checking the microphone and webcam

Best Tech-pro card cell phone With Long-Life Battery –

An explanation of a SIM card and why they are used

By Russell Ware Russell Ware Writer Coombeshead College Former Lifewire writer Russell Ware has written hundreds of cell phone and smartphone reviews and guides in dozens of books and magazines. lifewire’s editorial guidelines Updated on May 16, 2021

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How to Maintain a Local Phone Number in Your Home Country (or Abroad) Without Paying for a Full Plan

If you plan on traveling long-term or full-time, it doesn’t make sense to continue paying for a “home” phone number and (often pricey) cell phone plan that you’re not using.

There are plenty of ways to have a local phone number for your family and friends in your home town to reach you on, without being beholden to a traditional cell phone carrier/provider. Many of the options below will also allow you to transfer/port your current home phone number over to their service.

Pair any of the options below with a Data SIM card (featured earlier), and you will be constantly connected, for a fraction of the price of most local home cell phone plans.

Fongo – Best Free Canadian Phone App

This one is only for Canadians, but I mention it first because of it’s total awesomeness and low cost (as in, free).

Simply download the Fongo app to your phone, and you’ll receive a free Canadian phone number that allows you to make and receive calls to/from any number in Canada for free over data/WiFi, from anywhere in the world!

That’s right folks: I can be in Calcutta and make/receive calls to/from my mum in Toronto for free (and it’s a local call for her).

SMS and international calls entail a small fee. You can also port your existing (Canadian) cell phone number for a fee.

Hushed – Best App For “Disposable” (or Not) Phone Numbers

If it weren’t for Fongo, Hushed would be my first choice. (So if you’re not Canadian, or heck – even if you are, read on).

Hushed originated as a tool for “disposable” phone numbers (for example, if you want to create a dating service profile or buy something on Craigslist without giving out your “real” phone number). Since then, ways to use Hushed have greatly expanded, and they report many of their users use Hushed for their primary phone number, which works over WiFi and data connections.

In the U.S. and Canada, you can choose from a few different plans; the most expensive plan (offering unlimited calls and texts) costs $5/month, allowing you to make/receive calls to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada for free regardless of where you are in the world (as long as you have a WiFi or data connection). You can also port your existing U.S. or Canadian phone number to Hushed.

Where Hushed shines is in the ability to also get phone numbers in 45+ other countries (download the app for free to see what countries phone numbers are available in). So, if you’re headed to Australia (as an example), with a few taps on your phone you can get an Australian phone number and a plan that allows you to make and receive calls to/from Aussie phone numbers (again, regardless of where you are in the world).

From what research I’ve done, Hushed might just offer the best value out there as an alternative to buying SIM cards in every country you visit.


You can buy a local phone number in 26 countries, including the U.S. but amazingly not Canada (that’s okay we have Fongo: booyah!). You can answer calls from anywhere in the world for free with WiFi/data, or you can forward the calls to a local number at your destination (at Skype international calling rates).

The cost for a phone number varies depending on the length of plan you sign up for, but it’s about $5/month. No porting services are currently available. And in my experience, the connection quality with Skype can be unreliable.

Google Voice

To be honest, in researching Google Voice for this article, I found the system convoluted. But as far as I can tell, here’s the scoop.

You can only get a Google Voice number if you are located in the U.S. and have a U.S. phone number to set the account up. (After setup I believe you can terminate the U.S. number). For $20, you can port your existing cell phone number to Google Voice.

While you are in the U.S., you can make (and I assume receive) calls to the U.S. and Canada for free.

While you are traveling, you can use Google Hangouts (a related app) to make (and receive?) calls. Calls to the U.S. and Canada with Hangouts are free; per-minute rates apply to other countries.

Photo Credit – unsplash.com/@impatrickt
Photo Credit – unsplash.com/@impatrickt

Which Buyback Program Pays the Most for Phones?

