Straight Talk is one of the best prepaid phone services on Verizon. The monthly service includes both local and international perks. But the question we’re looking at today is, can you use a Straight Talk phone with Verizon?
While Straight Talk may be a good phone service, it doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, its pricing is closer to that of the Verizon prepaid. And this is one of the reasons some people have been opting to just go with the Main Carrier over its MVNO.
Verdict: How to Use a Straight Talk Phone with Verizon Service
- Unlock the Straight Talk phone you want to use
- Confirm the Straight Talk phone is compatible with Verizon
- Get your Verizon SIM card, then insert it into your phone
- Visit https://www.verizon.com/ and login to your account
- Next, click the “Account” tab. Then locate and select “My Devices”
- Under “My Devices”, click/ tap on the “Activate or Switch Device” tab
- At this point, Verizon will open the activation page. Select the “Activate on a new line” option.
- Verizon will push an input box to enter your phone IMEI number. After you’ve entered the IMEI, click the “Check Device” button
- Finally, enter your SIM ICCID to check SIM compatibility, then hit the “Check SIM card” button.
Straight Talk as an MVNO of Verizon
First, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a cell phone carrier that doesn’t have its own cellular towers. Straight Talk is a perfect example, whereby the operator has a network deal with Verizon to run off its towers.
Secondly, Straight Talk is one of the trademarks of TracFone Wireless. If you keep tabs on the tech news, you may know Verizon acquired TracFone in 2021.
So, Straight Talk is both an MVNO and a brand of Verizon now. And as we can see with other Major Carriers, Verizon is not willing to pay for airtime bundles to its rival. Hence, the reason the company plans to transition Straight Talk customers on other networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) to its network.
Straight Talk has been pushing for subscribers through the GSM networks to get Verizon-compatible SIM. But the official hard switch will be on November 2024.
Straight Talk vs Verizon Network Similarities
Again, Straight Talk is an MVNO of Verizon, or Verizon is the carrier network of Straight Talk. And What this means is that the two phone providers will use the same cell towers to connect their subscribers.
While using the same cell towers, Verizon and Straight Talk also utilize the same network frequencies. The frequencies the carriers use are bands 2, 4, 5*, 13*, and 66 for 4G LTE. Then bands N2, N5, N6, N77 (C-Band), N260, and N261 for 5G access.
FYI: even though the two utilize the same towers and frequency bands, Straight Talk and Verizon don’t get the same QCI priority. Straight Talk is on the QCI 9 that offers data services at a low priority standard. So, during network congestion, the data speeds will be slower than Verizon, which is on a QCI 8 (high priority) protocol.
Can You Use a Straight Talk Phone with Verizon
Did you see the list of what phones are compatible with Straight Talk service? In that guide, you’ll notice some of the branded Verizon phones can work with the MVNO without issues. But does this mean the device compatibility goes both ways?
Technically, the basic device compatibility rule is that phones locked to a Major Carrier can work with their MVNOs without issues.
Sadly, however, this Major Carrier phone compatibility with MVNO only works one way. I mean, a phone locked to an MVNO is not natively compatible with its Carrier Network. So, you cannot use a carrier-locked Straight Talk phone with Verizon.
The only way a Straight Talk phone can work with Verizon is after you’ve unlocked it. And to unlock the device, you’ll need to meet the necessary unlock policy requirements, which include:
- Your phone will need to have achieved sixty (60) days since activation- this is a big change, thanks to the Verizon acquisition, as before the unlocking period was after twelve (12) months
- The phone should not have any red flags- i.e. not reported lost or stolen. If someone has reported your device stolen/ lost, Straight Talk will have already blacklisted its IMEI/ serial number. Thus, you won’t be able to use it on any carrier- not even Straight Talk or Verizon.
Note: immediately your phone is eligible for unlocking, Straight Talk will unlock it automatically and remotely. If not, you can contact customer care and request the agent to send the unlock code.
Verizon is Still on the CDMA Protocol
After unlocking, a Straight Talk phone is compatible with Verizon without any issues. However, you can’t just insert the Verizon SIM card on the device and expect it to work.
Verizon is still using the CDMA protocol, even though the 4G LTE and 5G no longer follow these rules. The thing is, the phones now have a slot to insert a SIM card. But you’ll need to authenticate your device with the service SIM.
In simple words, to authenticate your device just means to configure the unlocked Straight Talk phone with your Verizon SIM.
Directions: How to Configure a Straight Talk Phone with Verizon Service
The following are the various steps on how you can use a Straight Talk phone with Verizon service:
Step 1: Confirm the Straight Talk Phone will be Compatible
At this point, your Straight phone should be compatible with Verizon service. But it’s good to be sure before proceeding. So;
- On an internet-enabled phone/ tablet/ laptop/ desktop PC, go to https://www.verizon.com/bring-your-own-device/
- Under “Bring your own device and join Verizon”, select the “Phones” option
- Verizon will want you to tell them about your device. Input your phone make and model
- Next, select where you purchased the phone. (In this case “Unlocked”, or “I’m not sure”, or “Other”
- Finally, enter your Straight Talk phone ID number (IMEI/ MEID/ ESN) in the appropriate input box. Then hit the “Continue” button. (To check your phone ID number, dial Dial *#06#. Or else go to your phone settings>> General >> About
If the Verizon device ID checker accepts your phone as compatible, proceed to the next step
Step 2: Get your Verizon SIM card
If you’re joining Verizon as a new customer, the second stage of the authentication process is to get the SIM card. You can easily order the SIM card at https://www.verizon.com/sales/next/buysim.html?flow=BUYSIM#/. The order can take up to three (3) days to arrive. But you can visit the Verizon local store or authorized dealers to get the SIM on the same day.
