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Review of Tracfone Wireless Cell Phone Company

Updated on January 30, 2013

What is Tracfone?

Tracfone Wireless is one of the biggest prepaid cell phone companies in America. They sell phones and cell phone service through almost every major retailer as well as online.

They are typically known for providing no-frills prepaid cell phones at a very affordable price and offering flexible service plans and minutes refills.

This review will cover some of the benefits of Tracfone and prepaid cell phones in general, while also noting some of the disadvantages.

What are Prepaid No-Contract Cell Phones?

For anyone unfamiliar with what prepaid cell phones are, or exactly how it is defined, here is a brief explanation.

Prepaid no-contract cell phones are, as the name suggests, cell phones and service minutes or plans that are paid for in advance but have no contract obligations and no extra fees or strings attached.

You can simply go to any retail store, buy a Tracfone prepaid phone, activate it, use it once and then never use it again and there will be no additional fees or charges besides what you initially paid for the phone.

The minutes or service plans for Tracfone come in two categories; Pay as You Go and Value Plan.

Pay as You Go is very simple to use and provides the most flexibility. You are able to buy minute refill cards that range from 60 to 450 minutes (with even more options when buying minutes on the Tracfone website). These cards come with a specific number of minutes and service days (90 days for most) and allow the user to pick how much to spend based on the number of minutes he or she is likely to use. If the phone gets low on minutes, another refill can be purchased and the minutes/service days will stack.

The Value Plans offered by Tracfone are usually a very good deal, and give the user a certain number of minutes, and 30 days of service, each month. It is like a monthly contract phone except there is no contract forcing you to pay, and you can stop at any time.

The benefit of a value plan is if you don’t use all you minutes, they will roll over to your next month. And if you do happen to use all you minutes, you can simply buy a refill card to keep you going until the next month arrives.

All Tracfone mobile phones also come with either double or triple minutes for life. This means that any value plan or refill cards added to the phone will be instantly doubled or tripled. This is a huge bonus but it gets even better than that. There are also Tracfone promo codes that can be used when adding refill cards to get free bonus minutes.

Tracfone Prepaid Review
Tracfone Prepaid Review | Source

Review of Tracfone Prepaid Cell Phones

Now on to the review of the Tracfone Wireless company.

Tracfone is not the only prepaid option available, but it is one of the biggest and best. Below are some likes and dislikes about Tracfone and prepaid phones to keep in mind when evaluating your cell phone options.


Here are some of the benefits Tracfone provides.

1. Very affordable.

Tracfone is incredibly affordable for those who are not heavy cell phone users. For a basic cell phone and enough minutes to use as a backup or emergency phone, it can cost as little as $15 for the phone and $99 for a YEAR of service. Yes that is less than $10 a month.

For those who might use their phone more often for calling and texting, several value plans are available for $20-30 a month.

The best part of prepaid cell phones, and Tracfone, is if you need to use your phone a lot one month, you can buy extra minutes when you need them, but if the next month you hardly use your phone, you don’t have to spend anything.

2. Easy and simple to set up.

One of the best aspects of prepaid cell phones is that they are easy to set up and Tracfone is no exception. After buying a phone, it can take less than an hour to get the phone activated with your own number.

After the phone is activated, adding minutes takes seconds and the number of service days and minutes remaining on the phone are shown on the main screen.

This makes Tracfone a useful phone for not just regular cell phone users, but also for those who need a backup or emergency phone.

3. No extra fees or contracts to worry about

Finally, Tracfone does not charge any extra fees, contract termination or anything like that because there are no contracts. It is a worry free option that is also very affordable.

Most of the phones are relatively inexpensive making losing one less of a problem or stress.

Tracfone is a simple option for these in need of a simple cell phone.


Now let’s look at some of the drawbacks of Tracfone and prepaid cell phones.

1. Phones are older models with very basic features

The phones from Tracfone tend to be older cell phones that have proven durability and usability. This is beneficial because any phone you buy from Tracfone will usually last a long time and survive normal wear.

However, if you like smartphones or lots of apps and features, you will be very disappointed. Tracfone Cell Phones do have most of the basic features cell phones come with, like alarm clock, mp3 player, and phone book, but only the newest models have wifi or 3G, and the internet is costly and not very good.

2. You can run out of minutes

Contract phones are convenient in that they are usually unlimited and thus you almost always have service.

With Tracfone, if you forget to add a refill card and let your service days or minutes run out, then your cell phone becomes a paperweight until you buy more. This is rarely a problem because both the service days and minutes remaining are displayed on the screen, but it is something to be aware of.

3. Not a good option for people who text or talk 24/7

Finally, prepaid cell phones (unless they are unlimited) are typically not a good choice for people who talk or text all day every day. I think we all know someone who is using their cell phone non-stop and trying to do that with a prepaid phone would burn through minutes rapidly.

Conclusion - How Much Money Can You Save?

Overall, the Tracfone Wireless Company provides a great cell phone service that leans towards inexpensive, no-frills cell phones giving consumers control over what they want, and how much they want to spend.

Prepaid cell phones from Tracfone are not for everyone, but they can be a great way to save money when trying to cut costs.

For the average cell phone user, prepaid service from Tracfone can save hundreds of dollars each year.

For example, buying one of Tracfone’s newest phones, the LG 840g, will cost about $50 initially. Then buying a 400 minute, 365 day minute card will cost $99. When adding the minutes to the phone, they will be instantly tripled to 1200. Don’t forget to use a promo code and get up to 200 free minutes! This would provide a little more than 100 minutes a month, for a full year, at just $150, or about $12.50 a month.

So how much are you paying each month for cell phone service?


Submit a Comment

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 

    3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Pete, great product review on Tracfone. Very useful and informative as well. Voted up!

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Glenn - Thanks for your comment!

  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 

    5 years ago from Long Island, NY

    This is a very good review of TracFone. Your list of likes and dislikes is very useful to help a new customer decide if TracFone is the right thing for them. I use NET 10 which is owned by TracFone. The service is similar and the price is in the same range when you compare to the triple minutes TracFone offers. But I see that TracFone has a better deal for very-low-usage customers -- by buying the one-year service. With triple minutes that gives 1200 minutes per year for under $99. Not a bad deal it all!

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    teaches12345 - Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Sometimes knowing what other options are out there makes it easier to bargain for a better deal.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    5 years ago

    Thanks for the information on this phone service. Good to know what options are out there when the time comes to renew a contract.

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    kashmir56 - Thanks for reading and for your feedback!

    Angela Blair - Yes, the minutes do sometimes seem to disappear and some of the minutes that get burned up on 10 second phone calls are annoying! Thanks for your feedback, and glad you fond this interesting!

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 

    5 years ago from Central Texas

    When trying to decide on which cell phone service I wanted to use I went to Tracfone in the interim. The service was good and really, for the purpose and time I had the phone I had few complaints BUT -- all those minutes aren't quite what they're touted to be. Like you're charged a full minute for any portion thereof, etc., etc. All-in-all a decent service but I don't think I would have been happy with a long-time use as minutes seemed to disappear very quickly in instances I couldn't even figure out (but maybe that's just being dumb on my part)! Super Hub and great information. Best/Sis

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 

    5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Great hub and review of the Tracfone and it's services. My first cell phone was a Tracfone, has you said it don't have a lot of features but it was a great working phone .

    Well done ! Vote up and more !!!


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