How to activate a pay-as-you-go SIM card

Written by tammy dahlvang
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How to activate a pay-as-you-go SIM card
Enjoy the economy and convenience of pay-as-you-go cell phone service once you activate your GoPhone SIM card. (black woman on cell phone image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from

Because you only pay for the minutes you use, pay-as-you-go cell phone service is extremely economical. After you purchase the phone and activate the installed SIM card, your carrier will assign you an account that you can manage online. This means you won't need to purchase a new SIM card unless your old phone is lost or stolen. You can activate your pay-as-you-go SIM card when you buy it, or you can do this on your cell phone online.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Ask the clerk to activate your pay-as-you-go SIM card in the store. This is the simplest way to activate your SIM card.

  2. 2

    Go to the appropriate website (it should be listed on your phone package) to activate your card online.

  3. 3

    Turn your phone off.

  4. 4

    Remove the battery cover on the back of the phone.

  5. 5

    Take out the battery.

  6. 6

    Look for a small, rectangular card. This is the SIM card.

  7. 7

    Find the number printed on the card. This is your SIM card number.

  8. 8

    Enter your SIM card number on your cell phone carrier's website.

  9. 9

    Answer the questions asked by your cell phone carrier on the online form. You will be assigned a phone number, and your new cell phone account will be set up.

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