August 5, 2014

How Do Minutes Work on Tracfone Android Phones?

A Short Guide to Adding Minutes to Tracfone Android Smartphones

tracfone android minutes
Guide to Tracfone Android Minutes
This post was first published on 8/5/14 and then updated on 8/28/16. TracfoneReviewer is committed to sharing the best and most accurate information about Tracfone Wireless.

Over the last year, Tracfone has begun including a variety of Android powered smartphones in their lineup of low cost cell phones.

Tracfone provides both cell service and phones at a low cost and sells cards with varying minute amounts (60, 120, 200 etc.) that users can buy and add to their phone. When the minutes are added, the phone then uses those minutes when you call or text. You also get 90 days (in most cases) of service with each card.

This system where users can buy minutes only when needed helps to make Tracfone service very inexpensive for people who don't use their phones very often.

Many Tracfone devices also come with double or triple minutes for life, meaning you get double (or triple) the minutes when you add a new card.

All of the new Android phones from Tracfone come with Triple Minutes for Life, which is a great bonus. Even smartphones like the iPhone 5S which is now available for Tracfone, and other BYOP phones get Triple Minutes for Life. Learn more about 'Bringing your own phone' to Tracfone to see what phones will work.

There are several important differences with how minutes work on smartphones, so let's begin by explaining exactly how minutes are added and split up on Android smartphones from Tracfone.

How Tracfone Minutes are Added to Android Smartphones

With the Smartphones (which includes both those from Tracfone, and BYOP devices), the way minutes are credited to your account is a bit different than how things worked for older phones. (see our full list of current Android smartphones from Tracfone if you're not sure which phones are smartphones)

For phones like the LG 840G, when you added a 60 minute card, you would get it tripled to 180 minutes which you could then use for talk, text and surfing the web.

For Android phones, Talk, Text and Web(Data) are split up when you add the minutes. So if you add a 60 minute card, you will get it tripled to 180 minutes, and then this is split up into 180 minutes for talking, 180 texts, and 180 MB for web.

So to make it clear:
  • Non-Android phones use one 'pool' for minutes.
  • Android phones use three separate 'pools' for talk, text and data.
Once the airtime is split into these different pools, you can't transfer it from one 'pool' to another.

For most people an Android phone is a great deal because you get the same number of minutes for talking, while also receiving texts and data. But there is an important difference that makes this not a great deal for everyone.

Related post - 6 Key Differences between Android and non-Android Tracfone Devices

The difference is that for people who text a lot, Android phones are not as great a deal if you ONLY buy the regular airtime card. Let me explain:

For a non-Android device, each text costs 0.3 minutes. So with 180 minutes, you would get 600 texts.

On an Android phone, each text is 1 text (because texts are their own 'pool'). So with 180 minutes, you would get 180 texts (you would also still have 180 minutes for talking, and 180 MB of data).

But there is a solution. Tracfone now offers text refill cards ($5 for 1000 texts), and they also offer Smartphone-Only airtime cards that are a much better deal for most people. We've done a Comparison of Smartphone Airtime Cards vs. Regular Airtime Cards and found some very interesting results, so take a look if you want to find what card is the best deal.

The text refill card is an easy way to reload your phone if you get low on texts. And at only $5 for 1000 texts, that's just half a penny per text, so a very good deal.

If you are a heavy texter but want an Android phone, look into downloading apps that text for free. Simply visit the Google Play Store and search for 'free texting apps'.

Visit our Cell Phone Reviews page for our list of reviewed phones, including several new smartphones like the LG Treasure which runs Android 5.0 and has a 5" touchscreen.

For those who don't want to switch to this new minutes system, phones like the LG 840G we mentioned above, the LG 306G, Moto EX431G, and Samsung S425G still use the one pool system for minutes (and all of these phones have Triple Minutes).

If you have further questions on how minutes work, feel free to leave a comment below. Now, we want to go over one more important point:

How Triple Minutes for Life Works on Smartphones from Tracfone (And BYOP)

We've noticed a number of readers who have questions about how Triple Minutes for Life works with the smartphones, and especially the new smartphone airtime cards.

All smartphones from Tracfone, and any phones on the Tracfone BYOP program, come with Triple Minutes for Life. However, the Smartphone-Only airtime cards do not triple.

This is certainly disappointing for some, but these cards are already a good deal, and it seems that Tracfone wants to try and make things a little more simple.

How to Check Your Minutes Balance on Android Phones

android tracfone minutes
Tracfone airtime for Androids
This is a question many are asking, because there is no automatic location on Tracfone smartphones for accessing your current minutes balance like there is on non-Android phones.

