Tips On Renting A Cell Phone In The US ...

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Gringos love their cell phones. And when the time comes for us to travel back to the motherland, one of the first things for which we "Jones" (that's a slang expression for 'crave') is that little electronic device which allows us to constantly stay touch anybody and everybody. I am certainly no exception.

As part of my upcoming plans for a 30 day solo road trip of the States, I would feel crippled, naked and more than likely, emasculated, if I did not have a cell phone readily available to make or receive important of calls.  This article shows what I went through and what I learned in my process to stay ever connected while traveling the highways and byways of America.


Last year, when Fran and I traveled to the States, I failed to do proper research when renting a cellular phone.  I wound up renting the one with the lowest daily/weekly fee and least expensive air-time (cost per minute).  However, if I did my homework I would have eventually discovered that there are companies who offer (what appears to be) high a monthly rental but with unlimited airtime.

In order to properly gauge and compare cell phone rental companies, one needs to establish a standard set of criteria and apply that criteria against my anticipated usage.  I estimated that I would use my phone an average of hour per day.  So in the month I'd be gone, it was quite possible that I would burn through 1800 minutes.  With some companies charging as much as $1.40-$1.50 a minute for airtime, I needed to be very careful as to who I chose to be my provider.

CRITERIA FOR MEASUREMENT

  • Base Unit Rental Rate

  • Initial Set Up Fee

  • Airtime Cost Per Minute (In and Out)

  • Rental Insurance

  • Delivery and Return Shipping Charges

LAST YEARS CELLULAR

PROVIDER

Since I don't want to besmirch or malign the reputation of my previous supplier, I will simply refer to their current quote and not their identity.  By the way, in the three weeks I used the phone last October, I racked up 926 minutes of airtime.  My total cost was $265.


Base Rental Fee

$69.00 for one month

Initial Setup

$20.00

Cost Per Minute

$0.19

Rental Insurance

INCLUDED

In/Out Shipping

INCLUDED

TOTAL PRICE

$342 - based on 1 hour a day

$773 - based on 2 hours a day

$1115 - based on 3 hours a day


GOT TravelCel website

By going with a company unlimited airtime, I was saving a ton of money.  This trip was going to surpass October's trip by a full seven days.  Add to that I will probably Fran back in Costa Rica on MagicJack several times a day.  It is quite possible that I will easily exceed my anticipated usage of 1 hour a day.  CLICK ON LOGO FOR WEBSITE


Base Rental Fee

$189.99

Initial Setup

NONE

Cost Per Minute

NONE

Rental Insurance

$14.70 (based on $.14/day)

In/Out Shipping

$20.00

TOTAL PRICE

$224.69


As you can see, it pays to shop around.  Anticipate and define your needs before you cut your deal.




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