SIM Card USA for tourists: prices and where to buy?

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Are you traveling to the USA soon? Well, one of the best alternatives to be always connected is to buy a SIM card for the USA, so you will forget about returning home and having to pay an expensive roaming bill from your operator.

If your bags are ready to travel to the United States, but you still don’t know how to stay connected to the Internet to communicate with your family and friends in the most visited country in the world. Find out where to buy a SIM card for your trip to the USA, whether you prefer it before traveling or upon arrival. So, get ready to know that and much more in this article.

Remember that if your cell phone is compatible with virtual SIM cards, in our post about the virtual SIM card for the USA, you will find detailed information about the new digital card for connection.

Did you know that with a virtual SIM Card for the USA, you will have Internet without a physical card? We send you a QR code to your email, and that's it. You already have Internet in the USA!

Why buy a SIM card for the US?

Because we are sure that roaming with your carrier is not an option for your trip, when you return home, you will be surprised by the bill.

In addition, we tell you that only Vodafone customers from Europe are free from expensive roaming in the USA. For example, with Orange, you will pay $12 for each MB of data downloaded while roaming.

Where to buy the best data SIM card for the USA?

You can buy an international data SIM card for the USA from the comfort of your home before traveling or at a store in a shopping mall when you arrive at your destination. A data SIM card for tourists is not difficult to find. But it is important to know the best options to travel connected to Mobile Internet in the USA.

Buy my SIM card in the USA at the airport or local stores

You can find a SIM card in stores such as Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, CVS, or Target when you arrive. Also, in stores of the mobile carriers themselves in supermarkets, shopping malls, as well as stands at airports, among others.

However, keep in mind that this option often takes some time. You will need to visit the physical stores. Also, choosing the option that best suits your needs, and on many occasions, going through a registration process to get a SIM card.

That’s why if you want to avoid the above and you have a phone compatible with virtual SIMs, buying one through online stores is a viable option, but we’ll talk about it later.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona sim card internet
Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Source: Justin Roy on Unsplash

Now we will show you the rates of the main US mobile operators: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Others, such as US Cellular, have some relevance, but we will focus on the first three.

T-Mobile prepaid SIM card for tourists

T-Mobile sells prepaid SIM cards in the USA that can cost you around $22. These cards only have a credit of $3 for you to use data, but you can increase the credit at authorized stores (Bestbuy) and supermarkets (Walmart, Target) from $8.60 up to $172

Most of these SIM cards only operate for 90 days (three months) after you increase the credit.

Advantages

  • The cards are sold in the main supermarkets and stores in the country.
  • It has a variety of tariffs, ranging by days and amount of data (about 15 plans).

Disadvantages

  • You do not have Internet as soon as you arrive in the country, you must go to a store.
  • You have to make a double payment, first for the card and then to recharge it.
  • Like other options, you cannot set data duration days. The company sets them for you.
  • Their prices can go up to $86.05, and there are few tariffs that offer unlimited data.

Verizon SIM Card

Being one of the largest carriers in the country, Verizon offers you coverage in different generations (2G, 3G, and 4G). Like the previous option (T-Mobile), you have to buy the card and then recharge it in authorized stores (Walmart, Bestbuy) and authorized resellers.

A card can cost you around $43 and gives you only 2 GB of data, plus unlimited calls and SMS.

Advantages

  • Its cards have one of the best coverage and speed in the country.
  • It has up to 12 plans.
  • It offers plans for you to have Internet on your tablet or modem.

Disadvantages

  • They will not work if your cell phone is not compatible with the operator’s service.
  • Its rate is one of the highest.
  • You will need to spend approximately $70 to have unlimited Internet.

AT&T prepaid SIM Card

This operator does not seek to charge you double when you buy their SIM cards in the United States. With the prepaid card “GoPhone,” you only have to make one payment. They give you the card for free, and only recharge it will cost you from $13 to $86 to get Internet. The validity of the card, in the case of recharging it, is from 90 (3 months) to 365 days (1 year).

Like the previous alternatives (Verizon, T-Mobile), you can recharge the cards in Supermarkets (Walmart, Bestbuy) or the same operator’s stores.

Advantages

  • AT&T has two types of SIM cards: one with data, calls, and SMS, and another one only with data (data-only SIM), ideal for tablets and modems.
  • Some plans can last up to one year.
  • Of the seven plans available, four are unlimited.

Disadvantages

  • Unlimited plans are not “data-only.”
  • If you want unlimited data, you will have to pay for a service that offers calls and SMS.

Buy your USA SIM card in online shops.

Another recommendation for you is to buy your SIM card to travel to the USA while you are still in your country, as well as other additional services (cards to access tourist sites, transportation, hotel reservations, etc.), so you will enjoy your trip without complications. You will avoid unnecessary waiting in queues or filling out registration forms.

esim USA
  • High speed connection without surprise bills.
  • Receive your QR code immediately.
  • Connect to the best network.
  • Forget about roaming and searching for WiFi.
  • Keep your WhatsApp number.
  • Easy to set up: you’ll receive an email with your eSIM in seconds, no matter where you are.
  • Get 5% OFF. Code: roaming5

You can buy your SIM card for the USA before starting your trip through online stores. Nowadays, these stores have become very popular among travelers due to the ease of purchasing services. That is why you can find many stores where you can buy a SIM card for your trip. With them, you can choose between the different amounts of data for your plan, the days you need for your trip, and more.

