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:


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.


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

Honestly though, save your money and go with AT&T or Verizon. I used to personally recommend T-Mobile to every single person who visited or moved to the United States… not anymore!

After a mistake on T-Mobile’s part, they shut down my whole business account on a whim, and have given me one option: Communicate with them via mailed letter only. For 2018, I’d prefer a company that maybe uses email, or hell, a fax machine!

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.