In partnership with AT&T. Nothing symbolizes summer in America’s Finest City like the San Diego County Fair. It’s an annual tradition for people of all ages and while there are rides, concerts, games, special events, and more, the food makes news. Fried food, that is.

I ate my very first fried Oreos and they tasted like donuts but better (and, I love donuts).

Delicious fried Oreos at the San Diego County Fair.

While there are rows and rows of vendors selling everything from turkey legs to fried Kool-Aid, thrill rides and carnival games, the Fair is also a place to learn about new products and services.

With a new Samsung smartphone loaded with AT&T GoPhone prepaid wireless service, I headed straight to their booth. They’re trying to get the word out about the benefits of no-contract wireless service because the last thing people need during summer is to worry about their bills and data overages.

Truth be told, I definitely understood that there is a market for this kind of service, but I wasn’t sure how it might work for my family.

I get it now.

The AT&T GoPhone booth at the San Diego County Fair

I thought the charging stations set up outside the booth were quite a clever idea that I’ve been known to take advantage of.

To demonstrate that a phone with the GoPhone service has smartphone capabilities most people enjoy, they let guests play virtual reality games using goggles that control the phone through movement. It was high tech and fun.

Virtual reality game played on an AT&T GoPhone

Everyone who tried it could pick out a t-shirt color, size and then a design which was applied immediately. I thought this was cool.

T-shirts given out at the San Diego County Fair at the AT&T GoPhone booth.

Keep in mind that while AT&T offers a number of affordable phones that pair well with GoPhone, the prepaid service works with any unlocked phone. It’s a fit for parents of young kids and travelers (of which I am actually both).

11 Fair Reasons to GoPhone Prepaid Wireless

Let’s get a few things clear that even I had mistaken at first. GoPhone is AT&T’s no-contract pre-paid wireless service. It can work on any unlocked (out-of-contract) AT&T compatible phone, which means you can bring your own in or buy one at a reasonable price through AT&T.

1. GoPhone Uses AT&T Service

GoPhone wireless uses the same AT&T 4G LTE network that 300 million people use. I have AT&T and am quite happy with the coverage.

2. Rates Are Competitive

With unlimited talk, text nationwide and data usage with the first 3 GB at high speed (on the $45 monthly plan) it’s affordable to stay in touch. There is no commitment to keep the monthly plan active… only pay for months you need the phone.

3. It’s iPhone Compatible

If your iPhone is out of contract, you can unlock it and insert the GoPhone SIM card.

4. GoPhone Works on Tablets

For the times you need wireless service on a tablet, perhaps during travel, bring it into AT&T and they’ll insert a GoPhone SIM if the tablet is compatible with the AT&T network.

5. AT&T Sells Compatible Phones for Under $100

If you don’t have an unlocked phone, it can be really affordable to get the latest 4G LTE Android smartphones, including Samsung & LG. The Samsung I saw had a huge screen, too.

6. It’s Great for Clumsy Tweens & Teens

There’s a lot less guilt about dropping an inexpensive no-contract smartphone than it is to crack an in-contract iPhone.

7. It’s Great for Younger Kids

Younger kids who don’t need a full-time phone but might occasionally need a phone for emergencies would benefit from a wallet-easy set up like this. Keep a no-contract phone on-hand and load it with credits when necessary. I will use my phone for this purpose.

8. GoPhone Is Perfect for Visitors Who Don’t Want to Roam

Do you have family out of the country who occasionally need a phone in the U.S.? Buy a GoPhone SIM card and just add airtime when they’re here. You can actually use GoPhone in Canada and Mexico without roaming charges as long as half of your charges are in the U.S.

9. It’s Affordable Calling for People Who Travel in Mexico and Canada

For $60 per month, you get unlimited talk, text & data usage with 6GB of high-speed data, unlimited calling from the U.S. to Mexico & Canada as well as roaming in Mexico and Canada.

10. You Can Replace GoPhone with a Local SIM when Overseas

Pop the GoPhone SIM card out of your no-contract phone and add a local SIM card in. Travelers like me know that, in most cases, buying a local SIM card (though they generate a new local phone number) is the cheapest way to save money on calls within the country you’re visiting (Canada and Mexico often exceptions). If you’re using GoPhone, you can do this. People with phones on contracts can not.

11. Check Credit Usage Via an App

It’s easy to monitor your usage and account balance with the myATT app or by checking online.

Learn why AT&T GoPhone pre-paid wireless service might work for you.

Good to Know

Some drawbacks include that you can only roam in Canada and Mexico with GoPhone at this time (perhaps this is a good thing to prevent quick drainage of funds) and that your balance expires after 90 days, however, you can extend it by making a refill before the expiration date. My own $45 credit will expire in 90 days. As someone used to iOS, I actually didn’t have any problem setting up GoPhone on a Samsung and it’s been easy to use.

Are you ready to try AT&T GoPhone?

A thrill ride at the San Diego County Fair.

A review of AT&T's GoPhone prepaid wireless service which is great for teens, travelers and daily life.
Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. I like the flexible monthly, daily, and pay-per-minute plans tailored to your needs. I rarely use my cell phone.

