212 Area Code Number Questions & Answers

AVOXI answers your 212 area code questions! What is a 212 number, why are they so rare, and how can you buy or sell 212 numbers for business or personal use? We cover all of that and more in this 212 area code FAQ.


Manhattan’s area code, 212, is in high demand. For many individuals and businesses, having a 212 area code number implies power, prestige and moxie. That also means getting a 212 area code number is not as easy as others, and most consider the process a bit confusing at first. Most phone number providers only sell the number, not the phone service, adding on to this problem. 

However, it is possible to obtain and use a phone number within the 212 area code. If you want to know how, we're outlining those options for you today! Before we begin, here's what you need to know to be caught up on the prestigious dial-code in 2021: 

  1. 212 was among the first batch of area codes created, originally covering all of New York City. 
  2. Often associated with affluence, the 212 is one of the most prestigious area codes in the US. 
  3. New 212 numbers are no longer added to circulation, contributing to its lasting popularity. 
  4. It's still easy to get 212 numbers for your business or cell phone, as long as you're willing to pay for them.  

What is the 212 area code?

New York City — specifically, Manhattan — is home to the 212 area code. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator — the authority that assigns area codes and regulates numbering resources in the U.S. and its territories — has also assigned two more area codes to Manhattan (646 and 332) plus a citywide area code that covers all five boroughs (917) to accommodate NYC’s 8.4 million residents and businesses. 

Why get a 212 area code number?

It’s easy to get a New York City-based phone number, but difficult to get a 212 number. Because 212 is the original area code for New York City, it’s considered more authentic than the more recent 646, 332 or 917 area codes for Manhattan. A 212 phone number is also a status symbol. People with 212 phone numbers are considered “true New Yorkers” who have earned the privilege of living and working in the epicenter of American culture and business — even if they don’t actually live there

Even pop culture recognizes the prestige of having a 212-based phone number: In a well-known episode of Seinfeld, Elaine (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) schemes to take over her deceased neighbor’s 212 phone number after she was scorned by a potential date that found out she has a 646 number! 

It is possible to get a 212 vanity number for business or personal use. As businesses with 212 phone numbers close and individuals give theirs up, 212 area code numbers become available in small batches. You can contact a phone carrier service or other phone number business to inquire about getting a 212 NYC phone number.

How to get a 212 cell phone number or business number?

Searching for a 212 area code phone number for business or personal use? If so, there are two main things to think about here: 

  1. The vendor that sells you a specific number (one-time fee)
  2. The phone service that you use that number with (monthly fee)

There are plenty of websites out there selling 212 phone numbers for one-time fees, simply search "buy a 212 number" or something similar to find multiple options. These fees generally start around $150, but can easily go into the thousands or even $10,000+ depending on how memorable and catchy the number is. 

212 vanity number example

As you can see based on pricing from Phonenumberexpert.com, a well-known provider of vanity 212 numbers, phone numbers with a memorable ring to them can get pretty expensive! 

These vendors are often separate from your actual phone service that will host the number, although sometimes they can be the same (AVOXI's 212 area code plans are an example of this). After securing a number, you will usually port that number to a mobile carrier (for personal use) or to a business phone service if you're using it for your business.

The benefits of going with a business carrier like AVOXI includes the convenience of buying and hosting the number in one place, and no massive one-time fees for your number. So instead of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars up front, you simply pay for one of our 212 business number plans, which start at $44 and include several handy features with your service. You can even keep the number if you decide to take it to another carrier, no long-term contracts like most phone services.

Can I get 212 vanity numbers for cheap?

If a particular vendor has the 212 vanity number you want, there isn't much you can do to get it other than try to negotiate their asking price. However, you can search for more variations of your number which may be available at lower rates. You can also make sure you're porting the number (or setting it up from the start) with a well priced phone service plan. Saving even $10-$15 per month on your carrier will add up to hundreds of dollars in savings during the time you're using the number. Again, going with a non-vanity number and simply choosing an available 212 number from our shopping cart saves you from any large one-time fees while setting you up on one of the most affordable business service plans available. 

If you're dead set on a specific 212 number for marketing or branding reasons, and you don't mind some risk, there is one more option. There are plenty of 212 cell phone numbers available for sale on sites like eBay. Purchasing numbers this way means you may not have insight into how they were used in the past, and finding specific vanity numbers this way is very time-consuming, but it is an option! This option is not what we'd recommend first, especially since the fees you pay are about the same as going with an established vendor anyway, but it is one option available to you. 

Who sells 212 numbers?

NANPA allocates the 8 million phone numbers that can exist under every area code to the phone companies that operate in each area. You can purchase the right to use a 212 phone number from phone companies that serve Manhattan or from global cloud-based carriers such as AVOXI. Keep in mind that no one actually owns a phone number; they are considered a public resource and are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission.

How much is a 212 number worth?

Most local area code numbers in the U.S. and Canada cost the same no matter where you live. Local numbers can start as low as $1 per month for a random 10-digit string of numbers and increase to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a vanity phone number that corresponds to letters that spell out a name or brand, or that is simple to remember. 

212 phone numbers vary in price for the same reasons, but are generally more expensive. On the lower end, expect to pay at least $100. More memorable 212 vanity phone numbers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Can I sell my 212 area code number?

Technically speaking, no one owns their phone number. So if you’re trying to sell a 212 phone number, you may run into resistance from your phone carrier, which has more of a claim to phone numbers than individuals because the FCC authorizes carriers to assign phone numbers to individuals. 

But there aren’t any rules about individuals or businesses selling their phone numbers to others. As long as the two parties agree to an arrangement and work out the logistics of using it, you can sell your 212 number to the highest bidder. Some people have sold their 212 phone numbers on eBay, Craigslist or NextDoor. Others have found success selling blocks of 212 numbers to cloud-based carriers.

Get a 212 number on the cheap with AVOXI

Having a 212 area code is a status symbol, but it can also be a business necessity if your goal is to show others you know how to serve New York customers. Getting a 212 phone number can be expensive, and even if you purchase the rights to use a 212 vanity number from a vendor, you’ll have to port it to a carrier. 

Simplify your search for a 212 number by buying it risk-free from AVOXI. Our affordable 212 area code plans are available starting at just $44 per month. Despite their low cost, all AVOXI plans include over 20 VoIP  business features and technical help anytime you need it. For businesses, we present this as the best alternative to buying an expensive 212 area code number for a one time fee just to port it to a new carrier, who will have charges of their own. Get a 212 phone number from AVOXI and let the world know your business has a presence in The Big Apple!