Nowadays, every American wants to remain connected. This has led to the proliferation of service providers operating in the United States. Some of these service providers rely on their own towers, while others rely on other carriers’ networks to offer cell phone services to their customers. Some good examples of these carriers include TracFone and StraightTalk. These carriers now operate as Mobile Virtual Network Operators.
To start with, TracFone and StraightTalk are some of the most affordable carriers in the United States. The good news is that their plans do not come with a contract. As we speak, StraightTalk is a subsidiary of TracFone. Therefore, TracFone happens to be the parent company of StraightTalk. It is imperative to note that TracFone was launched in 1996 and is owned by America Movil. On the other hand, StraightTalk was launched in 2009. If you are interested in joining any of these carriers, chances are that you are spoilt for choice. Thankfully, we shall take an in-depth look at these carriers and establish if they are the same or not. Besides this, we shall take a closer look at other related ideas for better understanding.
About TracFone And Straight Talk
Although these carriers operate as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, there are a number of differences that set them apart. For instance, TracFone is the parent company of Straight Talk. This can be attributed to the fact that TracFone was founded in 1996 and is owned by America Movil. As we speak, this carrier offers non-monthly cell phone plans, prepaid cell phones, pay-as-you-go airtime options, ACP and Lifeline programs, among other services.
On the other hand, StraightTalk got launched in 2009. This means that it came into existence 13 years after TracFone got launched. This makes it a subsidiary of TracFone Wireless. Currently, this carrier offers no-contract cell phone plans, affordable cell phones, Bring Your Own Phone program, ACP facility, and so much more.
You Can Activate a Tracfone with Straight Talk
Yes. As we speak, StraightTalk now allows you to bring your own phone and use it on this carrier’s network. If you want to bring your TracFone device to StraightTalk, you must ensure that your preferred device is unlocked first. Thereafter, you can visit stbyop.com and then tap on the ‘Check compatibility’ button.
Follow all the steps that you will see on your screen and you will be good to go. When checking your device’s compatibility status, some of the details that you will asked to submit include your phone’s ESN or IMEI number as well as the name of the carrier you purchased the phone from.
Better still, text, ‘BYOP’ or ‘KYOP’ to 611611 from your phone and get started. Finally, if these methods seem tedious to you, consider reaching out to Straight Talk’s customer service team on 1-877-430-2355. Once you reach an agent on the other end, tell the agent that you want to make a switch to this carrier. The agent will guide you on what you should do, and you will be good to go.
TracFone Vs. Straight Talk
TracFone and StraightTalk differ in a number of ways. These include:
- TracFone is the parent company of StraightTalk. Therefore, StraightTalk acts as a subsidiary of TracFone.
- Although both carriers offer affordable cell phone plans, their plans differ in a number of ways. To start with, StraightTalk offers 3 main plans only. However, it does not offer family plans. On the other hand, TracFone offers a myriad of plans. As far as family plans are concerned, this carrier offer a family discounts on various lines. Besides this, it is important to note that TracFone plans tends to be cheaper than those offered by StraightTalk.
- TracFone Wireless was launched in 1996 while its counterpart was launched in 2009.
- When it comes to customer support services, TracFone is deemed to offer better services that its counterpart. However, this is according to the reviews customers have posted online. Thankfully, both of them offer live chats on their sites, which makes them better than their peers.
- As far as reward programs are concerned, StraightTalk tops the list as it offer an array of rewards and perks anytime you sign up friends, auto fill or even pay your bills in a timely manner. On the other hand, TracFone does not offer a reward program to its customers.
- StraightTalk do not offer Lifeline services. However, its counterpart offers Lifeline services. If you qualify for TracFone Lifeline program, you will enjoy discounts of up to $9.25 per month, alongside other incredible cell phone features.
Besides the above-mentioned differences, both carriers tie when it comes to the following features:
- Both of them allow you to bring your own device. This means that you can now bring your TracFone device to StraightTalk and vice versa. As long as your device is unlocked and is compatible, be sure that you will be good to go.
- They also offer a wide selection of budget-friendly phones. All you need to do is to visit their official sites and check the available models. Chances are that you will not miss a model that will please you.
