Cricket Wireless offers 5 lines for $100, trade-in cash

The carrier's new family plan model rewards customers who band together and guarantees at least $15 trade-in value for any phone.

Cricket's new programs include automatic bill pay, which will knock $5 off your monthly rate. Josh Miller/CNET

Prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless is rolling out a handful of new perks to customers starting this Sunday. The first is a family plan that costs $100 for up to five phone lines, a deal sweetened even more by the pledge to knock $5 off the total when you pay your bill automatically online.

Cricket's plans come with unlimited talk, text, and Web. Android phones are also outfitted with Muve Music, Cricket's signature add-on that plays unlimited Music downloads and ringback tones so long as you pay your bill.

Dovetailing the new family plan is a brand-new trade-in program that will pay out a minimum of $30 for a Cricket smartphone and $15 for a non-Cricket phone of any type. On top of that, Cricket offers a $200 credit toward a new phone. A high-value iPhone, for instance, gets you three times the phone's "value," capped at $200 above retail value on the high end. So, a phone that Cricket values at $5 gets you $15 (triple the price) and a phone valued at $350 nets you $550 in credit ($200 above market value).

If it sounds too good to be true, there is one catch: Cricket says that both deals will run for a limited time, but didn't specify the duration. The bottom line: if you're thinking of switching to Cricket, you'd better hop to it.

Article updated at 10:12am PT to correct the credit details.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.


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