But there is an easy way to check your balance. Simply sign into your account at Tracfone.com (or create one of you don't already have one) and go to your account page. You should see your phone listed there, and one of the options will be to check your current balance. Click this and after a few seconds you should see what your remaining balance looks like.

You can do this either on a computer, or from your phone. Additionally, there are two more options for checking your balance:

Enter the following url into your browser from your phone or computer and replace the numbers at the end with your phone number: https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance?input_phone=1234567890

Or simply download the Tracfone App which allows you to see your service end date and balance.

We also recently shared 4 Ways to Check your Tracfone Airtime Balance if you want to find out several other options for tracking your minutes.

That concludes this guide to how minutes work on Android phones. We hope you found this useful, and leave a comment with questions or thoughts.

Be aware that Tracfone Promo Codes don't work on Android phones, so this is also a small downside of the new smartphones.

Check out the latest and greatest sales, deals and discounts on Tracfone devices and minutes for some huge savings we've found around the internet!

Thanks for visiting!

130 comments :

Anonymous said...

i have a smart phone will i ever be able to divide the minutes up the way i want to

Anonymous said...

promo code 32102 for 60m bonus on a 200m card worked 9/21/14

Anonymous said...

I currently have a Tracfone with a balance of 900 minutes. If I switch to an Android phone, will I have 900 min talk, 900 texts and 900mb of data, or just 900 min. of talk and have to buy more time to add texts and data?

Anonymous said...

SUPER GREAT JOB YOU GUYS! Keep "keeping up" with your helpful site, your research & info are much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Do your minutes burn on your home wifi? I was told no...but it does not look that way... please clarify!

Peter Vanosdall said...

It depends what you're doing. If you're just surfing the web, then you can do that on your home wifi network and it is free. If you're making calls and texts on the phone, it will still charge you, unless you set things up to do it over WiFi.

Peter Vanosdall said...

900 of each.

Anonymous said...

In addition to codes not working, the option to buy an additional year for $50 with any minute purchase over 60 is not available either.

Anonymous said...

Does it cost 1 text to receive a text, as well as 1 to send?

Anonymous said...

What gets charged when sending a picture? Text or data?

Anonymous said...

Do the minutes ever expire?

Anonymous said...

If one has purchased the "3X" (600 Voice / 600 Text / 600 Data - 90Day) card and it is 70 day latter (20 days from expiring) and another (600/600/600) card is purchased –

- Is the 20 days left from the previous card added, i.e. yielding a 110 day balance?

- If there is time, texts & data left from the previous card are they added to the new balance?

Anonymous said...

FYI. When I transferred minutes from the old phone to the Android, it only gave me phone minutes, no text or data; did not split 3 ways.

W Burke Cabaniss said...

I'm happy with my POPI upgrade from flip phone, am trying to understand the three categories, and you have explained above the second category. You write little about the third. I understand computers and MB well, 50 years experience. I understand that downloads reduce the third bucket by volume. I can guess that e-mails downloaded do the same. But I have not used a smart phone before and wonder if there are applications that can automatically use MB when the phone is on and I am not on my wifi network. Are there protections ?

Vi said...

Using WIFI only is the best choice. I disabled 3G and only turn it on when I am away from WIFI access and "need" to use the internet for something important. MMS texts (with pics) will need to have 3G enabled in order to receive them. I am burning through texts much faster than 0.3 rate. Others have recommended using a "free text ap" to save some texting.

Nancy Kluge said...

First, thank you so much for this blog. It reads like a user forum and is extremely useful. Second, will you please elaborate on this - "If you're making calls and texts on the phone, it will still charge you, unless you set things up to do it over WiFi." I researched several apps for texting over WiFi, and downloaded Textra. As an app, it works nicely. The problem is that even when connected to WiFi (Android LG Fuel), Tracfone units were deducted for texts. In fact, all texts showed up in both apps, Textra and the resident text app, regardless of which app I set as my default texting app. It also appeared that text units decreased at 2 per text rather than 1 per text - maybe because it hit BOTH apps??? Aarrgghh! What setting change is needed to text just over WiFi and not hit my text bucket? Maybe a different app?

Peter Vanosdall said...

Yes, you need a different app. Textra mostly just makes texting look better and a few other things. What you need is an app that doesn't use cell networks for texting, such as Whatsapp, Line, and many others. The downside with these apps is that your friends also need to have these apps.

Nancy Kluge said...

Yes, that is correct, on Android (0.3 each way on non-Android). And texts are 160 characters, so if you send or receive texts longer than that, it will cost more.

Anonymous said...

When I check my balance I get a number like this for my text balance: 804750.00 or 1419150.00. How can I tell how many actual text I have with this?

David Jarrett said...

