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Can you use an AT&T phone on Cricket Wireless?

Cricket Wireless store
Cricket Wireless store (Image credit: Android Central)

If you live in an area that's covered by AT&T's network (which is most places these days), Cricket Wireless is one of your best bets for an MVNO that's powered by the network but features considerably lower rates compared to going through AT&T directly.

Cricket's selection of phones has gotten rather good lately, but you still won't find nearly as many devices compared to what's offered to AT&T customers. Whether you already own an AT&T phone or want to purchase one to use on Cricket, doing so is actually pretty simple.

Confirm that you have an eligible device

Since both AT&T and Cricket use GSM bands, bringing phones from the former over to the latter is a piece of cake. Any AT&T phone that's not currently active on the carrier and has been unlocked for use outside of it should work on Cricket without a hitch, but just to confirm that everything is hunky-dory, you can use Cricket's online tool (opens in new tab) that lets you punch in your phone's IMEI number to see whether or not it's compatible.

Buy a Cricket SIM card

After confirming that you have an eligible device, your next step for using an AT&T phone on Cricket will be to purchase a SIM card. You can buy a SIM card either from Cricket's website or Best Buy, and it'll typically set you back $10 when it's not being discounted or given away for free.

Cricket's Universal SIM Card Kit is the only one that's sold, and what's great about it is that it can be adjusted to fit phones that use Standard, Micro, and Nano SIM slots.

Activate the SIM card and add service to it

Once you've got your Cricket SIM, you'll need to activate it. If you purchased the SIM on Cricket's website (opens in new tab), you'll fill out your order and phone number on the site and then click the activate button. Put the SIM card into your AT&T phone, power it on, and you'll be good to go!

If you bought the SIM card somewhere else, you'll first go to Cricket's website (opens in new tab) and enter in your ICCID and IMEI numbers. From here you'll select which plans and features you'd like to use, checkout, put the SIM card in your phone, power it on, and you're done.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

14 Comments
  • Um.....it doesn't have to be unlocked. I have purchased AT&T phones and just dropped in a sim and it works.
  • Yeah it doesn't have to be unlocked and you can buy it straight up from at&t and take it straight to cricket. A little research would've made this better. Crap I can with a verizon phone too bc those come unlocked.
  • This is just a article full of sponsored links. That's cool.
  • Yes, you cancan. And it doesn't have to be unlocked either.
  • This topic should been researched a little better. The phone from att doesn't have to be unlocked. I hope this article wasn't a filler to fulfill quota.
  • Cricket is ATT
  • Yup...AT&T locked works perfectly fine on Cricket. Essentially, AT&T locked, Cricket locked, or any type of GSM unlocked that supports the AT&T network. The other way around is different. You cannot use a Cricket phone on AT&T unless it's unlocked.
  • Cricket throttles download speeds to 8mbps. Much slower than the 15-20 other att mvno provide
  • Good to know, but there's little practical difference to most people who don't stream HD video on their phones.
  • All MVNO's do, that's one of the reasons why you pay less.
  • MetroPCS doesn't I have gotten 92mbps.
  • Except that cricket is not an mvno
  • I could give a hoot about the slower speeds, the average person would not even know or feel it for normal use. I pay $35 including all taxes for 5gb of data and that's the best part of Cricket along with AT&T's excellent coverage in my area.
  • Heck you can use Verizon phones on cricket.