This is a re-blog from bit over a year ago: Why Having a Back-up Cell Phone Is a Good Idea.
This year is a slightly different issue as my TracFone PAYGO (Pay As You Go) back-up phone stopped recharging a few days ago; right now it’s hit or miss on recharging so I stopped using it. The TracFone phone is two years old and I needed to renew talk/text/data on it before early April anyway since it’s PAYGO. Several people only use this number to call me and I rarely go through minutes fast with this phone as they tend to be short quick calls. Here’s a brief blurb from the earlier post:
My back-up cell phone is a PAYGO (Pay As You Go) TracFone where I buy X amount of talk, text, and data and it’s good until it expires or I use it, whichever happens first. At present, my expiration date is April 2020 on my TracFone. Good thing about TracFone is when I buy additional units, it adds to the expiration date and it also adds the additional new units to the existing units which is why I have a long expiration date and a fair amount of talk, text, and data. Many cell phone companies simply change the expiration date from whatever it was before the purchase to what the expiration date for the new purchase would be (usually 30, 45, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days) and those companies also frequently wipe out any existing balances of talk, text, and data you had remaining.
My current TracFone number has been mine since sometime in early 2013 and I have gone through a couple of phone upgrades during that time. I usually put a small amount of extra talk/text/data in 90 day increments to keep the line active. I purchased my last TracFone from Home Shopping Network (HSN). It cost more than I normally pay in a year (almost $65 compared to about $54 for a year’s worth by going the 90-day renewal route. I gained a lot more talk/text/data and a new phone by buying it on Home Shopping Network for a few dollars more.
This year, I compared 1,500 talk/1,500 texts, and 1.5 GB data purchased from TracFone or a local retailer. $125 + tax. I went to HSN and saw I could get a new phone, LG Rebel 4 L212LV (old phone is LG Rebel 4 L58LV so an upgrade; both are CDMA phones) and the above amounts of talk/text/data for $49.99 + tax.
I believe the issue with the old phone is charging related, most likely the charging cable. I could get a new charger, but as my expiration date for unused talk/text/data is April 2020 if I didn’t buy more talk/text/data and the new phone comes with so much for less than half what I would pay for the same and adds another year to the expiration date, I decided it was better to go this route.
Overall, I like TracFone and it works well where I use it. I could go with a 30-day plan, but those tend to limit how much data I get each month. I don’t use much data with the PAYGO option on my TracFone as my Tello phone has 500 MB 4G LTE with unlimited 2G. Plus, the cheapest TracFone plan is $20/30-days which is $120/year. I am better off buying new phones from HSN or a similar company every year although some years TracFone or a local retailer offers a good deal for 90-day cards in which case I stock up.