I got an email today touting Tracfone's new lower rates. The best thing it does is for the 40-minute card, with effects on the 100, 200 and double-minute cards. The last three are nothing to shout about since I think they merely replace the coupon book that came with Tracfones before this month or last month or so, but the first is entirely new. Also, all the cards now are unlimitedly given those minute amounts (instead of one or four times as the coupon codes would let you do) and, best of all, you can add even more coupon codes on top of the cards, and of course all the minutes get doubled with a Double Minute card! Now to the facts:
40 minute card -> 60 minutes, $20, was 50 cents, now 33 cents a minute
100 minute card -> 120 minutes, $30, was 30 cents, now 25 cents a minute
200 minute card -> 250 minutes, $50, was 25 cents, now 20 cents a minute
Double minute card (300 minutes) -> 400 minutes, $130, was 43.3, now 32.5 cents a minute (not counting double minutes)
It looks as though the 400-minute, $80 card, will be dead soon, as now the $50, 250-minute card has the same cost per minute for less money. Then again, $50 STi Mobile cards still sell, and they don't have any promotions that make their minutes cheaper with larger quantities bought. Still, with the tiered price structure that Tracfone has I think the 400-minute card will go.
I have to say that Tracfone is still one of the more expensive carriers on the block as far as cost per minute goes (everybody now is 25 cents a minute or below, even with a $20 card, whereas it takes a $30 card to get those rates) if you don't take advantage of promotionals. Of course, Tracfone is famous\infamous for its promos so you can fairly easily get 20 cents a minute on a $20 or $30 card (eBay has the former for around $14 and there are promo codes floating around). Plus they have refer-a-friend.
Even with these pluses Tracfone usually doesn't turn out to be the cheapest carrier around, but if they use a cerrier in your area that has an even more outrageous prepaid option, or none at all, and great coverage, it may very well be the way to go, now especially since their rates are a tad lower.