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Pre-pay GSM SIM card options when visiting U.S.

Pre-pay GSM SIM card options when visiting U.S.

Old Apr 15, 18, 9:00 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: AKL
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Pre-pay GSM SIM card options when visiting U.S.

I've been looking at getting a pre-paid SIM card, for my next trip to the U.S. and found 2 viable options;

T-Mobile Tourist plan for $30
- 3 weeks non-extendable
- 1000 minutes domestic
- unlimited international text
- 2GB data
- Allow tethering (can make your phone into a hotspot)

Ultra Mobile plan for $29 (buy an Orange colored pre-paid SIM)
- full month, allowing top-ups
- unlimited calling domestic and 75 countries (plus $5 credit for other countries)
- unlimited international text
- 4GB data
- does not allow tethering

The T-Mobile seems an easier option, especially since they have stores everywhere.

The Ultra Mobile includes free calls to a bunch of international countries. There is also a "call me free" that lets people from overseas countries allow to call your mobile via a local access number. So if you are from those countries, you can call family (and they can call you) without incurring any extra costs.
From a travelers perspective, this is attractive to be able to speak to family/friends when I want ... and they can reciprocate.
You either have to order a SIM online or try find one from a list of agents they have published. This could be problematic, as my experience is they never have the card you want in stock.

Has anyone else got other comparable options, or feedback from the two above?

Last edited by pseudo; Apr 16, 18 at 9:35 am Reason: changing to comparable Ultra Mobile plan
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:57 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Both are on T-Mobile, which generally doesn't have as strong network coverage as the other GSM carrier in the US (AT&T). On the other hand, to get a similar plan (unlimited calling domestic & international, unlimited SMS domestic/international, 10GB+ 4G LTE full speed data and limited thereafter, tethering prohibited) on AT&T prepaid would be $60/one month via StraightTalk, Walmart's MVNO.

My understanding is the T-Mobile tourist plan must have a kit shipped to the US address and must be purchased on a US credit/debit/gift visa or mastercard, suggesting being have a friend/family member buy it and then have it shipped to then or a hotel you are going to stay at. Straight talk takes Paypal so getting a SIM kit shipped shouldn't be an issue, or you can visit a walmart and get the reload voucher + sim card kit there.

A 2GB plan is not one I'd really want to tether on anyways, very easy to blow your data allotment. As far as reaching you locally, if you have Rebtel and the other person does too, the calls are free - the app is used to connect the phone call as a local call for both users.

Ultra sounds compelling for the price and features, but I'd hesitate just on past experience with T-Mobile service in the US...
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:35 am
  #3  
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Discussions of SIM cards for various countries are common in the Flyertalk Travel Technology forums. Please take a look at the Sticky posts, and use the search tools for prior threads,

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology-169/
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