Expert Walmart Family Mobile Review 2019

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Walmart Family Mobile

rating: 4
  • It is affordable and dependable
  • It has great talking and texting features
  • Offers unlimited data

Walmart Family Mobile Prepaid Cell Phones

BEST PREPAID CELL PHONES

Are you in search of an affordable network provider without all the hassle? Then look no further: Walmart Family Mobile is the perfect choice for you. 

By Editorial Team | 1st July 2019

This company is a prepaid mobile virtual network operator whose parent network is T-Mobile. Back in the day, T-Mobile owned Walmart Family Mobile, but it was purchased by TracFone in 2016. This service offers family mobile plans which are cheaper compared to lots of the other major networks out there, including many T-Mobile network plans.

T-Mobile is known as one of the Big Four wireless networks. The other three in the US are Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. This means that you can rely on the parent company as a top provider in the country. The service itself exists almost completely virtually. In other words, you cannot go into a dedicated Walmart Family Mobile store, but you can pay for the service at Walmart outlets. The best bet for support and shopping options is to browse the Walmart website, where you’ll find all the information you need.

Features of Walmart Family Mobile

Network

The Walmart Family Plan is powered by T-Mobile, a network that provides for over 280 million people across the country. However, before using the Walmart Family Plan, it is best you check the network status in your local area, as T-Mobile may not function in some remote communities. The Walmart Family Mobile site states that its service will work for 99% of people across the US, meaning that you can stay connected with friends and family across the country with non-stop nationwide 4G LTE coverage. Customers should note that, during times of congestion, they may experience reduced speeds compared to T-Mobile customers. These speeds could be further reduced for small numbers of customers who use less than 40GB in their plans.

Plans

Walmart has a basic subscription plan which costs around $24.88 per month. For every line switched to the plan or bought and added, you get a $5 discount. What this means is that after the first purchase, each new line will only cost around $19.88. That being said, you are allowed to have a maximum of five lines per user on one account. With even the most basic plan, you get 4G LTE speed for the first gigabyte of data, and this is a feature you’ll see with all types of plans. Other plans tend to get more data at 4G LTE for the first few gigabytes.

Service is paid for every 30 days, and there is no need to be signed up to a contract. You can set up autopay for continuous service, but as the family mobile phones plan rolls over on a monthly basis, it can be cancelled at any time. While there aren’t any data-free plans, if you only want options for talking and texting, the basic plan costs around the same as talk and text only plans from other providers. If you want to add data onto a limited plan, this will cost less than $10 per GB. Users should be aware that, if they opt for the Truly Unlimited plan, a high-speed data cap will be enforced. In other words, after 32GBs, your speeds get throttled for the remainder of the billing cycle. That being said, this measure does not differ from other unlimited data plans on the market.

If you wish to switch from a different prepaid cell phone to Walmart Family Mobile, it is quite simple. You will need to get the Family Mobile Starter Kit. For each line you need to add, you will require a new set of kit and each one costs about $25. The kit comes with a SIM card and an activation code and can be purchased from any Walmart outlet. In addition, while setting up your SIM, you have the choice of going for a new number or transferring your old one. However, you may have to call the Walmart customer service center if you want to transfer your existing number.

  • $24.88 a month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of 4GB LTE data (throttled to 2G after this data has been used)
  • $29.88 a month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 3GB of 4G LTE data (throttled to 2G after this data has been used)
  • $39.88 a month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 14GB of 4G LTE data (throttled to 2G after this data has been used)
  • $49.88 a month: Unlimited Talk and Text with ‘Unlimited’ 4G LTE data (may be throttled after 32GB; tethering not included)

Carrier Features

You are free to bring your existing phone model into the Walmart Family plan. All that is required is that you have a phone with a GSM network. GSM phones include those used by carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile while other carriers such as Sprint and Verizon are supported by the CDMA technology network.

If your current phone isn’t compatible with the Walmart Family Plan, you will need to purchase one that will work efficiently with the network, and such phones include iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. However, it should be noted that since the mobile plan is not under any form of contract, you will be required to pay the full retail amount of the new phone you wish to purchase.

How to activate a Walmart Family Mobile phone
  1. Purchase a Walmart Family Mobile cell phone.
  2. Navigate to the Activation page on the Walmart Family Mobile site.
  3. Enter the SIM card number, which is located on the red activation card and should start with 890.
  4. Choose whether you want to keep your existing phone number or get a brand new one.
  5. Select one of the monthly pay as you go service plans. There are no contracts or activation fees involved.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your phone and complete the process for getting it operational. Bear in mind that a phone number transfer may take a few hours to become fully activated.
How to activate an existing phone with Walmart Family Mobile

If your phone meets the compatibility requirements it can be used with Walmart Family Mobile. You will need a T-Mobile compatible phone or an unlocked GSM phone which functions in Band 2, which is 1900 MHz frequency. The LTE service requires Bands 2 and 4 in most areas, and Band 12 in a few locations. You can check the coverage map on the website to find out what your options are. Bear in mind that Blackberry, Sidekick and Nokia Lumia 710 phones will either not work or only operate in a limited fashion on the WFM network.

