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Smartphone Strategy: Best SIM Cards in France for your trip | EuroCheapo

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Get a SIM Card for your trip to France. Picture: janette990
Your dream trip to France is lastly right here. You’ve gotten your airline tickets booked , your lodge sorted out , and made an inventory of all of the enjoyable locations you wish to go to in Paris . However don’t neglect to maintain the little particulars — like your cellular phone plan!
Earlier than you begin dialing in France, do not forget that your telephone plan from residence can add up rapidly if you make calls from abroad. With a purpose to keep away from an enormous telephone invoice as soon as you come to the States, we advise shopping for a French SIM Card and utilizing your telephone like an area. Simply just remember to carry alongside an unlocked telephone!
(A bit confused? No worries, learn this primary: Shopping for a SIM Card in Europe: The most affordable manner to make use of a smartphone )
Keep in mind, if you purchase a SIM card from a French provider, you’re truly shopping for a small chip that accommodates a French telephone quantity. You’ll then insert that chip into your unlocked telephone, after which purchase credit to “top it off”, which will provide you with some mixture of minutes for phone calls, textual content messages, and information for web on your telephone.
Confusingly, the French phone carriers all provide completely different offers when shopping for a SIM card. Most will throw in some credit to sweeten the deal. Others, in the meantime, don’t provide SIM playing cards for “pay as you go” use — they’ll solely promote you a SIM card if you signal on to a month-to-month plan (or “forfait”). Nonetheless others, like Orange and SFR (see under), provide inexpensive packages made simply for vacationers.
So, we’ve combed by means of the choices and give you 4 budget-friendly SIM Cards that will help you save throughout your trip to France.
The Best SIM Cards for your trip to France
An Orange SIM Card in France. Picture: Mayowa Ige
1. Orange Pay as you go Vacation SIM Card
Price: €40 (or $49 when purchased in the US earlier than your trip ) Execs: Whole lot. Dependable. Nice protection. Could be bought in advance. Cons: Preliminary credit score solely good for 14 days. (Prime it off to make use of longer.)
Orange is the French equal of Verizon or AT&T. It’s the biggest and oldest French telecommunication firm in the nation, and it has protection extending to different European nations as properly. Their mobile protection and web 4G pace is unmatched as a result of their protection is so widespread in France.
For vacationers, Orange provides a pay as you go vacation SIM card plan that prices €40/$49. This SIM card provides you a French telephone quantity and features a credit score for 120 minutes of calls and 1,000 texts (to anyplace in the world). Additionally, you get 10 GB of information that can be utilized anyplace in Europe.
As a result of Orange is a longtime firm, one can find Orange shops throughout Paris, so, if you happen to ever run into issues with your SIM card, you may all the time pop in to talk to somebody — they converse English!
The one downside? By default, the credit are solely good for 14 days after your first use. To maintain utilizing your quantity, head to a newsstand or Orange retailer (“La Boutique”) and reload it to “top-up” the credit.
Be aware: The Orange Vacation SIM card may be bought in advance on-line for $49 . It is a distinct benefit, as you gained’t must hunt round for a newsstand or phone store upon arrival.
2. SFR Pay as you go SIM Card
Price: €20 Execs: Doesn’t expire in 14 days. Straightforward to buy from tobacco outlets and newsstands. Cons: Solely offers calls inside Europe.
SFR, referred to as the Société française du radiotéléphone is the second largest telecommunication supplier in France. Very similar to Orange, SFR is a really well-known and well-respected firm.
SFR provides a “ Welcome Prepaid SIM Card ” service that features limitless calls and texts that you should utilize inside France and the Europe Union. The plan additionally comes with 10 GB of information accessible for use inside France.
The overall value of the plan is €20, and the SIM playing cards may be bought in tobacco shops and “Relay” newsstands.
3. LeFrenchMobile Pay as you go SIM Card
Price: €19-€25 Execs: Buy in advance of your trip. Cons: Solely 10 minutes of calls and a pair of GB of information included.
LeFrenchMobile is an online-only pay as you go SIM firm. You may order your SIM card by means of their web site earlier than you arrive in France, and they’re going to ship it to the U.S. in about 12 to 15 days.
Their hottest service is information plans inside France or inside the European Union. For €19, you will get 2 GB of information and 10 minutes of calls to make use of inside France. Or, you will get the EU model that prices €25 for 2 GB of information and 10 minutes of calls that you should utilize inside the European Union.
Each pay as you go SIMs are legitimate for 90 days.
A Free SIM Card in France. Picture: Mayowa Ige
4. Free Cellular SIM Card
Price: €25 for limitless calls, texts and Web. Execs: Tremendous low-cost! Limitless use. Nice for long-term guests. Cons: Just one retailer in Paris.  You’ll must cancel service when completed.
Free is a brand new participant in French telecommunications, and it has shaken up the market with a formidable value: €20 a month for limitless calls, textual content, and Web. The draw back is that Free solely has one workplace in Paris, and as you may think about, the wait to get a query answered may be not less than one hour.
Nonetheless, if you happen to’re simply getting the SIM card, it takes about 10 minutes as a result of they’ve SIM card merchandising machines which you can order like a Twix bar at their glossy retailer ( eight Rue de la Ville-l’Évêque , 75008 Paris). They’ll ship you a person identification quantity and password to your e mail, and you may pay for the SIM and repair by simply swiping your bank card in the “SIM-vending” machine.
Maintain in thoughts that if you enroll for Free, you’re technically signing up for a month-to-month subscription which you can cancel anytime with no charges or questions requested. Until you’re staying in France or Europe for longer than a month, your invoice needs to be €25 whole; this consists of €20 for the service and €10 for an activation payment. (They often have a €5 euro low cost for new clients.)
Use a SIM Card to check to your coronary heart’s delight in Paris! Picture: facemepls
That is the perfect deal whereas touring in France and Europe since you get limitless calling inside France, the U.S., Canada, and limitless information inside France. Plus, you additionally get to get pleasure from 25 GB of information inside Europe; this implies you’ll nonetheless be linked if you happen to’re touring to different European nations inside your trip.
Maintain in thoughts that you’ll in the end need to return to the Free Paris retailer and request to cancel your service earlier than you come again to the States. The brokers will fill out a cancellation type for you that you’ll have to take to a French put up workplace and mail to Free’s headquarters. The method is definitely loads simpler than it sounds!
One factor to maintain in thoughts is that the degrees of English varies inside the Free workplace, however I’ve been there a few instances and I used to be in a position to cancel my cellular service with an agent who didn’t converse English simply by exhibiting him the English to French google translation of “I’d like to cancel my mobile service” on my telephone. Other than having to attend one hour for my flip, the entire course of took 5 minutes for him to fill out the cancellation type for me. (The put up workplace can also be self-explanatory however be sure to have an envelope with you as a result of, for some cause, French put up workplaces don’t have envelopes for sale.)
Now, you’re all set to cruise the Seine and produce alongside Auntie Jenny in California with FaceTime!
Extra on SIM playing cards in Europe
The topic of utilizing your smartphone whereas touring overseas is usually a difficult one. You may learn way more about it right here:
Have you ever used a SIM Card in Europe? Share your favorites and suggestions for saving whereas touring with your smartphone.
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