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Thread: virgin mobile Vs. tracfone

  1. #1
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    virgin mobile Vs. tracfone

    don't know if this is in the correct forum. feel free to move it.

    I've been looking at virgin mobile, is the prpaid service any similar to tracfone? on tracfone, $20 dollars is required every 90 days basically. I read that's the same on virgin mobile.

    for instance, a 60 minute card would be $20 dollars on tracfone. On most phones (double minutes for life phones) that doubles, giving you 120. there are also bonus codes for additional minutes.

    How does that work for virgin mobile?

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    VM, you LOSE the minutes if you don't top up every 30 days. You have another 60 days till your 90 day period expires but you have no minutes unless you topup again every 30 days. It's a confusing situation as Tracfone simply allows the same time for both expiration /grace period and rollover.

    Tracfone keeps your minutes for 90 days. VM keeps your phone number but no minutes if you don't topup.

    VM has Kickbacks which gives you 60 free minutes if you have someone else use your personal code when they activate a new phone and topup with your code and at least $20 for the first time. They also have pass it on, a similar program where you give your old VM phone to a friend and if they activate it with a $20 topup and your code, you both get 60 minutes. They allow up to a 100 Kickbacks per year. Idk how many pass it ons they allow.

    Tracfone and VM both have bad CS and cheap, hard to unlock/flash phones but Tracfone has better coverage, Executive Resolutions/Elston superrep while VM has full qwerty keyboard phones, 3G data (on one model), real web , extreme flexibility (including an unlimited talk option).

    Each offers something somewhat different. Tracfone has a 200 minute bonus code right now. VM doesn't .

    Each is also the currently most neglected branch of the two dominant prepaid superpowers, Tracfone/America Movil and Sprint.

  3. #3
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    That's simply incorrect. VM's basic is $.20 per minute and you have to topup every 90 days (min of $20). Excess is carried over.
    It's the "Plans" that require a topup every 30 days. That's because the "Plan" states $29.99 per month or $39.99 per month...etc...

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    With many providers, if you don't add money to your account within the specified time, there is a grace period during which you can reactivate your account and keep your phone number, but you lose any dollar balance that was in your account. Virgin Mobile USA, on the other hand, lets you keep your account balance during the grace period, as well as your phone number.

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    So why do they make you topup every 30 days on their paygo cards like the $20 /200 minute card? Why don't they clarify that? Having two time cycles adds to the confusion.

  6. #6
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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Tracfone. LOL!!! Ahem. Yeah. Well. Moving on...

    VM has monthly plans, and pay as you go plans. Monthly plans require a top up every month. ($29.99, $39.99 etc...) PAYGO is $20 every 90 days, you keep whatever $$ you have in your account, and if you still have minutes left (like from the now defunct Sugar Mama promotion, for example) you get to keep those forever... I was with tracfone. VM is DEFINITELY better. But that's JMHO...

    As for saying that Tracfone has better coverage...I can't really agree. I'm in NY. I never had ANY trouble with VM finding a signal. Tracfone however, had a hard time in numerous places on Long Island. Either I couldn't GET a signal at all, or I roamed at double the minutes. Frustrating.

    CS is bad EVERYWHERE it seems, but VM allows you to manage most stuff on the website by yourself. I think if I called CS five times in the last 5 years it was alot. (And each time, I had no problem. They fixed whatever the issue was right away.)

    I'm very happy with VM paygo....not so much with tracfone.

    Just my 2¢
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowbody09
    So why do they make you topup every 30 days on their paygo cards like the $20 /200 minute card? Why don't they clarify that? Having two time cycles adds to the confusion.
    One of the reasons for VM requesting top-up on the minute packs is to allow for the roll-over minutes feature to function.

    The basic rate does not require a top-up every 30 days.

    The top-up cards all work the same on VM. It is just a way to add money to your account. You can then purchase whatever features they sell.
    Its easy.
    On PAYGO:
    Top-Up.
    Then choose whatever options/features you want to add to your service.
    Repeat the process the following month.

    On the Monthly Plans:
    Top-Up.
    Then Choose whatever plan you want to purchase.
    *be sure to top-up again before the month is up to avoid any interruption of service or to avoid being switched to the basic paygo rate.

    VM will notify you prior to expiration dates on both PAYGO and Monthly plans via Text (VM Alerts) & e-mail.

    The advantage of the Virgin Mobile top-up is that once the money is in your account it does not expire as it does with some of the other prepaid carriers. You can also purchase phones or other VM devices with the accumulated funds in your account if you are a low usage subscriber.

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    ok, so tell me if this is correct.

    It's basically the same as tracfone if you pay as you go (which I would do.) you buy a $20/200 minute card, and your service is extended 90 days?

  9. #9
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    VM is better than Tracfone in a few ways.

    They offer different plans for talking, whereas I don't think Tracfone offers any kinds of plans.

    Texting is cheaper on VM too.

    But I wouldn't recommend Virgin Mobile at this point. Nobody knows what's going on, they haven't put out new plans or phones in almost 7 months, or released any information. Some believe that they're in the process of getting rid of old phones to unleash new everything, while others believe Sprint just doesn't care about Virgin Mobile because Boost is their number 1 prepaid service.

    Try Go-Phone. They have plans very similar to Virgin Mobile.

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    I'd say a year ago, Virgin was holding their own and kept up with their changes in April, especially with their unlimited calling dropping to 49.99 (the same thing Tmobile did) and introducing their Texter's Delight plans.

    But that was almost a year ago. Boost has vastly changed the landscape since then and VM being adopted by the Sprint prepaid family was such a big deal too...but nothing.

