Skip Navigation

usa cellphone rental

Travel Forums North America usa cellphone rental

1. Posted by davidgo (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

davidgo has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hi,

I will be travling to the USA for 2 weeks, i need to rent a cellphone, prepaid is not a option for me since i am using about 2-3 hours a day.

can anyone recomend me a rental company without paying crazy amounts

Thanks

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

As I understand the way that the rentals work, you probably actually aren't much better off buying versus renting. You still have to pay for your usage either way, and many rental companies now just rent you the phone and sell you a prepaid SIM card. Rental companies often don't provide you a choice of carrier, so you may end up paying more for your minutes because you aren't getting the best deal for your usage pattern.

As cell phones tend to be almost given away nowadays when you get a contract or buy a prepaid, you may be best off for 2 weeks getting a prepaid cell phone from a carrier. If you have the time, I would do a little research into the various providers and see who might work best for you.

This article is a little dated (2002), but does cover a lot of good ground on using a phone internationally. They say:

Phone Rental

Maybe you just want to rent a phone? Count on a minimum rental cost of about $75-100, even if only for a week, and you may be required to use a more expensive carrier for calls as well with a rental phone. For the cost of only one or two rentals, it is much easier to buy your own phone.

AT&T also rent phones (as well as sell locked GSM phones and GSM service), but the representative I spoke to told me that they only rent phones to their existing customers, and the process seemed to be incredibly complex and unwelcoming. Other companies also provide phone rental service, including Planet Omni and WorldCell.

3. Posted by davidgo (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

GregW

I was looking into the prepaid option and it did not make sense to me

The best rate out there is T-mobile where you buy the phone for about $40-$50 US dollars and then you buy a card for the minutes.

If I go with the $50 card it gives me 400 minutes, for me to use 400 minutes only on my 14 day trip comes out to 28 minutes a day, that’s not even a quarter of the minutes I need, so the only other option will be to buy another 2 cards for $100 and that will bring the cost to $200 and I will have 1200 minutes and that comes out already to 85 minutes a day

I just found a company in the USA based out of New York they offer for $15 a day gets you unlimited usage, you can talk all you want and it comes out to $195 for all 2 weeks

Doesn’t it make more sense ?

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

If you found a place that gives you unlimited usage, than that's good. I was just basing it on the companies that I have looked at in the past, which all had usage charges.

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Looked at the company you mentioned, I still think it would be cheaper for most people to get a pay as you go phone.

The company you mentioned charges $15.00 a day for unlimited calling. For two weeks (14 days), that's $420 (not including taxes).

Virgin Mobile USA, for example, charges as little as $9.99 for a phone, and has no contract plan that costs $6.99 and gives you $0.10 / minute calling. If you get a $10 phone and spend another $10 on the plan (rounding), you'd have to use 4000 minutes in 14 days, which works out to more than 4 and a half hours a day.

Now, if you're planing on spending 4 1/2 hours a day on the phone, then I suppose renting for an unlimited amount makes sense. However, for most anyone else using the phone more reasonable amount, pay as you go options seem to make more sense.

7. Posted by davidgo (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

GregW

sorry but 14 x $15.00 a day comes out too $210 ,and you get 1 free day so thats only $195

and by me being on the the phone more then 80 min. a day its a better deal

8. Posted by roadhound (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

whoops, first time user so i accidently responded to davidgo only by mistake....plus i hadn't read last post where he indicates he is using a lot of cell time, so what i sent him below won't be of much value; however for those of you needing less time the net10 route posted as follows should be very helpful

i travel a lot in the us, but live in canada, so cheap cell time is good for me...go to walmart, pick up a net10 phone and 300 minutes anywhere in the us for $30.....what a steal...10cents a minute anywhere in the us, no daily access fees or any other charges...phone can be set up in 10 minutes by calling a toll free number....if you add a $30 time card it gives you another 300 minutes and 60 days in addition to what u have left...i think they have 15 cards too but they usually are sold out....time remaining and date of expiry is always showing on the screen.....wish they had something that cheap here in canada.....we get ripped!