Frequently Asked Questions?

What is the Care Wireless Lifeline Program?

The Care Wireless Lifeline Program enables qualifying consumers to receive discounts on monthly telephone service.
Qualifying customers will receive:

  • Free Monthly Wireless Service
  • A Free Wireless Phone
  • No Contract
  • No Monthly Bill

How do I qualify for the Care Wireless Lifeline Program?

You may qualify for the Care Wireless Lifeline Program if you receive some form of public assistance or if your annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). Click Here to see which programs apply. Please remember that in order to qualify, you must participate in one of the listed government assistance programs or your annual household income must meet the guidelines, and no one in your household can be receiving Lifeline Assistance from Care Wireless or any other Lifeline provider.

How do I enroll for Care Wireless service?

We currently offer 3 ways to enroll.

Am I required to provide documentation of my eligibility?

Yes. During the application process you will select one or more qualifying government assistance programs, or that you qualify based on your household income level. You must provide documentation proving your participation in the government program you selected or copies of documents proving that your income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (click here to see which documents can be submitted).

You can submit your documentation to Care Wireless through one of multiple ways:

  1. Email: send a copy of the documentation to
  2. Fax: fax a copy of the documentaiton to 855-722-2022
  3. Mail: send a COPY of the documentation to Care Wireless - P.O. Box 1109, Bridgeview, IL 60455
  4. Upload: upload a copy of the documents directly to our secure servers (coming soon)

IMPORTANT: your name and address on any documentation you provide MUST match the name and address provided on your enrollment application.

How long can I keep my Care Wireless service?

In order to maintain your Care Wireless Lifeline service you must complete an annual verification certifying that you are still receiving benefits from the listed government assistance programs. Click here to verify your service now. To see which programs qualify click here.

If you have selected that you live in a temporary address, you must verify your eligibility every 90 days. Failure to verify annual and/or every 90 days will result in de-enrollment from the Lifeline program. You must also notify Care Wireless within 30 days if you move or change addresses.

When do I receive my monthly minutes?

You will receive your monthly minutes on the first day of each month if your account is in good standing and your eligibility has been verified. You must have your phone on for the first 3 days of every month in order to receive your monthly minutes.

What if I need more minutes than I receive every month?

If your free monthly minutes run out, or you need more you can add airtime by purchasing PlatinumTel Wireless Airtime

  1. by creating an online account
  2. by dialling 611 from your handset
  3. from over 36,000 locations nationwide. Click here to find a location near you.

What is MoneyGram?

MoneyGram is a payment service company that is available at store locations such as Walmart, CVS, and other locations where MoneyGram is accepted. It is not a free-standing retailer. "TheMoneyGram” brand is recognized throughout the world as a leading global payment services company.

Where can I find a MoneyGram location?

To locate a store please click here to find a location near you. Enter your zip code and make sure the box next to ‘Show locations to purchase airtime’ is checked. Enter the security code shown and then hit search. You will be given a list of locations where you can purchase airtime at MoneyGram and store locations.

Steps on how to process a payment with MoneyGram will be provided if you hover over the MoneyGram logo in the search results.

What do I need to bring with me to make a MoneyGram payment?

You simply need to bring the following:

  1. Company’s name (PTel Mobile)
  2. Receive Code (14699)
  3. Account Number (10 digit mobile number)
  4. Cash or Debit Card
    • CVS Pharmacies and all other locations accept cash only
    • Walmart accepts cash and debit cards only

How do I make a payment at a CVS Pharmacy location?

Making a payment at a CVS Pharmacy is initiated by using the red MoneyGram phone. Additional steps are below.

1. Pick up the MoneyGram phone – you do not need to dial a number, it will automatically connect you directly to a MoneyGram representative.

2. The system will welcome you to MoneyGram and ask you to select 1 for English or 2 for Spanish.

3. In the unlikely event that the system can’t identify where you are calling from, it will ask you to provide the kiosk ID number. This number is located on the phone kiosk you are calling from, starts with the letter K, and has 5 numeric digits. Using your telephone keypad enter the 5 numbers after the K (do not enter a number to represent the K).

4. It will then ask you to select your transaction type from the following. Select option 2.  To pay a bill, load a card or phone, press 2.

5. It will then ask you to narrow down your transaction type by selecting one of the following. Select option 3.  To top-up a mobile phone, press 3.

6. You will then be prompted to use the keypad to enter your transaction details. After each entry you will be asked to confirm the information you provided.

  • First you will be asked to enter the amount you wish to top-up to the mobile phone followed by the pound or hash key, using the star key for the decimal point.
  • You will then be asked for your telephone number starting with the area code first and followed by the pound or hash key.

7. You will then be asked if you have the receive code for your transaction. You will press 1 and then enter PTel Mobile receive code (14699).

8. You will then be connected to a live MoneyGram representative who will confirm your transaction details, including your telephone number, name, address, and top-up amount and ask for your account number (PTel phone number).

9. The representative will tell you when your transaction is set-up and you can proceed to the cashier at the retail location for completion.

  • Tell the cashier you are completing a MoneyGram Express Payment and provide them your last name and load amount to look up your transaction.
  • The cashier will collect the load amount and provide you a receipt with a reference number should you have any questions about your transaction afterwards.

Note: The Form of payment accepted at CVS MoneyGram is Cash only.

How do I make a payment at a Walmart or other retail location?

Making a payment at a Walmart location is initiated by using the blue MoneyGram form which can be found at the Customer Service front desk.  You can ask a store representative for assistance with any questions.

