Best prepaid eSIM for USA: compare, buy online, and travel connected

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Are you traveling to the USA this year? Well, prepare for the trip of a lifetime, but make sure you’ve thought about connecting to the internet during your travels. In this article, we’ll explain why an eSIM for traveling in the USA is the best way to connect to the internet and how you can buy one.

The eSIM (short for “embedded SIM“) is a virtual SIM card which is what everyone’s talking about. An eSIM for USA travel will provide you with cheap, reliable, and fast internet that can be shared on several devices.

So if you want to use your cellphone in the USA, we recommend buying an eSIM designed especially for travelers – this will help you avoid paying expensive data roaming fees in the USA.

We’ll compare the best companies that offer a US Mobile eSIM, so you can be sure you’ll get the best deal.

What you need to know about the US Mobile eSIM

eSIM technology is still relatively new, so not all phones are compatible. Here’s everything you need to check before you buy:

  • Your cellphone must be compatible with an eSIM card. Also, check that your cellphone is supported by the carrier or eSIM card provider. The iPhone XR and more recent models as well as those using Android are compatible with most providers. 
  • You need an email address to receive your eSIM.
  • You need an internet connection to activate your eSIM. Your eSIM profile will be downloaded from the provider after scanning the QR code or installation code.
  • Some providers will ask you to install their official app to download the eSIM.

eSIM card providers when you travel to the USA

If your phone is incompatible with eSIM, we recommend a prepaid SIM card for the USA, which comes with unlimited data. But if you do have a compatible phone, it’s time to find the right product for you.

Let’s take a look at the companies that offer international eSIM cards:

Rates and data plans from eSIM carriers to travel to the US

Let’s take a look at the different companies that offer eSIM plans for the USA. Keep in mind that your choice will depend on your needs during your trip, however, having an eSIM with unlimited data will always be a suitable option, so you will avoid running short on data and will be able to enjoy your vacation.

Holafly unlimited data plans and prices in the United States:

  • Unlimited data for 5 days at $19 USD
  • Unlimited data for 15 days at $47 USD
  • Unlimited data for 30 days at $64 USD
  • Unlimited data for 90 days at $99 USD

Gigsky rates and prices in the USA:

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

Au by KDDI plans and rates for the USA:

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

Comparison of eSIM providers for the United States

ProviderDataDaysPrice (USD)Sales channels
HolaflyUnlimited data plan5$19Web
HolaflyUnlimited data plan15$47Web
HolaflyUnlimited data plan30$64Web
HolaflyUnlimited data plan90$99Web
Gigsky1GB1$10App Store, Google Play
Gigsky3GB15$25App Store, Google Play
Gigsky5GB30$40App Store, Google Play
Au by KDDI5GB30$52Web
Au by KDDI8GB30$81Web
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers to connect to the Internet in the United States.

Features of the eSIM or virtual SIM card for the USA

To get the most out of your eSIM card, we’ve prepared some important information to bear in mind so that your trip to the USA is worry-free!

  • Most eSIM cards do not offer voice calls, only data. You can use apps like WhatsApp or Skype instead to call friends and family back home.
  • eSIMs can only be installed once, so if you’re experiencing problems with your eSIM card do not remove it from your cellphone and contact your eSIM provider instead.
  • Some eSIMs set up automatic APNs.
  • You can add several data plans on your iPhone, although it is only possible to use one at a time.
  • Some eSIMs allow you to share data between devices.
  • With your dual SIM iPhone, you can keep your local SIM when you travel to the USA! 

What is the best eSIM for the USA?

Having considered all the options, Holafly is the best eSIM for the USA. It’s an unlimited cellular data eSIM that offers several different deals depending on your needs.

What makes Holafly the best choice for your travels to the USA?

  • Unlimited data plans
  • Instant delivery! – no waiting around, just scan the QR code sent to your email and you’ll be able to connect right away!
  • Keep your WhatsApp number – you’ll keep all your current contacts and conversations even with a new SIM card.
  • Easy to use – it’s simple to set up a Holafly eSIM, but if you encounter any problems just contact their 24-hour customer support team.

eSIM coverage for traveling to the USA

It’s important to consider your eSIM’s coverage. And remember that sometimes cheap eSIM cards have poor coverage, possibly leaving you without internet when you need it most. Let’s take a look at the main providers in the USA and find out which ones offer the best connection.

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

Coverage map with AT&T in USA
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 in USA
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 phone carriers offering eSIM in the USA

For people living in the USA who want an eSIM card or change their traditional physical SIM card, we present the cellular providers in the country that already offer eSIMs. Keep in mind that these eSIM carriers have eSIMs only for residents and not for travelers, although there are exceptions.

eSIM AT&T United States

AT&T eSIMs are compatible with iPhone, Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei.

Benefits of the AT&T eSIM in the USA

On iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Moto Razr devices, you can:

  • Use both phone numbers.
  • Make and receive voice calls.
  • Send and receive messages.
  • Surf the internet by selecting the line of your choice.

How to Activate an AT&T eSIM for USA

You must scan a QR code to activate it. This code is delivered directly inside official AT&T shops and cannot be purchased online, so those interested must go to a branch to request it. But they must also have a data subscription plan with the provider.

In case you need it, keep in mind that you’ll need to have either a prepaid or postpaid plan to do so. After that, it’s a matter of applying for the eSIM, and you’re all set to go!

Verizon eSIM for USA

Verizon Wireless is a US cellular operator founded in 2000. It is the largest cellular carrier in the country with more than 80 million customers and is steadily growing in the virtual SIM technology market, with support for both iPhone and Android phones.

How to activate a Verizon eSIM for USA

For iPhone:

  • Choose the line you wish to activate on the Activate a device on an existing line page in My Verizon.
  • Choose the eSIM to activate:
    * iPhone 10-13: Choose IMEI2 for eSIM.
    * iPhone 14*: Choose the IMEI you want to activate.
  • Follow the prompts to activate your device.

To activate an Android eSIM on an existing line, you will need to contact a customer service representative.

T-Mobile eSIM for USA

This company has an added bonus: it handles eSIMs through an app called Prepaid eSIM and was designed for people travelling to the US, existing T-Mobile customers who want a secondary prepaid line, and anyone else who wants to try out the Un-carrier to get a taste of the country’s fastest 5G network.

T-Mobile eSIM-compatible cellphones in the US

eSIMs work primarily on last-gen devices.

But to be more precise, and with the information given directly by T-Mobile, the compatible devices are the iPhone XS and newer devices, the Pixel 3 and newer models, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, the S21 and newer devices, and the Motorola Razr 5G.

Frequently asked questions about eSIM in the USA

Let’s take a look at the questions we’re often asked about buying an eSIM for the USA.

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

No, but some providers may require your address.

Can I share data between devices with the eSIM in the United States?

Sharing is caring, right? Well, with an eSIM from Holafly you can share data between devices, so your family and friends can connect too.

How to activate the eSIM for the United States?

Install the eSIM with a QR code from your email, chose it as the default cellular data medium, turn on cellular data option and data roaming, and your virtual SIM will work. Contact the company if you experience any issues.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, just like physical cards, international eSIM cards also have an expiration date.

eSIM for other destinations

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