TextNow SIM Card Activation Kit for Free Nationwide Talk & Text w/ Ads @ $0.99

Correct as far.as I know. Apparently this and the general data bucket was gifted randomly to free accounts.

Also seems that number lock is much more expensive for new accounts (as in 12x, the annual fee became monthly). Older accounts may be grandfathered at the older rate??

I'm not an adventurer - so seldom need any maps, nor any data - BUT:
Calls & SMSs are valuable to me, so adding to my earlier query=>

@Redrotors:
The TN app updated & the oddity persisted, so I did a different test with no wifi using the TN app to make calls, and it worked.

Used to be that the native phone & SMS apps also worked w/o wifi, but since the TN app seems to work fully via cellular only now that will serve just fine if/when it may be needed.

After updating the app it now offers 'upgrades' for number keeping & data - way more pricey than what I got, so I'm glad to be getting the 4.99/yr number keeping only deal !!

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I remember when I advised you of that plan, I'm glad you're able to save so much money

Unfortunately I no longer have mine because for some reason PayPal messed up my account so I could no longer pay for increments of data

I'm not sure if I would have been able to get the free maps with the old plan but I consider that better than the $5 per year only because I travel more

With that said, customer support did say that if you receive a call or text that counts towards your not needing to pay monthly price

I can't verify that right now because when I had to switch to a completely new account because of the PayPal issue, the representative reimbursed me for the remainder of the year on the new account for number locking but they could not renew me at that old rate

If I can remember to follow up about this I will or if anyone can chime in and verify that receiving calls or texts counts towards your monthly check-in that would be great

I still have my .99 SIM & it gets little use - but I get reminded to poke that phone (like today) when the 0.00 renewal payment email comes in.

When it comes to FP vs. Textnow, there is no contest given that Textnow has never played the silly games and FP keeps inventing new games to play.

Result for me:
Paying FP - even for GSMA will not happen here, but...the 4.99/yr to Textnow to keep the number alive ??
Happily paid.

IMO FP would do well to learn some goodness from Textnow & quit messing with folks all the time so that they'll be willing to pay AND stick around longer.

It appears that Essential Data is now officially available for everyone. I see that it is now posted on their FB page as of today. Log into Facebook | Facebook

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It's also on their blog and mentioned in passing on their homepage.

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OK, I just reactivated my acct (lost phone number, got a new one).

Would love to see e-SIM capability,.

Anyone know, with the new Free Essential Data, whether map & email data usage counts as usage to keep your number? I just got a new number and am pondering porting my FP # to TextNow but definitely do not want to lose the number.

I guess if I do that, then I should just send a text via the web app every time I turn on that phone... which I do at least once a week.

I don't think so, calling / texting are what feeds you the ads so that's what counts.

By porting in a # you may escape some of the limitations of a TN assigned # on the free plan.

Verification codes/texts

Above sort of implies that port in = lock in although they only refer to it in context of verification codes.

And, according to several posters on this SD thread porting in your # eliminates the losing your # for disuse. Posters claim actual experiencing it. Not clear to me for how long, personality I'd still try to call/text monthly.

ETA - https://www.reddit.com/r/TextNow/comments/1cedd0v/how_to_lock_in/

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I don't think it does. However, porting in a # to TextNow makes it permanent. This isn't documented on the TextNow website anywhere I can see, but if you chat with an agent during operating hours, the chat agent will confirm this fact.

Used to be that $4.99/year made them keep your number active on the free accounts, but that is gone now, so:
Even a ported in number could get reclaimed & lost unless they've changed their TOU ??

I asked the last TextNow chat rep that confirmed ported in #s are permanent to request that management have that info posted on the TextNow website. They said they would request that, but I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, all we can go on is the word of the chat agents and the reports from users that have confirmed that ported in #s are permanent. The purpose of TextNow for me is to have a Canadian phone #, and I don't think TextNow can port in Canadian phone #s, so I probably won't go to the trouble of getting another account to port in a US phone # to test it personally.

...You said FP several times in that post but this thread is about TextNow. I'm pretty sure you were talking about TextNow, but...

Lol. You're right! I messed that up! Fixed.