Is there any difference between brand new T-Mobile pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards?

Demur

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Jul 23, 2013
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Once installed in a device and activated for a particular service plan, is there any difference between brand new (e.g. ordered today) T-Mobile pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards, or are the cards themselves exactly the same? What I want to do is order a SIM card for future use, without ordering a service plan. Later I want to activate the SIM card for post-paid service. T-Mobile's website won't allow you to order a SIM card from the post-paid part of the site without also ordering a service plan. So I want to know if it will be effective to order a pre-paid SIM card and later activate it for post-paid service.

Will there be any difference in service or functionality of a phone on post-paid service based on whether a post-paid or pre-paid SIM is installed? Do both equally support all features, such as LTE? My understanding is that T-Mobile prioritizes data traffic of post-paid customers higher than pre-paid -- how is that implemented, does it have anything to do with the SIM?
 

gtt1

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Dec 21, 2012
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Once installed in a device and activated for a particular service plan, is there any difference between brand new (e.g. ordered today) T-Mobile pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards, or are the cards themselves exactly the same? What I want to do is order a SIM card for future use, without ordering a service plan. Later I want to activate the SIM card for post-paid service. T-Mobile's website won't allow you to order a SIM card from the post-paid part of the site without also ordering a service plan. So I want to know if it will be effective to order a pre-paid SIM card and later activate it for post-paid service.

Will there be any difference in service or functionality of a phone on post-paid service based on whether a post-paid or pre-paid SIM is installed? Do both equally support all features, such as LTE? My understanding is that T-Mobile prioritizes data traffic of post-paid customers higher than pre-paid -- how is that implemented, does it have anything to do with the SIM?
I don't know for sure but would imagine for a post paid plan you could get the sim free at a T-Mo outlet when activating the plan and I cannot imagine T-Mo not doing the same over the phone.

I think getting one of these .99 sims to activate is more important if you want to activate a new prepaid and get the Walmart 100 min 5 gb $30. monthly prepaid plan which T-MO will not transfer you to on an existing prepaid sim.

I have been trying to buy a micro but for some reason they will not put the order through saying it is a credit card problem. CC reps tell me the charge goes through but T-MO reverses it 3 seconds later. Have no idea why although I am trying to get it delivered to a mail drop in Niagara Falls because we are not going to be at our Florida condo until Sept ( Canadians using it for winter use) and UPS will simply leave it outside the door and we have no one picking up mail.

If you or anyone will grab me a micro sim activation kit (currently .99 using the code simsale) I will buy it from you for $5.00 as that is what it would cost me to pick it up at the mail drop. Send me a PM if you want to help me out.
 

jdbii

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Jan 31, 2013
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Will there be any difference in service or functionality of a phone on post-paid service based on whether a post-paid or pre-paid SIM is installed? Do both equally support all features, such as LTE? My understanding is that T-Mobile prioritizes data traffic of post-paid customers higher than pre-paid -- how is that implemented, does it have anything to do with the SIM?

Good question. I don't the answer, but from My Tmobile account management page for prepaid account one can change pre-paid tiers at will, (ie., $50 prepaid tier to $70 prepaid) but there is no option to sign up for post-paid. That sort of makes sense since for post-paid Tmo probably runs a credit check. I don't know if there is something different between postpaid and prepaid SIM cards, but on Tmo's end, at least on the towers and network, there are some differences in the services and features you get. You've probably noticed that you get 500MB hotspot included in postpaid whereas it is not included in prepaid. I think there is a difference in data speeds when roaming between the two. And there would be other minor differences.

To sort of address your specific question," can you change an installed prepaid sim later to postpaid?" I don't know but I'm sure Tmo would easily port your number and sim to a postpaid account. And, "is there a difference in functionality?" I did see fine print somewhere on Tmo webpage that postpaid customers can get priority on congested towers.
 

patruns

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May 21, 2011
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The cards are physically the same. You can actually change from a prepaid account to a post paid account talking with customer service over the phone. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the right person who knows what they are doing, but in the end you can. T-Mobile does not prioritize service between the two either. Your data connection speed is the same on either. There are additional services either not included or available on either, but generally speaking you get the same service.

But I am not sure you understand the difference. You can't order a post paid card without also ordering a service plan because a post paid plan includes a service plan. For best results, visit your local T-Mobile store. They can handle it all for whichever you decide.
 

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