Staying in the US for a month - can I activate and use an iPad 3G?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Solvi, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Solvi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    I'm visiting the US for a month and plan to buy an iPad. Can I get a data plan for just a month? If so, can I get it even though I'm not an American and don't have an address there or a SSN?

    And can I active the iPad without a computer? I want to be able to buy stuff from iTunes too?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    They can activate your ipad in store for you and you can purchase apps from the Norway store. Pointless trying the u.s store as you'll end up with two accounts.

    As for AT&T you need a u.s credit/debit card so no. There are plenty of hotspot about though and if you goto starbucks you get 2 hours wifi with a coffee.
     
  3. Solvi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Norway
    #3
    Thanks! It's going to be just WiFi for me then.

    I already have two iTunes accounts (Norwegian and US) so I'll see which one I'll use. The iPad hasn't been released in Norway yet (not even a date!) so I don't know how many iPad apps the Norwegian iTunes store has yet.
     
  4. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #4
    You can actually activate the 3g.

    Buy a Visa Gift Card at most stores (best buy, walmart, cvs, walgreens, gas stations.....) and use that with the address of the hotel. Those cards basically use whatever addy you sign up with (or anything if that isn't required).

    Then just cancel the plan so it won't renew.

    All done!
     
  5. shineymcshine macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    I'm from Canada and I just used an iPad in the US for 4 days on AT&T 3G. It's far eaiser to stick with Wifi, but here's my story, in case you want to try:

    I live in Canada, but I drove to the US and bought an iPad 3G in april. (being purchased in the US it came with an AT&T microSIM).
    I went home and activated it on my Mac (needed OS X Leopard and iTunes 9 and an iTunes account, I believe)
    Synced my music, photos, etc and used it on wifi only in Canada.

    Then I travelled to the US but didn't have wifi where I was staying. I bought a VISA gift card from the drug store for $25. I specifically chose one that had a 3-digit PIN on the back to make online purchases. I also chose one that didn't require a social security number. Then I phoned the credit card company and told them I wanted to register my address to the card to make an online purchase. I just gave them the address of where I was staying.

    After that I waited an hour to make sure the VISA card was activated. I then turned on 3G and went to the account settings area and entered all the requested info, including the VISA gift card and US address.

    It worked!

    Before I left the US I just cancelled the 3G data with AT&T. It was all done on the iPad itself.

    Can you activate the iPad without a computer? I don't know. If they can activate it in-store for you, using your Norwegian iTunes account, that would be good. You could just call or email a store to confirm.

    One other thing that people might be interested in is that, upon returning to Canada, I bought a Rogers 3G microSIM to use here. However, after inserting the microSIM, I had to sync the iPad with my Mac so that it could "register" the microSIM with Rogers or iTunes...not sure which. So I'm hoping I don't have to sync every time I switch microSIMs because that would mean I have to bring my Mac with me when I travel (or pre-sync with the correct microSIM)

    I seem to recall that using Starbucks wifi required me to purchase a $5 starbucks card to get a card number...then I had to create a starbucks account, which required a US address, but it did work once I had done that. My starbucks account that I use in Canada didn't work in the US.

    Hope that helps!
     
  6. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Which drug store/gift card brand did you buy? I take it not all VISA gift cards have the PIN capability? I'm looking to do the same when I head down to Seattle. How long does the gift card last, so next time you need 3G again you can add more value to the gift card (or buy a new card) and activate AT&T's plan again?
     
  7. Ashtangi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    I did something similar .. picked up a "Green Dot" prepaid Visa from Walgreens in San Francisco. However, before I could use it I had to wait 60 minutes and then visit mygreendot.com to register and activate the card.
     
  8. jsh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #8
    > Can you activate the iPad without a computer?

    They activated in store for me. But otherwise, yes, you would need a computer to activate first.
     
  9. Solvi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    Thanks everyone! It's very useful information.
     
  10. shineymcshine macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I don't remember the exact card I used. It was definitely a Visa gift card, but I don't think it said CVS on it, even though I bought it at that pharmacy. It was NOT the "vanilla" gift card. The clerk was really nice and let me open the package so I could verify that it had the 3-digit code. I also called the 800 number on the package to confirm that it would work.

    I think that after 6 months of inactivity they start to deduct $3 per month. I may have also paid a $5 service fee at the time of purchase...can't remember.

    This card was NOT reloadable, so it wouldn't work for future trips. I hadn't thought that far ahead.

    You can probably find a reloadable prepaid card that will work.

    A few fun things:

    -after cancelling AT&T account, it expires after 6 months, so you may as well use a new card if you wait that long.
    -not sure if you could use a different credit card number to reactivate the AT&T account
    -the visa gift cards/prepaid cards won't work in canada
    -I tried to buy lunch at the airport in seattle but the server said they couldn't accept it--I think this was just the particular restaurant.
     
  11. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #11
    From a prior conversation, the reloadable cards seem to want a US Social Security number, which is why the gift card is probably the way to go for visitor. They send you a personalized card to use in 7-10 days normally.

    I think just about ALL of them are going to have the CCID number on the back, it is a Visa requirement. Like a PP said, there is a charge at purchase time for them. They vary from $3-10, so check that out before you buy.

    Some require you to activate them on their website, some are good to go as is, so check the terms on the back.
     

Share This Page