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 to provide service for their customers, like Sprint and Verizon. They were established in 1996 as Topp Telecom in Miami, Florida. There are over 90,000 retail locations nationwide.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Contract Length
Our Score
#1
$60/3GB
None
6.7
#2
$15 - $50
month-2-month
6.2
#3
$9.99-$199.99
Optional
6.1

The Good

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.

TracFone makes their product and service easy to follow. Each prospective customer will follow the same three steps prior to enrolling in the service:

  1. Choose a phone – customers will need to purchase their phone up-front since there are no contracts to bind them to the service
  2. Activate – once you order your phone, customers will 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 their retail stores.

TracFone  promises that there will be no hidden fees, no-contract plans, and unlimited carryover (your unused minutes, texts, and data never expire as long as your service is active and in use within each six month period”). They also triple 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. They offer a wide variety of phones, including Android smartphones.

The Bad

TracFone currently is fighting a few legal battles due to some of their marketing campaigns. It was found that, “TracFone participated in deceptive acts or practices,” in an attempt to increase sales. The government actions were resolved with a “stipulated order for permanent injunction and monetary judgment.” TracFone also agreed to pay $40 million to the FTC to settle charges that it deceived millions of consumers with hollow promises of “unlimited” data service.

  • Expensive Minutes – Pricing is something that has also caused concern amongst the TracFone consumer base. 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.
  • Up-front Costs – Most carriers require a contract, but as part of the service, the phones are subsidized. With TracFone, customers have to purchase the phone outright which can be a little more expensive.

The Bottom Line

TracFone seems like a good option for a prepaid phone service, but customers need to be aware of the government actions against TracFone. Their minutes tend to add up, and are quite expensive to buy in bulk, though that may end up paying off in the long run. Because they have a lot of retail locations, as well as great customer service, they are easy to get a hold of. They also offer no-contract plans that are useful for many, and will end up costing less in the long run while providing the same level of service as other big brand service providers. All in all, prospective TracFone customers can expect the following:

  • No contracts
  • Limited device selection
  • Pre-paid service
  • No hidden fees
  • Unlimited Carryover
  • Pay for phone up-front

Price:

Individual Value Plans:

50 Value Plan – $9.99

125 Value Plan — $19.99

200 Value Plan – $29.99

 

Family Plans

50 Family Value Plan – $9.99

Additional Phones (40 minutes for each additional phone) — $5.99

 

Pay as you go minutes

One Year and Double Minutes (1500 Minutes) – $199.99

One Year and Double Minutes (1000 Minutes) — $159.99

One Year and Double Minutes (800 Minutes plus double minutes on future paid airtime) – $119.99)

One Year and Double Minutes (400 Minutes) — $99.99

One Year and Double Minutes (Double Minutes on all future paid airtime) — $19.99

 

Pay as you go (airtime cards)

450 minutes (90 service days) — $79.99

200 Minutes (90 Service Days) — $39.99

120 Minutes (90 Service Days) – $29.99

60 Minutes (90 Service Days) — $19.99

30 Minutes (90 Service Days) — $9.99

 

Special Cards

2 GB — $50

750 MB — $20.00

300 MB — $10.00

1000 texts – $10.00

 

Fees. Tracfone boasts no contracts, no overage fees, no activation fees, and no cancellation fees.

 

Additional Services Prices

Service Protection Plan –Protect your service by receiving a 30-day service extension if needed. You only pay $5.99 if you reach your Service End Date.

 

Contract Length—There are options for a one-year contract, a two-year contract, and month-to-month contracts as well. There are 90-day No-Contract Plans and you are able to switch anytime with no penalties.

 

Business started 1996

 

Company Selling Points Tracfone prides itself on no surprise fees, no-contract plans, unlimited carryover (“your unused minutes, texts, and data never expire as long as your service is active and in use within each six month period”), and triple 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.”

 

Phone Selection

They offer LG phones (smartphones and flip phones), and Android phones (Samsung, ZTE, Huawei, UNIMAX, moto e, Alcatel). You can also bring your 4G LTE phone to Tracfone, and can check the compatibility at the below website.

 

 

Ease of Use

Tracfone’s website is relatively easy to use, with the ability to add minutes to your plan online. They have an account management service on their website, with the ability to bill pay online (though everything is pre-paid, so there technically are no “bills” per say). Overall, the website is relatively easy to use, especially because they have a page dedicated to showing you hwo their service works, and how to sign up for their service, and is listed below.

 

http://www.tracfone.com/facelift/tour.jsp#a_how

 

Customer Support types (email, live chat, etc.) and quality

They have live chat, email, and phone customer service available. The wait for the live chat depended on the day, but for us, we ended up waiting about 6 minutes for someone to chat with us. Their centers are operated from 8 AM to midnight EST, 7 days a week, and you can also email them at the following website.

 

http://www.tracfone.com/contact.jsp?task=contact

 

 

Coverage

 

For coverage, Tracfone includes a coverage map on their website, that covers most of the US, minus more rural areas on the west coast. According to Prepaid.com, Tracfone covers 99% of the US, and uses GSM or CDMA as their primary technology. The major GSM carriers are AT&T and TMobile, while the major CDMA carriers are Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and MetroPCS. Tracfone relies on the Sprint network most often. 4G LTE is available based on the phone you choose.

 

https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CoverageMaps?app=TRACFONE&lang=en

 

 

Additional Features and services

 

Company contact information (Address, phone number, email)

9700 N.W. 112th Avenue

Miami, FL 33178

1-800-867-7183

Email using the form at this website: http://www.tracfone.com/contact.jsp?task=contact

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

X close
X close

No TracFone Reviews

1. Select Your Rating:

0=WORST 10=BEST

2. Subject For This Review*(Select all that apply)

0 characters

3. Review Validation*

or

There are currently no reviews .