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Good Value Cell Phones for Cdn's traveling in USA ?

GregGH

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I did a search - didn't really see this issue ... as a Canadian travelling in USA what i a good deal for 'no contract' pay as you go cell phones .... AND ... have access to call 'home' to Canada ( to check voice mail or to rub it into your buddies )

Last year I paid Rodgers the extra fee for the USA coverage on iPhone ...what a bunch of turkeys - as they would not bunk the 2nd month - had to start 2 separate plans at correct starting dates ...

Also got the wife a net10 phone and plan at Target.

BUT - now she wants ability to call back to Canada ( she is the smart on in the group ... ) and I googled the 'sister ??' company ... TracFone and their plan seems to be near perfect for us ..

Also saw this ... as an add on ... Tel3Advantage

Any Canadians got better options ?? Or is the TracFone deal the best ?

Thanks
Greg H
 

K2Quick

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T-Mobile To-Go has pay-as-you-go plans where you get 1000 minutes for $100 and the minutes never expire as long as you add at least $25 every year. Calls to Canada, though, are priced at $0.49 per minute.
 

pwrshift

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I'm with Rogers too and have their North American plan which permits calls across Canada, to USA, in USA, and to Canada from USA. 400 minutes for about $120 that includes 500 text messages/month and 6GB data (in Canada only). Minutes over 400 per month are 35 cents. Works for me...except for data. Not sure if text messages are international though as I've not yet sent one.

I have a new iphone 4S unlocked bought from Apple which could make the data part worthwhile, but I don't like the idea my phone number would change if I used a US prepaid sim card.
 

GregGH

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Update

I did the Rogers plan ( annoying company - as the extra USA coverage only lasts 30 days and you have cal back to add a new plan on - they can' t sell you multiple plans )

I also did the Tracfone ... handy as they have no charge access to call Canada or other countries .... however - they also show a feature to allow your phone to have a 'local' Cdn ( or Mexican ) phone # so your friends can call you using a local Cdn ( or Mex ) number -- I can get the Mex but not the Cdn number linked to phone ..and you have to have 4 posts before you you can reply to a tech's PM ... what a catch 22 --as they don't post my replies ... will be handy IF and when I get local Cdn number .... Now I know why a friend of ours says 'never let the phone lapse .... a pain to get it set he way you want ... and with one year time on many minute cards - handy ...

Hint to others - watch for phones with TRIPLE air minute's ... we didn't get one ... we have the double minutes (buy 400 - get credit for 800)

Greg
 

pwrshift

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Call Forward

I was concerned about having to tell everyone I had a new number in the USA because of a cheap prepaid SIM card...then someone said, simply call forward your regular Rogers number to the new one and all calls will come in as normal.

Sounds right to me.
 

GregGH

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Hi

Just an FYI .... we have been trying for 4 weeks to get a Canadian access number ( as advertised ) so Cdn's can call us as a local number ....

1) first you have to have 5 posts on their forum to answer the help desk's Private Message ( PM ) .... problem -- your posts don't accepted so we ended up posting at lead 10 messages before 5 got thru and got the ability

2) when you do get a reply ... you get a reply like this ....

Sent: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:01 pm
by Jessica

We've tried assigning you a Canadian for Ottawa, London and Ontario but system keeps on prompting a message that there are no available Canadian numbers right at this moment. You may try to check it every 4 hours until you could get one. We hope this helps. Thank you.


Clearly -- Tracfone doesn't have enough access numbers to satisfy demand .... even after an hour on call to several levels of help and house on line to get access to help message .... NOW I SEE why a fellow friend said NEVER LET YOUR PHONE RUN OUT - EXPIRE ..... once you get a local Cdn access number ... it is something to be treasured .... in hindsight .... MG ...what a piss off

Greg
 

Queen

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Any further information on the best cell phone options for a Canadian snow bird who will be in the US for 2 months.

Thanks
 

Safti

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I did a search - didn't really see this issue ... as a Canadian travelling in USA what i a good deal for 'no contract' pay as you go cell phones .... AND ... have access to call 'home' to Canada ( to check voice mail or to rub it into your buddies )

Last year I paid Rodgers the extra fee for the USA coverage on iPhone ...what a bunch of turkeys - as they would not bunk the 2nd month - had to start 2 separate plans at correct starting dates ...

Also got the wife a net10 phone and plan at Target.

BUT - now she wants ability to call back to Canada ( she is the smart on in the group ... ) and I googled the 'sister ??' company ... TracFone and their plan seems to be near perfect for us ..

