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Prepaid Cards are a good choice if you come to Berlin and are unsure of how long you are going to stay. Rather than signing up for a 24 months mobile contract a prepaid card will give you the advantage of being flexible and not to worry about canceling when you decide to leave Berlin again.
But this advantage comes at a higher price for phone calls, SMS or mobile internet. While most mobile contracts include a flatrate for German landline and at least the same mobile network the prepaid cards always charge you for calls. But same as with any contract you need to know what is the most important for you and compare different options. All the 3 main telecommunication companies in Germany, Telekom, o2 and Vodafone, offer prepaid cards as well as fixed contracts. But in recent years a lot of new companies have shown up using the same telecommunication nets but offering interesting rates.
O2’s prepaid cards are called o2 Loop and are completely free of charge for the set up and delivery of the SIM card. With any top up of 10€ you will get 50 minutes of calls for free to all German mobile phone networks. Regular calls to any German number whether landline or mobile phone will cost you 9 c/minute as well as any SMS costs 9 cents. As nowadays literally everybody owns a smartphone o2 Loop also offers a Smartphone-Option that lets you surf online with 200 MB per month.
Telekom’s prepaid cards are called Telekom Xtra Card and cost an initial amount of 9,95€ with a balance of 10€. This is a good choice if you have many friends that are also with Telekom as calls within the Telekom mobile phone network only cost 5 c/minute whereas calls to German landlines and other mobile phone networks come in at 15 c/minute. Same costs also apply for SMS within Telekom only 5 cents and to other networks 15 cents.
If you want to use mobile internet you can book this feature for only 99 cents per day. And as mentioned before no prepaid card has a minimum time of contract.
Prepaid card or mobile phone contract
If you are not sure if you are going to stay in Berlin for more than just a couple of months then prepaid cards are a very good idea. As mentioned before you are paying a slightly higher price if you use your mobile phone frequently. But if you only want people to be able to reach you and don’t need too much mobile data or do many calls prepaid cards are a great way to save some money.
If you are going to stay in Berlin for good then you should sign up with a German mobile phone provider as fast as possible. Many mobile companies nowadays even offer a ‘light’ version of a mobile phone contract that you can end at the end of each month. But again if you know you are going to stay in Berlin and you need your mobile frequently then go for a 24 month contract and save the money.