  1. Purchase a Walmart Family Mobile Bring Your Own Phone SIM Kit. 
  2. Navigate to the Activation page on the Walmart Family Mobile site.
  3. Using the online activation prompts, enter your SIM card number.
  4. Select a Walmart Family Mobile service plan.
  5. Continue following the online instructions which appear to set up your phone and finish up the activation of your account information.
  6. If you want to transfer an existing phone number, this option will also be available.
How to save money with Walmart Family Mobile plans

Customers who qualify for social assistance programs such as SNAP and Medicaid may be eligible for Lifeline Financial Assistance. Being approved means you will save $9.25 on your bill each month. The $24.88 plan will be reduced to $14.88, the $29.88 plan will be reduced to $19.88, the $39.88 plan will be reduced to $29.88 and the $49.88 plan will be reduced to $39.88. With the California-only plans, the savings are even bigger. The $24.88 plan is reduced to $0.78, the $29.88 plan is reduced to $5.78, the $39.88 plan is reduced to $15.78 and the $49.88 plan is reduced to $25.78.

Phones available for Walmart Family Mobile

There are several recognisable handset brands available for use with Walmart Family Mobile, such as LG, HTC and Samsung. The range is mixed, and tends to focus on being affordable rather than powerful. In other words, Walmart Family Mobile is focused on providing devices which are budget friendly. SIM card kits are available to buy in either standard/micro or nano packages, and they will often be discounted in-store, with Walmart outlets known to cut prices down to as little as $0.99.

International calling with Walmart Family Mobile

With the $10 Extras Pack Card, you can make international calls to select destinations across the world. Both mobile phones and landlines will be covered with this card, and you will be able to roam internationally, make calls and send texts in many locations. No access numbers are needed, and you will be able to dial directly.

Walmart Family Mobile support

Walmart Family Mobile has a dedicated support hub where users can get all of their troubleshooting and general questions answered. The three main tabs along the top of the support page are Getting Started, Using Your Service and Renewing Your Service. By clicking on the More button, you can access the additional options – Managing Your Account, Plans & Services, Safelink Benefit and 611611 Services. Commonly asked questions are answered, such as dialling internationally from the US, sending or receiving text messages, checking family mobile coverage, and more. Furthermore, you can find out about features such as Data Saver and Web Filter.

Data Saver with Walmart Family Mobile

This service allows users to stream video on their mobile devices in a smarter way, letting data last up to 3 times longer. It works by automatically streaming video and resolutions which work best for smartphone screens when connected to a cellular network. All 4G LTE data rate plans include the Data Saver feature, and it’s turned on by default for both new and existing customers. You can turn it on or off whenever you want.

Web Filter with Walmart Family Mobile

The Web Filter service allows those on the Walmart Family Mobile plan to have restricted access to adult web content. Examples of this kind of content include alcohol, gambling, pornography, weapons and gaming. However, it won’t block applications downloaded from an app store that contain such content, nor will it filter out any instant messages or text messages which reference content under these sections. Web Filter settings can be set to Child, Teen, Young Adult or Unrestricted. By default, the Web Filter is set to Unrestricted, but you can change this by logging in to your profile on the Walmart Family Mobile site and clicking Edit under the Phone controls/Web Filter section.

Renewing your Walmart Family Mobile service

The service renewal date is the last day of your Walmart Family Mobile monthly plan, and it is based on the day your service was activated. Multi line accounts will have a service renewal date based on the day the first line was activated. You can check your service renewal date by texting DATE to 611611 or logging into your account on the Walmart Family Mobile site. If you want continuous service, you will need to renew it on or before the service renewal date. Those plans which have been paid in advance will automatically be continued on the service renewal date. You can check if you have already paid for the following month of service by logging into your online account. Fortunately, there are many ways to renew your service – for example, you can set up Auto Pay, register a credit card, debit card or bank account on the site, buy or add a monthly Service Plan Card or visit a participating Walmart outlet.

Summary

Walmart Family Mobile is the ideal choice for those looking for an affordable mobile network without being tied into a contract. It has great texting and calling options as well as an unlimited data supply. This network is an excellent choice for those who wish to have something affordable and efficient.

Pros

  • It is affordable and dependable
  • It has great talking and texting features
  • Offers unlimited data
  • Supports up to 5 lines with one account

Cons

  • Customer service has mixed reviews
  • Its network does not always extend to rural areas


Reviewed by
Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team is constantly watching for new and exciting services to report on. They aim to bring balanced, honest reviews to the site to give you the best comparisons and ensure you have the knowledge to choose the product right for you. Read more.
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