Is this a good idea for a backup sim card?

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #42962 by peterquinn
So I have been thinking of hoarding some backup cell service options, and being the cheap frugal kind, I want to incur the lowest out-of-pocket cost upfront.

Found this 1-cent sim for UltraMobile: www.ezkonnect.com/ultra-mobile-triple-cut-regular-micro-and-nano-sim-card.html

UltraMobile's sim is free, but only if one buys one of their plans. So I was thinking of splurging the 1 cent on this sim so I can keep it as a backup and pay for a plan only when I need it.

Does that sound like a good idea? Does anyone have experience with this seller? Will this work as backup option?

Thanks much for your insights!

Edit - Any other similarly-priced suggestions for backup service much appreciated!

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #42963 by redrotors
Might want to inquire re expiration date.
I've seen expiration date on tmo sim packages and some MVNO retail packaging so depending on when you think you may need it buying now may not work or require you to buy again in a year or two.
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1 month 5 days ago #42966 by KentE

peterquinn wrote: ....
Found this 1-cent sim for UltraMobile: www.ezkonnect.com/ultra-mobile-triple-cut-regular-micro-and-nano-sim-card.html

UltraMobile's sim is free, but only if one buys one of their plans. So I was thinking of splurging the 1 cent on this sim so I can keep it as a backup and pay for a plan only when I need it.

Does that sound like a good idea? Does anyone have experience with this seller? Will this work as backup option?

....


I bought one of our FreeUP SIMs from EZConnect, and that transaction went just fine. Their hope is that you sign up for a plan, and buy refills from them, either now or later.
I see this statement on one of their listings for UltraMobile preloaded SIMs:

"EZKonnect.com is Ultra Mobile Online ecommerce partner and is the only company AUTHORIZED to sell online in United States. Please check Ultra Mobile web site www.ultra.me/newsroom for News announcement. So rest assured, you are buying from approved authorized source."

(They have some great deals on Ultra SIM+plan kits, by the way!)

With the caveat mentioned by redrotors, I would consider it a valid "what if" plan. I've purchased unactivated SIMs for just such an eventuality at times, and some of them have come in handy. Your choice of what SIMs make reasonable backup options should be based on available & affordable plans that meet your anticipated needs, and that will work with a phone you already have available.

Since you've mentioned tethering as a possible benefit to you, I believe Ultra (like Mint) has no objections to hotspot use. If you're contingency planning includes the need for voice, it would be good to check your phone to see if it will work with T-Moble VoLTE. I've used this T-Mobile app to confirm, and felt pretty confident with the results, although I've read of false negatives:
play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tmobile.band12
(There are reviews on Google complaining that it doesn't ID band 71 & 66 capability-- but that's not what the app is intended to do. It's specifically to check VoLTE capability.)

Other good "what if" SIMs: Any of the Tracfone-group companies that have plans that seem reasonable for your emergency planning. SIM kits are frequently $1, including all carriers, and refill cards are available nearly anywhere in a pinch. (Remember that as redrotors points out, any T-Mobile SIM in the kits will eventually become useless....)

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #42967 by mmfacemm
The mint mobile and ultra trial kits would work for the purpose. They give you a week of service and the option to buy more after that if you really want.

They do have an expiry date though. The mint one I bought was aug 2020 but the ultra one May 2022.

They were $0.99 earlier this month so watch out for deals on amazon.

If you have a sprint phone and sim then signing up for tello or similar is pretty easy to do. No need to hoard.
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1 month 5 days ago #42968 by KentE
The Mint/Ultra trial kits are an excellent idea! I've done these before, and one slightly unusual thing is that you must activate them through a special app. If you're planning on it for emergencies, it might be smart to pre-load the app on your phone., and save the APN settings as a text file. (So you don't have to find WiFi to download them when needed.....)

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #42970 by Isamorph
Probably too much of an upfront cost, but I was going to suggest a Truphone sim. $30 for the sim which includes $15 of PAYGO credit. It uses the AT&T network in the USA with calls at 9 cents a minute, texts at 9 cents each, and data at 9 cents per MB. However, all incoming calls and texts are free and it's a shame the same cannot be said for incoming data. One can tether at 9 cents an MB, but not much at that price. You truly are PAYGO, though, and I believe it's still the case one need only make a call once every six months to keep things active. I've had a TP sim for several years used as a backup.


www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/
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1 month 4 days ago - 1 month 4 days ago #42981 by redrotors

Isamorph wrote: Probably too much of an upfront cost, but I was going to suggest a Truphone sim. $30 for the sim which includes $15 of PAYGO credit. It uses the AT&T network in the USA with calls at 9 cents a minute, texts at 9 cents each, and data at 9 cents per MB. However, all incoming calls and texts are free and it's a shame the same cannot be said for incoming data. One can tether at 9 cents an MB, but not much at that price. You truly are PAYGO, though, and I believe it's still the case one need only make a call once every six months to keep things active. I've had a TP sim for several years used as a backup.


www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/


Nice, didn't realize that there was an alternative to Tello paygo (have they shut down many accounts yet? I'm afraid to give them $20 only to lose most of it 3 mo. later), albeit at 9x the price (for outgoing anyway). I could see "hey could you call me back" becoming my new "hello" ;)

Ever any "$1" deals on truphone sims? Would be nice to not pay $15 for SIM.

Don't dawdle activating the SIM though, from their t&c -
4.5 You must activate your SIM card within 14 days of receipt or within 30 days of dispatch from us to you or from our distribution partner, whichever is the later otherwise we will block activation of that SIM card and quarantine the SIM card for reallocation to another customer. Any purchased and bonus credit provided with the sale of the SIM card to you may be forfeit.
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1 month 4 days ago - 1 month 4 days ago #42983 by mmfacemm
I highly recommend truphone. Customer service is good via email. They really don't bother to even enforce the 180 day calling requirement so you can just leave it. I went a few years without using it once and they still kept the balance for me.

Only thing with truphone is that they are not a typical us mvno so things like 2 factor authentication may not work. I think their numbers are identified as landlines though the service runs over the cellular network. They also don't do mms. If you port in it takes a little longer as well.

But they are pretty much the only paygo left in the USA without a monthly/quarterly top up requirement.
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1 month 4 days ago #42984 by dst11
What network does Truphone use in the U.S.

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1 month 4 days ago #42985 by Isamorph

dst11 wrote: What network does Truphone use in the U.S.


I believe it still uses the AT&T network.

www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1896286-2017-Truphone-Thread-2017

www.nthcircle.com/forum/other-mvnos/69-truphone
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