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Thread: Buying an AT&T Prepaid simcard and refil at AT&T store. Some questions...

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    Buying an AT&T Prepaid simcard and refil at AT&T store. Some questions...

    Beginning of september, my wife and me are heading over to Orlando, FL from Europe for a vacation of 6 weeks.
    Our plan is to get a AT&T prepaid sim card and put $100 on my new account.
    In this way my account does not expire for a year.
    Reason is that we want to return to the US in the spring of 2019.

    I decided to go for the plan with 8 GB data.

    But although we land in Florida and get our simcard there, I would love to have a Los Angeles area code phone number.

    Is it true that when I do buy the card en the store assistant helps me set up my account, that I can chosse any area code I want?
    They probably will ask for an adress on the account, and I will give them one of a trailerpark in the area of Los Angeles. A European adress will not work anyway.

    Thanks for your replies in advance

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    You maybe could have done this through an AT&T MVNO vendor on eBay. But it might not arrive in time or ship to Europe.
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

    Red Pocket (AT&T) UTT 5GB exp 09.27.20
    Good2Go (AT&T) UTT recurring {12*26} $13.50otd/mo
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.11.21
    Tello x2 (Sprint) $5 1-use/3mo no exp by 04.11.20

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    I can also buy a card at Walmart and buy a refill online.
    But I want to make sure that everything runs good.
    So I want the people in the store to assist me with the set up.
    I am not leaving the store, before I have proof that everything runs well.
    Also that my account is set up in the right way (for example that the account does expire after a year)
    And that the simcard will both run in my Samsung Galaxy S8 and my wife's IPhone 6, both European models.

    A store gives me comfort (maybe I will be proven wrong )

    But will I be allowed to choose my own area code?

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    Although the $100 payment into your account will keep the number for one year, keeping the plan would use up your balance within two or three months. You have to add more money before you return next spring. Unless you really need the same number, it would be more economical to get a new SIM card and number for each trip. Just pay for service during the time you are actually using the telephone in Florida.
    Earl F. Parrish

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    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    Unless you really need the same number, it would be more economical to get a new SIM card and number for each trip. Just pay for service during the time you are actually using the telephone in Florida.
    What plan would you suggest then?
    As tourists we probably will use a lot of data. Finding hotels, places to eat, attractions and navigating. We also will use one phone as a hotspot.
    Most tourists either take the $ 50 dollar plan with 8 GB from AT&T of a similar plan from T-Mobile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruudzaan View Post
    What plan would you suggest then?
    As tourists we probably will use a lot of data. Finding hotels, places to eat, attractions and navigating. We also will use one phone as a hotspot.
    Most tourists either take the $ 50 dollar plan with 8 GB from AT&T of a similar plan from T-Mobile.
    Most hotels/restaurants have free WiFi
    So the 8GB/$50 plan should be enough.

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    I guess so to, but Efparri suggested a different plan, but he did not say which one.

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    There is the pay for use plan ($0.25/minute) or $2/day plan. I can't tell if there if there are requirements to use the phone every so often.

    So it may be possible to just change the plan to one of these plans just before you return to Canada (or in Canada online), then switch back to a desired plan before the year is out when return to the states. That shouldn't cost you anything for the months in between.
    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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    When I buy a simcard and a refil with $ 100, my account will not expire for a year. I can then use any plan available. The $ 35 with 1 GB, the $ 50 with 8 GB or higher. Or the $ 2 a day plan. I can use it till there is no more money in my account. If they don't have my creditcard number, they can make no withdrawels.
    As I understand, I can change between plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    Although the $100 payment into your account will keep the number for one year, keeping the plan would use up your balance within two or three months. You have to add more money before you return next spring.
    If I put $ 100 on my account and I use the $ 50 for only 1 month, and then switch it off in my account, I will still have $ 50 left. This I can use within that year. I am also told that if I stay 40 days, that I can use the $ 50/8GB plan for 30 days and then switch to the $2/day and $1/100mb plan for the remaining 10 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    Unless you really need the same number, it would be more economical to get a new SIM card and number for each trip. Just pay for service during the time you are actually using the telephone in Florida.
    I doubt if this would be more economic. I think it depends on the length of your trip. If I would only stay for 5 days and then buy a $50 plan with 8 GB for 30 days, then yes. Then a $ 2 a day plan, with $ 1 for 100 mb would be cheaper. But then I would have to buy also a new simcard every time, make a new account, and tell all my US friends that I did get a new number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruudzaan View Post
    I guess so to, but Efparri suggested a different plan, but he did not say which one.
    You could get the same plan you are contemplating but keep the plan only as long as you need it. The plan with eight gigabytes of data costs $50, which means that your $100 would be exhausted during your first trip. The $100 may last for fewer than two payments if fees and taxes are added. You are not able to qualify for the Auto-Pay discount since you are not paying with a checking account or a credit/debit card.
    Last edited by efparri; 08-23-2018 at 09:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruudzaan View Post
    If I put $ 100 on my account and I use the $ 50 for only 1 month, and then switch it off in my account, I will still have $ 50 left. This I can use within that year. I am also told that if I stay 40 days, that I can use the $ 50/8GB plan for 30 days and then switch to the $2/day and $1/100mb plan for the remaining 10 days.
    You can do this, just make sure that you switch from the $50 plan to the $2/day plan before the $50 plan renews or your money will be all gone. Also make sure you take the SIM card out of the phone when you get back home and put it away so there aren't any fees triggered by accidental use.

