT&T bring your own phone (BYOP) plans. The best part is you don't have to pay AT&T prices to get a great plan that fits your needs and runs on this carrier's reliable nationwide 4G LTE network.

COMPARE NOW: AT&T cell phone plans starting at $10 per month

Thanks to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) you're no longer stuck with the limited options offered by the big four major carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint). You can choose your own plan options, paying only for the talk, texts, and data amount you really need.

Read on to learn more about the best MVNOs and how to bring your own phone to a cheaper cell phone plan.

Keep Your AT&T Phone and Number and Switch to a Cheaper Plan

Switching is easier than you think.

  1. Pick a carrier. The best provider for you will be the one with the features and plans that fit your wireless needs and your budget.
  2. Check to see if your phone is compatible. You can easily check compatibility on carrier websites. For the AT&T network, you'll need a GSM phone. GSM devices are phones designed for use on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, while CDMA phones are made for the Verizon and Sprint networks.
  3. Sign up and order a SIM card kit. Bringing your own phone is as easy and ordering your SIM card activation kit and popping it in.

Even if your phone is compatible with the carrier you choose you may still need to unlock it. You may also need to program the correct APN settings into your phone.

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Time for a cheaper cell phone plan?

Benefits of MVNOs

MVNOs are smaller carriers that buy space on the large networks and sell it to you at cheaper prices. Most of these mobile providers operate solely online, which means they don't have the high costs of overhead and marketing that the big guys have.

There are a ton of advantages to switching to an AT&T MVNO:

  • The same reliable service you know and love on one of America's largest wireless networks
  • Cheap rates - typically more than 50% off on your monthly plan
  • No contracts or credit checks - switch whenever you want
  • Custom plans - only pay for what you need
  • BYOP and keep your phone number
  • Highly rated customer service
  • Easy online signup

AT&T MVNOs

Let's take a look at some carriers that provide service on the AT&T network.

Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket operates on all four major wireless networks, making it a great choice regardless of which device you have. They offer six different plans, ranging from 500 MB up to 12 GB of high-speed data. You also get international service, with free calling to over 70 countries.

Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is a well-known MVNO with a range of offerings, including unlimited plans. The prices are a little higher than carriers that run on some other networks, however, they do include service to Mexico and Canada in their plans.

Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular has earned a reputation as a provider of affordable custom cell phone plans for seniors. This AT&T MVNO is great for anyone, however, with data plans up to 10 GB. They offer a discount for AARP members, as well as a mobile share option if you need multiple lines. Plus, global unlimited texting is included free with every plan.

Before deciding on a cell phone plan you should check out the AT&T coverage map to make sure the network covers your location.

Refurbished Phone Options

Just because the term is "bring your own phone" doesn't mean you have to bring your current phone. If you're looking for an upgrade there's an option that's much cheaper than committing to $30 a month in device payments through a major carrier.

For about half the price of a new smartphone, you can buy a used or refurbished device in great condition. Plus, you're not tied to any specific carrier. Switch up whenever you want.

Key Considerations When Buying a Used or Refurbished Phone

  • Used vs. refurbished: Used phones are sold as-is, while refurbished devices are repaired and restored before being listed for sale.
  • Warranties: Some sellers offer a warranty on their devices for extra protection.
  • Shipping: You'll find that most reputable phone sites cover the cost of shipping on your purchase.
  • Return policy: The return period is typically up to 30 days. Some sellers offer free return shipping as well.
  • Certified pre-owned: These phones are typically the higher-end flagship Apple and Samsung Galaxy devices. They undergo thorough inspection and testing before being listed for sale.
  • Insurance: Yes, you can buy cell phone insurance for a used smartphone, usually through a third party provider.
  • Device payments: We strongly recommend against used phone financing. It's a much better choice, in the long run, to pay outright for your device if possible.

Compare prices on unlocked refurbished AT&T phones in just seconds. See features and the lowest prices available from the most reputable online phone sellers.

Save Even More - Sell Your Old Phone

Need some cold hard cash to put toward that new phone? Don't let your old phone sit around wasting space. It's easy and fast to sell it, without the hassle of hunting down buyers yourself.

MoneySavingPro makes selling your phone a breeze. Compare offers from reputable buyers in seconds. All you have to do is follow your chosen buyer site's instructions for shipping your phone off and then you'll get paid. Some sites will even pay your postage!

Recap

BYOP is a crucial part of the best strategy to save money on your cell phone plan.

Find out how much you could be saving in three simple steps with our cell phone savings calculator.

COMPARE NOW: AT&T cell phone plans starting at $10 per month

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