I travel to US every year (sometimes once every 2 years). Every time that I arrive in a country, I buy a cheap prepaid SIM card. The problem is that all these cheap SIMs have a short inactive life, due to their pay-as-you-go nature. For example, most of them will die after 3 months of inactivity, and it is almost impossible to reactivate them.
Is it possible to buy a SIM, which work for a long time regardless of its activity? I wish to have a permanent mobile number in the US. I can get US numbers via Google voice and such, but then I need to buy a separate SIM card and set up forwarding and such, which can get complicated. (If this is the best option, I need a step by step explanation of how to make it work).
I'm looking for either a prepaid solution (with a 24-month lifespan) or a postpaid solution that I can activate to an expensive plan while there, and a cheaper plan (less than $10/month, i.e. around $100 of unnecessary annual costs) when not there, and an expensive data plan while there. If it works worldwide (as I hear T-mobile's $70/month plan does), that would be a bonus.
Supporting calling over WiFi would also be good for using the SIM card elsewhere.
So far the strategies I've identified are:
- Get a postpaid US number
- Get a prepaid number with online refill/recharge and roaming capabilities, so that you can use the sim once in 3 months.
- Get an online US number (skype($60/year), google(free + some $ recharge) and use that as primary, forwarding to local throwaway sim while in the US.
My question is are there any other strategies that people have used successfully?