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Q&A Prepaid Phone Plans – Reddit Asked and We Answered

Prepaid plans

Since the very beginning, US Mobile has offered prepaid phone plans. We believe that’s what gives our customer the most freedom and bang for their bucks. Still, there are a lot of questions lingering on what it is, if it’s better and how it works. That’s why we set out to do a Q&A on the topic.

In order to compile the most frequent questions, we did a thorough search on Reddit and here’s what Redditors want to know.

Is prepaid and Pay as You Go the same thing?

Not really, although they’re often used interchangeably. With prepaid plans, you pay in advance and once you’ve used up your plan you get disconnected from the service until you’ve bought another plan. If you Pay as You Go, you don’t buy a plan but rather minutes, texts, and data. Once you’ve used them, you can add more with physical or electronic refill cards.

Can I keep my number if I switch from postpaid to prepaid?

Yes, it doesn’t matter. You can port your number to the new provider.

My usage varies greatly – is postpaid or prepaid better?

This depends on whether you’re able to predict the variations or not. If you know when you that the next period will be lower, you can usually adjust prepaid plans in advance since you can regulate your plan month-to-month. If you have already paid for a larger plan in advance, and it turns out that your usage will be low, you can’t get that money back. Then it might be safer to buy a smaller plan, and top-up later in the month if needed. Postpaid, on the other hand, can be good if you don’t know how your usage will vary since you pay for what you have used. In order for this to work though, you shouldn’t be on an expensive base plan (like unlimited plans). Then it doesn’t matter how much you’ve used or not.

Postpaid, on the other hand, can be good if you don’t know how your usage will vary since you pay for what you have used. In order for this to work though, you shouldn’t be on an expensive base plan (like unlimited plans). Then it doesn’t matter how much you’ve used or not.

Do I need a Social Security number to get a prepaid phone plan?

No, no credit check or social security number is needed when signing up for a prepaid plan. Since you’re not in a contract, and you prepay for all your future usage, there is no reason for the carrier to get your background information. That’s also why prepaid plans are common for temporary or disposable phones.

Is it easy to cancel prepaid plans?

Having a prepaid phone plan means that you’re not under contract. That makes it easy to cancel at any time. What you need to keep in mind is how long you have prepaid for your plan before switching to another plan. Sometimes you prepay for 1 month, 3 months or even 12 months and once you’ve paid for a period, it tends to be hard to get out of. If you’re on a month-to-month plan, you have more flexibility. Just be mindful of the timing of the switch.

Can I get a discount on my device if I choose prepaid?

In rare occasions, you can get a discount on a device when joining a prepaid carrier. However, it’s a lot more common when you’re in a contract. The reason why postpaid carriers can give you discounted phones is that they know you’ll be a customer for at least 24 months, and they can earn the discounted amount back on the monthly service payments. That’s also one of the reasons why postpaid plans is usually more expensive than prepaid plans.

Can data rollover if you’re on a prepaid plan?

Rollover means that data, talk and/or text roll over from one billing cycle to the next if it hasn’t been used. And the answer is that it doesn’t matter if you’re paying for your plan in advance or at the end of the cycle. Every carrier chooses if they want to allow rollover or not. At US Mobile, all addons rollover for a separate cycle of 30 days, not following the base plan’s cycle.

Do I get the same downloading speeds as when I’m in a contract?

Throttling, which means intentionally slowing down data speeds, is a sensitive topic among carriers. Most carriers clearly state that they’ll start deprioritizing a user’s data speeds after they’ve used a certain amount of data in one billing cycle. The cap is usually between 20 Gb and 50 Gb. Now, some carriers do offer prepaid plans at a lower data speed than their postpaid plan. However, unless it’s clearly stated, the prepaid plans should have the same downloading speeds as postpaid plans. Head over to Rootmetrics if you want to learn more about individual carrier’s speeds.

How Do eSIMs work for prepaid carriers?

eSIM is a fairly new phenomenon and not implemented across the industry. eSIM is a standardized SIM chip open to multiple mobile carriers, instead of one specific carrier. To begin with, only selected carriers will support eSIM. It will also probably take a long time before all phone manufacturers will scrap the traditional SIM card slot. Prepaid or postpaid won’t matter in this sense, as it will be carrier-related if eSIM will be supported or not.

Do you need help on deciding which plan that suits your needs the best? Head over to Choosing the Best Prepaid Phone Plan for You. Let us know in the comments if you have other questions we should add to this Q&A.