    If you're using the phone on the $2/day plan for the extra 10 days, you'll just have to top up the account before you return and switch back to the $50 plan. You can do that online before you return next year.

    In terms of account setup:

    1) Before you leave home and/or try AT&T Prepaid account setup, make sure your phones' bands are compatible with AT&T's primary US LTE bands which are 2, 4, 5, 12/17. If they aren't, IMHO get a cheap Android phone here to which you can transfer your contacts to tide you over.
    2) You can set up your account at an AT&T store, though I'd recommend you go to a corporate store rather than an authorized retailer. You can also buy an AT&T Prepaid SIM starter kit at several retailers including Wal-Mart or Best Buy; if you want hands-on support, between the two I'd pick Best Buy. You can also buy airtime at the retailer if you're more comfortable with a one-stop experience, or you can buy a refill PIN ahead of time at CallingMart with 5-10% off depending on promo availability. Basically you can get the kit, activate your new SIM card online using an LA area code or with a phone call, put the SIM in the phone, and fund the account with the PIN you purchased. If this doesn't work, remember you still have the AT&T store as support fallback since the stores are an official source of support for AT&T Prepaid regardless of where you set up your account.

    Good luck and have a great trip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornos View Post
    You can do this, just make sure that you switch from the $50 plan to the $2/day plan before the $50 plan renews or your money will be all gone. Also make sure you take the SIM card out of the phone when you get back home and put it away so there aren't any fees triggered by accidental use.

    If you're using the phone on the $2/day plan for the extra 10 days, you'll just have to top up the account before you return and switch back to the $50 plan. You can do that online before you return next year.

    In terms of account setup:

    1) Before you leave home and/or try AT&T Prepaid account setup, make sure your phones' bands are compatible with AT&T's primary US LTE bands which are 2, 4, 5, 12/17. If they aren't, IMHO get a cheap Android phone here to which you can transfer your contacts to tide you over.
    2) You can set up your account at an AT&T store, though I'd recommend you go to a corporate store rather than an authorized retailer. You can also buy an AT&T Prepaid SIM starter kit at several retailers including Wal-Mart or Best Buy; if you want hands-on support, between the two I'd pick Best Buy. You can also buy airtime at the retailer if you're more comfortable with a one-stop experience, or you can buy a refill PIN ahead of time at CallingMart with 5-10% off depending on promo availability. Basically you can get the kit, activate your new SIM card online using an LA area code or with a phone call, put the SIM in the phone, and fund the account with the PIN you purchased. If this doesn't work, remember you still have the AT&T store as support fallback since the stores are an official source of support for AT&T Prepaid regardless of where you set up your account.

    Good luck and have a great trip!
    Thanks for your very comprehensive answer.

    I did read aobut callingmart, and they have some fun deals. Buy a refil of $100 and just pay $95 for it. Even a few dollars less with a coupon.
    What keeps me from doing it, is that I did read some stories that people did not get their pincodes for example. Or pincodes that were already used.

    I was told that both my Samsung Galaxy S8 and my wife's iPhone 6 have the right LTE bands, eventhough they are models for the European market. Perhaps you could shine a light on that as well.

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    I can only offer my experience with CallingMart. Having bought thousands of dollars in PINs from them I recommend them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruudzaan View Post
    What keeps me from doing it, is that I did read some stories that people did not get their pincodes for example. Or pincodes that were already used.
    My beautiful response disappeared!

    CallingMart is wonderful. Are you sure the stories are about CallingMart?

    Now the point of this post:
    Please verify or others here affirm or reject this:
    Even if you have a "year expiry" it will cease when your balance gets to zero.
    50+50=100 100-100=000000

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