May 24, 2019

Tracfone Closing 3G CDMA Network- (Now Extended to late 2020)

Tracfone CDMA Phones Must be 4G VoLTE by end of 2019

The latest news and information from TracfoneReviewer.

tracfone says I have to get a new phone
Why Tracfone is Making Users Get New Phones
Starting a few months ago, some Tracfone users received messages from Tracfone that their CDMA devices won't work with Tracfone by the end of 2019. For a CDMA phone to work it must have VoLTE enabled in order to make calls.

What does this mean for you and why is it happening? We've got those answers for you plus additional information on phones that are VoLTE capable.

Why is Tracfone Shutting Down 3G and 2G CDMA Networks?
Many users are asking why Tracfone is shutting down their network and forcing them to get a new phone.

The answer is, Tracfone uses Verizon's networks, and Verizon is shutting down their 2G and 3G networks which will affect any Tracfone CDMA devices using these networks.

Verizon has been planning this closure for several years and planning accordingly by including VoLTE with the phones they sell. But Tracfone doesn't seem to have planned it out so well, with only some of their more recent phone offerings including VolTE so many users will have to get a new phone to maintain service coverage.

UPDATE: Verizon has decided to push back the closure until the end of 2020, thus allowing Tracfone users to also have a little more time before they will need to upgrade phones. We will continue to update with more information soon.

Why do you need a new phone to get service? The answer is VoLTE capability.

What is VoLTE and Why Do I Need It?
The term VoLTE simply stands for Voice over LTE (with 4G LTE meaning 4th Generation Long Term Evolution) which means phone calls use the LTE data networks rather than the older voice networks.

In the past (and with many of Tracfone's CDMA phones), smartphones would use the LTE networks for data, while using the 2G or 3G networks for voice calls.  Only phones that are VoLTE capable can make voice calls on the 4G LTE network. Thus, with Verizon closing 2G and 3G networks, only VoLTE capable phones will be able to make calls.

Some may be asking why Verizon needs to close their 2G and 3G networks? The reasoning is that they will be able to repurpose these bands for higher speed 4G LTE and possibly 5G in the future.

Do I Need to Upgrade my Tracfone CDMA Smartphone?
If you received a message from Tracfone that your phone is not compatible after 2019, then you will likely need to buy a new phone.

Check out the Latest Tracfone Smartphones available.

However, in some cases it seems that the VoLTE capability can be 'turned on' for an account/SIM card. Information is still difficult to nail down, and how or why this works is also a bit murky, but some users have reported several different methods for getting VoLTE on their phone.

This only is working on somewhat newer phones, like the Samsung Galaxy J3 Sky, Sky Pro, and Luna among others. It may be worth trying before going out to buy a new phone.

To try and enable VoLTE turn off your phone, remove the SIM card and remove the battery (if possible) and wait for 20 minutes. Then reinstall the battery and SIM, and turn the phone on. To check if the phone has VoLTE, make a call and look in the top bar to see if the phone switches from 4G LTE coverage to 4G or 3G. If the phone switches out of 4G LTE, it is not using VoLTE.

Additionally, some users reported transferring service from a non VoLTE enabled device to a VoLTE capable device, and then transferring back and keeping the VoLTE. Activating a new SIM card in your phone may also turn on VoLTE.

Tracfone didn't activate VoLTE on the phones they were selling until more recently, but many are capable, they just need to be activated.

So what phones are VoLTE capable?

List of VoLTE Capable Phones from Tracfone

The phones listed below are compatible with VoLTE according to Tracfone. This list is not complete, and we will continue to add to it as we learn more. A number of older smartphones may be compatible, but

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Crown
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro
  • Motorola Moto G6
  • Motorola Moto E5
  • LG Fiesta 2
  • LG Stylo 4
  • LG Stylo 3
  • LG Premier Pro
  • LG Rebel 4
  • LG Rebel 3
  • LG Rebel 2
  • Alcatel TCL LX
  • Alcatel TCL A1
  • Alcatel MyFlip
  • ZTE Blade T2
  • ZTE ZFIVE C
  • ZTE Z233
  • iPhone 6 or newer

What About Unlocked Phones?
For unlocked devices, almost all recently released phones are VoLTE compatible. Here is a list of compatible phones that is from 2017 but includes which older devices (such as the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S5) have VoLTE.

