Using TracFone Prepaid Cell Phones to Reduce Your Monthly Bill

In challenging times, we are always looking for ways to reduce our expenses. But often, the last place we think about cutting costs is the best place to save some money. One example of this is your monthly cell phone plan — a great opportunity to reduce spending without significantly changing your lifestyle.

Adjusting Your Cell Phone Plan

Most people would never consider adjusting their cell phone plan. They figure in this day and age, cell phones are a necessity. However, adjusting your plan does not mean you are cutting out cell phones entirely. Instead, you are trying to optimize your plan for your current level of consumption. Many consumers pay for far more minutes than they actually use. By switching to a prepaid cell phone, many users could save up to several hundred dollars per year.

How Does A Prepaid Phone Work?

It’s actually very simple. Instead of paying a monthly fee, you simply buy a fixed number of minutes for the year. For example, TracFone, a major provider of prepaid minutes, offers a package of 400 minutes for $99. These minutes can be used anytime during the one-year period. Depending on which phone you purchase, you could receive bonus minutes as part of the plan.

Advantages Of A Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

Prepaid cell phone helps you cut monthly expenses

Using prepaid cell phone is a great way for infrequent cell phone users to cut out a monthly expense. Many mainstream plans cost between $50 and $100 per month, or between $600 and $1,200 per year. Why pay for all of these minutes if you are not going to use them? With a prepaid plan, you are only paying for what you consume, and if you run out of minutes, you are always free to buy more. Buying additional minutes is very easy and can be done online or from the cell phone itself

Prepaid cell phone has less hidden fees

Prepaid phones also reduce hassle. You don’t need to worry about excessive taxes, fees, or late charges. You don’t have to worry about the cell phone contract or early termination fee.

Prepaid cell phone are easy to purchase online

Most phones and plans can be purchased online in less than 20 minutes through reputable companies that safely and securely store your personal information. The quality of service is just as good, and most plans will allow you to keep your old cell phone number.

Although prepaid cell phones can save money, they are not for everyone. For those who use cell phones frequently (more than 400 minutes per month), a high-use or unlimited plan might be the way to go. But average American uses fewer than 300 minutes per month, and many use significantly less. If you are one of those consumers, the prepaid option might be an excellent choice to explore.

About the Author

By , on Jun 29, 2009
Vik Tantry
Vik Tantry is the owner of Kanjoh. Kanjoh is a video blog and information portal dedicated to educating people on personal finance, banking, and economic issues. Please visit Vik at his blog and subscribe to his feed.

Leave Your Comment (18 Comments)

  1. Chante Marie says:

    I use Tracfone and I hate that looking back over the years that I have jumped back and forth between providers because of the phones. But I have had Tracfone for the last year and I have saved so much money. I also use the promo codes that come with the phone so I can award myself an extra 20-60 minutes. I still go online but I just don’t stay on there long but I also have internet at my house. Tracfone is great especially if you are a young single person struggling on your own.

  2. Genna says:

    The thing for me is the no contract. I mean that is so important. I like that I don’t need a plan or monthly bill to use this phone. I have had the phone for a few months now and have not yet spent $100.I think the phones are above average. I’ve only had two actual phones. Now im with the motorolaw376 and its been great. Personally for me tracfone has been the right fit.

  3. Kevin Mulligan says:

    @Willie: Not so sure about the iPhone (Apple wouldn’t love that!) but you’re definitely right on the quality of the phones. If you need the more basic services, it can be a lot cheaper to go that route.

  4. Willie Sutton says:

    Prepiad cellphones seem to be a growing thing. I saw Tracfone in fact now has more modern phones — a qwerty keypad and a touch-screen, so they’re more appealing then before, which is interesting.

    Maybe they’ll even get an iphone soon!

  5. Linda says:

    Tracfone is the only phone that i can afford, don’t let that impair your judgement, it also has great quality coverage. I’ve never had a dropped call or anything. is been great.

