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Boost Mobile Getting Roaming, Family Plans and New Phone Discounts

Sprint's Boost Mobile is adding two features that they have long needed to be competitive with the likes of Cricket and MetroPCS: off-network voice roaming and family plans. Boost is also discounting a bunch of phones by up to $100 and launching a new port-in promotion. Read on for the details:

Roaming; 50 minutes of off-network voice-only (no text, no data) roaming is live now but only for selected phones that are purchased at Walmart and used on Boost's current $35, $45 and $60 plans.

You can see the roaming coverage on the Boost coverage map by clicking a new  "off-network roaming" box. It's very extensive and looks like it includes both Verizon and U.S. Cellular coverage. A page on the Boost site has more details about roaming including a list of roaming capable devices, which include most recent Boost Android phones, but no iPhones.

Family Plans: Boost long rumored family plans launch Jan 26 in all markets except Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. They will definitely be available for Boost stores and independent dealers. I don't know if they will also be available online or through telesales.
Boost Mobile Family Plans

There will be three family plan options:

  • 3 lines with unlimited talk, messaging and data including 1.5 GB of high speed data per line for $90/month
  • 4 lines with unlimited talk, messaging and data including 1.5 GB of high speed data per line for $100/month
  • 4 lines with unlimited Talk, messaging and data including 5 GB of high speed data per line for $120/month
The Family plans are a limited time promotion available to new signups only until April 19, 2016. They are available to both new and existing Boost customers. All lines on a family plan must have the same high speed data allotment (1.5 GB or 5 GB) but they do not all need to have the same plan end date.

Phone Discounts: From Jan 26 to April 19  Boost Stores and independent dealers will be offering the following phone discounts to both new customers and existing customers who have been with Boost at least 120 days and have not purchased a new or CPO (Certified pre-owned phone in the last 120 days. Here's a list of the discounted phones:

Boost Mobile Phone Deals


$50 Port-In Promotion: From Jan 26 to April 19 customers porting a number from a non-Sprint based operator at a Boost Store or independent dealer get $50 off the price of ANY new or CPO Boost phone. The port-in promotion can be combined with the Q1 Phone Discounts but can't be combined with any other port-in promotion.
Boost Mobile Port-In Promotion

The port-in promotion requires activation on one of the following Boost Mobile Monthly Unlimited Plans:
  • $30/month with auto-pay - Unlimited Talk, Messaging and Data including 2 GB of high speed data which grows to 5 GB
  • $35/month - Unlimited Talk, Messaging and Data including 2 GB of high speed data which grows to 5 GB
  • $45/month - Unlimited Talk, Messaging and Data including 5 GB of high speed data which grows to 8 GB
  • $60 - Unlimited Talk, Messaging and Unlimited, Unthrottled high speed data
Except for roaming, which is only available with phones purchased from Walmart, all the above promotions will only available at Boost Stores and independent Boost dealers. They will not available at big box stores like BestBuy or Target. The information about the Jan 26 promos comes from Boost dealer communications that were leaked to me by a reader. At this time I don't know if any or all of the promos will be available online although I suspect that the port-in promos and some sort of phone discounts will be.

Updated 4/9/16: Promos extended to April 19.

39 comments:

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  1. Cricket and Metro PCS offerS roaming on data messages and voice depend on plan. I don't think that is competitive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have a link for the terms of cricket's domestic roaming? Thanks.

      Delete
    2. If you can find anything that says that Cricket roams at all in the U.S, I'd like to see it. I'm entirely unable to find any reference to this being the case outside of references to the defunct "legacy" Cricket.

      MetroPCS apparently allows roaming on voice. & text messages, but not data.

      Delete
    3. You are correct, there's no roaming on Cricket although the AT&T native coverage area is much larger than Sprint or T-Mobile's so there's less need for it. Also no data roaming on MetroPCS although there is on T-Mobile Prepaid.

      Delete
  2. Unless I missed it, what about the new included hot-spot in all plans? Wish they would also offer the 5g for 3 family members. 1.5 each isn't enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you hear that Boost was going to include hotspot with all plans? That's news to me.

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    2. After reading this last night. I decided to give this a shot. Now pay in mind I am on the grandfathered $40 shrinkage with the 2GB for life. I am currently using the Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE and I am already throttled for the month. But I am able to post this using my tablet. I do not have hotspot added on my account.

      Delete
  3. MetroPCS has unlimited off-network voice and text roaming. I'll continue to pass on Boost.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting. Now just add wifi calling and BYOD to compete with MetroPCS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im with boost and the most frustrating part is not being able to activate any device, im stuck with their phones at their prices

      Delete
  5. Too little, too late, again.

