Which prepaid SIM card has the longest validity?

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Hi, I read somewhere on this forum and elsewhere that some mobile service providers would De-activate the card if credit is added for 12 months or if the card is not used. However, I can't seem to find specific information about how it is like for individual service provider. I travel to Germany once in two years and would like to know which prepaid SIM card (with data) I could get such that the SIM card is valid for the longest time possible and I don't have to top up every year (since I may not be in Germany) and I can back the same number again when I am back in Germany. I don't mind if the usage charges are not the lowest, just need a card that is valid for long. Please advise. Thanks.

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Sorry, but afaik there isn't a prepaid SIM with that long a validity and no use/topping up.

You can look up validity in the Prepaid wiki, under Kartengueltigkeit, e.g. here for Lebara: http://www.prepaid-wiki.de/index.php5/LEBARA_MOBILE#Karteng.C3.BCltigkeit

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Thanks for the link. I think using is still okay. I mean, I can still use the SIM card if there's connection overseas to SMS just to keep it valid in between the 2 years. But if I have to top up then it is more troublesome. But there is not much info on whether card stays valid when in use or top up is necessary.

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I would think about getting a local free landline in Germany from sipgate ( www.sipgate.com - I guess ). I do not know much about it, but maybe

 

It would last for every

If anybody calls ( your local landline in Germany ), then the call is automatically transfered to you anywhere - via the interenet )

 

I guess you would be able somehow to make calls useing sipgate ( from your local number ) to other places aswell

 

As you can see I know very little about this, but it was talked about in a topic "Fritzbox and VOI"

search for it and read ..., maybe somebody else could help out with it ...

 

However using a PAYGO SIM always runs out after a yesr, from all he offers I have seen

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Try Simquadrat. It's a mobile phone service by Sipgate (the same company that also offers VOIP service). According to their FAQ, the credit on the SIM card never expires, see below:

 

 

Q: Wie lange ist mein Guthaben gültig?

A: Ihr Guthaben verfällt nicht. Sie müssen auch nicht regelmäßig telefonieren, damit Ihre SIM-Karte aktiv bleibt.

 

Translation:

Q: how long is my credit valid for?

A: Your credit does not expire. You also do not need to call on a regular basis in order for your SIM card to remain active.

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Yes, I know, however, the OP is not resident in Germany, so he is not eligible for a SIM-Quadrat SIM.

 

Since they hand out local landline numbers with that SIM you even have to change numbers when you move within Germany.

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Yes, I know, however, the OP is not resident in Germany, so he is not eligible for a SIM-Quadrat SIM.

 

True, but how is Simquadrat different from any other phone provider in that respect? AFAIK, without a German address you're not eligible for any kind of German number, landline, mobile, VOIP-based, etc. Even on Skype, you can't purchase a German number unless you provide a German address.

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There are differences in how strictly they apply the rule.

 

In my experience, Lebara is the most easy going, their SIMs even seem to come out of the box already activated, which is against German law, but convenient. Their web site is in English and they are willing to communicate in English.

But their SIM is only valid for 90 days after your last use of it.

 

Then there is Tchibo, which basically allows you to register your SIM to your hotel address in order to activate it, no problems, I have had loads of tourists use it.

Their SIM is valid for 12 months after your last use of it, see here.

Instructions how to activate the SIM in here.

Instructions how to book the data flat rate in here.

 

At the other end of the spectrum you have Edeka and BildMobil, both of whom perform Schufa checks on you before they allow you to register a SIM. I have had dealings with both, and they really do perform these checks.

So these two are useless even if you are registered in Germany but have only been here a short time and therefore don't yet have a Schufa credit rating.

 

If you have a look at the terms&conditions for SIM-Quadrat, then you will find a clause in which they give themselves the right to check your identity and credit rating with Schufa (though I have no idea whether they really do so):

post-24869-13760515539607_thumb.jpg

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True, but how is Simquadrat different from any other phone provider in that respect? AFAIK, without a German address you're not eligible for any kind of German number, landline, mobile, VOIP-based, etc. Even on Skype, you can't purchase a German number unless you provide a German address.

 

 

 

There are differences in how strictly they apply the rule.

 

In my experience, Lebara is the most easy going, their SIMs even seem to come out of the box already activated, which is against German law, but convenient. Their web site is in English and they are willing to communicate in English.

But their SIM is only valid for 90 days after your last use of it.

 

Then there is Tchibo, which basically allows you to register your SIM to your hotel address in order to activate it, no problems, I have had loads of tourists use it.

Their SIM is valid for 12 months after your last use of it, see here.

Instructions how to activate the SIM in here.

Instructions how to book the data flat rate in here.

 

At the other end of the spectrum you have Edeka and BildMobil, both of whom perform Schufa checks on you before they allow you to register a SIM. I have had dealings with both, and they really do perform these checks.

So these two are useless even if you are registered in Germany but have only been here a short time and therefore don't yet have a Schufa credit rating.

