Mobile phone contracts & sim cards
There are several ways you can get mobile phone contracts and sim cards:
- Search for a mobile phone tariff on the internet and sign the contract online. You will get the SIM card by post.
- Go to a mobile phone provider’s shop and sign a contract there.
- You can also get prepaid rates and SIM cards in supermarkets and discount stores like Penny, Aldi and Lidl or in drugstores like dm and Rossmann or even at kiosks.
To sign a contract, you must present a document with a photo, name, address and date of birth. This can be one of the following documents, for example:
- a passport recognised in Germany
- an identity card, passport or identity card substitute
- a residence permit
- a proof of arrival
- a certificate of residence permit
What should you look out for when signing a contract?
Compare different providers on the internet or go to a mobile phone shop.
If you sign up for a mobile phone tariff, there will be a written contract.
Mobile phone contracts usually have complicated wording and lots of footnotes. Take the time to read the contract carefully. If you don’t understand something, ask someone who knows German well.
Many providers ask for a one-time fee at the beginning of the contract, the connection fee.
What types of contracts and tariffs are offered? Fixed-term contracts with a minimum term of 24 months.
You often get an all-net flat with a large data volume for a low monthly fee. You can also choose a smartphone that you pay off in monthly instalments.
The contract is valid for 24 months.
Providers include, for example, Telekom, Vodafone or o2.
Mobile phone contracts that can be cancelled monthly
Many providers offer contracts that can be cancelled monthly. These offer the same service as fixed-term contracts, but can cost more. Providers include congstar, freenet Mobile and klarmobil.de.
With a prepaid tariff, you top up your credit with money when you need it. You can often get a prepaid card without having your own bank account.
If you need new credit, you can top up your mobile phone card at the checkout in the supermarket or at the petrol station. You can also get new credit in drugstores and mobile phone shops. You usually pay per minute and SMS.
Providers are, for example, Aldi Talk, Blau.de or Congstar.
Ethno mobile phone tariffs
Ethno tariffs are aimed specifically at people with a migration background or people with friends and family abroad. These ethno tariffs are cheap for calls to a specific country. For example, to Turkey, Russia, Poland, Syria, Eritrea or the Balkan states.
Providers are, for example, Ay Yildiz, Lebara Mobile or Ortel Mobile.