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US Mobile/Cell Phone

US Mobile/Cell Phone

Old Dec 5th 2010, 3:43 am
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Default US Mobile/Cell Phone

I've just relocated to Michigan from the UK and I'm trying to sort out a new mobile phone (my UK phone doesn't work over here). As I don't have a US credit history the easiest thing to do is get a Pay As You Go phone but I can't find any PAYG phones that let you send text messages outside of the US.

I've always found texts a great way of keeping in contact with friends and I really don't want to lose this now that I've moved over here.

I could get a contract deal but they demand a $500 deposit due to my lack of credit history, I don't mind paying that if I really must but such a deal would also have a $60-$80 monthly charge. As I don't know many people in the US yet I won't be using the phone much and it looks like international calls & texts get charged as an extra, they don't come out of your allocated monthly minutes/texts. This would make it very expensive just to have the ability to send a few texts a month to let me keep in touch with my friends in the UK.

I'm very interested to here what others have done regarding phones after relocating to the US and any suggestions they might have.

Thanks, AJ
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 3:58 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

dont know the answer to your question - but just wanted to put some context there.

The deposit thing is very normal for a lot of us coming across the pond with no history.

Everyone always comments on the far more expensive mobile/cell phone system here compared to the uk.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 4:04 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Originally Posted by Scots_Boy View Post
I've just relocated to Michigan from the UK and I'm trying to sort out a new mobile phone (my UK phone doesn't work over here). As I don't have a US credit history the easiest thing to do is get a Pay As You Go phone but I can't find any PAYG phones that let you send text messages outside of the US.

I've always found texts a great way of keeping in contact with friends and I really don't want to lose this now that I've moved over here.

I could get a contract deal but they demand a $500 deposit due to my lack of credit history, I don't mind paying that if I really must but such a deal would also have a $60-$80 monthly charge. As I don't know many people in the US yet I won't be using the phone much and it looks like international calls & texts get charged as an extra, they don't come out of your allocated monthly minutes/texts. This would make it very expensive just to have the ability to send a few texts a month to let me keep in touch with my friends in the UK.

I'm very interested to here what others have done regarding phones after relocating to the US and any suggestions they might have.

Thanks, AJ
I have a t-moblie PAYG and send texts to the UK, I think it is something like 0.05c a text.

Look on their website.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 5:08 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Yup, T-mobile. You can get a contract-free handset for $70 or less (you can get any handset off contract in the store; only certain ones on the website), a "sim card activation kit" on the website for $7 shipped with $10 airtime on it, and they're the cheapest PAYG provider I've found - though all US options are rubbish compared to UK ones. I'm in the process of signing up with their prepaid, and my DH has had them for nearly a year now.

According to this site you can text overseas for 20c per text - but you are charged that to send AND to receive. But check with the store; this may be out of date since I had to google for it and couldn't find it on their website via normal searches.

However, if you want to use T-Mobile to CALL the UK I recommend buying a calling card and using that from your mobile, as T-mobile charges $1.60 a MINUTE to call the UK directly.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 5:28 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Yup, T-mobile. You can get a contract-free handset for $70 or less (you can get any handset off contract in the store; only certain ones on the website), a "sim card activation kit" on the website for $7 shipped with $10 airtime on it, and they're the cheapest PAYG provider I've found - though all US options are rubbish compared to UK ones.
I had t-mobile for my 1st year here, I only paid $20 for a contract free basic Nokia. It is worth topping up with $100 initially as then your credit doesn't expire for ages.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 10:51 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Originally Posted by lonestargirl View Post
I had t-mobile for my 1st year here, I only paid $20 for a contract free basic Nokia. It is worth topping up with $100 initially as then your credit doesn't expire for ages.
Tmobile will be launching a new international plan, inclusive international texts and calls (to landlines only, texts to anyone in the world)

http://www.tmonews.com/2010/11/t-mob...calling-plans/
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 11:00 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

I use Net 10 it cost 10c a minute to call u.k check out their web page, it is pay as you go. Usually though I use skype I have a U.K number so most of my family can call me for free.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Originally Posted by lonestargirl View Post
I had t-mobile for my 1st year here, I only paid $20 for a contract free basic Nokia. It is worth topping up with $100 initially as then your credit doesn't expire for ages.
That's exactly what DH did. Nearly one year on and he only used $30 of the $100 credit. We checked with T Mobile, it will roll over, so he'll top up with $10 for another three months of airtime.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

The cheapest way to have national cellphone coverage is Tracfone.

Cheap hand sets ($5-50), no contracts, double minutes and then if you don't use your phone a lot (like me), you can protect your minutes from expiring for $5.99 a month.

So I have hundreds of minutes left after I bought 500 mins and these minutes never expire as long as I keep my subscription to the protection plan.

Cheapest way to have a cellphone in the USA.
Customer services isn't bad, but cellphone c/s is crap the world over.

Run by the same people as net10 and safe-link.

Google Voice used to allow free text messages globally, but they stopped it while the service was in trials/testing (which it is still in I believe).
Maybe they will restore this functionality. Its still available for all USA/Canada locations.

I don't send text messages via a phone, as we have a limited time on this planet, but via a web interface, I am happy to.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

You can send txt via Skype
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Yep get skype on your cell phone.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

Originally Posted by Scots_Boy View Post
I've just relocated to Michigan from the UK and I'm trying to sort out a new mobile phone (my UK phone doesn't work over here).
What sort of phone do you have that it doesn't work over here? Is roaming enabled on it?

Normally, I'd suggest you unlock the phone if it isn't already and get a SIM card from one of the PAYG providers. T-Mobile has been mentioned already, AT&T does offer this service as well and there are a couple of other companies that do, too.
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Old Dec 6th 2010, 1:54 am
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

I use tracfone too, doesn't cost extra to send txt's to blighty...shite reception in our new apartment though which is annoying.

There are plenty of phones that do monthly tarrifs without contracts these days, Virgin seem to have good ones going.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

With the T Mobile prepaid plan, it works out much cheaper to top up for $100. (not $10, $25 or whatever) The $100 top up easily lasts me a month and that includes texting the UK and unlimited Internet use.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: US Mobile/Cell Phone

I have tracfone and can Text UK no problem, however Ds has tracfone (different model phone) and can't text UK Ours are supposed to call UK but neither phone will, I even called to get it sorted they said my phone can call internationally, but still no joy.
I may give T Mobile a try when the phones need replacing.
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