Prepaid Sim cards in USA

Wasn’t sure where to post this one…technology or travel…ummm

Here’s my question:

I’m traveling to the USA for a couple weeks. I want to be able to use my phone there. T-Mobile (a US phone company) offers a no contract prepaid sim card service. I mostly want to use my phone for internet, google maps, messaging via internet (line, whatsapp, etc.) and posting photos on facebook. T-Mobile offers 30 day prepaid service in different packages.

See this link:

What I don’t understand is the $70 package “first 2.25 GB up to 4G speed Unlimited” or their other package at $50 “first 5000 MB up to 4G Speed Unlimited”
Does that mean uploading and downloading of information?
If I just surf the internet and use Line or Whatsapp to chat or use the navigation features on my phone will that use up anything I paid for?

Im really confused about this. :unamused:

Yes, all of those things will be using up your 4G allowance. The $50 plan is actually 500 MB, not 5000 MB (half a gig as opposed to 5 gigs). Keep in mind that with T-Mobile, the ‘Unlimited’ plans just drop down to Edge speeds (3G) when you go over the limit, so you don’t lose connection you just end up with e REALLY slow connection. That’s how they get away with calling 500MB unlimited…

If you have a compatible phone for these plans and don’t need a lot of minutes you can look at:

The last option is $30 USD and gives you the same unlimited data (5GB) and unlimited texting as the $70 per month plan, but only 100 minutes of talk. If you already use something like GrooveIP and forward a Google voice number to it, it only counts against your data and not against your minutes, so you end up with essentially unlimited everything for $30 per month (keeping in mind that GrooveIP and Google voice introduce some delay in the phone call, and you really need to be somewhere with excellent coverage for consistent use).

Final note about T-Mobile, check the coverage map. Where it works well it works very well, but if you’re going somewhere without good coverage you’ll get spotty reception at best.


You can buy the T-Mobile plan/SIM card right here in Taiwan at the airport -second floor of Terminal 2, if I am not mistaken.

A slightly different question on the same topic:

Does anybody know of a prepaid SIM card for use in the US that does not expire (or will remain valid at least 1 year instead just a few months)?

This is for occasional use (a few days at a time) with sometimes shorter breaks, sometimes long breaks (several months) in between.

Thanks in advance for related info! :slight_smile:

Try MetroPCS - They’re like the go-to carrier for short term solutions.