UPDATE – Tracfone has made changes to their smartphone cards, and we’ve shared all the details, including much of the comparison gosip from below, in our new post, New Prices/Changes to Tracfone Smartphone Airtime Cards. Go take a look for the latest information.
Tracfone recently added several new options for buying airtime for your smartphone. These new cards are only for smartphone users on Tracfone, and add specific amounts of talk time, texts and data that does not triple when you top off your phone. Are these new cards a good deal? Are you better off buying the older cards? We are going to answer those questions right here for you!
For those who might not know, Tracfone is a prepaid wireless phone company that provides both cell phones, and service to use the phones on. Over the last few years Tracfone has offered many different Android powered smartphones to use with their service, as well as making it possible to bring your own smartphone device to use with their service (called the BYOP program).
All smartphones on Tracfone automatically split airtime cards into three separate categories – talk time, texts and data. All smartphones also automatically triple airtime you add to the phone, which is a nice bonus.
With these new airtime cards that can only be used with smartphones, the airtime is not tripled when you add it to your smartphone, and the cards come with specific amounts for talk time, texts and data.
For example, the new 2000 Minute Card comes with 2000 minutes talk time, 3000 text messages, and 1 GB data. Each of the new cards also comes with 90 service days.
So are these new airtime cards a good deal for Tracfone users? Let’s take a look.
Comparison of Smartphone Airtime Cards Vs. Regular Airtime Cards
We are going to go through a couple of tables to analyze the different cards and try to determine which cards are a better value. We will do our best to explain each of the tables as we go through them. Please be sure to leave a comment if you don’t understand how we came to our conclusions, or if you have a better way of explaining this.
Let’s start with the first table that shows the two categories of airtime cards, how many minutes you get for each card, and what the price per minute is for each card. We also include text and data costs. Also note that we tripled each of the ‘old’ airtime cards, because they are automatically tripled when adding them to a smartphone.
|Tracfone Smartphone Cards vs Regular Airtime Cards – Which One is Better?|
As you can see from the table above, with a 450 minute card you will get 1350 minutes for talking, 1350 texts, and 1350 MB of data (1.35 GB).
Notice the 3000 minute smartphone only card. With this card you get 3000 minutes for talking, 3000 texts, but only 1500 MB data (1.5 GB).
Then take a look at the 2000 minute smartphone card, you get 2000 minutes for talking but 3000 texts! And also 1000 MB data (1 GB).
So, as you can see, the new smartphone cards don’t give even amounts of talk/text/data, but rather give a varying amount of each. The general demam isu for these smartphone only cards is that they give more talk time, a lot more texts, but less data than the regular airtime cards. This is generally very good, because many smartphone users go though their texts the fastest.
Now let’s take a look at the second half of the table above, the part about price per minute, text and MB (data).
The general demam isu we can see is that the larger the airtime card, the better deal you get (you get more for your money when you buy more).
What we really want to take a look at is the cost (or price) per airtime amount. The smartphone only cards are cheaper for both talk time and texts, but a little more expensive for the data. The ‘average’ cost shows that the smartphone only cards are a little cheaper, mostly because they give you a lot more texts compared to the regular airtime cards.
Let’s take a look at this next table which explains how many minutes you get per dollar.
|Tracfone Smartphone Airtime Cards – Minutes per Dollar|
The table above shows how many minutes you get for each dollar spent on an airtime card. So for the 450 Minute Card, you get just under 20 minutes talk time, 20 texts, and 20 MB for one dollar. You can see that this is the best deal for the ‘old’ cards.
Now look at the 2000 minute smartphone only card. For one dollar you get almost 27 talking minutes, 40 texts, and about 13 MB data. So, compared to the 450 Minute card, you get a better deal on talk time, twice as many texts, and a slightly worse deal on data.
How do the regular airtime cards compare to the new smartphone airtime cards?
The smartphone only cards are a better deal for talking, and MUCH better deal on texts, and a slightly worse deal on data.
So, if you use your smartphone primarily for texting, these new smartphone cards are a great value for you. You should especially consider the 2000 and 1000 minute cards, because both of these give you 40 texts per dollar, the best deal of any of the cards.
But if you use more data than anything else, you may want to stick with the old airtime cards, or just buy data only cards. You could also consider the 400 Minute/1 Year card, which we did not include in the table, but is a similar value to the 450 Minute Card.
For many, buying the 500 Minute Smartphone only card is a better value than the regular 200 Minute Airtime card because you get almost twice as many texts, with slightly less talk and data time.
Take a moment to consider your own needs, and which airtime card you usually buy, and see if there is a better option on the tables above.
We hope this analysis has been helpful, and understandable. Let us know in the comments what you thought, and which airtime card you will be choosing.
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