Using the best SIM cards for USA when you’re from another country can really make a difference in your budget. Roaming charges are quite expensive. The better and cheaper way is to use a prepaid SIM card during the duration of your stay in the country.
International Roaming vs Best SIM Cards for USA
When you travel to the US and want to use your phone there, you have 2 options: international roaming (using your current SIM card) or purchasing a new US-based SIM card.
If you just go to the USA for a day or 2, then you can just use your SIM through international roaming. Your network will charge you per usage (calling, receiving calls, texting, using mobile data). However, international roaming can be expensive especially if you frequently use your phone for texting, calling or accessing the web. Plus, you’ll have to set up your phone for international roaming before travelling.
If you stay in the USA for a few days, weeks or months, then the cheaper option is to buy a new SIM card. Just make sure that your phone is unlocked in order for you to insert and use a new SIM card on your device. Typically, you’ll get 3G coverage on your phone in most SIM cards. However, for 4G LTE coverage, it depends on your phone model or the carrier you’ll choose.
Using the best SIM cards for USA can really save you money. So it’s important to only choose the right network for your phone and the right SIM card for best value. If you’re from the US travelling abroad, then these phone plans for international travel will save you bucks. When travelling, these Android travel apps will also come handy.
6 Best SIM Cards to Use When Travelling to USA
Travelling from the US to non-English-speaking countries? Be sure to download these translator apps for Android.
However, if it’s the other way around, be sure to check out these best SIM cards which you can use throughout the USA and during your entire stay in the country. Just make sure that your phone is unlocked and always check if your device is compatible with the network you’ll choose.
T-Mobile Prepaid SIM Card
If you are only planning to stay in the US for a couple of weeks, then this T-Mobile is best for your value. T-Mobile network runs on GSM, which means that it’s more compatible with most Europe-based phones.
This SIM card comes with a free unlimited text, calls and data (high-speed 4G LTE) for 20 days, which is why it’s ideal for travellers who are only in the USA for a few days or weeks. The triple-cut card means that it can be used for all phones (with nano, micro or regular SIM slot).
Just take note that it needs to be activated before you can start using it. Just follow the instructions that come with it and the SIM will be activated within 24 hours.
- High-speed data (4G LTE)
- 20 days unlimited text, calls and data
- For unlocked cell phone
- Triple-cut sim (nano, micro and regular size)
- 24-hour activation
- APN setting is necessary for Android phones
- Your phone must be unlocked
- For USA use only
Refer to T-Mobile’s BYOD guide to check if your phone is compatible with the network. Better yet, use this BYOD Check App.
Mint Mobile Wireless Plan SIM Card
Planning to stay in the US for months? This Mint Mobile SIM Card is budget-friendly. At only $60, you’ll get a 3-in-1 SIM card, unlimited call and text, and 8G data (4G LTE) for 3 months. That’s just $20 a month. Add 12GB of data at a discounted price of $25 per month.
Easy to set up and activate, this SIM card works for GSM-compatible phones, just as long as your phone is unlocked. Since Mint Mobile is an online-only network, your transaction is easier. Do everything online.
- 8GB 4G LTE data (per month)
- Unlimited call and text (3 months)
- Includes regular, micro and nano-cut GSM sim card
- 7-day money back
Check if your phone is compatible with Mint Mobile through this BYOD guide.
Get the most of Mint Mobile by downloading the app. Check it out below.
Sprint Wireless Sim Card Kit
For CDMA-compatible phones, Sprint Sim Card is a great option. The mobile network offers a monthly plan of $25 per month for unlimited call and text, as well as basic data. The 4-in-1 SIM card kit ensures that it will fit all kinds of SIM card slots. It’s easy to activate too, so you can use it right away.
- Easy activation
- 4-in-1 kit
- For CDMA-compatible, unlocked phones
- Unlimited text, data and call ($25 per month)
However, since most phone networks from other countries run on GSM technology, it can be harder for European and other phones to work with CDMA networks like Sprint. To check compatibility, visit Sprint BYOD.
Cricket Prepaid Universal SIM Card Kit
Keep your phone number while using Cricket wireless during your stay in the US. This SIM card works for GSM-compatible and unlocked phones. To activate, just insert the SIM and follow the provided instructions.
Cricket Wireless offers various prepaid plans to suit your needs. Get unlimited call and text for $30 a month. If you want to include unlimited fast speed data (4G LTE), it will cost you $50 a month. It might be more expensive than, say, T-Mobile’s prepaid, but it’s nevertheless feature-rich with a coverage that extends not only in the US, but in Mexico and Canada as well.
You can also use Cricket International if you want to call from the US to other countries (up to 35 countries).
- For GSM-compatible, unlocked phones
- Unlimited text and talk ($30 per month)
- With unlimited 4G LTE data ($50 per month)
- No annual contract
Check phone compatibility with Cricket BYOD.
Verizon Prepaid SIM Card Kit
This Verizon prepaid SIM card is worth considering if you’re travelling to different parts of the US. Verizon is a network most known for its high-speed 4G LTE data. It’s a reliable network especially when you travel to rural and remote areas where the signal is usually weak.
The kit includes a triple-cut SIM and tray removal tool. Just cut the SIM according to what fits to your phone: nano, micro or standard. With this SIM card, there’s no credits or annual contract. Check out their prepaid plans and choose the one that suits your needs.
- No long-term contract
- No credit check
- For compatible unlocked phones
- Triple-cut SIM
- Unlimited talk and text
Learn about phone compatibility through this Verizon BYOD.
AT&T GoPhone Universal SIM Card Starter Kit
AT&T no longer offers unlimited SIM cards. However, they do have SIM card kits through their GoPhone. This universal SIM card kit works fine for unlocked phones that are GSM-compatible. Ideal for visitors to the Us, this SIM card supports 4G LTE, 4G and 3G devices. However, it does not support 2G and does not include free calls, texts and data.
Nevertheless, it works both for prepaid and postpaid plans. Just choose any of these plans to start enjoying high-speed data, calls and texts while you’re in the country.
- GSM technology
- Triple-cut SIM
- Supports 3G, 4G and 4G LTE
- Easy activation
- No annual contract
Find out if your phone works with AT&T here.
If you’re also interested to find out about how to unlock phones from popular US carriers, check out the following:
Questions People Ask
Which SIM card is best for USA and Mexico?
- Most of the SIM cards listed here are for US-use only. However, there’s one that you can use for USA and Mexico. That is Cricket Wireless Sim Card.
Where to buy SIM cards for USA?
- You can buy from the network carrier itself (online or in their stores, as well as their partner stores). If you’re not in the USA, then the best way is to buy online or through Amazon.
How much are SIM cards for the US?
- It depends on the carrier or if the SIM card comes with unlimited texts, calls and data. On average, SIM card-only is below $10.
Choose the SIM Card That Fits Your Needs
When choosing the best SIM card for your USA travel, the first thing that you should consider is compatibility. Take note that some carriers use GSM technology, while others use CDMA. It’s important that you know which of the 2 your phone is compatible with. The best way to find out is to visit each carrier’s BYOD page.
Once you have decided on what SIM card to use, the next thing to do is simply to enjoy texting, calling or accessing data at the best value. That way, you’ll have extra bucks for your other travel needs.
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