Prior to the pandemic, when I traveled to the United States of America, I switched SIM cards and used a plan through Roam Mobility. It was affordable and convenient, allowing me to have voice, text, and data access while traveling. As with many businesses, Roam Mobility went out of business as travel diminished because of the pandemic. As such, I had to find another way to continue to use my smartphone while in the USA.
Roaming with my Canadian plan was not feasible. It would have cost me possibly hundreds of dollars depending on how much data I used for the week I was away. Some solutions required me to have a US billing address, which I did not have, since all my credit cards have my Canadian address.
I solved my problem by having to wait until I was in San Diego and actually visiting a T-Mobile store. A sales associate greeted me and asked me what I required. I told then I wanted a 10Gb pre-paid plan. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to give me that since I was not a resident of the USA. As soon as I mentioned the pre-paid plan, the associate grabbed a new SIM card for me and I quickly went to work, swapping my existing SIM card with this new one. The associate then handed me an iPad where I had to enter in my name and nothing else essentially. For payment, I just had to tap my credit card. After the payment went through, the associate helped ensure the plan was working. They also explained that if I didn’t top up my account, it wouldn’t automatically charge me again, so I didn’t need to cancel anything. The only downside is that after three months of non-use, my SIM card would be unusable, so I’d have to get another one if wanted to go this route again.
All told, I was in the store for probably less than ten minutes and walked out with a smartphone plan that enabled me to enjoy my vacation without having to be constantly searching for wi-fi. In some cases, had I not done this, getting a ride through Uber would have been impossible, so it was worth it.