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Thread: Need a SIM before the weekend for a month- what are my options?

  1. #1
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    Need a SIM before the weekend for a month- what are my options?

    I need to get a sim card for a family member traveling next week from NY to Arizona. They don't need a lot, maybe 1GB of data. We have unlocked GSM phones we can use.
    Problem is they are leaving this weekend and while Red Pocket seems the best bang for my buck, their shipping estimate for the SIM card says it will probably come sometime next week.
    I know Cricket overnights their SIM for free, but the cheapest plan is like double what we need for double the price. I'm hoping I can find something closer to Red Pocket who either ships overnight free like Cricket or is available locally.
    Red Pocket says some targets and walgreens carry their sims but I can't find them advertised anywhere, and Google hasn't been helpful with that. Even Amazon seems not to carry them, which would have been helpful.

    Any suggestions before I overpay for a larger plan than we need?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I need to get a sim card for a family member traveling next week from NY to Arizona. They don't need a lot, maybe 1GB of data. We have unlocked GSM phones we can use.
    Problem is they are leaving this weekend and while Red Pocket seems the best bang for my buck, their shipping estimate for the SIM card says it will probably come sometime next week.
    I know Cricket overnights their SIM for free, but the cheapest plan is like double what we need for double the price. I'm hoping I can find something closer to Red Pocket who either ships overnight free like Cricket or is available locally.
    Red Pocket says some targets and walgreens carry their sims but I can't find them advertised anywhere, and Google hasn't been helpful with that. Even Amazon seems not to carry them, which would have been helpful.

    Any suggestions before I overpay for a larger plan than we need?
    Go pick up a tracfone $15 sim and plan. Walmart I believe carries them. Simple mobile is good too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I need to get a sim card for a family member traveling next week from NY to Arizona. They don't need a lot, maybe 1GB of data. We have unlocked GSM phones we can use.
    Problem is they are leaving this weekend and while Red Pocket seems the best bang for my buck, their shipping estimate for the SIM card says it will probably come sometime next week.
    I know Cricket overnights their SIM for free, but the cheapest plan is like double what we need for double the price. I'm hoping I can find something closer to Red Pocket who either ships overnight free like Cricket or is available locally.
    Red Pocket says some targets and walgreens carry their sims but I can't find them advertised anywhere, and Google hasn't been helpful with that. Even Amazon seems not to carry them, which would have been helpful.

    Any suggestions before I overpay for a larger plan than we need?
    Pick up an AT&T Consumer Cellular SIM at Target. Be sure not to get the Consumer Cellular T-Mobile SIM.

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    Do they need just data? Or voice, data and texting.

    If it's just data, Why not the Freedompop 1 year plan from Best Buy and most importantly, it's on AT&T. It's 39$ for the 1gb plan but would be useful to you after your friend leaves. Might be a useful option in case emergency situations like this pop up.

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    Last edited by ShredFred; 01-16-2020 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I need to get a sim card for a family member traveling next week from NY to Arizona. They don't need a lot, maybe 1GB of data. We have unlocked GSM phones we can use.
    Problem is they are leaving this weekend and while Red Pocket seems the best bang for my buck, their shipping estimate for the SIM card says it will probably come sometime next week.
    I know Cricket overnights their SIM for free, but the cheapest plan is like double what we need for double the price. I'm hoping I can find something closer to Red Pocket who either ships overnight free like Cricket or is available locally.
    Red Pocket says some targets and walgreens carry their sims but I can't find them advertised anywhere, and Google hasn't been helpful with that. Even Amazon seems not to carry them, which would have been helpful.

    Any suggestions before I overpay for a larger plan than we need?
    You won't see the SIM cards advertised at Walgreens, but some stores seem to have a big selection of different prepaid offerings.

    Some independent cellular stores carry Redpocket, but not many of these types of stores are left. We had one near me with a big "RedPocket" sign in the window, but the store closed recently. RedPocket doesn't have a dealer list on their web site.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    You won't see the SIM cards advertised at Walgreens, but some stores seem to have a big selection of different prepaid offerings.

    Some independent cellular stores carry Redpocket, but not many of these types of stores are left. We had one near me with a big "RedPocket" sign in the window, but the store closed recently. RedPocket doesn't have a dealer list on their web site.
    I drove around today and found many options from other providers, but not Redpocket. I reached out to their ebay store since apparently they are based in Yonkers NY (which is like 20 miles from me), but they told me they can't guarantee it will come at any time this week since there are handling times and they wouldn't let me come pick it up either (LOL).
    I couldn't find $15 tracphone, but there were other options that seemed OK-ish once I buy a SIM and take it home. I picked a Net10 sim but then another idea hit me upon coming home.
    I have another family member with a Mint sim that is expiring next week. They were going to let it die and start with a new number, but if we start with a new number NOW, I can port that one out to Cricket and get a free phone out of it with our month of service.
    Then if we don't want the phone, I can probably sell it for at least what the month of service would have cost and hopefully break even.

    I can't tell yet if this idea is crazy or genius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I drove around today and found many options from other providers, but not Redpocket. I reached out to their ebay store since apparently they are based in Yonkers NY (which is like 20 miles from me), but they told me they can't guarantee it will come at any time this week since there are handling times and they wouldn't let me come pick it up either (LOL).
    I couldn't find $15 tracphone, but there were other options that seemed OK-ish once I buy a SIM and take it home. I picked a Net10 sim but then another idea hit me upon coming home.
    I have another family member with a Mint sim that is expiring next week. They were going to let it die and start with a new number, but if we start with a new number NOW, I can port that one out to Cricket and get a free phone out of it with our month of service.
    Then if we don't want the phone, I can probably sell it for at least what the month of service would have cost and hopefully break even.

