Straight Talk VS Tracfone – Budget Carrier Shutdown

Are you looking to switch carriers but not sure if Tracfone or Straight Talk is better? Switching carrier is never easier but this guide will surely help you to make your decision. Both Tracfone and Straight Talk offer prepaid plans with no contract and you can bring your own phone and keep your phone number. So not only you get the benefit of saving on a device, but also you get the same great service on a cheaper plan.

TracFone is a parent company for Straight Talk. TracFone makes the phones and you buy the service plan from Straight Talk. Both Tracfone and Straight Talk are MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators). MVNOs down own or operate cell towers. Instead, they lease space on big networks and setting prices for their own customers.

Straight Talk and Tracfone uses the same networks as the big four US carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint) while offering significant savings each month. However, there are significant differences between Straight Talk and Tracfone in terms of plans, pricing, and retail availability we’ll discuss below.

Straight Talk Wireless

Straight Talk is like an all-you-can-eat buffet, it’s cheap, and there are options for everyone. It may not be the fanciest cuisine around, but it’ll do well in a pinch. On the kid’s menu, there’s Straight Talk’s unlimited talk and text plan with 3 GB of data. That’s ideal for every teenager who’s on their phone all the time—even when they should be doing their homework!

Straight Talk has an agreement that makes Walmart its exclusive retailer. But you can buy both phones and cellular service directly from Straight Talk on its website or by phone. Straight Talk offers support for both CDMA and GSM devices, as it piggybacks on T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon’s networks.

Straight Talk offers no-contract plans for individuals on 30-day refills that start at the basic talk, text, and limited data, all the way up to unlimited data. Straight Talk Wireless is provided by TracFone. It is an extremely popular prepaid cell phone store that competes against brands like Boost Mobile, Sprint Prepaid, and Cricket Wireless.

Tracfone Wireless

TracFone Wireless is a partner of four big companies like Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. These companies are considered major cell phone companies. Tracfone also provides its own branded phones to use with its service. These include both smartphones and regular phones. Tracfone has become more and more popular over the last few years and stands out because of its super low prices and great flexibility.

Another good thing is that TracFone is one of the largest no-contract carriers in the States and has a variety of plans based on several locations. It gives the customer full control over what to spend on cell phones and services.

It is very clear that TracFone is not for the ones who are heavy phone users and need international texting. TracFone is for people who prefer to save money and consume fewer data. There are no annual or monthly charges, and no extra charges beyond buying a phone and service/minutes.

Straight Talk Pro’s And Con’s

Pros
  • Great coverage on all major cell networks.
  • Competitive speeds even with big four carriers.
  • Good international options.
  • Unlimited data plans.
  • Large selection of android and I-phones with promo discounts.
Cons
  • Below average customer service.
  • Only three primary plans.

 

Tracfone Pro’s And Con’s

Pros
  • No annual and monthly charges.
  • Unlimited carry-over data.
  • International calling.
  • Large selection of budget options.
  • Great coverage on all major networks.
Cons
  • Overly complex plan structure.
  • Expensive for moderate to heavy data users.
  • No family plans.

 

Straight Talk Plans

PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice
3 GB DataUnlimitedUnlimited3 GB$35
25 GB DataUnlimitedUnlimited25 GB$45
Unlimited DataUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$55

Tracfone Plans

PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice
1 GB DataUnlimitedUnlimited1 GB$20
2 GB DataUnlimitedUnlimited2 GB$25
3 GB DataUnlimitedUnlimited3 GB$30

Tracfone plans start at $20 and Straight Talk plans start as low as $35. With no contract, you can get some of the cheapest cell phone plans shopping for a deal with MVNO’s like Tracfone and Straight Talk.

Features

Straight Talk Features

Straight Talk’s phone plans support a variety of features, but some features may be limited to specific plans. Depending on their plan, Straight Talk customers may have access to the following at no extra charge:

Mobile hotspot: available on all networks that Straight Talk can be used with except AT&T. Only available on the $55 and $65 plans

Cloud storage: 100GB of cloud storage available to store all your files and photos, only available on a $65 plan

International calling: It provides unlimited international calling included with $60 and $65 plans, to Mexico, China, Canada, and India plus calling to over 1000 landline destinations.

Unlimited slow data at 2G data speeds: applicable to $35, $45, and $60 plans

Tracfone Features

You won’t get many premium features with Tracfone. In fact, the unlimited rollover data is perhaps the most valuable perk that you get with this low-cost carrier. I reached out to a Tracfone support representative for details on the following features:

Mobile hotspot: Not supported.

