Understanding the 212 phone number

Understanding the 212 phone number

Having a 212 phone number places you directly in Manhattan. To people all over the world, Manhattan is the heart of New York City. To New Yorkers, it’s the center of the universe. 

Manhattan is synonymous with big business, innovation, and grit. Dialing any of New York City’s most iconic businesses – from Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs to NBC or Tiffany & Co – begins with three digits: 212.

That’s why businesses purchase custom 212 numbers – even when they’re located hundreds or thousands of miles away.

What is a 212 number?

There are seven telephone number area codes that cover the five boroughs of New York City. Three of them are exclusive to Manhattanites but 212 is the original.

Brief history of 212 and Manhattan area codes

The 212 is one of the original 86 area codes assigned by AT&T in 1947. At first, it covered all five boroughs. Starting in 1984, a split was implemented that divided the City’s telephone numbers in half, with Manhattan and the Bronx keeping area code 212. 

By 1992, only Manhattan remained in the 212, and the entire city was overlaid with a new 917 area code. An influx of cell lines in the late 1990s eventually brought two more overlays to Manhattan: 646 and 332. Exhausted since 2010, 212 numbers are now only available when someone gives theirs up – so it’s not only a popular area code, but a scarce one now too.

Buying and selling 212 numbers

These days, you can have any area code you want, no matter your location. With a vanity number, you can customize the entire digit sequence.

Third party services like Ringboost can help you acquire a vanity phone number for personal or professional use.

Who’s buying 212 numbers?

Apart from the occasional romantic individual buying a 212 number for their own home line, most people buying 212 numbers are businesses.

New York City is a global hub for a wide variety of far-reaching industries. Finance, fashion, entertainment… Most every international industry has a home in NYC. 

Local businesses look for that 212 appeal too. From restaurants to real estate to home services… All prefer a 212 phone number to inspire a sense of trust and continuity in their community. 

Who’s selling them?

Because available 212 numbers are few and far between, you can’t expect to get one from any standard phone company.  

While, on rare occasions, private individuals do sell their personal phone numbers (sometimes for exorbitant prices), your best bet for finding a 212 number is to go through a specialty phone number broker, like Ringboost. A quality broker can offer you a wider selection of options to choose from, at the best value for your budget.

Why businesses use 212 numbers

The 212 offers a competitive edge. Like any good investment, it comes down to the bottom line: adopting a 212 number for your business comes with a small buy-in, and yields a huge ROI.

Your phone number is an extension of your brand

Not just merely functional, your area code is a part of your brand identity: a subtle cue that contributes to a client’s impression of your business. A 212 number reinforces an elite brand image. 

Not only do phone leads have a higher conversion rate than web leads, phone reception makes your brand more accessible to a wider audience than online engagement alone. Even in today’s modern market, a recognizable phone number holds its own when it comes to successful branding and marketing. 

Minimal startup costs and maintenance

Some businesses wind up paying thousands of dollars for a phone number, but a quality broker can find you very economical options. A new number can even be easily ported into a free phone service like Google voice.

Look for numbers (and brokers) that offer…

  • Low start-up cost 
  • Low monthly fee (or no monthly fee)
  • Easy set-up

Easily integrated with an established phone system

Purchasing a new phone number is as easy as a few clicks through an online checkout. Seamlessly integrate your new number into your business’s existing telecom setup, by porting it to your current number or establishing a new phone line altogether.

If you’re not ready to activate your new number just yet, parking the number places it in an inactive status and is significantly cheaper than paying for a service plan. You retain ownership, and can turn it back on at any time.


Manhattan’s highly sought-after 212 area code comes with the mystique and reputation of the city itself, inspiring a sense of authenticity and continuity. Many businesses successfully establish themselves as a local presence by purchasing 212 numbers for their own use. 

With some help, acquiring a 212 number might be easier – and more affordable – than you thought. Explore the available 212 numbers and make one your own. 

So, What Are You Waiting For?

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