Advantages

  • You will avoid the high international roaming costs of your local operator.
  • The process of acquiring it is very simple, and you can do it from the comfort of your home.
  • You can choose from a wide range of online stores to buy a SIM card.

Disadvantages

  • In most cases, you will have to pay for the delivery service and wait a few days for the SIM card to arrive.
  • You will need a specific payment method with which to make your payment, the most common is with credit cards.
  • Most prepaid SIM card plans purchased in online stores do not have a local number to make calls.

How much does a SIM card for the United States cost?

You must be wondering how much you could spend when buying a SIM card for the USA. And the answer is that the price will vary depending on the way you buy your SIM card. In addition, the price will also be higher or lower depending on the provider you purchase it from, the mobile data you need, and the number of days of your SIM card.

Generally speaking, a SIM card could cost around $10 for five days with only 1GB of usage. However, if you are one of those people who need a lot of data, a SIM card for the USA with 5GB for 15 days could cost you between $40 to $50.

Will my cell phone work on USA networks?

Before buying a prepaid SIM card for the USA, remember whether or not your cell phone will work on US networks. In most cases, it probably will, but if you have a device that is not so modern, you can make sure you know if it will work on the Kimovil website.

You only have to enter the brand and series of your cell phone, and you will verify if it operates in the United States, with which frequency bands according to the coverage and sub-brand of your product.

What bands do mobile carriers operate on in the United States?

The compatibility will also depend on the operator that offers you the service. That’s why we prepared a table with the 3G and 4G bands and frequencies with different operators.

Carrier3G Frequency4G -LTE Frequency5G Frequency
AT&T850 MHz
1900 MHz
B17- 700 MHz
B2- 1900 MHz
n5(850), n260 (39GHz), n261 (28GHz)
T-Mobile1900 MHzB12-700 MHz
B4- AWS
B2- 1900MHz
n41 (2500), n71 (600)
VerizonB4- AWS
B2-1900 MHz
n2 (1900), n5 (850), n66 (1700), n260 (39GHz), n261 (28GHz)
Table of compatible bands and frequencies in the United States.

Virtual SIM card for the USA, the new alternative

Before ending this article, we would like to mention a new alternative to having internet while traveling that has been generating a lot of buzzes lately. We are referring to the new virtual SIM card. It is the easiest, simplest, and most economical option to have an internet connection while traveling to another country.

This virtual SIM card has been gaining a lot of fame among travelers, and it can work since it is embedded in many of the latest-generation mobile phones. So to use it, you just need a compatible phone, purchase a virtual data plan, install it, and that’s it; you can enjoy the internet!

This time we are pleased to recommend Holafly’s virtual SIM card for the USA. One of its greatest benefits is that you can enjoy unlimited data with any of its plans for the United States. In addition, you can enjoy other benefits such as 24-hour service, the ability to use your local SIM card and virtual SIM card simultaneously, and more.

However, before acquiring a virtual SIM, there are some essential things to consider:

  • To use a virtual SIM, you will need to have a compatible device. If you don’t know if your phone is, you can find out with Holafly’s list of virtual SIM card-compatible devices.
  • To purchase a virtual SIM card, you will need two important things: an active email address to receive the virtual SIM card information and an internet connection to install it on your phone.
  • If you make your purchase through an online store, we recommend you to have one of the most common payment methods: credit card, Paypal, or Google Pay.

How much does the virtual SIM card for the USA cost?

As we mentioned before, one of the great advantages of the virtual SIM card is its price. Since it tends to be much more economical than other options such as international roaming and even prepaid SIM cards. However, here is a table with the prices of the virtual SIM card for the USA from Holafly:

Days of useAmount of cellular dataPrice (USD)
5 days Unlimited data$19
10 days Unlimited data$34
15 days Unlimited data$47
20 days Unlimited data$54
30 days Unlimited data$64
60 days Unlimited data$84
90 days Unlimited data$99
Holafly virtual SIM for the USA Pricing Table

Frequently Asked Questions about Internet and SIM card for the USA

We have reached the end of this article, and we hope you have learned all about the best ways to connect to the internet during your trip to the United States. Still, we would like to leave you with the answers to some frequently asked questions that tourists often have:

How to have Internet in the USA?

You can have Internet in different ways; buying a prepaid SIM card before traveling, using your operator’s roaming, or taking advantage of the free Wifi in restaurants, stores, and hotels. However, the best option is the new virtual SIM card for the USA with unlimited data.

How much does roaming cost in the USA?

The cost of roaming varies according to the contract you have with your carrier, whether your plan is prepaid or postpaid. You will be charged per megabyte downloaded, and let me tell you that it is not cheap at all.

Where to buy a data-only SIM card?

The easiest way nowadays is to do it in online stores, for example. If you don’t have time, you can do it on landing, at the airport, in supermarkets, and in carrier stores.

How much does a SIM card for the USA cost?

Prices vary according to the data plan, the days of validity, and if it provides you with a phone number to use in the USA.

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