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Thread: What top-up combination do you use?

  1. #1
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    Smile What top-up combination do you use?

    I'm curious what top-up combination a typical Tracfone user purchases each month/year?

    Many of the top-up combinations don't make much sense to me. The $45 top-up has fewer minutes than buying a $20 + $25 card. The $50 top-up is also a bad value for data because you can purchase 1GB for $10 along with the $25 and $20 card. The $15 top-up is a poor value against the $25 card. Even the 1-year $125 card is more expensive than $50 1-year card plus any other top-up combination.

    Running through the various combinations, I'm finding it hard to see how you can save money compared to the monthly unlimited plans.

    For example:
    Ultra Mobile Flex offers unlimited talk + text + 250mb (unlimited rollover) for $12.50
    Xfinity Mobile offers unlimited talk + text + 1GB for $12
    Tello offer pay-go at 0.03/min, 0.02/MB, and 0.01/SMS
    RedPocket offers 500 min, 500 sms, and 100MB for $10

    Any of the above combinations would be $25 or more on Tracfone.

  2. #2
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    TracFone offers unlimited rollover of all buckets as long as you have service days remaining. Depending on your monthly usage needs, TracFone won't necessarily be better than other companies. If you really need an unlimited plan, you're better off using something other than TracFone.

    I can buy a 1 year 1200x3 buckets plan for $100 and it covers my current needs and I usually have leftovers to roll over I can also buy the $5 text refill, take the $50 year upgrade, and be good for another year based on my current buckets and usage.

  3. #3
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    I'm still feeding my phones FD cards from last fall
    Have service out to 2020

    But before that we used the one year $100. Or the $19.99 90 day cards

    I use about 1-2 hrs talk and about 200 txt and 200MB a month

    So when Tracfone prices themselves out of my range I'll go somewhere else.

    I love the look on friends faces when they ask how much you pay a month for service on your iPhone

  4. #4
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    As time has gone by (especially since 2012 or so - maybe earlier), there has developed a growing lack of comprehension of the value of traditional PAYGO services, especially those like TracFone that are retaining endless rollover (just pay a monthly cost for easy peace of mind; the rest is disposable). With that one feature alone the modest user can use every bit of service they've paid for. So it's another factor we inherently take into consideration, in addition to whatever time-based usage stats and annual total costs we foresee. Those coming from a strictly monthly usage perspective don't always get that aspect. I suspect this is another indicator of the schism between those who've had to make cell phones their only phone and web access device, versus others like homeowners that likely have wired internet access of some sort, and thus many more options for service available.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    As time has gone by (especially since 2012 or so - maybe earlier), there has developed a growing lack of comprehension of the value of traditional PAYGO services, especially those like TracFone that are retaining endless rollover (just pay a monthly cost for easy peace of mind; the rest is disposable). With that one feature alone the modest user can use every bit of service they've paid for. So it's another factor we inherently take into consideration, in addition to whatever time-based usage stats and annual total costs we foresee. Those coming from a strictly monthly usage perspective don't always get that aspect. I suspect this is another indicator of the schism between those who've had to make cell phones their only phone and web access device, versus others like homeowners that likely have wired internet access of some sort, and thus many more options for service available.
    That's what I don't understand. With unlimited talk/text on every plan, whats the point of endless rollover? Tracfone requires you to pay for service days (something that doesn't have inherent value). Basically you're paying to not use your phone. It's free money to Tracfone when you pay for service but use none of it. It seems to make much more economical sense to pay a nominal monthly fee to get unlimited service because most people cannot anticipate their monthly usage ahead of time. Isn't it smarter to pay $15/month every month for unlimited talk/text than $10 some months and $20 others? This reminds of the Cingular days with "rollover minutes". The logic was that if you're rolling over minutes, then you've purchased too much service. Its very similar to T-Mobile and Data Stash, just a gimmick.

    Just one single month of excessive usage on Tracfone and you're savings are completely gone. Have you calculated what you're paying monthly?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    TracFone offers unlimited rollover of all buckets as long as you have service days remaining. Depending on your monthly usage needs, TracFone won't necessarily be better than other companies. If you really need an unlimited plan, you're better off using something other than TracFone.

