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TracFone Brings Back $159.99 and $199.99 Top Ups

TracFone High Value Airtime cards.

TracFone is once again offering $159.99 "1000 Minute" and $199.99 "1500 Minute" airtime refills on its website. These refills provide 365 days of service and 1000 and 1500 TracFone "minutes" respectively. "Minutes" is a little misleading as all current TracFone's are either double minutes feature phones or else "triple-triple" smartphones that get triple the minutes, texts and MBs of data, when topped up with a regular minute refill. That means that:
  • The $159.99 1000 minute card provides 2000 minutes on a feature phone and 3000 minutes, 3000 texts, and 3000 MBs of data on a smartphone or BYOP.
  • The $199.99 1500 minute card provides 3000 minutes on a feature phone and 4500 minutes, 4500 texts, and 4500 MBs of data on a smartphone or BYOP.
BYOP (bring your own phone) devices get triple-triple billing regardless if they are feature phones or smartphones.

TracFone removed the $159.99 and $199.99 refills from its site last June. Now that they are back, the $199.99 refill offers the lowest cost per minute of any of the many TracFone refill options.

TracFone pricing is extremely confusing. The table below tries to make sense out it by listing all of the top up options that are available to smartphone and BYOP users.

TracFone top ups contain up to four components; minutes, SMS, data and days of service. I believe most TracFone customers tend to always run out of the same one of the four components first. Hopefully this table will help you find the top ups with the lowest price for whichever one of minutes, texts, data or days you tend to run out of first.

Price Type 1 Mins Cost / Min SMS Cost / SMS Data Cost / MB Days Cost / Day
$5 Text none NA 1000 0.5¢ none NA none NA
$9.99 2 30 Min 90 11¢ 90 11¢ 90 11¢ 30 33¢
$10 Data none NA none NA 1 GB 0.98¢ none NA
$15 SP 200 7.5¢ 500 200 MB 7.5¢ 30 50¢
$19.99 60 Min 180 11¢ 180 11¢ 180 MB 11¢ 90 22¢
$20 2 SP 300 6.7¢ 1000 1 GB 30 67¢
$25 2 SP 500 1000 2.5¢ 500 MB 60 42¢
$29.99 120 Min 360 8.3¢ 360 8.3¢ 360 MB 8.3¢ 90 33¢
$35 SP 750 4.7¢ 1000 3.5¢ 1 GB 3.4¢ 60 58¢
$39.99 200 Min 600 6.7¢ 600 6.7¢ 600 MB 6.7¢ 90 44¢
$50 3 Super Size none NA none NA none NA 365 14¢
$79.99 450 Min 1350 5.9¢ 1350 5.9¢ 1350 MB 5.9¢ 90 89¢
$99.99 400 Min 1200 8.3¢ 1200 8.3¢ 1200 MB 8.3¢ 365 27¢
$125 2 SP 1500 8.3¢ 1500 8.3¢ 1500 MB 8.3¢ 365 34¢
$159.99 2 1000 Min 3000 5.3¢ 3000 5.3¢ 3000 MB 5.3¢ 365 44¢
$199.99 2 1500 Min 4500 4.4¢ 4500 4.4¢ 4500 MB 4.4¢ 365 55¢
SP denotes a "Smartphone Only" top up which can only be used with BYOP and smartphones.
2 only available online at tracfone.com.
3 "Supersize" option is offered when buying another top up on the TracFone site. It's not available separately.

Although the $199.99 top up is a good value, I'm a little leary of tying up so much money with TracFone. I've read too many stories, like this one, of TracFone technical glitches zeroing out a customer's balances.

Hat tip to an anonymous commenter who discovered that the $159.99 and $199.99 top ups are back.

Source: TracFone

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38 comments:

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  1. Why bother when redpocket has 1000 min/txt/mb every month for $200/year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you can get the Red Pocket 1 Year Prepaid Wireless Plan - No Contract, SIM Kit Included FOR $12.50/Mo: 1000 Min/Text/MB Data (500 MB @ LTE) on the Monday of the week of Black Friday. $160 !!!

      Delete
    2. And for $199/yr in MintSim will buy you 2GB on 4GLTE w/ Unl T/T/D. They still have the first 3-month promo just for $35.

      Delete
  2. Carlos Slime and his Movil customer disservice circus can take it and put it you know where.

    Never ever Movil brand. Don't care if they were half the price of anyone else, still never, no sale.

