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Buy the Least Expensive Cell Phone Minutes from TracFone

Updated on January 5, 2013

While some TracFone users pay over 33 cents per minute, you can pay less than 6! That’s a savings of 82%! Here’s how to see through TracFone’s marketing to get this great deal.

TracFone is one of America’s largest and most popular prepaid wireless services. TracFone offers easy-to-use and inexpensive cell phone services without a contract, credit check, activation charge or cancellation fee.

TracFone users buy a name-brand phone from leading manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, Kyocera, LG or Nokia. They can buy the phone at a physical store, or online. Then they buy service including a certain number of TracFone minutes and a certain number of days.

For example, a TracFone user may purchase a “Pay As You Go” plan providing 120 minutes and 90 service days for $29.99. The per-minute charge for these minutes is 25 cents per minutes ($29.99 / 120 minutes). This service is terminated after 90 days unless the user buys additional service days, in which case the additional days are added to the number of service days already purchased.

TracFone offers many “Pay As You Go” plans with varying numbers of minutes and service days. TracFone’s website currently offers: 30 minutes and 30 days for $9.99; 60 minutes and 90 days for $19.99; 120 minutes and 90 days for $29.99; 200 minutes and 90 days for $39.99; 450 minutes and 90 days for $79.99; 400 minutes and 365 days for $99.99; 800 minutes and 365 days (and double minutes on all future paid airtime) for $119.99; 1000 minutes and 365 days for $159.99; and 1500 minutes and 365 days for $199.99. You can also buy double minutes on all future time for $19.99.

It’s confusing to compare these plans because TracFone also offers many promotions that provide bonus minutes, and gives double minutes to users who purchased phones with double minutes on all future paid air time or separately purchased a double minute card. For example, today (December 19, 2012), TracFone’s website is offering two promotions: 50 bonus minutes when you buy the 200 minute / 90-day card; or 250 bonus minutes when you buy the 400 minute / 365 day card. TracFone offers other promotions when users buy their original phones. To calculate the best deal, users need to account for the impact of the promotions and double minutes (if any) on each of the service plans. This is more difficult because TracFone’s website scrolls through the various promotions quickly.

Here’s how to see through TracFone’s marketing to get the best deal per minute:

1. Buy a TracFone Phone with Double Minutes for Life

To get a good deal from TracFone, you need Double Minutes for Life. This cuts your price per minute by 50% for the life of the phone. You can get Double Minutes for Life in three ways:

  • Buy a phone online with Double Minutes. TracFone’s website currently offers a Samsung S125G cell phone with Double Minutes for $9.99!
  • Buy a phone at a physical store with Double Minutes advertised on the packaging.
  • Buy a Double Minutes card. The TracFone website offers this card for $19.99. However, its usually more cost-effective to buy a phone with Double Minutes.

2. Even Better, Buy a TracFone Phone with Triple Minutes for Life.

TracFone now offers phones in packages with triple minutes for life. On its website, TracFone is currently offering six phones with triple minutes: LG 800G for $49.99; LG840G for $59.99; Samsung S425G for $49.99; Samsung 390G for $49.99; LG 530G for $49.99 or Samsung T404G for $39.99.

While these phones tend to be more expensive than phones with double minutes, you'll save money over the long run since the triple minutes will cut your price per minute by 67% for the life of the phone. If you spent $200 on airtime, the additional 17% savings over the double minute phones would be $33, which would bring the net price down to the level of the phones with only double minutes for life.

3. Buy the 1500 Minutes and 365 Service Day Plan Online.

The least expensive TracFone plan per minute is the 1500 minutes and 365 days plan for $199.99. This plan is only available online. With Double Minutes for Life (see #1 above), this plan provides a hefty 3000 minutes for $199.99, or 6.6 cents per minute. This plan comes with 365 service days, so you only need to use 250 minutes per month or more to avoid running out of service days before minutes. If your phone is lost or stolen, the minutes and service days can be transferred to a new phone, so there’s no need to worry about losing your investment if you need a new phone.

4. Use an Online Buying Discounter like UPromise.

The net cost of a TracFone plan can be further reduced by buying it online via a buying discounter like UPromise. UPromise is currently offering 12% cash back for purchases made via UPromise. That reduces the net cost of the 1500 minutes and 365 days plan to $175.99, or 5.87 cents per minute.

5. Use a Credit Card with Rebates.

Finally, the net cost of a TracFone service plan can be even further reduced by using a rebate credit card. If you use a credit card that gives a 1.5% rebate and purchase through UPromise, the $199.99 sticker price of the 1500 minutes and 365 days plan is effectively reduced by 13.5% to $172.99, or just 5.77 cents per minute. That’s a deal!

The Best TracFone Deal!

By purchasing TracFone’s 1500 minutes and 365 service days plan online, for a TracFone that gives Double or even Triple Minutes for Life, through an online buying discounter like UPromise, using a rebate credit card, you can score a great deal on prepaid wireless cell phone service from TracFone!


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    • Jason Matthews profile image

      Jason Matthews 10 months ago from North Carolina

      I am trying to save money on my cell phone usage and this hub helps a lot. Thanks for sharing these valuable insights. I'll be sure to look for those double or triple for life phones!

    • profile image

      Big Tortola 3 years ago

      My dear lady-You are paying way too much for your phones and minutes. Buy online-ebay is good. Buy from a highly rated dealer like Shopcelldeals, there lots of others. Buy a cheap triple minutes phone, unless android features are important to you. I just got a pretty nice touchscreen phone for $40 including a 200 minute card, which retails for $40 at Wmart, $Gen and the grocery store. Triple those minutes you have 600, That is@6.6 cents per minutes @2 cents per text. but you also got the phone! Don't forget the promo codes for extra minutes! Get them from Trac or other sites and add typically 50 minutes(not tripled) to a 200 minute card! If you figure the phone at $20 that is 1/2 retail, and the minutes cost @ .03, texts less than 1 cent! Last July, I bought 1550 minutes for $62.50, well less than $.03 per unit(call minute), texts are .3 units browser time .5 units per minute@ 120 min. per week= well less than $20 per mo. Cheap, cheap,cheap!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      In January I did the triple minutes deal with a touch screen 800g and am very happy with the phone and the costs. For me, I've run the numbers and for a whole year of service (taking my low usage into account) it costs me $9 a month. It sure beats paying $300 - $600 for a phone and $60 and up per month! I have family and friends that do the more expensive deals and don't even use the phone often, it's more of a status symbol I guess?

    • profile image

      Lee 4 years ago

      Beware of the small print, when purchasing the cards that offer double minutes and days, it says that the doubling starts AFTER this purchase, so not on the initial minutes on that card. All offers vary, so read the fine print. Overall I am a proponent of pa as you use cell phones.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Good hub! I have used TracFone and they are great for when you just want a phone without paying tons of money. I had no idea the 1 yr/1500 minutes was the best deal - or as cheap as it is. I am amazed at the people who spend 50-70$ a month on their phone, and don't even use it very much.

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 5 years ago

      Thanks for this! I pay through the nose for Verizon service and need to get out of that contract in 12 months. By this time next year, I will be looking for a much better option. Voted up and awesome.