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Thread: Best place to buy a prepaid phone in the US?

  1. #1
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    Question Best place to buy a prepaid phone in the US?

    A question for the American members...a friend of mine needs a cell phone in the US just for a week, primarily for texting, would be nice to be able to send picture messages too. Low price is the primary consideration. Any advice as to where they best deals are offered? Any particular carriers that are more reasonable than others? (But still reliable.)

  2. #2
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    Walmart. If your friend's phone is unlocked, just swap out the SIM card and save yourself a phone. I think all Canadian phones are GSM, so you're limited to only the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, so look for those SIMs.

    Even if you need a phone, Walmart will have a good selection of cheap phones.

    Not the cheapest mind you, but it's the easiest for most, and cheap enough.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiannas View Post
    A question for the American members...a friend of mine needs a cell phone in the US just for a week, primarily for texting, would be nice to be able to send picture messages too. Low price is the primary consideration. Any advice as to where they best deals are offered? Any particular carriers that are more reasonable than others? (But still reliable.)
    I recommend an AT&T prepaid Gophone.

    You can buy one in any AT&T store (they're everywhere) or at numerous other locations, such as a Best Buy store. I think the AT&T Gophone offers the best combination of reliable service and a reasonable price.

    You can choose anything from a really cheap traditional cell phone (that can be used for texting the old fashioned way with a numeric keypad) to a basic smartphone such as a Nokia Lumia that would make it easier to text and send photos.

    An added bonus of AT&T phones is that they work automatically in Canada on the Rogers network (at higher prices).
    Strasser: By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?
    Renault: Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.
    Heinze: We already know who the murderer is.
    Strasser: Good. Is he in custody?
    Renault: Oh, there's no hurry. Tonight he'll be at Rick's. Everybody comes to Rick's.

  4. #4
    If you are in Manhattan most of the time best to stop by an AT&T store and get a Go Phone. As what CaptRenault stressed. Or you can find yourself a Best Buy where you will have more choices. If you venture to the other boroughs like Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx then you can find a Target.

  5. #5
    if u need somthing fast in canada & dont want hassel of finding walmart or some cellphone store, u can allways buy roam mobility sim or phone from bureau en gros.

    their plans are somewat more expensive for unlimited prepayd plans but u can get it fast, the moment u cross border or get off plane in airport it will work so u dont have to try to find a store. it allso offers unlimitd canada caling and/or texing as part of their difrent plans. the phone or sim allso lasts 1 year from last use so if your friend goes to trip to usa at least once a year, can continue to use.

  6. #6
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    Hello all,

    In the U.S. it's extremely easy to get a prepaid go phone. In Canada all I can say is...WTF. The cost is more than double and there's all kinds of hassles and extra cost aside from the purchase price. If anyone knows where to find a cheap throw away easily with reasonable costs please let all of us visitors know.

    Someone just told me Petro Canada is offering free prepaids if you buy$100 worth of time which is good for a year. There's one located on Guy east of Notre Dame. Sounds like a decent option if there aren't any more costs. It looks like that includes 5 hours talk time. Plenty for me since all I need to do is make quick calls and appointments.

    http://mobility.petro-canada.ca/en/phones/133.aspx

    http://mobility.petro-canada.ca/en/p...=133details356

    Good luck,

    Merlot
    Last edited by Merlot; 06-29-2015 at 09:36 PM. Reason: add help

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot View Post
    Someone just told me Petro Canada is offering free prepaids if you buy$100 worth of time which is good for a year. There's one located on Guy east of Notre Dame. Sounds like a decent option if there aren't any more costs. http://mobility.petro-canada.ca/en/p...=133details356
    petro canada phones and sims dont work in the united states.

  8. #8
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    Gents,

    Quote Originally Posted by jacep View Post
    petro canada phones and sims dont work in the united states.
    Yes, I know this thread is about going to the U.S., but if you notice I answered about the U.S. then added my own question talking about visitors to Canada in need in the same thread rather than making another thread. Thanks anyway.

    As I said it's real easy to find such phones inexpensively in the U.S., Canada is a whole other universe regarding the same.

    Cheers,

    Merlot

  9. #9
    A duh. Why didn't I mention it.

    Best move is to get an unlocked phone. Then head over to AirVoice Wireless (Which uses the AT&T network) and load up. That is the service I use. If you check what is offered it is a great deal. At minimum of just $10 it lasts for three months or until you use it all up at 10 cents a minute. Can't be beat. You can get the SIM card for like $5 either through AirVoice website or head over to eBay. Sometimes folks on eBay sells the card for just $1.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses, all. One more question, do the pay as you go plans generally allow texting to Canada, or is that going to be an issue?

  11. #11
    Most of the time $.10 to $.15 per message on pay as you go/prepaid plans.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRenault View Post
    I recommend an AT&T prepaid Gophone.

    You can buy one in any AT&T store (they're everywhere) or at numerous other locations, such as a Best Buy store. I think the AT&T Gophone offers the best combination of reliable service and a reasonable price.

