Best Prepaid (Top-Off) Phone Options for International Students Watch

cytja_0288
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Hi!

I'm a U.S. student coming to the University of Kent in the fall, and I was wondering about phone plans and services in the UK. I've looked at several stores already, but am unsure about several things.

*How does prepaid/top-off plans work in the UK?

*Do you have to be a UK resident to have a monthly plan?

*Which do you prefer: prepaid/top-off or monthly plan?



And I would also like to know which phone service in the UK you think is best for international students. Please let me know in advance. Thanks so much!
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jameswhughes
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(Original post by cytja_0288)
Hi!

I'm a U.S. student coming to the University of Kent in the fall, and I was wondering about phone plans and services in the UK. I've looked at several stores already, but am unsure about several things.

*How does prepaid/top-off plans work in the UK?

*Do you have to be a UK resident to have a monthly plan?

*Which do you prefer: prepaid/top-off or monthly plan?



And I would also like to know which phone service in the UK you think is best for international students. Please let me know in advance. Thanks so much!
You get a SIM card (networks give them out for free), put it in your phone then top it up online or in any shop with the top up symbol (which is most shops). The money is run down as you use the phone, and stops working when you run out of credit.

Not sure. Usually when you're on a contract the networks like to do loads of credit checks, which will be impossible if you haven't lived here.

I'm on pay as you go with Three, which is much better than a contract for my use. It's 1p a mb data, 2p texts and 3p a minute calls, and with wifi everywhere I rarely use the phone network. As a student all university buildings have wifi, so it's unlikely you'll need a big plan or anything like that.
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Iqbal007
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(Original post by cytja_0288)
Hi!

I'm a U.S. student coming to the University of Kent in the fall, and I was wondering about phone plans and services in the UK. I've looked at several stores already, but am unsure about several things.

*How does prepaid/top-off plans work in the UK?

*Do you have to be a UK resident to have a monthly plan?

*Which do you prefer: prepaid/top-off or monthly plan?



And I would also like to know which phone service in the UK you think is best for international students. Please let me know in advance. Thanks so much!
Well top up is obviously more expensive compared to a sim only plan. If you got a phone already, its unlocked and compatible in the UK....just get those sim only plan which is only works on a rolling monthly basis. So you carry on paying for it every month if you want to carry on.
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by cytja_0288)
Hi!

I'm a U.S. student coming to the University of Kent in the fall, and I was wondering about phone plans and services in the UK. I've looked at several stores already, but am unsure about several things.

*How does prepaid/top-off plans work in the UK?

*Do you have to be a UK resident to have a monthly plan?

*Which do you prefer: prepaid/top-off or monthly plan?



And I would also like to know which phone service in the UK you think is best for international students. Please let me know in advance. Thanks so much!
Hi there. I would go for a prepaid plan. Although I believe you don't need to be a UK resident to have a monthly plan, I believe you will definitely need a UK bank and you will need to have stayed here for a while in order to qualify. You will be locked to a contract and you will have to pay a tab for your phone every month in order to cut down the cost of the phone, on top of your plan. Also, you will be forced to pay your monthly plan for the months that you are back in the US, which would mean extra costs for you (unless of course, you do decide to stay in the UK for the summer months).

If you do plan to go prepaid, I would definitely recommend using giffgaff. They have reasonably priced plans and they offer better rates than most mobile carriers. However, I would say the coverage is spotty at times and sometimes you would lost connection. Other mobile carriers that I would suggest to you are: Three, EE, and vodafone.
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