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Thread: An American prepaid phone that works in Montreal?

  1. #1
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    An American prepaid phone that works in Montreal?

    Subject pretty much says it all--I'm looking for a prepaid phone that will work when I am in Montreal. I apologize if this belongs in some other section.

    I am not a cell phone person. I have a phone for emergencies and that is it. I had a Tracfone and was perfect for me, I never used the minutes and it worked out to be around $100 per year. However, I could not call Montreal numbers while in Montreal with the phone. I could call Montreal numbers while in the U.S. and I could call American numbers while in Montreal, but not Montreal while in Montreal. I have read that T mobile offers a prepaid phone that works in Canada. However, all the posts on that subject are a couple years old and speculative. I don't need a smart phone and a data plan-- a few hundred minutes and minimal texting and I'll be set for a year. I have researched the Petrol-canada mobility deal, and I just rather have one phone.

    Does anyone have any actual experience with a cheap, simple American Prepaid that works in Montreal?

    Thank you in advance for any and all help!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    I suggest you ask the US company where the phone is activated. Prepaid phones don't work everywhere when going out of country. I think AT&T have an agreement with Rogers.

    If it does work, get ready to see your minutes melt very fast, the international roaming fees are quite high.
    It might be worth it to simply get a prepaid in Canada, depending how much you'll use it here. This is $1.45/minute for a contract Rogers phone in USA. Chances are prepaid are higher. The US to Canada is likely similar.

    EB's thread contains valuable info, if you want to get a current phone unlocked and just buy a Canadian SIM prepaid, even if it's not a recent thread. As many people mentioned in that thread, just stay away from Bell, meaning Solo and Virgin also.

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    Thanks for the replies. I'd like to avoid GSM and SIM's because I don't know what they mean! I like technology, but am not interested in the cult of phone worshipping. Just not my deal.

    Anyhoo, I would probably use my phone for 50-100 minutes per YEAR,. If so, I could live with my minutes melting in Montreal during the 1-2 two times per year, that I visit. I'd just like to confirm that someone's prepaid actually worked in Montreal. Of course, in the spirit of this board, I guess I could TOFTT! Ha. I'd only be out $30-40 dollars to try a phone out. My only problem with that, is the possibility of repeating the whole no phone once I arrive in Montreal experience. That did add a bit of stress the last time I was there, despite trying to pre-arrange as much as possible... Thanks again for any and all help!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenacres99 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I'd like to avoid GSM and SIM's because I don't know what they mean! I like technology, but am not interested in the cult of phone worshipping. Just not my deal.
    You have to have a rudimentary knowledge of the technology and its technical application to your equipment or you will get into trouble and get ripped off. If you have a prepaid American phone that is unlocked and you hope to use it, then I would suggest reading my thread (the one I linked to in post 2, called "Bell Sucks Hippo Balls") or you are going to be in for a big surprise and end up wasting time on your trip. This is what you indicated you were trying to do, and if so you need to know what a SIM card is. If you get up there and whip out your phone and a salesman tells you all you need is a Canadian SIM card, be careful and test it out before the transaction goes down.

    If you just want to keep it simple, then buy a Canadian prepaid phone with a long expiration date on the minutes, enabling you to carry them over to the next trip.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 01-23-2013 at 05:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    By the ways, if you are an AT&T customer, I would check out the new travel packages they are offering for short trips to Canada. See this:

    http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pi...rticleid=35707

    Canada and Mexico Travel Minutes, which covers voice calls made and received while traveling in Canada and Mexico, includes:

    80 minutes of talk time for $30/month ($0.38 per minute effective rate)
    200 minutes of talk time for $60/month ($0.30 per minute effective rate)
    500 minutes of talk time for $120/month ($0.24 per minute effective rate)

    Overage rate is $.50/min.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 01-23-2013 at 07:04 PM.

