TracFone Ends Triple Minutes For Life, New Smartphone Plans Offer Improved Value

If you are a TracFone user, chances are you have heard about their Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature. Basically, you buy a TracFone smartphone featuring this, and you can get triple credit. In other words, you buy a TracFone with 60 minutes, you will get 180 minutes of talk time, 180 text messages and 180 MB of data. This has been an incredible deal for anyone who wants a phone at an inexpensive cost.

Fortunately TracFone’s newer smartphone-only plans will continue on that value-providing proposition. You can check our Triple Minutes vs. Smartphone-Only Plan comparison chart here. These smartphone plans will work for both Android and iPhone users. To learn more about TracFone, check out our full review.

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The Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature plan has been phased out since 4/1/2017 for all new phone packages introduced afterwards, in favor of moving customers to their smartphone-only plan. If you currently have a TracFone smartphone with the TMFL feature, you can continue to get triple minute credits when new airtime cards are added to that same phone.

In general, their new prepaid smartphone-only plans offer a really good deal for customers. The main disadvantage is that the minimum monthly spend is now a $2 – $3 more a month. It’s probably unavoidable, with the rising costs of everything else. The smartphone-only plan’s minimum spend now works out to $10.42 a month before sales tax. It’s a great alternative to typical $40 a month unlimited plans if you aren’t using the phone as much.

What’s great is that these smartphone-only plans offer a lower cost on average when you break it down by per minute, text and MB of data. They also more accurately reflect the usage habits of smartphone users – allocating more airtime for texting and data vs. talking. Below is a comparison of the pros and cons.

Comparison Chart of Tracfone Smartphone-Only Plans vs Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) Plans

Cost Service Days Cost Per Month Minutes Text MB Talk Time (Cents Per min) Text (Cents Per Text) Data (Cents Per MB)
TracFone Smartphone-Only Cards            
$15 30 15 200 500 200 7.5 3.0 7.5
$25 60 12.5 500 1000 500 5.0 2.5 5.0
$45 90 15 750 1000 1500 6.0 4.5 3.0
$125 365 10.42 1500 1500 1500 8.3 8.3 8.3
Old TracFone Airtime Cards – All Minutes/Text/ Data credit Tripled            
$20 90 6.67 180 180 180 11.1 11.1 11.1
$40 90 13.33 600 600 600 6.7 6.7 6.7
$100 365 8.33 1200 1200 1200 8.3 8.3 8.3

Minutes/Text/MB listed are the total airtime provided with each plan purchase, eg. $15 plan provides a total of 200 minutes, 500 texts and 200 MB of data.
$125 Annual Plan offers the lowest average monthly cost ($10.42) and longest active period (365 days). For low volume users who want the least hassle, this plan makes the most sense.
Unused talk/text/data credit carryover as long as phone service remains active.
Need more data? $10 for 1 GB – add as you need. Unused data credits carryover.
How to get started? If you are currently a Tracfone smartphone user, you can get started on these plans by purchasing and activating their smartphone-only plan cards. If you are not yet a Tracfone customer, you can get started by purchasing and activating a TracFone smartphone through their website here. Alternatively, you can buy a compatible unlocked phone from Amazon or eBay and insert a TracFone SIM card into the phone (see Tracfone bring your own phone post).

See full list of TracFone Smartphones Prepaid Plans on their Official Website – Type in Your Zipcode to Confirm Coverage

How to Get Started with Tracfone

TracFone Per-Minute/Text/MB Spend Has Lowered

New $45 card for 90 days service with 750 min, 1000 texts and 1500 MB
New cost per minute: 6 cents/ minute, 4.5 cents/text, 3 cents/MB
New monthly cost $15 per month.
vs.
Old $40 card for 90 days service with 600 min, 600 texts and 600 MB (usage credits tripled)
Old cost per minute: 6.7 cents/ minute, 6.7 cents/text 6.7 cents/MB
Old monthly cost $13.33 per month

TracFone Per-Month Minimum Spend Has Increased

New $125 for an annual card with 1500 min, 1500 texts and 1500 MB vs.
Old $100 for an annual card with 1200 min, 1200 texts and 1200 MB (usage credits tripled)
Monthly cost increases from $8.33 per month to $10.42 per month.

Average talk time per minute remains the same for annual plan. For all other plans, per minute/text/MB cost has decreased using new smartphone only plan (see example above).

 

TracFone’s Smartphone-Only Plan More Accurately Reflects Current Talk, Text and Data Usage Habits

TracFone’s smartphone-only plans come with varying amounts of talk, text and data usage, unlike its traditional cards that standardizes the volume in each bucket. For example, it’s $15/month plan provides for 200 minutes of talk time, but 500 text messages. More and more users find themselves using text more often than making or receiving calls. Do you talk more or text more?

