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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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