How to Use a TracPhone

By Jacqui Lane

If you want a cellphone without the hassle of credit checks, deposits and lengthy contracts, consider a TracFone. TracFone is a prepaid mobile phone provider that allows customers to add airtime to their account by purchasing prepaid cards, logging on to the website or even directly from a TracFone handset without having a monthly recurring bill. If you prefer to have your minutes renewed automatically each month, TracFone offers value packages that bill automatically and can be canceled at any time. Once your TracFone is set up, you can use it just like any other cellphone.

Purchase a TracFone, if you do not have one. TracFones can be found at many stores, including gas stations, grocery stores and discount stores. You can purchase phones from the TracFone website. Handset prices start at $9.99.

Activate your TracFone by visiting the TracFone website and clicking the "Activate/Reactivate Phone" link. Click on the image representing the model of your phone. Install and charge the battery (if you haven't already) and turn on the phone. Locate the serial number (sometimes called the ESN, IMEI or MEID) on the activation card found in your package or in the prepaid menu of your phone and follow the instructions online to activate your phone.

Add minutes to your phone or sign up for a recurring monthly plan. You can do this by visiting the website and clicking on "Buy/Add Airtime." You will be given the option to buy airtime online, redeem a prepaid airtime card or set up a recurring monthly plan.

Use your phone to make calls or send text messages, and add additional airtime as needed. If you are on a prepaid monthly plan, you can add airtime by logging into your account. If you prefer to purchase your minutes as you need them, you can add airtime by purchasing a prepaid card or by purchasing it directly on the website. You can also set up your account online to allow you to purchase minutes directly from your phone without using prepaid cards or the website.