Cell Phones

When selecting a cell phone plan, you have two main options:

  1. A contract plan. These are more common and offer more discounts, but usually require a Social Security Number (SSN) or initial deposit. Remember that once a contract is signed, you will be obligated to pay for the entire contract period. If you break a contract, be prepared to pay a large fee.

  2. A pay-as-you-go or prepaid plan. These plans typically have higher monthly fees, but are convenient because there is no SSN requirement. Expect higher phone costs and fewer phone options, but more flexibility with your plan.

The following chart represents five common cell phone companies in the U.S. that offer contract plans and prepaid plans. Please note that the information below does not represent any endorsement by UA International Student Services. The rates and information below are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, check with the company websites directly.

Read about AT&T International Options 
Prepaid AT&T GoPhone

Read about Sprint International Options

Read about Verizon International Options

Read about T-Mobile International Options

Virgin Mobile
(no contract plan, prepaid only)

(no contract plan, prepaid only)

Questions to ask when choosing a cell phone plan:

  • Do I want a contract plan or prepaid plan?

  • Do I need an SSN or initial deposit for the plan?

  • How can I make international calls or texts or to a specific country?

  • Can I use my current phone from my home country with this provider?

  • Is there a student discount program?