How to Reset your Phone Before Selling it

Reset Phone

If you’re thinking about upgrading your phone to the latest the market has to offer, you might want to sell your current phone. Depending on what model and brand you have, the resell value could be high so why not sell it instead of letting it collect dust in a drawer? Be careful though that you don’t sell your phone with a bunch of embarrassing selfies or videos still on the phone. Here’s how you reset your phone before putting it on the market.

Reset Your iPhone

If you’re the current phone is an iPhone, you need to deactivate a couple of things before resetting the phone. First, you should, however, back up all the data you have on the phone. Connect your device to a power source and connect your device to a Wi-Fi. Go to Settings – Your Name – iCloud – iCloud Backup.

Once the backup is done:

  1. If you have an Apple Watch, you should unpair it to avoid confusion if you plan to pair it with a new iPhone.
  2. Turn of iMessage, which is especially important if you’re switching to Android. Otherwise, you might miss some messages in the transfer.
  3. Sign out of iCloud by going to Settings, tap your name and scroll down till you reach Sign Out.
  4. Go to your Apple ID and password, tap Turn Off.

It’s time to clear up all data. Go to Settings – General – Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. Now it’s safe to sell your iPhone. Just don’t forget to take out your SIM card!

Wipe Your Android Clean

As per usual, you’ll notice that it’s a different procedure for Android. It’s still easy though! If you’re planning on switching your Android for another Android, you can sync all apps to your account. Go to Settings – Account Sync and tap Sync Now. If you continue in Settings, go to System – Backup and turn on Back Up to Google Drive. Now you’ve backed up all the data that was stored on your phone, which you then can move to your new phone.

Once the backup is done, it’s time to wipe your Android clean. Again, go to Settings – System – Reset and tap Factory Data Reset. This will erase everything you had on your phone and it’s good to go to market.

If you’re not planning on selling your old phone, we have collected Seven Things You Can Do With Your Old Phone. They all start with a reset of your phone but the suggestions are a bit more altruistic and/or creative than making some quick bucks.

 

How to Insert a SIM Card into a Mobile Phone

SIM card

By now, most of you know what a SIM card is. If you need a refresher though, a SIM is a memory chip inside your phone that stores information and connects you to a wireless network. You also know that it makes it easy to switch carrier by moving your SIM. But do you know how to insert your SIM card in a new phone?

SIM Cards come in Three Sizes

Depending on what kind of phone you have, you might need a different sized SIM card:

  • Mini SIM: The Mini, also called Standard SIM, is 15 x 25mm. You would use the Mini SIM in 2011 phones and older, like the iPhone 3.
  • Micro SIM: A Micro SIM is 12 x 15mm, and is commonly used by phones manufactured between 2012-2013, like the iPhone4.
  • Nano SIM: The smallest SIM is called Nano and is just 8.8 x 12.3mm. If you have a newer generation phone, like iPhone 5 and above, you would use the nano-sized SIM.

SIM Card

All US Mobile’s SIM cards are pre-cut so that you can choose the size you need. It’s formatted as the image above, enabling all three sizes. You simply press gently along the perforated line of the chosen size and voila – your SIM card is cut in the correct size!

Inserting a SIM Card

In order to insert a new SIM card into a phone, or a connected device, you need a tool that will open the SIM slot. The slot is usually located on the side of your phone. You’ll see a very small hole, which you’ll have to press to open the slot. You won’t be able to do with your thumb, you’ll need some kind of tool. Most phones come with this tool, looking something similar to this one in the image.

Insert a SIM Card

In case you don’t have that tool, you can always use a paperclip which you’ll unfold and use for the same purpose. Press lightly and the slot should pop out enabling you to insert the SIM card. The video below is an example of how you would insert it into a Xiaomi Mi Mix but the principle is the same, no matter what phone or other connected devices, you have.

We hope this tutorial was helpful and if you’re looking for an affordable service, head over to our Prepaid Phone Plans.

 

Apple Watch Series 3’s New Features Powered by eSIM

Apple Watch

Today Apple announced the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE data, along with the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The most interesting feature with this new watch is that you won’t need to pair the watch with an iPhone. Instead, it will have a standalone LTE modem for wireless data. That means no more tethering of the phone or the cell phone plan.

The Apple Watch Series 3 will be available on Sept 22nd but you can start ordering it already on the 15th of September.

Apple Watch Series 3 is Connected via eSIM

In order to get standalone data, the Apple Watch Series 3 uses an emerging technology called eSIM. eSIM is the new kid in town when it comes to connectivity. eSIM stands for “embedded SIM”. It’s a standardized SIM chip open to multiple mobile operators, which can be programmed and activated remotely. One of the perks of having an eSIM is that you won’t have to swap it out when you switch carrier. Other advantages are described in What is eSIM and How it’s a Game Changer for Consumers.

