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Prepaid Faceoff: Straight Talk VS Tracfone



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With the massive number of prepaid MVNOs and carrier options, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all and even harder to compare and decide which company is the right one for you. So, every once in a while we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two popular companies, comparing plans and services to help you better decide.

Today, we’ll look at Straight Talk and TracFone. Both companies operate using all four of the main carrier networks, so ideally they get you the best coverage possible. Straight Talk is lists on its website that it is actually owned by TracFone, which leaves me wondering why Straight Talk has better-valued plans… And why TracFone does not list Straight Talk as one of their subsidiarys.

Regardless, here’s how they compare:

Plan Prices  Price range? What is included?

Straight Talk – Plans range from $30 – $60

Straight talk offers only 4 plans, each with various perks for enrolling in auto-refill. All plans include unlimited text, and only the $30 basic plan limits calling. You can view the full lineup of plans here.

TracFone – Plans range from $9.99 – $125

TracFone offers one 30 day plan, two 60 day plans, and one plan that is good for a year. With that much variety, there is a big range of prices. Customers who choose to enroll in auto-refill will automatically receive 5% off their bill. You can view the companies full lineup of plans here.

Unlimited Talk/Text  Is it offered? What is the lowest price?

Straight Talk – Unlimited text is inncluded in the $30 basic plan, unlimited calling kicks in on the $45 unlimited nationwide plan.

TracFone – Nope! No plans through TracFone include unlimited talk and text.

Data Ranges  What is the most and least data available?

Straight Talk – Data ranges from 100 MB (hard capped) all the way up to 10 GB (tethered).

TracFone – Data starts at 200 MB and works up to 1.5 GB. Data add-ons are available at $10 per GB.

Pay-As-You-Go Rates  What are the pay-as-you-go per minute rates?

Straight Talk – N/A. No pay-as-you-go options available.

Tracfone – TracFone offers quite a few pay-as-you-go options, starting at $9.99 for 30 minutes/texts/MB’s (good for 30 days) and working up to $199.99 for 1500 minutes/texts/MB’s (good for one year). You can view TracFone’s pay-as-you-go plans in detail here.

International Calling  What options are available? What does it cost?

Straight Talk – Straight Talk offers an unlimited international plan for $60 a month. This plan includes unlimited talk to more than 15 destinations, as well as 400 bonus minutes to specific destinations. Alternatively, customers can purchase a global calling card for $10 that will open up international calling at various rates. You can view all of the details for the international plan and the global calling card here.

TracFone – All plans with Tracfone include “basic international” which allows calls to be made to Mexico, Canada, China and more at no extra charge. Global calling cards are also available for $10. You can check out countries included in basic international as well as rates for the global calling card here.

Activation Fees  How much do they cost?

Straight Talk – No activation fees, and SIM cards are available for $0.99.

TracFone– No activation fees, and SIM cards are available for $0.99.

BYOD  Can you activate your own device?

Straight Talk – Yes! Any unlocked device in good standing can be activated here.

TracFone – Yes! Any unlocked device in good standing can be activated here.

Network/Coverage  What network does it use?

Straight Talk – AT&T, T-Mobile, Spring, Verizon | Coverage Map

TracFone – AT&T, T-Mobile, Spring, Verizon | Coverage Map