Also saw this ... as an add on ... Tel3Advantage

Any Canadians got better options ?? Or is the TracFone deal the best ?

Thanks
Greg H

Try a company called www.roammobility.com. They are a Canadian company. We purchased a SIM card for under $5. We put the SIM card in our unlocked Blackberry and they gave us a Chicago number. We pay (in advance) $3.50 a day for each day we are in the US and we get unlimited phone and text within the US and to Canada. It's working for us.
 

gnorth16

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Also look at buying your next phone with a dual sim card. Your first sim is your home sim card and the second is a pay as you go type for in the US. Doesn't really help you out now though...:p
 

Tacoma

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I'm no help as every time we go to the states we have the same issue. My husband had his phone unlocked but even then did not like the options (maybe a different phone number?), It is time that they made this easier as everything is on your cell phone now, maps contacts etc. Since I barely use my phone it doesn't bother me but it is a major pain to try and figure out some way of communicating. I'm old school I leave the resorts number and I check e-mail daily. Not the best but certainly cheap. If my husband is with me he uses his phone sparingly.:wall:

Joan
 
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SteveH

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Last year we ordered a T-mobile, pay as you go SIM card from an ebay seller - I think it was around $7 including shipping to Canada. We put the SIM in an older unlocked Blackberry (needs to be quad band). Then you can activate online. Rates start at .33 cents for a $10 purchase and decrease up to .10 cents a minute for 1000 minutes that are good for a year. When you first activate, you get a US number based on the address or ZIP you provide. We used a friends address in NC in case there were any mailings, which there aren't.
You can then add .12 cent/min calling to Canada for $10/month.
We were away for a month and it worked well for us. I haven't checked but I'm sure we lost whatever remaining minutes we had and our US number.
Steve
 

gomo2010

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If your travelling with a laptop there is always magic jack. In fact they now offer apps for smartphones. Of course you do need a good wifi connect to work but the price is right.
:wave:
 

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This is interesting! Which phones can one get with dual sim cards and where would you get those. Thanks for the information.
 

hvsteve1

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I don't understand the concern with getting a U.S. phone with a Canadian number. Both my home and cell phones have free calling to Canada. Don't most Canadian phones have the same to the U.S.? :confused:
 

eal

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In word, no.

My cell phone company (Telus) charges 60 cents per text and 60 cents per minute to use the phone in the US for any type of call.

Needless to say I don't take them up on their generous offer...
 

UWSurfer

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You could setup Google Voice (GV) with a US or Canadian phone number as the primary number for folks to reach you, then set it up to automatically forward to home, cell, work, or wherever you want it to ring.

It can ring these simultaneously or you can turn certain phones number forwarding on or off. It's free and you can place calls over it using it's interface in Gmail. If you travel with a laptop and have access to wifi service, you can connect directly through the laptop and call anywhere in the US & Canada free. If you have an iPad you can set up the call with the Ipad & GV will call both ends, your local cellphone and the destination so you aren't logging 50 or 60 cents per minute calls.

So you get a US trac phone, boost mobile or other prepaid phone so you have something on the road in the US, and then use GV to place the calls back into Canada. Some smart phones will even let you run the GV app, placing the call over the data network or wifi instead of the cell network. You just have to figure out which is less expensive.

It's one of the reasons I still carry a heavier laptop when I travel, even when I have an iPad as it works as a phone with GV seamlessly. The iPad app won't let you use it as a phone.

Here's this year's announcement about GV continuing to be offered for free:

"Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you’re in the US and Canada, you’ll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013. Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates."
 

Queen

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This is great information that I will try. Does using GV over 3G use my data, if so would I be charged by my carrier Rogers for data use? I have used GV on WiFi and that works great when I am at a resort that offers Wifi (yes there are still some that don't). Thanks all.
 

UWSurfer

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This is great information that I will try. Does using GV over 3G use my data, if so would I be charged by my carrier Rogers for data use? I have used GV on WiFi and that works great when I am at a resort that offers Wifi (yes there are still some that don't). Thanks all.

I'm certain that it will go against your data usage, but typically streaming audio (calls) don't consume large amounts of bandwidth and probably won't dent your bucket of bits too much.
 

MaryH

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A couple of years ago I bought a PAYG phone in Best Buy on Verizon I think in Detroit for $20 and it came with a $10 credit. I can get US calls in for 2 cents a min and text for a low cost and max call billing is $2 per day for US.
 
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