- These carrier allow you to lease a phone. This option is lucrative in case you want to upgrade your phone and you are operating on a budget. Here, you will be able to lease flagship phones at a pocket-friendly price until you complete the entire payment.
Network Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
Previously, we mentioned that TracFone and StraightTalk are Mobile Virtual Network Operators. However, they operate using different network towers. For instance, StraightTalk relies on T-Mobile’s network towers while its counterpart is powered by the Verizon network towers. Thankfully, these networks usually have a good coverage across the United States.
However, as far as 4G LTE network is concerned, it is imperative to note that Verizon takes the lead with over 70% coverage. Its counterpart follows closely with 59% coverage. Therefore, if Verizon performs optimally in your locality, consider using TracFone services and you will be good to go. On the other hand, if T-Mobile has a good coverage in your region, StraightTalk should be your preferred carrier.
Plan Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
When it comes to cell phone plans, these carriers do not disappoint as they offer affordable plans to all their clients. However, StraightTalk offers 3 primary plans to all its clients. Unfortunately, it does not offer family plans. Some of the plans offered by StraightTalk include:
|Name of plan||Texts||Minutes||Data||Amount/Price|
As far as the 3GB plan is concerned, it is imperative to note that you will enjoy fast internet speeds until you exhaust your data plan. After that, the internet speeds will reduce to 2G network until you your billing cycle comes to an end. However, once you replenish your monthly cell phone plan, you will enjoy fast internet.
The same applies to the 25GB plan. Here, you will enjoy fast internet for the first 25GB.After that, you will enjoy 2G network until the billing cycle comes to an end. Thankfully, you will not be charged extra bucks for the data used after your first data pack is over. Finally, the unlimited data plan does not have any data caps. Therefore, you will enjoy fast internet until your billing cycle comes to an end.
TracFone on the other hand, offers a myriad of cell phone plans. Thankfully, all these cell phone plans are budget-friendly. Here is an outline of these plans with their respective prices:
- 1GB plan-This one comes with unlimited talk and text. However, you will enjoy 1GB of mobile data. For you to enjoy this plan, brace yourself to part with $20 on a monthly basis
- 2GB plan-This plan allows you to enjoy unlimited talk and text. As far as data is concerned, be sure that you will enjoy 2GB of mobile data. To enjoy this cell phone plan, be ready to pay $25 per month.
- 3GB plan-This plan goes for $30.Thankfully, this plan allows you to enjoy 3GB of mobile data alongside unlimited talk and text.
Other plans that are offered by this carrier include:
- $15plan that comes with 500 texts,500 minutes and 500 MB for 30 days
- $25 plan that comes with 1000 texts,500 minutes and 1GB of mobile data for 60 days
- $45 plan which comes with 1000 texts,750 minutes and 1.5GB of mobile data for 90 days
- $50 plan that comes with 1500 texts,750 minutes and 2GB of mobile data for 90 days
- $125 plan which comes with 1500 texts, 1500 minutes and 1.5GB of mobile data for 365 days.
For purposes of comparison, we shall use the first 3 monthly cell phone plans offered by TracFone. If you want to save more on your budget, consider choosing TracFone to be your ultimate carrier. This is because StraightTalk tends to be quite expensive for some users. Thankfully, you will enjoy more data as all its plans come with more data.
Therefore, StraightTalk might be ideal for heavy data users. With TracFone, you will be able to enjoy one of its 90-day cell phone plan, thereby allowing you to enjoy the much-needed convenience and flexibility whenever you want to top up your current mobile data package.
ACP Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
Both MVNOs offer Affordable Connectivity Program to all eligible households or individuals living in the United States. However, the benefits of each ACP facility offered are different. For instance, if you qualify the TracFone ACP facility, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- Free unlimited text
- Free unlimited talk
- 3GB of unlimited carryover mobile data
- Up to 5GB of mobile hotspot data
- Free smartphone
On the other hand, if you qualify for the StraightTalk ACP facility, you will enjoy the following:
- Free unlimited text and talk
- Free unlimited data
- Free 10GB of hotspot data
- A chance to keep your phone and number
Lifeline Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
First and foremost, StraightTalk does not offer Lifeline program. However, TracFone offers Lifeline services to all eligible customers. To be eligible for this program, your income has to stand at or be below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of your state.
