Switching from one wireless provider to another has never been easier, more common, and more appealing. Lots of customers switch carriers on a regular basis, simply because carriers and phone service providers tend to offer special deals, great discounts, and even free devices and services to their new customers. Basically, we are inclined to change providers to save some money. Straight Talk and TracFone both offer very affordable no-contract prepaid services.
However, as TracFone provides cheaper plans, consumers whose top priority is to save money often switch from Straight Talk to TracFone. If you are thinking about switching from Straight Talk to TracFone but you are not sure how to do it, you have come to the right place.
Is Straight Talk And TracFone The Same?
Straight Talk and TracFone are two of the most affordable no-contract mobile phone service providers. Straight Talk is actually TracFone’s subsidiary; therefore many people mistakenly believe that the two are the same service providers or that they offer the exact same plans, phones, and services for the exact same prices, which is not the case.
TracFone Wireless is the parent company of Straight Talk. The prepaid no-contract mobile phone provider was launched in 1996 and it is owned by América Móvil – Mexico’s largest telecommunications company. It offers prepaid cell phones, no-contract monthly plans, pay-as-you-go airtime options, and other affordable services.
Straight Talk Wireless, on the other hand, is a no-contract phone plan service that was launched in 2009. Straight Talk is TracFone’s subsidiary and their exclusive retailer is Walmart. The company offers a variety of cell phones, no-contract plans with unlimited talk, text, and data, and more.
Differences Between Straight Talk And TracFone
Straight Talk and TracFone are two different service providers and as such there are many important differences between them. However, as they are both owned by the same company, there are also quite a lot of similarities. In this chapter, we will break them down.
1. TracFone is Straight Talk’s parent company
TracFone is the company that provides Straight Talk’s phones and acts as a parent company for Straight Talk services.
2. Both Straight Talk and TracFone are MVNOs
Both companies are mobile virtual network operators. Neither of the companies owns their own network towers, but as MVNOs, they both have agreements with the nation’s largest carriers. While most MVNOs have agreements with one of America’s ‘big four’ carrier companies, both Straight Talk and TracFone have agreements with all of them and, as such, are entitled to use the towers and nationwide networks of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
See More : What Towers Does TracFone Use
3. Plan differences
There are some important differences between TracFone and Straight Talk’s plans. Both offer affordable plans, but while TracFone offers a large variety of plans, Straight Talk only offers three primary plans and doesn’t provide family plans. TracFone offers cheaper plans; however, their plans have all limited data and while it’s possible to add data, doing so is quite expensive. On the other hand, Straight Talk offers slightly more pricey plans, but as their plans offer more data (even unlimited), they may be more suitable for those customers who tend to use up a lot of data.
4. Phone differences and BYOP
Both service providers offer a large selection of budget phones, including Android smartphones and iPhones. In addition, both companies often offer promo discounts and allow customers to lease a phone with an interest rate of 10% for two years.
Both TracFone and Straight Talk also allow you to bring your own phone to their networks. If you decide to pursue this option, all you need to do is to purchase a $0.99 SIM card kit. As they both use all four major carriers (some of which are GSM-compatible and others CDMA-compatible), TracFone and Straight Talk enable customers to purchase a phone at any of the major four carriers and bring it to their networks. Their services are compatible with Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA phones and with AT&T and T-Mobile’s GSM phones.
5. Customer service differences
Customer service is something that most clients wish they won’t have to deal with. However, accidents do happen; phones get lost, stolen, or broken, we decide to switch to another plan, or simply wish to add airtime to our plan. In such moments, having reliable and responsive customer service is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, neither TracFone nor Straight Talk is known for stellar customer care; nonetheless, TracFone seems to be slightly better in this area based on the reviews. One of their biggest advantages is that they offer live chat on their website, which most other budget carriers don’t.
6. Which service provider is better?
It’s almost impossible to say with any certainty which one of the two service providers is better, as it mostly depends on each customer’s individual taste and preferences. Both companies keep you out of contracts, offer nationwide coverage at any of the four major networks, and provide plans and devices at affordable prices.
Those customers who value low prices above all may find TracFone to be the better option. TracFone has a variety of plans that cost somewhere between $20 and $30 and come with talk, text, and 1-3 GB of data.
On the other hand, if you are looking for larger amounts of data at reasonable prices, you may prefer Straight Talk’s services.
Switch Straight Talk To TracFone And BYOP Program
Switching from Straight Talk to TracFone is as simple as it can get as Straight Talk phones are compatible with TracFone services. As such, you simply have to purchase an activation kit from TracFone’s website. When you receive it via the mail, simply place your new TracFone SIM card into your cell phone, and then you can activate the device on TracFone’s services.
The general process of switching from any other carrier to TracFone is described in detail below. To switch to TracFone services, you generally need an unlocked/compatible smartphone, your IMEI, MEID, or ESN number, your personal and billing information. Note: If you wish to transfer your phone number, do not cancel it first, as TracFone will take care of the transferring process.
Step 1: Check compatibility
In order to bring your own phone to TracFone, you must make sure that your phone is either unlocked or compatible with TracFone’s services (Straight Talk phones are compatible). Most GSM and CDMA smartphones are compatible with their services. To check your phone’s compatibility, follow the steps below.
- Visit TracFone’s Keep Your Own Phone page at tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone.
- Press ‘Check Compatibility’.
