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US Sim card Advice

US Sim card Advice

Old Mar 5th 2009, 10:44 am
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Default US Sim card Advice

Hi Guys,

Im off to USA in late April for a couple of weeks and would like to get a Pay as U go sim card and would like some advice as to which one to get and how much will it cost.

I am looking for a sim card which is easy to activate, I can top up online or buy credits easily and offers reasonable call charges back to the UK.

I went to the USA a little under 2 years ago and purchased a T-mobile pay as U go sim off Ebay. I still actually have this sim, does anybody know whether it will still be active by any chance?

If someone could advise where to purchase a sim card as I would prefer to buy one prior to my arrival but this is not neccessary of course, maybe a US website etc.

Thanks for help
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Old Mar 5th 2009, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by navman View Post
Hi Guys,

Im off to USA in late April for a couple of weeks and would like to get a Pay as U go sim card and would like some advice as to which one to get and how much will it cost.

I am looking for a sim card which is easy to activate, I can top up online or buy credits easily and offers reasonable call charges back to the UK.

I went to the USA a little under 2 years ago and purchased a T-mobile pay as U go sim off Ebay. I still actually have this sim, does anybody know whether it will still be active by any chance?

If someone could advise where to purchase a sim card as I would prefer to buy one prior to my arrival but this is not neccessary of course, maybe a US website etc.

Thanks for help
The sim you have will almost certainly not be active anymore.

T-mobile do a sim-only pay as you go deal via their US website. The sim costs about $10 or less with online discount, you get 10 'free' minutes bundled with the simcard. In theory you could order it in advance if you know where you will be staying in the US and can give a delivery address (they will deliver overnight if you are willing to pay more). You may also be able to purchase the sim from one of their actual stores when you arrive.
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Old Mar 5th 2009, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Why do you say the sim card wouldn't be good anymore, newXgate? My T-mob PAYG phone is older than dirt but it still works. Just curious.
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Old Mar 5th 2009, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Why do you say the sim card wouldn't be good anymore, newXgate? My T-mob PAYG phone is older than dirt but it still works. Just curious.
According to the T-mobile website you have to top up every 90 days to avoid losing your prepaid account, unless you purchase $100 minutes of airtime in which case you have a whole year before needing to top up again. I imagine you top up frequently enough to keep your account current. Unless the OP used his very recently or had the $100 deal I would imagine his old account is lost.

It occurs to me that the OP could try activating a new account with his old sim, but given my experiences with T-mobs useless PAYG customer service, it would be tough going. Might be easier just to order a new one since they're so cheap and come with $10 worth of minutes.
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Old Mar 5th 2009, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

ah of course, I didn't think of the account timing out. I use it so little that the $100 lasts me a year.

I have to ditto what you say about their customer no-service; my last refill was purchased off their system and mysteriously disappeared the day after it was accepted. I'm still trying to get the rest of it back from them (different BS story every time). I guess that 15% discount wasn't worth it.
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 1:06 am
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Depends where you'll be as to what's worth getting, if the service don't work, it ain't worth getting.

Around here, I'd just get a crap tracfone and use that, but international calls on the mobile won't be cheap on payg.
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 6:38 am
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
ah of course, I didn't think of the account timing out. I use it so little that the $100 lasts me a year.
Remember once you have reached the total of $100 in top ups any amount after that last 12 months.

I had a balance on mine when the year ended and extended it another 12 months for just a $10 top up.
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 9:15 am
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by navman View Post
Hi Guys,

Im off to USA in late April for a couple of weeks and would like to get a Pay as U go sim card and would like some advice as to which one to get and how much will it cost.

I am looking for a sim card which is easy to activate, I can top up online or buy credits easily and offers reasonable call charges back to the UK.

I went to the USA a little under 2 years ago and purchased a T-mobile pay as U go sim off Ebay. I still actually have this sim, does anybody know whether it will still be active by any chance?

If someone could advise where to purchase a sim card as I would prefer to buy one prior to my arrival but this is not neccessary of course, maybe a US website etc.

Thanks for help
Tracfone is the closest you will find to a UK type service.
Bear in mind that you pay for incoming calls here also regardless of which you choose.
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 10:05 am
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Around here, I'd just get a crap tracfone and use that, but international calls on the mobile won't be cheap on payg.
but a $10 pennytalk card though will last about 2 weeks or so
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by newXgate View Post
According to the T-mobile website you have to top up every 90 days to avoid losing your prepaid account, unless you purchase $100 minutes of airtime in which case you have a whole year before needing to top up again. I imagine you top up frequently enough to keep your account current.
I have a t-mobile paygo SIM, and the minutes do indeed expire in 90 days until you've topped up with $100. However, the SIM and number aren't deactivated. I've only ever left it unused for 6 months, so things may be different for the OP. But having your minutes expire does not equate to the SIM being deactivated.

If you'll be doing a lot of calling back to the UK you'd be better off with AT&T wireless "GoPhone". They are $0.39/min for UK calls (http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/po...ance-rates.jsp) whereas t-mobile are $1.60/min (http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/prepaidrates.aspx)
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by notacrime View Post
I have a t-mobile paygo SIM, and the minutes do indeed expire in 90 days until you've topped up with $100. However, the SIM and number aren't deactivated. I've only ever left it unused for 6 months, so things may be different for the OP. But having your minutes expire does not equate to the SIM being deactivated.
That's interesting. The T-mob website does say "If you don't refill within 90 days after your last refill expiration date, you will lose your account", but there is no definition of what that actually means. Perhaps there is a secret grace period before they truly deactivate your account and free up your number for someone else.
If you'll be doing a lot of calling back to the UK you'd be better off with AT&T wireless "GoPhone". They are $0.39/min for UK calls (http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/po...ance-rates.jsp) whereas t-mobile are $1.60/min (http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/prepaidrates.aspx)
TBH if the OP is doing a lot of calling to the UK they should really buy a random phone card from a liquor store or gas station, $.039 per min is certainly cheaper than $1.60 but it is still a hell of a lot more than what you would pay using a phone card.
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Originally Posted by newXgate View Post
TBH if the OP is doing a lot of calling to the UK they should really buy a random phone card from a liquor store or gas station, $.039 per min is certainly cheaper than $1.60 but it is still a hell of a lot more than what you would pay using a phone card.
Can you use those with a mobile? Presumably it would consume minutes on your mobile plan, but at a domestic rate?
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Old Mar 6th 2009, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

The OP can have my phone if he wants, I've just found it in my trouser pocket...unfortunately my trousers were in the washing machine
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Old Mar 7th 2009, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

Get metro PCS its the USA version of 3 in the U.K, costs 4o0 bucks a month pay as you go unlimited calls Fabulous!!!!
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Old Mar 7th 2009, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: US Sim card Advice

You can pick up a cheap AT&T Go-phone from any Wal.Mart for $15, throw the crappy phone away and use the SIM in your unlocked tri-band phone. Top up on the phone, online, or loads of petrol stations.
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