How does Cell Phone Rental Work?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Cell phone rentals are short-term rental and lease programs that allow travelers to obtain reliable mobile services for as long as the utility is required. A cell phone is included as part of the service agreement. While the most common application of this type of rental program is focused on business travelers making trips to foreign countries, the idea of short term cell phone rental has also caught on with vacationers and others who are planning extended car trips. Once the client no longer requires the cell phone, the unit is returned to the provider and the service is shut down.

A cell phone rental is often a great way to secure wireless phone services when traveling abroad for business. The rental is often less expensive that using domestic services for international calling. In addition, the rental plan can be configured to include as one or several countries. When dialing to any country covered under the terms of the plan, the rates quoted in the rental agreement apply.

Pricing a cell phone rental is normally structured in one of three ways. The first option is a flat fee for the duration of the agreed upon rental period. With this type of plan, the end user is authorized for a specific amount of minutes. In the event that the usage exceeds the bank of minutes, additional charges are applied and considered due when the unit is returned to the issuer.


Another approach to cellular phone rental is a per minute fee. With a plan of this nature, there are no limits on the number of minutes the user can accrue during the rental period. All call minutes are billed at the same rate, provided they are to locations cited in the rental agreement. When the phone is returned, the total minutes are tallied and an invoice is generated for the full amount due.

There are also cell phone rental agreements that make use of a combination of a flat fee and reduced per minute charge. Often, these agreements provide a specified amount of minutes in exchange for the flat fee. Any call minutes over that figure are assessed at a special rate that is lower than standard charges, as long as the minutes involve calls from the countries specified in the rental contract. There is normally no refund if the end user does not utilize all the minutes included under the flat fee portion of the agreement.

Cell phone rental plans are often available in metropolitan areas around the world. Many providers are happy to establish corporate accounts and bill the company for the usage accrued by any authorized employee. Individuals who require a cell phone while on vacation or personal travel normally require qualification through a valid credit card, and have the option of paying the balance due in cash when the phone is returned, or allowing the charges to be applied to the credit card on file.


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Post 2

When my son went on a mission trip to the Amazon, our church actually arranged for a satellite cell phone rental. These teens and adults would be traveling to places where only a satellite could pick up their signals. The service wasn't cheap, but it did make us feel better knowing that the group wasn't completely cut off from civilization if they had a medical emergency or got lost in the rain forest.

Post 1

Cell phone rental makes more sense to me than my usual practice of buying so-called "burner phones" at the store. I don't need to have a month's worth of service if my company sends me out to a foreign project for a week. If I can find an international cell phone rental service near or in the airport, then I can just use it for the week. I usually don't get many personal phone calls, so if it rings at all, it will most likely be work-related.

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