Occassional cell phone use in US

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I am in the US for 5 months and have a land line and would only use a cell phone for emergencies and the odd call. Therefore I really don't want to pay $45 a month. Any thoughts on paying by the minute? I know it is expense but seems cheaper than getting a Tracfone or AT&T sim card.
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Posted 4 years ago

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Dennis, Mobile Master

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If you dont want the roaming add-ons you can use the pay-per-use rates


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Tracfone can be found on sale at Family Dollar for as little as $5 sometimes. I have a flip phone I keep in the car in case anyone needs it. Costs me about $80 a year to keep it going. They widely advertise $7 a month, and they are not far off. The only extra expense is local sales tax. No hidden fees. No extra charges for long distance to Canada. Add the $15 a month to put your Koodo to sleep and you are probably around $25 a month taxes and fees included. Tracfone customer service is based on another non-anglo planet entirely, though if you have no problem the phones and system are reliable. You will have 2 phones, a different phone number and calls from Canada to you will be long distance, which may limit your incoming. Phone will be useless in Canada. Won't connect at all if you are located outside US.

ConsumerCellular SIM card will be cheaper than AT&T. $10 a month to use pay-per-call @ 25 cents a minute, $15 a month for 200 minutes. 4 cents a minute surcharge for calls to Canada. My experience with pay-per-call is that it adds up fast, as in reaching voice mail, getting a wrong or out-of-service number, others getting your voice mail while the phone is off, etc. 20 minutes will cost you 5 bucks, so may as well go for the 200 minutes right off the bat and not have to worry. Figure $35 a month including taxes and Koodo sleep. Consumer Cellular service based in US with rapid call-back... you don't have to burn 20 minutes of cell time on hold waiting for them. You will use your Koodo phone, so all of your contacts, etc. will be intact. Your phone number will be different and long distance from Canada, as per Tracfone. You can switch your plan with them any time until billing day, so if you are PAYG, you can bump up to the 200 minute plan without penalty or prorated charges.

All the above considered, the $45 Koodo US roaming packing is not that expensive if receiving a lot of calls from back home is important to you. No physical changes to your phone at all and no settings to re-establish when you return home. 20 minutes of PAYG thru Koodo will cost you $30 + tax.

Your choice.


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How to you put the Koodo to sleep? I only saw the suspension for lost or stolen phones?
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Log into self-serve,

Click on View plan (middle of page)

Click on Change your plan (left side, middle)

The one you want is seasonal hold $15 per month + tax.

When you are ready to come home, repeat the above and choose your new active plan. Be aware that you can't necessarily go back to where you are now; you can only choose from plans that are available at that time. Any grandfathered promotion you may have now will be gone.

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