 

If you have a look at the terms&conditions for SIM-Quadrat, then you will find a clause in which they give themselves the right to check your identity and credit rating with Schufa (though I have no idea whether they really do so):

post-24869-13760515539607_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks for all your replies. And yeah, I usually don't stay long in Germany and won't have a credit rating so maybe SIM-Quadrat won't work well for me. I actually have a SIM card from Fonic the last time I was in Germany and according to the prepaid-wiki website, it is supposed to be valid for a year but the problem is, there is no connection / coverage in the country I am in now so I won't be able to SMS once in a while to ensure it is activated which is also strange as I thought the SIM card would work overseas.

 

Tchibo mobil looks like a possible option too. Is it only available in the Tchibo outlets?

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I actually have a SIM card from Fonic the last time I was in Germany and according to the prepaid-wiki website, it is supposed to be valid for a year but the problem is, there is no connection / coverage in the country I am in now so I won't be able to SMS once in a while to ensure it is activated which is also strange as I thought the SIM card would work overseas.

 

That's strange, Singapore (assuming you are there at the moment) is in the list of countries in which roaming with the Fonic SIM is possible, see page 3 of the price list.

If you had difficulties with Fonic you may also have them with Tchibo, both run in the O2 network, Fonic and Tchibo are just resellers.

 

If the country you are located in is not in their roaming list, then of course you will not be able to use the SIM in that country.

O2 is one of the newer providers and may not have a roaming agreement in place with your present country, please see here for the O2 roaming list.

 

For completeness' sake, here is the roaming list for Lebara.

As you can see in the T-Mobile roaming list, the Lebara SIM should work nearly anywhere worldwide, since they run on the established T-Mobile network which has roaming agreements in place nearly everywhere in the world.

But with Lebara you would have to send an SMS at least every 90 days to keep it active.

 

 

Tchibo mobil looks like a possible option too. Is it only available in the Tchibo outlets?

 

Yes, or you could order it online and have it sent to a friend's address here in Germany.

 

********************************

 

I think you should try buying a prepaid SIM directly from T-Mobile next time, i.e. the Xtra SIM.

According to the Prepaid wiki it will only get shut off 2 years after the last time you topped up credit, see here.

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That's strange, Singapore (assuming you are there at the moment) is in the list of countries in which roaming with the Fonic SIM is possible, see page 3 of the price list.

If you had difficulties with Fonic you may also have them with Tchibo, both run in the O2 network, Fonic and Tchibo are just resellers.

 

If the country you are located in is not in their roaming list, then of course you will not be able to use the SIM in that country.

O2 is one of the newer providers and may not have a roaming agreement in place with your present country, please see here for the O2 roaming list.

 

For completeness' sake, here is the roaming list for Lebara.

As you can see in the T-Mobile roaming list, the Lebara SIM should work nearly anywhere worldwide, since they run on the established T-Mobile network which has roaming agreements in place nearly everywhere in the world.

But with Lebara you would have to send an SMS at least every 90 days to keep it active.

 

Yes, or you could order it online and have it sent to a friend's address here in Germany.

 

Thanks a lot for the info. Yeah, the SIM didn't work in Singapore or in Thailand. Perhaps it is just my card. I guess I will try and buy a Lebara SIM when I am in Germany again. Sending a SMS is still okay, as long as no need to top up. If registration / activation goes well, I won't have to buy a 5th SIM card anymore.

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Thanks for all your replies. And yeah, I usually don't stay long in Germany and won't have a credit rating so maybe SIM-Quadrat won't work well for me.

 

SimQuadrat is prepaid so they have little reason to care about your credit rating. If they use SCHUFA at all, it's probably in order to verify your residential address. If you have a friend or relative in Germany, you could ask them to order the SIM card for you.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

I want a mobile phone without contract - because I will use it so little that it's hard to justify even the cheapest of the monthly tariffs.

However, for many network if you don't make a chargeable call for 6months, then the phone will stop working: you can't make or receive calls, must buy a new card.

 

Are there no-contract mobile cards that will NOT expire even if I don't use it for 6, 12, 24, 36... months?

 

Thanks,

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Hi,

I transferred my private telephone number to a congstar prepaid card when I got a work phone. I have never recharged it since then, has been almost two years now.

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In theory at least Congstar cards are deactivated after 16 months if you don't load credit onto them. You get an SMS warning after 15 months. If you load 30€ on an Aldi card it won't expire for 24 months. This is simply the "cost" of keeping an inactive but usable phone card.

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Hi YorkshireLad,

 

where does that information come from? There is nothing to this end in

http://www.congstar.de/fileadmin/files_congstar/documents/agb/2013/Preislisten/Preisliste_congstar-Prepaid_201308.pdf

 

I specifically chose congstar because they did not have a clause like this. Also, I have had that card for almost two years now, never recharged it and it works just fine.

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...which is fine so long as you can handle the advertising thrown at you (up to 30 SMS and emails a month) - this is sponsored service - if you turn it off then the card is disabled a month later. Credit is valid for 2 years.

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Here

 

Interesting!

Well, I have been with them since early last year and I have never been asked to recharge ... Hope it stays that way!

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