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Thread: Questions about combining monthly plan with 1-year bundle

  1. #1
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    Questions about combining monthly plan with 1-year bundle

    So I have this Moto E5 HSN bundle that came with 1 year service and 1500t/t/mb.

    I was looking on the tracfone website, and it looks like I can use some coupon codes to get a $15 discount site-wide. So if I buy a BYOP sim for 99cents + a $15 monthly plan, looks like I can get it for 99cents.

    I have never used monthly plans with Tracfone before - only used HSN bundles, so questions for all the knowledgeable Tracfone-veterans here:

    1. Can I just add the $15 monthly plan to my Moto E5? Will that get my service time extended by a month, and add 500t/t/mb to my existing buckets?

    2. Or will I have to activate the BYOP sim with a new number and then do some sort of a transfer, etc?

    3. Given that it is a "monthly plan" do I have to use up the 500t/t/mb within a month of adding the plan? Or will all the buckets, including the time bucket, just get extended?

    4. My head is already spinning thinking about all this, but here's one more question - What happens if I buy 2 such $15 monthly plans?

    Thank you very much in advance! (This forum has always been fantastic for me. I know I couldn't have navigated Tracfone without the help I have gotten here!)

  2. #2
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    If the monthly "plan" comes as a time card and not preloaded to the SIM, you can redeem that card toward any of your phones on Tracfone. The buckets of that phone will increase by 500/500/500 and the service end date will be extended by 30 days. There's no specific deadline for you to use up the units from that time card, they'll just get lumped in with your existing bucket balances.

  3. #3
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    There have been recent reports that Tracfone is no longer sending airtime cards when ordered with a BYOP SIM or a Tracfone branded phone. Time will tell if this will become the norm. They have begun pre-linking the airtime to the SIM or the phone's activation. To get around this you need to be knowledgable on what will and will not work before you get yourself into trouble. Tracfone will not let you use a BYOP SIM in a branded Tracfone. The problem arises with Verizon making Tracfone ask for the phones IMEI... AT&T and T-Mobile do not ask. The IMEI tells Tracfone it is either a branded or a BYOP. More workarounds required. What you want to do is more trouble than I would want to go through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    If the monthly "plan" comes as a time card and not preloaded to the SIM, you can redeem that card toward any of your phones on Tracfone. The buckets of that phone will increase by 500/500/500 and the service end date will be extended by 30 days. There's no specific deadline for you to use up the units from that time card, they'll just get lumped in with your existing bucket balances.
    Several months ago Tracfone started shipping pre-loaded SIM's rather than separate airtime cards. So in order to get the airtime you'll have to activate with a transfer of your existing number and balances. It's pretty straight-forward, but you need to get the sequence right, especially if you hope to unlock the phone after a year.

    I suggest ordering T-Mobile SIM's, or ATT if they're better for you; VZW can work too, if you have some compatible IMEI's (inactive phones) available.

    If you have not yet activated the E5 and want to unlock, start with the BYOP SIM's. Activate the first SIM with a new number or a port from outside Tracfone; wait for their systems to settle down, then activate the second SIM with a transfer of your number and balances from the first. Wait again for the dust to settle, then activate the E5 with a transfer of number and balances from the second BYOP SIM. The first two steps can probably be done safely online from your account. But beware that the last step is a transfer between carriers from TMO/ATT to VZW so there is a high probably of losing your balances if done online; best to use chat with a CSR and follow hpham's script getting confirmation of your balances before and after.

    If you have already activated the E5, you can activate the first in a chain of pre-loaded GSM SIM's with a transfer of the E5 number and balances, but you'll lose the ability to unlock (need to keep the original VZW SIM active for a year).

    It may be possible to keep your already-activated E5 SIM and add the BYOP airtime either by persuading a CSR to add the airtime to your existing SIM, or by activating a chain of BYOP GSM SIM's and then getting a CSR to combine the two lines onto the E5, but YMMV as this is outside their normal range.

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    Tracfone's promotions have been recently restricted to new accounts. They don't explicitly state that, but it's the de facto end result. They will do this in your case by sending you your $15 of airtime pre-loaded onto the SIM. You could activate the SIM as a new line, but you can't use it to extend your Moto's service. You need to go back in your time machine to a date when Tracfone still sent the airtime on a separate physical card for your plan to work. There are cross-carrier transfer possibilities, but those seem to be the most risky. By risky, I mean you sometimes will have your minutes/text/data wiped out with these types of transfers.

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    Thank you for the replies. So I suppose it's best to assume that the sim will come pre-loaded. In that case, l shouldn't murk things up by bringing in my Moto E5. I'll just keep the E5 out of this then.

    I do have an unlocked GSM Android phone (originally a MetroPCS phone) and I am fine with signing up for a new number.

    So suppose I order three (BYOP sim + $15 monthly plan) in 3 separate orders, so that my total cost is $3 (+tax) for the 3 orders.

    Will I be able to combine the three sims to get 1500t/t/mb good for 3 months?

    Or do you think it will still be too much trouble, with too many things that can go wrong?

    TIA.

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    Should be no problem. Activate the first SIM with a new number, wait a bit, activate the second with a transfer from the first, and so on. Should be safe to do it all online from your account, as you can stick with the same carrier.

