How To Use An iPhone with Tracfone Wireless

A reader Maggie, asks…

Thank You Bob, I watched your video from 2014 regarding a used iPhone and setting it up with an already existing tracfone phone number and “existing minutes with that phone #”. Can this action still be done today with a used Iphone 6 and does this used iphone 6 need to be “unlocked” or if it is a “used verizon iPhone 6″…..it will work even if not unlocked? Thank you so much for all 🙂

Hi Maggie,
Yes, you can use the iPhone 6 with Tracfone Wireless. You can buy usea iPhone 6s or iPhone 6, or even iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, or iPhone 4 and use it with Tracfone’s Bring Your Own Smartphone Plan.

You can sign up for a new account, transfer your phone number from another phone company, and in your case transfer your existing Tracfone service from your current phone to a new or used iPhone. My 2014 videos, Using an iPhone for $7 a Month – Part 1 and Using an iPhone for $7 a Month – Part 2 are two of the most popular videos I have made and I am excited to say that in 2016 using an iPhone with Tracfone is even better than it was in 2014.

I also want to mention that my 2014 video was the only time I transferred an existing Tracfone account to a smartphone and the minutes did transfer. Several readers have told me that their minutes did transfer as well. If you do have concerns about this I recommend you contact Tracfone support to verify the details.

Back in 2014 you could only use a Verizon iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s with Tracfone’s BYOP program. And, you could only use it on Tracfone’s 3G Verizon network. Now in 2016 you can use any of the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5 models listed earlier and depending on the specific phone have your choice of using Tracfone’s Verizon CMDA LTE or Tracfone’s AT&T LTE network.

If you want to use Tracfone’s 4G Verizon LTE network, your specific phone needs to be eligible for use on the Tracfone’s Verizon network. To find out if you can use your specific iPhone you enter your phone’s IMEI number, a serial number, into the Tracfone website along with your zip code and they will tell you if your phone is eligible. Not all phones are, and Tracfone doesn’t tell us what makes a phone eligible or not so if you want to use the Tracfone Verizon network make sure you check the IMEI of the phone you want to use before buying it or that you can return the phone if you are unable to use it. Your best bet is to buy a used Verizon iPhone if you want to use the Tracfone network. All Verizon iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models are SIM unlocked. But just because the phone is unlocked doesn’t mean it will be eligible for use on the Tracfone Verizon network you need to check the IMEI number.

If you want to use the Straight Talk AT&T LTE network, it’s even better. You’ll need a AT&T(GSM) iPhone. It does not need to be unlocked. In general, unlocked is better so if you have the option buying an GSM or AT&T unlocked iPhone is best. If you want to buy a T-Mobile iPhone it must be unlocked.

Additionally, since all Verizon iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 models are SIM unlocked you can use them with the Tracfone AT&T LTE Network. The only limitation is specifically with the iPhone 5, which will not get LTE service on the AT&T network because the phone itself doesn’t support AT&T’s LTE network. The iPhone 5 will work with voice, text, mms, and 4G HSPA data(but the status bar will show a 3G connection).All this may sound a bit complicated but if you take a moment to understand you’ll have the most options when choosing a network and shopping for a used iPhone.

Once you have your iPhone you’ll need to buy a Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone Activation Kit. You can order on online directly from Tracfone or try to find one at Walmart or Kmart.

Finally, I wanted to make you aware that in earlier this year a published a number of articles and videos about using Tracfone and an iPhone or android Smartphone in 2016. Below list of those articles.

All My Articles About Tracfone from 2016
Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone SIM Activation Kit at Kmart and Walmart
Opening a Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone SIM Activation Kit

Choosing a Tracfone Network

Signing Up For Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone GSM LTE Network

Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone ATT GSM LTE Network Demo

SpeedTest Results for Tracfone’s ATT GSM LTE Network

Adding Data To My Tracfone Account On The iPhone 6

How Much Does Tracfone Data Cost?

