Reachout Wireless, founded by Nexus Communications, is another company created to work with the government mandated Lifeline Assistance Program. Like Assurance Wireless, Reachout Wireless provides a free cell phone and free cell phone minutes to eligible applicants. There are absolutely no application fees, deposit, monthly bills, credit checks, or any other fees required for Reachout Wireless service. This is a case where free means absolutely free. The application takes no more than ten minutes and successful applicants will receive their new cell phones in as little as ten business days.
While not as large as some of its competitors, Reachout Wireless gives its customers more choices to tailor their free government cell phone service to their personal needs. The company is also rapidly expanding their services into new states, operating in 18 states, having recently moved into California.
How to Qualify for Service
Reachout Wireless is currently providing free cell phones to residents of the following states: Arkansas, California*, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Please visit our State Eligibility page to find out if you qualify for Reachout Wireless service.
If you are already receiving assistance from one of several government programs, it is likely you qualify for a free phone from Reachout Wireless. Reachout Wireless usually accepts participants of the following assistance programs.
- Food Stamps
- Supplemental Social Security
- National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF)
- Section 8 Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
If you do not qualify by participating under a government relief plan, you may still qualify under if your total household income is less than 135-150% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. However, not all states allow qualification under income guidelines and some states have different income thresholds. Again, please see your state’s page for complete qualification information.
*Reachout Wireless customers residing in California must pay at least $2.50 a month under the Lifeline Assistance Plan
Basic Plans and Services
Reachout Wireless realizes that one cell phone plan does not fit all when different customers use their phones, and offer their customers three basic free plans to choose from. Two of their plans contain rollover minutes, that is any unused minutes from the previous month are carried over to the next, so that your unused minutes do not expire. SMS messages are charged against your minute balance at different rates, depending on which basic plan you have. The three plans are:
|68 monthly minutes – subject to month to month rollover||Text messages charged at 0.3 plan minutes each (incoming and outgoing)|
|125 monthly minutes – subject to month to month rollover||Text messages charged at 1 plan minute each(incoming and outgoing)|
|250 monthly minutes – no rollover offered||Text messages charged at 1 plan minute each(incoming and outgoing)|
Customers can purchase unlimited texts and voice minutes for $26.50 a month
Along with the free phone and choice of service plan, Reachout Wireless offers the following services at no additional cost: call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, 3-Way calling, and voice mail. International long-distance calls are available at $1.50 per minute to most countries.
Choice of Phones
Under the basic plan, Reachout Wireless’ customers will receive a refurbished cell phone at absolutely no cost. Customers are unable to choose the model of their free phone, but the company will send a phone that is equipped with a camera. Unlike some other free cell phone providers, Reachout Wireless is very liberal in their cell phone upgrade policy. For an additional fee, customers may choose to upgrade their plan phones. The company offers a wide range of upgrade cell phones to fit any uses or budget. Available models differ from state to state, however even iPhones are available for purchase in some states.
Top Up Minutes
250 monthly minutes may be ample for some users. However since those minutes are used for both outgoing and incoming calls, some customers might find themselves short of minutes from time to time. Fortunately, Reachout Wireless makes it easy to add minutes to your phone. Customers can purchase additional packages directly from the Reachout Wireless website. Some of the packages are as follows:
- 20 additional minutes: $3
- 40 additional minutes: $5
- 240 additional minutes: $10
- 500 additional minutes: $30
- 1000 additional minutes: $52.50
Minutes purchased in these pre-paid packages do not expire. They are rolled over month to month until used.
If a visit to their website is not convenient, customers may choose to purchase minutes with agents at any of the following locations:
- MoneyGram – Located in many CVS and Wal-Marts
- Western Union
- Emida Prepaid Wireless Network