Best mobile option for 4wks in USA?

in Mobiles
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Olga_da_PolgaOlga_da_Polga Forumite
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Hi all, thanks in advance for any suggestions you can make, I am a bit stumped!

I have a old SIM only contract with O2 paying about £14/month. Yes I know I should look for a better deal but that's for another day. My issue is....I've got to spend c.4 weeks in the US in Feb/Mar looking after my niece. I looked up how much O2 would charge me and it's £4.99/day - ouch. I mainly need to use data for messaging apps but annoyingly for me to log in to work (which I will have to do occasionally to keep an eye on what's happening) the work system texts me a code to use. So I need texts as well. I'm not so bothered about having minutes because the time difference will remove that as a need anyway.

Has anyone got ideas how I could reduce the cost? I don't really want to hand O2 £140 for a few texts & data if I can help it!


  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    Cisco001 said:
    Beware the info for three is out of date for a regular 3 SIM.

    Data reward may be an option.

  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    If you anticipate a need to make and receive phone calls to/from a US number it would be worth investing in a local SIM on arrival, unless your niece can provide the facility somehow. Otherwise, apart from the cost of calling locally with your UK SIM, local people will need to make an international call to phone you.
    If you don't have a dual SIM handset you could use an old or cheap one to hold your O2 SIM for receiving text messages, which is of course free of charge.
    Evolution, not revolution
  • edited 22 December 2021 at 8:46PM
    merchcon55merchcon55 Forumite
    292 Posts
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    edited 22 December 2021 at 8:46PM

    That's an option - but it is a SIM that is valid for only 3 weeks.

    Works out about £1.10 a day. See if this is good for you.

    I have also used 3 Data Reward SIM in USA - either PAYG rate or buy a bundle . It's not the fastest, but for whatsapp, reading emails, news, it's more than fine.

    Don’t Forget Data Bundles

     if you like your data there is a way that you can save even more. As a PAYG customer you can buy a Data Bundle with your credit. This basically gives you a set amount of data for a set price that’s valid for 30 days, and is cheaper than simply buying extra data by the MB. There are three data bundles available:

    ·        £15 gets you 2 GB of data valid for 30 days (which works out to be 0.75p per MB)

    ·        £20 gets you 5 GB of data valid for 30 days (which works out to be 0.40p per MB)

    ·        £25 gets you 10 GB of data valid for 30 days (which works out to be 0.25p per MB)

    Do be aware that after the 30 day period any unused data in the package will disappear!

    Once the 30 day add on period is over, no need to cancel anything, you just go back to the normal PAYG rates. Nice and easy - also works for tethering, which I use quite often in USA.

  • cx6cx6 Forumite
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    Switch your O2 number to a Three sim-only 'advanced' plan eg 30GB for £14/month (24 month contract). Or get a new Three number on their sim-only advanced plan one month plan so you can cancel when you get back.

    You can then use your allowance (up to 12GB data anyway and all calls and text) free in the USA.

    Three are withdrawing this benefit in May but you are travelling before this.
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    46.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    3 data reward bundles are more expensive than the regular PAYG but the PAYG rates are higher with that.

    data reward, 3,2,1 rates and 200MB a month
    see above for addon rates.

    regular  10,10,5 rates 
    Name Duration Price  Mins/texts(unlimited)
    6GB Data Pack 24 months £10
    8GB Data Pack 1 month £10 
    25GB Data Pack 1 month £15 
    50GB Data Pack 1 month £20 
    Unlimited Data Pack 1 month £35 

    For a month I would look at that first and then anything better,
     there are limits on the amount of data you can use on go roam.
    think it is 12GB so not a lot of point going over that

    Get a data reward anyway they are free and once set up do not need any credit/topup handy back up anyway.

    Existing phone sim should be free for incoming

    Have you checked your phone will work,  also if dual sim that may make things easier if not might need second phone.

    MAKE SURE any UK sim us up and running BEFORE you leave.

    ultramoble also do 1 month plans
  • mrcampmrcamp Forumite
    303 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Incoming texts will be free. Assuming you are only concerned about receiving texts. As for data, your best bet is to get a local prepaid sim form any of the carriers. You can pick that up at any of their retail outlets, Walmart, Target, etc. Then with your data, you can use apps such as Walmart for messaging and calls back to the UK (If other party is using whatsapp). Your local US sim package will come with minutes that you can use for local calls within the US or back to the UK as well. 
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