How Texting Works with Tracfone and How to Add More
|Get Extra Texts with a Text Airtime Card|
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, you buy phones and prepaid minutes to allow you to make calls, send texts and surf the web on data. Tracfone sells a variety of prepaid cards, and each card adds more texts, data and calling minutes at the same time. However, with Android powered devices, your texts, data and calling minutes are split up, so 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 has just added a new prepaid card you can purchase to add additional text messages to your phone. (available on the Tracfone site here and in many retail stores, including Walmart and Target)
Now you can buy extra cards for data, or texts without spending more on calling minutes.
This is great news, especially as Tracfone offers more and more smartphones, including through their 4G LTE BYOP program. And remember that these data and text specific cards only work with smartphones.
Let’s explain how each of these cards work, and how much it costs.
Buy Only Data or Text Messages for your Tracfone Smartphone
Update: We’ve just 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.
There are three kinds of prepaid cards you can buy from Tracfone to use with your smartphone:
Airtime Cards – available for all phones
Data Cards – only available with smartphones
Text Cards – only available with smartphones
|Text Refill Card available at Target|
Airtime cards provide you with a certain number of minutes, as well as service days. Here is the list of card amounts and service days. Remember, all smartphones also receive Triple Minutes, which triples each of these cards when you add them to your phone.
- 60 Minute Card comes with 90 service days (with a smartphone, split into 60 calling minutes, 60 texts, and 60 mb of data) – $20
- 120 Minute Card come with 90 service days – $30
- 200 Minute Card comes with 90 service days – $40
- 450 Minute Card comes with 90 service days – $80
- 400 Minute Card comes with 365 service days – $100
- 1000 Minute Card comes with 365 service days – $160 (online only)
- 1500 Minute Card comes with 365 service days – $200 (online only)
- There are also Smartphone Only airtime cards that offer various amounts of Talk, Text and Data.
Data Cards will give you additional data, but nothing else, no additional service days are added. We would recommend trying to use your home or work WiFi that is free, rather than using data unless you need it. Here are the data cards available.
Please Note – These numbers have changes, and you can now get 1 GB for $10 on the Tracfone website
300 MB – $10 750 MB – $20 2 GB – $50
And finally, Text Cards can be added to give additional text messages to your smartphone. Again, no additional service days are added. There is currently only one option for adding more texts to your phone.
Price reduced to $5 on Tracfone website
- 1000 texts –
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
|Tracfone Airtime Card|
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 automatically tripled to 180 on all 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 11 cents per text – not great.
But if you got the 450 Minute Airtime card you will get 450 texts, tripled to 1350 for $80. This comes to about 6 cents per text, which is better, but not great.
What if you went for the 1500 Minute Airtime card which gives 1500 texts, tripled to 4500 for $200. You would be paying 4.4 cents per text.
And what does the 1000 texts for $5 come to per text? 1/2 cent per text. Let’s put all the number together:
60 Minute Card = 11 Cents per Text
450 Minute Card = 6 Cents per Text
1500 Minute Card = 4.4 Cents per Text
1000 Texts Card = 1/2 Cent per Text
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, the 1500 Minute Card is the next best deal.
So what should you do if you need just a few calling and data minutes, plus service days, but go through texts quickly? Try this setup:
Join the Tracfone Family Value Plan which is $10 for the first user, and $6 for each user after that. You get 50 minutes, plus 30 service days each month, and additional users get 40 minutes.
So you would have 150 Calling minutes, 150 mb of data, and 150 texts for $10 per month. Then you can buy the text refill card, which would give you 1000 texts for just $10. You would have a total of 1150 texts per month, for just $20. And other users could do the same.
This is a great option for families with teenagers who will mostly use text messages.
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.
Be sure to take a look at our 4G LTE devices like the iPhone 6, that you can use with Tracfone.
You may also be interested in our Android Tracfone List which shares a summary of each of the smartphones available from Tracfone.
And don’t forget about our Tracfone Promo Code page, even though you can’t use them with Android phones, you can still use them for all the other devices.
Thanks for visiting!