How to keep your prepaid cell number if you lose or break your phone

How many of you have at one point destroyed a cell phone? No need to be shy — it happens to the best of us. There are just so many ways these devices can go south: from dropping it too many times to dropping it in the toilet. This is no big deal if you have the phone insured; a replacement will be on its way shortly. Unfortunately, insurance is not an option with prepaid phones. Once that phone goes, it’s time to drop the money for a new one. The inconvenience extends beyond the price, though. First, you just lost all of your contacts. Many prepaid phones have SIM cards now, so that might not be much of an issue. However, what happens to your number? If you need a new one, that’s a ton of calls or text messages (hence, even more dough out of your pocket) to let everyone know. Sure, you’ve heard of your friends keeping their numbers, even when they switch providers. But what of prepaid customers? Do they have the same rights, even within the same provider? We’re going to look at a some of the top prepaid providers and let you know if — and how — this can be done.

Provider Same # Details
Alltel Yes In-store only
Amp’d Yes Call 866-811-0091 to give them the ESM# on the new phone
Boost Mobile Yes Call 888-266-7848 and they’ll transfer all the information to your new phone
Cingular Yes
Cricket Prepaid Yes In-store only
Liberty Wireless Yes After you get your phone, call customer service for activation: 888-919-7692
Locus Prepaid Yes Call 800-643-4917 to transfer minutes to a new phone
Metro PCS Yes In-store only
Net10 Yes Give ’em a call once you have the new phone: 877-836-2368
Omni Prepaid Yes Call customer service @ 866-254-2244
Page Plus Cellular Yes Call their activations department @ 800-550-2436
Simple Freedom Yes Give’em a call @ 800-335-6401 and they’ll transfer your number and minutes
STI Mobile Yes Call customer service @ 800-784-3277 after you purchase the new phone
T-Mobile Prepaid Yes Call customer service @ 877-387-4324 and have your SIM # ready
Tracfone Yes Call customer service @ 800-867-7183. Have your SIM # ready
US Cellular Prepaid Yes Call customer service @ 888-944-9400
Venture Mobile Yes Just drop the SIM card in a new GSM phone (if the phone is locked, it can be unlocked at the service provider where you purchased the phone)
Verizon Wireless Yes You can upgrade your phone @ (just login to your account)
Virgin Mobile Yes Go to the website — — and make sure you have your vKey
Xtreme Mobile Yes If you originally activated the phone at a store, you have to go back to that store to activate a new phone. If you bought it online, call 888-699-8736 or go to to purchase a new phone and change numbers.
Before you go out and buy a phone, make sure it’s compatible with your service provider. This can be verified with a quick call to customer service. The last thing you want is to buy a new phone only to find out that you can’t activate it with your current service provider. Make sure to have all of your account information ready when calling customer service lines. Many of them require you to enter your information in before talking to a representative.]]>

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