How to Unlock your Tracfone Cell Phone
It is now possible to unlock some Tracfone devices, mostly smartphones, so that you can use them with other carriers in the US or around the world. TracfoneReviewer provides the requirements and a step by step guide below!
|How to Unlock a Tracfone|
Owning an unlocked phone means that if you travel to another country that offers service for unlocked phones, you can buy a SIM card and service, and you will have cell phone use in that country. When you leave, you can switch your old SIM card back in to resume service with Tracfone.
Tracfone is well known for not allowing their phones to be unlocked, but because of FCC rules, and a ruling against Tracfone, they are required to unlock phones from after a certain date, offer a credit towards an exchange, or offer a partial cash refund for older devices.
We’ve got all the information you need about unlocking your Tracfone device. We will start with the requirements, including who can unlock their phone, and then give a step by step guide.
Let’s get started.
Requirements for Unlocking a Tracfone Device
There are a number of requirements that you must meet in order to get your phone unlocked. Here are the requirements:
(You can also check if your phone is eligible by entering your phone number or serial number at the bottom of this page)
- Customers must request handset unlocking.
- Customers must have had their locked device activated on Tracfone service for no fewer than 12 months, redeemed air time cards in no fewer than 12 months, and not have had their telephone number recycled or ported.
- Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their active service days expire. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer’s telephone number was recycled or ported.
- Customers must currently own a Tracfone branded handset model launched on Tracfone’s service after February 11, 2014 or activated with Tracfone’s service after February 11, 2015.
- Customers must possess a handset that is in working condition.
- Customers must possess a handset that is not reported stolen, lost, or associated with fraudulent activity.
- If a customer requesting handset unlocking is deployed military personnel, upon provision of deployment papers, Tracfone will honor that customer’s unlocking request by sending a refund for the Trade-in Value of the used, locked phone returned by the customer without regard for the 12 months of service activation and air card redemption eligibility requirements. However, all other eligibility criteria apply to Tracfone’s customers who are deployed military personnel.
- Customers are eligible for this program only once every twelve months.
- (Source – www.tfwunlockpolicy.com/)
There are a lot of requirements, but the key points are that you need to have your phone active for 12 months with Tracfone, it needs to be a newer phone from after Feb 11, 2014, and you can only unlock a phone once every 12 months. While we haven’t confirmed this yet, it is likely that only GSM smartphones are able to be unlocked. Let us know your experiences in the comments.
If you’re phone is eligible for unlocking, you can continue with our guide to unlocking it.
How to Unlock a Tracfone Cell Phone in 3 Steps
Here is our step by step guide to unlocking your Tracfone cell phone. Be aware that not all Tracfone devices can be unlocked, many of their older phones are not eligible.
|Steps for Unlocking a Tracfone|
1. Go to www.tfwunlockpolicy.com and enter your phone number at the bottom of the page. You can also call 1-888-442-5102 during normal business hours.
2. If your phone is eligible, you will be able to continue the process to receive an unlock code for your phone. If your phone is not eligible to be unlocked, you may still qualify for a credit towards a new phone, or a cash refund
We tested a Motorola EX 431G Tracfone prepaid phone. It met the requirements to be unlocked, but because it is an old phone, it can’t be unlocked. So Tracfone offered a $5 cash refund. To get the cash refund, you have to send the phone to Tracfone, and you lose any remaining airtime on the device.
We also tested an LG Ultimate 2, which is an Android smartphone. This phone also could not be unlocked, and Tracfone offered a $15 cash refund.
3, Once you get the unlock code from Tracfone, you can purchase a SIM card from another carrier, power off your phone, switch the SIM cards, and turn it back on. You should get a notification that your phone is locked, but there should be a place for you to enter your unlock code. After the code is entered your phone will be able to use the new SIM card. You can always switch SIM cards whenever you like, just remember to turn your phone off and back on.
And that is all it takes to unlock a Tracfone prepaid device. It is a fairly easy process, if your phone is eligible.
Going through the process of unlocking a Tracfone device doesn’t seem worthwhile in most cases with the huge number of unlocked devices available on the market at very low prices. Amazon, eBay and many other online retailers have plenty of unlocked phones, and if you buy older models, or refurbished phones, you can often get a great deal.
Check out our list of the Best Unlocked Phones for Tracfone to get some ideas about the great options already available.
If you have an unlocked phone, you can activate it with Tracfone BYOP. Then, if you travel to another country and need to use cell phone service, simply power off the phone, switch the SIM cards, and you are ready to use your phone in the new country. Switch the SIM cards back when you return to the US.
The Moto G line of smartphones, with the G5 Plus the latest, are a popular unlocked phone choice for their high performance at a reasonable cost. Take a look at the Details and Specs for the Moto G5 Plus, and our Review of the Moto G4/ G4 Plus
We hope this information has been helpful. Leave a comment below with any questions or thoughts, and also share your experiences.
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See our last post about the Best Tracfone Deals, Discounts and Sales including a great deal on the Samsung Galaxy Sky.
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