Why Should You Activate A TracFone SIM Card?
TracFone Wireless is America’s number 1 prepaid no-contract wireless provider. It operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which uses the cellular towers and network of all 4 major carriers (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) and offers customers a large variety of the best mobile devices, affordable plans, and other services.
In this article, we will discuss TracFone’s SIM card activation process and explore exactly how to activate a TracFone SIM card. But let’s begin with why – what benefits will you get once you activate your TracFone SIM card?
Well, all of TracFone’s services are encrypted in the company’s SIM card and depend on the card being active. You can buy a TracFone cell phone and their SIM but if you don’t activate it, you won’t be able to use and enjoy any of their services. It is an active SIM card that allows you to use one of TracFone’s low-cost plans, enjoy nationwide coverage, and even make calls and send text messages. A SIM card holds your phone number, rate plan, Location Area Identity, service features and preferences, address book, PIN lock, and more.
What To Check Before Activating A Tracfone SIM Card?
Before you activate your TracFone SIM card, you should check some important factors and considerations.
1. Verify TracFone coverage in your area
As we have mentioned before, TracFone is an MVNO that uses the network of all four major carriers and offers both GSM and CDMA coverage. However, as each customer only gets one device and network, it is important to check which network has the best network in your area and choose both the device and the network accordingly. You can verify the best coverage in your area by entering your ZIP code at tracfone.com/coverage/check.
In case you are planning to bring your own phone, make sure it is unlocked and compatible with the network that has the best coverage in the area where you live. Some smartphones support both GSM and CDMA technology and can therefore be used with any of the four networks.
2. Check TracFone compatibility devices
TracFone offers customers to bring their own mobile device, to keep their number (or get a new one), and even to keep their network. At TracFone, bringing your own phone is simple. All you have to do is check if your mobile device is compatible, buy an activation kit, and choose the plan that best fits your needs. You can check your phone’s compatibility at tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone.
3. Check TracFone plans
The next thing, you must do before activating your SIM card is to choose a plan that will suit you best. If you are already a customer, you can enter your phone number or IMEI at their website to check, which plans are compatible, otherwise, you can choose a plan according to the amount of talk minutes, texts, and high-speed data you need and according to your budget. You can check out all of TracFone’s current plans at tracfone.com/shop/plans.
4. Consider the necessary items that you need for TracFone activation
Before you start the TracFone activation process, you must also gather and prepare all the items that you will need during the activation process. To activate a new smartphone from TracFone, you will need the mobile device you wish to activate and a red activation card with the serial number. To activate your old compatible mobile device, you will need the device, a TracFone SIM card kit, and an airtime card (or a credit card to buy airtime).
5. Start the TracFone Sim card activation process
There are two ways to activate your TracFone SIM card – by calling their customer support or on their website at tracfone.com/activation/selectdevice. In both cases, simply follow the provided instructions. First, you will have to choose whether you have a TracFone phone, your own smartphone, or another device. Then, enter the required information and follow the prompts. The activation process should be finished in a matter of minutes, however, it can take up to 2 days for TracFone to activate your SIM card. Once they do, you will receive a confirmation.
6. After completing TracFone Sim card activation, check that everything works properly
Once your SIM card is activated, make sure that everything works properly by making a few test calls, send some test messages, and check if your data works. In case something isn’t working, turn your phone off and back on and wait for at least 48 hours after activating the card to see if it works.
In case the issue persists, contact Tracfone. You can call their customer service at 1 (800) 867-7183 (available 8 AM-11:45 PM EST 7 days a week), text them (send ‘HELP’ to 611611), or check out their FAQ site, forum, and Facebook page. For more information, visit tracfone.com/techsupport.
How To Activate Tracfone SIM Card Easily?
As we have established in the previous chapter, you can activate your TracFone SIM card by phone or on their website at tracfone.com/activation/selectdevice. The activation process depends on whether you have a TracFone phone, your own smartphone, or another device, therefore, the first step is to choose one of those three options.
In case you decide to activate your SIM card by phone, call their customer service, choose the activation process and simply follow the provided instructions.
If you decide to activate your TracFone SIM card online, follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Visit TracFone’s official website and in the blue menu on the top of the page choose the third option from the left labeled ‘Activate’ or simply go to tracfone.com/activation/selectdevice.
- Step 2: Choose one of the following three options: ‘I have a TracFone phone’, ‘I’m bringing my own smartphone’, or ‘I have other devices’ by pressing ‘Continue’ just below the option.
- Step 3: If you don’t have a TracFone account yet, you may be required to create one before you can continue with the activation process. You can do so by pressing the last option on the blue menu on the top of the page labeled ‘My account’.
