Which sim card to buy to travel to the USA

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If you travel to the United States and you don’t want to run out of internet, the smartest thing to do is to buy a local SIM card especially for the USA, either from your country (recommended option) or when you get there. In this article we tell you which SIM card to buy with its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s get started!

WHY BUY A DATA SIM FOR THE USA?

Roaming in the USA can be very, very expensive, regardless of the operator and the rate you have contracted. Most likely you will come back with a very high roaming bill for normal internet use.

Let’s look at an example of the roaming fees that your operators would apply in the United States:

– ROAMING WITH ORANGE:

Everywhere Fare: this is one of the Orange plans available to your contract and card customers who want to surf the Internet in the USA. This plan offers you 100 MB per day for 7 euros including VAT. You can activate it before or during your trip by sending EW to 22095, and once it is active it automatically renews itself.

Apart from the data you will be charged the following prices if you use these services:

  • Daily fee for calls: 7 euros including VAT.
  • SMS: 1.21 euros VAT included.
  • Voice: 30 minutes a day.

Basic Rate: rate available for contract and card customers. Incoming and outgoing calls will be billed by the second from the first second.

  • Call made: 3.15 Euro including VAT for each minute.
  • Received call: 2.67 euros per minute including VAT.
  • SMS: 1.21 euros VAT included.
  • MMS: 2.27 euros VAT included.
  • Mobile navigation: 500 KB 6.05 euros/day and 1 MB 12.10 euros/day.

In short, if you use Orange in the United States you may choose the Everywhere Rate if you qualify, but actually 100 MB is not enough to stay connected for a whole day. As good as we use it would be enough for 3 hours of navigation, plus you run the risk that someone calls you or sends a message and takes … a few more euros you must pay.

On the other hand, let’s say you don’t meet the requirements to activate the Everywhere Rate and it turns out that you get the Basic Rate option where they charge you 12.10 euros for each MB, which means that 1 GB (1000 MB) will cost you 12,100 euros apart from the messages and calls that they can make to you and they will charge you per second.

– ROAMING WITH MOVISTAR

Roaming for the USA with Movistar costs 6.05 euros for every 500 MB of consumption. When you exceed 500 MB, a new block of 500 MB will be started automatically, that is, if you spend 600 MB a day you would be paying 12.10 euros for internet consumption in a single day. A week of roaming would be about 84.7 euros

– ROAMING WITH VODAFONE

If you are a Vodafone customer you have an advantage because you can currently use your data in the United States as if you were in your country with a maximum consumption limit per month. If your rate is unlimited, the Roaming restrictions are

  • Unlimited: 20GB/month
  • Super: 22GB/month
  • Total: 24GB/month

Above the allowed GB, a price of 4.235 Euro per GB will be applied.

U.S. ROAMING PRICE COMPARISON TABLE

OperatorMinimum priceMaximum price
Movistar12 € / 1 MBidem
VodafoneSpain’s standard rate4,235 € / 1GB
Orange7 € / 100MB / day12.100 € / 1 MB
Roaming price comparison for United States Movistar – Vodafone – Orange

Now that we know why you need a SIM card in the United States, let’s look at the different options that exist. The goal is to avoid the dreaded return trip bill.

1. BUY YOUR SIM FOR THE USA IN YOUR COUNTRY

This is probably the most comfortable option, because if you buy the SIM from your country you take it with you before you leave on your trip and you insert it as soon as you land, so you have internet from the first moment.

FROM YOUR COUNTRY: HOLAFLY USA

usa sim-card-holafly
Data SIM Card for USA – Holafly

Holafly has 8 SIM options for the United States depending on the days you need and they use the AT&T network, the one with the largest coverage in the country.

  • 5 days unlimited data
  • 7 days unlimited data
  • 10 days unlimited data
  • 15 days unlimited data
  • 20 days unlimited data
  • 30 days unlimited data
  • 60 days unlimited data
  • 90 days unlimited data

Also, depending on the card you buy, you will be charged less per day. With the 5-day card you get 5.5 euros per day, with the 15-day card 3.10 euros per day and with the 30-day card 2.75 euros per day (the more days the cheaper). Remember that one of the most significant advantages of the Holafly USA cards is that your data is unlimited.

Now let’s see a comparison table of internet prices with Holafly, Movistar, Vodafone and Orange. Choosing the cheapest rates that each operator has for roaming in the United States. In other words, assuming you apply to the conditions to have the lowest rates.

