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Thread: Three UK: how to activate SIM and top-up account from USA?

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    Three UK: how to activate SIM and top-up account from USA?

    I have new Three UK SIM card. How can activate SIM and top-up account from USA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    I have new Three UK SIM card. How can activate SIM and top-up account from USA?
    See Three UK - 12 GB for 12 months, can be used in US - Page 2
    Find and compare prepaid plans at https://prepaidcompare.net

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    Here is a link to the most recent [March 2018]
    Price Guide.


    Choose Pay As You Go on this page:
    http://www.three.co.uk/Three_price_guide

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    AFAICT it's really difficult to top up UK prepaid from the US, there must be regulations or fraud protections. You need to use a UK-based credit card.

    If you know someone there, they can get you a top up.

    It's easy to do once you're there, though.

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    I've decided it is too much effort to worry about buying SIM here in US, go through some other service to get funds added to the account, and worry that something will go wrong and it won't work when I'm there. All to save a maximum of about $70 for my relatively limited trip.

    I'll just check on arrival to see whether Three or a competitor has an acceptable plan (with tethering to support tablet data). If not, I'll just pay the $10/day + tax. Only about 9 days, it isn't like I'm worried about paying 3-4 peoples plans (family trip) or an extended time.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Trying to simplify to 2 prepaid lines, one on the Verizon network and a limited minute plan on ATT to improve coverage area. 12 month plans to help me fight the urge to switch. The good old days of contracts where you had to pay a hefty ETF to leave

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzz View Post
    AFAICT it's really difficult to top up UK prepaid from the US, there must be regulations or fraud protections. You need to use a UK-based credit card.

    If you know someone there, they can get you a top up.

    It's easy to do once you're there, though.
    It is easily done using one of the following.

    uksims.eu/buy-top-up (+10% Fee)
    mobiletopup.co.uk/three (+£1.49 Fee)
    apkpure.com/kwikpay-%E2%80%93-mobile-top-up/com.uk.recharge.kwikpay (APK) (+£0.20 Fee)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    I've decided it is too much effort to worry about buying SIM here in US, go through some other service to get funds added to the account, and worry that something will go wrong and it won't work when I'm there. All to save a maximum of about $70 for my relatively limited trip.

    I'll just check on arrival to see whether Three or a competitor has an acceptable plan (with tethering to support tablet data). If not, I'll just pay the $10/day + tax. Only about 9 days, it isn't like I'm worried about paying 3-4 peoples plans (family trip) or an extended time.
    I ordered a Three SIM card from an eBay seller for $1.88 delivered. I'll activate next month on the Three website and activate my Kwikpay account to make sure there are no issues before we leave for Paris. It will only be a backup, and I'll only fund the Three SIM card if the T-Mo unlimited 128 Kbps roaming data included with our T-Mo accounts isn't sufficient for our needs while there. It doesn't seem like much effort to me.

    I also plan to have FP Global SIM cards with me, but recent reports are that it no longer works in France. I experienced the same thing when I was in Hungary in 2016, so the FP Global SIM is probably going to be useless, and I may not even bother trying it.

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    It seems like giffgaff SIMs can be obtained at similar price to Three SIMs. Does anyone know how those two companies compare?

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    NC_Curious,

    Did you look at the plans giffgaff offers and the ones Three UK offers (both have websites that list plans and costs). I took a quick look at giffgaff's plans but Three UK looks like a better deal. Plus Three's website lets you easily check roaming (if there is any).

    Setting up a Three UK sim here in the US is no harder than setting up a US prepaid sim card here.

    Eric

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    Eric,

    Thanks

    Three does look better in terms of features. I wanted to see the actual performance in UK - coverage, data speed, those kind of things..

    Also I want to roam in other countries.. Seems like for this, Three requires activation within UK, and giffgaff will not give roaming to you until you prove residency or spend ~ 2 months in UK.. Just getting prepared for my trip and gathering information

    Thanks again!

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    Always buy the sim with credit from the seller. Why just buy the sim?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksurfer View Post
    Always buy the sim with credit from the seller. Why just buy the sim?
    In my case, as mentioned a few posts above, it's because I may not need it. If I DO need it, I don't want a plan, because I'll be using Three's 3/2/1 paygo, for data only.

    There are probably other reasons why others may not buy a Three SIM with a plan, but that's my reason.

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    NC_Curious,

    Thanks for the additional information. I ordered my Three UK sims last year on eBay. I activated them here in the US without any problem. I added funds to them after installing the KwikPay app and then activated/purchased the L20 add on for 12Gb of data here in the US before I traveled to Europe. It worked fine for data here in the US. I used it in Denmark and Germany without any issues.

    As of Dec 31 (or sometime around there) Three now allows you to use your phone as a hotspot with up to 12 Gb of data when roaming in their list of 71 countries. This Spring I used my Three sim in Switzerland and Germany and again it worked fine without any issues.

    As long as you make a call or send a text message from your Three UK sim card every 180 days, you'll keep the sim card active.

    I can't comment on giffgaff as I have not tried them.

    Eric

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    thank you very much!

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    I did not use giffgaff, but as of last year they will send you a free SIM card and it looked possible to me that it could be activated with a us credit card. But the deal didn't look better than 3uk.

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