    I can't tell yet if this idea is crazy or genius.
    Genius. 2 birds...and a phone to boot!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I drove around today and found many options from other providers, but not Redpocket. I reached out to their ebay store since apparently they are based in Yonkers NY (which is like 20 miles from me), but they told me they can't guarantee it will come at any time this week since there are handling times and they wouldn't let me come pick it up either (LOL).
    I couldn't find $15 tracphone, but there were other options that seemed OK-ish once I buy a SIM and take it home. I picked a Net10 sim but then another idea hit me upon coming home.
    I have another family member with a Mint sim that is expiring next week. They were going to let it die and start with a new number, but if we start with a new number NOW, I can port that one out to Cricket and get a free phone out of it with our month of service.
    Then if we don't want the phone, I can probably sell it for at least what the month of service would have cost and hopefully break even.

    I can't tell yet if this idea is crazy or genius.
    It's not genius to send people on a cross country trip with a Mint SIM since it's on T-Mobile with no roaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishe View Post
    I drove around today and found many options from other providers, but not Redpocket. I reached out to their ebay store since apparently they are based in Yonkers NY (which is like 20 miles from me), but they told me they can't guarantee it will come at any time this week since there are handling times and they wouldn't let me come pick it up either (LOL).
    I couldn't find $15 tracphone, but there were other options that seemed OK-ish once I buy a SIM and take it home. I picked a Net10 sim but then another idea hit me upon coming home.
    I have another family member with a Mint sim that is expiring next week. They were going to let it die and start with a new number, but if we start with a new number NOW, I can port that one out to Cricket and get a free phone out of it with our month of service.
    Then if we don't want the phone, I can probably sell it for at least what the month of service would have cost and hopefully break even.

    I can't tell yet if this idea is crazy or genius.
    Yes, that does seem like a decent idea, if the other family member is willing to give up the rest of their Mint plan. Cricket should have decent cellular coverage for a cross country trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    It's not genius to send people on a cross country trip with a Mint SIM since it's on T-Mobile with no roaming.
    They won't be doing that. They will be on Cricket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    It's not genius to send people on a cross country trip with a Mint SIM since it's on T-Mobile with no roaming.
    Geez, it's not like they're Lewis and Clark; T-Mo coverage is perfectly adequate on the highway system. And in a true emergency, 911 would work where there's any compatible service, regardless if it's included in their roaming or not.





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    Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
    Geez, it's not like they're Lewis and Clark; T-Mo coverage is perfectly adequate on the highway system. And in a true emergency, 911 would work where there's any compatible service, regardless if it's included in their roaming or not.
    While you're correct that 911 would work, you are incorrect in your contention that a T-Mobile MVNO, that uses only T-Mobile with no roaming, would be adequate on a cross-country trip. There are many areas where T-Mobile roams onto rural carriers but Mint would not. The same thing is true, to a much lesser extent, on many other MVNOs, including AT&T and Verizon MVNOs. And there are areas on major highways where I've found that even with roaming T-Mobile did not work.

    Cricket would be fine. Consumer Cellular's AT&T service would be fine. Both roam onto other carriers (at least for voice).

    I don't know which carrier Lewis or Clark are on. I have not seen any of their posts on this forum. I did a search for each of them with no relevant results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    While you're correct that 911 would work, you are incorrect in your contention that a T-Mobile MVNO, that uses only T-Mobile with no roaming, would be adequate on a cross-country trip. There are many areas where T-Mobile roams onto rural carriers but Mint would not. The same thing is true, to a much lesser extent, on many other MVNOs, including AT&T and Verizon MVNOs. And there are areas on major highways where I've found that even with roaming T-Mobile did not work.

    Cricket would be fine. Consumer Cellular's AT&T service would be fine. Both roam onto other carriers (at least for voice).

    I don't know which carrier Lewis or Clark are on. I have not seen any of their posts on this forum. I did a search for each of them with no relevant results.
    Ordinarily I'd agree, but I was considering the actual specific trip described in the original post.

    For a trip from NY to AZ, the only sketchy segment would probably be the western half of Kansas, (west of I-35, until you hit Oklahoma,) which would be a roaming area, and unlikely covered by Mint (though it shows as covered on Mint's maps- I suspect that's because they are just mirroring T-Mo's prepaid map which does now include most of the same roaming as T-Mo Postpaid.)

    The rest of the trip should be pretty solid and is mostly covered by native T-Mo service.

    T-Mo native service falls apart in the northern midwest of the country- Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, etc., which should be well outside the scope of this particular road trip.



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    Now if it were LOIS and Clark, there would be no problem. Clark could just make a quick change and get them out of any trouble they might encounter. Just thinking out loud...

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    The Cricket solution sound good.

    Just left Mint for Visible a couple of weeks ago for coverage and cost reasons. T-Mo does have better coverage than years ago, but it's not quite as good as their competitors (although new low frequency bands they bought and new towers will likely close that gap in a few years).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetKen View Post
    The Cricket solution sound good.

    Just left Mint for Visible a couple of weeks ago for coverage and cost reasons. T-Mo does have better coverage than years ago, but it's not quite as good as their competitors (although new low frequency bands they bought and new towers will likely close that gap in a few years).

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    Visible looks good, especially now that they've eliminated throttling. But unfortunately their support of BYOD devices is very limited at this time. There must be some technical reason that they support so few Android devices, even devices that work fine on Verizon MVNOs, and that support VoLTE.

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