For those who might want to dig deeper there is a lengthy thread on HowardForums on this topic.

Leave a comment if you have questions, thoughts or additional information. We will continue to update this post as more details emerge.

Join us over on Facebook with a growing community to stay up on all the latest news and information.

If you are new to Tracfone start with our Beginners Guide or take a look at 6 Ways to Check your Tracfone Airtime.

Also don't miss our list of the best Deals, Discounts and Sales on Tracfone devices.

Thanks for visiting!

May 7, 2019

How to Buy Only Texts for your Tracfone Smartphone

How Texting Works with Tracfone and How to Add More

buy texts for tracfone
How to Buy Texts for Tracfone
For many of us, texting is our biggest drain of minutes on our Tracfone smartphone. And up until now, the only way to add more texts was by getting a card for more calling and data as well.

With Tracfone smartphones, each text you send or receive deducts from your total amount of texts. When you buy prepaid airtime cards, they allow you to make calls, send texts and surf the web on data. Tracfone sells a variety of prepaid cards (for both regular devices and smartphones), and each card adds more texts, data and calling minutes at the same time in different amounts.

With airtime split for smartphones into Talk, Text and Data buckets,, you can run out of data or texts and have to buy more calling minutes to refill your data and texts, even if you don't want any more calling minutes.

But Tracfone now offers a prepaid card you can purchase to add 1000 extra texts for $5. It is also possible to buy extra Data for your Tracfone as well and you can follow the link to learn more.

It is very convenient to be able to just buy additional texts, especially as Tracfone offers more and more smartphones. And remember that these data and text specific cards only work with smartphones.

Let's break down how the text card works, and where to get it.

What is the Text Only Card and What do you Get?

There are three kinds of prepaid cards you can buy from Tracfone to use with your smartphone:

  • Regular Airtime Cards - available for all phones
  • Smartphone Only Airtime Cards - only available with smartphones
  • Add-on Cards - only available with smartphones

The regular airtime cards (with varying amounts from 60 minutes to 450 minutes) are generally not the best deal, especially for heavy data or text users as they don't give you as many texts/data for the price. However, some phones with triple minutes help make these cards a more reasonable deal.

buy text 1000 card
Text Refill Card available at Target
Smartphone Only cards have specific amounts of talk/text/data and generally give more text/data than talk time because most users tend to use more texts and data. The smartphone only cards range in price from $15 to $125.

Finally, Tracfone also offers add on cards which, unlike the other two kinds of cards, only add one type of airtime (either talk, text, data or service days).

Here are the current Tracfone Add On Cards:
  • Talk - 500 Talk Minutes for $10
  • Text - 1000 Texts for $5
  • Data - ! GB Data for $10
  • Service Days - 1 Year of Service for $50 (Currently unavailable, Tracfone may have removed this)
At first glance, 1000 texts for $5 looks like a good deal, but is it? Let's break it down.

Comparing the Cost Per Text for Airtime and Text Cards

Is it cheaper to buy an Airtime card or a Text card to refill your Texts?

If you buy the 60 Minute Airtime card, you will get 60 texts, which is tripled to 180 on some smartphones (you also get 180 calling minutes, and 180 mb of data, plus 90 days of service) for $20. This works out to just over 1.4 cents per text after factoring out the value of the talk, data and service days you also get.

If you get the $25 Smartphone Only Card you get 500 minutes, 1000 texts, 500 mb data and 60 service days. This works out to 0.6 cents per text, which is a little better than the 60 minute card.

