Should I rent or buy a phone?
If you are like most people, your US phone will not work in Italy. There are two main options buying a phone and renting a phone for use in Italy. Frequent travelers often prefer purchasing a cell phone. In fact, by the time you rent a phone twice, you could have purchased a basic, no nonsense phone/SIM package. The phone itself works also in other countries. All our phones are unlocked and either triband or quadband. If you are traveling to another country, say Spain or the UK, simply swap out the current SIM card for another one and you will be able to use the phone. If you are not a frequent traveler or simply do not want to purchase a phone at this time, feel free to rent a cell phone for Italy. If you are not sure what you want to do, Cellular Abroad recommends renting the phone and don’t return it. You will forfeit your deposit but ultimately, this “rent to own” option will only cost you about $20 more than if you had purchased from the get go.
Many of our customers, particularly the frequent travelers to Italy, prefer purchasing a phone for a variety of reason. Besides the fact that ultimately, they will save money, it prevents them from having to go through the process of renting the phone and sending it back to us each time they go abroad. Also, by retaining the same phone, you will also be able to retain your same phone number (as long as you add talk time at least once a year).
Some customers are concerned that the technology will quickly change and that if they purchase a new phone, it will soon become a throw away. Consider this analogy; while a ’65 Mustang will not have all the bells and whistles of a new Ford, you still see some of them around today as the underlying technology of a gas powered vehicle is still similar to today’s technology. If you are mostly concerned about making and receiving calls on your cell phone, then a phone you buy today, as long as you treat it carefully, should last you for several years or more.
Our standard recommendation is that if you travel more than once a year overseas, it makes sense to purchase a phone. If you travel less than once a year, it makes sense to rent a cell phone and if you travel about once a year, it is a toss up.