Google Hangouts can be used for texting, and even phone calls, when you have a wireless connection. The new Hangouts is the transition from the old Google Voice, although you can still use the voicemail features of Google Voice with Hangouts and your Tracfone

David Jarrett said...

So bottom line pricing for Androids on Tracfone is going to be 4 x 60 minute cards per year ($80/yr or $7/mo) if you can get by on 60talk/60text/60MBdata per month.

Kind of makes their $10 monthly value plan look pretty good for $120/yr with 150talk/150text/105MBdata per month.

For myself, I'm thinking I'll probably wind up with the 4 x 200 minute cards ($160/yr or $13/mo) which comes to 200talk/200text/200MBdata per month

suzuki m said...

Do minutes on smartphones carry over as long you continue to add airtime before you run out like on my lg800g?

Anonymous said...

How does tracfone charge minutes for free texting apps that require internet connection?

Anonymous said...

Will the Android work out of the country?

Anonymous said...

That is correct Suzuki. I highly recommend upgrading to the new Android Tracfones. The LG Ultimate 2 is by far the best Android Tracfone, you won't be disappointed!

Anonymous said...

I'd like an explanation of how I can transfer my nearly 1500 minutes from an old very not-smart phone to a new Android. Perhaps I've just missed that info.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the article. I just upgraded my old tracfone to the Alcatel One Touch Pop Icon Android tracfone. Have been trying to get it activated for the last 2 days with tracfone ( 3 different reps ). As of writing this, still not done. But the one question none of them could answer was where could I go to find my balance of minutes....texts....data and service time. My old phone had the display right on the screen. Now I know. One rep said I could try to download My Account app from Google Play Store. Is that another option?

Anonymous said...

For android, you'd be charged one text minute to receive the text itself and then charged in addition for however much data it takes to download the photo.

Anonymous said...

It depends on the app and how much you're using it, i.e. how much data is being used. The benefit to using a texting app with your data is that data airtime cards can be purchased separately if you run low, whereas there are no airtime cards that can buy only texts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Tracfone My Account app works great. You can also check your balance on Tracfone.com and click on the "check your balance" tab.

Sammy Vega said...

you can go to this link and follow the instructions: http://tracfonewireless.com/byop/

it will tell you if your phone is admitted by Tracfone

Anonymous said...

This is probably somewhere, but I haven't it: can you apply your text units to your data? I don't text much but I am going through the data units. If you can't, then when you buy "minutes," are they allocated equally to all three catagories? If so I will always be running low on data units!

Anonymous said...

Yes, each time you add minutes, it adds more time so it is good to have some left over when you add new.

Gomer said...

Sorry to be obtuse, but can text or data minutes be used as phone minutes if they start to build up and I am running out of phone minutes?

Peter Vanosdall said...

Nope, on smartphones, the minutes are separated, and cannot be used for other things.

Anonymous said...

you have answered several questions that I have. I am a new tracfone owner with the pop icon phone. love it and saving money as a second phone. Thanks so much

Anonymous said...

why are minutes being deducted when using wifi? Should I or is there a way to turn off the data so only wifi is being used?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering about the one year card, I'm assuming that you get 1200 total minutes with the triple offer? Also, for those who have used the Android Tracfone, how many minutes are deducted when using GPS?

Angry Citizen said...

I use "text free ultra" both on my LG Ultima and my android tablet. so far I do not see it charging my minutes if I send texts using wifi from my phone. Only when im away from home, or a known WIFI network, and have to use the cell network does it charge me for the texts.

Julia Fisher said...

If you run out of texts, can you send texts using your calling minutes?

Anonymous said...

If I talk for five minutes will it only deduct five minutes

Gomer said...

Open up the Google Play app on your phone and search for "Tracfone My Account" and install it. Then place its Widget so you can see at a glance approx how much time you have in each category. There is a green band with a circle on it that tells you when the last time you queried Tracfone for an update, and when you click on it, it will go and get an update. Then you will get a text message with the current numbers which will also register on the widget. I do this once a day when wifi is available. Very simple.

Lulu Robertson said...

I'm wondering if I buy minutes for one month on a phone, and then don't buy any more minutes, will I still be able to use Wifi on the phone?

Gomer said...

Well, Lulu that sounds like it is possible since one doesn't need the phone number. Tracfone is only providing you with communications over cell towers. Once you have the phone, you can set it up with the apps you want, and then let your phone number lapse, but then you would only be able to use it when you had a WiFi connection.

Seems a strange request, but you probably have a good reason to not buy a tablet or Kindle etc. which are geared toward the internet. Perhaps others will have a different opinion.

Nice Anime, Lulu, G-

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. Just set up a Tracfone Moto E and was going crazy trying to find the balances. Just downloaded the app.