The traditional TracFone airtime cards were introduced in an era before texting and data use over a cell phone. Then prices lowered, and to address that, the Double Minutes For Life came about. Prices lowered further, and with the rise of smartphones, the Triple Minutes For Life. All these are based on a multiple of the underlying talk time (eg. 60 minutes gave rise to 60 texts and 60 MB etc). The new smartphone monthly plan allocates varying talk, text and data instead.

Just Need a Regular Non-Smartphone? Double Minutes Still Applies

Many people have no need for a smartphone or for the many different applications available. All they are interested in doing is making a telephone call. They have little to no interest in text messages, data plans, games and the like. Rare for certain, but there are some people like this still in the world.

If you don’t need a smartphone, you can still get on a similar deal with the double minutes.

What does this mean for the TracFone user who is interested in the triple minutes plan? You may still be in luck because of independent sellers who have stores on eBay and Amazon may have cards with triple minutes available for users of the TracFone.

The phase out of the Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature system is a forgone conclusion. However, new or current users have much to look forward to with TracFone’s new Smartphone-only plans. To learn more, visit Tracfone’s Official Website.

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TracFone Smartphones Selection Gets Attractive

Tracfone has been improving on the selection of cell phones that it offers to customers in the past two years. They started with basic Android smartphones, but have really notched it up with more advanced and attractive phones with good mainstream appeal.

The Samsung Galaxy 5″ phone demonstrated in this QVC video is one example. These phone packages come and go, so to see what Tracfone deals are offered currently, check their official website.

See full TracFone Review

Bring Your Own Phone

If none of their phones appeal to you, you can even buy an unlocked cell phone online and bring it into the TracFone network. TracFone has what is called a Bring Your Own Phone program. You bring your phone, and you use it with a low cost TracFone plan. You can also bring your existing phone in from other networks.

TracFone has contracts with major companies like AT&T and Verizon to rent their network space.

See full TracFone Review

Why TracFone?

TracFone’s plans are very economical for those of us who do not use the phone a lot (eg. less than 2 to 3 hours total a month), and don’t need a lot of data (eg. under 1 GB) a month. Most other companies assume you will be using your phone a lot, and you end up paying $30 to $50 or more a month.

With TracFone, my cell phone bill is about $15 a month for an Android phone. TracFone has new smartphone-only plans that offers an even bigger bang for the buck. You can find out more in this TracFone smarpthone only plans article.

iPhones Accepted

If you are an iOS fan and like to lower your monthly bill, TracFone could be something worth checking out. A lot of iPhone users (yes, the latest models) have already migrated over to TracFone.

To summarize, TracFone’s selection of Android phones are becoming more and mores sophisticated. Even if none of their phones appeal to you, you can Bring Your Own Phone to take advantage of their unbeatable plan prices. If you like more tips on how to a good prepaid smartphone at a low cost, check out our guide here.

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If you are not interested in TracFone’s phone selection but like their low cost plans, you can also consider getting a good unlocked phone to pair up with a TracFone plan (see Tracfone BYOP program info).

TracFone Smartphone Only Plans From $15

Updated 7/3/2017TracFone’s new smartphone only plans set them apart from the competition in terms of pricing and value. These prepaid cell phone plans present additional plan options to consumers. Those are still available! However, depending on your usage needs, these new TracFone plans could be even more cost-effective. We will do a comparison of these various plans choice here in this article, so you can pick the best one for your needs.

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Note: All TracFone plans are meant for users who do not use their phones for talking much, or if you are on the phone a lot, use it mainly with wifi. You can see the plan allowance below. If you need to use your cell phone a lot (over an hour of voice each week), you may want to compare this with Simple Mobile and StraightTalk plans.

Unlimited plan users can also check out the $35 unlimited talk and text plan with 5 GB of data (at the time of this writing) by Total Wireless. Total Wireless is a subsidiary of TracFone.

TracFone’s Smartphone Plans Compared

Cost Service Days Cost Per Month Min Text MB Talk Time (Cents Per min) Text (Cents Per Text) Data (Cents Per MB)
$15 30 $15.00 200 500 200 7.5 3.0 7.5
$20 30 $20.00 300 500 1000 6.7 4.0 2.0
$25 60 $12.50 500 1000 500 5.0 2.5 5.0
$35 60 $17.50 750 1000 1000 4.7 3.5 3.5
$45 90 $15.00 750 1000 1500 6.0 4.5 3.0
$50 90 $16.67 750 1500 2000 6.7 3.3 2.5
$125 365 $10.42 1500 1500 1500 8.3 8.3 8.3

Minutes/Text/MB listed are the total airtime provided with each plan purchase, eg. $15 plan provides a total of 200 minutes, 500 texts and 200 MB of data.
Unused talk/text/data credit carryover as long as phone service remains active.
Need more data? $10 for 1 MB – add as you need. Unused data credits carryover.