    How many custimers fled Movil last quarter? Around 400,000? Last year? How much over a million?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least give TF some credit for being fist MVNO :)

      Delete
    2. "At least give TF some credit for being fist MVNO :)"

      That must hurt....

      Delete
  3. I had more minutes and data then that for free with ring plus, RIP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ringplus was like the Burger King franchisee that sold Whoppers for 3 cents each. Great deal... but you know it can't last and you know exactly why it wont.

      Delete
  4. Trac's $25 and $35 60-day smartphone plans might be a better value for some if they can pace their usage accordingly, more so with the 5% autopay discount. Annualized: $150[$142.50]/3000min/6000txt/3000mb and $210[$199.50]/4500min/6000txt/6000mb. Can always add data at $10/1GB if needed.

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  5. Those $159/$199 cards have been listed on the website for several months now?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tracfone is good for carrying around a lightweight flip phone for a minimum amount of usage. Carrying around large heavy smartphones makes sense for those that use alot of data each day, receive and send sms, mms and phone calls and tracfone would be too costly for that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use my expensive SP on FP and get all the data I NEED for free, if FP goes the way of RP, then i'd move to TF happily. But for now I'd rather pay $0/mo than $10/mo with TF.

      Delete
    2. FP = Freedom Pop?
      RP = Ring Plus?
      TF - Tracfone.... that one I am certain of
      SP = ???????

      Expensive = free?

      Delete
    3. That comment had me scratching my head for a bit too. I agree with you on FP, RP and TF and I think SP is SmartPhone.

      Delete
    4. SP = Sprint ???

      Delete
    5. "That comment had me scratching my head for a bit too. I agree with you on FP, RP and TF and I think SP is SmartPhone."

      OK, DB.

      Delete
  7. Convoluted plans.
    TracFone should be called "ThrowBac Wireless". Remember when you had to call at certain hours for long distance and had to have a "Friends and Family" plan?
    These plans are just confusing in this day of simplified offerings.
    Some people don't need unlimited talk, text, and data, but gee whiz.
    Plus you have to deal with incompetent customer service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The cost/day of the $15 card (30 days) is 50¢ , not $2.

    ReplyDelete
  9. When they will shut down?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Best deal for GSM is still the $9 preloaded H2O sim from eBay: unlimited talk and text and 3gb data. Use google voice to point to new number each month?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, but I have heard that if you keep on using the same carrier over and over for the preloaded they may black list the phone.
      So get a multicarrier phone like the g4 play and just switch around. Also know your subcarriers, like metro to tmo, easygo to h20, etc.
      Its a bit of a job to get the sims, you need to keep being on the hunt, but it is a hunt, we enjoy the hunt more than the capture. You can then smugly answer your friends that you pay $15 for 10 gigs on verizon. He he he.
      So enjoy.
      Also, if you live somewhere that TMO works well, or you have wifi for indoor calling and can rely on tmo only outdoors, so it may turn out that you will never need one carrier more than a year, or close to it.
      Just look at the choices here.
      1.Verizon
      2.(h20, easygo)
      3.lyca
      4.(mint, ultra)
      5.rok
      6.(Red, Mango)
      7. (tmo, metro pcs)
      8. (gophone, cricket, att)
      9.Black wireless
      10. Teltik
      I bracketed the sub carriers so that you do not use one and then the other for the next month.
      Some plans are with more data and some are with less.
      Make sure if you need the seller to activate or you can do it yourself.
      See if the sims expire so that you can or cannot purchase from a few, store them, mark them, and activate them as the months come.
      Also I have heard that you should not use Tracfone brands, like tracfone, page plus, telcel, simple mobile, go smart,and a few others, they are harder on those who make use of this find, but I guess, and its only a guess, that if you use them ONLY once a year, will they be the wiser? I wonder how they will guess that you are making use of this find if you use it with then for only once a yearx after all, even without using a tracfone brand you are already in the 10 carrier list, so if you add one tracfone, it will only be every 11 months.

      Good hunting.

      And google voice just takes the need to keep porting a non neccessity. And you do not even beed to cancel the old number. And whats app works with google voice numbers. And you may just need to go and keep the phantom nunbers of your contacts just incase you will use regular sms to text them, so that they can see who is texting them.

      Enjoy

      Delete
    2. I didn't know that prepaid sim cards existed on ebay. I can see how these would be beneficial especially if you have kids that will only use the data off it. I like getting service for under 10 bucks a month if I can continue to find it. Appreciate any additional information.

