TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of America Movil, Mexico’s largest telecommunications company. The company functions as a mobile virtual network operator, holding agreements with different large network operators like Sprint and Verizon to provide nationwide service coverage for its customers. Established in 1996 as Topp Telecom in Miami, Florida, TracFone now has over 90,000 retail locations nationwide.

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The Good

  • No Contract
  • Airtime Flexibility 
  • International Calling

No Contract

TracFone is "America's #1 National No-Contract Wireless service provider." They offer no contract, bills, daily or monthly fees, with nationwide coverage on America's best and most dependable networks, like Sprint. TracFone is a pay-as-you-go wireless phone service, which means you can pay month-to-month or as needed. They have various customer service options offering live chat, email, and phone service, from 8 AM to 7 PM EST.

Airtime Flexibility 

TracFone products and services are easy to understand. Each prospective customer follows the same three steps prior to enrolling in the service:

  1. Choose a phone - customers need to purchase their phone up-front since there are no contract discounts or promotions to bind them to the service. The TracFone inventory offers a few different phones, including Android smartphones and iPhones.
  2. Activate - once you order your phone, customers simply need to follow the activation instructions found in the package. At this stage, customers will need to have an airtime card or service plan.
  3. Add airtime - to continue service, customers will continuously need to add "airtime" to ensure minutes, texts, and data are available. This can be done over the phone, online, or in one of the retail stores.

TracFone has unlimited carryover, which means your unused minutes, texts, and data never expire as long as your service is active and in use within each six month period.

The carrier also triples everything, which means that when you buy a 60-minute Airtime Card, you'll get 180 minutes, 180 Texts, and 180 MB of data at no extra charge.

International Calling

Some international service is included with every TracFone account. You can purchase a $10 global calling card to cover additional calls to Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Colombia.

The Bad

  • Expensive Minutes
  • Customer Service Concerns

Expensive Minutes

Pricing is something that has also caused concern amongst the TracFone consumer base despite the overall affordability of the business model. The minutes are pretty expensive, and because you have to purchase them upfront, you may end up spending a lot more on minutes than you would on another unlimited plan. The tradeoff is that minutes carry over from month to month so if you buy more than you need, you can use them next month.

Customer Service Concerns

Despite having several customer service options like live chat, text message, email, and phone availability to address a problem or complaint, many PureTalk reviews describe challenges understanding customer service reps or getting the help they need.

The Bottom Line

TracFone is a good option for prepaid phone service, but customers should be aware that minutes tend to add up and are quite expensive to buy in bulk and there are no unlimited data or unlimited texts plans. Read customer reviews for more details about the customer experience and compare TracFone's service plans to determine if it's a good service provider for your needs.

TracFone customers can expect the following:

  • No contracts
  • Custom talk and text amounts
  • No unlimited data options
  • Limited device selection
  • Prepaid plans
  • No hidden fees
  • GSM network coverage
  • Unlimited carryover
  • Pay for phone up-front
  • Some international coverage

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User Reviews

Star Rating

3.9
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115 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
8%

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Richard Baker

July 31st, 2020 Las Cruces, NM DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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long time customer best service for the money. strongly recommend. all is well in our home

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Amanda Malega

July 29th, 2020 Oklahoma City, OK DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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If you are needing an emergency phone for your kids or an elderly person this is a good deal. The service is not bad either.

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NG

July 29th, 2020 ,

Service is really poor, I mostly had to go outside to have the call connect. Sometimes I had to go into the street. Giving 2 stars, not 1 since usually once I got the call connected it wouldn't drop. Also, during COVID they were more stable then other carries (I'd guess since they are the least overloaded).

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Tina Taylor

July 26th, 2020 Ebensburg, PA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Tracfone is the only cell phone brand that I have had, I am on my 4th one. Also, my sons and husband have them. You can't beat the value. It also takes great pics. There is no need to spend a fortune on a phone. I am able to get service in many places that people with expensive phones can't get. The speaker quit on my son's phone, they had a new one in the mail to him in a week.

