Buying a US Sim Card

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JimmyB248, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. JimmyB248 macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2006
    Sorry guys, this isn't Mac related, but wondered if you could help. I'm looking to buy a US sim card, I'm living in the UK, but it's for someone out in New York. Is there just a shop (online or not) in the US where a US sim card can be purchased?
  2. happy.buddha macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2005
    New Hampshire
    What kind of sim card are you looking for? Check out eBay, I just recently bought a prepaid Cingular card for $6.
  3. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Haha! SIM card, what is a SIM card? In the US we use nothing but locked phones on contracts.

    Seriously though, they are hard to find. I believe T-Mobil might be the only people who sell the kind of SIM card you are used to over there.

    Beaten to it, so I looks like Cingular as well.
  4. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    I buy lots of phones from japan and use the here in the US, Ebay had t mobile sim 300 minutes like 10.00 shipped
  5. JimmyB248 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2006
    Hmm, okay. So T-Mobile might be the best bet. I'll have a look, is it likely to be on their website? Ebay is the other option, but the phone itself has to be unlocked anyway. Do you think it would be cheaper to just buy a really cheap phone that comes with a sim card? It's only for a month or so.
  6. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    Yeah, I had never heard of a SIM card until I went to visit my sister in Paris. I really wish we had that system here. I would be really nice if they implemented it here so we could change phones or carriers easier.
  7. happy.buddha macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2005
    New Hampshire
    If you have an unlocked GSM phone that just buy a preloaded or prepaid SIM card from eBay, if you don't have one you could just buy a cheap pay as you go phone when you get here. I bought an unlocked phone and run it with a Cingular sim.
  8. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    I bought a phone from cingular on pay as you go (prepaid). They unlocked the phone/sim for me.
  9. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i have a german gsm phone that is unlocked. i use a t-mobile prepaid card in boston. there are tons of t-mobile shops in various shopping malls where you can buy prepaid contract. unfortunately it costs about $50 sign up fee and includes a crappy phone (unless the conditions have changed). then you pay about 10 cents per minute for calls in the us. you have to pay in advance minimum 20 dollar for ~200 minutes. reload cards are available in many stores for 20, 50 or 100 dollar. it works like a charm in my nokia 6630. i switch cards all the time between europe and us.
  10. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    Maybe slighty off topic, but what system?
    And haven't heard of SIM cards? Is that just cause you're not familiar with Cingular/ TMobile or because the rest of the world has something else going on that Im not aware of??
  11. Deputy-Dawg macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2006
    If you buy a SIM card for your unlocked GSM phone you need to be aware that the phone must be a Quad band phone to work properly in the US. Many of the GSM phones sold in Europe and will not work in much of the US.

    Cingular does offer a pay as you go plan with some inexpensive phones that just might be what you need. T-Mobiles coverage in the US is spotty at best.
  12. Grakkle macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2006
    Buy it from CellularAbroad. They sell SIM cards, prepaid service, and unlocked GSM phones. They're also a T-Mobile dealer.

    Best place for buying SIM cards and service for practically every country with mobile service.
  13. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Is your phone quad band or triband (900/1800/1900)? Because Cingular (now AT&T) uses both the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. T-Mobile just uses the 1900 MHz band. Cingular has better coverage, but your phone may not be fully compatible.

    Best thing to do: go to a T-Mobile store or call them up ( and ask them for a T-Mobile To Go (prepaid) SIM card. I can't remember if there's a small fee or if it's free. Anyway, you can purchase refill cards at over 90,000 locations nationwide, and you can get 30 minutes for only $10.00 or 130 for just $25.00. If you spend over $100 in refills, you'll get at least 15% more minutes and they won't expire for a year. Just some info.

    That's probably your best bet.

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