Straight Talk’s parent company, TracFone has more than 20 years of experience in the mobile industry. As a budget-conscious provider, they offer lower rates than many of the major carriers while using the networks of T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to provide service.
The plan selection through this carrier is sparse. However, partnerships with WalMart make it easy to find top-off cards and new devices if you’re looking to avoid shopping online. Monthly plans range between $30 and $60. There are no pay-as-you-go options available.
If you need a phone, this carrier has a great roster of options ranging from the latest flagships to budget- or teen-friendly options. Device financing is offered through third-party providers. If you wish to bring your phone to Straight Talk, they support most unlocked GSM phones--including those from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.
Unlimited International Plans: While they limit the number of unique international telephone numbers you can dial, these plans and add-ons are some of the most affordable amongst all U.S. carriers.
In-Store Access: If you’re looking to avoid the costs of major carriers, you’re often left without a way to walk into a store to pick up devices, accessories or phone time. Thanks to their partnership with WalMart, there’s a good chance you’ll find a store nearby if you need anything.
Massive Phone Selection: While many smaller carriers limit your choices to either the latest--and most expensive--options or some device from a manufacturer you’ve never heard of, Straight Talk’s selection of phones rivals any major carrier.
Awards and Recognitions
As Straight Talk doesn’t manage any of its own networks, it tends be overlooked by the typical mobile ratings and awards groups. However, online forums and reviews for the service are positive. Most love the pricing while others find the fast customer service a breath of fresh air in a world of endless hold times and voice-activated menus.
However, Straight Talk was ranked last in the Non-Contract category of J.D. Power's "U.S. Wireless Customer Care Study Vol. 1 (2017)".
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
Offering an accurate summary of coverage or speed with this carrier is difficult. This is because they use the networks of all 4 major carriers. Depending on your device and region, you might even bounce between a few networks.
We recommend checking the summaries for the individual carriers to get an idea of what speeds to expect. You can use the links below!
For more information about coverage and networks in your area, be sure to check out their Coverage Map.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
No! Thanks to the ability to use the networks of every major carrier in the U.S. roaming isn’t a concern with this carrier for calls from the U.S.
International roaming is not possible with Straight Talk. However, if your phone is unlocked, you should be able to swap in a prepaid SIM from a carrier at your destination or pick up a travel SIM before your trip.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All Straight Talk plans include calling to any number in the U.S.
If you need to place calls to another country, you’ll find two options available:
- Unlimited Nationwide Talk Plan: With this plan, you can enjoy unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to Mexico, Canada, China and India. Landline calls are available to more than 1000 destinations. However, there is one catch--you’re limited to 15 unique numbers per month.
- $10 Global Calling Card: These cards carry over from month to month and provide affordable rates to popular destinations around the world. Rates start at $0.01 per minute. You can add as many cards as you need to your line of service each month.
For more information on international long distance options, consult their International Calling page.
Does Straight Talk Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
Yes. If you have a supporting phone, they allow calling over Wi-Fi at no additional charge. They do not currently offer an app for Wi-Fi calling on non-supported phones.
To use wi-fi calling, you'll need to add an e911 address to your account at their What is Wi-Fi Calling page.
Not sure if your phone is compatible? Contact Straight Talk for support.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Can I Tether My Phone?
No, you cannot tether on Straight Talk plans.
The Terms and Conditions state:
“STRAIGHT TALK UNLIMITED PLANS CANNOT BE USED FOR: ANY APPLICATIONS THAT TETHER YOUR DEVICE TO A LAPTOP OR PERSONAL COMPUTER OTHER THAN FOR THE USE OF WIRELESS SYNC.”
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
Data rollover is not available. In their FAQ, they state:
“Any unused balances that exist at the time you refill your Service will not carry over or accumulate.”
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
Other than the international calling options listed above, no phone plan add-ons or bundles are available.
Can I Bring My Own Device?
Yes! The carrier supports unlocked GSM and CDMA phones. You will need an activation kit--available both in-store and online.
For more information on bringing your own device--or to start the process online--refer to their Bring Your Own Phone page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
This carrier does not require a credit check to start service on basic plans!
Should you wish to use their SmartPAY Upgrade Plans, there is a credit check. You'll need the following information:
- Age verification--such as a government-issued ID
- $1000 monthly income before taxes
- Social security number
NOTE: Credit checks from carriers that pull your credit bureau report may impact your credit score. If you're not sure the best options for your credit profile, we suggest contacting the carrier directly before attempting to obtain service.
For more information consult their About Straight Talk FAQ and the SmartPAY section on their Phones page.
What About Activation and SIM Fees?
Straight Talk does not charge activation fees.
To bring your own phone or tablet, you'll need a Straight Talk SIM.
SIM kits are available at major retailers, including Walmart, for around $1.
NOTE: Fees often differ between retail stores and websites. Be sure to check both before signing up or adding a line to your account to maximize savings.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
No! You can leave the service at any time by not renewing your monthly card or by cancelling your auto-refill. As device financing terms are set by third-party providers, you should contact the financing company prior to cancelling to check for any fees they might charge.
Can I Port My Number To or From Straight Talk?
Yes! They follow all Wireless Number Portability requirements. If they have coverage in the area you’re transferring from and the account you wish to transfer your number from is active and in good standing, you should have no problems.
They recommend starting the process through their Activation Tool.
To complete the process, you will need:
- The phone number you wish to transfer
- The account number the phone number is on
- The name of the account holder
- The billing address on the account
- The PIN or security password on the account
According to their site, the process can take anywhere from a few hours to 30 days depending on the carrier.
Will They Unlock My Phone?
Yes! For current or former customers, unlocking is free. Non-former customers might incur a small fee.
General requirements include:
- The phone you wish to unlock must be active on the network for 12 months prior to unlocking and maintained service throughout those 12 months.
- The phone must not be reported lost or stolen
For additional details on unlocking requirements and the process involved, check their Terms and Conditions.
For additional questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our Straight Talk Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.