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Bob Benzing

July 24th, 2020 Diamondhead, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I pay a single price for a year of time on my phone and days which is very reasonable for people who use the phone for emergency's or on a trip by car. It figures out to about $6 a month. Can't beat the price !

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PJWILEY

July 22nd, 2020 Austin, AR DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I live in a very rural area where cell service is very difficult. TracFone comes through.

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ROCKY WENDROCK

July 17th, 2020 San Antonio, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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For my purposes being retired I do not need a busy phone any more. I pay for a year and just use it when I leave the house. At home I have a land line so it suits my needs.

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Timmy K

July 14th, 2020 Cushing, WI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great customer service from set-up through 3 years of service now. Always there to help and assist with ALL aspects of the phone.

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Adam Jensen

May 22nd, 2020 Moreno Valley, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Not the greatest customer service. Somewhat difficult to change phones and it seemed like there was always an issue with my account.

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Andrew

May 18th, 2020 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love the payment plans and how easy they are to use

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Sunny

May 18th, 2020 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Reliable service, cost effective, have used Tracfone for 20 years with very few issues.

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Evelyn Muegge

May 12th, 2020 Norfolk, NE DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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inexpensive and reliable and available all over

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Anonymous

May 12th, 2020 De Land, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Low cost user friendly and international calliing

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Natalie Brown

April 4th, 2020 Boulder, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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TracFone was alright. They were cheap which was a major plus but that was about it. The phones are made cheap and it shows. I went through two phones in a year because of how cheaply they are made.

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Leonard Elbon

March 30th, 2020 Magnolia, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great company, great concept- buy what you use

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Azrienne

March 9th, 2020 Tallahassee, FL

extremely reliable company and my calls never drop!

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Hunter Brister

March 7th, 2020 Norcross, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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TracFones are cheap and reliable phones for people on a tight budget. I can personally say that the phones work very well.

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Msindoni

March 6th, 2020 Pembroke Pines, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My mom has been using TracFone for a while now because the prepaid plan works best for her lifestyle. It's simple to set up, and instead of buying more minutes I just buy her a new phone.

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Hownowbrowncow

March 5th, 2020 Hattiesburg, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great prepaid plans with decent coverage. Most people that I know that have tracfone get better service them most people in woody areas.

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Sparky 8 pez

February 26th, 2020 Rancho Cordova, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Tracfone gives me the best value for my money. Customer service could use a bit of improvement, but overall, I'm happy with the company.

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Sandra Douglas

February 9th, 2020 Evanston, WY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Love the easiness of purchasing minutes. Great phone for my mom while in the nursing home.

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Camille

February 8th, 2020 Lynnwood, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We use TracFone for our family phone so kids can call parents in emergency or for any need. Great affordability for this purpose!

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Katie evans

February 7th, 2020 Long Beach, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Not great but neither is the cost , a good choice for those on a budget and low data needs

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David T

February 5th, 2020 Draper, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I tried one of the prepaid phone plans, but if you talk on the phone at all, you use up the minutes so quickly and it makes more sense to just get unlimited so you don't have to worry about it.

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Lindsay

February 2nd, 2020 Norcross, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Service was okay but and it was good in an emergency. I just didn’t like buying minutes all the time. It would be good for someone who doesn’t use their phone a whole lot.

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Jesse Rice

January 28th, 2020 Biloxi, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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good for the price but doesn't work well where I live in the country. If it worked better I would love to use it again. In the city parts it works great.

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Paul R

January 27th, 2020 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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No issues works almost everywhere pricing very good

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Danielle Powell

January 26th, 2020 Long Beach, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Cheap phones and enjoyed the small plans. Was perfect to give younger kid who wanted phone but wasn't responsible enough for more expensive phone. Service was not great in rural areas

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SkylarPickens

January 15th, 2020 Houston, TX

A great first phone and service for my child! Helps make sure that she can contact me at anytime!

