View Full Version : Seeking recommendations: prepaid mobile and internet in the US

Toy Story
03-11-2010, 04:21 AM
We are planning on taking two Australian tri-band phones, rather than buying cheap new phones - or are we better off buying the phones? I also would love to hear anyone's feedback on purchasing prepaid mobile sim cards. Is there any you have had good-bad experience with? Would also be interested in any that had internet access.

Has anyone had any experiences purchasing/using a pre-paid Internet Dongle?

We are travelling to New York first than Orlando, so any IT tips or purchasing suggestions would be welcome.

We are flying out in 23 days.

03-11-2010, 04:59 PM
Personally I'd recommend buying a cheap pre-paid phone over there. We got a Nokia for $30 including $30 of calls. It also provides you a balance of your account after every call by sending you an sms.

I also took a netbook with me and because so many places had free wireless, the only times I did have to pay for access was at some of the 4/5 star hotels which on average charged $10 for 24 hours. Most hotels provided wireless at no charge and a lot of eateries (ie. Starbucks/McDonalds) provided wireless access at no charge. Obviously only a bonus if you have a wireless card.

Slightly off topic, but I did find the price of SD cards much cheaper in the states (for cameras).

03-12-2010, 03:27 AM
Hi, we purchased two Nokia AT&T phones from Best Buys, I know there is one in NYC as we purchased a Flip Video Camera from it. The phone was easy to top up, using internet. We used the internet provided by the hotels, the only time we didn't get it, or couldn't pick up free wireless was in Las Vegas and WDW. Although in the Beach Club there was free wireless in the foyer, we did end up paying for a couple of days, and on the other days we just went to the foyer of the hotel and downloaded emails and checked news.

03-13-2010, 03:01 AM
We've purchased AT&T/Cingular Prepaid SIM Card a couple of years ago. I think it cost about $40 for the SIM and included $10 included calls. We took our tri-band phones and popped the SIM Cards in. Worked great - until we realised that we could have had handset/plan deals for about $50! :rotfl2:

We've used the SIM Cards on two trips since, so they have paid for themselves, but have let the cards lapse. This time, we're going to leave our phones behind and purchase new handsets at Walmart, BestBuys or Frys. Whichever one we come across first.

Toy Story
03-14-2010, 04:38 AM
Thanks everyone - had a look at the Best Buys site, and we will probably go for a pre-paid phone option.

Would still appreciate any tips on the internet, with a 17 year old and 11 year old, I think we would probably use it mainly in the evening when the 11 year old goes to bed or in transit at airports.

03-14-2010, 04:52 AM
Hey Toy Story. We normally travel to the US because my husband has to go for work; so his company pays for internet access.

If you're looking for options, I think the US also offers prepaid wireless broadband options (which I think is what you are calling Internet Dongle?). Might be worth googling these on Best Buys and see which $ plan/download allowance suits you; but I imagine that this might be pretty pricey. I'm pretty sure Verizon offers them. Not sure about cost of the device....

By way of comparison, Telstra Prepaid Wireless device/starter pack retails at about $99RRP with 1GB data.

Toy Story
03-16-2010, 05:52 AM
If you're looking for options, I think the US also offers prepaid wireless broadband options. This is exactly what we are looking for.

By way of comparison, Telstra Prepaid Wireless device/starter pack retails at about $99RRP with 1GB data.I guessed around the $100 mark,we will be in the US for 3 weeks, so with a teenager, it would probably be equivalent to hotel charges or cups of coffee at starbucks.