how to invest


career, food, travel


saving, credit, debt


insurance, security


401K, IRA, FI, Retire

Home » Reviews, Technology

Tracfone Review: Prepaid Wireless at its Dirt Cheapest

Last updated by on August 15, 2016

Tracfone Review

Warning: if you are a semi-Luddite, you will love this review. If you would hook a 3G (or 4G) smart phone up to your bloodstream intravenously if the opportunity existed, you will not.

About a year and a half ago, I made the switch from Verizon to Net10. This cut my cell phone bill from $60/month to $30/month for two phones. Net10 has been great, and when combined with the Ooma VOIP system, I have actually been able to cut my cell minutes down to under 100/month because I typically use my phone for a quick check-ins, emergency situations, and texting.

Because I’ve been able to cut my minutes so low, I’ve now banked over 1,200 minutes (Net10 allows you to rollover your unused minutes). As a result, I’ve done a lot of research into Tracfone to cut my phone bills even lower, and wanted to give it a review so that you all may benefit if the plan fits your lifestyle.

Update: I have now switched our service over to Tracfone due to its cost savings!

Surprise! Tracfone and Net10 are Owned by the Same Company

tracfone reviewHere’s the funny thing. Net10 is a sister brand to Tracfone. Both are owned by America Movil, a massive company with 250 million subscribers worldwide. They literally run off of the same network and share the same towers in the U.S., and can be CDMA or GSM, based on the phone model that you purchase. Both are MVNO’s (mobile virtual network operators), meaning they don’t own, but instead rent bandwidth from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Other than pricing models and phone selection, the two companies are the same.

It’s basically the same as the differences between a Ford and a Mercury vehicle. Inside is the same. Outside (the phone) and prices are different.

Tracfone is actually the largest prepaid cell phone service provider in the U.S., with roughly 26 million subscribers. Here’s a look at how they grade out in key wireless provider characteristics.

Tracfone Reception

In a year and a half I haven’t had one dropped call with the Tracfone network. The coverage was way better than Verizon ever was. The acoustic clarity is a step up as well.


Very simple. Charge the battery and go online to activate your airtime card, and you’re all set.

Customer Service

Net10 and Tracfone are not going to win any awards for their service. The good news is that I’ve only had to have one encounter with them (when my wife’s phone was stolen), as the phone service quality and setup have been flawless. The online help center is pretty well built out if you run into problems. Unlike the large mobile customers, Tracfone and Net10 don’t have local stores to get service in. I’m sure this is a contributing factor to why they are able to offer such inexpensive service.

Tracfone Phone Selection

Unless you are willing to pay higher rates (which would defeat the true value of Tracfone, in my opinion), it probably makes sense to avoid Tracfone’s growing selection of Android phones (unless you plan on using wifi for data). I went with a borderline smartphone with a full touchscreen QWERTY keyboard and it is great for talking, texting, and occasional web over wifi.

Tracfone is at its best for those who want good, inexpensive service without all the fancy bells and whistles.

Tracfone Vs. Net10: It’s all About the Pricing

Herein lies the main difference between the two companies. Tracfone has a lot more flexible and cheaper airtime card options than Net10. The lowest minutes/month airtime card you can get is 150 minutes from Net10 (300 minutes for 60 days of service, costing $30). So the cheapest you can get your cell cost down to is $15/month.

With Tracfone’s 60 minutes (before tripling to 180 with the triple for life card – many phone models come with this for free), you get 90 days of service for just $19.99. That’s only $6.67 per month! Of course, you only get 180 minutes over those 90 days. But if you use your phone like I do, it might just be enough.

It’s also worth noting that most Tracfone phones have a text message rate of 0.3 minutes (some are 0.5). Net10 is 0.5 minutes on all phones.

To get the best deal for your money, try to find a phone that offers triple minutes for the life of the phone.

Tracfone Benefits

  • No contracts.
  • Don’t like the service? Phones are cheap, so you haven’t lost much.
  • You see your service date and minutes remaining right on your phone screen so you don’t have to worry about where you stand with either. Hard to get accidental overage charges.
  • No daily airtime fees. This is where you can save money over other prepaid carriers. A lot of the other prepaid cell plans charge you $0.99 or more for each day you actually use the phone in addition to the per minute charges.
  • Rollover! Unused minutes during your service dates are banked and rolled over.

Downsides to Tracfone

Customer service and they don’t have the latest in phone technology (in my opinion, this is a good thing if you’re looking to cut costs).

Who is Tracfone Good For?

Anyone who uses their phone minimally for emergencies, short chats, and for texting – and not heavy conversation.

Who is Tracfone Not Good For?

If you live and die by your unlimited data plan from another carrier, you’re probably not going to see Tracfone as a good fit.

Final Thoughts on Tracfone

If you can keep your cell phone minutes down to a bare minimum, or really only use your phone for texting, quick chats, and emergencies, then Tracfone is a great option. It’s essentially taking what has typically been a high-priced subscription model product, and taking it to a frugal, bare bones extreme. Right now, Tracfone is offering sales on many models.

Tracfone Discussion:

  • Have you used Tracfone? What’s your take?
  • Have you been able to find a cheaper cell provider than Tracfone or Net10?

