Ask LH: How Can I Keep My Mobile Number When I Head Overseas?

Hi Lifehacker, What’s the cheapest way of keeping a mobile phone number if moving overseas for a period of a year or more? Thanks, Number Squatter

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Dear NS,

This is a question we are asked quite often. In practical terms, the cheapest option is to find a prepaid plan which offers a 365-day expiry, and move your number to that. We haven’t yet encountered a plan that runs more than a year — if you’re away long than that, you’ll need to top up again. (That said, if you’re really going to be away for more than a year, how badly do you need to keep that number?)

Vodafone offers a 365-day plan for $20, and that’s the cheapest deal we’ve seen from a major carrier. ALDI Mobile also has a similar deal for a slightly-cheaper $15, but to be frank we’re not completely convinced it will still be around in 365 days. In this context, sticking with a well-established brand is a safer choice.

There are lots of other prepaid options with shorter expiry periods, so if you’re happy to top up online occasionally, you could explore those too. Amaysim’s As You Go plan, for instance, has a 90 day expiry and a $5 minimum credit, so that will also cost $20 for a year. If readers have found other plans with better pricing, tell us in the comments.


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