Despite its fairly recent loss of subscribers, TracFone is still one of the largest prepaid carriers in the nation, owning a number of subsidiaries including Straight Talk and Net10. This carrier is known for its affordable phones, but there are some drawbacks to the service. In an effort of helping you decide whether or not you should adopt the service, I will illustrate the service's general qualities.
TracFone Wireless Plans
|60 Minute Pay As You Go||0.6 GB||$19.99|
|120 Minute Pay As You Go||0.12 GB||$29.99|
|200 Minute Pay As You Go||0.2 GB||$39.99|
|450 Minute Pay As You Go||0.45 GB||$79.99|
TracFone's prepaid cell phone plans are incredibly flexible. You can select among a variety of plans, including the individual value plans or family value plans. Some plans even come with the ability to add a minutes bundle.
Unfortunately, while TracFone's own Straight Talk service bears unlimited minutes, TracFone focuses more on limited. So if you're looking for unlimited talk time and text, you may want to turn your attention elsewhere.
TracFone's individual value plans range from 50 minutes to 200 minutes, for a rather steep price. These plans include nationwide coverage and a carryover function.
You'll be able to add airtime or minutes in the following ways:
- Buy airtime from the phone
- Add a TracFone card online
- Add airtime directly from your phone
To keep your plan from resetting once the thirty-day limit is up, you need to simply add more minutes, which will automatically initiate a new cycle.
There is an auto-refill option too. With auto-refill, you'll receive up to 10 percent off. Auto-refill plans range from 90 minutes, 90 texts, and 90MB of data for 30 service days to 1500 minutes, 1500 texts, and 1500MB of data for 365 service days.
There are three other sets of plans that you can choose from: pay as you go, one year, and smartphone and BYOP plans.
One Year plans grant you a certain amount of minutes that will last 365 service days.
Pay as You Go plans are exactly as they sound: you pay as you go. These plans range from 30 minutes for 30 service days to 450 minutes for 90 service days. The pay as you go plans come with a special incentive: talking minutes, text, and data will triple with every airtime card purchase.
Finally, smartphone and BYOP only plans, which comes with a 5 percent off auto-refill, range from 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 200MB of data for 30 service days to 1GB of data only.
And if you're interested in international plans, TracFone has them too.
Related: You can compare TracFone's BYOP plans to the competition here.
TracFone Family Plans
I'm not finished exploring all the options TracFone has to offer. There are quite a lot of individual plans, but there are fewer family plans, which is a little different compared to the family plans among the big four networks. With the TracFone value family plan, you'll automatically receive minutes for every TracFone in your home each month. The family value plan is easy to enroll in: the first phone will be the most expensive and carry 50 minutes of airtime. Any additional phone will be a little less and will include 40 minutes of airtime.
TracFone Data Plans
TracFone features one data-only plan, which contains 1GB of data. The price is set at $10, which isn't exactly a bad price for 1GB of data (especially compared to major carriers).
What Phones Can You Get on TracFone?
With TracFone, you can either shop for phones with the intent to place them on a payment plan or pay for the phone in full.
The phones aren't exactly varied, and TracFone doesn't seem to carry the latest offerings, but the phones offered seem to be of decent quality.
TracFone, however, shines a spotlight on the Bring Your Own Smartphone feature; in other words, the bring your own phone program is as extravagant, if not more so, compared to the major networks' bring your own phone programs. You'll be able to keep your favorite smartphone, as well as your number and network. TracFone supports AT&T compatible, GSM-unlocked, T-Mobile compatible, and Verizon compatible phones.
TracFone Phone Insurance
Is cell phone insurance worth it? Whether you want phone insurance is up to you, but you should know that like Straight Talk, TracFone offers Easy Exchange and Easy Exchange Plus for added protection. Here are the details of each plan:
Easy Exchange - This plan protects your phone in the event of an electrical failure, mechanical failure, and comes with an annual pre-pay option.
Easy Exchange PLUS - This plan provides coverage in case your phone suffers from an electrical failure, mechanical failure, accidental damage from handling, and liquid damage. There is an annual pre-pay option, as well as a monthly payment option available.
Activating your TracFone is a simple process. All you need to do to activate the phone is to go to the TracFone website and select the activate tab. You can also activate your TracFone phone by calling customer service.
TracFone SIM Card
If you are in need of a TracFone SIM card, which contains your subscriber profile (you can learn more about the SIM card here), then you can purchase a SIM card from TracFone's store, or via an official retailer such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, or Bestbuy.
TracFone Deals, Promotions & Discounts
TracFone offers special deals in the form of airtime offers. Sometimes with a promo code, you'll be able to nab bonus minutes or a special discount on an order.
You can also save on phones, though the savings aren't quite as extravagant.
The service is working on a loyalty program, which will be released in the near future. The program will grant customers with greater savings and rewards.
With TracFone, customers are able to use the major carrier networks of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. This means that customers will be receiving not only the prepaid service of TracFone, but also the quality networks brought to you by the four major providers.
TracFone's customer service is not the greatest, at least when it comes to phone service. Some people have complained that they would not receive a new phone or updated minutes within the provided time.
Not only that but reaching a representative can take awhile via phone. Chat Support is supposedly more helpful.
If you have a minor issue that could be easily solved, then you can view the support topics provided by TracFone or take part in the support forum.
Not only that, but you can always connect with the service via Facebook or e-mail.
TracFone is an incredibly flexible service but at the cost of limited minutes. There is no unlimited option, even for text and minutes. Furthermore, the options can be a little on the pricey side, unless you're looking for a data only plan - the 1GB option available is quite cheap. If you're not an avid phone user, you may want to consider TracFone.
Looking to compare more carriers? Then head over to our cell phone comparison tool.