Tracfone is one of the leading no-contract wireless phone service providers. It has incredible coverage using signal towers of over 30 leading operators to secure users get the best connectivity all the time – Unbeatable Nationwide CoverageTM. They advertise their services as America’s largest and most dependable 4G LTE networks. So the answer to ‘How does Tracfone work?’ is smooth.
Their specialty is prepaid plans. At Tracfone, they believe everyone deserves the freedom that comes with prepaid plans and that no one should be tightened down with contracts. Further, more they claim their service won’t cost you any extra fees (no activation nor cancellation fees), headaches, or hassles. They give you the option of keeping your existing phone (BYOP – Bring Your Own Phone) or providing you with a new one, which is the first step of their 3-step guide. The second step includes activating your services, and as the third step, they list refilling.
We will go into details on how does Tracfone work and many other details, including how to add minutes to Tracfone, how to check balance, how to activate Tracfone and more in the following sections.
How To Get Started With Tracfone
Getting started with Tracfone truly is as simple as they claim – first, get a new phone or use your current one, second, activate your service, and third, refill as needed.
To make things even clearer and provide you with as much useful information as possible to help you make a clear decision, whether Tracfone is the right fit for you, we will dig deeper and basically cover all ins and outs of how does Tracfone Work.
What Does Tracfone Offer And How Do Minutes Work?
Tracfone offers great coverage and prepaid services, without signing any contracts. You pay as you go by adding minutes or credits to your account, which is done with the use purchase of airtime cards. They also offer you either to use their SIM card on your existing phone or to purchase a refurbished or a new smartphone from them at highly affordable prices.
Tracfone offers 4 different types of airtime cards – ‘regular’, ‘smartphone only’, ‘Unlimited smartphone cards’, and ‘Add-on cards’. All cards have a specific time frame of operability and amount of talks, texts, and data.
The difference is that smartphones (Android devices) keep a separate count of talk minutes, texts, and data, while traditional cells (‘regular’ cards) offer minutes, which are split for all three services. E.g.: If you purchase a 60-minute card for a regular/basic phone, it will give you 60 minutes of talk, 60 messages, and 60 MB of data.
Tracfone airtime cards are available in a wide range of values on their airtime cards and some are available in both online versions and hardcopy, while others can only be accessed at the Tracfone website. We will list all the plans-related details below.
NOTE: Tracfone changes this quite often, but as part of their bonuses, they tend to offer to triple the minutes (this means that a 60-minute card would give you 180 minutes of talk, 180 texts, and 180MB of data) as part of the extra deal when a new phone is activated. This offer may apply only to certain phones, thus is best to check with your dealer or online at the time of purchase.
How To Setup Your First Tracfone
Setting up your first Tracfone is simple. As mentioned above, you must first decide, if you want to keep your current phone (to be exact Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone – BYOP) or will you be purchasing a new device from Tracfone or even other wireless devices (such as your car wireless system). Getting a new device may provide you with some extra bonuses, even such as triple minutes for life.
BYOP (they make the transition super easy – you get to keep your phone number (you can get a new one if you want) and existing network):
First, you must make sure that your current phone is compatible with Tracfone services. GSM Unlocked phones, AT&T-compatible phones, T-Mobile-compatible phones, Verizon-compatible phones, and some CDMA Technology compatible phones are the ones that normally work with Tracfone. To check compatibility visit https://www.tracfone.com/activation/coveragecheck.
If you purchase a Tracfone device or using your existing phone (for which you’ve already made sure it is compatible as per the above paragraph), you will need to activate your new Tracfone SIM card. The process is slightly different, whether you have Tracfone’s phone, going with Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone option or using their SIM card on your other devices.
How to Activate Tracfone:
Phone purchase or transfer and activation can all be done only, however, you also have the option of visiting a local dealer to select your new device in person. That way they can also activate your new device for you.
NOTE: For this process, you will need a Tracfone Airtime card or a credit/debit card. You can also already have their SIM card or select that you need one.
- You Have a Tracfone Phone: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/tracfonecollectinfo
- You’re bringing your own smartphone: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/byopcollectsim
- You have other devices: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/tracfonecollectinfo
Simply follow the steps provided. Make sure to select the right option and to enter the correct codes. Activation is normally instantaneous but sometimes or in some areas, it can take up to 24 hours.
If you face any problems with your activation, please refer all questions to Tracfone’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183.
Where To Buy Tracfone Service Plans And Sim Cards
Tracfone’s SIM cards and plans can be purchased online or at local retailers. These days the easiest way for most is to go online.
- Tracfone official site: https://www.tracfone.com/shop; this is where you have the widest range of options as you are buying directly from the provider
There are countless stores where you can purchase Tracfone SIM cards and plans, including Walmart, Dollar General, and Target.
If you are looking for a local store, visit https://www.tracfone.com/findastore, enter zip code and choose mile radius.
Cell Phones Available With Tracfone
Tracfone offers a wide selection of cell phones. Both, refurnished and new cellphones are available. You can choose between regular phones and smartphones in all price and capability ranges to best fit your budget and needs.
It doesn’t make much sense for us to list here all the phones available on their site and they update their offers regularly. The best option for you is to visit https://shop.tracfone.com/shop/en/tracfonestore/phones and search for the model that you want. You can narrow down the search results by using their search filters. Select OS, brand, price, and color to get the best results. Here you can check for current special deals: https://shop.tracfone.com/shop/en/tracfonestore/deals.
