Pre-paid SIM card in London - how cheap?

Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:47 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pre-paid SIM card in London - how cheap?

We usually pick up the cheapest pre-paid SIM card we can find when we get to Europe since we don't use it much, it's just for emergencies. We text our daughter the number and she emails it to the pet sitter, others who could need to call; since incoming calls are free in Europe, it would be considerably cheaper than the $150 bill my daughter had for an emergency at home. (Don't even like to turn on our US phones because we don't want to pay for wrong numbers, stock brokers that keep soliciting my husband, and people who don't know we're out of the country and call to chat, etc.)

Used to get Vodafone cards for 10 euros with maybe 10 min. talk time on the continent - and 10 pounds in London several years ago - but about two years ago in Amsterdam the minimum to top up the Vodafone card from the previous year was 20 euros. We just let that one go and topped up my Telefort card from the previous year for 10.

Haven't had a UK card since '04 and am sure the minimum has gone up, maybe considerably. Does anyone have any idea what the cheapest pre-paid SIM we can get in London is? Don't want to spend time going from shop to shop looking for a 10-20 pound SIM that doesn't exist.
polly229 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:57 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My local petrol station sells a range of Pay as you go sim cards for around £5. I don't think these have any airtime, but it is easy enough to top them up with £10 worth at virtually any supermarket.
willit is online now  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:05 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very simple...the cheapest sim card available in the UK is pretty cheap...as a matter of fact they're free....you can order either a T Mobile UK or O2 sim card for free on their web sites and have them sent to your hotel. They will arrive with no credit but with swipe cards that you can take into any e top up shop and top up and you're in business.

Assuming you're in either the USA or Canada or maybe even Australia, at this moment in time, they're both good deals. I might opt for the T Mobile UK as they have a tie in with a company called your call world (www.yourcallworld.com) which allows you to make overseas calls from the UK for 3p/minute. You can top up with as little as £5....O2 has some promotions including your country which gives you 50 free minutes of talk time to foreign countries outside the UK with a £10 and 100 minutes with a £15 talk up. In most phone shops, you can get free sim cards with a £10 top up. Another company, talk mobile, offers 40/minute calls outside the UK. Orange UK has a plan called camel which offers calls for 6p/minute to the USA (don't know Australia prices).

Now if you don't want to wait till you get to the UK, if you want to know your number in advance, with a little bit of effort I have found merchants on ebay which offer UK sim cards, including shipping, to USA and Canadian addresses for less than $5....there are offers for T Mobile UK, O2 UK and talk mobile that I've seen. You do have to do a search for UK sim cards but they're out there. The cards will not have any credit on them but you get the e top up cards mentioned above an dit's easy to top up for your initial amount for as little as £5. The advantage here for these small amounts, you know your UK number in advance.

They all have pretty competitive rates for calls within the UK to UK phones...they all come with free reception of calls in the UK and they all come with the eu roaming rates within the eu...the key figure I remember is 19p/minute to receive calls and beginning July 1 very cheap caps on texting within the eu....

I would stay away from vodafone. They seem to be the only ones without very good rates to overseas phone and certainly can't beat the 3p/minute rate you can get with yourcallworld on T Mobile UK...

I guess you can't get much cheaper than this...we're talking calling card rates here with the added convenience of your very own mobile phone.
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tal mobile should read overseas calls for 4p/minute...
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:20 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here..I had time on my hands tonight so I did the ebay search for you...

http://tinyurl.com/cvyfm6

Sim card £1.25
Shipping to USA £2
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2009, 01:31 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My local Poundshop sells them for a - em - £1
alanRow is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2009, 04:55 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many, many thanks. Glad to hear it will be pretty easy to get a card without spending a fortune. Since we're leaving a week from Thurs., I think we'd better not try to have one sent here; it's quick and cheap to text the phone number back to our daughter, who will then email it to the other daughter and the cat sitter. Too bad I didn't ask this question sooner.

I guess it's only the US where we charge a small fortune for short-term phone use.
polly229 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You still have time to go to the T Mobile UK web site (as well as O2) and have them post to your hotel 2 (or 4 for O2) free sim cards...they usually arrive a day or two later (and if they don't arrive in time, so what)....as I said, somehow I don't think anybody can beat the price of free (although again they arrive with no credit and you need an initial top up, 5 quid with T Mo and 10 quid with O2)......
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2009, 06:33 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 10,509
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tag for later reference
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 04:55 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ok , so get a free sim card , top it up with some money , and you are good to go

question is , how long is the top up valid for ...for me the phone is really for people to contact from the uk, not the other way , so if the top up expires I will lose it all probably ; maybe the expiration varies ?

tip for those staying a fair while in france ...the sim top up from leclerc supermarket's own card is valid for a year before you lose it !
lebesset is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
gaill3
Europe
8
Jul 17th, 2012 01:13 AM
Hemant96
Europe
13
Dec 24th, 2010 04:04 AM
isabel
Europe
9
Oct 8th, 2010 04:02 AM
vamoodys
Europe
22
Jul 2nd, 2009 10:58 AM
sallyky
Europe
4
Aug 6th, 2008 07:57 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information