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Tracfone review in 2024: Is it any good?

Explore my in-depth review of Tracfone, including network coverage, customer experience, plan details, pricing, and comparisons. Is Tracfone is the right carrier for you?

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MoneySavingPro rating
  • Value for money
  • Coverage
  • Customer experience
  • Transparency
  • Range of choice
Pros
  • Large plan selection
  • Widely available in retail stores
  • Unlimited carryover for unused minutes/texts/data
  • Good value for very light users
Cons
  • Outdated service model (selling minutes/texts/data piecemeal)
  • Expensive for moderate to heavy data users
  • Overly complex plan structure
Our editorial process

MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

At a glance

  • Value for money: They are more expensive than other MVNOs and do not offer much in way of features and data limits for the cost.
  • Coverage: Good coverage on the Verizon network.
  • Customer experience: The customer service reviews are poor. With many struggling to get hold of them or just finding them unable to help whenever they do.
  • Transparency: There are not many details on the plans themselves, but you can find the information in the fine print at the bottom of the page.
  • Range of choice: There are lots of plans to choose from, but what's available like data allowances does not offer much variety.

Tracfone review: An in-depth analysis

Tracfone is a Verizon-owned MVNO and has been around since 1996. It also has the MVNO brands Total by Verizon and Straight Talk in its portfolio

As a Verizon company, their plans are, of course, powered by Verizon's 5G & 4G LTE wireless network.

They offer a large selection of plans to choose from, along with multi-month discounts if you want to commit for longer. However, while Tracfone's strategy of offering affordable and flexible plans is commendable, it's not without its drawbacks.

In this Tracfone review, I'll give you the details on different aspects of this carrier. I'll look at plans, network, performance, customer service, and more.

What is Tracfone?

Tracfone is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) - a low-cost carrier and is owned by Verizon, so, of course, it offers coverage on the Verizon 5G & 4G LTE wireless network.

What makes Tracfone different?

There is one specific feature that puts Tracfone plans in a league of their own - carryover data. While most of the industry hasn't seen carryover data in decades, this carrier is still plugging along, letting you keep any data you don't use. It goes so far as to promise that your unused data, minutes, and texts won't expire as long as you have service.

Other useful offerings include discounts on multi-month plans if you're happy to commit for longer. Plus, this low-cost carrier has a rewards points program. You can earn points for refilling your plan, playing games, and more. Points are redeemable towards your plan costs, including buying additional high-speed data.


Plans & pricing

What are the best Tracfone cell phone plans?

Tracfone 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tracfone
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$20/mo
$660 in annual savings

Tracfone 3GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tracfone
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
3GB
data
$25/mo
$600 in annual savings

Tracfone 5GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tracfone
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
5GB
data
$30/mo
$540 in annual savings

Tracfone 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tracfone
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$40/mo
$420 in annual savings

How does Tracfone compare to Verizon?

Verizon vs Tracfone comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $420 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
Verizon Verizon 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
Tracfone Verizon 4G & 5G 10GB $40/mo $480/yr
Savings $35/mo $420/yr

How much does Tracfone cost?

Prices start at $10 a month for 30 minutes of "talk, text, and web." It's a pretty outdated model, and for the most part, the prices are a bit steep. For example, 10GB of data runs at around $40 a month. But if you're not looking for a lot of data, there are a few low-cost options.

Is Tracfone a good value?

Tracfone plans are best for low-data users and those who just need a phone around for emergencies. Since the major carriers don't sell small plans anymore, this can be very helpful to those types of consumers. Plans range from no data to 10GB a month, with several flexible options in between.

If you need more data, there are plenty of other Verizon MVNOs that may provide you with more value, depending on which features and how many lines you want.


Compare Tracfone vs other carriers

During my research, I found numerous carriers with significantly cheaper plans and better customer ratings:

Tracfone How do Tracfone plans compare?
Tracfone logo Tello logo See at Tello US Mobile logo See at US Mobile
*30 Day FREE Trial
Mint Mobile logo See at Mint Mobile
*$45 for 3 Months
Verizon 4G & 5GT-Mobile 4G & 5GVerizon & T-Mobile 4G & 5GT-Mobile 4G & 5G
10GB dataUnlimited dataUnlimited dataUnlimited data
$40/mo$25/mo$15/mo*$29/mo$15/mo*$30/mo
$480/yr$300/yr$306/yr$315/yr
1.2 on Trustpilot
4.6 on Trustpilot
4.7 on Trustpilot
2.9 on Trustpilot

Network coverage

What network does Tracfone use?

Verizon owns this carrier and uses its own network to provide service. I recommend checking our Tracfone coverage map before signing up to verify coverage in your area.

Does Tracfone have good coverage?

Verizon offers extensive 4G LTE wireless coverage across most of the United States and has a strong network presence in rural areas. This ensures that most customers can expect reliable connectivity with this provider. Evaluate the best coverage in your area to see if Verizon is the strongest where you live.

Does Tracfone have 5G coverage?

