Tracfone is one of the leading no-contract wireless providers. It provides its clients with extra freedom as they are not locked into a contract and are able to select and switch plans as they please. Moreover, they can walk away at any time.
Tracfone operates on the largest and most dependable networks in America (it uses the same networks as all other big carriers) and as such offers unbeatable nationwide coverage.
With Tracfone, there are no hidden extra costs and fees. Moreover, they offer unlimited carryover of unused minutes, texts, and data as long as your service is active, which is really something that almost no other carrier offers.
Basically, you can use their SIM card with your existing phone or one of the phones purchased with them and then simply add air time as you go or set up automated purchases to save extra money.
Herein we will cover all the details regarding Tracfone bring your own phone (BYOP) option, which should help you massively to decide whether or not Tracfone is the right choice for you and what action steps to take is you decide to bring your existing device.
TracFone Bring Your Own Phone Process
There are many reasons why you might want to bring your phone. You may love your current phone too much to say goodbye to it just yet, you may want to save money by holding on to your current device a bit longer, you may want to be as environmentally friendly by not producing additional waste with too frequent phone changing, or maybe you’ve just gotten used to your existing phone and don’t want to struggle with new phone’s interface and setting up process. Whichever the case, we get it and we support your decision and so does Tracfone.
As such they make their BYOP process as simple as possible. You can always find a local dealer (https://www.tracfone.com/findastore) and solve everything in person, however, the simplest and by far the easiest way is to do so online.
Tracfone BYOP Process is as simple as 5 steps: COMPATIBILITY CHECK, SIM CARD ACTIVATION KIT (and PLAN SELECTION), SIM CARD INSTALLATION, and ACTIVATE THE SIM CARD. All this can be done from the comfort of your home with ease.
Below we will provide you with detailed instructions regarding each step to make your BYOP process as simple and smooth as possible.
If you want to know about free phone then please visit Government Free Phone
TracFone BYOP Compatibility Check
Once on the Tracfone’s home page look for the “LOVE YOUR PHONE? KEEP IT” section and click on the “LEARN MORE” button. This will get you to the BYOP site, where you have to scroll down until you see the “Check compatibility button”.
This button will get you to the compatibility check page. There you will get to choose between the 5 options applicable to your phone:
- AT&T-COMPATIBLE– if you have purchased your current device at the AT&T or know that it is compatible with the AT&T network. If you click on this option, you will be automatically thrown to the next step since Tracfone operates on the same network as the AT&T network and means your device is compatible (you can move on to the next section). Check out AT&T Deals for Existing Customers
- T-MOBILE-COMPATIBLE – if you have purchased your current device at the T-MOBILE or know that it is compatible with the T-MOBILE network. If you click on this option, you will be automatically thrown to the next step since Tracfone operates on the same network as the T-MOBILE network and means your device is compatible (you can move on to the next section).
- VERIZON-COMPATIBLE – if you have purchased your current device at the VERIZON or know that it is compatible with the VERIZON network. If you click on this option, you will be directed to the page where you will be asked to enter your phone’s IMEI or MEID (instructions on how to find this number will be provided on the page). Once you have the number, enter it in the box and then click on the “CONTINUE” button. If your device is compatible you may continue to the next section. Check out Verizon free govt phone , Verizon Phone and Plan Deals
- I HAVE AN UNLOCKED GSM PHONE – If you are certain that you own an unlocked device. If you click on this option, you will be automatically thrown to the next step since all unlocked phones are compatible with all wireless networks (you can move on to the next section).
- OTHER / I DON’T KNOW – If you don’t know if what is up with your phone and are not sure if it matches any of the above options. If you click on this option, you will be directed to the page where you will have to select your current service provider from a drop-down menu. If you don’t know your current service provider (carrier), use the instructions below. Then select the right option and click the “CONTINUE” button. It depends on your selection whether you will be taken to the next page (if compatible) or you might be asked to enter your phones IMEI or MEID number. If you see a message that your phone is compatible, move to the next section, however, if your phone is not compatible, you will have to make the necessary arrangement to unlock your phone (more on that in the upcoming sections) or purchase a new phone at Tracfone.
NOTE: Read the following to find out your carrier. There are four ways to find your carrier:
- Reboot your phone. The screen should display the carrier’s name as it powers back on.
