How to Park Your Cellphone Number

Keep your number while temporarily discontinuing service

If you're leaving the country for an extended trip, paying for your U.S. cellphone service doesn't make sense. Still, if you've grown attached to the number and want to use it again, services will park that number so that it's waiting for you when you return.

Parking your phone number allows you to maintain ownership of that number so that you don't have to get and give out a new phone number in the future.

NumberBarn and Park My Phone are two popular phone number-parking services to consider. We took a look at them to give you an idea of the features and costs involved with parking a phone number. You can also check with your cellular provider to determine whether it offers a "vacation" or "standby" hold for your number.

Person on phone in parking lot.

Dave and Les Jacobs / Getty Images

You can park a phone number no matter what device you use or the carrier you have. You can also park a landline number.

NumberBarn

NumberBarn charges $2 per month for simple phone number storage. The one-time fee for porting your cellphone number to the service is $5. Cancel your old phone service after your number has been transferred to NumberBarn.

Record a 30-second customized message for callers to hear when they dial your parked number or use NumberBarn's default message.

Other helpful NumberBarn features include the ability to send and receive messages using a web browser or the NumberBarn app for iOS and Android devices. The text service is not available for toll-free or international numbers.

NumberBarn also offers a call blocking feature and call logs you can import into a spreadsheet application.

Some plans offer call forwarding for an additional monthly charge, and other NumberBarn services allow you to select and use a regular or vanity phone number.

Park My Phone

Park My Phone has four options. A basic $3-per-month plan (when paid annually) called Deep Freeze parks your phone number after a one-time $15 porting fee. It includes no monthly minutes or features such as voicemail and call forwarding. Text messaging is an optional add-on.

For $5 per month, you get phone parking, 100 monthly minutes, no porting fee, 100 minutes of voice mail recording, the ability to customize an outgoing message, and your voice mail messages sent to your email inbox.

A $9 monthly plan gets you 500 minutes of inbound calling and call forwarding, while a $12 plan offers unlimited inbound and outbound calling as well as text messaging.

Additional fees are charged for SIM card add-on and SIM card calling and data.

Suspend a Number at Your Carrier

If phone parking doesn't sound like a good fit for you, check with your carrier to see if it offers a vacation hold. T-Mobile charges $10 per month for up to 90 days of what it calls a "seasonal suspension."

With Verizon's Vacation Suspend option, suspend your service from 30 days to nine months. You continue to be billed monthly for some services and any applicable taxes or surcharges during your suspension. AT&T lets you suspend your service, as well (fees vary).

Most carriers offer helpful suspension services for military personnel on deployment, so check with your service provider if this applies to you.

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