Newbie question: What is a "prepaid" SIM card?

Feb 22, 2018
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I'm searching online for a prepaid SIM card with no (or low) activation fee, just add cash and I will have minutes available. However, the term "prepaid" doesn't seem to mean what I thought it did. I found retailers who sell prepaid SIM *kits*, which as far as I can see, is nothing but the card itself. You have to bring your own phone (that's OK, I expected that) *and then* purchase airtime from the carrier. No, I'm looking for a SIM card that is already hooked up to a carrier, and where my first payment will provide me with airtime. (When those run out, I expect to have to buy more minutes, of course.)

After that, I tried to narrow down the search by excluding the word "kit," and then I got hits for international sim cards. Not looking for international, either - this will be used in the US, where I live.

So how can I search for sellers of SIM cards that already have minutes available as soon as I purchase the card, install it, and activate it?

Any carrier is fine as long as it's GSM. Don't need a data plan.

I don't know whether it's OK for me to ask for seller recommendations, but if so, I'd love to hear those. If not, then maybe a bit of help with my search terms so I get the right hits? Thanks!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
It won't work that way, to activate the SIM it has to be setup in a phone to link to it for service, so they can't just sell already activated cards. Probably the closest you will get is through the stuff they sell in convenience stores for TracFone and such.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
It won't work that way, to activate the SIM it has to be setup in a phone to link to it for service, so they can't just sell already activated cards. Probably the closest you will get is through the stuff they sell in convenience stores for TracFone and such.
 
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