TracFone Cell Phone Plans

Cell Phones, Utilities

TracFone Wireless is one of the largest cell phone companies in the country, and that’s before you count its subsidiaries, which include Straight Talk, Net10, Total Wireless and Simple Mobile. TracFone also is among a handful of prepaid carriers that contract with all four major wireless companies, so customers benefit from extensive networks without the premium price tag. But TracFone is more expensive than other prepaid options, such as Republic Wireless, Cricket Wireless and Virgin Mobile.


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AT A Glance

  • Plans start at $9.99 for 30 minutes
  • Notables: Double- and triple-minute promotions; company partners with each of the four major carriers; poorly rated customer service
Get started at TracFone's site
Get started at TracFone's site

TracFone cell phone plans

TracFone has two types of pay-as-you-go plans: smartphone plans and basic plans for other phones. The company’s airtime cards are good for anywhere from 30 days to a year, depending on the package.

Basic

  • 30 minutes (30 days): $9.99
  • 60 minutes (90 days): $19.99
  • 120 minutes (90 days): $29.99
  • 200 minutes (90 days): $39.99
  • 450 minutes (90 days): $79.99
  • 400 minutes (365 days): $99.99
  • 1,000 minutes (365 days): $159.99
  • 1,500 minutes (365 days): $199.99

Smartphone

  • 200 minutes, 500 texts, 500MB (30 days): $15
  • 300 minutes, 1,000 texts, 1GB (30 days): $20
  • 500 minutes, 1,000 texts, 500MB (60 days): $25
  • 750 minutes, 1,000 texts, 1GB (60 days): $35
  • 750 minutes, 1,000 texts, 1.5GB (90 days): $45
  • 750 minutes, 1,000 texts, 2GB (90 days): $50
  • 1,500 minutes, 1,500 texts, 1.5GB (365 days): $125

Any calls placed or received, as well as incoming and outgoing texts, will be deducted from your plan. You can save 10% on most airtime cards if you set your account to automatically refill. And with some plans, you can double or triple your minutes.

» MORE: Best prepaid cell phone plans

TracFone’s network

TracFone doesn’t have its own network. Instead, the carrier leases towers from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. The network you use depends on where you live and the model of the phone you buy. You can also bring your own phone, if it’s compatible, to ensure you’ll get on the network you want.

How TracFone compares on prices

TracFone doesn’t compare directly on price because most other carriers offer unlimited talk and text with different data tiers.

Use the table below to see how TracFone stacks up against prepaid providers that offer unlimited talk and text with their data plans.

 1GB or less2-4GB5-6GB8-10GBUnlimited
AT&T GoPhone
$35 (talk and text only)$45 (6GB)$65
Boost Mobile
$35 (3GB)$50
Cricket Wireless
$25 (talk and text only)
$30 (2GB)$40 (5GB)$60
MetroPCS
$30 (2GB)$40 (5GB)$50
Republic Wireless
$15 (talk, text and Wi-Fi)

$20 (1GB)
$30 (2GB)

$45 (4GB)
$60 (6GB)$90 (10GB)
Sprint prepaid$45 (4GB)$65
Straight Talk Wireless$30 (1,500 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB data)$35 (2GB)$45 (10GB)$55
T-Mobile prepaid
$45 (4GB)$55 (6GB)$75
Verizon prepaid
$30 (talk and text only)$40 (3GB)$50 (7GB)$60 (10GB)$80
Virgin Mobile
$50

 

Get started at TracFone's site

 

Kelsey Sheehy is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ksheehy@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @KelseyLSheehy.

Updated June 22, 2017.