    You can choose anything from a really cheap traditional cell phone (that can be used for texting the old fashioned way with a numeric keypad) to a basic smartphone such as a Nokia Lumia that would make it easier to text and send photos.

    An added bonus of AT&T phones is that they work automatically in Canada on the Rogers network (at higher prices).
    I think CR and I have both raved on and on about GoPhone before on this board. With a little more time with mine, I do have one complaint. When you add days/dollars/minutes whatever to a GoPhone it adds to that date and doesn't give you any credit for what you have in the tank. So if you added 90 days when you had 8 left, you would only have 90 additional days on there not 98. By comparison Tracfone would give you the 90+ whatever you had left (98 in this example). Now this would be fine except for two reasons: (1) during the last week every damn time you go to use the phone you have to hear about your expiring time, rushing you to add more days but also neglecting to mention that you get "punished" for adding early and (2) if you put it off to the last day and then forget you lose your entire balance of dollars/minutes. So, I like my GoPhone because it is cheap for someone like me who uses it only rarely and it does work in Canada with no additional steps needs (except consuming at a higher rate), but they can get annoying when you need to renew your days.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tiannas View Post
    Thanks for the responses, all. One more question, do the pay as you go plans generally allow texting to Canada, or is that going to be an issue?
    most if not all will allow texing to canada phone numbers. some will charge extra for this. for my exampel for roam mobile, texing & callng canada is included with any text & caling plans.

    https://www.roammobility.com/plans

    it is pricey but it is convenience since u can purchase at bureau en gros & set it all up in canada so that wen you step out of plane in usa, ur phone will work and u can get the phone/sim wile in canada & it lasts for 1 year from ur last usage. only negatif i can see is that u pay in canadian but they charge taxes for airtime and all there plans are pay by day plans wich are similer to canada pay by day plans so u pay every singel day even if ur phone is off. if u go to usa from monday to friday and u hapen to use the phone on monday, tuesday, don't use it on wednesday, use it on thursday and use it on friday, u pay for wednesday since u prepay for the 5 days or u can separate if u no wich day u wont use the phone. with most usa companys wich ofer pay by day, if u go on trip and ur phone is off or u dont get call or sms for entire day, u dont pay for that day.

    if u plan on caling canada allots since most usa cellphone companys charge long distance to call canada & dont want to wory about how many minutes/sms u use to call canada or usa, roam mobile mite be good option. if u use cellphoen over 30 minutes every day to call canada & call usa, it mite be good option since it is all inclusive plan.

    unlike prepay plans from other companys, if u didnt prepay for the day, ur phone wont receive sms or phone calls on that day

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiannas View Post
    Thanks for the responses, all. One more question, do the pay as you go plans generally allow texting to Canada, or is that going to be an issue?
    Tianna, just sent you a Bonjour text and it cost me 25 cents on my AT&T go phone to send a text from the U.S. to Canada.
    Strasser: By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?
    Renault: Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.
    Heinze: We already know who the murderer is.
    Strasser: Good. Is he in custody?
    Renault: Oh, there's no hurry. Tonight he'll be at Rick's. Everybody comes to Rick's.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenacres99 View Post
    I think CR and I have both raved on and on about GoPhone before on this board. With a little more time with mine, I do have one complaint. When you add days/dollars/minutes whatever to a GoPhone it adds to that date and doesn't give you any credit for what you have in the tank. So if you added 90 days when you had 8 left, you would only have 90 additional days on there not 98. .
    Yes, it's true that you should renew your minutes before the expiration date. For example, if you purchase $25 worth of minutes, they will expire in 90 days if you don't spend the $25 and don't add more minutes. However, I don't see this as a problem. I put a note on my calendar for one week before the 90-day expiration and I purchase new minutes online even if I have some money/minutes remaining on my account. When I do that, I keep the remaining money/minutes in my account and the new amount gets added.

    So if I have $10 on my account when I put $25 in new money on the account, I then have $35 on my account and a new 90 days to spend it. If I have $15 on my account when I renew my minutes for $25 before the next 90 days expire, I will then have $40 on my account. So you can accumulate money on your account from one period to the next if you don't use it all during the current period. I never use all the money in my account and I sometimes accumulate $75 or more in my account. Having extra money in my account allows me to use my phone freely in Montreal and not worry that the per minute charge is higher than in the U.S. You can easily add money/minutes to your phone by buying an AT&T gophone card at a drugstore or by accessing your account online.

    Also, if you don't like having to remember to refill your account, you can set up "autorefill" in your online account. And if you add $100 or more to your account, the money will last one year before you need to refill your account (assuming you don't use up all the money on calls/texts).

    In sum, the AT&T Gophone is a good deal (in terms of cost and reliability of service) for both Canadian visitors to the U.S. and U.S. visitors to Montreal.
    Strasser: By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?
    Renault: Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.
    Heinze: We already know who the murderer is.
    Strasser: Good. Is he in custody?
    Renault: Oh, there's no hurry. Tonight he'll be at Rick's. Everybody comes to Rick's.

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