How to Put Minutes on Someone Else's TracFone

TracFone offers multiple options for adding more minutes or extending a service plan, including buying airtime cards, using autopay and purchasing service on the company's website and mobile app. If you want to buy minutes for another person's phone, TracFone allows this as long as you have access to the person's phone, know the phone number and provide any other contact information requested. Buying the TracFone minutes through the company's website is the most streamlined method of doing this, but you can also easily reload someone else's minutes using an airtime card sold online or through numerous physical retailers.

How to Put Minutes on Someone Else's TracFone
Image Credit: Tim Robberts/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Exploring TracFone Plans

Before purchasing any minutes for a TracFone, it's important to understand the different plans available so that you buy the right kind of card or service plan renewal. The company offers different cards and service options for basic phones versus smartphones.

You can purchase airtime cards that add anywhere from 30 to 1,500 minutes for a basic phone. This airtime is allocated differently for voice, text and data but still allows the user access to all these services. After adding the minutes, service will expire between 30 and 365 days depending on the card.

Smartphone plans, however, are available in two varieties: contract-free recurring plans and 90-day pay-as-you-go plans. The former is similar to paying for a regular cell phone plan monthly but without the contract, while the latter is a service you reload every 90 days. Both of these require a credit card to set up service initially, but you can afterwards renew the service using all available methods.

Purchasing Phone Minutes

You can conveniently purchase TracFone cards through the "Shop" link on tracfone.com. You'll see both the smartphone and basic plans and will be able to select the plan your contact's phone uses and pay online for the minutes. You can also buy cards for TracFone smartphones and basic phones through online retailers like Target, Amazon, USA Prepaid and Walmart.

If you'd prefer, you can find many places locally to buy TracFone cards, and the TracFone website's locator tool can help you. Besides cell phone shops, some national retailers that sell these cards include:

  • Walgreens
  • Dollar General
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Rite-Aid
  • 7-Eleven
  • Kroger
  • Staples

Adding the Minutes

The easiest way to put minutes on someone else's TracFone smartphone or basic phone is to use the TracFone website. If you purchase the minutes through the website, the checkout process asks for the phone number and adds the airtime directly for you. Otherwise, you can visit tracfone.com/collectminpinpromo to see an option on the left side to add airtime from a physical or electronic card you purchased. You'll enter the phone number and the service plan PIN found on the card and then click "Add Airtime" to put the minutes on the phone.

If the person's phone has the TracFone My Account app installed and you're able to physically access their phone and the app, you can add airtime from a TracFone card through it. Make sure the person is signed in to the app and then tap "Add Airtime" on the "My Account" screen. Select the option to add airtime from a TracFone card and enter the details when prompted.

Another option is to call 1-800-867-7183 and follow the prompts from the phone system to add airtime from a TracFone card. When prompted, enter the phone number and airtime card PIN. Once the process completes, you'll hear a confirmation message.

Checking the New Balance

After you add the minutes to your contact's TracFone, you can visit tracfone.com/balanceinquiry to check the new airtime. To avoid needing access to the person's TracFone online account, select the option to view the service balance by phone number. In addition to entering the person's phone number, you'll either need to follow the instructions to get a verification text sent to the phone or type the SIM card's last four digits for security purposes. Click "Submit" to see the new account balance.

You can also have the person log in to his TracFone online account or access the TracFone My Account mobile app to get real-time information about the minutes remaining. Using the phone to text the word "BALANCE" to the shortcode 611611 will result in a text showing account details, but this will result in any related texting charges.

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