- If your phone does not display the name of a carrier, then you may have an unlocked device. You can search online to determine whether you have a GSM or CDMA-capable device.
- Refer to your phone’s manual or contact your previous service provider to find out which network your phone is/was using.
- If your service is active, there are some free online tools to help find your carrier by entering your phone number.
Purchase SIM Activation Kit
After completing the verification and if your phone is compatible, you will be given two options:
- You can enter the Tracfone SIM card number (this is in case you might have already purchased Tracfone’s SIM card or someone else purchased it for you). If you already have a Tracfone SIM card, enter its number and
- Enter your ZIP code and click the “BUY A SIM CARD” button to access a page where you will purchase a SIM card.
Since most of you probably don’t have a Tracfone SIM card just yet, you will go with the latter option.
Once you have entered your zip code and clicked on the button, you will land on a page showing SIM card kits available for your location. Most areas have SIM kits for T-MOBILE, VERIZON, and AT&T, so you can choose whichever you prefer if you have unlocked the phone but if you are currently on any of the three networks make sure to choose the corresponding SIM kit. They all cost only $0.99.
If you want to read more detail about each SIM kit option, just click on it. All kits include a nano SIM card with micro and standard SIM card adapters.
Once you have decided on the kit you want, click on it and scroll down until you see the “ADD TO CART” button. Click on it to get to the plan selection step.
On the next step, you can select a plan that suits you best or choose the “SERVICE PLAN NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME” option if you plan to add airtime later on. Simply click on the plan you want to select it and then click the “CONTINUE” button on the right-hand side.
This will get you to your shopping cart, where must click on the ”CHECK OUT” button to finalize the purchase. You will then be able to complete your purchase by entering your payment method and delivery address.
SIM Card Installation
The SIM card kits are normally delivered very fast. As soon as you get it, you may open the package and start with the SIM card installation process.
This process is slightly different for every device, however, in general, you must locate your phone’s SIM card slot, remove the existing SIM card (unless you have a double SIM option, in which case you can just add the new one) and insert the one sent to you by Tracfone.
Now the exact location of the SIM card slot depends on your phone’s model; with older models, you may have to take out the battery to access it, however, most newer smartphones have a separate SIM card slot on the side of the phone, which is opened by sticking a point of a stretched paper clip (or special tool that is designed for this) into the small hole.
When inserting your new SIM card, make sure to have a good look at the current SIM card. Is it nano, micro, or maybe regular size? Make sure to use the appropriate SIM card adapter.
If you need help with changing your phone’s SIM card, call Tracfone support at 1-800-867-7183. Their centers are open from 8 AM to 11:45 PM)(EST), 7 days a week. Moreover, you can visit one of their local stores as well or simply use Google and type into the search bar ‘How to change SIM card on [YOUR PHONE MODEL]’.
NOTE: It is always best to turn your phone off while installing the SIM card.
Within the SIM kit, you will also find SIM card’s PIN number, which you will need to enter once you have successfully installed it into your phone and powered on your phone.
TracFone SIM Card Activation
Inside the SIM kit package, you will also find a SIM card ID number, which is located on the lower end of the card that is holding the SIM card. You will use this number to activate your SIM card.
In general, there are three options and they each have a slightly different activation process:
- You Have a Tracfone’s Phone: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/tracfonecollectinfo
- You’re bringing your own smartphone: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/byopcollectsim
- You have other devices: https://www.tracfone.com/activation/tracfonecollectinfo
Since most of you are probably bringing your own phone and have come to this point by following the instruction in the previous section, then you should choose the ‘I’m bringing my own smartphone’ option. Simply follow the link above and enter your SIM card number and click the “CONTINUE” button to finish the process.
You can also activate your Tracfone SIM card using Tracfone My Account App or by calling the customer care center at 1-800-867-7183.
If you face any problems with your activation, please refer all questions to Tracfone’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183.
How Does TracFone Work?
Tracfone is a contract-free wireless provider. They operate on the same networks as reputable large carriers, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. They provide their customers with a SIM kit, which is then used with a device.
You may use their SIM card with your existing phone (BYOP option) or purchase a new/refurbished highly affordable phone with them. In either case, you must activate the SIM card and load it with airtime.
