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Swap your SIM card to save bucks on calls abroad


Travel On The Dollar
June 1, 2009  •  2 minutes read  •  

SIM Card (Photo:yasukawa.com)
SIM Card (Photo:yasukawa.com)

If you’ve ever made a cellphone call while overseas, or read anything about “international roaming,” you know it’s a pound of flesh for each precious minute. CNET explains in depth how to swap your phone’s SIM card for cheaper calls.

It only applies to GSM-powered phones—in the U.S., that’s mainly AT&T and T-Mobile models. And, depending on where you’re going, it may or may not make sense to go through the effort of obtaining, and activating, a new SIM chip just to make a few “I miss you” calls back home, rather than just obtaining a phone card. But for longer vacations or business trips, CNET’s FAQ-style post on SIM swapping is really informative.

Here’s the lowdown on whether to get an unlocked SIM online and ahead of time, or buy it at a cellular store when you arrive:

Pros: Local SIM cards offer the best rate for local calls. You will have a local phone number in the country in which you are traveling, which will make it inexpensive for local people to call you.

Cons: If you don’t order one online, you have to spend precious vacation time and effort looking for a store to buy a SIM card. The instructions and prompts to set up and use the service are in the local language.

Read more at: Swapping SIMs to save big bucks on calls abroad



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