Cricket offers $50 in cash credit to customers who switch carriers

cricket switcher credit rsz 1cricket store  side view
If you’re in the market for a cheap, no-frills wireless plan, good news: Cricket Wireless is offering cash credit for customers who port their number to the carrier. And it’s throwing in a free smartphone to boot.

Starting Friday, May 26, Cricket will give subscribers who bring their lines from another carrier up to $50 in “switcher credit” — more than enough to cover the carrier’s $25 activation fee and $10 universal SIM card. Customers have the option to bring their own device, or choose from one of Cricket’s four free 4G LTE phones. And if they bring a family plan over, they can get up to $50 in credit plus a Group Save discount.

Cricket’s not neglecting existing Cricket customers, either. Subscribers who refer a friend get a $25 credit when that friend accepts a referral via the Crickets Rewards app, activates service, and maintains it for 60 consecutive days.

There’s some fine print to note. The promotion applies to new lines only, and AT&T customers aren’t eligible. It’s a smartphone-only affair — basic phones are excluded — and accounts must be active and in good standing for at least 45 days. Credit comes in the form of savings on your monthly bill — you can’t withdraw it like cash, and it’s not refundable or transferable — and there’s a limit to one per qualifying line.

But it’s not all bad.

Last year, Cricket introduced a $70 per month unlimited data plan that includes talk and text. And on the low end of the pricing spectrum, it debuted a $30 per month plan with calling, texting, and 1GB of data.

In January, meanwhile, Cricket rolled out high-speed data subscriptions starting at $40 per month and $60 per month for 3GB and 12GB, respectively. Plans are throttled at 8Mbps for 4G LTE and 4Mbps for HSPA+, but come with unlimited texting and calling, and benefits like high-definition phone calls on supported phones (like the Alcatel Idol 4, LG Escape 3, Samsung Galaxy Sol 2, or ZTE Grand X 4).

Cricket’s plans compare favorably to the competition. T-Mobile offers a $30 per month prepaid option through T-Mobile.com and Walmart that includes unlimited texting and up to 5GB of high-speed 4G LTE data, but only 100 minutes of calling. H2O Wireless and Lycamobile, meanwhile, have $30 plans that net you unlimited talk and text, but limit data transfer to 500MB.

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) like Cricket, which obtain cell service from larger networks and carriers, are on the upswing. Analysts at Transparency Market Research report that the global MVNO market will reach a value of $75.25 billion by 2023.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Mobile

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.