Are you considering switching to Sprint for your mobile phone service?
You aren't alone in rethinking your carrier. According to Statista, over 25 million people planned to switch carriers in 2016. And it's easier to do so now than ever, given that most major wireless carriers will help you make the move by buying out your current contract.
It's no wonder so many customers get the itch to switch. The cellular industry seems to turn on a dime, changing right before our very eyes.
Just when you think you've found the perfect carrier and plan for you, cell phone companies up and offer an all new and improved plan that's even better than what you're getting. For example, in fall of 2016 several carriers released unlimited data plans. Despite the fact that unlimited talk and text have long been a fixture in the industry, unlimited data had been a topic of consumer demand since companies dropped the option several years prior.
If you want to learn how to switch to Sprint, you're in the right place. This guide will give you the information you need to simplify the process. I'll even give you tips on deals for switching to Sprint so that you can be sure to get the best possible rate on your new plan. Plus: I'll tell you how to become a Sprint customer based upon which of the major service providers you're with.
How to Switch to Sprint - In This Guide
Switch to Sprint and Save
Sprint's cell phone plans make it easier and cheaper for you to make the switch via various incentive programs.
If you're stuck in a contract with your current carrier, Sprint will pay up to $650 in early-termination fees per line that you port over to their service. It's important to keep in mind that this fee is not paid directly to your carrier. You'll need to take care of the fees upfront, and Sprint will reimburse you via a Visa prepaid card once your account is active.
Limited Time Promotions
If the contract buyout isn't enough motivation for you to become a Sprint customer, keep an eye on this service provider's specials. They change up their offers pretty frequently, but when they run one it's usually a doozy. In the past couple of years, the carrier has run Sprint promotions offering to cut your current phone bill in half, followed by a $200 bonus per line just for moving to the Sprint network. If you've got patience, waiting for the right deal from this wireless carrier can pay off big time.
Switching from Verizon to Sprint
If you're wondering how to switch from Verizon to the Sprint network, you'll be happy to know that it's quite simple. Verizon and Sprint both operate on the CDMA network. This means that many Verizon phones are compatible with Sprint, allowing you to bring your own device and keep your own number. Not all CDMA phones will work with all CDMA carriers, however, so you'll need to check with your new provider about your specific model.
Another great thing about making the switch from Verizon to Sprint is that Verizon does not lock its phones to the carrier. Most of the company's LTE network-capable devices are ready as-is to program to a different carrier. You will pay a $30 activation fee and you'll have to bring your device into a Sprint store as they don't do online activation for BYOD.
Many Verizon and Sprint phones can also be used on MVNO networks like Straight Talk. Even better: some CDMA phones are now compatible with GSM networks. Say you decide down the road that a T-Mobile plan is better for you. It may be possible to transfer your Verizon or Sprint device simply by inserting your T-Mobile SIM card.
Related: Sprint vs Verizon: Which is Better?
Switching from AT&T to Sprint
If you want to switch to Sprint from AT&T you'll still get the benefit of the current switch to Sprint deals, however, you may not be able to bring your own device. Some newer LTE smartphones and iPhones are compatible but it depends.
Say, for example, you're switching to Sprint because you find they have the cheapest iPhone plans. AT&T iPhone 6 and 6s have both GSM and CDMA capability, making it possible to turn your AT&T device into a Sprint iPhone. Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, however, are network specific. If you own one of these, you'll have to get a new Sprint iPhone.
Read More: Similar to Verizon, AT&T's plans are quality, but at the same time, they can be a little more expensive compared to Sprint's.
Other Sprint-compatible AT&T phones include:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 5s
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Nexus 6 (32 & 64 GB – black/white)
- Nexus 5 (16 & 32 GB – black/white/red)
- Nexus 5X (all versions)
- Nexus 6P (all versions)
- Motorola X Pure Edition (16, 32 & 64 GB – all colors)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Special Edition
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Special Edition
- Moto G4
- Moto G4 Plus
How to Switch from AT&T to Sprint
- Unlock your device. If you are bringing one of the above devices to Sprint, first you will have to request an unlock code from AT&T (this can be done from their website). This is because AT&T phones are locked to that carrier and can only be used on another carrier if AT&T gives you approval. Generally speaking, your phone will be eligible if it's not under a service contract or subject to remaining installment plan payments. Our handy guide on how to unlock a phone explains how to unlock iPhones as well as Android devices.
- Get a SIM kit. Next, you can either order a Sprint SIM kit from their website or wait until you get to a Sprint location and purchase it there. Either way, you will have to bring your phone to a store for activation. For more information on SIM cards and their properties, please check out "What is a SIM card?"
- Choose your device and plan. If you're buying a Sprint iPhone or Android smartphone, you will need to choose a device and compare cell phone plans to find the best one for you. You will pay a monthly device fee (unless you purchase your phone outright) in addition to a one-time $30 activation fee.
Pro Tip: Not only is it possible to carrier unlock iPhones and Android devices, it's the law. Your provider is required to allow you to do so as long as you're not under contract obligation.
Switching from T-Mobile to Sprint
T-Mobile phones run on the AT&T network, which means they are GSM capable but not necessarily CDMA capable. T-mobile plans are often loaded with great perks and bonuses but are more expensive than Sprint plans.
Read More: Learn more about GSM and CDMA phones here.
How to Switch from T-Mobile to Sprint
If you have one of the devices I listed above in the AT&T section, you may be able to bring your own device to Sprint. If not, you will need to buy a Sprint device (or look into ways to buy used cell phones that are compatible with Sprint). You will also need to choose a plan offered by Sprint.
Read More: You can see our top picks for best cell phone plan if you're uncertain about switching to Sprint.
Questions to Ask Before Switching to Sprint
It's important to understand all of the details before making a decision. Below I've answered some of the most common questions about switching to Sprint.
How Do You Activate a Sprint SIM Card?
You take your device to a local Sprint store to have your SIM card activated.
Can You Take Your Existing Phone to Sprint?
As I outlined above, it depends. You are more likely to be able to bring your phone to Sprint if you are currently on the Verizon network, although some AT&T and T-Mobile devices will work as well. You can learn more about Sprint's BYOP program here.
Will Sprint Buy Out My Contract?
At the time of this writing, Sprint is offering $650 to new customers as reimbursement for their contract early termination fees and/or device installment plan balance. You will need to pay the fees first, and file for your reimbursement after your Sprint account is activated.
Can I Transfer My Phone Number to Sprint?
Yes, you can. The important thing to remember is not to cancel your current service until the transfer is complete. If you cancel your current cell phone service before Sprint brings your phone number over, your number will no longer be available.
Does Sprint Have Coverage in My Area?
While Sprint service does cover the vast majority of the United States, no carrier has coverage everywhere. You'll want to check the coverage map or refer to our coverage article to be sure you can get service at your location.
How Do You Port a Phone Number?
Sprint will port (transfer) your current phone number for you. They request authorization from your current provider. Once that approval is received, Sprint can ship your device. Porting will be completed after you receive your Sprint phone. If you buy your device in-store, porting should be able to be completed within a day.
There you have it: now you know how to switch to Sprint.
Let's be honest, keeping your phone bill down is one of the most important things you can do for your budget. While the Sprint network doesn't offer the strongest 4G LTE network of the big four providers, they are one of the most affordable options. They offer the basics you expect - like unlimited talk, text, and data, along with a competitive device selection, including the newest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. As long as they have coverage in your area, Sprint is a solid choice.