A Review of TracFone Wireless Plans

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Last updated on June 5, 2019 Comments: 19

Cell phone plans don’t have to be expensive or complex. In our Tracfone review, we cover plans, smartphones, and costs of this low-cost cellphone option.

TracFone is an appealing option for many people looking to escape from the contracts of major mobile carriers.

TracFone stands out among all of the prepaid and budget carriers out there because it actually has coverage contracts with the four major wireless carriers in the country. What does this mean? It essentially means that TracFone customers get the coverage and reliability of major carriers without the high monthly rates or ironclad contracts.

Related: How to Find the Most Affordable Cell Phone Plans

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to TracFone’s plans and coverage tiers. The lowest plan possible costs $9.99. Prices are then offered in tiers that can go as high as $199. Here’s a look at what you’ll have to choose from:

  • Smartphone–only plans
  • Pay-as-you–go plans
  • Service add–ons

TracFone Smartphone Plans

Most plans offer customers the option to save between 5 percent and 10 percent when they sign up for TracFone Auto-Refill. Be sure to factor this in when doing a price comparison. Your discount can be set up during the checkout process once you’ve selected your plan.

Smartphone–Only Plans

TracFone currently offers seven coverage tiers to choose from when selecting a plan. Smartphone-only plans provide minutes, texts and data. These plans offer service periods of 365 days, 90 days, 60 days or 30 days. Here’s a look at the current plans available for smartphones through TracFone:


  • Plans marked with a * are eligible for a 5% discount when you auto enroll.

TracFone Pay As You Go Plans

TracFone currently offers eight pay-as-you-go plans. Pay-as-you-go plans include talk, text and web. These plans offer service periods of 30 days, 90 days or 365 days. This plan type works with both smartphones and non-smartphone models. Here’s a look at the pay-as-you-go plans available through TracFone:

  • Plans marked with a * are eligible for a 10% discount when you auto enroll.

I don’t own a smartphone, and I use my TracFone exclusively for when I’m on road trips, away from my family.  That only happens a couple of times a year, for a couple of days a year,so I try to keep my cell phone spending to a minimum.

Every three months, I auto enroll in the $19.99 plan for 180 minutes and 90 service days.  By auto enrolling, I get a 10% discount off the cost, so my annual cell phone cost is $71.96.  As I only use this phones a few days every quarter, I never run out of minutes and by renewing, I keep the same cell number.  For ~$6 a month, I think the service is more than worth it.

TracFone Service Add-ons

It’s okay if TrackFone’s plans don’t quite offer everything you’re looking for. The company provides add-on options that allow you to bulk up your plan and create a custom situation. All add-ons that are purchased will roll over and remain active for as long as service remains active. Here’s a look at the pricing for the extras you can add on to the plan you choose:

  • $10 for international calling
  • $10 for 1GB data
  • $5 for 1,000 texts

The more expensive plans with longer service periods tend to break down to be much cheaper per month than less expensive plans with shorter service periods. For instance, an annual plan that costs $125 works out to be just over $10 per month. The other big perk of going with an annual plan is that you won’t have to worry about renewing your service.

There’s no need to wait until the evening to make calls with a TracFone plan. All minutes, text and data can be used at any time. Anything that’s left over at the end of the period you’ve signed up for will carry over into the new service period if you choose to renew your plan.

What happens if you end up needing more talk time or data than what’s provided in the plan you’ve purchased? You always have the option to purchase additional cards and add more airtime to your plan. This can be a cost-effective, non-permanent option to cover the months that you have more activity.

TrackFone Q and A

Can You Bring Your Own Device?

  • TracFone allows customers to bring their own devices. You will first have to check to see if your phone is compatible. The next step is purchasing an activation kit and choosing the plan that you want. You will have the option to keep your current phone number or get a new one when you sign up for a TrackFone account. You do not have to use a smartphone to be able to use the company’s pay-as-you-go plans.

Does TracFone Sell Devices?

  • It’s not a problem if you don’t already have a compatible device or if you’re ready to upgrade to something new. TracFone sells a wide range of Android devices and iPhones. In addition, you can purchase a non-smartphone device from TracFone. Both new and refurbished devices are available. Customers receive free overnight shipping on most phone purchases. Certain phones available through TracFone come with double minutes and triple minutes. This is definitely a feature to look for when shopping through TracFone’s selection of devices.

Where Can TracFone Phones Be Used?

  • TracFone service will only work in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes Alaska and Hawaii. While service won’t work in Mexico, you can obtain a Mexican phone number through TracFone for the purpose of making calls at local rates. Cheap international calling is actually one of the biggest perks offered by TracFone. Customers can enjoy local calling rates to more than 100 destinations worldwide.

