TracFone Wireless is currently the largest and most popular no-contract wireless and cellular phone provider in the United States. They provide inexpensive yet quality mobile devices (smartphones and regular cell phones) and very affordable prepaid plans without any contracts, activation, or cancellation fees. As TracFone works as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), it has service contracts and agreements with all the largest wireless network operators in the country, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint; therefore, they also offer nationwide coverage.
In addition to providing service and cell phones; TracFone also sells airtime cards with different minute amounts and a number of service days. This system enables users to buy minutes only when they need them, which makes TracFone a very affordable service for light and moderate cell phone users; those who don’t use their phones that often and tend to not use up the minutes and data that other plans and services provide.
How Do Minutes Work on TracFone Smartphones?
TracFone airtime cards come with different minute amounts (60 minutes, 120 minutes, 200 minutes, etc.). These minutes can be added to the phone and used for calling or texting. The airtime cards also come with a certain amount of service days – generally, you get 90 service days a card.
The running minutes are treated differently on regular phones than they are on Android smartphones. On Android smartphones, the minutes are divided into three categories or buckets – talk, text, and data. It is important to keep an eye on your balance, airtime, and service days; otherwise, you may run out of minutes and thus not be able to make a simple phone call anymore. While non-Android phones use one ‘pool’ for minutes and the users only need to check that one pool, Android phones use three ‘pools’ – for talk, text, and data, and their users must check all of them. If they are out of the talk and text minutes, they can still call and text using calling apps, such as What’s App, Viber, Facetime, etc., which only use data.
Some TracFone devices enable you to get double or even triple amount of minutes when adding a new card. Most of the newest smartphones don’t come with triple minutes for life, but they may come with double minutes. TracFone also offers some ‘smartphone only’ airtime cards; that comes with a much greater amount of airtime than regular airtime cards.
TracFone currently offers three kinds of airtime cards – Regular Airtime Cards, Smartphone Only Cards, and Smartphone Unlimited Card.
- Regular Airtime Cards come with 60, 120, 200, etc., minutes and 90 days of service. They can be added to any TracFone mobile device and can double or triple.
- Smartphone Only Cards come with a specific amount of talk, text, and data. For example, the $25 Smartphone Only Card gives the user 500 talk minutes, 1000 texts, and 500 MB data. These cards work only for smartphones, and they cannot double or triple.
- Smartphone Unlimited Cards come with unlimited talk and text, a certain amount of data (1, 2, or 3 GB – depending on the card), and 30 service days. As the Smartphone Only Card, this one also only works on smartphones and cannot double or triple.
TracFone – How to Check Minutes or Balance
As we have already established before, it is of utmost importance to keep track of the balance, airtime, and service days. If you don’t check your balance regularly, you may end up completely out of minutes, which would make it impossible for you to make a single short phone call. It is equally important to keep an eye on your service end date, as the phone and phone number will both be deactivated when the service days end. As we definitely don’t want any of this to happen, here is a list of all the ways to check your balance, service end date, and the left usage or minutes.
1. How to check your TracFone balance on a feature phone
Regular feature phones (flip phone and other basic phone) only use one ‘pool’ for minutes. The balance is referred to as ‘airtime’, which includes talk, text, and data. On feature phones, both the airtime and service days are in two places – your home screen and in the prepaid menu for easy monitoring on your phone.
2. How to check your TracFone balance on a smartphone
Smartphones don’t feature a convenient home screen display of balance. Therefore the process is a bit more complicated. However, as you will see below, it is still as simple as it can get. Keep in mind that not all the methods listed will work for everyone, so if one doesn’t work for you, try another one, and you’ll definitely find the perfect option for your phone.
1. Check TracFone minutes using TracFone My Account App
The first and perhaps the most popular way how to check TracFone balance is by using the TracFone My Account app.
How to install the app?
Step 1: The TracFone Android app is available in Google Play Store. Find it by entering ‘TracFone My Account’ and click ‘Install’. This will download the app and install it on your device.
Step 2: When the app is installed, open it and enter your personal information or TracFone login details to sign in. If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up and create one on the TracFone official website.
Step 3: Once you have signed in, you will be able to access and see all your TracFone account details, including your current balance, consumed/remaining talk minutes, consumed/remaining texts, and consumed/remaining data, service end date, and much more.
iOS users can also download this app from the iOS App Store. The installation process is more or less the same as for Android OS users.
In addition to checking your balance, service end date, and account information, this app also enables you to add minutes and thus refill your balance. Moreover, it monitors network quality for your service area and notifies TracFone, which can then make improvements and the in-built Wi-Fi optimizer helps you locate the best Wi-Fi network in your area and connect to it in order to save some money.
This app even allows you to add a widget to your home screen, displaying your balance at all times. Do so by tapping and holding in a space on your home screen, open widgets on top of the screen, and select the TracFone widget.