Yes. If your phone is compatible with 5G technology, you'll be able to use Verizon's 5G network wherever it's available. Check out a comparison and analysis of Verizon's 5G network in the 2023 OpenSignal 5G Experience Report.

Tracfone 5G coverage map

Mint Mobile coverage map

The FCC collects coverage data, which only offers an approximate indication and doesn't account for indoor coverage. The actual speed and performance can vary depending on your location and device. The reception you experience is influenced by local conditions and elements like natural and artificial physical features in your area.

How fast are Tracfone data speeds?

Data speeds are dependent on your network, location, and device.

Tracfone customers may experience temporary slowdowns in speed when Verizon's network is congested due to data deprioritization.


Customer service

Does Tracfone have good customer service?

Experiences with this provider vary significantly.

Customer service ratings across the board are fairly low, with the BBB and the Tracfone Trustpilot review score a low 1.2. You can also read what customers say about the provider in our Tracfone customer reviews.

Tracfone customer reviews roundup

How do I contact customer service?

Customer support is available through several venues:

  1. Call: 1-800-867-7183 from 8 am - 11:45 pm EST daily
  2. Live chat: via the carrier website 8 am - 11:45 pm EST daily

User experience

What are reviewers saying about Tracfone?

Trafone appears to have customers who have been with them for many years. The most regular reviews seem to be about complaints about customer service, worries about how their personal information is dealt with, and a drop in service.

What are some common complaints about Tracfone?

There are a few common issues that crop up in multiple reviews.

Some subscribers complain of long wait times and multiple calls to customer service to get issues resolved. Others have experienced frustration over not being able to transfer existing plan credit to their new device.


SIM activation

Is it easy to switch?

As long as your device is unlocked, changing carriers is usually a simple procedure. It usually only takes a few minutes to activate your new service.

Does Tracfone support eSIM?

Activating your eSIM is fast and convenient, and fortunately, this carrier does support eSIM use. Buy your plan and initiate the activation process right away without having to wait for a SIM card to be delivered.


Phone selection

What phones do they have?

If you're ready for a new phone, you'll have a limited selection of budget-friendly devices to choose from. The range includes basic flip phones and a variety of affordable Android devices and iPhones.

Can I bring my own phone to Tracfone?

If you prefer to save money, you can keep your device and bring it with you to Tracfone. You can port your existing phone number, provided that your device is compatible with the Verizon wireless network.

Is my phone compatible?

These days, most unlocked 4G and 5G smartphones are compatible with any network, but you'll be able to check on Tracfone's site during sign-up.


Tracfone features


My viewpoint: Is Tracfone any good?

Short answer: Owned by Verizon, this carrier is a little more expensive than some MVNOs, but it can be good value for people who don't need a lot of data. If you like the Verizon network, you can cut costs without compromising on coverage. Of course, not every user's needs can be met by a single carrier or plan, which is why I've researched to help you find the right match.

Is Tracfone worth it?

In the end, this carrier's service doesn't vary much from many wireless providers. When the service is good, it's great. When customer support is needed, it can be lackluster.

Being part of the Verizon family means you can enjoy the network's dependable coverage, but it also means having to check the small print for any plan terms and conditions not clearly advertised.

The Tracfone website can also feel very overwhelming, with a large number of plans to choose from, and fees and taxes are not included in the price, which is unusual for MVNOs.

If you're a low-data user, some plans with Tracfone can definitely cut your cell phone bill costs compared to going direct with Verizon.

Would I use Tracfone?

Short answer: With such a choice of MVNOs available since Tracfone started, I feel that the industry has moved on, leaving Tracfone behind. For me, there are better value plans with carriers like Mint Mobile and Tello, who offer free international calling to 60+ countries. Since 2020 I believe many people have realized the importance of staying in touch with loved ones, so a lack of free international calling options was the kicker. But if you like Verizon's network and don't need a lot of data, they offer some affordable options. The Trustpilot rating of 1.2 also leaves a lot to be desired.


Tracfone Wireless FAQs


Recap: Is Tracfone the right choice for you?

Tracfone offers a cheaper alternative to going directly to Verizon without compromising coverage. It's a particularly good option for those who use limited data and like to pay several months in advance.

But if you're looking to get more for your money, there are better MVNO plans out there across all three major networks that can provide you with mobile hotspot access, free international calling, international roaming, and more, still at an affordable price.

But there's not a one size fits all, so before deciding if this provider is right for you, take into account the following factors:

  • Plans: There are plenty to choose from; although the site is a bit cluttered, it can be a little confusing. There are no single-month plans over 10 GB of data.
  • Coverage: You'll get coverage on the Verizon network.
  • Phones: You can either bring your own phone or select from a small range of basic phones and lower-end smartphones.
  • Customer experience: Customer support doesn't rate very well, but most subscribers like the actual service.
  • Features & extras: The ability to carry over data helps these plans stand out. The rewards point program is also a nice touch and includes local discounts on things like food and entertainment.
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How we reviewed Tracfone

To select the best carriers and plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

Tracfone guides

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