Can I text internationally?

TracFone doesn’t offer international text messaging. The biggest drawback of TracFone is that costs can add up very quickly if you’re not careful. Heavy phone users can become frustrated easily by the extra costs that are incurred.

Is TracFone a Good Cell Provider?

TracFone is a discount carrier that has been around since 1996. It stands out among similar options because of the strong network that it provides. TracFone actually uses the same towers as Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. The exact network your service runs on will depend on factors like the type of phone you’re using and your geographical location. You can technically choose the network you want if you bring over a compatible phone that is branded by that network.

TracFone is an ideal option for anyone who needs a plan for light to moderate monthly usage. The plans offered are extremely inexpensive once you break them down by month. The coverage provided by other pay-as-you-go carriers can barely come close to the dependable and clear service offered by TracFone. Unlike many discount carriers that offer spotty coverage, service is available virtually everywhere in the country with TracFone.

What is offered by TracFone is about as close as you can get to what’s offered by the major wireless carriers without actually making the commitment to sign a contract with one. Its versatile options and low per-month costs make TracFone a solid pick for anyone looking for an affordable and flexible wireless option.

Article comments

Janet Iezzi (Deborah) says:

Tracfone customer service is non existent. I was on the phone for hours trying to activate the phone and add automatic payments and I got the window treatment 4 times when I got discussed and hung up. When I tried again with a prepaid card it went through, but my name didn’t show up when I called someone. Someone else’s name came up. So back on the phone the said it would be fixed in 4 hours. Well it isn’t. I am now known as Deborah. I will never go through tracfone again.

Don says:

Tracfone sucks at playing Pandora in my car stereo. The songs always begin at 8 or 10 seconds; very frustrating.


I have a TracFone and use SafeLink service. I buy a monthly plan. I am outraged at how I am unable to receive MMS. I can send them but after purchasing new TracFone devices and constant trouble shooting, multiple factory resets, and hours of patiently waiting to be transferred (usually back in to the que), I am fed up with TracFone. I keep it for the SafeLink prices but it’s a real bummer not to be able to receive MMS. Another downfall is the fact that one MUST use data to send and receive multimedia messages. ??

Linda Clauson says:

I have boost mobile I pay 35 dollars a month I get unlimited talk and text and 6 gigs if data I love it I had trac phone years ago it was just too expensive for me in the long run.

Mona says:

I bought a plan for 30 days 2 gigs of data unlimited talk and text. I am afraid to use it as I have over 1 year of service and 9000 talk time. They told me it would not affect my minutes but I have lost minutes with Tracfone before and its is a hassle getting them back. Has anyone used this add on? If so did you gave minutes and service days that stayed on? They said they save them but when I lost minuets before they told me they didnt have access to my previous minutes. I saved a screen shot and always ask them to verify before I add or change phones.

Diane says:

How about someone helping me with my phone not connecting to the internet at home and work? I’m so tired of customer support that does not help me

Cyd Dole says:

I’ve been with them for 9 years and love it. Sure I’ve had a few trying times with customer service but all in all they handled my problems with ease. As for cell carrier, I’m on the Verizon network. So far I can’t complain.

David Null says:

I have never known a person who used Tracfone who did not come to HATE THE COMPANY. Like others I was cheated by Tracfone more than once. For exmple, I bought a not-inexpensive Tracfone from them. Tracfone then changed its technology snd I was compelled to buy ANOTHER Tracfone that was compatible. NO COMPENSATION for my useless CDMA phone and Tracfone would not even unlock rhe phone so I could use it elsewhere.

Elaine Nelson says:

I 2nd that entire message.

Zachariah Lloyd says:

I made the mistake of buying a new smartphone from Tracfone, and now I am stuck with them for the next 12 months….
This is infuriating because they have a very minimal network, that provides almost entirely useless features, most of which do not even work half of the time. Thye have a text option to get assistance, and account information, but it only responds about 1 out of every 3 – 4 times you try it. The My Acount application that is included with your new Tracfone device, is terrible, and frequently comes back with an error claiming to be taking longer than expected to respond, and please try later. This can be gotten around by shutting down the phone, and rebooting it, but this subtracts a HUGE amount of your data to do. MOre often than not, if you want something to function as advertised, you are FORCED to contact their so called ‘Support’ number, and struggle to understand the horribly broken English, from an agent, who will provide your needs, sometimes, but is a frustrating extra step for something that is advertised as quick and simple….
Their idea od Technical Support, is basically just a call center full of inept agents, who are most likely not able to provide the assistance requested, but cannot provide you a way to reach anybody who can help. So basically, a wasted call. Their Chat Support option, is even worse, on the off chance that it is even up and running, because all you ever get in chat is a number to call, which is the same useless call center idiots above….
Of all of the network providers in the cell phone game, Tracfone is the ONLY one that locks the actual phone device to their service, and not just the SIM card, making it near impossible to find a workaround, and move to a different carrier. All of this, on top of the fact that they offer NO unlimited data plans, like very other carrier does, makes Tracfone a horrible choice, regardless of money saved, STAY AWAY!!

