Use a UK Mobile phone in USA: How much does it cost? (Guide for travelers)

Author: Julio Osuna

Updated: April 26, 2023

Nowadays, we all have a cellphone or personal cellular device, which is necessary in our daily lives and of course, we cannot forget to take it with us on our next trip to keep in touch with family and work. Now the question is, what if you live in the UK and travel to the US for leisure or business, what do you need to do?

However, a question that all travelers constantly ask themselves is: How to use my cellphone outside my home country? Especially if you live in the UK and plan to travel to the U.S. How do you get an international chip? How can you maintain a stable and reliable internet connection in different countries? If you are traveling to the United States from the UK, this information will be of interest to you. 

Buy a USA eSIM online

Can I use my phone in the USA?

Without any hesitation, the answer to this question is a simple yes, you can use your cellphone in the USA, even if you have bought and used them in the United Kingdom. 

However, there are a number of requirements that you should check before you travel to ensure that your connection, messaging, and calls work properly. We will explain them below. 

The first thing is to make sure that your device is unlocked. But you should also check which bands your device supports and which carriers they correspond to in the United States. Secondly, sometimes manufacturers produce different models of the same phone that support different bands, so make sure your choice will work with your carrier.

By verifying this information, you can ensure that your cellphone will be able to operate efficiently and securely in the USA, preventing you from having to buy another device which would mean an additional financial burden that you may not have planned for. 

For now, this is the first piece of information you should consider to be able to use your phone when you are in the United States. There are other alternatives that we will tell you about later.  There are other methods that you can use that can be useful whichever your case is.

What are the options for using a UK Mobile phone in US?

When we refer to the options available to use our cellphones in the United States, we can mention several available today, many of them easy to use and with immediate connection whether it’d be roaming services, or Pocket WiFi devices, among many others.

However, some of these services have advantages and disadvantages among them. But the positive thing, in this case, is that there are several solutions to choose from. Today, traveling and staying connected has become more than a necessity; it is a priority as the digital age evolves and integrates it into every aspect of our lives. 

So, what are the options on our list for people to stay in contact when they are in the USA? Well, we can mention 4 of the most common: SIM cards, eSIMs, free WiFi, and pocket WiFi devices. But which of these options is among the best for travelers? That’s what we want to discuss here.

So, if you still haven’t decided which one to use, we will guide you through the process to make the right choice that best suits your need.

eSIM for traveling abroad

For those who don’t know much about eSIMs, these digital eSIM cards have become commonplace over the last few years. They work the same way and offer most of the benefits we can usually find in phone stores. 

But how do you get one, and what do you need to know about this service? First, you will find that there are many companies that offer this service to all types of customers. In most cases, they are effortless to acquire. You can buy one either through a physical or digital store.

Such is the case with Holafly eSIM, which is also one of the eSIMs we recommend using. The only thing you should remember is that you will need a most recent generation device to use an eSIM, other than that, there is nothing to worry about.

And, as for the rates, we want to mention that there are a variety of plans with different rates and fees available. From all these options available a customer can choose the best one that suits their budget. Prices range from $19 for 5 days of unlimited data, as well as $99 for 90 days of unlimited data that people can consume however they wish. As you can see, there is plenty to choose from. 


  • Have a pretty decent coverage in most destinations.
  • Easy to install on your cellphone.
  • Only requires a QR to be activated.
  • It works with 4G network speeds most of the time.
  • Doesn’t occupy a physical space on a cell phone.


  • It only works on last-gen devices.
  • It can’t be used on more than one device at a time.
  • eSIMs only last for a certain amount of time.

International SIM Card

As a second option, we have a SIM card. These are the most popular and widely used worldwide. They have been around in the telecommunications world for a long time and are an ideal option for travelers.

These SIM cards work in a specific way since the user must have an open-band cellular device to make them work. Otherwise, the person will not be able to use this type of international card. 

Also, purchasing one is easy, and you can immediately insert it in your phone and start using it without any problem. We recommend using the Holafly SIM card for this service since it offers good prices and coverage.

Pocket Wifi

It is time to mention pocket WiFi devices or portable WiFi. These are usually rented from a phone agency and can be delivered to your home in no time! 

However, there is a problem with this type of device. The rental price for this service can cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the carrier you choose. It can be more money if your trip is long, and you need to use your cellphone in the USA for more time than usual. 

Apart from that, renting such a device can cost up to $400, depending on whether you have to pay for any damage done to the equipment or if you misplace it. 

Free WiFi

Using a free WiFi connection is one of the solutions available to people who want to stay connected while traveling. Free WiFi connections are pretty common to see in the USA, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Unfortunately, we can’t remain connected to public WiFi network all the time. And that’s something to think about since people need to be connected at all times. Despite its drawbacks, it is still a wise decision to consider.

Can I use my UK phone service in USA?

A simple and short answer: Yes! All of them can use their cellphones with their phone services in the US when traveling to the US.

For those wondering, in this particular case, we are talking about the roaming services offered by various phone companies. If you’re from the UK, you’re most likely using Three, O2, or Vodafone.

Fortunately, for the U.S., these companies offer roaming services with reliable and stable coverage. But what about pricing? Let’s talk about it for those who want to use their cellphone in the USA.

Using my Mobile phone in the United States with Vodafone 

When it comes to Vodafone, they offer people the ability to use their cellphones with their roaming service with ease. 

The company has divided the roaming areas into three, with the United States being one of the destinations with unlimited browsing data for a certain price. The daily roaming fee here is $6, so keep that in mind.

They charge about $0.05 per minute for phone calls, and for SMS, about $0.02 per message sent.

Using my Mobile phone in the U.S. with O2

It is time to talk about O2’s roaming service.  This company has a service similar to Vodafone, for example.

In the case of cellular data, they have a roaming fee of $7 per day, while for SMS and phone calls, they have different rates. For text messages, the price is $0.02 per message sent, and for phone calls, they charge $0.05 per minute.

Using my Mobile phone in The United States with Three Mobile

The last cellular operator we have on our list is Three Mobile. It is a service widely used by travelers in the UK and could not be left out of the options we are discussing. 

In the case of the United States, it offers a global rate priced at $6 per day with unlimited calls, text messages, and data services. 

Local mobile operators in the USA

In the United States, we can find many cellular operators to use. Verizon and AT&T, among others, are part of the list that we can find useful when contracting their services. 

For now, the best options are these two operators we have mentioned. They have better coverage, better plans, and, in general, are more accessible for all users.

It’s not easy to get access to these types of services. It can take some time to get approval and an active connection. So, that’s something to keep in mind to use your cellphone in the USA.

How much does it cost to use my UK phone in the USA?

The service we choose to employ will have a major impact on this. We may suggest that pricing will range from $19, the cost of a Holafly eSIM, to as much as $99, which is the cost of a Pocket WiFi device in most cases.

A nice alternative is the Holafly SIM card, which we can find for 29 euros to 239 euros, depending on how long we plan to travel. Apart from that, these two options are excellent possibilities, provide a reliable and stable coverage, and are quite simple to obtain so that you can use your cellphone in the USA!

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