A question about iphone, SIM card, and pay-as-you-go options in the USA
September 30, 2015 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Canadian cheapskate seeking travel communication options. Read on for geek details.

Hello, I am a Canadian cheapskate. I travel to the US to buy things, bring them home, and sell them for more. I have an iphone 4S with a prepaid 7-11 Speakout plan. I only got the phone to use in conjunction with a debit and credit card reader, and hardly ever use it as a phone, so the cheapo prepaid option is perfect for me. 7-11 Speakout doesn't work in the USA. I would like to be able to send and receive calls in the USA when I go there, to keep in touch with my wife. I've been told that I can put a different SIM card into it, but I don't want to pay a monthly fee. SO, here's the question: what are my options for SIM cards and prepaid call capability in the USA, using an iphone 4S?
posted by crazylegs to Technology (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Look at roam mobility. (sorry on phone, so no link). They offer daily plans to monthly pre paid plans specifically targeted to Canadians in the states. I've used them and think they're amazing. Their daily rate plans are comparable in price and options to Rogers monthly contracted price (i.e. a day of phone and data costs about 1/30th of an equivalent Rogers plan, but billed daily)
posted by cgg at 6:21 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Howard Forums is the place to get answers for mobile technologies and service; they have US-specific and Canada-specific sections. Here's the US Prepaid discussion section of the forums. Also hit the wiki (down for maintenance at the moment, but that could be an indefinite thing) and you can even discuss reselling your unused minutes and such. And of course you could check the Canuck sections to see if there are better options than Speakout, or maybe there are other canucks in the same boat as you who have ideas on how best to navigate the US Prepaid market.

I'm not familiar with the 4S compared to other designs-- does it take the common thumbnail-sized SIM card or does it require the smaller version? That could make a difference among your options.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:50 PM on September 30, 2015

A few friends of mine had the payg with T-Mobile, 10 cents a minute or per text, no monthly fee, but T-Mobile seems to have gone to a $3/month, 10 cents a minute or per text plan.

I think AT&T you can still do 10 cents a minute or per text, but they charge a ridiculous amount for data. I'll be following this thread to see if anyone else has any suggestions!
posted by Borborygmus at 8:48 PM on September 30, 2015

Seconding Roam mobility--used it for the first time this summer on a road trip and it was great. You can get multiple sizes of SIM cards, so it should work with your phone. The only catch would be if you are travelling outside their coverage zone, so you might want to check that first. You can get the cards at 7-11.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 4:54 AM on October 1, 2015

Thirding Roam.
posted by saltykmurks at 6:49 AM on October 1, 2015

If you don't want to bother with swapping SIMs, KnowRoaming may suit your needs.
posted by evoque at 7:16 AM on October 1, 2015

Do you know if it'll work on a Sprint MVNO like Freedompop? I think Freedompop has a "bring your own device" BYOD plan without a contract... and free minutes?
posted by mhh5 at 6:33 PM on October 1, 2015

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