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 you checked that your phone is compatible with eSIMs, then this could be a great option for you to stay connected to the internet while traveling to the USA. 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.
If you want to enjoy excellent internet connectivity and always have unlimited data, then Holafly’s eSIM for the USA will be your best option. With this company, you will be able to choose between different options with different amounts of days, so you will be able to get the one that best suits your trip. And best of all, no matter which plans you choose, with all of them, you will be able to enjoy unlimited data in the USA.
On the other hand, to purchase Holafly’s eSIM, you need to visit their official website, search for your travel destination, choose the plan you prefer, and proceed to finalize your purchase. Holafly will allow you to make your payments through different methods, such as credit cards, Paypal, and Google Pay. Also, if you have an Apple phone, you can download the Holafly App for iOS. With it, you can check the information of your eSIM and enter the technical service.
Pros of Holafly’s eSIM for the USA:
- Enjoy the high-speed and stable connection in the USA.
- Easy to set up and activate.
- You’ll enjoy unlimited data.
- Keep your WhatsApp number on your cellphone.
- You’ll have 24/7 customer service from Holafly’s team.
Cons of Holafly’s eSIM for the USA:
- You won’t be able to make or receive calls.
- No messages included.
- No data sharing.
Another provider with which you can also purchase an eSIM for your trip is GigSky. This company is based in Palo Alto, California. However, you will be able to purchase the eSIM through their mobile application. That is, you will need to download the application to purchase and track the eSIM.
As for their plans, they currently have various plans available, with 1GB, 3GB, and 5GB, for different amounts of days. But, as you can see, you cannot enjoy unlimited data. As for the prices, they tend to be affordable, and you must have the payment method that the company has, which is mainly credit cards.
Pros of GigSky eSIM:
- You can top it up.
- Easy installation process.
- Global data plan available.
Cons of GigSky eSIM:
- You must download their phone App to buy an eSIM.
- Some cell phones from Asia are incompatible.
- You can only use the eSIM card in Android cellphones from version 10 and onwards.
Au by KDDI
This is a Japanese mobile operator. They sell eSIMs intended for travelers planning to do work or business abroad. To purchase the eSIM from this company you will need to download their phone application, called “My au”, available for Android and iOs. After downloading it you will need to create an account on the app, set up your payment method, and choose the plan you wish to purchase.
With this company, you can choose between two plans. However, a big disadvantage is that both are for 30 days, with the difference that one will offer you 5GB and the other 8GB. The first is priced at $56 and the second at $86.
Pros of Au by KDDI eSIM:
- No QR code scanning, the eSIM will activate itself.
- Your Dual SIM device will automatically switch to the local network once you are at your destination.
- You can share data with other devices.
Cons of Au by KDDI eSIM:
- All of their tariffs are for 30 days.
- You must download their app to make the purchase.
- The eSIM is not compatible with all phones.
Comparison of eSIM providers for the United States
|Provider||Data||Days||Price (USD)||Sales channels|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||5||$19||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||10||$34||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||15||$47||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||20||$54||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||30||$64||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||60||$84||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data plan||90||$99||Web|
|GigSky||1GB||1||$10||App Store, Google Play|
|GigSky||3GB||15||$25||App Store, Google Play|
|GigSky||5GB||30||$40||App Store, Google Play|
|Au by KDDI||5GB||30||$56||App Store, Google Play|
|Au by KDDI||8GB||30||$86||App Store, Google Play|
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.
Mobile internet coverage map 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.
T-Mobile’s 4G, LTE network coverage in the U.S.
Verizon 4G, LTE coverage map in the USA
Local phone carriers offering eSIM in the USA
For people living in the USA who want an eSIM card or to 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 the 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.
Benefits of the Verizon eSIM for the USA
Verizon eSIM compatible mobile phones will allow you to perform the following beneficial actions:
- You can use your eSIM and SIM card simultaneously.
- Surf the internet by selecting the line of your choice.
- This Verizon eSIM will also work with roaming services.
How to activate a Verizon eSIM for the USA
- 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 traveling 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.
How to activate a T-Mobile eSIM for the USA
You’ll be able to activate it through the T-Mobile App. Just download it, and follow the steps to install and activate the eSIM.
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.
No, but some providers may require your address.
It is a virtual SIM card that is embedded in a mobile device and will let you connect to any mobile operator offering eSIM services.
Sharing is caring, right? Well, with an eSIM from Holafly, you can share data between devices, so your family and friends can connect too.
Install the eSIM with a QR code from your email, choose it as the default cellular data medium, turn on the cellular data option and data roaming, and your virtual SIM will work. Contact the company if you experience any issues.
Yes, just like physical cards, international eSIM cards also have an expiration date.