Choosing a Tracfone SIM for an Unlocked BYOP Phone

YouTuber, AllAboutBraces221 asks…

I’m confused, if you buy an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 why are these SIM cards for AT&T or Verizon? Which one do you use for an unlocked phone?

Hi AllAboutBraces,
That is a good question and if you are not familiar with Tracfone this could be confusing so allow me to explain.

The first thing to understand is that Tracfone does not have their own cellular network or towers, instead they lease service from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. When you buy a phone from Tracfone or sign up for a Bring Your Smartphone Plan, your phone will use one of those three networks.

When you buy a phone from Tracfone they decide which network it will use but for BYOP its a little different. Most people signing up for Bring Your Own Phone already have a phone that they bought from their current wireless company and it’s likely that phone is either from AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. Normally, Tracfone expects that you’d buy the BYOP SIM that matches the carrier your phone is from. This makes sense because if your phone is from AT&T it will be compatible with Tracfone’s AT&T SIM card. And if you are switching from AT&T, then there should be AT&T service in the areas you live, work, or use your phone most. The same holds true for Verizon or T-Mobile.

Now in your case, if you buy an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8, that phone is compatible with all four major networks in the USA (AT&T,Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint). In your case, you could choose either the ATT, Verizon, or T-Mobile SIM card as long as Tracfone offers service on that network in your area. For the AT&T or T-Mobile network you simply activate the SIM and put it in your phone. If you want to use your Galaxy S8 with Tracfone’s Verizon network you’ll need check your phone’s serial number called the MEID or IMEI with Tracfone to make sure they can activate it on their Verizon network. This last part is a required by Verizon as the ID of every device on their network needs to be registered before a SIM can be activated. In some rare cases, Tracfone may report that your compatible unlocked phone is not able to be used with their Verizon’s network. In that case, contact Tracfone customer service to verify the MEID one more time.

See my video on how to check this. Checking If Your Phone Is Compatible With Tracfone’s Verizon Network

I hope this helps, see my video below.

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