  7. #7
    I know you said you were looking for an American prepaid phone, but what I ended up doing was buying a relatively cheap prepaid cell phone from Rogers to use when I visit Montreal. I bought it several years ago for about $75 from one of the many Rogers stores around town. Now when I visit I usually just go into a Rogers and add about 15 dollars worth of airtime to the phone and that's plenty to last me for a weeklong trip. If you visit Montreal at least twice a year (like me), that may be something to consider.

  8. #8
    both at&t prepaid and t-mobile prepaid will work in canada.

    if you opt to get a canadian prepaid sim and you have an unlocked phone, with fido, rogers, chat-r, and petro-canada it will work with almost all unlocked "world" gsm phones (that have at least 3 frequencies or bands). if you want to go with bell, telus, koodo you will need an unlocked phone that uses the same 3g frequency/band as at&t uses in the us since bell, telus, koodo don't have a 2g (gsm) network to fall back on, it only has a 3g network so you not only need a phone that has 3g you need a phone that has the same 3g band as at&t.

    with an unlocked t-mobile phone, you can only use it with fido, rogers, chat-r, petro-canada. with an unlocked at&t phone that has 3g, you can use it with those phones as well as with bell, telus, & koodo.

  9. #9
    You want to avoid GSM and SIM's?

    Well you could get 2 cans and a lot of string...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacep View Post
    both at&t prepaid and t-mobile prepaid will work in canada.
    Thank you. Finally.

    Please don't take this response as ungrateful, but I don't know how many times I had to say my preference was for a single phone, as cheap as possible, and that I didn't want to switch out SIM cards. I'm not a Luddite, but I like to play one when it comes to phones. Around $100 for an entire year, works in the only two countries I'm ever going to. Phone is less than $30. Simple, cheap. Yes, the equivalent of two tins cans is all I want!

    I don't currently have a cell phone at all, so I just want to try a different prepaid carrier --not get a an unlocked phone.
    Tracfone's customer service is terrible. Long wait, and the worst possible, faintest, scratchiest connection to India ever. I was with them for a decade and my phone became so outdated I could no longer add minutes myself without dealing with India, so I let it run out.

    Again, I appreciate everyone's many solutions, but only a few addressed my actual question. I should have said I wanted two tins cans a piece of string right from the get go!

  11. #11
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    All you need to do is pay $20 for a Gophone? And then buy minutes at the rates noted above?

  12. #12
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/AT-T-GoPho...Black/20742370

    +

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/AT-T-15-Re...ivery/15443329

    =

    cellphone in Canada that works and you call refill by buying minutes via the internet

    39˘ per minute talk

    25˘ per text sent
    20˘ per texy received

  13. #13
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    Thank you CR. I was aware of how cheap a prepaid could be for those of us who don't really use it much. I just wanted to confirm I could find one that worked in Montreal before I bought my next one. Thanks again for the specifics.

  14. #14
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    I can confirm that a AT&T Go phone worked just fine in Quebec City. It ran on Rogers' network. I assume it will work fine in Montreal too. Phone was like $12 or something ridiculous like that. It will end up costing me a bit more than $100 for the first year, since I started with a zero balance and then took it to Canada and paid those higher rates you folks mentioned earlier. However, once I get a nice cache of minutes in there, I'll get it down to $8-$9 per month. Alternatively, I could have opted to just pay $3 per day of actual use, which would also be very attractive as a second phone. I highly recommend it for Americans looking for a cheap prepaid that works in Canada. Thanks to all who offered their advice.

  15. #15
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    I used a Go phone in my last trip to Montreal. The phone cost $10.95. I bought $50 in prepaid time. It was .39 a minute. and .25 a text. I used $25 on my trip. The hotel charged $1.50 a call. I made 7 calls for $10.50 before I set up my phone. I think I probably saved a good bit. In the states, the Go phone is .10 a minute and .10 a text. $50 lasts 90 days.
    So when will Hillary go to Prison?

    Only the Democrats would have a potential CONVICT as their Top Presidential Candidate. Simply Pathetic

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