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Unlocked phone with U.S. PAYG

Are there any PAYG phone companies in the U.S. that offer unlocked phones and use sim cards so I can take the phone overseas and switch out sim cards.

I'm NOT looking for a phone company offering contracts. I'm not looking for what to do when I get to Europe. I already know.

Posted by
5310 posts

T Mobile will let you use your own unlocked device with their pay as you go plans. You could just get an unlocked quadband device.

Posted by
32101 posts

Frank II,

The easiest solution would be to buy an unlocked GSM quad-band cell phone off E-Bay or wherever. There are lots of them listed, but of course these days the majority of the listings are for Smartphones. Here's one example of a basic model phone....

You may want to consider getting a Smartphone rather than a basic model (even if you don't use the "smart" features), as it's more likely be compatible with the newest technical formats used by the cell networks, such as HSPA+.

You could also wait until you arrive at your first stop abroad and buy a local phone, as that will most likely be unlocked right out of the box.

Posted by
14110 posts

The problem is I have two cellphone numbers. One is hardly used but I have to keep it.

Right now it's on month-to-month billing with Verizon. I was hoping to find a PAYG/prepaid cell company here in the U.S. to transfer the number to and use that phone overseas as well by switching out the sim card.

But as usual, the easy isn't very easy.

Posted by
32101 posts

Frank II,

One option (albeit probably not the cheapest one), would be to use a SIM with one of the travel phone firms. For example, Roam Simple provides SIM's that operate worldwide (via their provider, O2 Telefonica in the U.K.). They also offer a Direct Connect option which provides a local number in the customer's home area which is mapped to the travel SIM. If you were to call-forward your existing cell number (or both your numbers) to the Direct Connect number, calls would be forwared to your travel phone where ever you are. That's the method I've been using for the last few years.

I can't remember if they have a time limit on their voice and text plans? Their data plans have a maximum term of 30 days, so if travelling longer than that, the customer has to purchase a new data plan every 30 days. I expect this will change in future, given the highly competitive nature of the cell phone business these days.

Posted by
2081 posts


not that i know of.

If you're looking for new in box (NIB), chances are you will have to buy that phone outright and then do what you want to do.

if you're willing to go used, as mentioned look at ebay, craigslist or even some local shops sell used cell phones.

If you can wait, you maybe better off buying something overthere once you land.

a side note, i had purchased an inexpensive slider in the UK and lost it in Vegas several months ago. I found a NIB one on ebay but it was a Spanish (default) version. I bought it anyway and am using it. Its unlocked too.

happy trails.