Airtime is basically credit (also known as minutes (for basic phones)) that you use towards minutes, texts, and data. Tracfone airtime cards can be purchased in many local stores or online. If you are purchasing a Tracfone SIM kit online (as described in the previous section), it makes sense to also purchase an airtime card at the same time for it to arrive with your SIM card. This will enable you to start using your phone with Tracfone’s SIM card right after the activation.
They have various types of airtime cards, which are available in different price ranges. In general, they offer four different types of airtime:
- Unlimited Talk and text 30-day plans and Classic Service Plans (both for smartphones)
- Basic Phone Plans, and
- Add-on Cards
Each type of airtime card has various values, which represent the number of minutes, texts, and data you get. Moreover, they also have a specific time frame in which your phone is active (from 30 to 365 days). However, if you extend your phone’s activity by adding airtime before the current airtime expires, you may transfer existing airtime into the next period.
Moreover, Tracfone provides you with an auto-refill option, which normally results in discounted prices.
NOTE: The difference is that smartphones (Android devices) keep a separate count of talk minutes, texts, and data, while traditional cells (‘regular’ cards) offer minutes, which are split for all three services. E.g.: If you purchase a 60-minute card for a regular/basic phone, it will give you 60 minutes of talk, 60 messages, and 60 MB of data.
How do you activate a new TracFone?
Whether you have purchased a new phone at Tracfone or you have an existing phone that is compatible with Tracfone, the activation process is the same. You may use their website, their app, or their customer support to complete the activation process.
For all the details on that process refer to the ‘TracFone SIM Card Activation’ section above.
How do I reactivate my old TracFone?
If you have an existing Tracfone SIM card but haven’t added airtime before the previously added airtime expired, your SIM card is deactivated. There is a way to reactivate it. You can simply follow the activation process again and then fill your account with airtime.
For detail refer to the ‘TracFone SIM Card Activation’ section or call Tracfone’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183.
TracFone Activation Problems
Normally the activation runs smoothly, however, if you by any chance encounter any issues, it is best to use a different phone (not the one you are trying to activate) to call Tracfone’s support at 1-800-867-7183 and they will guide you and help you find a solution.
Moreover, you can also find a local representative and sort any possible issues in person. You can easily find a local dealer/representative at https://www.tracfone.com/findastore. Once on that web page, enter zip code and choose a mile radius.
Common Q&A regarding the activation/reactivation process:
- How long does it take to get my service active? In most areas, your service will be Active instantly. In some other areas, it may take up to 24 hours.
- Will I need to add Airtime if I am Reactivating my TracFone? When Reactivating your TracFone, you will only need to add Airtime if the Service End Date has expired.
- What if I place the Activation call to my TracFone, and instead of it ringing, I receive a recorded message? Please wait an additional 24 hours and try the test call again. You may have called before the Customer Care Center was able to Activate your phone. If the problem continues and you still receive a recorded message, call their Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183 from a phone other than your TracFone and the representative will assist you in correcting the situation.
- How do I keep the smartphone activated? Purchase and add an airtime Service Plan before your Service Days expire.
- Can I change my phone number? In order to change your phone number, you will need to contact their Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183 and a representative will assist you with the process.
- Can I reactivate my phone in a different ZIP Code? Yes, as long as your phone’s technology is compatible with the area.
- Can I change my area code? The wireless phone number can be changed only up to 4 times per year. Please contact their Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183 to change your number.
- What should I do if the phone number given to me during Activation does not match the number displayed on my phone? Please call their Customer Care Center at 1-800-867-7183 to resolve this issue.
- Why is the number given to me during the Activation different from the number displayed on my wireless phone? The number assigned to your wireless phone upon Activation may not match the number displayed on your phone due to a technology issue in your area. Please use the number given to you upon Activation as your wireless phone number.
What Does TracFone Triple Minutes Mean
Based on Tracfone’s airtime cards for basic phones, which are marked in various minutes (1500-minute card, 450-minute card, 400-minute card, 200-minute card, 120-minute card, 60-minute card, and 30-minute card), they used to offer triple minutes. This meant that a 400-minute airtime card would provide a user with 1200 minutes for talks, 1200 texts, and 1200MB of data.
Does TracFone Still Offer Triple Minutes?
Triple minutes are no longer available to every Tracfone client as they used to be.