Anonymous said...

Open question to everyone who's using one now: Given the difference in allocation of units, would you say you buy more time-cards while using a smartphone tracfone, vs before on older phones? Or is it about the same?

Gomer said...

I don't seem to be using any more of the phone time than I did with my older phone, and perhaps less as now I text some calls rather than voice. I still don't use much of the data because I haven't gotten used to doing my internet work on the phone's small screen, and don't send photos or docs by phone. But then I'm retired and not into social media because of the insecurity issues those things present.

Anonymous said...

I have a non-android iphone 5. On a 120 mi card....
How much talk? How much Text? How much Cellular data? do I get
How is it applied to the 120 min card?

Anonymous said...

can minutes from one android phone be transferred to another android phone?

Baconface McGee said...

120 minutes should mean 120 calls and 120 texts if using a Android phone. Data is separate cards.

Bob62 said...

I have the lg 41c i use it very little. I had 3800 mins to start. My call duration shows i used 10 hours since feb 16. However the min count is now 2300. So tracfon says i used 25 hours. Tech support was no help they want the date the minutes diappeared.Any ideas how to verify on my phone? Can they get a monthly usage? Help thanks

Peter Vanosdall said...

I believe minutes cannot be split up, so if you only made a 40 second call, you will be charged for 1 minute. If you made a 1 minute 10 second call, it would charge 2 minutes. Anyone confirm this?

Anonymous said...

Can I buy just a data card?I have over 1000 text and talk minutes,but only 3.9 of data left.What is causing me to use so much data?

Gomer said...

Scroll down to Special Cards for data and texts cards

https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Purchase?payGo=true

Anonymous said...

If I buy a Tracfone and spend most of my time at my home (yes I have wifi), will my calls not deduct from my talk minutes?????????????????????

Anonymous said...

Will tracfone airtime and minutes transfer from an android to a nonandroid tracfone

Anonymous said...

Does it waste minutes when your using the tracfone wifi on an android

Gomer said...

If you mean using your phone at home for a call, you will be charged for the minutes. It is a phone and a computer for text, data, email.

Gomer said...

No because you are using the phone as a computer thru wifi which you pay for at home.

Gomer said...

Yesterday I traveled One hour and 10 minutes using Google Maps and used 3.42Mb of Data.

As I seldom use this app, I had trouble getting it to work until I realized that I had GPS and Data turned off. To turn on quickly, put your finger on the top of the screen and pull it down. The screen changes to six boxes and I assume you will see something like it. I see Font size, Mute, Brightness, Data connection, GPS, and my wifi connection. Tap on Data and GPS etc.

Gomer said...

Try swiping down from the top of your screen to see if there are buttons to turn on and off GPS, Wifi, Data, change brightness, font, mute. Of course if you have messages etc that will show up first until you deal with them. I keep data and gps turned off always unless I am in need of maps or needing to sent data.

Gomer said...

There were a lot of apps already installed on my phone and I use the one that is labeled "messages" If you tap on the center bottom icon on the home screen, a few screens of Icons come up. Find the one labeled Messages and use it. No ads, free. Hold the icon and move the widget to where you want it to have it readily available.

Anonymous said...

My wife just got me the LG SUNSET ANDROID SMARTPHONE from HSN. I have not activated yet. It offers triple talk, text, and data. If I use Facebook a lot will this drain my data quickly?

Gomer said...

Try and think of your smartphone as a phone and computer. Do your FB work when you have wifi available and it is just a computer, not using min, text, data. (See above comments to turn off data, etc) If you do FB away from wifi then of course you have to pay for the use of the cell service.

Get a My Account app and use the widget to keep track of your usage. Then do 10 minutes of FB while sitting in the park and then update your account app (uses text) and you will have an idea of how much it is costing you for those 10 minutes. Then do it again but just post a photo, and check your account again. Now you have a baseline for future reference. If you want to compare, turn off data and just use wifi and repeat the experiment.

Keeping your data turned off unless you are on the road will save you money. Keeping your GPS turned off will keep Google et al from tracking your movements.

Anonymous said...

My lg sunset is not connecting to use my mobile data. I want to use maps for traveling but its only lets me use wifi for that and fb. I have data turned on but is not connected i guess.

Gomer said...

Have you checked your Settings/Location access?

Anonymous said...

Did something just change regarding data? I use my phone very rarely and last time I checked, just a month ago, I had over 4000 minutes of phone time, over 4000 text messages, and more data than I would ever use. Just yesterday my data stopped working and when I checked my account, it says I have 0 data for browsing. What happened to all my data? I am never going to use all my phone or texting minutes. It just keeps piling up when I have to renew my service. Too bad you can't exchange minutes for data.

