Using your cell phone in the U.S. without prior arrangements can be an expensive, very expensive experience! Sometimes you can do without Web access and use only a Wi-Fi connection, but it’s still nice to be able to connect anytime. To do so, turning to an American service provider for the duration of your stay is an idea that can be quite advantageous.
Using an American SIM card with an unloaded cell phone
With a cell phone that is “off-loaded”, that is, that can accommodate a prepaid SIM card like those available at www.simoptions.com/ for instance, from another provider, it is possible to obtain a new prepaid SIM card in the United States in order to access that provider’s network.
How to unload a cell phone
You can then choose a package (or plan) according to your needs; text-call-data, text-call, or data only.
But, you have to understand that in this case, you disconnect from the Canadian network for the US network, with another company. We will then have a new (American) phone number associated with the SIM card. Calls and text messages sent to the Canadian number will not be received, as if the cell phone was turned off for the duration of the stay.
Several providers offer this option to holders of unloaded cell phones. Many even have options for Canadians such as free calls to Canada, even if you are in the United States.
Providers in the U.S. that sell SIM cards for unloaded cell phones:
- Roam Mobility SIM card
- T-Mobile SIM Card
- AT&T SIM card
- Straight Talk SIM Card
In short, this option results in the suspension of service in Canada in order to do business with a supplier in the United States.
Overseas packages from Canadian providers
Canadian cell phone service providers generally offer plans for their customers who need to travel abroad.
These plans provide preferential rates for calling, texting and using the Internet while abroad. However, it should be noted that even with a package for travel to the United States, access to the Web via 3G is still very expensive.
For those who are content to access the Internet with the hotel’s Wi-Fi connection or from public places, making an arrangement with your local provider for calls and texts only is probably sufficient.
What should you do with your cell phone before travelling abroad?
So if you only connect to the Web via Wi-Fi, you take a flat rate for calls and texts abroad (making sure that 3G or mobile Internet mode is not activated).
To save even more, you can even use an application that allows you to make calls and text using an Internet connection instead of eating up minutes of usage.
Free call and text applications
But for those who want to stay connected at all times, turning to an American supplier is definitely the most financially advantageous option.
In this case, 2 choices are available: the use of an American SIM card on an unloaded cell phone or the purchase of a device with the prepaid service.