The Difference Between TracFone & Net10

by Adam Blevins

Cellular telephones are becoming more of a necessity in today's society. Many people, however, dislike the contract model employed by most cell phone carriers. Thankfully, there are many cell phone providers that offer prepaid plans. With a prepaid cell phone plan, you pay for your talk time before you use it by purchasing calling cards, so you do not have to sign a contract. Two popular prepaid phone carriers are Tracfone and Net10. There are several differences between them.

Tracfone Prices

Tracfone calling cards are available in the following denominations: $9.99 for 30 minutes, $20 for 60 minutes, $30 for 120 minutes, $40 for 200 minutes, and $99.99 for 400 minutes. The cards have different per-minute rates for each denomination. For example, a 30- or 60-minute card is $.33 per minute, a 120- or 400-minute card is $.25 per minute, and a 200-minute card is $.20 per minute.

Net10 Prices

Net10 calling cards come in only three denominations: $30 for 300 minutes, $60 for 600 minutes, and $100 for 1,000 minutes. All calling cards have the same per-minute rate, which, as the Net10 name implies, is $.10 per minute.

Minimum Usage

With each carrier, you must purchase a minimum number of minutes in order to keep your phone activated. For Tracfone, you must purchase at least one 60-minute card for $20 every 90 days. To keep a Net10 phone activated, you must purchase at least one 300-minute card for $30 every 60 days.

Other Benefits

The greatest benefit of Net10 is its inexpensive, $.10-per-minute rate and easy-to-understand calling card system (all cards cost $.10 per minute). Tracfone has a different benefit: its card gives you double minutes for the life of your phone. One such card costs $49.95 and doubles the number of minutes that you receive from the card for as long as you have the same phone.

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