Orange Prepaid SIM Cards: Offers, Prices and Options
If you're looking for a flexible and inexpensive way to get access to both a French phone number and 4G data, buying a French prepaid SIM card might be your best option. The biggest phone operator in France, Orange, offers its version under the name Mobicartes. No hidden fees along the way, clients pay only for what they consume. Thus, unlike an unlimited package, these prepaid cards offer a limited communication time proportional to your contribution. Here are the SIM offers provided by French operator Orange.
What is a prepaid Mobicarte plan?
Unlike a standard phone plan which gives you unlimited - or near-to-unlimited - calls and SMS / MMS, for a set amount a month, with a prepaid card you pay ahead of time for a bundle of 10, 20 or 50 euros, and from there mobile credit is depleted according to your consumption. Credit can include an allowance for calls, SMS and data that can be used within France and sometimes beyond, depending on the card and provider.
Unlike conventional mobile plans with an invoice and monthly renewal of the offer, the Orange Mobicarte is presented as a blocked mobile offer with no time commitment, no invoice, or automatic renewal. By purchasing an Orange prepaid card and inserting it into your phone, you’ll get a French mobile number and you’ll be able to use whatever credit is available to you, until the expiration date.
You are free to recharge your SIM credit if and when necessary, by purchasing a refill offered by the operator. With Orange, you can choose to recharge for amounts ranging from €5 to €100.
Why should you opt for an Orange Mobicarte?
The main advantage of these Orange prepaid SIM cards is that their offers are non-binding. This means that when you reach the end of your mobile credit, it won't automatically be renewed. You thus won't have to worry about cancelling your plan or have hefty cancelling fees, but you'll also be free to recharge it if you so wish.
This said, while prepaid cards are a flexible, simple, straightforward formula, they aren't necessarily the cheapest option in the long term, so it depends on your situation.
Because of this, Mobicartes are mostly intended for occasional users who prefer to top up their credit whenever they want and according to their needs; rather than operating with a fixed monthly subscription.
If you are planning on staying in France for a few months or more, prepaid SIM cards are probably not for you. Getting a regular French phone plan will work out a lot cheaper for you. Some plans are even non-committal, meaning you'll be able to cancel it at any time at no extra charge.
What prepaid cards does Orange provide?
Orange offers 4 different Mobicartes:
- Mobicarte Mini,
- Orange Holiday,
- Mobicarte Vacances
- Mobicarte Maghreb.
They come at different prices and allowances, but all formulas will give you a French phone line that will remain open for 6 months, meaning you can purchase a card in advance and activate it months later.
The card you opt for will mostly depend on your budget and your needs. All the details below.
The Mobicarte Mini
The Mobicarte Mini is Orange's cheapest and most basic offer. For €2.99, you'll get your Orange SIM card with a French number, and then it's up to you how much allowance you want to apply to your card.
The Mini formulation also includes unlimited calls and texts from 9 pm to midnight, regardless of how much credit you purchase.
The Orange Holiday
The Holiday formula is intended for non-European tourists, or those travelling throughout Europe for a couple of weeks or so, and want a relatively cheap solution to get data and allowance during their stay. Here, you'll benefit from an all-inclusive prepaid offer which will work out a lot less expensive than using your allowance from back home, if you are from outside Europe.
The Orange Holiday bundle includes 2 hours of calls and 1,000 text messages that you can use across Europe, towards Europe and towards worldwide destinations. You'll also get 20GB of data, but there can only be used within Europe.
This formula costs €39.99 and is valid for 14 days from the day you activate it (within the 6 months you purchase).
The Mobicarte Vacances is priced at €14.99. It gives you 2h of calls towards France and Europe, unlimited SMS/MMS and 100 MB of data that can all be used towards France and Europe. You'll also pick 3 numbers that you'll be able to call unlimited and won't be deducted from the 2-hour package.
The Vacances bundle is valid for 14 days after activation (outside of recharges).