If you’re an existing Verizon customer intending to use the Straight Talk phone as a replacement, no need to order another SIM card. The old Verizon SIM card should work just fine unless it’s a very old one.
PS. You can activate Verizon eSIM on a compatible Straight Talk phone. It’s a great idea, as you can start using your service instantly without having to wait for the physical SIM card.
Step 3: Insert the SIM card into the Phone
Once with the Verizon SIM card (either old or new), insert it into your unlocked Straight Talk phone. If the phone is a smartphone, use a SIM injector or paper clip (not a sharp pin) to pop out the SIM tray. For the basic feature phone/ flip phone, you may need to remove the battery, then slide the SIM card into its slot.
Step 4: Activate the Phone with your Service SIM
As was mentioned, your Straight Talk phone won’t work with Verizon by just inserting the SIM card. You’ll need to configure the two, which basically is activating the device with Verizon SIM.
And to do that, you only need to:
- Visit https://www.verizon.com/ with your internet-enabled smartphone/ tablet/ laptop/ desktop PC. Then log in to your online account
- Once logged in, locate and select the “Account” tab. Then scroll down to the “My Devices” option
- Inside “My Devices “click/ tap on the “Activate or Switch Device” to open up the Verizon activation page
- Next, at the activation page, select the “Activate on a new line” option. Verizon will ask you enter your Device ID (IMEI number)
- After you’ve entered your Straight Talk phone IMEI, tap on the bold “Check Device” button
- If Verizon approves your phone as compatible, you’ll get a prompt to “Check SIM” compatibility. So, input your Verizon SIM ID (ICCID) number in the provided input box, then hit the bold “Check SIM card” button
- If the SIM ID number is correct, it should pair successfully with your Straight Talk phone. The phone will be added to the Verizon database, which means the activation was successful.
Common Related Questions
How do I switch my Straight Talk phone to Verizon?
The process how to switch Straight Talk phone to Verizon service is pretty easy. You just need to:
- Make sure the Straight Talk phone is fully unlocked
- Visithttps://www.verizon.com/bring-your-own-device/ to check if your phone is compatible with Verizon
- Get your Verizon SIM kit and write down the ICCID number
- Insert your Verizon SIM card into the unlocked Straight Talk phone
- Finally, go back to the Verizon page to complete the phone/ SIM activation
Can Verizon unlock a Straight Talk phone?
Unfortunately, Verizon cannot unlock a Straight Talk phone for you, even when the two share the parent-stepdaughter bond. To unlock the Straight Talk phone, you’ll have to fulfill the unlocking policies I mentioned. The company will unlock your phone automatically, remotely.
If the phone is still locked after meeting the unlocking requirements, contact Straight Talk customer support to get an unlock code.
How do I transfer my Straight Talk phone service?
Overall, it’s so easy to transfer Straight Talk phone service to another phone:
- Visit Straightttalk.com and log in to your account
- Select the “Activation” tab on the top menu bar
- Once you’ve opened the “Activation” menu, you’ll see various device options to activate. Select the “ACTIVATE” button under Bring Your Own Phone or Devices
- Next, Straight Talk will ask if you have a SIM card or not. If you have one, “SELECT” I HAVE A SIM CARD. This will open a new window asking your SIM card ID number
- Where Straight Talk asks you to “Enter your SIM card number here”, enter the ICCID number of your SIM card. Then, hit the “CONTINUE” button.
- Now, Straight Talk will ask if you want to keep your number or get a new one. But since it’s your current service we’re transferring, “SELECT” KEEP MY NUMBER. Then, enter your phone number in the input box that appears and hit “CONTINUE”
- The “Continue” link on Step 8 will redirect you to the PHONE UPGRADE page. Go to the section of the information about your new device and follow the onscreen instructions to complete transferring your Straight Talk phone service.
Contact the Customer Care for Further Assistance
In a nutshell, that’s how you can use a Straight Talk phone with Verizon service. The instructions can be handy when switching from Straight Talk to Verizon. Or else you’re a Verizon subscriber and would like to use a Straight Talk phone as a replacement.
While Straight Talk and Verizon are now close families, the MVNO is still, well, an MVNO. Its locked phone can’t work on Verizon until when fully unlocked.
Once the phone is unlocked, you only need to visit the Verizon home page, get to your account, then activate the phone. (I’ve heard some people claim they were able to use their Verizon service on another phone before activating. But this tends to cause problems later.)
If for any reason you’re unable to activate your Verizon service on the Straight Talk phone, contact (Verizon) customer care. They should be able to help you with the issue, albeit they often try to get you to purchase their devices.