So, the Apple’s smartwatch will dial up the internet wirelessly even when it’s not connected to an iPhone. The SIM chip is built into the device, at the time of production, so you won’t need to insert a traditional SIM card. And, as mentioned, an eSIM can be set up remotely, over the internet, without a visit to a store.

Samsung’s Gear S3 Frontier was the first eSIM device on the market. The adoption has had a slow start since it requires a different device setup. The eSIM is in less 1% of all mobile phones and automotive devices.

Top New Features

The Apple Watch Series 3 will come in several new colors, as visible in the main image on top. It will sport new bands and new finishes to fit every type of customer. The watch itself has the same general design as the current Apple Watch. However, it has a bright red Digital Crown as a distinct new feature. Series 3 is 70% faster thanks to a new processor and it will support GPS, like its predecessors.

 

Apple Watch Series 3

Another new cool feature is that you’ll be able to listen to 40 million songs from your wrist. You’ll basically be able to access to all your favorite music from your watch. You can even ask Siri to find your favorite track. Siri also talks, so you don’t even have to look at the watch.

Not surprisingly, the new Apple watch still doesn’t support Android. Another feature missing in the new watch is support for phone calls. Apple will turn off calling features inside its Apple Watch and will only allow the cellular connection to be used to connect to the Internet. A theory, why they’re doing this is to not cannibalize on the smartphones they launched simultaneously today.

The new Apple Watch will cost $399 with cellular connection and $329 without cellular connection. The cellular option will only be available in nine countries to start with.

However, if you’re still not convinced about buying Apple’s new watch and is opting for another brand, check out SIM cards for watches.

Transfer Contacts From Android to Iphone

Android to iPhoneAre you thinking about switching from Android to iPhone but does it sound daunting to transfer all the data? Data like photos, music, texts, calendar, and all the contacts from your address book. We feel you, and that’s why we’ve made an easy how-to-guide to accomplish this in the easiest way possible.

Moving Data from Android to iPhone

Option 1 – Utilizing Your SIM Card

The easiest way to move contacts is by using your Universal SIM Card. You want to make sure that the SIM card you have is the same size, or can be cut into the appropriate size, to fit the new phone. Before you switch phone, simply store the address book on your SIMaddress by doing the following:

  1. Make a backup of your address book on your Android to your SIM card.
  2. Move the SIM from your Android to your iPhone.
  3. On the iPhone, tap the Settings – Mail, Contacts, Calendars – Import SIM Contacts
  4. Choose the account you want to transfer them into.
  5. Once the transfer is down, your new iPhone will have all your old Android contacts.

Option 2 – Use Apple’s App

Since it’s in Apple’s interest to make a switch from Android to iPhone, they’ve created an app specifically for moving data from one to the other. The app is called Move, and according to Apple it will “migrate your content automatically and securely”. The app basically consolidates all of your Android data including contacts, texts photos, calendar, email accounts etc and imports them to your new iPhone. The only two steps you need to take are:

  1. Download Move.
  2. Connect to WiFi and get started with the app.

Make sure that your Android phone or tablet is running on Android 4.0 or higher in order to use this option.

Other ways include copying everything over to Google’s cloud, which means that it will always be synced, no matter which device you’re on. You could also syndicate your contacts via iTunes but it’s a bit tricky and we promised you to keep it simple!

Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Android

Of course, we don’t want to leave you hanging if you want to do the reverse, going from iPhone to Android. Before you do anything else though, make a fresh backup of your iPhone in iCloud.

Use vCard to Move Contacts

  1. Open Firefox or Safari (not Chrome as it won’t work) and go to iCloud.com.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Click Contacts – All Contacts.
  4. Press the Ctrl key and A key on your keyboard simultaneously if you have a PC. If you have a Mac, press the Command key and the A key on your keyboard simultaneously. Then, click the Settings button on the bottom left corner of your screen.
  5. Click Export vCard and y. Your contacts will be saved as a .vcf file.

Import Contacts via Google

  1. Sign into your Google account and click the Google apps button in the top right corner.
  2. Tap Contacts – Import Contacts on the bottom of the left menu.
  3. Tap Choose File – Import Contacts – Choose File
  4. Click your vCard and open it, then click Import and all of your contacts should appear.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to move all other data, like photos and calendars separately. For more information on how to do that, check AndroidCentral.

No matter which route you take, please allow yourself some time to get used to your new phone. It’s a learning curve going from one system to another. Enjoy your new phone!

Image Source: Whistleout