Anonymous said...

I just sent in a similar question. I was using my mobile data just fine until a couple days ago. I had checked my balance not more than a month ago and had over 4000 minutes, over 4000 text messages, and more data than I would ever use. I use my phone very rarely. It is an Android Samsung Galaxy. I use my data services very rarely so I had a lot left. Suddenly my data says I have 0 (zero). My phone is usually off so I am thinking something changed and now we have to buy data cards in addition to year service cards. Too bad. I would love to be able to trade my minutes for data. They just keep piling up every time I have to buy another year card to keep my service active.

Anonymous said...

If I were to switch out SIM cards with say a Net Ten phone to a SIM card from a Tracfone one will I be able to get triple minutes? Also seeing the fact that Tracfone offers the same phone model and that Net Ten and Tracfone are sister companies, would that apply?

Anonymous said...

Can I use an android tracfone over wifi for apps only and not add airtime or activate ?

Gomer said...

Yes. Think of your smartphone as a phone and a computer. Apps are mostly programs like you have on the computer. Turn off your data (and GPS too) when you don't actually need them, i.e. you have wifi available. "Data" is just a satellite version of wifi, but it costs you money. I may be wrong, but I think of Data as a secure form of wifi, when I'm in an airport or other public place and don't have access to secured wifi.

When available, make sure wifi is turned on and you are signed in to it. Then use the cellphone like a computer. You need a browser of course - Firefox, Chrome, etc. - just as you do on a desktop computer. The only caution with wifi is using "free wifi" in a public place which isn't security (password) protected - just like using your laptop at the airport. Unsecured wifi is a disaster waiting to happen to you. Unless someone more knowledgeable corrects me on this, use your Data and turn off wifi in a public place.

Anonymous said...

Do tracfone smartphones support wifi calling?

Gomer said...

If you can use the program on your computer and they have an android app, then why not? Skype offers an android app, and if you search for VOIP at Google Play you have a lot of choices. BTW, ALWAYS go to Google Play for your apps unless you like dealing with malware.

Anonymous said...

why does the Google Search on my TracFone stop working? And no I can't text anyone.

Gomer said...

This is a guess since you haven't given much info. Can you send an email but not text? Can you use the browser to surf the web, but not search? Type in "weather.gov" and it should take you to NOAA. If none of those things work, you need to check your Settings. Generally an app stops because you have something like wifi and/or data turned off.

Christie Tucker said...

Im wondering the same exact thing? Same exact phone too.

Christie Tucker said...

I was wonder the swke exact thing? If im using my home wifi will I loose data on my phone? Same android phone from HSN

Christie Tucker said...

I was wonder the swke exact thing? If im using my home wifi will I loose data on my phone? Same android phone from HSN

Tom said...

If I leave my data on, will I be charged for every min it is on?

Gomer said...

I just took a trip and learned something new about how data and GPS work together if you are following the map in your vehicle.

While at home with wifi, I went out to Google Maps and downloaded three area maps to cover the area I was going to travel in.(there is a limit on how much area one can download at one time) and saved them in "your places" so that we had the maps where we were staying which lacked wifi and cell..

Then I loaded the saved map for the area we were traveling in and later turned on and used the GPS while on the road. Later I realized that Data was turned off and not being used. Thus you can save some Data charges by having the maps already on the phone. In other words, when you are driving and use the GPS, the Data usage comes from having to download the map to make use of the location blue dot.

Does anyone know what the little blue triangle on the blue location dot is supposed to indicate. It did not always sappear to correspond to the compass direction we were traveling in - frequently pointing off to the left or right.

Gomer said...

If you insist on leaving it on (not recommended if you want to save money) you only use Data when you are using it to send or download docs, pics, maps, etc. - otherwise, you aren't really using any data.

The problem with leaving it on all the time is that it seems that some apps will defer to data before wifi. I'm not geek enough to explain it better than that. Again, if you are able to access secure wifi, turn off the data.

Anonymous said...

I have an LG Sunset Tracfone phone and to find your balance, dial *777*1#.
It will show the balance of all three.

Kurt Gil said...

does a app like trackmycar. us data time when its working on a tracphone

Gomer said...

I would guess it does because GPS needs a map to locate you on, therefore it needs to download the map, which requires data usage.

I suppose if you downloaded a map of the mall/wherever at home, then you would have the map already in your phone. If it was someplace you go to often it would be worth saving the map on you phone.

Gomer said...

Just curious - does dialing *777*1# cost you phone minutes?

If so, using "Tracfone My Account" at home on wifi would be cheaper.

James Murcks said...

Does trackfoned let me know when.I'm low on minuses or does it just.stop working or does it just me keep using it and charge me a big price

Gomer said...