Tracfone and Visual Voicemail On The iPhone 6

Looking Up the APN Settings For Your Tracfone Wireless Bring Your Own Smartphone Account

Strange Text Messages From Tracfone

Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone SIM Activation Kit At Walmart

Tracfone Bring Your Own Smartphone SIM Activation Kit From KMart

20 Comments

  1. Geoffrey | | Reply

    Can You use an Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G with Tracfone’s BYOP program?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Not as a phone. The data should work. If you have an AT&T phone sim try it in your iPad if it works the tracfone ATT sim should work too. You’d have to do the math to see if cost wise it would work out to be a worth while deal. You could buy 1GB of data for $10 that will continue to carry over while the account is active. But, you’d need to add minutes to the account to keep in active.

  2. Bob Wills | | Reply

    Hi!
    I have an iPhone 5 from Bell Canada, and would like to use it for my tracphone account which I already have. Can this be done keeping my tracphone number? I want to use it while in Florida for three months.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Bob,
      To use that iPhone with tracfone it needs to be unlocked. I am not sure if it shipped locked. It looks like Bell charges a $50 fee to unlock the phone if it is eligible. You can check if the phone is locked by borrowing an AT&T or T-Mobile nano SIM from someone. Put it in your phone and if you can make a call its unlocked. If you can make a call, you then should be able to transfer your service to a tracfone sim and keep your number and remaining service balance. You’ll have to decide if you want to use tracfone’s AT&T or Verizon network. If the phone is unlocked the AT&T SIM should work. If you want to use the Verizon SIM you’ll need to check the MEID of the phone with tracfone to see if it is eligible.

      I am not sure if Bell Canada used the GSM or CDMA iPhone 5. Whats the model number?

  3. Janae | | Reply

    Does this work with the iPhone 7?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Yes you can use the iPhone 7 with tracfone. If your buying a new phone, the best option is the SIM-Free option from the Apple Store. It’s compatible with the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks that Tracfone uses. If you want to use Tracfone’s Verizon network, you’ll still need to check the MEID (serial number) of the phone to make sure your can use the phone. The SIM free model should be ok.

  4. TCBeahes | | Reply

    Waiting on some foreigner on the other side of he plantet to provide an indecipherable answer to my simple problem .

  5. TCBeahes | | Reply

    Are you going to answer my question or send me to you raise of faq’s that have nothing to do with my problem?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      TCBeahes,
      smartphonematters.com is a privately owned website. I write about prepaid wireless with a focus on BYOP plans. I don’t work for tracfone nor can I fix your problem. My best suggestion for you would be to send a clearly written email to tracfone support at TF.CorpResolutionTeam@tracfone.com. Tell them what the problem is. Ask them why your phone stopped working if you haven’t used up all your minutes or they haven’t expired. Include relevant details. Like your account / phone number, when you added the minutes, and the service pin used if you had one. It’s best to omit the types of comments you left here about things like off-shore support or FAQs that did not help you as that won’t aid in resolving your issue.

  6. TCBeahes | | Reply

    I bought this tracphone a fe w yours ago

    Irecently added 450 minutes. It no longer works. I cannot make a call or send a text. Can yo guys fist they?

    I just bought sigh phone a couple of years ago added 450 minutes it no longer makes a cll or sends a texas. How about fixing this for e?

  7. Gary Baker | | Reply

    Bob,
    Thanks for your helpful information! I’ve got an available Verizon iPhone6s. My wife is currently using a GalaxyS3 on Tracfone BYOP. I’d like her to switch to the iPhone. I’ve already tested the IMEID at Tracfone and it is compatible.
    1) Can I just move the sim from the Galaxy to the iPhone? (other than the size difference)
    2) Size: GalaxyS3 is micro-sim and iPhone6s is nano-sim. I’ve seen articles that show how to cut down a micro-sim to nano-sim size easily. I’m okay doing that, but should I just order a new sim? Is the process of getting/activating a new sim for an existing BYOP a hassle?
    3) Are you sure that newer Verizon iPhones are “unlocked” or do I have to get Verizon to it unlocked first?

