6 Things to Know Before You Sign Up for Tracfone Wireless

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Tracfone Wireless is a prepaid cell phone service provider that offers 21 different service plans ranging from 30 days to a full year. 

In this article, I’ll take a close look at Tracfone Wireless to help you decide whether or not you should try one of these low-cost plans.

What To Know Before Signing Up for Tracfone Wireless

Tracfone is a well-known name when it comes to low-cost cell phone plans. In addition to its Tracfone Wireless brand, the company runs several other plans including Total by VerizonSimple Mobile and Straight Talk.

Tracfone Wireless alone has more 20 different phone plans ranging from 30-day to annual prepaid options. Plans begin as low as $9.99. However, it’s important to know that there are no unlimited data plans with Tracfone Wireless. If you’re looking for unlimited data, consider one of these providers instead.

Tracfone Wireless runs on Verizon Wireless’s network, which means you’ll likely have great coverage if Verizon’s service is strong in your area.

I checked out the details of Tracfone Wireless’s plans, coverage and more. I’ve also compared Tracfone to different available phone plans and service providers to help you determine whether or not you should make the switch.

Table of Contents:

  1. Plans and Pricing
  2. Data Allotment
  3. Network Coverage
  4. Activation Process
  5. Phone Selection
  6. Customer Service

Below, you’ll find more information about Tracfone Wireless including what plans are available, how reliable the service is and whether or not you should consider it as your mobile carrier.

1. Plans and Pricing

As of the time of writing (November 2022), Tracfone Wireless offers 21 different service plans. They’re all prepaid, which means you’ll never have to worry about overage charges.

In 2021, Tracfone was acquired by Verizon Wireless, so if you sign up for a new plan with Tracfone, you’ll be on the Verizon Wireless network

Tracfone offers monthly cell phone service plans, 60-day plans, 90-day plans and 365-day plans. Prices for monthly plans range from $9.99 to $40 per month. Annual plans range from $99 to $199.99, which works out to be $8.25-$16.67 per month. However, make sure you know what you’re getting with Tracfone. Not all plans include text, and not all plans include data.

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Below, you can click to see each plan’s details including its regular price, price with autopay and what you can expect for the price.

Tracfone Wireless 30-Day Plans
PricePrice with Auto-RefillTalkTextData
$9.99$8.9930 MinutesNoneNone
$15$14.25500 Minutes500 Texts500MB
$15$10 for the first two monthsUnlimitedUnlimitedNone
$20$15 for the first two monthsUnlimitedUnlimited2GB
$25$20 for the first two monthsUnlimitedUnlimited3GB
$30$25 for the first two monthsUnlimitedUnlimited4GB
$40$35 for the first two monthsUnlimitedUnlimited8GB + Hotspot capability
Tracfone Wireless 60 & 90-Day Plans
PricePrice with Auto-RefillService PeriodTalkTextData
$19.99$17.9990 Days60 MinutesNoneNone
$25$23.7560 Days500 Minutes1,000 Texts500MB
$29.99$26.9990 Days120 MinutesNoneNone
$35$33.2560 Days750 Minutes1,000 Texts1GB
$39.99$35.9990 Days200 MinutesNoneNone
$45-90 Days750 Minutes1,000 Texts1.5GB
$50-90 Days750 Minutes1,500 Texts2GB
$79.99$71.9990 Days450 MinutesNoneNone
Tracfone Wireless 365-Day Plays
PriceTalkTextData
$99*NoneNone2GB
$99.99400 MinutesNoneNone
$125**1,500 Minutes1,500 Texts1.5GB
$159.991,000 Minutes--
$199UnlimitedUnlimited24GB
$199.991,500 MinutesNoneNone

*Available only to current Car Connect customers
**$118.75 with Auto-Refill

2. Data Allotment

Data is one of the biggest concerns that people have when switching to a prepaid carrier. If you’re currently paying for an unlimited data plan from one of the major three cell phone service providers, you may be wondering if Tracfone Wireless will be able to meet your data needs. 

Tracfone Wireless does not offer unlimited high-speed data with any phone plan. Instead, Tracfone’s unlimited plans include unlimited talk and text for 30 days with a set amount of high-speed data, according to the website.

However, one of Tracfone Wireless’s biggest perks is unlimited carryover: If you don’t use your entire allotment of high-speed data in one month, the remaining data will roll over and be added to your next month of service. You can learn more about unlimited carryover on Tracfone’s website

Tracfone Wireless’s plans range from no data up to 8GB per month. Only one plan provides mobile hotspot capabilities. That’s the $40 monthly plan with unlimited talk and text plus 8GB of data. 

When it comes to data speeds, it really depends on where you live and how strong Verizon’s network is in your area. Tracfone Wireless itself hasn’t published any average or expected download speeds online, and the representatives I spoke with weren’t able to provide any exact numbers.