HOW MUCH DOES INTERNET COST IN THE USA WITH HOLAFLY, MOVISTAR, VODAFONE AND ORANGE

Days of coverageHolafly
Unlimited data
Movistar
1 GB = 1000 MB
Orange
100 MB
5 days27,5 € 60,5 € 35 €
7 days32,3 € 84,7 €49 €
10 days37,05 € 121 € 70 €
15 days46,55 € 181,5 € 105 €
20 days56,05 € 242 €140 €
30 days82,65 € 363 €210 €
60 days160,55 € 726 €420 €
90 days227,05 € 1.089 €630 €
Comparative table of internet prices for the United States with Holafly – Movistar – Vodafone – Organge

As you can see, the savings from buying a Holafly USA are simply tremendous. Plus you have the advantage of unlimited data.

HOLAFLY DISCOUNT COUPON FOR USA

To get these prices you need the Holafly USA Travelistos discount coupon, which is 5%. If you enter through the link the discount is automatically applied during the purchase.

HOW LONG IT TAKES TO ARRIVE

You get it at home before you leave on a trip and it’s easy to install and use: It comes with instructions, a spike to change the card and can be adjusted to the size you consider, be it Mini, Macro or Nano Size.

ADVANTAGES OF THE HOLAFLY SIM CARD USA

  • Have internet immediately when you arrive in the country: you avoid being looking for a site, queuing at the airport to buy it, or having to look for free wifi everywhere. When you land you insert it and you already have internet in the United States.
  • You keep your Whatsapp number: you keep your Whatsapp number to send messages or make calls from the U.S. to your contacts, do not lose contact with your family and friends.
  • Includes local calls: the card has a local American number. You can make local calls within the United States.
  • It is sent to your home free of charge. Within 72 hours, the company covers the shipping of your card.
  • 24 hour support via chat and email, in case you have any questions.
  • You don’t have to present any document for the purchase.

2. BUY THE SIM WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN THE USA

If you want to save some euros at the cost of having to look for the SIM on your arrival, you may be interested in finding a store or a stall that sells them in the United States. Not in all cases it is cheaper but if you look maybe you can find it.

This is the option of a lifetime and has the disadvantage that some sites will ask you for your document and invest time of your trip to be able to buy it, therefore you will not have internet as soon as you land, but it is a perfectly valid alternative.

WHICH OPERATORS I CAN BUY A USA SIM CARD FROM UPON ARRIVAL

1. SIM CARD USA AT&T

sim card-att
AT&T SIM card United States

World leaders in communications and technology, keeping the United States connected for more than a century With its wireless network covering over 99% of Americans, its fiber network is one of the largest in the country and connects more Internet devices than any other provider in North America. In addition, more than 3 million businesses, from the largest global companies to small businesses, turn to AT&T.

AT&T offers 4G and 5G connection. In order to use the 5G network you must check the compatibility of your mobile. You can purchase your cards at AT&T stores or an authorized AT&T retailer for plans starting at $35 (no unlimited data, though). Don’t use up all your data or you’ll be left offline.

2. SIM CARD USA T-MOBILE

sim card t-mobile
T-Mobile SIM Card United States

T-Mobile is the brand used by the mobile communications subsidiaries of the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG. Being one of the main operators in the United States, it offers you connection in 4G and now 5G. In order to use 5G you must check the compatibility of your mobile. You can buy their cards in official T-MOBILE stores getting plans from 30 ?, also without unlimited data.

3. SIM CARD USA VERIZON

sim card-verizon
Verizon SIM Card United States

Founded in 2000, this American telecommunications company offers wireless products and services and is the second largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States after AT&T.

It operates a national 4G network covering about 98% of the U.S. population with 21 participating rural wireless operators, covering 2.7 million potential users in 169 rural counties.

IN SHORT: WHICH SIM CARD TO BUY FOR THE USA

In our case for convenience we recommend the Holafly SIM for the United States, for the following reasons

  • You will keep your WhatsApp number. So you don’t lose your contacts to keep communicating with them. Forget about adding them back to your phone when you put in your data SIM.
  • Attention 24/7. If you have any questions, you can write to them via email or chat at any time.
  • Free shipping. You will receive it within 72 working hours. If you want it to reach you faster, you can contract the Urgent or Express service, these will give you the card in 48 hours and 16 hours, respectively.
  • You will be able to receive calls from local numbers, this because the SIM will give you a US phone number from the AT&T network.

Find out more travel tips for the United States on accommodation, health insurance, currency exchange, activities and more.

About the author

Herman Rosero

Soy diseñador, me gusta la empatía y entender las necesidades de los demás. En Travelistos te ayudaré a (diseñar) organizar tu viaje, dándote a conocer lugares, actividades, opiniones; que te pueden ser útiles antes, durante y después del viaje.

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