Related Posts:

About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 10,000+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    We’re usually right on the border with these types of phones vs. our Sprint plan with two phones.

    We use about 300-400 anytime minutes (we get up to 700) and 500 night, weekend, and Sprint PCS to PCS minutes. We also use about 50-75 texts a month (we get 300 each). We don’t do data plans…no internet. Our bill is $79.66. That’s a better deal for us, right?

    • Pauline says:

      Yes I think you’re correct, right on the border. For that reason you are better off with Sprint, I think – it’s more flexible toward a greater amount of use with and it’s safer, has better customer service. Yes, my arithmetic is the same as yours must be & I would stay with a conventional service if like to use quite a few minutes of the various kinds as you do.

      • Laura says:

        Great advice, I think I will take those high priced services such as Sprint & save the 200.00-300.00 dollars spent monthly and add a Tracphone, place that mint right into savings since I hardly ever use all those minutes.

  • G.E. Miller says:

    @ BIFS – Depends on how many minutes you use, it’s hard to say.

  • lyn says:

    Hey…I got the Samsung Finesse phone from Tracfone and it has every bell and whistle you could ask for…bluetooth,3G, a large touch screen, high speed EVDO data connection and much much more. Added to their doube minutes for life plan I’m in cellphone heaven!

  • terry ann says:

    I use a tracfone and can say that it has really been a savings. I have everything that I to call and sms and no monthly contract that I have to pay

  • G.E. Miller says:

    @ Lyn – are you on the $45/mo. unlimited plan?

  • Clean Credit says:

    Sounds like a good thing to look into. First stop is their coverage map to see if they are in my neck of the woods. I don’t use my phone that much, so it could work. Thanks Lyn for your comment or I might not be interested.

  • ed.ross says:

    Great article and comparison between 2 of the best prepaid options out there. I think you really nailed it, if you’re a mid-level user look to Net10 and if you use very few minutes and texts, look to Tracfone. I knew they were linked somehow but didnt know they were owned by the same company. Either way, I’ve got a Net10 phone, I like the clarity in pricing and find its the cheapest for the amount I use it. Great service and good value. Thanks again for the review.

  • Allie says:

    I think that Tracfone is a greta option and so is Net10. Both of those prepaid carriers, without a doubt, are the best ones out there. I have a Net10 cell phone, and I am saving so much money! My daughter has a Tracfone phone, and she is also saving loads of money. I can’t tell of my daughter’s experience with the Tracfone because she lives across the country, but Net10 for me is definitely amazing. Great nationwide coverage and great rates. I recommend either of these companies to everyone.

  • Henry says:

    First a note that net10 texting is down to 2.5 or essentially 3 cents like tracfone. I have net10 and done the math and it works better for me but ive heard great stuff about tracfone as well. What makes the difference for me is the price of minutes, i use enough minutes where the flat rate of 10 cents beats out all the 60 minute aircards i would need. But thats just how it works out for me.

  • Kelly says:

    I have Net10 and suggest it to all of my friends. It’s so great and so cheap.

  • Mike Kohl says:

    I bought a $10 Tracphone with double minutes. The coverage is awesome and the value is unbeatable. I’m not a big talker but you got to have a phone so I like it.

  • Ron Ablang says:

    To G.E. or anyone else. I would like to hear more about how you combine Net10 and OOMA to get more out of each other or just more out of Net10?

    • G.E. Miller says:

      @ Ron – my goal in combining the two and doing away with an expensive Verizon plan was to drastically cut my overall phone expenses. I use the Ooma to make calls from home, and Net10 when I’m on the road. I was probably using 500 minutes/month before the switch. Now I use about 100. And my cost is half what it use to be for two phones (if I had just one phone, the savings would be proportionately bigger). Plus I have a very clear and reliable home phone service vs. no service before.

  • Gabbing Gabby says:

    Excellent Tracfone review! I’ve used this service for about a year and a half and still remain a happy and devoted customer. The coverage is wonderful and the savings each month really help our budget. It’s the perfect plan for our family and going prepaid has made a great difference šŸ™‚ The best part is… NO MORE CELL PHONE BILLS!

  • Les Beans says:

    Trackphone may hay have a cheap reputation… because it IS cheap but I have one an really like it. I use mine as a second phone for business. I work mainly in a city with a differnt area code then my home so I have it with that area code. It’s a great cheap second phone amnd it costs me almost nothing to use. I really like Tracphone and like saving money even more!

  • RunRonRun says:

    I won’t disagree about the customer service being out of this world, but i must say, the fact that the plans Tracfone offers are so cheap, make me gladly look the other way. The phones are pretty standard, nothing special, but they are reliable phones and they never drop calls (so far, so lets knock on wood). The minutes are cheap too. I buy them whenever I need to re-up the phone so my spending is a bit sporadic. It really depends on the month and how much I am yapping. I know I am saving money though, which is big for my limited budget. At least I know that I am using what I am paying for and not losing minutes that I don’t use. That always bugged me about my previous plan.

  • Henry says:

    I love TracFone. I have been using it for the past year. I only use the 60 minute 19.99 and it lasts me for about a month.