Buyer Quote Loss Trustpilot Rating Payout Type
BankMyCell $779.00 BEST PRICE 4.9 Cash Payouts
EcoATM $475.00 -$304.00 3.7 Cash Payouts
eBay* $641.70 -$30.83 1.4 Cash Payouts
AT&T** $525.00 -$254.00 1.2 Credit
Verizon** $550.00 -$229.00 2.0 Credit
Sprint** $435.00 -$344.00 1.2 Credit
T-Mobile** $435.00 -$344.00 1.6 Credit
Amazon $570.00 -$209.00 2.0 Gift Card
Target $550.00 -$229.00 2.2 Gift Card
Walmart $360.00 -$419.00 1.5 Gift Card
Best Buy $585.00 -$194.00 1.3 Gift Card
Apple $650.00 -$129.00 1.6 Gift Card

Quotes based on an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB (on Verizon) – taken Spring 2022

* Carrier account credit paid in 24 monthly installments on next billing cycle

** eBay quote includes 12.9* marketplace fees deducted


This site is part travel tales, and part lifestyle travel tips.

Check out my free Travel Lifestyle Guides to answer all the questions you have about your own travel journey!

Where Do I Get a SIM Card?

You can get a SIM card for your phone from the carrier that you subscribe to. This is usually done through customer service. For example, if you have a Verizon phone and need a Verizon SIM card, ask for one in a Verizon store or request a new one online when you add a phone to your account.

How to Sell Your Phone For a Good Price

Yes! All the cell phone buyback programs listed on BankMyCell will take phones on any US carrier, and if your phone is unlocked, they’ll pay even more! You’ll get paid the most cash for your phone from carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. If your carrier logo isn’t listed on your devices page, just select ‘other’ from the carrier price filter to see all the highest paying cell phone buyback programs – they’ll take all the other networks like Xfitiy, Cricket, US Cellular, and more.

You sure can! In fact, the cell phone buyers listed take smartphones in practically any condition as they repair and refurbish them in-house! Find your device using the search box or brand list at the top of the page, and get started! Can I sell cell phones with cracked screens? Yes, if your smartphone has a damaged screen or backglass, excessive chips, or dents, you’ll still get excellent payouts. Expect to get around 80% of the used phone resale value, and with repairs costing up to $329, the smartest thing to do is just sell as you won’t get paid more fixing it first! Select ‘Cracked’ as the condition to see your sale price. Can I sell broken phones? Yes again! If you want to sell your broken phone if it doesn’t power on, it has faulty ports, buttons, touchscreens, speakers, or other hardware issues – even software bugs. If your phone is bent, crushed, or snapped, then it’s as e-waste, unfortunately. Select ‘Faulty” on your device page to see available deals. Can I sell cell phones with water damage? If your phone has taken a swim, it’s not a total loss also. You’ll still get paid when you sell your old phone no matter how bad the liquid damage is; the cell phone buyers want them too! Select ‘Faulty’ as the condition to see buyers’ deals.

Sure! The cell phone buyers we compare will buy locked phones. Of course, if you have the option to remove the lock from your phone, then you’ll get paid more for it. If that’s not an option, sell locked phones by selecting ‘Activation Locked’ if it’s visible on the mobile phones resale comparison page. What’s accepted: iCloud locked iPhones (almost all devices) Activation locked phones (most newer devices) Passcode locked phones (most newer devices)

Yep! You can still get cash for your phone if it’s blacklisted with a bad ESN (electronic serial number). But, the cell phone trade-in programs listed on this site will not buy phones flagged as lost or stolen, so if you found the phone, you should try and contact the original owner.

Sure, you can sell financed phones when you still have money owed. This is because you own the phone; you just owe money on a credit agreement to your carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) or the store you bought the phone from. Tips: Most people like you actually use this site to sell an old phone with outstanding payments, then use the profit to clear the debt – freeing you up to buy a new plan!