      Delete
  11. Funny how everyone blasts Tracfone but tell me where else I can get 5 iPhones on a family plan for $34 ($10 first line plus $6 for all other lines). That's what I've been doing for the past year and it works fine while others are paying at least $100 per month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you get 10mins a line?

      Delete
    2. He would get 150m 150t 150mb on the first line and 120/120/120 on all others. If you are around enough wifi it can be managed. My wife and mother are on these plans and have enough service to meet their needs at under $10/mo.

      Delete
    3. Until someone can beat $34 for 5 lines I'm not going anywhere. As was stated in an earlier reply you get 150/150/150 for the first line and 120/120/120 for all the other lines. And guess what...unused rolls over every month. My daughters already have over 1000 minutes and texts that have rolled over from month to month. Anyone who is paying $100 or more per month for unlimited is wasting money unless you truly need unlimited.

      Delete
    4. Sorry buddy but you're getting ripped off. FreedomPop gives you 600MB per month for free and along with that all the texts you could ever want when you use the Google Voice app or Hangouts app with a free Google Voice number to send and receive texts to and from any phone number. You can get even more free data if you switch SIMs. The only downside is that you have to use VoIP for voice calls. This works well in my experience. In fact, VoIP calls sound better to me than cellular voice on Sprint.

      Delete
    5. Where do you find this? The FreedomPop things I see have free data only for the first month.

      Which plan is this, and do I have to buy one of their burner phones?

      Delete
  12. TF works well for our family and usage patterns and no units get thrown away.
    Like most, we do no need unlimited talk and text or multiple GBs of data each month.
    C/S has improved immensely over the last 1 1/2 years, especially using chat.

    I have been bouncing around between MVNOs and swapping SIMs since I dumped AT&T post paid in 2012 and it has become real old, swapping sims every month on 3 lines, forget it.
    Is TF the absolute cheapest, no, but we have gone from a minimum of $30 a month paying for units we do not use to between $8 and $16 a month.
    Also, our heavy Moto X PEs and Nexus 5x work just as well on TF as any other service no matter the light usage.

    Most of these MVNOs are predatory and make much of their money on the units you do not use, but think you need. This not so much the case with TF and their roll over, so I don't see TF any more evil than the Big 4 or most MVNOs.

    Since usage can vary widely from month to month there a plenty of low cost options to manage your usage over the months or pick a card that best fits your usage and just accumulate units, you would be surprised what you actual usage is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 on TracFone for the family. I'm not interested in swapping SIMs every month. With WiFi prevalent almost everywhere and Google Voice/Hangouts in the setup, I don't need to pay for buffet service.

      Not interested in the constantly changing RP nonsense either. I can pick from AT&T or Verizon coverage and be done with about $100 per line per person. Have rolled over so much over the years that it's not making sense to even consider switching now unless usage patterns dramatically change.

      Delete
    2. I would have to add that TF works the best for those who use the buckets evenly, but I have found it challenging to manage someone who does not use a lot of talk because days of service is pretty much tied to adding minutes.

      However, TF did just come out with a new 300/1000/1GB Smart Phone card for $20. The only drawback I find is that it is only a 30 day card and would really work well if it was 60 days like most of the Smart Phone cards.
      If you start out with or purchase a year add-on this $20 card can really help manage low talk users.

      Or, just let the minutes accumulate and forget about it.

      Delete
    3. I say do the best in managing uneven ttd usage or switch to something more economical if it exists. I imagine most people have uneven bucket usage - it's really not a big deal, and they sell text-only, data-only, and service days-only, so what the problem then?

      Delete
  13. I've been with TF for over 10 years and have accumulated a ton of talk/text/data. I now buy the $19.99 plan and add 365 days for $50. So that works out to 15 months for $4.70/month on Verizon's network. Perfect for low usage situation and regular access to wifi.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tracfone is trying to screw with your head! Too many options just them saying yay we will get their money any way we can and hope they are all dumb and buy the least profitable plan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if they can't confuse you they just "disappear" your credits and the clueless useless malicious "CS" circus will just stonewall you. You will never see that money.

      Delete
  15. Is ot 4500mins, 4500 texts AND 4500mb
    or is it OR 4500mb?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I, in 10 years with tracfone, have only lost minutes one time. This was way back when on a feature phone. One phone call (yes, a lengthy one) and I had the loss restored, and doubled. I figured TF had made another mistake by doubling the amount but when I inquired I was told those extra minutes (600 as I recall) were to compensate for my troubles. I have heard similar stories from other users as well as horror stories, but I think the losers were people who got mad and just quit....you gotta follow through!

    ReplyDelete
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