  • Martin Stein says:

    I went with Tracfone and have no regrets. I haven’t had a problem with service, activation, or usage so luckily I can avoid any apparent customer service mishaps there may or may NOT be. I am in no need for a smartphone so the available stock of phones provide me everything I need. I only talk/text and perhaps occasionally browse the web, and rates are really cheap for text/web. Like the article says, my unused minutes just rollover but its the beauty of PRE-paying that really gives me a sense of satisfaction. Good stuff Tracfone.

  • Lee Nonme says:

    Horst, I think straight talk might be right for you but not for everyone. I use my phone very little and just need to be reached by my family. Tracfone is the best solution for me. Here’s mm video on Tracfone. It’s the best!

  • JohnQ says:

    It is so awesome that you can get 90 days of service for only $6.67 per month! I to am a very conservative minute spender so Tracfone is the company for me, I also love the verizon network for reliability purposes. Another great thing about tracfone is the cheaper texting rate of $0.3 a text. I cant pass up such a good deal because I love saving money!

  • trainergirl says:

    So glad I made the switch to Tracfone. Let’s start with your downsides, as far as customer service, how is this different than dealing with the major carriers. And, for selection of phones, I don’t know about you, but my family goes through phones rather quickly, so this really is not a problem. Now, on to the good things…for me the best is no more contract! I pick the minutes I want each month and as long as I keep the service active I can roll them over. No hidden charges or surprises at the end of the month….because no contract! Did I mention, no contract!

  • Pretty Penelope says:

    Really great review. Switching to the Tracfone service has been such a wonderful decision. The savings are incredible and the phones are high quality brand-name. My whole family adores it and it actually has made a big difference in our budget while struggling with this economy. Going prepaid is definitely a smart choice, and giving Tracfone a shot is even better. I definitely reccommend it šŸ™‚

  • Chatty KATchynyc says:

    Oh yeah great review. I personally found myself gtting them for my kiyds back to school. They always have specials. They have a special now at family dollar that is like a tracfone bundle.Its eight dollars and it includes a car charger, phone case, headset, and phone. My kiddies don’t need anything more and they are saving .. or well I am saving ! haha

  • Janice says:

    I’m not much of a talker or a techy, so the simple Tracfone that I have fits my needs perfectly. I have a reliable phone that costs under $10 a month. Works for me šŸ™‚

  • Robert says:

    You forgot to mention the best part of Tracfone’s billing system, Promo Codes. I only buy 60 minute cards and there is a website that always has codes posted that give me 30 bonus minutes with a 60 minute card. My phone is also Double Minutes For Life so I get 60 regular minutes, 60 DMFL minutes, and 30 promo minutes that add up to 150 minutes total. That comes out to $6.67 for 50 minutes a month, awesome.

  • Will Powter says:

    I really like the no-contract thing and no bills, too. I can’t believe how cool it is to NEVER get charged extra for crazy stuff like I used to with Sprint.

    Man, I really appreciate tracefone and love the value of the great service. Yes!!

  • poppy says:

    Tracfone is a wonderful way to stay in communication. It is cheap reliable and the service is great. I hihgly recommend it instead of a contract which can cost a fortune

  • StevBlad says:

    I agree with the sentiment that tracfone offers the most affordable plans. Especially for a family of six. Every other prepaid service provide seems to be focusing their marketing, and their turnover generation on selling unlimited packages, for high usage, and consumption. This approach sort of isolates the budget orientated parent. Tracfone is the only company doing this for me at the moment.

  • Birdgirl says:

    I always buy the 60 minute Tracfone card and get a promo code for another 30 minutes. With double minutes it really comes out to be a value. Since I go laid off I have to be extra budget conscious and Tracfone allows me to do that.

  • Jeannie Meaney says:

    TracFone is quite down-market and laughed at by cool people but you can’t beat the savings. They’re easy to use and cheap too, so they’re perfect for seniors.

    Very good idea!

  • DolphinFTW says:

    Im thinking of buying my Grandma a Tracfone SVC so she will have it for emergencies. I am a student on a budget so it is great that Tracfone is so inexpensive. You cant really put a price on the safety of your loved ones.

  • rufus says:

    I bought a tracfone for my mother who is in her late seventies. She doesn’t use her phone a lot and really only wants it for emergencies. Tracfone has been ideal for her as she is not locked into any contract and the phone is simple and easy to use

  • BIFS says:

    Tracfone is a wonderful way to stay in communication.

  • Malcolm M says:

    Tracfone is good for me. I am happy that i have a tracfone this thanksgiving so that i can stay in contact with the one’s i love. Getting laid off from my job i thought there was going to be no way for me to afford communicating with my family as they live far from me. Thanks Tracfone!

  • Damian says:

    great review! thank you. I also switched to Net 10 to save money, my cellphone bill was killing me, and after getting rid of cable I had to switch. Cutting expenses was the only way. Net10 probed to be reliable and very affordable and then a month ago… $50 for unlimited nationwide voice, text and web.
    You can’t beat that!

  • Juliette says:

    My mom has Net 10 and she loves the $50 unlimited, who wouldn/t? But I’m 15 and I dont need that much. Now finally mom agreed to get me phone, so I think I will go for tracfone, all the comments and reviews I see are really good. Plus tomorrow for Black Friday Walmart will be having a great sale! I can’t believe I’m finally getting my Tracfone!

