Sim card for international travel calls (Australia, Hong Kong, China)
April 2, 2016 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Next month my parents are traveling to the countries mentioned in the title for three weeks. They want to me to purchase sim cards in the United States for their T-Mobile smartphones which can work within those three countries.

Calls are especially important. Data is the least important. VoIP apps are too complicated for me to explain, and I'm not sure their relatives have them on their smartphones.

English is not their first language, Chinese is. I am worried that they may be ripped off purchasing sim cards in the airports. Of course, they want the best price possible.

Is there a web site where I may purchase sim cards which will work on their phones?
posted by ayc200 to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think your best choice is probably to see if you can get a plan with reasonable roaming through T-mobile. There are international SIMs, but they aren't likely to be cheaper.

Alternately, your parents could pick up a China Mobile China & HK prepaid SIM in HK (at most convenience stores and certainly in the airport, for the same price) and a SIM card in Australia.
posted by ssg at 1:08 PM on April 2, 2016

Make sure that their phones are unlocked and capable of using other SIM cards.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:37 PM on April 2, 2016

Honestly t- mobile is a pretty good deal in those countries. I'd skip the whole project
posted by JPD at 2:37 PM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

T-Mobile or check the costs for Maxroam.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:23 PM on April 2, 2016

If they are on a T-Mobile plan that supports unlimited data roaming, it will be free. That's one argument for that.

The prepaid with data wiki is good if you change your mind about having them buy in country (it's usually not that big of a deal, especially in Hong Kong or Australia). From personal experience, I can say the HK airport is great for this. 1O1O, a shop on level 5 (meet and greet hall), sell a China-Taiwan-HK roaming SIM that should fit the bill for your parents' visit. You can buy access in 8 day chunks. I've never been to Australia, but any of the options on the Australia page look reasonable.

Your most expensive option will be one of those universal roaming SIMs. Maxroam is good, but their call rates are a total ripoff compared to in-country SIMs.
posted by redct at 8:58 PM on April 2, 2016

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