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  6. Why no 2 line options? Also the data amount is really low.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5 GB per line for $120 is $20 less than Cricket.

      Delete
  7. @Dennis Boutique..from boost itself through one of their boost zone messages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you email a screenshot to dennis at prepaidphonenews dot com or inbox it to me on the PrepaidPhoneNews Facebook page? Thanks.

      Delete
  8. Crunching the numbers, wouldn't the $30 plan with autopay be cheaper and have more data? The tradeoff for 50mins of roaming makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheaper than these family plans. $30 (2GB grows to 5GB) individually is cheaper than 3 lines at $90 with 1.5GB.

      Delete
    2. Yes it would cost the same, with more data on the $30 w/autopay but this promotion is ending on Jan 25. Family plans kick off on Jan 26.

      Delete
  9. shame on boost,even the phones that directly purchased from boost mobile website don't have roaming ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that some phones do not have the right antennas to roam on other networks, there are several cdma antennas lte antennas and gsm antennas

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    2. then they should mention that all capable devices can roam, instead of walmart devices.

      Delete
  10. I don't understand why only certain phones are able to roam. I really don't understand why the phones must be bought at Walmart.

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  11. It looks like Sprint wants people to buy phones at Walmart instead of Boost stores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly, one stone, kill two birds.........!

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    2. I suspect that Walmart is giving Sprint something (cash or extra shelf space, signage etc) to be the exclusive seller of Boost phones that roam. That's how exclusive deals work.

      Delete
    3. If it was a niche shop like Gamestop that might make sense but hard to believe for Walmart because of bargaining power. Walmart doesn't need to provide incentives to suppliers to get phones, laundry detergent, etc. on their shelves. On the other hand, manufacturers have given Walmart price incentives, special products and packaging, and so on, to get their products on Walmart's shelves.

      Look at Walmart's performance compared to how Sprint performs compareed to the other carriers. It looks like Boost needs Walmart more than Walmart needs Boost.

      Delete
    4. It's probably the other way around, Boost needs to give Walmart an incentive to push Boost rather than Straight Talk and Total Wireless.

      Delete
  12. Two of the family plans are weak. Cricket's 5 lines with 12.5 gb of data is still the best deal @100/month

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just went to my nearest Boost store and the rep told me that
    2 lines for $70 with 5gb for each line is also going to be available starting from January 26 until Feb 29.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 2 lines for $70 with 5gb data is true. I got a e mail from boost

    ReplyDelete
  15. HoFo ID: Grateful4adviceJanuary 23, 2016 at 5:26 AM

    I am moving. While packing up my home I found my missing phone that I had on Boost paygo with $ .35/ day unlimited data.

    Is there anyway to get Boost to reactivate it on the paygo plan? Im really just interested in the data. I know they raised the price of data to $.50 / day. That would be okay.

    If I cant resurrect my old paygo plan, is there anyway to start a new one? I can't find it on the website. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paygo is no longer being offered by Boost. You have monthly unlimited or pay by the day unlimited.

      Delete
    2. Unless you can still log into your Boost account online and add money, your PayGo plan is probably gone. With Boost you have 60 days to add money after an account is suspended. After 60 days you lose your plan and number.

      Your old phone would probably wonk on a Ring Plus free plan.

      Delete
  16. HoFo ID: Grateful4adviceJanuary 23, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    How would someone go about acquiring an existing Boost paygo plan? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask on HoFo or search eBay, Craigslist, etc.

      Delete
  17. Having to pay the full walmart price for a phone in order to get 50 minutes of voice roaming a month with no text or data doesn't look like a very good trade off!

    unless you don't have coverage on Verizon's native network total Wireless looks to be competitive except for the unlimited slow data.

    But for 50 minutes of voice only month could get a verizon tracfone or yearly selectel plan, then take the boost store freebie promo or discount on a better phone..hopefully perhaps Sprint will wise up and decide to give roaming for all who remain and are willing to stay on boost and not jump ship.

    Really seems so wrong for them to change their website map to include off network roaming and show it as an option when it only applies to those few boost phone buyers who are wallyworld customers only!
    Why sprint doesn't want to give voice and text roaming to all -both their in store and online customers seems hard to understand if they're losing subscribers.
    With a reputation for poor coverage some might try boost (to test all the promo advertising of a better network ) if they knew there was at least enough roaming to call a tow truck if needed!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wish Sprint would have a Paygo or pay by the minute plan.would like to have a way to tryout sprint network without having to moving number for a regular plan

    ReplyDelete
  19. My LG g stylo that were purchased from boost mobile store in june now has roaming abilities. I don't know how long though, I just happened to see it in my settings today

    ReplyDelete
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