Cell Phones

Senior-friendly option to get SIM card for US Cell phone service?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 2nd, 2023 9:39 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
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Jan 23, 2008
115 posts
27 upvotes
BC

Senior-friendly option to get SIM card for US Cell phone service?

My Canadian parents will be going to California for two months. What is their best option for cell service in the US? They are old people who are not tech-savvy and their phones are not eSIM compatible.

Should I buy them a US sim card from Amazon and put it in their spare phone and hope that it works once they land in the US?

Or would it be better for them to go to a T-Mobile or Wal-Mart store once they are in the US, and then buy a pre-paid SIM and possibly get in-store help setting it up?
7 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2009
2770 posts
391 upvotes
Mississauga
Since they are "not tech-savvy" I would personally help them out.

Like you said, Just get a sim off Amazon of T-Mobile or AT&T. I haven't used T-Mobile, so I can't Comment. I've always used AT&T.

You can load it up for them first month and have them load up in store for second month. Personally, You can actually load up AT&T on "MyAccount" of AT&T, I am not sure for T-Mobile for online with Canadian Credit Card.

Once have the Sim, it's easy to setup/activate online ... My experience with AT&T. Pop it into a phone and you're set to go!

If your parents travel alot during the year to US, AT&T has a $300/year plan ... works out to $25/month with Unlimited Talk and Text with 16GB data per month

Just Ideas
Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2009
5551 posts
3047 upvotes
Toronto
ultraslow wrote: their phones are not eSIM compatible.

Should I buy them a US sim card from Amazon and put it in their spare phone and hope that it works once they land in the US?
Since the USA stopped 3G early this year the first step would be to see if their phones are compatable.
Most providers have a phone checker page on their websites.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 14, 2003
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LaLaLand
Have them go into a T-Mobile or AT&T store in the US to get setup to ensure it works before they walk out. As the other member posted, their phones must be compatible with the US networks.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 10, 2018
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does it matter?
ROYinTO wrote: Since the USA stopped 3G early this year the first step would be to see if their phones are compatable.
Most providers have a phone checker page on their websites.
100% correct.
Tried new coffee and doughnut. Found same old stale thing. expected bill of six bucks but it was 600 million. Big mistake so the guy said don't worry it is on the house. going back to McD.
Deal Addict
May 29, 2017
1934 posts
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Canada
ultraslow wrote: My Canadian parents will be going to California for two months. What is their best option for cell service in the US? They are old people who are not tech-savvy and their phones are not eSIM compatible.

Should I buy them a US sim card from Amazon and put it in their spare phone and hope that it works once they land in the US?

Or would it be better for them to go to a T-Mobile or Wal-Mart store once they are in the US, and then buy a pre-paid SIM and possibly get in-store help setting it up?
Get them a sim card from RedPocket Wireless [You can buy from amazon or ebay] They have great plans and include calling and texting to Canada or you can order the sim in advance to their destination, then activate it for them before they get there so they just have to pop it in.

Lastly, I recommend you get them onto a phone that is easy to use like a iPhone and with eSIM support, your life and their's will get a gazzilion times easier to manage thanks to the rise of eSIM.

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