    I can buy a 1 year 1200x3 buckets plan for $100 and it covers my current needs and I usually have leftovers to roll over I can also buy the $5 text refill, take the $50 year upgrade, and be good for another year based on my current buckets and usage.
    If you're buying $155 worth of service for 1-year ($16/month) wouldn't be simpler to just get a $15-20 monthly plan that also gives you more data? Those savings seem too small to be worth the effort buying top-up cards. I question the value of rollover with so many unlimited plans. Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19
    I can buy a 1 year 1200x3 buckets plan for $100 and it covers my current needs and I usually have leftovers to roll over I can also buy the $5 text refill, take the $50 year upgrade, and be good for another year based on my current buckets and usage.
    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    If you're buying $155 worth of service for 1-year ($16/month) wouldn't be simpler to just get a $15-20 monthly plan that also gives you more data?
    The way tfusr19 spent his $155, he gets TWO years of service (one with the 1-yr card and one add-on). That works out to about $6.50/month.

  8. #8
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    That's $155 for two years of service in my case and it wouldn't all have to be purchased in the first year... $100 in the first year, then $55 the second year, so more like $7/month. It's like comparing a buffet to a la carte prices - I don't eat enough to justify buffet cell service .

    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    If you're buying $155 worth of service for 1-year ($16/month) wouldn't be simpler to just get a $15-20 monthly plan that also gives you more data? Those savings seem too small to be worth the effort buying top-up cards. I question the value of rollover with so many unlimited plans. Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    If you're buying $155 worth of service for 1-year ($16/month) wouldn't be simpler to just get a $15-20 monthly plan that also gives you more data? Those savings seem too small to be worth the effort buying top-up cards. I question the value of rollover with so many unlimited plans. Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.
    That was an "or" scenario not an "and" scenario. $100 in a year or $55 in a year. You need to think in terms of those who have a cell phone basically for emergencies of which there are many and for whom Tracfone works. Especially given you can get Verizon service on the cheap.
    Last edited by mathfaster; 07-09-2017 at 12:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    I have service out to Sept 2019 so at this point I top up using a $10 data card every couple of months. I have plenty of talk and text. Last time I added minutes was two years ago when I first switched from a feature phone to a smart phone. Do the same for my son but he needs a bit more data and I did add 1000 texts for $5 for him a couple of weeks ago. Just added a $10 data card for my husband as well - first time I have purchased any refill for him in two years (he has service out to spring 2019) only because he accidentally streamed on data instead of wi-fi at my parents' house and burned through 3 GB data. For my in-laws I typically add a $10 minute card plus a $50 365 day add-on once a year, though this year I did get my FIL a 3x 400 minute/365 day card (1200 minutes/1200 texts/1.2 GB data) with the $15 off Father's Day promo. We are all low volume users and greatly benefit from Tracfone's unlimited rollover with active service. No need for any of us to have a monthly bill for cell phone service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.
    I stock up on units whenever I find a good deal. Some people can't afford to have $100-$200 tied up because they don't have any spare cash. But if you do have the cash, realistically you can't generate much money in a year with that $100-$200 anyway.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    If you're buying $155 worth of service for 1-year ($16/month) wouldn't be simpler to just get a $15-20 monthly plan that also gives you more data? Those savings seem too small to be worth the effort buying top-up cards. I question the value of rollover with so many unlimited plans. Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.
    With a monthly plan you HAVE to spend that money each month or you lose your phone number. At this point, I can pay nothing - $0 and have cell phone service and keep my phone number until September 2019. Can I afford a monthly plan? Sure. But why spend the money each month if I don't need to?

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    I haven't bought a plan in years. About once a year I buy one of the $50 phone bundles, transfer it to my BYOP, and sell or give away the the bundled phone. Costs me less than $4.25 per month.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1geast View Post
    I question the value of rollover with so many unlimited plans. Basically stocking up on units feels like giving Tracfone free money.
    No, TracFone is not getting any free money if you eventually use the units. Big advantage to me is YOU own the units and can use them when YOU want to. And no stinkin' monthly payments either!

  15. #15
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    What top-up combination do you use?

    I normally spring for the 750 min card for $35 as I use minutes and texts more than data on my current phone (Bold 9900). I have service to august 2018 currently and will revisit all my options when I drop below 200 minutes. Even though I am Currently am trying out FreedomPop as my primary phone but so far that service has been hit or miss. It's nice not having to pay $100/month for my phone bill anymore, and I won't again if I have any say about it.

    This year I have paid $80 for my Tracfone service. My wife's phone is almost 100/month with a carrier.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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