Personally I've never chanced it (I hate it when I can't make a call because I've run out of minutes), which is why I followed Peter's advice after reading his excellent review of the "The Tracfone App" which I keep on my home screen and so am always aware of when I need to purchase more. BTW, I always update it at home on wifi.

http://tracfonereviewer.blogspot.com/2015/02/how-to-check-your-tracfone-airtime.html

Anonymous said...

Tracfone does now offer a 1000-text refill for $10 for smartphones. Go to their website, and under "Airtime", select "Smartphone and BYOP Only Plans". You should see it after the data-only refills.

Unknown said...

Hi, author of this article. I ran out of minutes but I know that someone was texting me. Now that I have minutes, the messages aren't coming. Why and how do I fix this? Thank you.

TAL said...

How exactly does the Messenger app from Facebook deduct minutes? When I got my phone a couple of months ago, I downloaded the app and within days my text message minutes were down to 0. So was I charged minutes for every notification that popped up? I no longer have it loaded on my phone as I am a little gun-shy about losing all my minutes again.

Anonymous said...

With the non-Android phones, you keep your minutes if you buy more airtime within 60 days. You do not have to buy it while you have some left. I don't know how this works with Android phones; am here to find out more before buying one.

Anonymous said...

Do you need minutes to use it only with Wi-Fi? I have a Tracfone that I just love because it is loud enough for me, and I want to keep my minutes on it. I don't want to have minutes on TWO Tracfones! But my tablet died, and this looks like a good affordable option to replace it, to use with simple apps like Gmail and eBay - when I am in a Wi-Fi hot spot. Can I do that?

Unknown said...

If I have triple 1200 min phone, text, data 1 year plan...what happens after 1 year do I lose any left mins ?and also when I buy new mins is there a time limit to use those mins?

anita zaguroli said...

If I have 1 year plan 1200 triple ph,text,data...what happens after one year do I lose my mins if still have some...another question if I need to buy more mins under a year do I have a time limit to use those too? Thx for the help new to trac phone and coming from a flip ph☺

Gomer said...

Nope, and nope. As long as you sign up for more contract DAYS, you don't lose anything. My wife has thousands of minutes on her phone because she only turns it on for emergencies but keeps renewing her contract each year.

Unknown said...

Just switched from LG to an iPhone5s. I have cell services off (except for voice) and using my wifi @ home.
Why am I getting charged for text messages?
Thanks in advance for input!

Rob B said...

I just purchased a 750 MB data-only card, and tried to add it as airtime. It didn't take. . . did I do something wrong? How do I add only data to my Android?

Anonymous said...

I got a text that says Service Msg from 24719 saying something about getting a notification for updating my phone. Does this take data/texts away from me when they send these messages to me? Can I keep them from sending them if they do?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for URL! First time I have been able to check my balance on BYOP! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You don't need to download the TracFone My Account app from the Google Play Store. A much easier way to check your (minutes/texts/data) balances on your TracFone Android smart phone is to dial *777*1# . From the times I've done this, I saw no deductions from my minutes or data. But you must "enable" data or mobile data on your phone for it to work which is not too much trouble since I tend to have data and wi-fi mostly disabled when not in use anyway. After checking your balances, you then can choose to disable it again. Enabling the phone's wi-fi is not required.

However this method does not tell you the service expiration date. For that, you can either note it down as a reminder usually 90 days or 1 year (from 1 Year service card) from the time you renewed service/add air time (on calendar), or create a new event reminder on your phone's calendar to alert you a day or up to 2 weeks ahead when it is time to add more, or go to https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance .

Anonymous said...

^^ Update: I just recently added airtime and checked my balance by dialing *777*1# before and after I did it. I did not realize until afterward that I had data/mobile data already disabled but my previous balance and updated balance of (minutes/text/data) were correctly shown. So it seems you don't need data to be on. It did not work the first time I tried with data off and thought that it had to be enabled so I turned it on and proceeded again with success. Now I know it can be done with data disabled.

Anonymous said...

Up until today, I had one of the tiny Samsung tracfones, and for some reason it rarely ever charged minutes for texting. The keypad was too small so today I got an LG tracfone and got everything transferred fine. But the LG does charge for texting.....what was the difference?

Katie said...

Do minutes, texts & data carryover for Android smartphones no matter which type of airtime card you choose?

Amanda Scaglione said...

I currently have a tracfone android phone (a cheap $20 one I got on amazon). I'm thinking of upgrading to another android tracfone. Would I be able to transfer all my minutes and phone number? I read a couple reviews that said when they upgraded to an android phone their minutes couldn't be transferred, but since I'm already using an android phone, it shouldn't be a problem, right?