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John Kohlberg

January 15th, 2020 Long Beach, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Good for if you want a cheap phone until you get a better one. It's a phone and there is nothing more I can say. Its not terrible buts its not good. It has everything a usual phone would but the camera quality is a bit bad and its slower than the upper class phones

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skylar ladner

January 14th, 2020 Houston, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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i used this service for 5 years and the only thing i didn’t like about it was the fact that every month i had to make a call to pay for my service.

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Anita

January 13th, 2020 Long Beach, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I used this service when I was between cell phone companies. It's actually a great way to keep an emergency phone.

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Dayjah

January 10th, 2020 Fort Lauderdale, FL

Does exactly what it is suppose to do. Makes calls and everything. Th signal quality is good as well.

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Deanna Bernard

January 10th, 2020 Miami, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My go to phone when my regular one is out of service. Very reliable and can be used anywhere.

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Wislane Noel

January 10th, 2020 Tallahassee, FL

Used to use when I was little was super helpful!!! Those phones do the job and work good

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Richard Wilson

January 6th, 2020 McMechen, WV DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great customer service. Easy to check data and phone balanced.

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Claudina Moreau

January 4th, 2020 Fort Lauderdale, FL

When we used tracfone, we never had no issues and they were always steady phones that did what needed to be done.

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Jacob

December 30th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Although not that popular anymore, TracFone is great for international travel when you need a phone for communication but dont want to risk losing and breaking your smart phone.

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Ann Wilkins

December 2nd, 2019 Riverton, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I've been with Tracfone for over ten years now. The pros: you have the option of tailoring your plan to your usage needs, and not getting locked into an expensive plan. I can add minutes, texts, and data to my plan individually as needed. The cons: no easy way to track usage if I question their accounting of my remaining minutes/texts/data. Also, it's very possible to run out of texts and not know that I've run out until I'm frustrated with the lack of response in a conversation. Tracfone sends me no warning that I'm about to run out or that I have run out of texts, which can be a big problem.

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ANNA

November 11th, 2019 West Monroe, LA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Customer Service is the WORST! They take forever on Chat when u have problems and almost NEVER SOLVE them. Getting a LIVE PERSON is almost IMPOSSIBLE! Most recently, it did NOT give me the 1GB of Data included on my Unlimited Talk and Text Plan

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Brenda Mertes

November 9th, 2019 Houston, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Tracphone was my very first phone use. I recall being a teenager, excited to buy my first phone. The games for my generation were fun and relaxing. I never had any problems with the phone itself. It did exactly what it was intended to do: make call, text a little, and have a few games.

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Don

November 8th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Good company, fine customer service. They have an excellent website, and keep track of my used minutes. Yearly "stock-up" on minutes at a very reasonable price.

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Alice Dominick

November 4th, 2019 McComb, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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No contRact , minutes not used carry over

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Kacy Ickler

October 9th, 2019 Bend, OR DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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very Inexpensive. You Can control what you use.

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Peggy M

October 9th, 2019 Hiawassee, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I pay $20.00 every 3 months..always have service and I live rural Georgia

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Zac Marx

October 8th, 2019 Brighton, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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TracFone is actually pretty good for vacations and foreign country visits. Most commonly, it is easier for my grandparents to use because of its simplicity compared to a smart phone. I often take it with me on trips so nothing happens to my normal phone.

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Al Nance

September 24th, 2019 Wilmington, NC DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have used it for years and never had a problem. I like either using minute cards or a low monthly rate with no contract.

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Michael Fuss Jr

September 17th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Solid company, good service, suits my needs perfectly.

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Helen Macfarlane

September 17th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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On a few occasions, we have needed to use TracFone and have found the service reliable, user friendly, and high quality. Will use again!

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P Crawley

September 12th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My son needed a cheap phone for a short time so we bought a tracfone and it worked perfectly for what he needed. It was also very affordable.