Victor Morales says:

I am sorry to hear that but now you can visit a local Tracfone store in your neighborhood. We are now called Totalwireless store.

Tobyjoe says:

POS inarticulate CSRs good luck to the technically challenged

Judith Jermark says:

TracFone really has no “technical support” division. I have tried to communicate with them about a problem, but could not get anyone who spoke English well, or who I could begin to understand or hear. I am articulate and described my problem concisely. Then after telling them, “never mind, I give up”, I talked with a “Manager” in “Technical Support” who said”we have no ‘tools’ to help you. We only have a Smartphone like you. Go to a ‘Smartphone’ store in your city and tell them your problem.” Finally, I figured out the problem myself, and fixed it. It was easy and the first thing they should have addressed, but, of course, they didn’t. TracFone Customer Service is useless too. If a person has no expectations from a wireless carrier, TracFone is for you. But if a person does have problems, and everyone has problems at one time or another, expect nothing from TracFone.

Paul Boulay says:

I can no understand the people that answer the phone. !!!!!!!

Debs B says:

Tracfone has the absolute worst customer service I have ever experienced. I purchase my phones from the tv shopping networks which are nice phones with triple minutes and data and in all of the years I have been doing it I have never had as many issues as I have had just rencently and the fault lies with customer service. I went through hurricane Florence in September 2018 and during the storm had some issues with service and when I called I was on the phone with them for over 7 hours. Now I did not have any power and had to keep my car running to power up my battery. They had no empathy non of them and got me to their tech dept that they call their elevated dept with their tech experts. They dump my phones info twice and when that didn’t clear up the issue they had me change all of the settings and finally after over 8 hours with several different so called techs that I could not understand so the the last one who changed all of my settings was the most condesending and just absolutely rude and literally had me in tears. I had requested an upper level supervisor and was transferred to a call center in Columbia. I work for a call center and wouldn’t have a job if I treated a customer the way I was treated. After doing some research the supervisor old me because of the hurricane which was in the 3rd day the Verizon cell towers were jammed. I told him what the tech did to my phone and we changed all of the settings back where they belonged. Since then I have had so many issues with this phone. I have had my phone reported stolen twice because the rep didn’t like my attitude and my c.f. card that was on file was compromised by an employee that should have been fired as she had no right to authorize or use my card for anything. She used it to purchase something called safe link or get minutes I really don’t know. Finally after being on the phone all day a supposed supervisor again at their corporate office or call center in the Philippines said they were going to honor the warranty I have on the phone. This phone was 199.00 and I got it on sale through vac. All they want to do is dump your info on the phone and I do not want them to have it after what they did especially using my credit card without my permission. Just yesterday I received an empty box with a label to send my phone back and won’t send the new until they get the old one. I refuse to send the anything with my info and I was told to send the phone after receiving my new one. I am disabled and this is the only phone I have and would have to go without a phone while I wait another 10 days and they will have my info once again. There is no way to speak with someone in the Us. I have had the worst experience with this company that I have ever had with any company. These people treat you just horrible and they lie and use your info and steal from you and I am fed up and want to file a complaint. I was told to write a letter to the corp. office in Miami but they probably won’t read it. I try to make it a point to be very congenial and respectful to customer service reps as I know what life can be like working in that environment but this company should be ashamed of itself and please use a call center in the US.

Lydia Dykes says:

I am very disappointed in tracfone. Lot of places I could not get service including my home. When you all tracfone you have to wait then you mostlylikelytalk with someone who can barely speak English. Presently my husband and I have two tracfones with a lot of time and minutes and neither one of us can make a call. When we try to make a call a recorde message says our device ( tracfone) has been blocked from the network. After numerous calls to tracfone and talking to several representatives with each one giving a different answer to the problem, I gave up. I bought a phone and went pre-paid with Verizon. Very good decision. I would never recommend tracfone to anyone.
My husband and I are left with two tracfones with time and over 5000 minutes combined.

Vital1 says:

Not surprised. I also have had HORRIBLE interactions with what is suppose to be “customer service.” However, considering the greedy costs of other suppliers, I guess we get what we pay for.

Con Mills says:

I think Trac phone headquarters is in India,I couldn’t understand what they were saying,they talked way to fast in broken ENGLISH

Art says:

Great service, I’ve never had a problem understanding a csr.
Open up your mind.