    G

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Gary,
      3. All Verizon iPhone models are unlocked, starting with the iPhone 5.
      1-2. While it’s possible to cut a SIM, I no longer recommend it. Order a new SIM online or check Best Buy or Target for a Tracfone $1 sim kit. You really dont want to move the SIM.

      FYI – tracfone offers service on either the AT&T network or the Verizon network. You did not mention which network the S3 is currently using. You can use either their AT&T or Verizon network with that iPhone 6s. You’ll need the current nano SIM for the network you want to use. And, if you want to use the verizon network, that is when you need to enter the MEID / IMEI of the phone into their website. Pick the network that works best in your area. Data service on their Verizon network is at speeds up to 5Mbps. Their AT&T network does not have that restriction.

      • Gary Baker | | Reply

        Thanks for the reply!
        The Galaxy-S3 is on Verizon as well. She is not a big data user so that restriction is not a big deal. Thanks for pointing it out.
        So you feel that getting a new sim is not much of a hassle? After obtaining, would I then just go on the website with the new sim and transfer to the new phone? Would I be forced to add more time to the plan at the same time? I’ve got alot of time/data left on her current plan. Was hoping to avoid that.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Gary,
          Your wife’s phone number and remaining balance are transferred to the new SIM.

          I wrote an article about doing this for another tracfone brand, straight talk. The process should be pretty similar. If by chance something doesn’t go smoothly you can email tracfone support and they can straighten it out.

          Transferring Your Existing Straight Talk Service to a New Straight Talk Phone or SIM

          I also did this for tracfone a few years ago Using an iPhone for $7 a Month – Part 2. That video is a little outdated now.

          If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.

          • Gary Baker | |

            Bob, sorry for the late reply, but the iPhone6s was a Christmas present so I had to wait to activate. I purchased the $1 Best Buy LTE Sim kit and used the nano-sim from that. Anyway, process could not have been simpler. I went to tracfonebyod.com and was able walk through the questions:
            new Sim card number
            new phone IMEI and CCID
            Number I wanted to move to new phone
            Old device IMEI
            Then the transfer took only 5 minutes. When the old phone stopped working, I put the new SIM in the iPhone and went through the setup process on the phone. Everything worked great and the carrier info at the top line of the phone says “TFW” 🙂
            Thanks again for the help!

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Hi Gary,
            Great news. I am glad to hear the transfer went smoothly and made the 6s a great Chistmas gift. Five minute transfer time too! Thanks for taking the time to share an update. The comments on smartphonematters.com are a great resource for others.

            Happy New Year!!!

  8. Crystal Day | | Reply

    My daughters both got hand me down Verizon iPhone 5s phones. They transferred their text, data, and minutes to their “new” used phones. Despite getting the OK from Tracfone before hand, their phones will not access the internet using their data and get error messages when they try. They only work via wifi. Apparently there is a glitch in the matrix. Tracfone has no idea how to make either phone work with their service plan data.

  9. Marilyn Lopez | | Reply

    I’m a Verizon customer but thinking of using my IPhone 5s as a tracphone. I want to see about triple minutes for life. Will I be able to do this?
    Thank you

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Marilyn
      For BYOP smartphone plans, tracfone seems moving away from the double and triple minute plans. And, I think this might be a good thing because after a while it gets a little confusing to figure out how many minutes you are getting for your money. we could talk more about this, but I’d start off by asking how many minutes do you use a month? how many text messages to you send, and how much data do you need? Once you know this it becomes easier to pick a prepaid wireless plan that meets your needs.

      Take a look at the rates on this page https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Purchase?payGo=true&app=TRACFONE&smartPhone=true&lang=en.
      expand all the options, and try to compare the prices for the one year and pay as you go plans to the smartphone plans. Now in some cases the One Year and Pay As You Go plans double or triple but the smartphone plans don’t.

      gets confusing quickly doesn’t it.

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