  • says:

    I know that with tracfone I can budget effectively. With contracts you end up paying for all those little extras and also for calls that you don’t even use. With Tracfone depending what my budget is for the month I can plan my cellphone costs and not have to worry about any contract fees. Tracfone has definitely been a moneysaver for me.

  • E. Smith says:

    Something I’d like to share is how great Tracfone’s SVC is for us older generation. For some reason, it’s something I haven’t seen much mention of, but I think it’s really nice that some attention is being given to us oldies! I should add that up until recently, when my daughter pushed this on me, I really didn’t have much of an affinity towards a cell phone. I have however come to appreciate why there could be a need for them after loosing my car in a car park and missing a tea date with friends.
    This Senior Value plan has such a user friendly phone, which has dispelled my fear of cell phones. Not only is the menu easy to follow, but the text is actually of readable size! And as far as the pricing goes, I pay as little as $7 a month, which is so little for this back up option. Friends speak to me about confusing bills and extras they are being charged for, and it is quite a relief not having to worry about those things. And best of all, my daughter is no longer fretting about me or nagging me to get a phone!

  • romany says:

    I am one of those daughters who frets about her folks. My mom does have a cellphone but it is far too complicated and tiny for her to use. After reading E.Smith’s review it has definitely made me decide to get my folks a new tracfone that they will be able to use – Thank you

  • BustaMo says:

    I can see why people might be hesitant about prepaid phones. As far as prepaid goes, I think TracFone is a great choice – not to mention a great moneysaver. I was tried of contracts and too expensive phones so it was nice to lower my bill, avoid a contract, and purchase a new phone for under $60. For me, maintaining a budget so I’m ready for the holidays is a big plus.

  • KHATZ says:

    For me its great because tracfone has a great family plan.. Kids are always on the phone, either texting or talking. Tracfone’s family bundleis a good way to teach them to be responsible. If they know they get so many minutes a month, you’d be surprised at how quickly the learn the art of budget and control. It is low cost to get and low cost to maintain, all with no contract obligations and great nationwide coverage!!

  • Tori says:

    Tracfone is currently the only real provider of wireless that sells small plans. This help me a lot, as having to top-up more often is a deterrent in it’s own right. And that’s how I save money. I don’t believe in saving cause you buy massive amounts of minutes for cheap, cause you just end up using more anyway – and that’s no way forward for a conscientious user.

  • johnston12345 says:

    I am currently on at&T and was thinking about switching over to their prepaid gophone options… but from everything I’ve been reading on the internet.. it has made it VERY clear to me that there prices are MUCH MORE than other prices. I’ve read net10 is great but I was thinking that Tracfone phones would be better for me. THe phones are great and I got mine at 15 dollars and I pay at most 30 dollars a month. Have you heard good things as well?

  • Funkey Frank says:

    I didn’t want a cellphone but Tracfone is a Godsend; cheap to buy, easy to use and cheap to use. Love it! Great value for the money.

  • AshS says:

    So my mom sees a certain amount of status attached to her phone, and even when she’s battling to keep up with the payments (for something she doesn’t use much)and make head or tail of her bill, she has been insistent on sticking with her contract provider. Not so long ago, one of her grand-kids decided her phone would make a wonderful bath toy! This was my moment to get in there and get her something cheaper and less of a challenge. I got her Tracfone’s SVC-a sturdy flip phone with external icons to let you know about missed calls and messages, without having to go into the menu. It’s got large font, menu navigation is really user friendly and has emergency location assist.
    Well you may wonder how she feels about it, seeing as though she’s the one who now uses it. She loves the fact that she doesn’t have to deal with a bill anymore, and can’t stop telling me about how much cheaper it is for her-under $10 a month. Nice that Tracfone has an option to keep the senior citizens happy too!

  • desmond251 says:

    Great review and amazing comments. One of the best things about tracfone is the bundles and the promotions they always have for the air cards on their website. I think being a Tracfone customer not only gives you teh freedom of no contract but also saves you lots of money everymonth because you only pay for what you use.

  • pdonaldson789 says:

    Love tracfone! had nothing but good experiences so far because it’s saved me about half of my monthly phone bill per month which is very crucial because I’m in school and don’t have money to spend frivolously. The fact that I pay around 30 bucks a month for the same amount of minutes as Verizon is really great!

  • BlairHH says:

    You know I met someone in the laundry room who was commenting on my blackberry. And was like do you like this? and i said uhh i mean its ok i guess drop signal a lot. and I asked what he used. AND he was like oh a tracfone. After explanation and him ranting and raving I decided to come online and search it out. And i mean this phone just seems perfect for me. Are there any smart phone type phones for tracfone??

  • TamPat says:

    Hey Blair,
    If you’re looking for a cheap way to use some smartphones, I’d suggest looking at Straight Talk. It’s pretty much the same thing, but they have some better phones to use. The pricing is still amazing. 45 bucks for everything! It still has no contract or hassles. You should def check that service out too!

    • DShuster says:

      I agree with you TamPat, the $45 unlimited with Straight Talk is the best choice, especially if you have a smartphone and want to take out all its juice, get apps and download music, share pics and email. I have a Straight Talk and because I work in sales, Straight Talk really does it for me, unlimited service for $45 a month with no contract, awesome!

