Explore & discover

Helpful Links

Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

I was just on vacation in the States last week and got a prepaid phone so that I could have a phone for communication for my week there.

Now that I am back home in the Caribbean, I cannot use the AT&T SIM card. I cannot call, nor send/receive texts...basically I can't do anything because I am out of the coverage area.

 

I would like to keep the SIM card active so that when I do go to the States again for vacation (which is likely once a year) I can always have the US number to use while there.

 

How do I keep the SIM card "alive" until I visit again? Do I just keep refilling it online? Is that enough to keep it active?

 

And I purchased the $50 plan when I bought the phone in the States, does that mean I HAVE to keep refilling with this amount? Or can I go to a minimum amount in order to keep my SIM active and then when I need to, go back to a higher refill?

 

Thanks for the help! Smiley Happy

26,992 Views
Message 1 of 24
Master
Solution
Accepted by topic author
Accepted by CaribbeanLady
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)


@CaribbeanLady wrote:

I was just on vacation in the States last week and got a prepaid phone so that I could have a phone for communication for my week there.

Now that I am back home in the Caribbean, I cannot use the AT&T SIM card. I cannot call, nor send/receive texts...basically I can't do anything because I am out of the coverage area.

 

I would like to keep the SIM card active so that when I do go to the States again for vacation (which is likely once a year) I can always have the US number to use while there.

 

How do I keep the SIM card "alive" until I visit again? Do I just keep refilling it online? Is that enough to keep it active?

 

And I purchased the $50 plan when I bought the phone in the States, does that mean I HAVE to keep refilling with this amount? Or can I go to a minimum amount in order to keep my SIM active and then when I need to, go back to a higher refill?

 

Thanks for the help! Smiley Happy


Yes, you would keep the SIM card active by either adding money to the account online or by using a prepaid refill card. The amount depends on how long it stays active. A $15 refill lasts for only 30 days. $25 refills last for 90 days. I'm pretty sure that $50 refills last for 180 days, and $100 lasts for an entire YEAR. Yes, refilling is enough to keep your SIM, account, and phone number active.

No, you do not have to refill with $50 every time. That's just your plan amount, which makes sense. You can alternate between $15 and all the way up to $100 if you'd like. I personally would recommend refilling with $100 only. It would last your account for an entire year and you most likely would not have to refill again if you plan on returning back to the United States within a year's time. But the decision is ultimately up to you to decide how much money you'd like to refill with. Smiley Happy

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Tags (1)
Message 2 of 24
Contributor

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

Why even bother refilling? You're basically tossing AT&T your hard-earned money for nothing. Just get another $10 phone with a minimum $15 calling plan from any stateside ATT shop, like I did (I'm also an expat), and then if they cut your service, sell the phone for parts.  ;-)

Message 3 of 24
Guru

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

Next time you are in the US, sign up for a free Google Voice number. Forward inbound text messages and calls to your prepaid SIM de jour.

If you really want prepaid, go with TMobile's SIM next time. $100 gives you a year's worth of service. Get a phone which is wifi compatible (hotspot calling). You can use it in the Carribean over wifi to check voicemail, and give it some minimum activity. I agree, however, with Recycle Man. Is it worth the effort?

TMobile also has some overpriced Carribean roaming.
Message 4 of 24
Contributor

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

I thought I'd use the same topic, since it's on the same thing. Hope you dont mind, Carribean lady.

 

I have the same question, just that I travel to US frequently for business trip. I'd like to keep the number that I have for convenience's sake, the problem I have now is that I forgot to refill it before I left US, and right now I think the number has expired by a week. I tried to login to the GoPhone web to refill, but it just won't recognize my cellnumber or passcode.

 

if the refill has expired, will it expire the cell number?

Message 5 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

No. If the money on your account expired, the cell phone number is still valid for a limited time, depending on how much value the refill was worth. You usually have 60 days to go without another refill before you lose your phone number, but again, it depends on the amount.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 6 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)


@Wild Banchi wrote:
No. If the money on your account expired, the cell phone number is still valid for a limited time, depending on how much value the refill was worth. You usually have 60 days to go without another refill before you lose your phone number, but again, it depends on the amount.


Once you've passed the expiration date of the last refill on your account, it does not depend on the amount of your last refill as to the account deactivation date.  It is simply 60 days after the expiration date of your last refill.  (The expiration date of your refill is what depends on the amount. Smiley Wink )

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 7 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)


@hme83 wrote:

@Wild Banchi wrote:
No. If the money on your account expired, the cell phone number is still valid for a limited time, depending on how much value the refill was worth. You usually have 60 days to go without another refill before you lose your phone number, but again, it depends on the amount.


Once you've passed the expiration date of the last refill on your account, it does not depend on the amount of your last refill as to the account deactivation date.  It is simply 60 days after the expiration date of your last refill.  (The expiration date of your refill is what depends on the amount. Smiley Wink )


Whoops. Gotcha. Sorry for my mistake, and the confusion. Smiley Surprised

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 8 of 24

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

I know, you're right, Recycle man.

I did think about the wasting-money part.

And that I could just buy a new sim card while there.

 

I wanted to keep the number I have, which is why I was wondering about how to keep this sim active.

 

I've already unlocked the phone and am using it with my local sim card. So no need to sell it.

 

But definitely going to think it through some more....whether I want to keep the current number and just give money to AT&T just to keep a number or just buy a new sim card every time I visit the US or any country.

Message 9 of 24

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

Thanks for the reply, Wild Banchi.

Definitely good to know that it IS possible to keep the card active if I want to keep the number.

That's what I wanted to know, basically.

Message 10 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

You're welcome.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 11 of 24
Contributor

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

yup! thanks for the advice, Wild Banchi & hme83. appreciate it!

Message 12 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)


@serraqual wrote:

yup! thanks for the advice, Wild Banchi & hme83. appreciate it!


Glad to help. Smiley Happy

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 13 of 24
Master

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

You're welcome. Smiley Happy

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 14 of 24
Contributor

Re: Keeping SIM card active on GoPhone (not a US resident)

This 5 yr old topic sounds really related to my current question.

 

I'm an American living overseas. I don't come to the US more than 1x per year, sometimes less frequently but in Sept '15, I got a sim card and number I'd like to keep using, and unexpectedly I have to return just 7 months later (Apr '16).

 

The guy at the JFK AT&T shop told me that on my last day in the US, I should switch to the $2/day plan (which only charges $2 for any day I actually use the phone, which I don't, when back in Europe). So I did that, and he told me upon return to the US, to top up to $100 to keep the phone number good for another year. So am I correct in interpreting it works as such?:

  • When I leave the US, it doesn't matter how much is in the account. It's whenever I reach an amount of $100 in my acount that it triggers a sort of "reload" keeping it alive for another year from that top-up?

If so, my follow-up question is:

  • Does reaching $100 in the account have to occur within a year of the time I used the phone? Or a year within the last time I had $100 in the account?

Finally:

  • I assume it's still the case that I can switch to $2/day plan when leaving the US again. But if I'm not going back to the US within the next year after this trip, how can I keep the number (i.e., is it possible to top-up from abroad)?

Thanks for any help!

Message 15 of 24
Share this topic
Share this topic
Additional Support