- Step 4: Once you have created your TracFone account and selected your phone option, follow the provided instructions and provide the required information. You will have to get a plan, set up the device, and finalize the activation.
This simple activation process will get the job whether you have a new smartphone, when switching from a non-smartphone to a smartphone, when switching from one smartphone to another, and when switching to a TracFone BYOP device.
Now, let’s take a look at what exactly happens during the activation process.
To activate a new phone number you must follow the steps below:
- Step 1: Enter your device’s serial number or SIM card number, in case you bought one.
- Step 2: Enter the ZIP depending on where you wish to activate the device.
- Step 3: Enter your Airtime Service Plan PIN or purchase one with your debit or credit card.
- Step 4: Create a Tracfone account. If you already have one, simply log in.
- Step 5: Set up your device.
To activate a SIM card when transferring service from your current TracFone device, follow the steps below:
- Step 1: Enter your new phone’s serial number or SIM card number, if you bought one.
- Step 2: Enter the phone number you are transferring.
- Step 3: Enter the last four digits of the serial or SIM card number of your current TracFone device.
- Step 4: Set up your device.
To activate a SIM card when transferring your phone number from another service provider, follow the provided instructions:
- Step 1: Enter your new phone’s serial number or SIM card number, if you bought one.
- Step 2: Enter the phone number you are transferring.
- Step 3: Enter some account details about your current service provider to approve the number transfer, including your account number, password or PIN, and contact information.
- Step 4: Enter your Airtime Service Plan PIN or purchase one with your debit or credit card.
- Step 5: Create a Tracfone account. If you already have one, simply log in.
- Step 6: Set up your device.
How To Replace Your Tracfone SIM Card If Lost Or Stolen?
In case your TracFone SIM card gets lost, stolen, or damaged, customers can receive a replacement SIM card. To do so, follow the prompts below.
- Step 1: Call TracFone customer service at (800) 867-7183.
- Step 2: Listen carefully and follow the automated voice instructions. When you get the option to speak with a live customer care representative, choose that option.
- Step 3: Request a replacement SIM card and provide the representative with all the necessary details, including your TracFone phone’s serial and phone number. The replacement SIM card will be shipped to you by Express Mail delivery.
What Problems May Arise While Activating Your Tracfone SIM Card?
As you can see, activating a TracFone SIM card is very short, simple, and straightforward, therefore it is unlikely that you should experience any activation issues. However, if some problems do arise and you are not able to activate the SIM card properly, it’s best to contact TracFone’s customer service. You can contact them by their online chat or by calling their phone number 1-800-867-7183. Either way, a customer care representative will be able to first diagnose the issue and help you in no time.
One of the most common issues is that the card doesn’t activate properly. You may also receive the wrong or a malfunctioning phone or SIM card, however, this is very unlikely. In this case, you can get a refund or a replacement phone or SIM card. The most common problem is the ‘Invalid SIM card’ notification. In the next chapter, you can read more about why it occurs and what to do to solve it.
How To Troubleshoot Tracfone Invalid SIM Card Issue?
The ‘Invalid SIM card’ issue may have several underlying causes. Sometimes the SIM currently installed SIM card is from a carrier that doesn’t support the activation policy assigned by your SIM card’s activation server. Another common underlying issue is that the phone isn’t compatible with the SIM card.
To troubleshoot the TracFone invalid SIM issue, try one or more of the following methods.
- Method number 1: Force reboot your mobile phone
This is the simples and the first thing you should try when facing the ‘Invalid SIM’ issue. Rebooting your device may debug it and you may be able to get the SIM card working. To do so, press and hold the power and volume down button for 20 seconds, until it turns off. Wait for the maintenance boot mode to appear on your screen and click on the ‘Normal boot’ option. You can choose the options by pressing the volume up and down buttons. Once you have selected the ‘Normal boot’ option, wait for 2 minutes. The device should be successfully rebooted.
- Method number 2: Reset your SIM card
In case you have installed your SIM card improperly, you will have to reinstall and reset it. Your network bugs may also be the reason you are not getting the proper services, in which case a simple restart should do. To do so, turn off your phone, open your SIM card slot, and remove your SIM card. Wait for approximately 20 seconds to insert your SIM card back into the phone. Check again if your SIM card is positioned correctly. Turn your phone back on and look for the network signals to see if they are back. You can also change your date and time settings to make sure the resetting process is properly executed.
- Method number 3: Check your device for bad apps
Check your device for faulty apps that may have brought about network bugs and phone issues. You can try uninstalling the suspicious apps or uninstall all third-party apps just in case. You can save your phone’s tendency to take up SIM cards.