- Select your current carrier. You can press ‘Other/I don’t know’ and select ‘Straight Talk’.
- Once you press continue, the system will inform you that your phone is compatible with their services.
Step 2: Buy an activation kit and select a plan
- Now, you will have two options. If you have already purchased a TracFone SIM card, you can go to the ‘Yes, I already have one’ option, enter your SIM card number, and press ‘Continue’. If you don’t have a SIM card, go to the second – ‘No. I need to purchase one’ option and enter your ZIP code. Press continue.
- In case you already have an activation kit, you will be required to scroll to the bottom of the page and press ‘Activate now’. You will be able to either transfer your current number or request a new one.
In case you don’t have an activation kit yet, you will be able to select a SIM card depending on the network you wish to use, and then, you will be able to choose a plan. Once you select the plan that best fits your needs, add it to the cart and press ‘Proceed to check out’. Provide the billing, shipping, and personal info and purchase the activation kit.
Step 3: Activate your BYOP device
Once you receive your activation kit and SIM card via mail, follow the instructions provided in the kit to activate your service.
Activate Straight Talk Phone On TracFone (Android Phone And iPhone)
As long as your phone is compatible with TracFone services, the activation methods provided below will activate any smartphone you may have, including Android phones and iPhones. There are three ways to activate your Straight Talk phone on TracFone – by following the instructions provided in the activation kit, by phone, or online.
1. Activation kit instructions
As phone providers tend to change their policies, services, and procedures a lot, it’s always best to follow the instructions provided in the activation kit to activate a BYOP device on TracFone. Once you receive your activation kit, unpack it, and you will find an activation card inside, which will give you step-by-step instructions on how to activate TracFone services.
2. Activation by phone
If you think you need some help, you can activate your Straight Talk phone on TracFone by phone. Simply call their customer service at 1-800-867-7183 and follow the provided instructions.
3. Online activation
If you wish to activate your Straight Talk (or any other unlocked/compatible phone) on TracFone online and you have already received your activation kit, simply follow the steps below.
- Go to TracFone’s activation website at tracfone.com/activation/selectdevice.
- You will see three options – I have a TracFone phone, I’m bringing my own smartphone, and I have other devices. Select the second option (I’m bringing my own smartphone) and press ‘Continue’.
- You will be asked if you already have a TracFone SIM card. In our case, you will choose ‘Yes, I already have one’, enter the SIM card number provided in your activation kit, and press ‘Continue’.
- At this point, you will be able to select ‘Activate with a new number’ or ‘Transfer my phone number from another company’.
If you wish to get a new TracFone number, you will need to provide your ZIP code, TracFone SIM card number, TracFone device’s serial number, and your current phone number. Once you click ‘Submit’, you will be asked to enter your TracFone email and password. If you haven’t signed up yet, you will be able to create a new customer account by entering your personal info and SIM number. Follow the provided instructions to complete the setup.
If you wish to keep your number, select the ‘Transfer my phone number from another company’ option and press ‘Submit’. You will have to provide your account number and password or PIN you use with your current provider and your contact information. You will also be required to read their transfer terms and conditions and agree to them. Then, you can select your phone type (in our case – wireless) and current service provider. Enter your ZIP code and press ‘Continue’.
- Follow the provided plan and device setup prompts and finalize the activation process.
The Benefits Of Switching To TracFone
Generally, the benefits of switching to TracFone include nationwide coverage on either one of America’s four major carriers, which provides a lot of BYOP options, no contracts, prepaid services, a wide selection of affordable phones, and above all, low-cost TracFone plans.
For former Straight Talk customers who have already enjoyed the same nationwide coverage on all four major carriers, prepaid services with no contracts, and affordable mobile devices, the biggest benefit of switching to TracFone is definitely the fact that TracFone’s plans are less expensive and more versatile.
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
Is Straight Talk Compatible With TracFone?
Straight Talk and TracFone are two different phone service providers. They are both owned by the same company, and as we have seen in the ‘Differences Between Straight Talk And TracFone’ section, they share lots of similarities and also have some important distinctions. Generally speaking, there is no major compatibility between the two services as Straight Talk SIM cards don’t work with TracFone services. Nonetheless, Straight Talk phones are compatible with TracFone services and vice versa; therefore, switching between these two carriers is quick and effortless.
Can I Transfer Straight Talk Service To TracFone?
While you can bring your Straight Talk’s phone to TracFone and activate it with its services, it is impossible to transfer your Straight Talk service to TracFone. Even though the same company owns them, and TracFone is Straight Talk’s parent company, they have a ‘no crossover’ policy.
Can I Transfer My Straight Talk SIM Card To TracFone Phone?
The SIM card is what contains your plan, minutes, texts, data, and other services. As such, you must always use the SIM card of your service provider. If you wish to get Straight Talk services, you must use a Straight Talk SIM card. If you wish to get TracFone services, you must use a TracFone card. However, you can bring your Straight Talk phone to TracFone services (and use a TracFone SIM card), or you can bring your TracFone phone to Straight Talk services (and use a Straight Talk SIM card). These two service providers have compatible phones, but you must always use the SIM card of your provider.
Can I Transfer My Straight Talk Number To TracFone?
Not only can former Straight Talk customers bring their Straight Talk phone to TracFone, but they can also transfer their Straight Talk phone number to TracFone. You can do so on TracFone’s website during the activation process. To transfer your existing phone number to TracFone, the number must be active with your current service provider.