If you do not qualify via the low income criteria, you can qualify if at all you are a participant of a government-assistance program such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI or Section 8. Once you qualify for TracFone’s Lifeline program, you will be able to enjoy discounts of at least $9.25 per month. Besides this, you will enjoy the following additional benefits:
- Call waiting
- 3-way calling
- Caller ID
- Free 911 Access
- Free 411 calling
- Additional data and international service that are not included in your plan.
- Free calls to the carrier’s customer support team
Free Phones Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
As far as free phones are concerned, it is imperative to note that StraightTalk does not offer free phones like other carriers. In fact, if you want to get a free phone from StraightTalk, you must make a switch to this carrier and then choose one of its unlimited nationwide service plans. Cell phone plans start from $35 per month. Therefore, you will not get a free phone per se, as you will need to subscribe to one of its unlimited cell phone plans.
Thankfully, TracFone allows you to get a free smartphone once you qualify for its ACP facility. Here, you must ensure that your income stands at or is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In case you do not qualify via the low-income criteria, you can qualify for this program if you are a participant of a government assistance program such as SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, or Section 8.
Customer Service Comparison Between TracFone And Straight Talk
When it comes to customer support services, TracFone is deemed to have a better performance than StraightTalk. However, this is according to the reviews customers have posted online after interacting with these carrier’s customer support teams. The good news is that both of them allow you to have a live chat on their websites. This means that you will be able to address all your issues more conveniently.
Frequently Ask Questions
Why does my Straight Talk phone say TFW (TracFone)?
Simply put, TFW refers to TracFone Wireless. Your StraightTalk phone might show the TFW message from time to time since this carrier is a subsidiary of TracFone. This is because TracFone is the parent company of StraightTalk.
Is TracFone Compatible with Straight Talk?
Not really. Although both of them are Mobile Virtual Network Operators, they are not compatible. For instance, if you have a TracFone device and want to enjoy StraightTalk services, you must unlock it first and then bring it to this carrier.
Besides this, ensure that your device is running on the current operating system. If your TracFone device meets the compatibility requirements, be sure that you will be good to go.
Can I transfer from Tracfone to Straight Talk?
Yes. As we speak, you can now switch from TracFone to StraightTalk. If you want to bring your TracFone to StraightTalk, you should first ensure that your device is unlocked. Once your device is unlocked, go ahead and check its compatibility via the following methods:
- Text facility- Here, you will need to send the word ‘KYOP’ or ‘BYOP’ to 611611. KYOP means Keep Your Own Phone while BYOP stands for Bring Your Own Phone.
- Online by visiting StraightTalk’s activation page and then tap on the ‘Keep Your Own Phone/Tablet option. Thereafter, follow the prompts that you will see on your screen.
- Contact StraightTalk customer support team on 1-877-430-2355 and ask the representative on the other end for guidance.
- Visit any of the StraightTalk’s store near you. Here, you will be able to meet an in-store agent who can help check your device’s compatibility with this carrier.
Once you establish that your device is compatible with this carrier, you can now obtain a SIM card from this carrier and then activate your device.
Can I Transfer from Straight Talk to TracFone?
Yes. You can now bring your StraightTalk device to TracFone and then start enjoying its services. However, your device has to be unlocked and compatible with TracFone Wireless. Thankfully, most CDMA and GSM devices are compatible with TracFone. If you want to check whether your device is compatible with TracFone or not, feel free to visit “tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone” and then tap on the ‘Check compatibility’ button.
You will then be asked to choose your current carrier. Since you are currently using StraightTalk services, tap on the ‘StraightTalk’ option and then click on the ‘Continue’ button. Once you tap on the ‘Continue’ button, the system on the other end will inform you if your device is compatible with TracFone or not.
If your device is compatible, you can go ahead and purchase an activation SIM card kit and then choose your preferred plan. After receiving the SIM card and activation kit, follow all the instructions that you will see on the kit’s package so that you can activate device on TracFone’s network.
Which TracFone Phones will Stop Working?
Some of the models discontinued early this year include the older 3G models of this carrier. Therefore, if you had purchased an older model of this carrier and it relied on 3G network, chances are that it is no longer working as this carrier. This is because this carrier shut down its 2G and 3G networks. As a result, you must have a device that is 4G-enabled or 5G-enabled for you to continue enjoying its services.