This Orange prepaid SIM card is specifically designed for anyone who finds themselves calling both France and the Maghreb on a regular basis. The Maghreb Mobicarte will be an all-in-one option that'll give you one single line to communicate with both places.
This card costs €9.99 and includes 10 minutes of calls to landlines and mobiles in the Maghreb and Europe, and 10 minutes of calls in France. This credit is valid for 31 days after activation.
With all the Orange Mobicarte offers, you get access to the Orange network, voted best mobile network by ARCEP for the 9th consecutive time. You can also check your voicemail, track your data usage and call emergency numbers for free.
Where can I buy an Orange prepaid card?
You can buy any Mobicarte in-store, online or by phone.
Purchasing an Orange card in-store
You can buy an Orange prepaid SIM card in one of the 50,000 licensed Orange mobile stockists (tobacconists, shopping centres, one of the 1,200 French stores owned by Orange...).
The advantage of buying a Mobicarte from a physical point of sale is that you immediately get your prepaid SIM card. This means you can use it immediately by inserting it into your mobile phone and activating it!
Buying a Mobicarte via the Internet
Alternatively, you can purchase a card on the Orange online store. From there, click on the "Mobiles et forfaits" tab, then on the "Offres prépayées" option found in the "Forfaits mobile" section. From there, you can then choose the plan you want to subscribe to.
By ordering online, you'll save time as you won't have to go in-store, but you'll also save money the Mobicarte alone costs €2.99 online, against €9.99 in store. Moreover, you'll get free delivery within 72 hours.
Make sure you have your ID (passport, visa, ID card...) and your bank card ready before starting the process - it's speed things up for you.
Over the phone
Finally, it is also possible to subscribe to an Orange Mobicarte offer by phone, like with all the Orange offers. Just call the provider at 3900.
How do I get started with an Orange Mobicarte?
Once you've received your SIM and put in into your phone, you just need to activate your Orange Mobicarte by making a call or sending an SMS. That's it! Once this is done, your line is activated and your validity period will be counted down.
At any time, you can dial the 225 free number to receive an SMS telling you what your number is and how long you have left until your credit expires.
When your credit is used up or has expired, you have 6 months to top-up. If you don't, Orange will consider your line as out of use and will suspend it. The validity period of your mobile line will, therefore, be extended again by 6 months every time you recharge your credit before the due date.
In 2020, here are the tariffs applied to the Orange Mobicartes, regardless of which one you opt for (to and from France):.
Orange systematically includes unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in France as well as unlimited SMS between 9 pm and midnight. In addition, connections to Orange’s Wi-Fi network are also unlimited. The only condition to benefit from these advantages is to have a credit greater than €0.
Orange SIM card: who to call in case of a problem?
If you encounter a problem when purchasing a Mobicarte Orange, or for any other question relating to an Orange prepaid SIM, you should contact the Orange customer service which can be reached in several ways.
Contacting Orange via telephone
For help with a Mobicarte issue, you can contact the Orange customer service by telephone by dialling 3900.
If you are abroad, instead contact +33 9 69 39 39 00 in order to be put in touch with an Orange advisor.
Orange Customer Service via online assistance
Don't feel comfortable talking on the phone in French? Simply go to the Orange website instead to access online assistance, via the "Aide et Contact" tab at the top of the page. The FAQ section may possibly be useful to you, depending on your issue. You can also consult the Orange Forum for help with Orange prepaid SIM cards.
Finally, if you are a customer, you can always send a message to an Orange advisor or ask your question by filling out an online form (you just need to be logged into your Orange account).
Getting assistance in-store
For issues with your Orange prepaid card, another solution is to visit one of the 1,200 stores Orange operates throughout France.
There, an advisor will be available to help you resolve your problem there and then if possible. To find a store near you, go to the Orange website and click on "Trouver une boutique" (Find a store) at the bottom of the page.
Orange support by mail
To file a complaint or request a refund regarding an Orange prepaid SIM card, you can send a letter by registered post to the following address:
Mobicarte, Service Clients Mobile Orange,
Make sure to incude all the necessary supporting documents and information.