Tracfone wireless family plans will keep you from going nuts!
If you've got a large cell-phone-using family, a prepaid plan can make sense in terms of cost and minutes. But let's face it; having to remember when everyone's phone needs to be refilled can quickly turn into quite the hassle.
And, honestly, some of the standard cell phone plans are also an option here, because you can often add extra lines for about $10 a month each on top of the approximately $60 a month. So the average cost per person isn't all that much. If you only really use the phones to keep track of where everyone is, then there are some cheaper options such as one of the Tracfone monthly plans.
In addition to just buying airtime, you can add a TracFone Value Plan for convenience.
For $10 a month, you get 50 minutes and 30 days of service added to your Tracfone. This compares well to a 60 minutes airtime card which normally costs $20. One year of using this plan will cost you $120 and give you 600 minutes. Again this compares pretty well with the one-year cards.
The recurring payments are made through your credit card or checking account
If you have a double or triple minutes phone, then the number of minutes you get will increase to 100 or 150 minutes per month respectively.
For 19.99 and 29.99 a month you can get 125 and 200 minutes per month respectively. For double and triple minutes phones that increases to 250 and 375 minutes for the 19.99 plan and 400 and 600 minutes for the 29.99 plan.
These higher plans are pretty comparable to standard plans from the major phone companies, except a little cheaper.
We still haven't looked at what happens when you add another line to make it into a . . .
The base cost is the same as the Value Plan: $9.99 for 50 minutes a month. Then you can designate additional Tracfones to receive 40 minutes a month for $5.99 a month for each additional phone.
So a four-phone setup with one phone receiving 50 minutes and three phones receiving 40 minutes each a month would cost you about $28 a month. Again those minutes get doubled or tripled depending on whether you have double or triple minutes phones.
Okay, it's not a massive number of minutes, but it's pretty amazing to be able to provide a family of four with cell phone service for under $30 a month total!
You pay $5.99 a month just to extend your service for an additional 30 days? It's not really worth it because buying a $20 airtime card every 90 days adds 60 minutes for the equivalent of $6.67 per month compared to 5.99 per month for zero additional minutes.
If you have accumulated a ton of minutes and really don't need any more, you can add the Service Protection plan.
You're not charged the amount unless you forget to add an airtime card so you can add it just for Service Protection as the name says.
Choosing one of the family plans could save you some hassle and keep your kids from bugging (begging?) you for airtime. And at least remove one of their excuses for not letting you know what they're up to.
Thanks so much for building and maintaining this site. I like the service protection plan. It is by far the cheapest way to have an invaluable cell phone for emergencies and the 2 or 3 calls a month I make. Landline suits me better for most calls. I have spent hours trying to figure out the kind of help you are providing. I will tell other tf users and link to your site before going to tracfone, like I do with publicradiofan.com and amazon. Thanks again.
-johnb. in cape girardeau, mo.
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Here are some other options to consider when looking for phones for your family or for smart phones on a budget.
Kajeet offers phones for kids with parental controls and other safety features. Their line-up now includes a few Android phones and tablets with technology for filtering out certain kinds of content.
Now that smart phones are everywhere, you have a choice of handsets for a $100 or less with pretty good features.