Phone (Mobile/Cell)

Referred to as “wireless” a lot, and just like anywhere there are lots of competing companies.

There are also lots of smaller deals that we may have missed but here are the big players:

Special Deal

Thanks to the amazing people at Expat Connection, we have a very special offer just for you:

T-Mobile ONE for max $40/mth. No credit required. Unlimited talk, text, and data in 140+ countries.

Interested? Click here for more!


I would argue that this is the company that most people moving fresh to the US are choosing and it’s not bad for a good amount of data. The speeds are quick, the reception in the 5 Boroughs is pretty good (except inside buildings) and on the whole the value is pretty good.

Without a credit score, one of these prepaid deals should do you just fine.

Either T-Mobile ONE ($75/month for unlimited everything); or
Simply Prepaid ($45 or $55 depending on how much data you need).

P.S. You can use your phone in Mexico or Canada for $0 or $5 depending on which of the above plans you pick. A quick call and you get full data etc.


The big gun in the US, but some phones won’t work with their network so you will have to check. For all intents and purposes they’re very good, but you will pay a premium (think of it as the Telstra of the US).

Prepaid plans include $40 for 2GB of data up to $70 for 10GB of data that can all be found here.


The second biggest player in the game and the one from this list with the WORST website.

However, after lots of digging and some help from the internet, I’ve found GoPhone – AT&T’s prepaid bring-you-own-phone service.

Finding the best plan

There is a great resource on Reddit’s /r/NoContract which can really help you with the latest and greatest deals as they do change and offer specials quite frequently.

Getting a Prepaid Cell

For prepaid, you really only need:

  1. A form of ID (preferably passport);
  2. Money;
  3. Your phone;
  4. Time.

Getting Prepaid before you arrive

One Australians in NYC user, Di H suggested also:

USA prepaid SIM card. Use them all the time. Get your sim whilst you’re still in Aust.

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