Friday, December 30, 2005

Two Tracfone Promos

If you live in a zip code where Tracfone GSM service is available, now is a super time to buy in. Though the CDMA and TDMA phones on Tracfone are pretty much out of stock, leaving only the subpar Motorola v120s for "free" with a $20 card (now 60 minutes), the GSM sector has two great deals!

1. For people who don't want much of an upfront investment and don't mind a black-and-white phone, the Nokia 1100 is available with a $20 60-minute card "Free". What this really means is you pay for shipping and tax on the card's amount (another $7 if you include tax and ground shipping since the order is under $25, at $19.99) and get the phone as a result. In any case, $27 gets you a nice little Nokia 1100 (I've used it a little and think it's great for basic stuff, kind of like the Nokia 2126 ecept older and GSM) and a 60-minute card. If you can find just a 20-minute promo code for the card, you get a total of 200 minutes for $27, including referral minutes (email me). Not too shabby...

2. If you are willing to spend a little more (about twice as much as it turns out) you can get a refurbished (like the Nokia 1100 above and pretty much every other Tracfone promo) Motorola v170 flip phone "free" with a $50 250-minute card (formerly 200 minutes). Free shipping kicks in at $25 so this phone (you guessed it) only has tax to inflate its real price if you can wait a few days for it to arrive. THe nifty little secret of the Motorola v170 is that you can actually select the network you want to be on, subject to the phone's defaulting after a few minutes of idle to, if possible, to the home carrier's signal. This feat is best done with a Cingular-based sim card and service, marked by activation with the larger SingleRate map (the smaller one is T-Mobile). This little secret, which is free since roaming doesn't cost anything extra, helps if for example Cingular has "razed the bar" in your area as far as voice quality goes and there is a better carrier available. Aside from this, you also get a small-to-medium-sized flip phone with a color screen, though the internal-only screen seems only a little bigger than my LG phone's caller ID screen. And a 250-minute card. With a 50-minute promo code (which can be had) and referral minutes, you'll get 420 units of airtime with this phone...that's a lot especially since the package is around $54 (so you get an OK rate per minute wherever GSM service is available).

Interestingly, the price of these refurbished phones with their respective airtime cards are the exact same as those of new phones without the cards. I'll take the refurbs, thanks, as they're factory-spec and have a full warranty and look like new so there's nothing I really lose by going refurb except having to buy minutes later on.

Oh, and the promo lasts at least until next Thursday, and if it lasts to the next Friday it will last until the Thursday after since that's how Tracfone's website works. So you have a little bit of time to get the phone deals.

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