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jlbartley Aug 27th, 2008 09:55 AM

Cell phone rentaul for multiple countries
I'm going to be traveling in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium and I'm wondering if it's worth getting a cell phone rental? Any idea of who is good to work with and if there is one cell phone that will have decent rates across countries?

logos999 Aug 27th, 2008 10:12 AM

Buy this # on ebay 260278195601
and be happy.

jlbartley Aug 28th, 2008 09:34 AM

If I'm reading this right you're telling me to buy a sim card? The problem with that is I don't have a phone for it which means I would have to buy a phone too. Any good options for rental that anyone knows of?

logos999 Aug 28th, 2008 09:41 AM

Buy card and phone, if needed.

wonderer Aug 28th, 2008 10:06 AM

Ive tried this different ways and for me, the easiest and cheapest way was to just rent from Verizon (I already use them) and text message. I never used the phone for anything but a text message and it worked great. Just did this in June for Germany and Austria. I am going to check into it again when we go to Spain and Portugal June 09. Check around and compare. One of my worst ideas was to buy a phone in France and then just buy time. Of course all directions would come in French and the phone would ring with "free" messages all day, in French.

Robespierre Aug 28th, 2008 10:17 AM

You could buy a phone and either use their SIM or buy them locally.

Pro: least hassle/time investment
Con: not the absolute best rates

Pro: can get very good rates
Con: initial cost, expiration, language

It's just a matter of deciding where your priorities lie.

luna Aug 28th, 2008 10:27 AM

I just bought a phone and SIM card for France for USD $59.00 online from Brightroam. We try to take one "big" trip a year, and my new-teacher niece also plans to do some European traveling in the next couple of years, so it will get enough use to pay for itself.

ira Aug 28th, 2008 11:54 AM

Hi J,

If you want a cell phone only for emergencies, see for their $49 phone.

It will work anywhere in Europe (mostly).

The per minute charges are quite high, though.


crckwc1 Aug 28th, 2008 12:18 PM

Ditto what Ira said -- Mobal is great IF you use it for emergencies and short calls and don't use it for idle chatter because the per minute rates are high. We've had ours for several years and it's worked perfectly in all of western Europe and Croatia. There are no SIM cards to deal with. It works from country to country and year to year without having to do anything but dial your number.

jlbartley Sep 5th, 2008 01:53 PM

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm really just trying to decide if I'm better to do this or if I'm just better to do local calling cards and use at pay phones, etc. Opinions?

Fodor4thought Feb 12th, 2009 03:15 AM

Whether you're renting or buying a world phone, forget the low upfront cost. If you want to actually use it, the most important factor is call rates. Some providers offer incoming for free, which is great, but then sting you for expensive rates back to the US.

Go with a European provider as they have to comply with EU legislation with caps on roaming rates within Europe. Vodafone are one of the biggest providers in Europe. I'd recommend going direct to them for rental or local sim cards, not buying through a reseller, who mark up their airtime rates and pass the cost onto you.

ParisAmsterdam Feb 12th, 2009 04:12 AM

Try It seems to me their calling rates are lower than most. I've been very pleased with the service and cost on 2 trips to Europe last year.


sjj Feb 12th, 2009 04:53 AM

If you intend going to Europe again some day, I recommend buying your own phone. On foreign trips I use a Motorola v190 and my wife a Motorola v195. You can buy these phones, new and unlocked, on ebay for $45 (the v190) and $60 (the v195). You can then buy a local sim in each of the countries you're visiting, or an international sim from the list given at ,

or a Mobal sim for $10. If you buy an international sim, check to see what you have to do to keep the number alive. The sims we have require making a phone call once every nine months. Good luck.

FrankS Feb 12th, 2009 05:19 AM

Avis is offering a free phone with car rental while in Europe. You pay shipping and usage

xyz123 Feb 12th, 2009 05:45 AM

One quick correction...the international sim cards referred to two posts above need a chargeable event every 9 months to maintain validity....

Assuming you are in the USA or Canada, making and receiving calls on these international cards is very very expensive...close to $2 at the drop of the meter so to speak.

However text messages are cheap. Simply send a text message to your own mobile phone every 8.5 months and voila no problem in maintaining the validity of the card!

As we noted in another thread, some local sims are much more difficult to retain validity. One of the worst offenders is France where, depending on how much your last top up is, will steal your remaining credit after what could be as little as 15 days if you top up with 10 euro and then six months later your sim card is history. With these, to maintain their validity, you have to have a means of topping up and they don't accept foreign credit cards on the need to provide yourself with top up vouchers before you leave in this case France to top it up and prevent losing the sim card completely six months after they steal your credit.

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