Video streaming: Video streams at DVD quality, 480p.

Wi-Fi calling: Yes, if your phone supports it.

Promo codes: These are codes provided by Tracfone which will give you extra minutes for free whenever you add a new prepaid minutes card.

As you can see, Tracfone offers simple phone plans with talk, text, and a fixed amount of data. If you rely on a mobile hotspot or HD streaming, this isn’t the provider for you.

Family Plans

While Straight Talk does not have a plan labeled specifically for families, they do have a multiline plan which offers two unlimited lines at a discounted price. Straight Talk’s plan costs $90 per month and offers 60GB of high-speed data, then switches to 2G speeds.

Tracfone offers a family plan for under $30 a month and up to 4 phones but unfortunately, the family value plan is no longer available for new customers.

Coverage

Straight Talk Coverage

Straight Talk provides cellular service through all 3 major wireless providers in the USA which include AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Coverage on the legacy Sprint network is also still provided but may end by mid-2021. An overwhelming majority of Straight Talk customers use Verizon’s network for coverage.

Tracfone Coverage

The three networks that TracFone uses are AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. All three of these networks have amazing coverage, though Verizon is generally considered the best. Meanwhile, T-Mobile boasts the fastest data speeds.

For Best coverage, choose the carrier that has the best reception in your area. On the other hand, if you purchase a phone through Straight Talk or Tracfone, it will automatically use either T-mobiles or AT&T’s network.

Customer Service

Straight Talk Coverage

Straight talk is committed to providing the best customer service. In my experience and for my needs Straight Talk worked very well for me. The service was great and I never had an issue that caused any inconveniences. I would recommend this carrier to anyone looking for quality service at an affordable price. I always get great service and customer service is great.

Tracfone Coverage

On the other hand, whenever I reached out to Tracfone’s customer support, there was sometimes a wait, but the representatives were able to answer my questions after bugging them enough. There’s no in-person support for Tracfone users, so any issues that you may have activating, setting up, or using your device will be handled through phone or chat customer service.

Benefits

Straight Talk Benefits:

  1. Saves money: It provides a $35 30-Day Plan, with unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB data which is at 4G LTE speeds.
  2. Prepaid Network: It provides prepaid wireless plans, no contract, credit check, or activation fees.
  3. International Calling: International talk and text available as an add-on calling card or as a component of a complete cell phone plan.
  4. Customer Service: Straight Talk provides 7-day customer support by phone, from 8 am to 11:45 pm.

Tracfone Benefits

  1. International Calling: It provides three local Mexico virtual phone numbers at no charge so friends and family can call you free.
  2. Prepaid network: It offers affordable, no-contract phone plans.
  3. Global Calling Card: You can call hundreds of international locations with your plan minutes, or add other countries with a global calling card.
  4. Free minutes: They carry over minutes/usage credits for all plans as long as phone service stays active and in use.

To Sum Up

Many MVNOs stick to one network. For example, Cricket uses AT&T’s network, and MetroPCS uses T-Mobile’s. On the other hand, both Straight Talk and Tracfone use all four major carrier networks.

Both Straight Talk and Tracfone are cellular providers that can save you money on your monthly phone bill. They both offer affordable, no-contract phone plans. If savings are your top priority then Tracfone has a range of plans between $20-30 that include talk, text, and 1-3 GB of data.

But, if you’re looking for larger amounts of data at a reasonable price, go with Straight Talk.

FAQ

How do you transfer your Tracfone to Straight Talk?
In order to request the transfer and initiate the activation process please go to www.straighttalk.com and select the radio button option “Activate my phone with a number transferred from another company.”
Can you use a Tracfone card on a straight talk phone?
Yes, you can, but you will also need to make sure the phone is SIM unlocked!
Will Straight Talk phone work with TracFone?
According to a Straight Talk blog post, customers can use an AT&T Mobility or T-Mobile USA-compatible GSM iPhone or an unlocked GSM iPhone with the TracFone service. They just have to purchase a Straight Talk SIM card and airtime bundle-both standard and micro-SIM cards are available.
Why does my Straight Talk phone say TracFone?
TFW is an abbreviation for Tracfone Wireless. If you didn’t know, Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, Total Wireless are Tracfone brands.
How do I make my phone compatible with straight talk?
In order to check if your phone is compatible, visit stbyop.com, select “Check Compatibility”, and follow the steps, or text “KYOP” TO 611611 from your mobile device.

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