April 26, 2024

How is TextNow free?

Written by valeria

Saving Money

We like to advertise our service around one important word: “free.” And to some, that may seem like a bait and switch, or a marketing trick to get you to sign up before we start charging you one or two weeks down the road. But to us, it really just means free. No tricks. No catches. Let us tell you how. 

Just like all your favorite streaming services are kept free through ads (Spotify, YouTube), so does ours. We let the in-app ads pay for your phone service – unlimited talk & text – so you don’t have to (because you shouldn’t have to). And before you say that unlimited talk & text is free everywhere, we’re sad to say that it’s not.

You see, most carriers just bake in the unlimited talk & text service into their monthly plans, so while you think you’re just paying $40/month for data, you’re actually paying for all of it. And if you were to go out and look for just a talk & text plan, you’ll find they can cost up to $10/month (promotional prices excluded). But you’re right to think it’s free, because it should be free. Which is why we made it free. 

The Costs 

Now, we’re not going to pretend that nothing on our service comes with a price tag, so let’s do a quick review of the things you can pay for (but don’t have to). 

SIM card

You can start using our service over your Wi-Fi immediately when you sign up, and continue using it for as long as you want. With it, you’ll get to choose a local number, have access to calls and text, and even voicemail. 

If you do want to try our talk & text service nationwide, over a 5G network, you will have to buy a SIM card. This card is a one-time purchase that is necessary in order to connect your phone to our 5G network, but you will not have to pay for service past that! We still let the in-app ads pay for you, so you can access your phone number wherever you go, even when you can’t connect to Wi-Fi. 

Unlimited Data

If you have an hour, day, or month where you’re not going to be around Wi-Fi but need access to apps outside of TextNow, you can pay for a data pass. We made our passes flexible and easy to add (right from the menu of your app), so you can just pay for what you need– starting at $0.99 – and enjoy your free service the rest of the time! 


Just like Spotify and YouTube have “premium” versions that allow you to access more features and remove ads, so do we. You can pay to remove ads, and get additional features like voicemail transcription, call forwarding, and more. 

One last thing….the Perks 

Remember how we mentioned that our ads pay for your service? Well, they do more than that. We also have a space where your favorite brands can offer discounts, promotions, and even free stuff, all for you. Just download the app and open the Perks tab to check out your weekly offers!