Prepaid International Cell Phone

Prepaid International Cell Phone

Posted 7.27.2012 in Articles by Jess

Travelling abroad and still want to keep in touch but not every second of every day? If you plan on only using your phone every once in a while, consider a prepaid international cell phone. With a prepaid cell phone, there's no multi-year plan and you're free to talk whenever you want or until your minutes run out! There's no monthly bill to worry about while you're on vacation.

A prepaid cell phone means that you don’t have to worry about paying too much—you know exactly what you’re paying for at the outset. Prepaid cell phones won’t have hidden charges when you unwittingly rack up too many minutes of calling. And prepaid cell phones have both local coverage and international coverage, depending on the plan you buy. Furthermore, prepaid cell phones are not binding, and you don’t have to hold yourself to a contract.

What kind of prepaid cell phone you should get depends on your travelling needs. If you are in the US and calling to countries overseas, buying a prepaid cell phone and making phone calls is a simple enough business, which can be accomplished by dialing the country code and the phone number. You will be charged international per-minute rates.

If you are visiting a foreign country and wish to call home, however, this is a different story. To use a prepaid cell phone with global cell service, purchase a GSM prepaid cell phone and a different SIM card for the foreign country you are visiting. To do this, you do have to make sure your phone is unlocked to work with other cell phone providers—if it isn’t, you will find your minutes drastically reduced because of the high roaming rates.  

Another option is to buy a prepaid cell phone in the country you will be visiting, although you will still have to pay international fees when calling home as well. Language might make this difficult; before buying, make sure you understand what you’re paying for, the coverage and the costs.

Companies such as Alltell offer international prepaid plans as well. When looking for a prepaid cellphone with a global plan, call around and ask to find out whether the companies offer international prepaid cell phone plans. Do your research to find out which companies have the best coverage and the best prices and service, as well as what will best fit your needs: will they unlock your phone for you, do they get coverage abroad, and so on.

Virgin Mobile, TracFone, and other major carriers of cell phones including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, all offer prepaid cell phones with international coverage. TracFone gets the best ratings and reviews for coverage, price, and overall providing good basic service. Compare rates and specifics before you buy one. Keep in mind that companies may sometimes charge an activation fee.

When looking for an international prepaid cell phone plan, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind. These are the same factors that you would keep in mind when paying for an international plan for a cell phone under a contract, however, and ultimately a prepaid cell phone will be convenient and ensures you know exactly how much you will be paying. It may be the perfect solution to not running up a huge bill but still keeping in touch with work or home while travelling abroad. 


Image (CC) ksiebenmorgan 

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