With their new unlimited airtime cards for smartphones, the above changed and triple minutes aren’t a regular practice anymore. However, by purchasing a new phone with Tracfone, you may be offered a special deal, which often triples your credit (this depends on the type of phone, your location, and current availability).
How to Work Triple Minutes with TracFone
If you do get a special offer in the form of triple minutes, there is no special way to work with them. Simply use them as you please. However, make sure to keep in mind your airtime’s timeframe. Once that time limit is reached, your SIM card and all airtime will be deactivated unless you extend your Tracfone plan, in which case you can also transfer your unused minutes.
Can I Use My TracFone With Another Carrier
All devices purchased at Tracfone can be unlocked, which will allow you to use any of Tracfone’s phones with any other carrier.
TRACFONE UNLOCKING POLICY:
- Customers must request handset unlocking.
- Customers must have had their locked device activated on TracFone service for no fewer than 12 months, redeemed air time cards in no fewer than 12 months, and not have had their telephone number recycled or ported.
- Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their active service days expire. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer’s telephone number was recycled or ported.
- Customers must currently own a TracFone branded handset model launched on TracFone’s service after February 11, 2014, or activated with TracFone’s service after February 11, 2015.
- Customers must possess a handset that is in working condition.
- Customers must possess a handset that is not reported stolen, lost, or associated with fraudulent activity.
- If a customer requesting handset unlocking is deployed military personnel, upon provision of deployment papers, TracFone will honor that customer’s unlocking request by sending a refund for the Trade-in Value of the used, locked phone returned by the customer without regard for the 12 months of service activation and air card redemption eligibility requirements. However, all other eligibility criteria apply to TracFone’s customers who are deployed military personnel.
- Customers are eligible for this program only once every twelve months.
NOTE: Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit a request can do so through an online portal at https://www.tfwunlockpolicy.com, or call 1-888-442-5102.
How to Activate TracFone on Other Carrier
To activate a Tracfone device on other carriers, you will have to get new carriers SIM card and use it on Tracfone’s phone. Each carries has a very similar process to the one presented herein for Tracfone.
However, there are two prerequisites for you to be able to use your Tracfone on other carriers. First, that carrier must offer the BYOP option and second, your phone must be compatible. Each carrier has a slightly different process, however, most of them have an online compatibility check option.
NOTE: Keep in mind that an unlocked phone is compatible with all carriers that offer the BYOP option.
Here are some of the popular wireless providers that offer BYOP options:
- Assist Wireless
- Q Link
- SafeLink Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- TAG Mobile
- Access Wireless
Unlock Tracfone Phones
Tracfone offers a wide range of phones, however, their current offers depend on the location. The easiest way to check what type of phones are available is to visit their online shop.
Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter which type of phone you buy, whether it is an iPhone, Samsung, LG or any other, Tracfone respects their Unlocking policy and can unlock any of those for you, of course, in accordance with their unlocking policy presented above.
List of TracFone Compatible Phones
Below are some of the phone models that are normally compatible with Tracfone, however, you should know that the phone’s compatibility depends on its origins. For instance, certain wireless companies sell unlocked phones, while other code them in a way to make them compatible only with their network, no matter the phone’s model.
All unlocked phones, AT&T, and T-Mobile phones are compatible with Tracfone. Phones that don’t fall in either of those categories, should be checked as per the instructions in the ‘TracFone BYOP Compatibility Check’ section above.
The phones that are normally compatible with Tracfone:
Alcatel Pixi Unite, Alcatel OneTouch Pixi Avion LTE, Alcatel OneTouch Pixi Bond LTE, Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro, LG Fiesta, ZTE ZFive, ZTE ZMAX Champ, LG Rebel 2, Samsung Galaxy Luna Pro, iPhone SE, LG Fiesta 2, LG Rebel 3, LG Stylo 3, LG Premier Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S Plus, LG Stylo 4, Moto E5, LG Rebel 4, Samsung Galaxy J7 Crown, Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit, Motorola Moto G6, Alcatel TCL LX A502DL, Alcatel MyFlip A405DL, DORO (D7050TL), Alcatel TCL A1X (A503DL), Samsung Galaxy A10e (S102DL), Samsung Galaxy J2 (S260DL), LG Solo LTE, BLU View 1 (B100DL), LG Stylo 5, Samsung Galaxy A20, Samsung Galaxy A50, Moto E6, Moto G7 Power/Play, iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone 11, and many others.