  • desTravis says:

    This is a very complete review, with the highlights and all the important points to have into consideration when buying a prepaid phone, great points! thanks! I finally got me a prepaid at wallmart, I went for a Straight Talk because they have a lot of models and some smartphones, and the best part is their $45 a month unlimited plan with no contracts, you can get unlimited web text and voice for a low monthly price. Awesome

  • DShuster says:

    Amazig review, I have to agree with desTravis, really I does not get any better than Straight Talk, I got a smart phone and for only $45 a month I get unlimited service, it’s great, I can download music, apps and email, It’s a great tool because I work in sales and this is the best value in the market, I’m really happy I switched.

    • JuniorK says:

      I love the fact that one company can offer net10, straighttalk, and Tracfone. I feel like they supply products to all kinds of costumer despite how the economy is doing or how poor people are doing at the moment. For example i use Tracfone and all i pay is $30/month and i have no contract and the service is pretty good.

  • ParkerLove says:

    Tracfone works just great for me. I have total control over my monthly bills, never spending more than I had planned to, I’ve never had a problem purchasing minutes or loading them onto my phone and coverage has been perfect with no dropped calls. All round, I’m a happy customer!

  • Jennifer says:

    I completely agree with ParkerLove. My parents got me a brand new TracFone as part of my going away presents and I had not had one single problem with it! Now while Iā€™m away at college I can keep in touch with my parents without worrying about pricey bills. Their $45 a month unlimited talk, text and data is incredibly affordable and reliable with the Verizon network.

  • richardsnide5 says:

    Love tracfone! It’s not fancy and it doesn’t have smartphones or 3G speed but it’s got the basics for as cheap as they can possibly come. I use them for my kids, it’s the only way I can keep track of their minutes and not pay an arm and a leg in overages.

  • max337 says:

    Love the fact that the time not used roll over. I only buy 60 minute cards that automatically doubled to 120, so I have over 900 minutes and only pay about $20 bucks every 3 months.

  • Chelsea says:

    Tracfone is the way to go in my opinion. It is the most affordable and has great coverage. I think that its not for eveyone though, you gotta check ur bill but its most likely the best option for you too.

  • c47charlie says:

    Tracfone is the only way that I can stay on top of my kids’ cell phone usage and also keep the cost down. It’s not for everyone but if you’re dealing with low-frequency users and you don’t want terrible service just because you don’t unload tons of cash on cell phones every month, then it’s right for you.

  • Kurt says:

    I’ve been using Tracfone for 6 or more years now and I love it. I wish I had looked into Tracfone sooner. I am not a heavy cellphone user, so Tracfone works great for me. I was previously a Verizon Wireless subscriber, but it began bothering me when I looked at my monthly bill compared to how often I actually used my cellphone.

    However, both Tracfone and Net10 are now coming out with entry-level smartphones, e.g. LG 800G, so I’m now wondering if Net10 might be a better value especially if the Mobile Web feature works out to be a good feature on the new smartphones. I would definitely eat up time if the Mobile Web feature works well.

  • Jennifer Ritz says:

    i think the value of the tracfone is by far the best thing out there. Times have been touch for my family and I just hate that I had to leave my iphone. I do … i admit i miss it. But a cellphone was one thing I couldnt get rid of. And the best thing for was to get a prepaid phone. I like the tracfones. Im intersted in the samsungt301G but i dont know much about a few things. Does anyone know anything about the international calling? my mother lives in england and i still want to be able to call her.

    • Shannon Russell says:

      If your mom is on a land line phone, not a cell phone, you can probably still call her on a Tracfone. I think it uses units/minutes faster, but it’s do-able. Tracfone doesn’t have cell to cell working in most countries. I made one short call to England last year.

  • Willie Sutton says:

    TracFone now has a qwerty phone and a touch screen phone. I saw them on their website, so now they have modern phones along with their prepaid service

  • Benny Hannah says:

    Interesting post. I think with Tracfone’s doubling minutes, promo codes and no-contract service, coupled with solid coverage. it’s a very solid and competitive service , especially for those who don’t use their phone alot.

  • Marc Whist says:

    I’ve seen a couple of mentions of Tracfones SVC service. It’s not for everyone. If your looking for a o more modern phone then this will disappoint. No qwerty keypad, for example and the web browsing is rudimentary. But if your seeking simplicity and low cost, this is a very viable option.

  • Boo says:

    I’ve had a trac phone now for about 8 months.
    It provides double minutes for life of the phone.
    The clarity is better than I had with Alltel.
    I rarely get dropped calls unless the caller or myself
    are in a very rural or mountainous location where
    there are few cell towers.
    I like the small size of the phone.
    It is easy to operate.
    Photos it takes are acceptable quality for phone photos, but I rarely use it to take photos.
    I rarely text on it, occasionally receive a text but it works for me.
    The website takes a little getting to understand how to maneuver.
    However, it is easy to buy more minutes for your phone online, using a credit card (not debit), and the minutes show up instantly on your phone.
    The phone came with a coupon book for 2 years worth of discount codes.
    The website also has coupon codes you can use when buying minutes.
    When I was with Alltel, I had a Samsung Eternity phone with all the bells and whistles, but found I didn’t really need them.
    The reason I bought a trac phone is because my only option was to go with AT&T or Verizon. I hate AT&T and the three Verizon stores I visited nearby were all unimpressive and their rates were too high.
    This phone charges up really fast – faster than the Samsung.
    What I do that is saving me a lot of money is that I make free long distance calls within the U.S. using my gmail account phone service.
    Gmail has extended this free calling plan another year so it is saving me lots of money when I make hour-long calls to relatives, etc.
    I highly recommend Trac Phone, the fact that you can quickly add minutes online, that the phone is cheap & has double minutes for life of the phone, and that it charges quickly.
    I highly recommend the gmail phone option too.

