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Thread: No more great Tracfone service + airtime deals?

  1. #1
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    No more great Tracfone service + airtime deals?

    Hey guys;
    About a year ago I purchased a Moto G7 Optimo Maxx with 365 days service + 1500 minutes + 1500 texts + 1.5GB data from QVC for $105 + tax.
    Now, I need to renew my service, but don't necessarily need to add airtime. That said, service + airtime has always been the best deal.
    I don't really want to buy a new phone already. I like to keep it for at least another year.

    Back in 2019, I purchased a plan through Tracfone's Ebay store for my LG Fiesta II:
    365 days service + 1200 min + 1200 txt + 3GB data for $49.99.
    I received an airtime (scratch-off) card plus a SIM card (which I did not need to use).

    While I was waiting for my order to arrive, I was concerned about whether i would receive both the SIM card and airtime card, as there was some question about it - discussed in these forums.
    I chatted with TF and learned that to add airtime to an existing phone/account, one must have the airtime card with the scratch-off code which is entered on the TF site. They explicitely told me that I could not add airtime to the existing phont/account with only a SIM card.
    What I received was indeed a SIM card + airtime card, so I was good to go.

    Now, as I search for great deals to add service + airtime to my existing phone/account, the only one I find (TF Ebay store) for $49.99 does not include a physical airtime card. It is my understanding that this product is for starting a bran-new Tracfone account with the BYOP option. You simply insert the SIM card and provide some info online and you're set.

    The least expensive deal I can find for adding 365 days service + 1200 or 1500 mins/txts/MB to my phone/account will cost me $109 on Tracfone's Ebay store or from their regular store.
    I checked Amazon, HSN and Walmart so far, but have not found anything better. I will still check QVC as well, but I'm thinking that TF finally closed the door on cheap airtime for existing customers?

    I suppose that if I can get a much better deal by purchasing a new phone, i will do that, but I am not going through the hassle of purchasing a phone I don't want to keep, then swapping the service + airtime back to my current phone.
    For all I know, they don't even allow that anymore.

    I would greatly appreciate if if anyone has found a better service + airtime deal for an existing smartphone.

    Thanks
    Ultrarunner

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner2015 View Post
    I suppose that if I can get a much better deal by purchasing a new phone, i will do that, but I am not going through the hassle of purchasing a phone I don't want to keep, then swapping the service + airtime back to my current phone.
    For all I know, they don't even allow that anymore.
    You can still buy a phone bundled with 1-yr and airtime, activate it with a transfer from your current phone, then a few days later TRANSFER back to your current phone (not swapping). Whether or not it's a hassle that's worth the saving ($50-$60 for a bundle vs $109 for the 1-yr card), only you can decide.

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    Sim swapping doesn't work anymore?
    I've been hiding for a while, must have missed the news ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    Sim swapping doesn't work anymore?
    I've been hiding for a while, must have missed the news ....
    Functionally, SIM swapping still works, but now seems to cause more issues (original SIM purged from TF system, line blocked, message from TF/Verizon telling you to swap the SIM back to restore service, etc). There are quite a few recent posts in the forum about SIM swapping problems.

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    Hopefully that's not an issue with our old phones that we sim swapped, last one a couple years ago. So far, so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    You can still buy a phone bundled with 1-yr and airtime, activate it with a transfer from your current phone, then a few days later TRANSFER back to your current phone (not swapping). Whether or not it's a hassle that's worth the saving ($50-$60 for a bundle vs $109 for the 1-yr card), only you can decide.
    ^^^What hpham said.

    Also, they haven't sent scratch off PIN service cards in some time. It's OBE, but contrary to what the TF rep told you, you could use those scratch of PINs on any phone with TF service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    So far, so good.
    "So far, so good"....that's what a skydiver who jumped from 5,000' with a failed chute kept saying until he hit the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    "So far, so good"....that's what skydiver who jumped from 5,000' with a failed chute kept saying until he hit the ground.
    LOL, true.
    Is there something I need to do now to prevent bad things from happening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    Is there something I need to do now to prevent bad things from happening?
    I can't give an accurate answer without knowing what you swapped, TF-branded or BYOP, which carrier(s) the phones/SIMs use, how long ago, how frequently, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    I can't give an accurate answer without knowing what you swapped, TF-branded or BYOP, which carrier(s) the phones/SIMs use, how long ago, how frequently, etc.
    I have swapped sims from TF branded phones into BYOP devices. Timeframe is 1-2 years ago. 4 phones total.
    We did the test calls on all 4 together a while ago, remember hpham? You had helped me out big time back then.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    Sim swapping doesn't work anymore?
    I've been hiding for a while, must have missed the news ....
    I don't know about TF/AT&T or TF/T-Mobile cause I use TF/VZW. I know for a fact TF/VZW is cracking down on sim swapping, even if its a BYOP sim. I have first hand experience with it. I got my line blocked because I put my BYOP sim in the new phone to test it out a couple times. BYOP sim was paired to the new phone and new sim with bundle purged from TF system.

    I know I've already said it a dozen times or more on here, but I'm just trying to warn people. If your gonna sim swap, do it with an unlocked phone. Do not do it with a TF branded phone, but...My best advice would be not to sim swap a TF/VZW sim at all. Do the proper transfer from phone to phone...Better safe than sorry, cause TF/VZW is paying attention and knows exactly which phone that sim is being used in.

    On the brighter side I did a activate/transfer online recently and everything went very well. New phone was activated within minutes with my service in tact. I love my new Moto G Stylus 2021! I'm a happy TF camper, no longer afraid of properly transferring service from one phone to another.

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    Cant' you still get the 365 day service extension for $49.99 if you have a TF branded phone? Everything else can be bought separately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Cant' you still get the 365 day service extension for $49.99 if you have a TF branded phone?
    You still can. I have several TF-branded smartphones in my account. After selecting BUY AIRTIME for one of them, picking a $15 time card, the 365-day add-on showed up. Removing the time card, or not selecting one, the add-on would not show up.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    I have swapped sims from TF branded phones into BYOP devices. Timeframe is 1-2 years ago. 4 phones total.
    The problems resulting from SIM swapping are most prevalent with TF-branded phones and/or SIMs that use TF/Verizon (which most current TF-branded phones uses). When you replace the original SIM of a TF-branded phone with another SIM, nowadays the swapped-in SIM gets paired to the phone and the original SIM gets purged from TF system.

    If you swap a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM into a phone that's not the phone that was paired with the SIM at activation, nowadays that SIM gets paired to the IMEI of the new phone. Some people got no service when swapping and/or get a error message from Verizon telling them to put the SIM back into the correct phone to restore service.

    I don't know about swapping a SIM from a TF-branded phone into a BYOP phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    The problems resulting from SIM swapping are most prevalent with TF-branded phones and/or SIMs that use TF/Verizon (which most current TF-branded phones uses). When you replace the original SIM of a TF-branded phone with another SIM, nowadays the swapped-in SIM gets paired to the phone and the original SIM gets purged from TF system.

    If you swap a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM into a phone that's not the phone that was paired with the SIM at activation, nowadays that SIM gets paired to the IMEI of the new phone. Some people got no service when swapping and/or get a error message from Verizon telling them to put the SIM back into the correct phone to restore service.

    I don't know about swapping a SIM from a TF-branded phone into a BYOP phone.
    I am assuming I could get 4 BYOP sim cards, and transfer the service from the current sims to the new BYOP sim cards?
    Or is waiting and seeing the best approach?
    Have there been any reports of issues with TF branded sims in unlocked (BYOP) phones?

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