eSIM for USA: compare, buy and travel connected

By: • Updated:

Traveling to the United States to cities like New York, Miami or Las Vegas is the dream of many. The best experience is to be connected with a good Internet connection. There are multiple options on the market such as SIM cards, activating roaming, renting a Pocket Wi-Fi or buying the new eSIM to travel to the USA.

In Roaming we are going to tell you everything you need to know about eSIM in the United States, international operators, local eSIM, reviews, how they work, their features and how to buy them, so you can avoid wasting time filling shopping carts, if at the end they don’t support your payment method. Welcome!

What you need to know to install the eSIM card USA:

The eSIM or embedded SIM card technology is still lagging behind in the market. Despite the fact that mobile brands are launching new devices, most of them do not incorporate the eSIM. For that reason, consider the following before buying it:

  • You must have a cell phone compatible with eSIM, check that your cell phone is supported by the operator or eSIM card provider. We anticipate that the iPhone XR or more recent versions are preferred by the companies providing the virtual SIM.
  • It is essential to have an email address to register and receive your eSIM.
  • It is important that you have an internet connection, the profile of your eSIM will be downloaded from the operator’s servers after scanning the QR code or installation code.
  • Some providers will ask you to install their App to download the eSIM.

Buy your eSIM USA with a discount.
Discount coupon: roaming5

Mobile eSIM card providers to travel to the USA

If you meet the above requirements, you will be able to purchase and activate a US eSIM card. In case you don’t meet them, don’t worry, you can also buy a US SIM card with unlimited data and calls. Below, we will tell you about the providers available in the market for you to purchase your eSIM to connect to the Internet in the United States. These are companies that sell international eSIM cards for use in your tourism or business trips abroad. We list them below:

  • Holafly
  • Gigsky
  • Au by KDDI

Rates and data plans from eSIM providers to travel to the USA

Below we will show you the different plans and prices of eSIM cards available to travel to the US. The price variation may be due to coverage reasons, lower roaming agreements with local operators will mean lower prices and vice versa. It also depends on the location and payment methods available.

Holafly plans and prices in the United States:

  • 3GB for 7 days at 40USD
  • 5GB for 15 days at 52USD
  • 7GB for 30 days at 67USD

Gigsky rates and prices in the USA:

  • 1GB for 1 day at 10USD
  • 3GB for 15 days at 25USD
  • 5GB for 30 days at 40USD

Au by KDDI plans and rates for the USA:

  • 5GB for 30 days at 52USD
  • 8GB for 30 days at 81USD

Comparison of eSIM providers for the United States

ProviderDataDaysPriceSupportSales channels
Holafly3GB840USDSpanish, English, French and GermanWeb
Holafly5GB1552USDSpanish, English, French and GermanWeb
Holafly5GB3067USDSpanish, English, French and GermanWeb
Gigsky1GB110USDEnglishApp Store, Google Play
Gigsky3GB1525USDEnglishApp Store, Google Play
Gigsky5GB3040USDEnglishApp Store, Google Play
Au by KDDI5GB3052USDEnglishWeb
Au by KDDI8GB3081USDEnglishWeb
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers to connect to the Internet in the United States.

eSIM features to travel to the U.S.

So that you know what you are buying, we will tell you the features you should take into account about eSIM cards for your trips to USA. Despite their similarity, they are not the same as traditional physical SIM cards. See their details here:

  • Most eSIM cards do not offer analog calls, only data. For voice communication you can use Apps such as Skype or WhatsApp.
  • They can be installed only once, so if you are experiencing problems with your eSIM card; do not remove it from your phone and contact your eSIM provider.
  • Back to your dual SIM iPhone, you will be able to keep your local SIM when you travel to the United States. Remember to set up your iPhone to avoid surprise bills.
  • You can add multiple data plans on your iPhone, this depends on the available memory, although it is only possible to use one at a time.

eSIM coverage to travel to the U.S.

One of the most important reasons when traveling to the United States is the coverage that your eSIM will offer you. You may be getting a very cheap eSIM card but it may not provide good coverage in the USA.

The eSIM cards that will offer you the best network coverage on your trip to the US are those that have the most roaming agreements with the major carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon.

By having multiple network connection options, your iPhone will change network according to the areas you visit in the United States. For ease of use, we share here the coverage maps of the main U.S. mobile operators.

4G, LTE, AT&T coverage map in the U.S.

Coverage map with ATT
Coverage map with AT&T in the USA. Source: ATT

T-Mobile’s 4G, LTE network coverage in the U.S.

Coverage map with T-Mobile
Coverage map with T-Mobile in USA. Source: T-Mobile

Verizon 4G, LTE coverage map in USA

Coverage map with Verizon in the United States
Coverage map with Verizon in the United States. Source: Verizon

Local mobile operators offering eSIM in the United States

The United States is a developed country with several mobile operators. Most of them already offer 5G connectivity and the possibility to activate an eSIM. This option is mainly intended for US locals who wish to migrate from their physical SIM cards to the new virtual cards.

The eSIM has a US number and provides most of the features of traditional SIM cards such as mini-SIM, nano-SIM or micro-SIM.

However, it should be noted that in order to activate a plan with eSIM, certain requirements must be met and certain procedures must be followed. The eSIM of U.S. mobile operators are intended for permanent residents and not for travelers, although there are exceptions.

The following is a list of U.S. mobile operators that have already enabled eSIM technology for their users:

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • Google Fi

Frequently asked questions about eSIM in the U.S.

We answer the most common questions you may have before purchasing your eSIM to travel to the United States.

Do I need a passport to purchase the eSIM USA card?

It is not necessary to present a passport, some suppliers do require your address.

Can I share data or tether with the eSIM in the United States?

Yes, US eSIMs will allow you to share your data to other devices. However, we recommend that you check with the provider’s customer service.

How to activate the eSIM for the United States?

Then install the virtual SIM profile, choose it as the default mobile data medium, turn on data and roaming and your virtual SIM should be working.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, just like physical cards, virtual SIM cards also have an expiration date.

Leave a Comment