Renting vs. Purchasing your Travel Phone


Typically, if you travel internationally once a year or more, it makes sense to purchase the National Geographic Talk Abroad Travel Phone. In fact, if you rent two times for a two week rental period for each rental, when you take into account all the charges including shipping, you would have saved money had you purchased to begin with. Another alternative is to purchase a stand-alone SIM card and use it with your unlocked world phone. Please review the below advantages of both options so that you can make the proper decision.

Advantages of Renting 
  • Save money if you seldom travel
  • Rent with an option to buy*

    *If you are still not sure if you should purchase the phone, renting is a great way to test the service, and if you want to keep your phone just contact Cellular Abroad customer support.

Advantages of Purchasing 
  • Free Ground Shipping
  • Never have to rent a phone again.
  • Receive a brand new phone.
  • Retain your same international number.
  • Get your phone (and number) way in advance of your trip.
  • Use as an emergency phone in North America.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I keep my phone number?
You will need to turn on your phone and pick up a network at least once in 365 days in order to retain service and the corresponding phone numbers to your account. You must be in an area where there is GSM coverage in order to pick up a network.

How many free incoming calls can I receive?
There is no limit to how many free incoming calls you can receive. Please keep in mind that free incoming calls are available in approxmiately 70 countries. There are some countries where you will be charged for the incoming calls. Please refer to the pull down menu for rates.

Do I need a travel converter?
If you purchase or rent the National Geographic Talk Abroad Travel Phone, you will not need a travel converter for the power supply nor plug adapters as they are included with both our rental and purchase packages. If you purchase a SIM only package, you may need a plug adapter for the socket. Cellular Abroad has them available for sale. Regarding the power supply, the vast majority of international enabled cell phones have variable voltage power supplies. Check your manual or the back of the power supply for the voltage range to ensure that your personal cell phone has a variable voltage range. All cell phones either purchased or rented from Cellular Abroad have this capacity.

How much does it cost to call to my cell phone (ex. From the US)?
That depends on the carrier that is being used to call you. Cellular Abroad has no influence over what other companies chose to charge their customers for outgoing calls

Can I receive/send email from my phone?
The standard National Geographic Talk Abroad Travel Phone does not have email capabilities. You can send and receive SMS messages. Please keep in mind, however, that international text messages are never 100% guaranteed. If you need to send/receive emails, you must purchase or rent a phone with 3G capabilities.

How much does it cost people to text my cell phone (ex. From the US to my cell)?
Text rates depend on a carrier’s text rates to text a UK based phone number or the US based number.

How do I add talk time to my account? 
You can add talk time to your cell phone at your convenience either prior to your departure or during your trip. Prior to your departure, call our 800 number or add credit online here. During your trip you may dial *161# send from your handset to add one $29 credit block or you can sign up for our Auto Top Up Service that automatically adds call credit once your account reaches less than $10 of credit.

How do I order?
You may order the phone rental, phone package or SIM card either directly online or by calling our 800 number;

When do I order?
You may order at any time prior to your departure. If you decide to purchase a SIM card or a phone package, it makes no difference even if you receive the item(s) months before your trip as there is no monthly fee. If you are considering renting, you may order at your convenience but we will send the phone to you so that it arrives approximately 2-3 business days prior to your departure.

What happens if I lose my phone?
If you lose your rental phone or purchased phone, you may be covered by your credit card's insurance policy. Please check with your credit card provider for details. In addition, you may opt for our add on insurance.

Can I purchase insurance for my rental phone?


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