iPhone pay as you go USA

MattDell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2006
274
3
London, UK
I'm going home to the States for a few weeks coming up and am trying to find a way to use my iPhone 4S (completely unlocked from Apple) while I'm there. Here in the UK I'm spoilt for choice as far as PAYG carriers go. But sadly, I don't seem to be finding such luck in the USA.

Here in the UK I can buy a giffgaff SIM valid for 30 days for £15. I thought I finally found something decent with Virgin Mobile, but it seems you have to buy a phone through them before they will let you use their network. Boo!

Anything in the States I can use for PAYG iPhone for just a month max?

-Matt
 

macingman

macrumors 68020
Jan 2, 2011
2,147
3
This is the best I have found and use it whenever I travel to the US, there are many plans and international credit is even included.

https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageControl.php?page=plans&category=W

You might need to purchase a phone from them but you can just buy a $30 one. Edit: You can actually buy a sim only here: https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageControl.php?page=simDetail&p_code=SIM001


To set up an iPhone on their network you go here: https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageControl.php?page=IPhoneData
 
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eastercat

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
7
PDX
Look up who the cdma carriers are. They're of the suck, because you have to buy a phone for each carrier. Obviously, you're going to avoid these crap companies.
There are a bunch of pre-paid choices, ranging from t-mobile to straight talk. I've heard that at&t's pay as you go no longer accepted iphone, but I haven't personally tried. It's best to stick to either at&t's MVNOs or t-mobile.
If you do a search on MR, you'll find a post that compares the pay as you go options in the US.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,991
16
Penryn
Straight Talk has a $45 a month plan unlimited voice/text/data but you have to order the sim direct, you can't buy it in a store. You could have it sent to your hotel .
 

Grimsrud

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2010
67
0
Straight Talk's AT&T based network is the only way to go for pre-paid iPhone usage in the US. It just takes a couple of extra steps to get the APN settings for data and MMS right. H2O Wireless is overpriced garbage now, and the T-Mobile based networks have only a very small amount of 3G/4G coverage that supports the iPhone's frequencies.
 

MattDell

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2006
274
3
London, UK
Straight Talk has a $45 a month plan unlimited voice/text/data but you have to order the sim direct, you can't buy it in a store. You could have it sent to your hotel .
Might be a winner here. I can have it shipped to my parents house.

Shame about the $15 sim fee, but I suppose it's worth it to have service.

-Matt
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
0
somewhere else
For just one month, you are probably better off getting AT&T GoPhone $25 Monthly Plan and buying a 1GB data package for $25. If you walk into an AT&T store, they will give you the SIM for free.

The Straight Talk SIM is $15 and it takes about 3 business days to get it delivered and you need to buy the $45 unlimited service card at the same time. There's also a delivery charge and likely local sales tax, so it will end up being closer to $68-70 out of your pocket. Anecdotally, the Straight Talk service provides 2GB of cellular data despite the fact that they say "unlimited."

AT&T used to have a better option for true Pay As You Go ($0.10/min. plus data packages), but they got rid of the option to buy data packages at that plan rate a few months ago.

Straight Talk makes more sense if you stay for 2+ months.