    I'd suggest using TMO if you have the coverage, since it should give VoLTE and wifi calling, which ATT doesn't seem to offer yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasailor View Post
    Should be no problem. Activate the first SIM with a new number, wait a bit, activate the second with a transfer from the first, and so on. Should be safe to do it all online from your account, as you can stick with the same carrier.

    I'd suggest using TMO if you have the coverage, since it should give VoLTE and wifi calling, which ATT doesn't seem to offer yet.
    Thanks. Sounds attractive that this can be done online from within my account - although I have never had a Tracfone account before! My previous interactions with TF have been via Chat. Those went fine, but I prefer doing things myself without having to involve TF reps. I guess it should be easy to set up an account, will look into it.

    Any other things I should watch out for? TIA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    Any other things I should watch out for?
    When I did this deal back in March (I still have two time cards to use), I think the code was supposed to be for one-time use. If it won't let you use it more than once, try clearing the browser's cache or use different browsers.

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    Riskier because of transfers, but gives you an excuse for changing, is to begin with AT&T or T-Mobile, then switch to the other and then switch back. You were testing providers and found the first to actually be the best after all. In all three you are using a BYOP SIM in a BYOP handset. This works assuming your T-Mobile MetroPCS phone is unlocked for AT&T. Do you know which is better in your area of usage, T-Mobile or AT&T service, to end up with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    1. Can I just add the $15 monthly plan to my Moto E5? Will that get my service time extended by a month, and add 500t/t/mb to my existing buckets?

    2. Or will I have to activate the BYOP sim with a new number and then do some sort of a transfer, etc?

    3. Given that it is a "monthly plan" do I have to use up the 500t/t/mb within a month of adding the plan? Or will all the buckets, including the time bucket, just get extended?
    Unlimited monthly plans are separate from paygo plans. Service time will get extended, but the monthly plan values will not add to your existing buckets. Paygo buckets get set aside when you go on a monthly plan, and are made active again when you go off the monthly plan. Monthly plan data balances do not carry over unless you keep re-upping the monthly plan.

    If already activated, transfer of service from the E5 will stop the unlocking clock if that is important.
    Last edited by loboheeler; 05-31-2020 at 06:03 PM.

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    I think Tracfone is starting to drive me a little crazy now. On their website, it says "Get unlimited talk and text with unlimited carryover data (with active service)" and right next to it, there's a blurb that says "Starting at $20 a month"

    1. Does this mean that talk and text don't get carried over?

    2. More importantly, does data carryover only start with $20/mo plans? In other words, the $15/mo plan with 500t/t/mb doesn't have data carryover?

    Thanks in advance for helping me preserve my sanity by answering these questions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    I think Tracfone is starting to drive me a little crazy now. On their website, it says "Get unlimited talk and text with unlimited carryover data (with active service)" and right next to it, there's a blurb that says "Starting at $20 a month"

    1. Does this mean that talk and text don't get carried over?

    2. More importantly, does data carryover only start with $20/mo plans? In other words, the $15/mo plan with 500t/t/mb doesn't have data carryover?

    Thanks in advance for helping me preserve my sanity by answering these questions!
    The $20 plan referred to is one of the new 30 day Unlimited Talk and Text plans. So, there is no reason to have carry over T/T. With the $20 plan you get 1gb of data which does carry over as long as you have an active Unlimited plan. The $15 plan is the regular plan with T/T/D all carrying over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cv91913 View Post
    The $20 plan referred to is one of the new 30 day Unlimited Talk and Text plans. So, there is no reason to have carry over T/T. With the $20 plan you get 1gb of data which does carry over as long as you have an active Unlimited plan. The $15 plan is the regular plan with T/T/D all carrying over.
    Thanks cv91913, that makes sense. I'm kinda chicken so I backed out of my original plan of buying 3 of (99cent SIM + $15 plan) after mulling over the info that these promos are meant for new accounts, which means that I'll have to activate each SIM with a new number. That just seemed like too much trouble.

    So I ordered just one SIM, and like folks mentioned, it is a pre-loaded SIM. There's no separate airtime card. I'm planning to just hold on to it and activate it if/when needed. How complicated is the activation process? Can I do it by myself online, or is it required to get Chat involved?

    TIA.

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    I read hpham's "transfer+activation script" in the other thread, and I am inspired. So, if I am thinking once again about buying 3 99cent SIMs pre-loaded with the $15 plan. Thought I'd run this by the forum before I went through with it.

    So step 1 will be to Activate the first SIM and get a new number xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    Step 2 - A few days later, activate the second sim with a transfer from first SIM using hpham's script, slightly modified --
    - Get on Chat, ask them to confirm balance on the number.
    - Then, tell Chat "I'd like to activate a new SIM with a transfer from my phone xxx-xxx-xxxx".

    At this point, my worry is that since the promo is meant for new customers, won't Tracfone want me to get a new number since it's a new SIM? Will things get even more dicey when I try to transfer to the third SIM? Will I have to make up stuff such as 'I dropped my phone and the SIM got bruised' etc?

    I guess I'm wondering how many times they will let me do the transfer-to-a-new-SIM routine. (The idea of using TMo, then ATT, then back to TMo is great, but complicates things for a newbie chicken like me!) Thanks for any help.

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