  2. I don’t currently have a cell phone. I need to get a smart phone, but I’m afraid of getting tied into a contract, only to find out I don’t like it. This sounds like a good way to ease me into this century!

  3. I like having a phone that provides smartphone options but which doesn’t require a contract. I don’t often use my cellphone, but keep it with me for emergencies.

  4. I would like to win because I love phone and I think that LG makes very good phones that are reliable. I like that it has buttons on the back of the device.

  5. At&T is a great plan to have. I’m currently through sprint and would like to switch over to a better company.. Winning this phone would be awesome and a great head start to AT&T

  6. I think its a great phone and I definitely need to upgrade, im still on a IPhone 4! Thank you!

  7. I’d like to win an AT&T GoPhone because of the security of no overage charges. That way I can use the phone without worrying about an unpleasant surprise when the bill shows up.

  8. I’m currently without a phone provider, and I’m interested in a cheaper plan that allows unlimited talk and text, this seems to fit that pretty well

  9. I would love to win an AT&T GoPhone because I am currently using a old fashion minute phone that only allows me to talk and chat. This amazing product would let me join the 21st century in style as well as let me use features I’ve only dream about.

  10. I want to win this awesome phone for my son. He needs a great phone like this one when he starts school in the Fall!

  11. I would love to win this for a friend of mine who is on a very tight budget right now and has never had a smart phone. This would be a thrill for her.

  12. I love that you don’t have to get into one of their lengthy contracts and can change phones at will.

  13. I would love to win this because I like pre-paid and this phone looks cool and easy to use! 🙂

  14. I would like to win one because my contract is up with Verizon and my husband and I are wanting to switch to a no-contract plan.

  15. I love no contract and AT&T is the best. LG is a great phone too. These plans are not expensive and it has unlimited text, talk and data starting at 45 bucks, how grand is that! No deposit or credit check is fab. Your customer service is great too.

  16. Pre-pay phones are the way to go!!! Never tried the GO Phone before, would love to win so I can see how much I’ll love it!! Thanks for the chance!!

  17. I don’t have a phone because monthly is too high. $45 a month is a good price and one I can afford.

  18. I would love to win an AT&T GoPhone because I have to travel to Canada, for work, at least four times per month and my current phone company doesn’t allow me to call my husband and kids in the states. I miss them so much when I am away and being able to call them would mean the world to me.

  19. I would love to win a new phone. I’ve hade the same phone for 10 years, clam style and not smart at all.

  20. I would like it because there is no contract, it’s flexible and would be great for me when travelling on business and I like the camera too.

  21. I don’t use a cell phone and everyone is always telling me to start using a smart phone.The cable man even told me that my land-line days are numbered. I guess I’ll have to start using one soon. 🙂

  22. I still have a 4s, Since my heart attack money isn’t there to up grade. I’m a AT&T subscriber and I’m due for a upgrade but disability can’t afford it.
    Thanks from Danny R.

  23. I hope that this would be easier to use than the phone I have now , since I can not afford to buy good phone and the one I have is not trust worthy.

  24. I would love the AT & T go phone because there are no surprise monthly bills & no contracts. AT & T has the best overall coverage here in my area.

  25. I’ve been needing a new phone but with a baby on the way my concern is making sure my baby is taken care of before me. I would be delighted if I won. My phone now is having problems but I just deal with it.

  26. I would love to win because with no annual contract this would make a great starter phone to test my son’s responsibility level

  27. I would like to win because i love the idea of having no contract and it is really time for me to up grade from my flip phone.

  28. I like that this does not require a contract, making it easy to let the minutes lapse or replenish as needed.

  29. I’d like to win this because I’ve never had AT&T and it’d be interesting to see how their coverage compares with T-Mobile. Also not having a contract and being able to pick which phone you want is great.

  30. I love the no contract option, and they have a good selection of phones. Great choices for students.

  31. I would like this for my son. He goes to friends’ homes and this would help me keep in touch with him.

  32. I have always wanted one of these phones. I really need a good phone like this. Would be so cool to win.

  33. I like to win one because I don’t have to pay monthly for nothing I don’t use, and my old phone it’s dying from years use.

  34. I need a new phone! My phone fell out of my pocket on the log jam, and into the water! Never to be seen again!

  35. would be great for my son for after school sports thank you for the chance this would help so much

  36. I would love to win the LG Phoenix 2 Phone to Use with GoPhone + $45 GoPhone Refill Card because I don’t have a cell phone, and cannot afford one.

  37. I would like to win because it is affordable to add minutes and not having a contract would be great.

  38. I would love to win an AT&T GoPhone because being on a tight budget means I need an affordable phone that won’t break the bank.

  39. I want it because my old Smartphone (HTC M7) has a display damage and it’s getting really slow. I like the features from the LG Phoenix 2 Phone so it would fit well to me. Thank you.

  40. I want to win one because there isn’t a contract and I am in need a good new phone.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  41. Please visit AT&T GoPhone and tell me why you’d like to win one!

    Its always good to have a cheap back-up phone in case you lose your current phone.