Monday, August 21, 2006

$25 Tracfone Cards...In The Wild

I was at Wal-Mart today (actually to buy a Nokia 2126 Tracfone) when I saw, at checkout, what looked to be a normal Tracfone airtime card...except its background was white instead of green! The price also wasn't normal...it was close to $25! Furthermore, the airtime value wasn't normal...it was 90 minutes!

Yes, there are now 90-minute, $25 Tracfone airtime cards in the wild. I have never seen them anywhere before. Amazing...

This can mean one of two things.

Either Tracfone is going for diversity by adding a middle-of-the-road (between $20 and $30) airtime option to directly compete with other providers' $25 cards (in which case everyone else wins unless Tracfone comes up with some darn good promo codes, but that's okay since Tracfone is the ten million pound gorilla of prepaid wireless service so they can afford to be overpriced)...viva la diversite...

Or Tracfone may, like they did when they silently introduced a $10 price hike when they added 100 minutes to the 1-year card value, want customers who pay for a refill card every two months to shell out just a bit more cash. In which case I say Shame On You Tracfone, and quietly slip through their web of deceit with yet another batch of refer-a-friend aka ESN minutes.

Which would, interstingly, put the minimum price per month with 70-day cards for Tracfone at the exact same spot as the minimum price per month for Net10 using the 1-year card. The big difference here is that Net10 is about 60% cheaper per minute than Tracfone, if you're comparing with the new 90-minute card.

But then again, the 60-minute card may be here to stay and everyone will be happy. Hmmm though...maybe we'll start seeing refurbished phones free with a 90 minute card!

One last thing: on the same rack as the $25 Tracfone-branded refill was a $25 FastCard (universal wireless refill)...for about 75 cents less! Interesting...

1 comment:

Zach said...

$25.00 90 unit Tracfone cards have been around forever. Most people, at Wal-Mart anyway, miss them because they come straight to the Connection Center to get their Tracfone airtime cards. At Wal-Mart, all Tracfone cards, except for the 90 unit card, are part of the Connection Center's (dept. 87) inventory. The 90 unit airtime card, though, is part of the Impulse Items (dept. 82) that are displayed at the check stands right before a customer is about to check out, thus making it difficult for customers to realize that there is another card out there.