I bought a local SIM card so my mobile phone would work in France, one of these:


It says it expires after 14 days, and indeed this is what happened. When I bought it, I think I misunderstood something: I thought it would expire after 14 days but could be topped off, to extend the expiration date, but now I'm having some trouble figuring out how to do this, and starting to think it's not possible.

Can this, in fact, be done, or is it expired and completely dead?


I did find this Recharge site which looks like what I need, but it's not completely clear to me that it will work with the SIM card that I have.


3 Answers 3


The site for the plan you linked to has a "Recharger" link on it, unfortunately it is only in French. That would suggest that it can actually be topped off, you'd need to try.

I think it would be the way to go instead of a second party website. The translation by Google suggests that you'd need to put in your number and then get possible payment options, I'd try this first.

  • 2
    "Vous souhaitez recharger la ligne : " here he has to enter the phone number linked to his card.
    – user98567
    Aug 6, 2019 at 10:06

Apparently it is indeed only valid for 14 days (aka it is dead now), previously we had prepayed card (refillable) that you could find in any bureau de tabac but I am not sure wether it still exist.

  • Can you see my update and comment on whether that site is likely to work? Aug 6, 2019 at 9:19
  • 1
    Mmh it is written that to refill you can buy on the site, then you get a code that you have to send by SMS to 952. It is not really clear about which kind of sim card may be valid to this offer but you can enter some informations when you order such as your phone number and they should tell you at this step if your phone number is elligible to be refilled.
    – user98567
    Aug 6, 2019 at 10:04

Next trip to France ask for a permanent SIM that can be topped up for specified periods and remains active SIM for 1 year after the last top-up receiving SMS even outside France during the year. They might need to register you using your passport/ID. Best part is when next year you are heading to France you can top up before your flight departure via your online account and then as soon as you enter France your cell phone is active right away. To keep your SIM active you can top it up a day prior to the end of each annual expiration date with $2 or $5 periods and this action extends SIM expiry 1 more year ahead. If needed use ORANGE or BOUYGUES TELECOM but make sure they provide you with LTE otherwise you may get a 3G signal that is weak and interrupted at many locations in France.

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