If you are on a tight budget, you simply thick “refurnished items” option.
If you decide to go with Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone option, make sure to confirm your existing phone’s compatibility with Tracfone: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/coveragecheck.
Tracfone offers a standard one-year warranty on all of their phones.
If your phone is not working properly, gets damaged, stolen, or lost, call their support center at 1-800-867-7183 and report your situation.
Tracfone offers a wide range of plans. We are going to cover all of them in the list below. For many of their plans, they offer an Auto-Refill option, which means that you will automatically purchase the same service as soon as you use up all the credits or reach the expiration date (whichever comes first). Auto-Refill may provide you with a 5-10% discount.
- Unlimited Talk & Text 30-Day Plans:
|Unlimited texts and talk, 3GB data||$30||30 Days|
|Unlimited texts and talk, 2GB data||$25||30 Days|
|Unlimited texts and talk, 1GB data||$20||30 Days|
All of the above represent Tracfone’s latest deals available for smartphones only. They all come with Auto-Refill option and also Unlimited Carryover, which means that your credits get transferred to another period if you extend your deal before the expiration date.
- Classic Service Plans:
|1500 minutes and 1500 texts, 1.5GB data||$125||365 Days||$118.75|
|750 minutes and 1500 texts, 2GB data||$50||90 Days||–|
|750 minutes and 1000 texts, 1.5GB data||$45||90 Days||–|
|750 minutes and 1000 texts, 1GB data||$35||60 Days||$33.25|
|500 minutes and 1000 texts, 0.5GB data||$25||60 Days||$23.75|
|500 minutes and 500 texts, 0.5GB data||$15||30 Days||$14.25|
- Basic Phone Plans:
|1500 minutes (1500 min talk, 1500 texts, 1.5GB data)||$199.99||365 Days||–|
|1500 minutes (1000 min talk, 1000 texts, 1GB data)||$159.99||365 Days||–|
|400 minutes (400 min talk, 400 texts, 0.4GB data)||$99.99||365 Days||–|
|450 minutes (450 min talk, 450texts, 0.45GB data)||$79.99||90 Days||$71.99|
|200 minutes (200 min talk, 200 texts, 0.2GB data)||$39.99||90 Days||$35.99|
|120 minutes (120 min talk, 120 texts, 0.12GB data)||$29.99||90 Days||$26.99|
|60 minutes (60 min talk, 60 texts, 60MB data)||$19.99||90 Days||$17.99|
|30 minutes (30 min talk, 30 texts, 30MB data)||$9.99||90 Days||$8.99|
Tracfone Service Add-ons
Aside from the plans listed above, Tracfone offers the following add-ons:
- $10 International Long distance:
- Call anywhere in the world, including destinations not covered in your Basic International service, at very low rates.
- FREE Tracfone International Dialer app* for Android to call without access numbers!
- Enroll your Global Cards in Instant Low Balance Refill and we’ll refill it when you reach a low balance of $2.
- Calls must originate from the U.S. No International Roaming. Expires 30 days after your Last Day of Service or 180 days after last use.
- S10: 500 minutes (active for as long as your plan above)
- $10: 1GB data (active for as long as your plan above)
- $5: 1000 texts (active for as long as your plan above)
How To Switch To Tracfone Cell Service
As we mentioned above, Tracfone does offer you to use your existing phone with its services through Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) option. If you want to switch to Tracfone by using their phone, the process is even simpler.
When switching to Tracfone, you will probably want to keep your existing phone number. This is easily done. To port in your existing telephone number to your Tracfone, the number you are porting must be active with your current service provider.
For more information refer to section ‘How To Setup Your First Tracfone’ section above.
Additional Tracfone Resources And Helpful Links
We did our very best to provide you with all the details that should have clarified many things, however, there might still be some unanswered questions left. Thus we will provide you with additional links to enable you fast deeper research.
- Tracfone FAQ: https://support.tracfone.com/expresshelp/bring-your-own-smartphone-byop/1650311
- Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) option details: https://www.tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone
- Tracfone tech support page: https://www.tracfone.com/techsupport
- Tracfone deals: https://shop.tracfone.com/shop/en/tracfonestore/deals
- Tracfone online shop: https://www.tracfone.com/shop
- Tracfone refill online: https://www.tracfone.com/collectminpinpromo
- Purchase Tracfone plans: https://www.tracfone.com/shop/plans
- Tracfoen homepage: https://www.tracfone.com/
- Tracfone forum: https://www.tracfoneforum.com/?_ga=2.168956965.525123128.1578733816-454134044.1578733816
Tracfone Contact Information
In order to get the fastest support simply call 1-800-867-7183. Their centers are open from 8 AM to 11:45 PM)(EST), 7 days a week.
They also offer you to chat online or send mail. To chat online visit https://www.tracfone.com/contactus and click on “ONLINE CHAT”.
Tracfone address: TracFone Wireless, Inc., Attn: Executive Resolution Department, 9700 N.W. 112th Avenue, Miami, FL 33178
If you have covered all of the above information, you know that Tracfone really offers a lot of flexibility and a wide range of deals for all smartphones and regular phone users, who don’t want to get tight down by contracts. In addition, they offer you’re a wide range of refurbished and new phones. Moreover, Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone option is also available to those who have compatible phones.
Now it is completely up to you to decide if the Tracfone is the right fit for you. Keep in mind, that their services give you the freedom to cancel at any time and will never charge you cancelation fee.