On the lookout for the top SIM card choices for international travel? We understand—traveling across the world is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, but becomes drastically worse if you use the wrong SIM card. There’s a strong chance that your native SIM card can incur massive charges if you’re far from home, whether you call, text, or use mobile data. That’s why we suggest that tourists get a local SIM card when they land. Sadly, sometimes you don’t have the time. Luckily, whatever your goal and needs are, we can present the best SIM cards for international roaming.
Since we don’t know your goals, we’ll provide the most versatile example of SIM cards for international roaming—KnowRoaming. We don’t understand why more people don’t know about it. Since it’s a data-only SIM card, you can use mobile data to access the Internet, call, and text. It works in over 200 countries, and the SIM, embedded or physical, is free, but you pay for a plan. Those are separated by countries and continents and vary in price based on data amounts and validity length. Global plans range from $4 for 500 MB to $50 for 5 GB.
2. Three UK PAYG
Is your international trip focused on Europe? If so, disregard all the global SIM cards and go for Three UK pay-as-you-go data packs. Paying only £15 provides 25 GB of data in the 5G network and unlimited minutes and texts in the UK. You also get the Go Roam package of 12 GB for 70+ destinations. Upping the budget to £20 raises the bar to 50 GB of data, and £35 gets you everything unlimited. You can buy one pack a month, but you receive 5 GB more data monthly if you let the plan auto-renew.
Because of credits after the purchase where others give you none, Surfroam is among the cheapest SIM cards. Even without discounts and referral links you can find, it’s priced at only €35 with €35 credit after purchase for the physical SIM, and €25 (with as much credit) for the embedded SIM card. Moreover, it provides coverage in over 200 countries worldwide and lets you access WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook without limits. You only need to recharge it yearly to keep it active, and you get access to 3G, 4G, and 5G networks for only €0.01 per MB.
4. Orange Holiday World
Orange Holiday World gives you a French phone number since Orange is from France. However, for €29.99, you get a physical SIM card with 10 GB of data in 66 countries in Europe, the Americas, and other desirable locations that are part of Zone 1. Moreover, you get 5 GB of data in 18 countries in Zone 2, 1 GB in Zone 3 with 11 countries, and only 50 MB in Zone 4, which is the remainder of the world. Even better, you get limitless calling in Europe, and the carrier doesn’t forbid tethering, using apps, or watching videos, as some do.
OneSimCard is widely recognized as the go-to option, but it’s not as dominant in our eyes. The primary benefit is that you can get free incoming calls in over 120 countries and can receive free SMS worldwide. However, you have to pay $0.25 per minute for calling at a minimum and $0.01 per MB for data. While the eSIM cards OneSimCard eSIM Asiana and OneSimCard eSIM World only cost $9.95 and work in over 150 countries, the physical SIMs only give you $10 credit, whether you pay $34.95 for OneSimCard Expedition or $29.95 for OneSimCard Universal.
Nomad is a less-known SIM card provider that offers 12 GB of data in the United States for $26. It demands $18 for 5 GB and $26 for 10 GB in 34 European countries. In some Asian countries, such as South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, it costs $5 for 1 GB and $15 for 5 GB. Nomad also offers static prices per GB, such as $1.05 for GB in the UK, and $2.60 per GB in France. The carrier claims to match local rate prices for mobile data in over 100 countries.
7. Vodafone UK
Vodafone has a place on many of our “best” lists and also took a spot on our list of top international roaming SIM cards. If you use Unlimited data Xtra Plans, you have the option of roaming in over 83 destinations split into zones. Pay-as-you-go users have 3 zones with distinct roaming prices, Zone A (Isle of Man and Ireland, Zone B (49 destinations in Europe), and ‘Around the World’ (73 extra locations). If you pay monthly, these are A, B, C (32 locations worldwide), and D (73 destinations globally). ‘Rest of the World’ applies to both. They also sell specific passes, such as European Roaming for £8 for 8 days and 15 days for £15.
Keepgo is the leader if you’re looking for lifetime SIM cards for international roaming. Not only do you not have to worry about it expiring if you top up once per year, but it can connect you to 500+ networks in over 100 countries. It only requires an email for personal information—great for privacy. In contrast, it only permits prepaid data usage, not calls and texts. However, you can get between 500 MB and 10 GB of data on a lifetime international SIM, although the price goes up to $165 for 10 GB. The GoFi SIM only demands you pay $8 per GB of data anywhere in the United States or Europe.
The primary SIM they sell, International SIM, costs €10 and permits low-priced calling, texting, and data in 210+ destinations and over 135 countries. You can choose credit, from $10 to $100, or exclude airtime. TravelSIM also provides prepaid data plans from 500 MB to 5 GB, and the website shows the price for zones A, B, Europe, Europe+, Vietnam, and so forth. While convenient and focused on one area, the plans quickly get expensive, especially for data in Zone A and B.
GlobaleSIM is one of the leaders among eSIM-only providers of SIM cards for international roaming. They offer flat prices based on countries, such as $4.5 per GB in the United States or $4 per GB in Italy. Additionally, they offer flat pricing of $3 per 0.5 GB in 63 countries and charge $17 per 1 GB in the most popular ones. It’s easy to use and takes seconds to apply, but the costs are drastically higher than other services.