And what does the 1000 texts for $5 come to per text? 0.5  cents per text, which is the best deal.

buy texts for tracfone
Tracfone Text Card 1000
As you can clearly see, if you only need text messages for your phone, the special text card is the best deal. But if you need additional calling, data or service days, some of the smartphone only cards are also a good deal.

We recently created a Full Comparison of Tracfone Airtime Cards which looks at which airtime card is the best deal, and includes information on text and data only cards.

So what should you do if you need just a few calling and data minutes, plus service days, but go through texts quickly? Try buying some of the lower cost airtime cards that include plenty of service days, like the 60 minute card which as 90 service days, and then buy additional text add on cards as needed.

Where to Buy the 1000 Texts Card

The 1000 Texts Card is available as an add-on from the Tracfone website. The cards can also be found in many retail stores including Target and Walmart, and also online from many sources such as Amazon.

Get Bonus Texts when adding the Text Only Card! Don't forget that there are often promo codes for extra texts (500 to 1000) when adding the 100 text card! Visit our Tracfone Promo Code page to see the codes!

We hope this analysis is help for you if you're comparing airtime cards. Drop us a comment below if you have questions, or additional insight to share.

If you are new to Tracfone, start with our Beginners Guide!

Be sure to take a look at our Tracfone BYOP page, which has information about using unlocked phones with Tracfone, such as the new Moto G7 which we reviewed recently.

Find the lowest prices on new phones with our Tracfone Deals and Sales List which includes both Tracfone devices and unlocked phones.

Finally, join us on Facebook with a growing community of helpful people and send us a message if you have specific questions!

Thanks for visiting!

May 1, 2019

Tracfone Promo Codes for May 2019

Tracfone Promo Codes - May 2019

Gathered and shared by TracfoneReviewer

tracfone promo code may
Tracfone Promo Codes May 2019
Spring is in full swing, flowers are blooming, and we've got new Tracfone Promo Codes to share with you!

Listed below are the latest promotional codes from Tracfone that we gather and share each month for our readers to use and get additional airtime for free.

With these codes you can get 40 to 300 extra minutes, plus bonus data or texts for some of the cards. We have promo codes for both regular airtime cards and smartphone only cards. The list below is just the freshest codes for May, but we have many more options on our main Tracfone Promo Code page.

Some of these codes only work for certain devices, or may be one time use. To get the bonus minutes, simply enter the code at the appropriate time when adding an airtime card to your phone.This can be done online, on your phone, or over the phone.

If you are looking for a new phone to add airtime to, take a look at the Latest List of Tracfone Smartphones (2019) to see what phones are available or consider an unlocked phone like the Moto G7 we recently reviewed.

Now let's get tot he list of codes.

Tracfone Promo Codes - May 2019

Regular Airtime Cards

60 Minute Card use code 12745 and get 60 bonus minutes (Working for some)

120 Minute Card enter 10106 for 30 extra minutes

200 Minute Card add code 37227 and receive 40 free minutes

450 Minute Card use code 26642 to get 50 bonus minutes

1 Year/400 Minute Card add 54654 for 300 extra free minutes

$15 off the 1 Year/400 Minute Card with code 70362 (online only)


Smartphone Only Airtime Cards

15397 - 100 bonus Data - $25 Smartphone Only Card - May 2019

16311 - 1000 bonus Texts - 1000 Text Only Card - May 2019

14223 - 500 bonus MB Data - 1 GB Data Card - Working May 2019

38783 - 1000 bonus Texts - 1000 Text Only Card - Working May 2019

These are the latest codes to use when adding a Tracfone airtime card. We hope these codes work for you! Leave a comment below and let us know which code you used and how it worked.

Find cheap phones and low prices in our Tracfone Deals, Discounts and Sales post including both Tracfone smartphones and unlocked devices.

Join us on Facebook with a growing community of over 3000 and plenty of helpful advice from other members.

And don't miss out our recently updated guide to Checking your Tracfone Airtime Balance which includes six different ways to do that.

Thanks for visiting!