- Method number 4: Reset your phone’s network and software settings
You can re-configure your network settings by factory resetting your phone to re-insert your network credentials. You can also try resetting your software settings.
Removing all of the network and software bugs should resolve your Invalid SIM card error instantly.
What Phones Are Compatible With Tracfone SIM Cards?
In case you decide to bring your own phone to TracFone, you will need to make sure the device is compatible with a TracFone SIM card. Most unlocked GSM and CDMA smartphones are compatible. However, you can check to make sure at tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone. During the compatibility check you will be required to:
- Select your phone carrier. The options are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, I have an unlocked GSM phone, and Other/I don’t know.
- Enter your phone’s SIM number. You can find it by ejecting the SIM card or in ‘Settings’ on your phone. If you don’t have a SIM card, you can purchase one from TracFone.
- Enter your phone’s IMEI or MEID number. It can be found in your phone’s settings or by dialing *#06# on your phone.
- In case your phone is compatible, you can now purchase a plan, buy an Activation Kit, and switch to TracFone.
What Phone Carriers Are Compatible With Tracfone SIM Cards?
TracFone runs on all four of America’s major networks – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The company accepts mobile devices from any of those major networks, as such, you can bring your own phone from virtually any carrier. Any GSM or CDMA device you may bring from any of the four largest carriers will be compatible with your TracFone SIM card. In fact, you will be able to check exactly whether or not your former or current carrier is compatible with TracFone SIM cards at tracfone.com/keep-your-own-phone.
Tracfone SIM Card Others Thing You Should Know
Can I activate TracFone for free?
Yes, the TracFone activation process is completely free of charge, however, you will have to purchase a red activation card with the serial number or an activation kit and airtime card, depending on the device.
How Long Does it Take to Activate a TracFone SIM Card?
In most areas, your SIM card and service will be active instantly, while in some areas it may take up to 24 or even 48 hours. If the card and service aren’t active after two full days, make sure to contact customer support.
How Do I Know If My TracFone SIM Card is Active?
You can determine if your TracFone SIM card is active by making two test calls. For the first call, make sure that your TracFone doesn’t display ROAM or ROAMING and call someone within your local calling area. Call your TracFone number from a landline phone. If it rings, it means that it is active (you don’t have to answer). Now, make the second test call by calling your landline number from your TracFone. If it rings, it means that the card is active.
Do I Need Tracfone SIM Card Activation After Replacing a new phone?
Yes, if you receive a replacement phone, make sure to repeat the activation process described above with the old or new SIM card.
Can I put the old TracFone SIM card in my new phone or in another phone?
As long as your old SIM card hasn’t been deactivated, it should work in your new phone after the activation process. However, it may not, as the SIM card serial number and the phone serial number are tied together,
Do I need to reactivate my old TracFone SIM card?
Yes, when placing your old TracFone SIM card into a new phone, you will have to reactivate it. Simply follow the instructions above.
How do I know what carrier TracFone uses in my area?
You can check it at tracfone.com/coverage/check.
Can I sell my old TracFone with a SIM card?
Assuming that you have paid for the device in full, you can sell it with your SIM card, however, you will probably lose your data and phone number.
Can I sell my old TracFone with a SIM card while under contract?
No, you must first pay the full price and wait for the contract to expire.
Can I give my TracFone to someone else?
Yes. The person who will receive your TracFone will need to call their customer support and they will have to send him or her a new SIM card.
Can You Reactivate a Deactivated TracFone SIM Card?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reactivate a SIM card once it has been deactivated. In addition, deactivating a SIM card returns the phone number associated with it to the pool of available phone numbers. As such, it’s impossible to keep a phone number associated with a deactivated SIM card.
Does TracFone SIM card support CDMA or GSM?
TracFone supports both CDMA and GSM technology as such their SIM cards support both.
Does TracFone SIM Card Support 5G?
Yes, TracFone SIM cards do support 5G data speed. In fact, all SIM cards are 5G-ready.
Do TracFone minutes ever expire?
Tracfone airtime minutes added to your phone don’t expire with active service and usage within 6 consecutive months for smartphones and 12 consecutive months for regular cell phones. TracFone auto-refill plans are available in various forms.
Can I add minutes on the TracFone SIM card?
Yes, you can. Add minutes to your TracFone by entering the PIN number from an airtime card or retailer cash register receipt at the Redeem Airtime or Add Airtime menu on your phone. You can also add minutes by calling their customer care or by visiting their website.
What is TracFone BYOP 4G LTE Activation Kit?
It is the activation kit from TracFone, which you need to purchase in order to activate the mobile device that you haven’t bought from TracFone but brought to TracFone. It includes a 4G LTE standard, micro, and nano SIM sizes and works with most CDMA and GSM phones.