This Tracfone free shipping video shows that you really do not pay for shipping on qualifying purchases (in this case a Samsung T301g). See how it is actually more expensive to buy their cheapest phones.
Note, in the video above I also used a $3 off promo code. However, that code is not currently working. There is a $5 promo code you can use. You do still get the shipping though. Also, sorry about the low volume on the video.
Here are the steps when ordering a phone.
Click on the free shipping link above.
Enter Zip Code when you will activate and primarily use your phone.
Confirm the city and state location.
Add your phone to the shopping cart. You can see that they usually have a few specials deals available in your area at the top. The rest of the page contains phones available and in stock for your area.
Proceed to Checkout
Note that the shipping charge is still showing.
Enter your credit card info. Don’t worry, you can still cancel your order on the next page.
Confirm your shipping address.
Finally, you notice that you do get free shipping as the cost drops down to $0.00
And you’re all set at this point to confirm the order!
Because free shipping applies to orders $19.99 and up, it's actually cheaper to order a 19.99 phone bundled with an airtime card than it is to buy a phone that costs $14.99 or even $9.99 and pay for shipping and later buy an airtime card. It's only worth it to buy a cheaper phone if you're buying more that one.