Is this a good idea for a backup sim card?

So I have been thinking of hoarding some backup cell service options, and being the [strike]cheap[/strike] frugal kind, I want to incur the lowest out-of-pocket cost upfront.

Found this 1-cent sim for UltraMobile: https://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!

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.

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:
https://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....)

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.

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.....)

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.

https://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" :wink:

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.

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.

What network does Truphone use in the U.S.

I believe it still uses the AT&T network.

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

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

I have never seen any deals on the Truphone sims let alone one for $1, which of course doesn't mean there have been no deals.
Just to mention that if one uses GV to call from a TP sim using mobile data, one could likely reduce the outgoing call rate to about 2 cents a minute since 5 minutes of calling with GV over mobile data uses about 1MB = 9 cents of Truphone data.

Alternatively, last time I checked, you can still use the mobile Google Voice web interface to trigger a callback (GV calls you, you answer, GV calls your destination number and connects). That ought to use a miniscule amount of data to trigger the callback and then a free inbound call.

I have been tempted by TruPhone as well - but it is neither very economical to start, nor in use, really - even for someone who will use it as little as I do.

Too bad that Redpocket has been a real stinker this year, as that was the best deal of all...when it was available at the sale price.

To me, Truphone seems economical for a true emergency phone. $30 for an always-ready-forever (relatively speaking) seems like a good deal. The only current offer that beats it for dollar outlay is FreedomPop (free) + VoIP, and most of us are aware of the potential pitfalls there.

It becomes uneconomical if one needs to use it with any regularity, unless extremely lightly..

scriptninja wrote: "Alternatively, last time I checked, you can still use the mobile Google Voice web interface to trigger a callback (GV calls you, you answer, GV calls your destination number and connects). That ought to use a miniscule amount of data to trigger the callback and then a free inbound call."

Yes, I'm sure many Truphone sim users have used this and other workarounds over the years, and I've yet to hear of anyone's account with Truphone being expired for doing so, which I find surprising in that I suspect TP would be able to detect a large amount of free incoming calls with little to none outgoing calls on a user's account and would likely put a stop to it. As touched upon in the Nth forum link below, if TP did nothing to thwart a user from using the sim for virtually free inbound and outbound calling, then Truphone would be the most sought after sim in the world. And if x amount of users did the call back trick, then Truphone would likely do away with the sim deal entirely due to losing money on the deal.

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

KentE wrote: "To me, Truphone seems economical for a true emergency phone. $30 for an always-ready-forever (relatively speaking) seems like a good deal. The only current offer that beats it for dollar outlay is FreedomPop (free) + VoIP, and most of us are aware of the potential pitfalls there."

It becomes uneconomical if one needs to use it with any regularity, unless extremely lightly.."

I believe I've gotten by on about $15 a year with the Truphone sim, or about $1.25 a month, which is a good deal for an infrequently used service that has always worked when needed. It would not be much of a deal without the free incoming calls and texts, a feature that I,m sure is users take advantage of, and a feature I'm not sure how TP is able to offer since it must pay something for incoming calls.

Given my very sporadic AT&T need - the FU free deal is fine for as long as it may last.
The past month I used all of 20 minutes for voice calling & nothing else.

When redpocket generously offered its discount on the essentials plan, I used the AT&T services much more just because I like that phone even better than my old Kyocera that is on Twigby.

BUT:
The $30 up-front with the $15 credit to help soften their 9 cents/minute outgoing charges would have me avoiding its use like crazy - so I'll stick with the annoying FU deal while it is still possible & avoid using that as well.
If/when all else may fail, then I'll consider the Truphone + GV option as a sort of last ditch choice...

(And as has been discussed FP VOIP is a non-option in our area.)
((Add in my disdain for all the possible TF deals & these choices are what remains.))

Nice! I'm looking at their website, the nthcircle thread, and their wikipedia entry and I can't find a couple things I want. 1. Do they allow BYOD? 2. Do they have a 'new order every x days' rule like Tello implemented, or any other expiring credit rules?

BYOD---Yes(unlocked GSM phones).

mmfacemm said: "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."

https://www.nthcircle.com/forum/misc-telecom/3038-is-this-a-good-idea-for-a-backup-sim-card?start=0

Orders Isamorph. Orders!

Jeez. Just my luck! You gave me two links, HF and Nthcircle, and I checked the Nthcircle, Wiki, and Truphone. Today I open the HF link and the 1st line says:

Darn it. If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all!

Thanks Isamorph!