A reader, Chris aks…
My daughter has a tracfone BYOP account with an iPhone 5s, and I recently upgraded my own phone and gave her my retired iPhone 7 for an upgrade. It was easy to transfer the data and apps via iCloud, and the last step is to transfer the actual tracfone phone service. Is it as simple as transferring the sim card from one phone to the other like I thought, or will I be forced to buy a separate sim card (only option I can find on the tracfone website)?
The suggested way to do this is to by a $1 SIM card from Tracfone or SIM Kit in Best Buy or Target(the kit comes with 3 differentiations SIMS) . From the tracfone.com you go to activate a new phone, at some point you’ll be asked if you want to transfer your number. Once Tracfone realizes that you are a customer you can transfer your number and balance to the new phone and sim card. I find it helps to set up the account on tracfone.com before during this but you don’t have to.
Sometimes you can move the SIM, but there are a few things to understand. That iPhone 5s has Tracfone SIM card that uses either the Verizon or AT&T towers.(possiblly even the T-Mobile towers). If the phone is using the AT&T towers you can move the SIM. If here iPhone 5s is using the Verizon towers, moving the SIM will work, but isn’t recommended. Verizon requires that all phones activated on their network have the serial number(MEID) registered. When you move the SIM, the old phone is still registered and can sometimes cause problems if someone else tries to register the phone on the Verizon network.
Apple made two different iPhone 7 models one for ATT & TMobile the other for Verizon an Sprint. The Verizon / Sprint model can be used on any of the four networks.
The only downside of moving the SIM in your case is that sometimes newer SIM cards can take advantage of network features that older SIMs can’t (WiFi calling, Voice over LTE).
Also keep in mind that if you switch SIM cards, the new SIM cards may not qualify for the same plans such as 3X minutes or the $50 for 365 service day add-ons.
You don’t know which towers she is using you can ask tracfone via online chat. Tell thenm her phone number and ask which towers the phone is using.
If her iPhone 5s is using the AT&T towers it’s ok to use the same SIM. Normally with the Verizon Towers, I tell people get a new SIM, In this case, no one will ever register that 5s on the verizon network as Verizon does not allow iPhones older that the iPhone 6 anyone,