International travelers often have to choose between the attractive prices of local SIM cards and the convenience of international roaming. But there’s also a third option: international SIM cards.
SIM Cards for International Travel
Since the EU’s “roam like at home” rule, which prohibits providers from charging roaming fees, went into effect, the providers of international SIM cards that target travelers to Europe have been scrambling to compete with local carriers, and it’s travelers like you who benefit the most. We’ve compared many popular SIM cards and selected five that all travelers to Europe should know about.
If you want to enjoy a worry-free time in Europe and still be able to stay connected just like you’re used to from home, the Europe Plus SIM card from Mobal is a great choice. For $59, it includes 1 GB of 4G data, unlimited incoming calls and texts, and a rate of just $0.30 per minute for calls to the USA and Canada. Should you ever find yourself in the need for more mobile data, you can easily purchase an extra 1 GB for only $10. The Europe Plus SIM works on all unlocked devices, and it’s valid for 30 days after activation.
Orange has cooked up an amazing deal that includes 10 GB of mobile data, 1,000 text messages, and 120 minutes of phone calls in 30 countries in Europe for just $50. The reason why the Holiday Europe SIM card offers so much more than the Europe Plus SIM card from Mobal even though it costs less is simple: the card is valid only for 14 days, instead of 30. But considering that the average length of trips taken by United States travelers is only 6.2 nights, we think that it’s safe to say that the Holiday Europe SIM card is a superior option for anyone except for frequent business travelers.
This prepaid SIM card from travSIM includes 9 GB of data and 3,000 free minutes for phone calls. It works in most of Europe as well as the USA, Brazil, French Guiana, French West Indies, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, U.S. Virgin Islands, Israel, Canary Islands, Madeira, Réunion, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, and Sri Lanka. The only caveat is the fact that the SIM card doesn’t allow tethering, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on doing work on your laptop, for example.
Most international travelers can probably agree that additional charges and hidden fees are the worst. Cellhire wants you to forget about the stress of not knowing how much you’ll have to pay once you get back home, which is why the company offers its EU SIM card. With it, you can monitor live data usage online from your account to always know exactly how much data from the 2 GB that are included for free with the card you have left. The card works in 33 European countries, and it works with all unlocked devices.
These days, you can do just about anything over the internet, including making phone calls and sending text and multimedia messages. That’s why this prepaid SIM card from UK EE makes so much sense. It comes with 6 GB of mobile data for just $29.99, and it works for 90 days since activation. It’s important to note that this SIM card is for internet only—it cannot make/receive phone calls or send/receive SMS. But if you can get by with Skype and WhatsApp, the only way how to connect to the internet in Europe that is more affordable than this SIM card is to buy a local SIM card.