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U.S. Cellular wooing new customers with $100 credit, cheaper phones

The company is hoping that a sweeter activation and trade-in deal will lure new, deal-hungry customers.

Motorola Electrify
Josh Miller/CNET

U.S. Cellular may not be able to offer double the data cap for free, but it is hoping that crediting new customers $100 bucks for a two-year agreement will attract customers tired of their current carrier.

Starting today, new post-paid customers will receive a $100 credit on their bill, plus the option to get another $50-to-$150 in cash for trading in a used smartphone.

To round out the offer, U.S. Cellular is also lowering prices on its smartphone portfolio, offering the Motorola Electrify and HTC 7 Pro for $129.99, the BlackBerry Curve 9350 for $49.99, and both the Samsung Repp and Huawei Ascend II for a penny.

While an activation credit isn't in the cards for new customers to its prepaid plans, U.S. Cellular is attempting to sweeten the offer by dropping the prices on several feature phones and waiving the activation fee on prepaid plans billed at $50 and up.

It's probable that the carrier is trying to clear some inventory while updating its roster with newer phones, but that's precisely the time for budget-conscious consumers to strike a deal.