  • AnnaBanana says:

    We are “snowbirds” and thought we loved our trac fone last year. saddly, this year, I am having trouble calling Canada. I do the 1800 number..then 1 for english then 1, the city code,and the 7 digit number. Then it goes no where. It might take 7,8 or more tries before it will make the connection properly. The people I call say it rings at there end, with only a muffled noise when they answer, and I hear nothing at my end…just dead air, so eventually I hang up (but I am charged the time). Is it me or my phone? Would we be better off if we purchased one of the more expensive trac fones (we don’t need all the bells and whistles)? I seem to have good tower connection. HELP!

  • gina says:

    My brother lives in Canada – (Vancouver). I have no trouble in getting hold of him. I have the LG500 phone. From what I have heard Tracfone is available in at least 40 countries. Hope you have sorted out your problem and if not and you think it might be your phone then I would recommend the LG500g. Plus this phone came with double minutes for life. This has been a valuable assett to me (which didn’t cost a lot at all)

  • Never again! says:

    I have had a TracFone for years and have used it minimally so it had 2800 minutes on it when I got a new one. I tried to transfer them, even spoke to a “supervisor” who assured me they all transferred, but all I have is 1300! Not a great deal if you lose more than half the minutes when you replace the phone. I have always had difficulty with adding minutes and airtime and have had to deal with customer service many, many times. If I had known the minutes wouldn’t transfer, I would not have, and WILL NOT EVER, get another TracFone!

  • Patrick says:

    I have been with Tracfone and Net10 and Virginmobile. I have also used pageplus cellular. I am currently going back to a tracfone that has triple minutes for life. I text more than I talk, but for me, the $19.99 for 90 servuice days has sold me, but the lg900g is really my favorite phone but the bottom line is cost so I am going to stick with Tracfone. I was using a Virginmobile android and finally came to my senses. I really don’t “Need” to have an android phone and the Monthly cost asscociated with it. I also have Ooma, That is a very good deal. Great website George, Keep up the great Work!

  • Patrick says:

    I know I just posted to this discussion yesterday but I did a little figuring and for me, I am going to remain with Pagepplus cellular for the next year. One year of Service days and 2000 minutes will cost me $80.00 And I am using a phone that I used when I was with Verizon, You can use those with pageplus. Ironically, Pageplus uses Verizon’s prepaid towers. As for the coverage, it is very good, though in my house, Tracfone actually works better. But pageplus breaks down to something like $6.66-1/2 cents a month, and I broke it down to it being 166 minutes, give or take, a month. Of course I can use more if I want but I think that might work for me. Next year at this time I will know exactly as I am going to keep track.

  • Patrick says:

    An update, My wife and I both went back to Net10….I did the math. Cheaper with net10 for what we will use. My wife and I both reactivated our LG900G phones and right now, net10 is selling refurbished LG900g’s on their website for $9.99!! They come with the warranty too.

  • Name says:

    A wifi capable Tracfone with triple minutes is freedom at its best.

  • Rasmussinsmoonshadow says:

    I have had my LG900G phone for at least 2 years and recently I dropped it in my dishwater. I quickly put it in a bag of rice. The phone part still works perfectly but the camera now looks quite psychedelic!
    So, I ordered a refurbished LG900G phone from Net10. It was only $9.99. It looks perfectly new. It came with a home charger and it has a 1 year warranty. You can’t beat that!
    I use the $25 a month for 750 minutes. Perfect for my needs for texting & talking.
    Great service. It has NEVER dropped a call and there hasn’t been a single place or state that I haven’t been able to use it in. Why on earth would someone pay those exorbitant fees for a cell phone with all the big companies.
    BTW….cell phone usage while driving should be like Garmin GPS rules. My Garmin won’t even let me put in a new destination unless the car isn’t moving.
    100% Positive feedback on my little Net10 LG900G phone.

  • Patrick says:

    Hi George,

    Thanks for a Great Website and offering such great advice! As I have posted before, I Agree, Tracfone is the way to go. I ordered a LG840G tracfone from HSN and got 1200 minutes and $365 days of Service for $69.95. I did the math and it sits somewhere around $5.82 a month for cellphone service with that purchase. I too used to be with Verizon and I think I have come to my Senses, why get a large bill every month when I could be putting money in the bank? I take what I was paying Verizon and do just that…Put it in the bank!