  6. richardsnide5 says:

    Tracfone has been very good to me and my family. I took a pay cut and had to still find a way to provide cell phones to my kids and my wife. Tracfone cut my bill in half and still provides remarkably good reception pretty much everywhere. Customer service is a headache and the phone selection is limited but this is clearly a value service so I’ll take the trade.

  7. Mickey Bitsko says:

    Here’s a tip that no one else will ever tell you but I want to spread the word. If you ever need assistance, do not call the 1-800 number. Instead, go to and you will get help there. You can also use their Facebook page too.


  8. Will Powter says:

    It’s a terrific service and the value can’t be beat. Very easy to use and I pay a big 20 bucks every three months to use it… so great and the saving come without a bill. Awesome!!

  9. Phoebe12 says:

    Prepaid is the way you should go. I bought a pay as you go Net10 phone for $30 and I pay only 10 cents a minute and 5 cents per text. Plus I don’t have to buy a certain amount of minutes for international calling which is 15 cents a minute. I just pay for what I use. I don’t see what could be better than that. I know what I am spending and I am saving an average of 50 dollars a month. We all know how much we need those savings.

  10. Kyles says:

    My tracfone is great and it saves me a lot of money each month. With it i only have to pay for the minutes i use. And also since i have family in Italy, it is great for international calls. International calls cost the same as local calls. Ands really where i save a lot money with tracfone.

  11. Danny says:

    I have a Tracfone plan and I absolutely love it. I pay about $30/month, and I have a feature called double minutes, where for evey minute I bought I get one for free. It’s awesome! An most importantly, I could use those toward international calls. I have a lot of relatives in Brazil, so I could call them for the same price as a domestic call here in the US. I am saving a lot of money by using Tracfone, instead of using AT&T, which is what I used to have.

  12. Chris Chan says:

    The best bang for your buck is Straight Talk. $45 a month for unlimited nationwide anytime minutes and texts. Pretty awesome!

  13. Vik says:

    Hi all – this is Vik – the guest writer for this article. As I understand it, you will most likely need to switch phones if you use Tracfone. Most phones are built with a specific service provider in mind, and Tracfone is no exception.

    Hope this helps!

  14. Chris says:

    All great suggestions, but having worked for Boost Mobile I can tell you Virgin Mobile is probably the best bang for your buck if your going to use text messaging and a lot of voice calling. It’s also a good bet for a backup/weekend phone as the top up requirements are not outrageous.

  15. J.D. says:

    I made the switch from a traditional cell phone to Tracfone a couple years ago. It’s saved me a lot of money. I was paying $40/month before, now I’m averaging about $100/year. Granted I was only use about 80 minutes/month, but that’s a huge difference. I look at it this way, at 0.10/minute with Tracfone, I’d have to use 400 minutes each month to break even. I’m nowhere close to that.

    A couple other things to consider is texting and roaming. With tracfone it costs 0.5 units (approx $0.05) to send or receive a text message and 2 units (approx $0.20) per minute when roaming.

    Net10 is another company to look at. If I didn’t already have a double-minutes for life tracfone, that’s probably who I would use.

  16. Pinyo says:

    TJ, I haven’t used TracFone myself (this is a guest article in case you didn’t notice). However, my relative who visited the U.S. recently did use TracFone. From what I understand, you do have to buy a phone from them. She saved a bunch of money by not having to sign up for a 1-2 year contract.

  17. Miranda says:

    My husband and I each have a TracFone cell phone. We bought the phones online, and got them on sale. They are camera phones, and only cost us $29.99 apiece. They come with all the features you would expect from a regular camera cell phone. They also came with double minutes for life. So every time we add minutes, we get double. We save a ton, since our landline is VoIP. Our total phone costs each month are right around $30. Combining TracFone with VoIP really helps. (For international calls, we use Skype.)

  18. TJ says:

    I wonder, with Tracfone, do you need to buy phone from them too or you can just buy airtime and use your old phone.

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