    I really don't think anything is going to be done with VM for a few more months at least. Boost cdma is taking all the bows right now while Boost iden still boasts their 5 million strong user base. VM is being virtually ignored . No new plans, no rate cuts for basic rates, no new phones, nothing really unless it concerns Lady Gaga.

    To me, VM, Att's Pick Your Plans, STI, Liberty Wireless ,Mingo and a number of other players are letting the prepaid parade pass them by. And it is a fast paced march.

    .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by clrockny24
    ok, so tell me if this is correct.

    It's basically the same as tracfone if you pay as you go (which I would do.) you buy a $20/200 minute card, and your service is extended 90 days?
    Seems nobody wants to give you a direct answer to this, huh?

    Yes. That's exactly what I've done for a bit over 2 years now. I pay $20 ever 3 months and use a grandfathered pay-go rate of 0.18 per minute. (now it's 0.20 per). I actually use auto top-up for simplicity, though you don't have to. If you use up the balance early, you have to top up again and then have another 90 days from there.

    What's nice about it is that you are building a cash balance. I don't use my phone a lot, and when I do it's often for data. A few months ago I got a Rumor 2 just from the money I'd already put in, and have more waiting for whatever service I need. I'm not a tracphone expert but I think they only keep your minutes, while Virgin Mobile carries over your cash.

    It's pretty nice paying $7 a month and then getting a phone from the money I've already paid.

    Hope that answers your question.

  12. #12
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    And if you use auto-TopUp and use less than 25 minutes a month, you only need to TopUp with $15 every 90 days.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarsir
    Seems nobody wants to give you a direct answer to this, huh?

    Yes. That's exactly what I've done for a bit over 2 years now. I pay $20 ever 3 months and use a grandfathered pay-go rate of 0.18 per minute. (now it's 0.20 per). I actually use auto top-up for simplicity, though you don't have to. If you use up the balance early, you have to top up again and then have another 90 days from there.

    What's nice about it is that you are building a cash balance. I don't use my phone a lot, and when I do it's often for data. A few months ago I got a Rumor 2 just from the money I'd already put in, and have more waiting for whatever service I need. I'm not a tracphone expert but I think they only keep your minutes, while Virgin Mobile carries over your cash.

    It's pretty nice paying $7 a month and then getting a phone from the money I've already paid.

    Hope that answers your question.
    ok... I'm trying to figure all this out, so bear with me.

    I'd definitely go PAYGO. What I want to know is, you buy a $20/200 minute card, the SERVICE lasts 90 days but the MINUTES only last 30 days? so I'm wondering if, after 30 days, you're left with a phone with service but no minutes?

    lol, I highly doubt I'll use 200 minutes in a month...

  14. #14
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    When you buy a card, or top up, the money goes into your account. Once the money is in your account you can use the basic plan of 20 cents per minute OR you can buy “Minute Packs.” If you buy these packs those minutes expire in 30 days if you don’t buy another pack. You do not have to buy the “Minute Packs” and they are not a good deal if they do not fit your needs.

    If you decide to go with Virgin Mobile, you might want to get a “kickbacks code” to use when you activate the phone. If you use one and put $20 on your account within 45 days, both you and the person that shared their code, get 60 bonus minutes that do not expire. I would love to share one of ours. I imagine most people on here would be happy to share too.

  15. #15
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    If you're a light user, you do not want to buy a $20/200 minute card. Simply sign up for the basic PAYGO rate of 20¢/minute.

    To start, you'll need to pay in $20. This funds your account for 90 days or until you run out of your $20 balance, whichever comes first.

    For every minute you use the phone, 20¢ will be deducted from your cash balance. For every text message you send or receive, 15¢ will be deducted from your cash balance. If you use up your cash balance, your phone will be shut off until you add more cash.

    If you have not added any cash to your account for 90 days, you will have to add $20, even though there is still cash in you account. If you don't add the $20, your phone will be shut off. When you add the $20, all your previous cash balance is rolled forward. And, uniquely, VM gives you a 60 day grace period after your term expires. If you add cash to your account within 60 days of your phone being shutoff, you keep your existing phone number and all the previous cash balance in your account will be restored.
    That's it for the basic service.

    If you are willing to leave a credit card on file with VM, then you can sign up for auto-topup. This does two things: 1) you never have to worry about forgetting to add money to your account, as it happens automatically, and 2) You only need to add $15 to your account every 90 days, instead of $20.

    If you are a heavy texter, you can buy a text messaging package - $5 for 200 messages, $10 for 1000 messages, or $20 for unlimited.

    If you're a heavy talker, you might do better with one of the monthly plans. There are like the monthly plans of the postpaid services like Sprint or Verizon, except there's no contract involved.

    On the other hand, what if you're a light user who occasionally uses a bunch of extra minutes? This could happen if you're traveling, for example. In that case, you can look at the minute packs. One of the minute packs is the $20 for 200 minute pack. For that pack, $20 is deducted from your cash balance, and you have a credit of 200 minutes applied to your account, good for thirty days.

    In other words, the next 200 minutes you use will not have the 20¢ deducted - they come from the pool of 200 minutes you purchased for $20. The problem with this is that if you haven't used up your 200 minutes in 30 days, you'll lose them - unless you purchase another minute pack (for at least $20). In that case, all your unused minutes roll forward, and are added to the minutes you have just purchased. However, if you're normally a light user, you probably would be better served by simply letting the unused minutes expire, and go back to your regular 20¢ a minute PAYGO.


    As of right now, Virgin Mobile's biggest strengths are low cost for the very light user ($5 a month with auto-topup, $6.67 without), and low cost for the light talker - heavy texter. If you're not in one of these two categories, you will probably find better deals elsewhere.

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