You can check your Straight Talk balance and service date info online in two ways. There's a quick way, and a slightly slower way.
There is a slightly longer way to check your balance by logging into your account.
So there you have it.
You can also check your balance from your Straight Talk phone but you have to go through the menu.
Earlier, I admit I was a little surprised I could check the balance of my Straight Talk phone just by knowing my phone number. That meant that anyone could do it as long as they had that information and knew you had a Straight Talk phone. Airtime is a kind of currency, so information about how much of it you should probably be private. That problem is fixed now, so unless you know the serial number as well, you can't find out this information.
Other than that, I'm quite happy with the value of the service.
The procedure for checking on your airtime varies with other providers.
Tracfone made its name on the idea of tracking your minutes directly on your phone at all times.
With AT&T Gophone, I found that they sent you a free text message showing you your airtime balance in dollars after every call as appropriate. So the first call of the day on the daily plan trigger the deduction and the message.This way you knew when to refill your phone.
With T-Mobile, on the other hand, you could text a special number to have text sent back to you with your balance. Or you could check online as with the other services.