This app works great on all Android phones. However, if you experience any problems with the TracFone app, simply re-install it. This simple step should fix whatever problem you may have. If the issue remains, contact TracFone customer care service and they will surely be able to help.
2. Check Tracfone minutes on the TracFone website
If you prefer not to install an app or if your phone is already full, you can also check your TracFone balance, remaining minutes, and usage by visiting the TracFone website. Visit www.tracfone.com, sign in to your account (or create one if you don’t have it), and go to the section ‘My Account’. Click on it and you will see your phone listed. One of the options you will have is to check your current balance. This will provide you a detailed review of the consumed and remaining call minutes, texts, data, and service days. You can do so on your smartphone, your tablet, or your computer.
Another option is to visit tracfone.com/balanceinquiry. Here, you can either log into your account or enter your phone number to check your airtime balance.
A third option is to go straight to https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance?input_phone=1234567890 (replace 1234567890 with your phone number). This is a shortcut that leads directly to your balance.
3. Check Tracfone minutes with a phone call
This is probably the fasted method to check your airtime, balance, and usage. Simply dial *777*1# and call the number. In a matter of seconds, a pop-up will appear that will provide you with your basic account details. However, this method only works on GSM devices.
4. Check Tracfone minutes by SMS
This is the most recent way to check your TracFone airtime balance usage and it is one of the most convenient and user-friendly methods. You can simply send an SMS with the word ‘Balance’ to 611611. In return, you will get an SMS with basic account details, including consumed/remaining talk minutes, consumed/remaining texts, and consumed/remaining data, as well as service end date. Keep in mind, that this way isn’t free of charge, as standard texting charges apply.
5. Check Tracfone minutes via FastAct Portal
Visit https://www.fastactportal.com/static/balance, enter your mobile number and the website will provide you with your current balance, usage, service days, and other account details. It should work for feature phone users as well as smartphone users. However, some users have reported inaccurate results.
As you can see, there are several very easy ways to check your balance and service days, both on a feature phone and on a smartphone. In case you have any questions or experience any issues with either one of the methods listed above, you can always contact their very reliable and responsive customer service.
How to Add Balance on TracFone
Now that we have established how to check TracFone balance, let’s take a look at how to add minutes to your TracFone. As you will see, the process is just as simple and user-friendly.
1. Option number 1: Auto-refill enrolment
To avoid worrying and constantly checking your balance and usage, you can sign up for TracFone’s auto-refill program. This option will automatically activate a new card as soon as the old one runs out of balance and renew your plan, which will enable uninterrupted use. In case of continuous use, the auto-refill program is also a cheaper option than to buy a new card every time you run out of balance.
If you want to sign up for the auto-refill option, you can visit tracfone.com/autorefill and enter your phone number. You will be able to pick a plan according to the price, talk minutes, texts, and data. Afterward, you will enter your credit card details and that’s it. To add minutes to your plan sometime during the month, you can simply buy an extra airtime card.
2. Option number 2: Adding minutes on your phone by buying an Airtime Minutes Card
Step 1: Buy a TracFone prepaid airtime minutes card. You can do so in billions of stores all over the country or online. One of the cheapest options is to purchase it at Walmart.
Step 2: On the back of the card you will see a silver area. Scratch it off to see the Airtime Pin number.
Step 3: Turn on your TracFone and make sure you have a signal, otherwise, the process won’t work.
Step 4: Then go to Menu on your phone and select ‘Prepaid’. Scroll down to find ‘Redeem Airtime’ and select it.
Step 5: Enter the 15-digit Airtime pin number on the back of your card and press ‘Enter’. You will receive a message saying “Units will be added shortly.” The units will be added to your balance in a matter of seconds.
Step 6: You may get a message to restart your device. Then, you can check your balance in any of the ways listed above.
3. Option number 3: Adding minutes online
You can add minutes on their official website. You can activate your phone and add minutes. To do so, you will have to provide your Tracfone’s serial number, which can be found on your ‘Prepaid’ menu on the phone.
Step 1: Visit tracfone.com and select ‘Activate Phone, Add or Buy Airtime’.
Step 2: If you wish to buy airtime, select ‘Buy Airtime’, then ‘Buy Airtime Online’. If you wish to add airtime, select ‘Add Airtime’, then ‘Add Airtime Online’.
Step 3: If you wish to buy airtime, select the amount of airtime you want to buy to extend airtime and service days, and enter in your TracFone number. If you wish to add airtime, enter the 15-digit Airtime pin number on the back of the airtime card you have purchased and your TracFone number.
Step 4: In both cases (if you want to buy or add airtime) continue following the instructions to complete the purchase.
4. Option number 4: Airtime on Demand
The new ‘Airtime on Demand’ feature allows you to add minutes directly from the phone.