You will need to include the following information on the MoneyGram ExpressPayment blue form:


  • Full Name (add your name)
  • Address (add your address)
  • Signature
  • Telephone Number
  • Date

Under the Pay a bill section, you need to include the following:

  • Company Name: PTel Mobile
  • Receive Code: 14699
  • Account Number of the Bill to Pay: Your PTel Mobile Phone Number
  • Amount to Pay: Add the payment amount you would like to top-up

Note: The Forms of payment accepted at Walmart’s MoneyGram are Cash and Debit only. All other locations accept cash payments only. 

Why does my account balance show $15.00?

Your account shows the dollar value of your free airtime. $15.00 gives you 300 minutes on your account. Each minute you use will deduct $0.05 from your balance. Text messaging is unlimited as long as you maintain a positive balance.

How can I check my airtime balance?

You can check your airtime balance in the following ways:

  1. dial #BAL# from your phone (you will receive a FREE message with your balance)
  2. send SMS with the word BAL to 7801
  3. log into your online account
  4. dial 611 from your handset to speak with a friendly customer service representative

Can I view my usage? If so, how?

Yes, you are able to view your usage. You can view your usage by creating an online account. Once you have logged into your Care Wireless online account, select "Call Records". You can only search usage in 14 or 30 days increments.

Where can I use my Care Wireless phone and service?

Care Wireless service operates on a nationwide GSM network that reaches 96% of Americans.

Can I use the internet on my handset?

Care Wireless service does not include data. You may be able to access internet with a data capable device, however, you must be using the device in an area where you are connected to Wi-FI.

Can I send a text message via email?

Yes. You can send an text message via email by adding the mobile number you want to send text message to followed by For example, add in the "To" section and add your message to the body of the email and hit send. Please note that messages that have more than 160 characters will be sent in multiple messages and text messaging rates will apply.

Is text to 911 supported?

Care’s network supports Text-to-911 everywhere. However, text-to-911 is currently only available in certain markets where 911 call centers, also known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), have elected to accept emergency text messages from the public. Click here to learn more.

What if I cancel my service or I am not eligible to receive Lifeline service?

If you cancel your service or are not eligible to receive Lifeline, you may still keep your Care Wireless phone and continue to add airtime by purchasing PlatinumTel airtime from over 36,000 locations around the country.

I have an old cell phone, can I use that instead of the one I get for free?

Care Wireless provides you with a free handset. You may test the SIM card from your Care Wireless handset in any unlocked GSM phone. If you are able to use the handset, you may continue to use that handset with the Care Wireless service.

Can I roam?

There is no roaming on the nationwide network.

Can I keep my current cell phone number?

Once you have received your Care Wireless phone, you can contact the Care Wireless customer service and request to port your existing number to Care Wireless.

Can I return my handset?

Care Wireless allows handsets purchased from to be returned within 30 days of the date of activation or prior to the use of 300 minutes, whichever occurs first. Care Wireless reserves the right to change the return policy terms without notice.

What do I do if my handset is defective?

Contact our customer service department at 855-711-2222 to confirm you are eligible for a warranty replacement. A Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) form will be sent out first. The form will need to be filled out and sent back with all original contents (handset, accessories, charger, battery/battery cover, and/or activation card, if applicable.) We recommend that you use a shipping service that provides insurance and a tracking method for your return (UPS, FedEx or USPS). Please be advised Care Wireless is not liable for shipping fees.

Does my handset come with a warranty?

Your handset comes with a 30 day warranty. Handsets not working properly due to mechanical failure can be returned within the first 30 days of handset being delivered and/or with less than 300 minutes of airtime being used. Upon receipt of the defective handset, we will send a replacement. See "What do I do if my handset is defective?" for more information.


What do I do if my handset is lost, stolen or damaged?

Please contact Care Wireless at 855-711-2222 for more information on lost, stolen or damaged handsets. Some restrictions may apply.

Will I be given a refund?

All card sales are final. Airtime is non-refundable. Shipping charges are non-refundable. Refunds may take up to 30 days from receipt of the package. Refunds will be issued in the same form of payment. No refunds will be issued after 30 days.

Returned packages that are not in compliance with our return policy will be ineligible for a refund and we may return the package to you at your expense. Care Wireless reserves the right to impose additional fees in the event the information above is not followed according to our policy. We reserve the right to impose a 20% restocking fee.

Any package(s) refused, returned or with an invalid address will result in a charge of all shipping fees to your account. When applicable, a refund will be credited to your account, minus all shipping fees.

I can't find the answer to my question!

If you can't find the answer to your question in this section, simply click on the "SUPPORT" tab at the left of your screen and submit it to our Care Support Specialists. Or you can call us directly at 855-711-2222.

What is a Signal Booster?

A signal booster is a device that helps to extend the cellular coverage footprint in areas of weak or poor coverage.

Why do I have to register my Signal Booster?

In order to ensure signal boosters are not interfering with cellular coverage the FCC has mandated signal boosters be registered with carriers.  Registration must be made available by March 1st 2014.  All carriers allowing the use of signal boosters on their network must provide consumers the ability to register the use address of the booster.  The carrier can then use this information when troubleshooting network issues.  In the event a booster is causing problems on the network registration helps carriers identify and locate the booster.  Registration helps to protect consumers and carriers by streamlining network troubleshooting ensuring a positive signal experience.

What data is collected for Signal Booster registration and how will it be used?

The information collected during registration is specific to locating the booster use address and contact information on the user in the event the carrier needs to contact the user about the booster.  This information will only be used to locate boosters in the event network issues are believed to be linked to the booster operation.

How do I register my Signal Booster?

If you purchased your own booster or have moved from the original use address, you can access the Signal Booster Registration Tool by clicking here.  PlatinumTel does not support signal boosters at this time.

More information on the FCC requirements can be found here:

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