  • chet V. says:

    I purchased an airtime refill card and called trackfone to activate the card. Trackfone put the minutes on some strangers phone and told me the only thing they could do for me was to sell me another card if I wanted to put minutes on my phone! Their mistake was my problem! Rude inept customer service! I smashed my phone and will never do business with this group of scam artists again! Their are legitimate phone providers out there; Trackfone is not one of them! They take your money and provide nothing! BEWARE!!!!

  • Glenn Wooden says:

    I’ve been watching trakfone ads on tv and noticed that 90 day cards cost $20. Four 90 day cards is nearly a year and cost $80. A one year card costs $99.99 Why $20 more for only 5 days?

  • Patrick says:

    My Wife and I are going back to tracfone after a long abscence from it. They have beter phones now to choose from now, maybe not Thee greatest but ones that will suit our needs just fine. Great website george!

  • ann says:

    I live in a DC suburb in Maryland and my tracfone coverage sucks. There are two places in must go to every week and I get NO reception at either place. I have to drive down the road about a mile from each facility. Do you know if they are expanding to a 4G network? If not, I’m gonna have to move on to something else.

    • G.E. Miller says:

      They don’t own their own network – they lease off of ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. So depending on your phone and location, you are basically saying that ATT or Verizon, etc. coverage sucks. You could try a different type of phone (CDMA vs. GSM).

      Or, you could simply have a bad phone.

  • Terry Lyle says:

    This update comes at a great time for me and my wife. We are now retired, have had iphones (mostly because I am Apple obsessed)for some time. We seldom use the phones. We probably have thousands of roll-over minutes. Being retired we’re looking to retain our wealth by getting rid of the frivolous things we that we spend money on. I’ve been looking around at the options. Consumer Cellular seems like a contender. We’re considering Tracfone more closey especially since reading this review. Can you recommend a phone to choose for Tracphone? We need just calling and texting for the most part. Some of the extras would be nice but much more than we need. Looking for low cost but effective.

    (I need to comment on your mission of being finacially independent. My wife and I are retired now at 62 years of age. We would have been retired much sooner if we knew, way back when, the things you are teaching. We were lucky, had good jobs and found an advisor about 10 years ago who brought us into the idea of “financial independence”. With her advice we almost tripled our assets in the years since, just by becoming aware of what we were willing to do for money and where we put that money after we got it. You are doing a great work that everyone needs to learn when they are young!)

  • otreboR says:

    I’m using both Tracfone and TotalWireless, another new Tracfone company. I used Straighttalk for about 7 years and the buttons started falling off my reliable flip phone, which I intended to replace.

    I used the $30 plan on str8 talk. 1000 min, 1000 texts, and 20meg of data per 30day period. The web browser was minimal, and a few times I ran out of talk minutes – maybe 5x in 7 years, most of them being the last few days. Sometimes I just waited out, others I purchased a new card. Very Happy.

    When I went to purchase a new phone, I decided to try the new TotalWireless – $25 a month(30days, actually) unlimited talk and text but no data. I got the $40 android, which I can use at hotspots like McDonalds for my web browsing on the Android. For $35 a month, I get the same talk/text, but also get 2.5gb of data.

    Totalwireless also sells extra 1.5gb data cards that don’t run out until the data runs out. Data is taken from your monthly data plan before it comes from the “xtra” card. So I switched from the $35 plan with data to the $25 plan without data, thinking the 1.5 gb “extra” could be used (I only use about 0.6gb a month). Wrong! No $35 plan, no data access, but the 1.5gb extra credit remains attached to the account as long as the phone stays active.

    I don’t like the android as a phone. It’s a GREAT miniature computer trying to be a phone, but awkward to hold, to dial with, to hold to my ear. I’m probably going back to a flip phone.

    Meanwhile ….
    I have a programming business. I spend very little time in the office, I’m usually at client locations. I converted my business Verizon land line over to a tracfone. In this area, some tracfones are on AT&T, others are Verizon. My office phone is on AT&T which allow you to forward any voice messages to another phone immediately. So I leave my business phone in the office (I kept my business phone#, transferring it to the tracfone) and immediately return calls after I hear the voicemail on my personal phone that’s with me at all times.

    My business phone went from $75/mo landline to $7/month!

  • otreboR says:

    I’m changing subjects here a bit.

    Years ago, I bought MagicJack but never used it much as quality of service was not that good, especially if I was going to use it for business. I have service thru 2018.

    Well, MagicJack has just come out with Apple & Android apps called “MagicApp”, allowing one to call and text from their mobile devices. The service is free if you have a MJ account, and if not, it’s either $2/month or $15/year.

    If you’re not aware of it, you do not NEED to have active service on your android device to browse the web or use apps if you can connect to a wifi hotspot. So what’s that mean?

    I can go to Starbucks, McDonalds, etc. and make calls of reasonable quality service for practically free on a “no longer activated” Android.

    Maybe I’ll get a Tracfone Android and activate it, where I can call over the tracfone service when I’m not near a hotspot, yet save when I am.

  • otreboR says:

    A few more tips to keep yours costs down:

    forward your tracfone (/net10/straighttalk) number to your home # (or your work # during the day) and not be charged minutes when you answer on the land line (which I assume has unlimited incoming minutes):

    If u have Verizon service on your cellphone, dial
    #72 nnnnnnnnnn to forward (nnnnnnnnnn = 10 digit phone #)
    #73 to cancel forwarding

    If u have AT&T service on your cell, dial
    **004* nnnnnnnnnn # to forward
    ##004# to cancel forwarding

    if your phone is on, it will ring, but if you ignore it, the call eventually goes to the forwarded number. Answer it, and the minutes are coming off your balance.