Also, you won’t be able to get a ton of data with any Tracfone Wireless plan, so you should choose this prepaid carrier only if you can get by on very little data. For more options on prepaid phone plans with more high-speed data, consider one of these carriers instead.

If mobile hotspot data is a necessity for you, you’ll find more options from these carriers.

3. Network Coverage

In the past, Tracfone has worked with all of the major cell phone service providers’ networks to allow you to keep the same service you’re used to. However, Verizon acquired Tracfone in 2021. Now, if you sign up as a new customer, you’ll have access only to Verizon’s network.

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To see if you’ll have coverage with Tracfone Wireless on Verizon’s network, you can check the coverage map online

When you visit Tracfone’s website, you’ll be able to enter your current ZIP code and choose your current provider. I recommend selecting Verizon regardless of who your current carrier is because that’s the service that Tracfone provides access to now. In fact, you can also check Verizon Wireless’ coverage map online to get a more comprehensive understanding of coverage in your area. 

4. Activation Process

To get started with Tracfone Wireless you’ll have to have a compatible phone and SIM card. To make sure your phone is compatible, it needs to be unlocked. If it is, you can click “I have an unlocked phone” on Tracfone’s device compatibility checker. Then, you can type in your ZIP code to make sure you’ll have coverage. 

If you plan on buying a phone from Tracfone Wireless, you can shop for a device online and add it to your shopping cart before or after choosing a service plan. 

When you’re ready to pick a plan, visit Tracfone’s website and choose the plan you’re interested in. Then, select “I am a new customer” to get started. As you’ll see, the only available SIM kit is from Verizon Wireless. You can add it to your shopping cart for $0.99. 

In addition to Tracfone’s website, Tracfone phone cards are also in-store and online at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, eBay and Target.

After you receive your SIM kit, you can visit Tracfone’s website and click “Activate” under “New Phone” or “Keep Your Own Phone.” From there, you’ll be able to follow the on-screen prompts to activate your new service quickly and easily.

To learn more about how to activate your phone with Tracfone Wireless, check out the FAQ page online.

5. Phone Selection

Most people who switch to Tracfone Wireless will want to keep their existing smartphones. This is one of the best ways to save money when switching to a new cell phone service provider. If you have an unlocked device, you can check your phone’s compatibility here.

If you are looking to buy a new phone, know that Tracfone Wireless offers a large selection. At the time of writing (November 2022), Tracfone Wireless had 62 phones available online including smartphones, basic phones and hearing-aid-compatible phones.

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Phones available from Tracfone Wireless including smartphones, basic phones and hearing aid-compatible phones.
Screenshot from Tracfone Wireless

You won’t find the newest smartphones available at Tracfone Wireless, but you will find options beginning as low as $14.99. For that price, you can get a reconditioned Samsung Galaxy J2. Most phones are under $100, but there are some pricier options ranging up to $500 for an iPhone 12 Mini. 

You can check out the full selection of phones available from Tracfone Wireless online. Before you purchase a new phone from Tracfone, be sure to compare prices. Check out this article on the best places to buy unlocked phones to find the best deals. 

6. Customer Service

There are two ways that you can contact a representative at Tracfone Wireless. 

To start an online chat, click “Chat with us” on this page, or click the small chat bubble in the bottom-right corner of Tracfone’s website on your computer or phone. Online chat is available every day from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. ET. 

If you’d rather speak with a representative over the phone, you can call Tracfone Wireless at 1-800-867-7183 any day between 8 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. ET. 

I reached out to Tracfone Wireless via online chat and over the phone to see how long I’d have to wait. With both methods, I was connected to a representative after about a minute and thirty seconds. 

If you’re an existing Tracfone Wireless customer, you can also text 611611 to check your balance, get refills and more.

For more on how to contact Tracfone Wireless, visit this page

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about switching to Tracfone Wireless, I recommend checking out the coverage in your area first. You can do this by visiting the Tracfone Wireless website and entering your ZIP code to see the coverage map. 

I recommend trying out a 30-day plan first. Then, if the service works for you, you can get a 60-day, 90-day or annual plan. That will give you some time to test out the service, and if there are any issues, you aren’t out the full price of a plan with a longer service period.

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Tracfone Wireless runs on Verizon’s network, so if Verizon has a strong signal in your area, then Tracfone Wireless could be a great way to get reliable service without having to pay for a Verizon postpaid plan. However, other prepaid carriers on Verizon’s network may offer better deals. For example, Visible offers unlimited data on Verizon Wireless’ network for $30 per month.

You can buy a SIM card online or in-store at many popular retailers. If you do decide to make the switch, be sure to check out this guide that we put together to take you step-by-step through the process. 

If you’re still looking for the best fit, you can find more options in our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now

Have you tried Tracfone Wireless? Let us know in our Clark.com Community or check out the latest conversations around cell phones

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