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Best July cell phone deals: buy one Galaxy, get one free

There is still time to snag a deal on ProjectFi and Cricket, or grab a buy one get one free Galaxy deal from T-mobile.

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP/File
A father takes a photo with his daughter at a stadium in Marseille, France.

Summer is in full swing. Whether you’re taking to the open road or sticking around for the neighborhood barbecue, you could always stand to save some money for your favorite summer activities. So we’ve pulled together a roundup of some of the best deals and promotions in July to save you money on your cell phone.

Last chance for a Project Fi refund

If you’re interested in trying out Google’s new mobile service, Project Fi, check out its current phone subsidy deal before it expires on July 10.

If you buy a Nexus 5X from Google and activate Project Fi on it within 30 days, Google will credit $150 back to your account. That means you can get the 16GB 5X for $199 and the 32GB model for $249.

You can use any Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P on Project Fi — no matter where you buy it from — but why not snag a discount?

Switch to Cricket

Through July 14, Cricket Wireless is offering a $50 rebate to new customers, and $35 more if you bring your own phone. If you’re a current T-Mobile customer and you decide to switch, Cricket will double the $50 rebate.

So that’s $50 back to new customers, $85 back to new customers with their own phone and $135 back to former T-Mobile customers with their own phone.

The caveats: You have to bring your own phone number and select a plan that’s a minimum of $40 per month (Cricket’s “Basic” plan). After two monthly payments, you’ll receive your rebate.

If you want to bring your own phone to Cricket’s network, make sure it’s an unlocked GSM phone. If you’re already on AT&T or T-Mobile, or one of their mobile virtual network operators, then you have a GSM phone. Before you leave your current carrier, call to make sure it is unlocked.

Verizon and Sprint customers might not be able to bring their old phone; it’s always good to check first.

Buy a Galaxy, get a Galaxy

T-Mobile is offering a buy one, get one deal on all its Samsung Galaxy phones. If you buy two new Galaxy phones along with at least one new line of service, T-Mobile will send you a prepaid MasterCard rebate for the full price of one of the phones.

You must have a 24-month financing agreement on one of the phones — the higher priced one if you’re not buying two of the same. If you cancel your T-Mobile service within three months, it’ll bill you for the full price of your rebate. Plus, the balance left on your financed phone will be due.

Galaxy phones included in the promotion are the: S7, S7 Edge, Note5, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus and J7.

U.S. Cellular’s big bonus

U.S. Cellular is offering a bonus package, which it values at $1,000, for new customers switching over to one of its Shared Data plans with 3GB of data or more.

To qualify, you have to buy a new smartphone from U.S. Cellular, either under a two-year contract or an installment payment plan. You’ll also have to sign up for its Device Protection cell phone insurance plan ($9 per month) and turn in an old smartphone in good repair, as well as pass a credit check.

Once you do all that, though, you get $300 in U.S. Cellular gift cards, a $100 credit toward any phone accessory, a one-year subscription to streaming-music service Slacker Radio, and 2GB of bonus data each month for two years.

Deals from June

Also, some of our picks for the best cell phone deals in June are still ongoing as of the beginning of July, though they might not be around for much longer. They include:

  • Sprint’s buy one, get one free on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
  • Verizon’s buy one, get one free on the iPhone 6S.
  • T-Mobile’s four lines with 6GB of data each for the price of three lines.
  • Boost Mobile’s family plan discounts on lines with 10GB of data each.

Stephen Layton is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:

This article first appeared at NerdWallet.

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