Klrdn said...

dont understand 4 x (...)? did you mean 3 x ()?

Sues AkornShop said...

HOW do I add minutes though? Did I miss the steps???? Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

the "4 x 60" refers to how many times you would be purchasing an airtime card per year. He is not factoring in triple minutes. 1 card gives 90 days service which is 3 months, and there are 12 months in the year, so you have to add airtime at least 4 times a year.

Anonymous said...

I received a data card as a Christmas gift...but I don't use data. Is there any way to exchange it for airtime?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but I found it very confusing to try to get my minutes balance on my Android from the website...because it asks for the last 4 of your serial number. OK, here is the problem- when I go to my phone- Settings/About Phone/Status (on my Samsung Galaxy), it shows a serial number 2-3 lines below the MEID. Well, heck, I guess I am supposed to remember that they explain the MEID is also the serial number, on the red card I got- but that's not what my phone shows- nowhere does it say the MEID is the serial number-they have separate listings for each one. So imagine my confusion when I keep trying to enter the last four of my serial number and get nowhere. The cust. service ladies did not understand why I had a problem, and kept reiterating that the Red Card that came with my phone explained that the MEID (DEC) and the serial number were the same. And they rather talked down to me as they explained that the op guide also mentioned that. I couldn't recall- I was more interested in finding out how to plug it in, and turn it on! And if my phone had the correct serial number next to where it said "serial number"-- no problem. The reps said I was looking at the manufacturer's serial number(where did it say that it was the manufacturer's s.n. on my phone list? Nowhere.) So I asked if they could clarify the web page to say "Enter the last four of your serial number (also called MEID (DEC)": but they said they could not change the website. What? Is it controlled by the Mafia? I finally got a supervisor who apologized for the confusion, and said they would change it. Somehow, from past experience, I doubt they ever will. Call me a skeptic. But I am going to hope I am the only one with this confusion. However, having written tech manuals for computers for over 16 yrs, I think I can say that having two names for 1 item (serial number) is stupid- and it's going to be confusing to more than one person...

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of non-Android Tracfones we will be transferring numbers to new Ultimate 2 Tracfones. In regard to airtime: I am led to believe that our existing airtime will be tripled and split into three buckets on the new phones. Adding airtime directly to the Ultimate 2's will be different as the minutes are not tripled, they are whatever you pick. Therefore, would it not be advantageous to add airtime to the old phone prior to transferring service and porting numbers to the new phones as whatever is on the new phone would effectively be tripled?

Gomer said...

Well, with all due respect, reading would help you a lot before complaining especially at this review.

You write "I found it very confusing to try to get my minutes balance on my Android from the website".
If you had read above you would see that there is an app "Tracfone My Account" that you can get on Google Play and put a widget on your phone allowing you to update your balances automatically simply by tapping Update on the widget.

Then you complain here about stuff that you should go to the Samsung forum about. Tracfone doesn't have anything to do with how Samsung displays information, nor do all of us buy a Samsung brand phone, so Tracfone can't be held responsible for all the variety of "standard" ways phone companies display. And if you had read the Red Card from Tracfone, you would know what your SN was so you wouldn't have to look it up on the phone.

The Red card Tracfone gives you has START HERE in big white letters at the top. It really is a good place to start. Further down, there is a sticker that tells you in unfortunately fine print that the SN is also known as MEID etc. with your serial number printed below it.

Of course, if you had wanted to know what MEID stood for you could google it and you would see it meant SN, as well as IMEI and ESN and even "serial number" or SER ##, or any other of a dozen ways that people make up names for that 1 item, however stupid and confusing it might be to everyone who doesn't read the directions.

Having read countless tech manuals in my 70 years, I can tell you that reading them always helps a lot even if the writers force you to learn all the acronyms, technical jargon, and arcane terms they coin to explain something that could be called by some standardize term. But somehow, from past experience, I doubt that this will cause you to change your habits either.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am evaluating if the Tracfone Smartphone plans will meet my needs. My question: is it possible to buy service days only with the Smartphone plans?

For example, 365 service days for a price like $49.99 (which was possible in the older (non-smart) phone plans--I used to have the option when buying on tracfone.com to add a year's service time to my non-smart phone airtimecard order for an additional $49.99).

So, If it is possible to buy service days only for the SmartPhone airtime cards, what are the prices and days offered?

Thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have experience with a Windows 10 phone used with Tracfone's BYOP (Bring-Your-Own-Phone) program? With a Windows 10 phone, if you buy an airtime card, do the minutes triple? (For example, a 200 minute airtime card gives you 600 minutes, 600 texts, and 600 MB.)

Anonymous said...

I checked on this and found the answer with a chat session on tracfoneforum.com forum.

