Free Online TEFL Certificates (Free and Cheap)

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 11/15/22 •  Teach Abroad

TEFL certificates are abbreviated “teach English as a foreign language certificates” and are designed to help native speakers understand how to teach their language to non-native speakers. Quality TEFL certificates are certified by some governing body like the ACCET for America or the OFQUAL for the UK.

Online TEFL courses by an accredited body tend to be in the $150 to $300 price range, not too expensive, but are there more affordable options? Yes, and here at Teach and GO, we will show you some of our favorite options.

Cheap TEFL Certificates on Groupon

While you will see a lot of “free” TEFL certificates, nothing is free. TEFL certificates must be accredited, and there is currently no free option, as creating, managing, and teaching TEFL courses requires time and effort.

A few companies provide an in-house TEFL training option upon being hired, like VIPKID, but most employers expect you to get this certificate on your own. So here are Teach and GO’s favorite budget TEFL courses:

*Please note that there are numerous coupons on Groupon for TEFL courses; you need a 120 minimum course.

Full Circle – 160-hour course, Highest Rated

The Full Circle course is a 160-hour course that, upon completion, will give you a PDF certificate with an optional hard copy that can be bought when redeeming your Groupon voucher.

This particular course is the highest rated that Groupon is currently offering. You can visit the course page on their website to learn more about the syllabus.

Full Circle TEFL

For $39 you can get a 160 hour TEFL certificate that will be accepted by online teaching companies. Click to get your coupon code.

Learn TEFL – 120 hour course

Learn TEFL is a 120-hour course that meets current Chinese regulations. This standard course claims to give you access to job assistance and personalized tutoring. You can learn more about the system on their website.

Though you can enroll in a course through their website, they run an evergreen coupon on Groupon where you can enroll in a course for a fraction of the price stated on their website.

Learn TEFL

Get a TEFL certificate today to help meet employment needs as well as to better understand the language needs of English learners.

International Open Academy – 25,000+ Students

One of the most popular courses being offered at a discount on Groupon, International Academy is currently providing a TESOL which is functionally the same as a TEFL.

A TESL is a “teach English to speakers of other languages” and is designed to teach a countries native language to new immigrants where a TEFL is designed to teach English as a foreign language.

Because of this slight distinction, we suggest the Full Circle course of the three. You can visit International Open Academy’s website here.

International Open Academy

Providing TEFL courses online and additional helpful resources to prospective teachers.

Accredited and Regulated TEFL Courses

If you want the best TEFL courses that employers will recognize that are also accredited and regulated, we do have a small selection of TEFL courses we highly recommend:

My TEFL – The Best Online TEFL Course Option

My TEFL is the course that popular travel YouTuber Drew Binsky (now at 2 million+ subscribers) took before teaching English in Korea. My TEFL is our favorite online course because they are accredited and recognized internationally with various employers.


ACCET certified online courses. Upon completion you’ll be give a TEFL certificate. You need the 120 hour course or more for online teaching companies.

TEFL Academy – Online and Abroad TEFL Courses

What we like about TEFL Academy is their flexibility with providing in person TEFL classes abroad with job placement as well as the ability to enroll in a TEFL course online. While My TEFL is our top recommendation, TEFL Academy is still a solid choice aspiring ESL teachers.

TEFL Academy

Offering both online TEFL courses as well as in person courses abroad in countries like Spain and Thailand.

Free TEFL Certificate Conclusion

So that is it for your various options for obtaining a free TEFL certificate. In all honesty, there is no accredited TEFL course available. But with Groupon, you can get great deals on recognized TEFL courses.

However, we do suggest you invest in yourself and enroll in a regulated and accredited course like the one provided by My TEFL. Last, if you want an affordable course to complement a TEFL program, we suggest looking at “the ultimate TEFL masterclass.” While not a standalone TEFL course itself, it is a helpful course to help you with your first year of teaching abroad.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.