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Thread: Use basic refill with smartphone sim?

  1. #1
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    Use basic refill with smartphone sim?

    I need to park a number briefly and want to do this as cheaply as possible. (It will literally be parked for less than a month before I port it to Google Voice)
    I have a few unused Tracfone sims from a byop smartphone sim kit so I was hoping I could use one of these.
    I see the cheapest smartphone plan is $15 for 30 days, while the cheapest basic plan is $9.99

    So my question is: using one of the sims that came from my smartphone sim kit, can I activate it using the $9.99 basic plan? (And then stick it in a smartphone?)

    I realize it's only a $5 difference, but figured I'd ask.

  2. #2
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    Will you have (keep) a TF after this?

    Simply asking, because it is **sometimes** possible to combine active accounts.

    Otherwise, the $9.99 should work just fine for a temporarily "live" line
    (Our) Phone History At-a-Glance:
    '08-on Tracfone (Vz) using:
    1. '19- : Vzw on Moto E5 (with unl talk $30)
    2. '17-'19 : BYOP(Vzw) on UsC Moto E4 + LG Rebel 3
    3. '16-'17 : BYOP(Vzw) on HTC Desire 526
    4. '14-'16 : Huawei Glory H868C
    5. '12-'14 : LG800g
    6. '08-'12 : Motorola W376g
    '05-'08 Verizon & Sprint used: Moto Razr+LG Cosmos 2 & LG Optimus '05
    '03-'05 Alltel & Cingular
    '01 AT&T

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by larrycl View Post
    So my question is: using one of the sims that came from my smartphone sim kit, can I activate it using the $9.99 basic plan? (And then stick it in a smartphone?)
    Yes it'll work. If a newer SIM you just get face value added to each bucket (minutes, texts, MB data). If older it might be TMFL, and you get 3x face value in each bucket.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the quick replies!!
    @tracbourne, I do have my own tracfone line, but TBH the line in question is for my mother, where we want to do landline to google voice port, which requires you to first port your line to a mobile carrier. So, per your question, it seems I could either 1) open a new account for this temporary line, and then port out, losing any remaining $$, or 2) activate the line on my existing account, and when I port the line out, I might be able to combine any remaining money into my line.
    How hard is #2 to accomplish? Not sure it's worth jumping through hoops just for the $9.99 or so.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by larrycl View Post
    How hard is #2 to accomplish? Not sure it's worth jumping through hoops just for the $9.99 or so.
    Doesn't have to be the same online account.

    But it's not guaranteed, and porting the number out adds another wrinkle. Line has to be active to port out and to combine balances. So when you port out, you have to reactive with new number. That needs more airtime, then fighting to get it added to another line.


    I'd just call the $10 part of the cost to get to GV.


    That said there were cheaper routes in the past. If you have a TMO compatible phone I think you can still port to them with a cheap preloaded SIM.
    It's been a while so I don't remember the details.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    But it's not guaranteed, and porting the number out adds another wrinkle. Line has to be active to port out and to combine balances. So when you port out, you have to reactive with new number. That needs more airtime, then fighting to get it added to another line.
    About a year and a half ago I did the same thing the OP wants to do (ported a landline number to TF and then to Google Voice). I was able to combine the unused airtime from the temporary TF with my regular TF without buying additional airtime. I used an old dumb/feature tracfone that I happened to have as the temporary phone, and that may have been why no additional airtime was needed. I had hoped that I could just activate that old (previously unactivated) phone for free with the 60 days / 20 minutes that it came with when purchased - but I didn't have that much luck.

    Looking at the old chat transcripts, it looks like combining the balances was easier than activating the the phone and getting the port to go through. Some of that may have been because it was a 5-year-old dumb phone (Samsung S390G).

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