Advice on cell phone purchase

Old May 3rd, 2014, 11:55 AM
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Advice on cell phone purchase

I am travelling to Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois later this year and would like some advice on purchasing a pay as you go cell phone. I know nothing of network providers or even if pre pay is available in the US. Any advice please?

Barbara
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Yes, prepay is available. I recently upgraded to a grownup phone, my son's old smartphone, but any phone will do. Last week I went to the local Verizon store and since I have the phone, was under no obligation to purchase a contract and did, indeed, buy the prepay option. For $45 a month, no tax or other fees, I got unlimited talk & text (including state to state, all do, I believe) and some data which should suffice to occasionally check my email.

Others will likely give you advice on eastern US stores. The Verizon store also has inexpensive phones to buy for prepaid plans which are cancelable at any time so you need not buy more than you need.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:22 PM
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You dont indicate where you live, but if you have an unlocked phone from home, you may well be able to use it here with a different SIM card. Virtually all carriers have national coverage although some are spotty in more rural areas. In order to get best advice, it would help to know what you want ot use the phone for (local and/or international calls, texts, data etc.)
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:52 PM
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I'm assuming she's outside the US which is why I mentioned, "any phone will do". I have one I bought outside the US, buy sim cards wherever I go (Europe, Asia, N. Africa). I don't believe there are "locked" phones elsewhere so didn't want to confuse the issue. So bringing "any" phone from outside the US will presume "unlocked". In my experience.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Not 100% sure if this comment is up to date, but I believe unlocked phones will only work for GSM carriers like AT&T or T-Mobile. Verizon, which has some of the best coverage available, uses a different type of phone. I think most if not all European phones are GSM, so there is that limitation to keep in mind.

But pre-paid or no contract phones are easily available. If you're traveling around, you may find that Verizon gives you the best continuity of coverage from place to place.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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The major companies are TMobile, Verizon, and AT&T. Sprint, Metro PCS, and Virgin Mobile also sell prepaid phones with a different system that you couldn't use anywhere but the US, but these are typically cheaper. You can buy a prepaid phone at any drugstore or Walmart, or at any cell phone store. It will not be difficult to find a phone on arrival, even at the airport. If you want to make international calls, you are still better off buying a calling card, also available at any drugstore.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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