See full list of TracFone Smartphone-Only Plans on their Official Website – Type in Your Zipcode to Confirm Coverage

Get Started with Tracfone

$125 Every 365 days (~$10.42/Month)
Recommended for lowest average monthly cost and longest service period (less hassle).

  • 1500 Minutes
  • 1500 Texts
  • 1500 MB

Notes: This is a great one-year value plan. If you don’t need that many cell phone minutes, and can get by with wifi for a majority of your communications needs, this is a powerful option. It works out to be about $10 a month. You get some decent talk time, plus text messaging and data for that. Most cell phone companies charge $30/ month and above for a smartphone plan.

On a per unit usage (eg. per minute) basis, this may not be the cheapest, but the annual plan will stay active longer.

If you expect to be using more than the bare minimum, the $25 or $35 plan would be more cost-effective (better cost per minute/GB). Your total cost will also be higher to reflect the higher number of minutes and data GB.

$15 Every 30 days

  • 200 Minutes
  • 500 Texts
  • 200 MB

Notes: Another good basic smartphone plan. If you don’t use voice much, and rely a lot of wifi, this may be all you need. A $15/month iPhone cell phone bill is unheard of. But why pay more?

$25 Every 60 days (~$12.50/Month)

  • 500 Minutes
  • 1000 Texts
  • 500 MB

Notes: This plan offers even greater value than the $15/30 days one above. By paying for 2 months instead of 1 month each time, you get extra minutes, text and data usage credits. Considering that each month goes by so quickly, the benefit of paying another $10 upfront is well worth it.

 

$35 Every 60 days (~$17.50/Month)

  • 750 Minutes
  • 1000 Texts
  • 1 GB

Notes:For anyone who need more talk time and data, this plan offers tremendous value.

Other factors to take note of:

Additional 5% Off

All of these come with an additional 5% discount with auto-refill.

Unused Credits Carryover

All usage credits carryover. If you don’t finish using them pass the expiration date, they carry over to the next active period if you continue to buy airtime for your phone.

Triple Minutes for Life Does NOT Apply

The Triple Minutes for Life benefit will not apply. The airtime credits have been adjusted to provide equal or better value than standard TracFone airtime cards after tripling. These plans are for smartphone users only. Since April 2017, the Triple minutes for Life benefit is no longer offered with new smartphones. The new $15 a month smartphone offers better value. See comparison here.

If you need more minutes/text/data, you can supplement the plan by buying additional plan cards (eg. buy another $15 plan card). You can shop for all these on TracFone’s Official Website (Go to Top Menu: Shop > Airtime).

Type Of Phones You Can Use TracFone Low Cost Plans With

TracFone plans work with all TracFone smartphones (iPhones and Androids) or you can bring your own phone. TracFone offers shoppers the choice of both Android phones and Apple iPhones. In order to activate a phone, you need to apply a service plan to it (eg. add a $15 card).

TracFone also has a Bring Your Own Phone program that allows users to bring their existing cell phones (either unlocked or previously used on other carrier networks) over to the TracFone network.

TracFone’s Bring Your Own Phone program also accepts unlocked cell phones.

How Does This Compare With Tracfone’s Existing Plans

Most people think of TracFone’s standard airtime cards as offering great value. Originally developed for non-smartphone users, TracFone has been able to offer attractive value to smartphone users by adding Data and Triple Minutes for Life to these cards. However, the Triple Minutes for Life benefit has been phased out and superseded by these Smartphone-Only plans since Apr 2017.

The good news is that TracFone’s new smarpthone plans offer better value. For example, getting a 450 minute card ($79.99), even if that triples to 1350 minutes, you end up paying 5.9 cents per minute or GB of data. In comparison, with the new Smartphone-only $25 plan card, you get 500 minutes, and the per minute price is 5 cents. See comparison chart in this post.

One exception for buying their regular airtime card is when you rarely use your phone. For that, TracFone’s most basic 60 minutes card could still be the cheapest spend. The card costs $20 card and provide for 90 days of service. This translates into 60 minutes, 60 text messages and 60 MB for a 90 day period. This works out to less than $7 a month (or more accurately, 30 days). With a smartphone only plan, the minimum spend is $15 a month (30 days), but you get a lot more credits to use.

Whichever plan you pick, if you won’t be using the cell phone much, or are using it mainly with wifi, TracFone’s plans cannot be beat. With most prepaid phone companies, the most economical plans for iPhone or Android phone users call for a minimum spend of at least $30 month.

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Read the full TracFone Wireless Review>>

 
 
Limitation: We make every effort to share the most accurate information on this site but we cannot provide any warranties on this content. Things change with time as well. Please always do your own verification to make sure.