TracFone’s Straight Talk appears to have quietly launched a rewards program in an effort to retain customers in a brutal prepaid market.
Straight Talk Rewards, as the effort is branded, encourages users to sign up for auto-refill, share TracFone-centric content on social media, play games and purchase service plans. Customers can also receive points for signing up and for each year they remain with the company; points can be redeemed for discounts on dining, entertainment, travel and other categories.
TracFone didn’t officially announce the program—indeed, the most recent press release on its webpage for corporate news dates back to 2013—and while the program appears to be new, it isn’t clear when it launched. The company didn’t return multiple requests for comment from FierceWireless.
Regardless, the program illustrates the fact that both prepaid and postpaid carriers are looking to rewards programs over the last few years to reduce churn and lure new customers in an extremely competitive wireless market. AT&T made headlines last year when it launched its “Thanks” program, for instance, and T-Mobile was quick to respond with its “Get Thanked” offering.
It isn’t clear just how big Straight Talk is, but parent TracFone is America’s largest no-contract wireless provider with a customer base of nearly 26 million. The company offers service through the networks of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.
And Straight Talk’s brand may not be as high-profile as those network operators, the company continues to market its offerings aggressively. It spent an estimated $12.5 million on video advertising in June, according to iSpot.tv—outspending behemoth AT&T—and Wave7 Research reported that it updated in-store signage in June at Walmart to back its move to add more data to some of its plans.
It’s worth noting that T-Mobile last October confirmed that it recently sold its Walmart Family Mobile business to TracFone, giving the prepaid service provider a massive presence in the world’s largest retailer. The Walmart Family Mobile brought TracFone an additional 1.4 million customers, according to Wave7 Research.
TracFone offers nearly a dozen brands including Net10 Wireless, Straight Talk and SafeLink Wireless, which provides services through the federally funded Universal Service Fund.