    [a side note: when people say to me, “You’re cheap!”, I reply, “You say that like it’s something bad!”. My unwillingness to wizz away money allows me to take a lot of short vacations and still leave appropriate tips. I’d rather be “cheap” than foolish.]

  • Mike says:

    Nice honest review of Tracfone. I would agree with most everything. I’ve had Tracfone for many years; just now going to Republic Wireless which is very economical. We’ll see about clarity of calls at is uses Sprint’s network exclusively. Anyway, very good review.

  • James says:

    I’m not a heavy user and have had tracfone for years. The coverage is as good or better in many cases than any subscription service and the cost can’t be beat. Customer service is a little lacking although I’ve seen it improve over the years. I’ve never had an inquiry that wasn’t taken of although with some frustration at times.

    With Cricket now offering no contract unlimited service for heavy users on the cheap and Tracfone covering the infrequent user base on the chap I honestly don’t see why anyone would sign with a contract carrier at many times the cost.

  • Pattie says:

    We switched to Tracfone when I realized we were paying nearly $20 in taxes for two Verizon phones. Also, we just got back from vacation and had no problem finding service.

  • Debra says:

    I’ve been with AT&T for years and am happy with my plan and service. I work in a metal building and get 4G with ATT while co workers with Verizon get no coverage. However, I camp frequently and have found a few areas where I did not have service. Others around me with service were on Verizon towers. Not wanting to pick up another expensive contract I did my research and selected Tracfone to carry for those occasions. I picked a phone that uses Verizon towers and forward my ATT number to my Tracfone number. Not worried about data so much that I am about calls getting to me in case of a family emergency at home. It’s a perfectly cheap way to have cell phone coverage on CDMA and GSM towers.

  • Maureen says:

    Even for short chats this company is exploitative. Just get a Cricket phone for $25.00 a month and have unlimited service!

  • frank says:

    “I went with a borderline smartphone with a full touchscreen QWERTY keyboard and it is great for talking, texting, and occasional web over wifi.” Which phone did you go with?

  • jerry says:

    I have done saved hundreds with tracphone and rollover time all the other phone company’s are just taking your money,Just switch to tracphone and save daily I buy the biggest card and it triples ha it takes me nine months to use all that for 100 bucks …wow. used to be 125 a month with verizon.

  • Karen says:

    I’ve had Tracfone for about eight years, so I have a lot of experience with their system. I had Verizon before Tracfone, and agree with the author that Tracfone’s sound and lack of dropped calls are superior. As to avoiding the Android smartphones, I completely disagree because I’ve had such a good experience. Last year I got the LG Ultimate 2 Smartphone, and I have not been disappointed. It’s a high quality LG phone, works perfectly, and runs all the same Android apps that any normal smartphone would run. It appears to simply have a separate Tracphone software than runs on top of the Android software. The phone came with triple minutes for life, so when you buy minutes you get triple the call time, triple the MB and triple the texts. You can turn on WiFi calling via the website and save on minutes. On the website you can also buy additional data and texts separately from the call minutes. 1000 texts is $10; 2GB of text is $30, and they have smaller and larger data pkgs you can get. You can set the phone to use WiFi only for data, and you can easily turn direct data connection on and off. A feature about this LG phone I love is the pulldown available on all screens that lets you turn data, location, wifi, quiet mode, airplane, and other features on and off instantly. I don’t know of any other service where you can simply log in to the website and buy data if you need it, or more text messages. I’m a Mac user and even found Android Apps that synch my calendar with the one in the phone, so I’m all set. There’s a slot for a microSD card so you can load up your music. So that’s what my experience of the TracFone Smartphone has been. I have not used the Moto or any of the other phones, so I have no idea how they compare. The ONLY drawback of the LG phone that I found was that the default email program deletes your messages from your server if you have your own domain and use POP email boxes – which means when you get back to the office there’s no way to get those messages into your work computer unless you forward them all back to yourself. There are several mail apps you can purchase that treat POP mailboxes properly, and can be set to leave messages on the server. That’s it, folks! Best, Karen

  • Patrick Kleaver says:

    I’ve had Tracfone service for a few years now, and totally agree with G.E. Miller’s review. It is PERFECT for those of us who don’t spend every waking moment on their phone and who just need basic, cheap phone service. As to customer service, I have found that using the “Chat” feature on their website seems to result in much less confusion on both their and my end, and every time I used it any problem was resolved before the “Chat” session ended. Recently, I received a message indicating that Tracfone was (finally!) migrating from 2G to 3G service (a big upgrade for them!). To do so, I needed to upgrade to a new phone. While there are several models they offer that you can pay for, they offered a free one (the LG 441G) very comparable to my old model (Samsung T245G). I admit I approached the process of changing over with some trepidation, but between Janine and Salvador of Tracfone, any problems very quickly resolved and my new phone (with all the minutes transferred from my old one) is working great!


Enter your:

Home | Sitemap | Terms | Ā©