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.

For many seniors on a fixed income, Tracfone inexpensive plans makes a lot of sense. To learn more, visit our Senior Cell Phone Plans guide.

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

TracFone’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 need heavy use of data. You can see the plan allowances below. For customers who do not use their phones for talking or texting a lot, TracFone offers a variety of airtime credit refill cards or plans starting from $15 for 30 days of service. Generally, the less you use your phone, the less airtime credits you need to purchase. However, you would end up paying more per unit of minute/text/mb.

If you talk or text quite a bit, one of TracFone’s new unlimited talk and text plans may offer the lowest cost per unit of use. These plans cost $20 to $30 per month for 1 GB to 3 GB of data. Any unused data can be carried over to future periods as long as the phone remains active and in use.

If you need more data beyond 3 GB a month, you 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. Another option is StraightTalk, which is another brand operated by 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 $15.0 500 500 500 3.0 3.0 3.0
$20 30 $20.0 Unlimited Unlimited 1,000 NA NA 2
$25 60 $12.5 500 1,000 500 5.0 2.5 5.0
$35 60 $17.5 750 1,000 1,000 4.7 3.5 3.5
$45 90 $15.0 750 1,000 1,500 6.0 4.5 3.0
$50 90 $16.7 750 1,500 2,000 6.7 3.3 2.5
$125 365 $10.4 1,500 1,500 1,500 8.3 8.3 8.3
$25 30 $25.0 Unlimited Unlimited 2,000 NA NA 1.25
$30 30 $30.0 Unlimited Unlimited 3,000 NA NA 1

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


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$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.

The Annual Plan is works best for people using the bare minimum. 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.

If you are interested, check out this blog post: How I Saved $49 on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

$15 Every 30 days

  • 500 Minutes
  • 500 Texts
  • 500 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.

 

Unlimited Talk/Text/1 GB Plan – $20 Every 30 days

Recommended for people who do not want to worry about running out of talk time and need moderate data levels.

  • Unlimited Talk
  • Unlimited Text
  • 1 GB data (= 1000 MB data)
  • Upgrade 1: 2 GB data plan add $5, $25/ month
  • Upgrade 2: 3 GB data plan add $10, $30/ month
  • 1 Month = 30 days of service

Notes: This is a cost-effective monthly plan for anyone who uses their phone for talking/ texting regularly and likes to know that phone call connections and text messaging will always be available to them. Traditional TracFone plans always contained limits on talk time and text messages. The presence of those limits required the customer to do regular monitoring to ensure that there are enough minutes/text messages available when they are needed.

The $20 unlimited talk/text plan comes bundled with 1 GB of data, which allows customers to do lots of web browsing, apps messaging and use of social media.

Tracfone Unlimited Talk/Text plans work best for people who are looking for regular phone service without talk limits and light to moderate use of data. If you rarely need your phone for talking, are comfortable with preset talk time limits, and don’t need much mobile data, the Annual Plan or a $15/month plan described above may save you some money.

$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.

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Other factors to take note of:

Additional 5% Off

Some plans 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 these at eBay:

Tracfone smartphone only plans Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases. Learn More

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.

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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 much data, 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 $35 month and up.

To learn more about Tracfone, check out our full Tracfone Review >

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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.

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