If you’re traveling, there’s a good chance you’ll need to access your phone on the road. Although you can certainly get international calling on your United States phone, it can be expensive.
Fortunately, these best international sim cards can save you money and keep you connected at all times.
What Are the Best International Sim Cards?
The best international sim cards work in many different counties. However, even if you’re not planning to make calls overseas, you still need a sound sim card for data, as it’s not always possible or safe to connect with local WiFI networks.
Our Picks for the Best International Sim Cards:
- Best Overall: GigSky 4G LTE/3G Data SIM Card
- Best for Your European Adventure: Orange Holiday Europe
- Best for eSim: OneSimCard Travel
- Best for Paying as You Go: Three Mobile Pay
- Best for Travelers on a Budget: Ultra Mobile Trial Kit
- Best for Data: Keepgo Lifetime Prepaid Data Sim Card
- Best for Linking to Local Networks: KnowRoaming Global Sim Card
These sim cards will allow you to stay connected to the world without wreaking havoc on your bank account. All of them are relatively easy to get and install, too.
Why You Need an International SIM Card
You need an international sim card for several reasons, precisely convenience, and safety. International calling plans can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re traveling for long periods.
You could rack up huge costs without knowing it and be stuck with a giant bill when you return to the United States. Even if you install an international plan on your phone, you will still probably pay more than you would with an international sim card.
Going with no sim card at all can be dangerous. Sometimes you need to access your data, and there are no safe WiFi options around. There’s also a good chance that you could have to make a call while abroad.
Also, open WiFi networks are not always that safe. Accessing your banking information on an available network is ill-advised, and even checking your email can pose some risks. It’s a good idea to play it safe and get an international sim card.
Best International Sim Cards: Our Top 7 Picks
These best international sim cards will help you make the most of your travels while minimizing hassles. We’ve broken down our top 7 picks into the best overall international sim card and the best international sim cards for specific needs.
1. Best Overall: GigSky 4G LTE/3G Data SIM Card
GigSky 4G LTE/3G Data SIM Card is an exceptional choice that allows you to travel seamlessly from country to country and always have access to your data and calling options. Plus, it’s easy to log onto and top up, and you can keep all your applications.
If you’re traveling between several different countries, or if you don’t know where you want to go next, GigSky 4G LTE/3G Data SIM Card can make your life a whole lot easier.
The only actual downsides are that some plans can be a bit more costly, and the hotspot takes a slight learning curve to get used to. Otherwise, it’s an excellent international plan.
2. Best for Your European Adventure: Orange Holiday Europe
Orange Holiday Europe offers a massive 20 gigabytes of internet in Europe and is the perfect companion for your holiday trips. It’s easy to install and use the sim card as long as your phone is unlocked.
One of the best things about this sim card is that you can use it in multiple countries without having to change any preferences within the card itself. It’s a reasonably priced option for those traveling in and through Europe.
Unfortunately, although you can make calls to the United States with this sim card, you can’t use it when you’re home in the United States or anywhere outside of continental Europe itself.
3. Best for eSim: OneSimCard Travel
This sim card offers contract-free international phone services with the option of using an eSim card. eSims are easy to set up, and you can keep your previous sim card in the phone. So if you’re someone who worries about losing their sim card, this option is perfect for you.
Also, OneSimCard Travel is relatively inexpensive and covers 150 different countries. Check your destination before committing to ensuring that OneSimCard Travel works there.
It’s a good option for people who want to streamline everything on their phone and don’t want to have to mess around with additional sim cards. It’s also suitable for people traveling to multiple countries because it doesn’t just work in one part of the world.
4. Best for Paying as You Go: Three Mobile Pay
Three Mobile Pay’s sim card comes with 12 gigabytes of data and allows you to top up your account as needed. As a result, you never have to pay for more data or services than you use.
It also works amazingly well in over 70 countries, and you can store and use your data for an entire year. This is excellent news for people who worry about wasting data because their plans roll over.
Three Mobile Pay’s sim card also works on virtually any unlocked phone or tablet, and there’s no contract for usage. However, some of the packages can be a little bit confusing, so it’s a really good idea to read the fine print before selecting one.
5. Best for Travelers on a Budget: Ultra Mobile Trial Kit
Ultra Mobile Trial Kit is an excellent option for people who are trying to cut back on costs and are willing to deal with a few minor inconveniences like difficult or slow texting and occasionally spotty internet.
Ultra Mobile Trial Kit has excellent customer service and is supposed to be a way to try out their plans before buying a package, but you can also use it for your overseas trip.
Serving over 80 international destinations, this phone is an excellent choice for people who need to be connected overseas but don’t want to break the bank.
6. Best for Data: Keepgo Lifetime Prepaid Data Sim Card
Getting access to quick internet is almost always on the top of every traveler’s list. Fortunately, Keepgo Lifetime Prepaid Data Sim Card lets you have data at your fingertips all the time.
This sim comes with a ton of data that you can refill annually, and the internet is super-fast. You can also use this sim as a hotspot for work devices.
It’s easy to activate, you can use it just about anywhere, and all of the applications on your phone will still work the same way they always did. Just remember to keep your sim card information on hand to access your account and be patient with customer service.
7. Best for Linking to Local Networks: KnowRoaming Global Sim Card
This sim card works by finding and connecting to local networks. It’s an excellent option for people who are traveling to very populated parts of the world where there are multiple carriers, but it might not be as good for those who are going to remote spots.
The true benefit is if there is a good network where you’re traveling, this sim card can pick it up. So you’re not limited to a specific region of the world. It’s also relatively inexpensive, and it works well on almost all devices.
Finding the Best International Sim Card
Trying to find the best international sim card for your needs can be slightly daunting. There are a few things that you should keep in mind before making your decision. Thinking it through will yield the best option in the end.
How Often Will You Be Moving?
Plenty of sim cards work in one part of the world, but that’s it. However, if you will be moving around a lot, especially between continents, you will want a sim card that is as flexible as you are.
Make sure that you read the fine print before making your decision.
Do You Have a Business Number?
Often, you’ll get a new phone number with your sim card. While this is entirely ordinary and expected, it can wreak havoc on your business if you use your American phone number for work.
In cases like this, it’s a good idea to either get a sim card that allows you to keep your number or get an eSim card.
What’s the Length of Your Trip?
Your trip’s length will dictate what you should look for in a sim card, specifically when it comes to things like data packages.
If you’re not sure how long you’re going to be gone, it’s not a bad idea to opt for a “pay as you go” package.
Do You Need a Phone, Data, or Both?
Many international sim cards come with both phone and data packages, although some are one or the other. Think about what you’re going to use your phone for, and act accordingly.
If you only need one or the other, you’ll wind up paying less and making the most out of your international sim card.
Keep these considerations in mind when purchasing your international sim card, and you’re more likely to make an informed decision.