The answer is: yes, for $49.99.

The transcript:

John: I am wondering: if I buy a Smartphone and BYOP Plans airtime card with 500 minutes, 1000 texts, 400 MB data, and 90 service days from the tracfone.com web site for $35, does the ordering process allow me to buy an extra 365 days of service time?
Jean: Yes, you can purchase an additional 365 plan.
John: How much does it cost?
Jean: Please allow me a moment while I check on this.
Jean: It will cost you $49.99.
John: Ok - thank you! Bye.

Unknown said...

NO

Anonymous said...

I have an old fashion tracfone. I would like to upgrade to a tracfone smart phone. I never text, rarely call; mostly have it for a possible emergency or an occasional call. The reason I want to change would be to be able to access the internet (google) remotely. What cost effective option would you recommend. Will I have to pay any new costs or just the usual minutes?

Gomer said...

If you turn off Data and only use WiFi it doesn't cost anything. However ONLY use a WiFi that is secure! If you can't then it will cost you Data, but if you rarely use it, then you won't have to worry much about running out. Remember a smartphone is just a phone with a computer. It has a camera, GPS, and lots of tools (apps) as well, but don't worry about those.
BTW, once you find out all the stuff you can do with a smart phone, I'm sure you will use it more. Email, maps, use it as a flashlight, camera, contact list, grocery lists, important numbers to remember like the oil filter number for your car, etc. You'll be amazed at how smart you will be after a while. LOL Good luck

Anonymous said...

can you move minutes from one "pool" to another

Katherine P said...

Yes. Register with an account on Tracfone.com. We did this for my husband.

Anonymous said...

If I am changing my tracfone lg840 over to an android, how do my remaining minutes change over. Into the 3 pools, divided equally or just in talk

Unknown said...

You have to turn off the mobile data option under "more" when connected to free Wi-Fi or TracFone still quietly charges you for somehow using their network services. They don't tell users this upfront. It's a gotcha thing.

Anonymous said...

MORE LIES! I purchased a ZTE SMART Tracphone from HSN and was told Triple Minutes. I just bought SMARTphone airtime card from Tracfone and DID not get Triple Minutes! When I complained to Tracfone, they would not give me Triple Minutes On Their Smart Phone & BYOP Card I purchased. They told me That Card did not offer that feature (Bait and switch!) I complained to HSN......
Ray

Peter Vanosdall said...

Yes, the smartphone only cards don't triple.

Unknown said...

I got same deal but when I activated phone triple minutes appeared! no Tracfone card used

Anonymous said...

I would like to give my daughter my iphone 6 and purchase the 1500 minutes 1500 texts 1500 mb year card for $125. Before I purchase I want have a few questions. If she is on our home wifi and texts with her friends will it use her texting minutes? If she is on out home wifi, will it use her data. OR does it work like a regular cell phone switching between the two?

Anonymous said...

I just wasted too many airtime units trying to get a straight answer from someone working with a script. When I use my phone to check my email account. It takes about 5 seconds to load my email index and when I click on new emails it takes all of another 5 seconds to list them. I look at a couple and then logout and off of the web. Now I expected a hit in my DATA units but instead, not as well, I got a 91 unit hit in my air time for what was 3 minutes in real time. I want to know why my airtime gets beat up instead of my data units getting used. My Tracfone script reader wasn't even close to coming up with a close answer.

Alice said...

I want to switch from a Tracfone flip-phone to a Tracfone smartphone. When I get a group text on my flip-phone, I have to first do a download (which charges me a certain amount) & then when I actually open the text it charges me an additional amount. Will something similar happen on a smartphone? Will I be charged for 2 texts (since it is a 2 step process on a flip-phone) when I try to open a group text? Also will group texts on a Tracfone smartphone be displayed as an "ongoing" conversation or will I end up seeing each person's reply to the group text as a separate text like it does on my flip-phone?

Gomer said...

Alice, texting charges on a smart phone are separate from the phone charges (separate accounts), whereas text and voice are the same account on your flip-phone and I can't understand why you are charged twice. Have you contacted TF to ask why? I've never had two charges on the smart phone.
On the other hand, I've no experience with group texting, as I use my email for groups and download using secure wifi which is free.

Gomer said...

I'm pretty sure she will be charged regardless because texting relies on phone service. You might want to check out this website for how to send text for free from a computer. http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-send-free-text-messages-online/ (There are various methods depending on your OS.)

To prevent use of data, you must turn it off and wifi on. I find the tendency is to default to data (more profitable) when available. Having only wifi on at home is cheaper.

Jasa said...

Use Google Hangouts or similar app to make calls using your wi-fi then you shouldn't use up your minutes.(Make sure to turn off location and mobile network)