Embedded SIM cards (or eSIM cards for short) are revolutionary tools that make traveling to other countries — including the United States — much easier and less stressful.
Are you interested in using an eSIM card? Are you looking for the best prepaid eSIM card with data plans for traveling and working in the USA? If so, you’re in the right place.
Discover everything you need to know (including the best eSIM card options) below.
What Is an eSIM Card with Data Plan?
An eSIM card is a digital version of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. It allows users to change their wireless carrier, data plan, or service plan with software. In many cases, you can also use multiple phone lines on one device.
There’s no need to go to a store and get a new SIM card or wait for a new one to arrive in the mail (and then struggle to insert it correctly into your phone). Instead, you can simply visit an online menu and take a photo of a QR code to change carriers or plans on the go.
eSIM data plans are prepaid, data-only plans that are downloaded directly to your device. They provide access to local data services (available at local prices). They also allow you to avoid international roaming fees, which provide telecommunications providers with billions of extra dollars each year.
Benefits of eSIM Cards with Data Plans
eSIM cards with data plans are convenient for travelers (especially those visiting other countries). However, others can also benefit from them, including those who fall into these groups:
- People wanting a second phone line: If you have a Dual SIM with an eSIM, you can have multiple phone lines (such as a work line and a personal line) available on one device.
- People wanting cheap data: If you’re tired of paying an arm and a leg for data, an eSIM card with a data plan can reduce costs while still allowing you to stay connected.
- People needing short-term plans: A prepaid plan with a physical SIM card typically requires paying for an entire month of service. If you only need service for a week or two, you get more flexibility (and save money) with an eSIM card with a data plan.
eSIM cards are also more secure than traditional SIM cards. They can’t be stolen (without taking your entire phone) because they’re hardwired into the device itself.
Thieves sometimes swap stolen SIM cards to access someone’s calls or texts. They may also reset credentials to access bank accounts, social media accounts, and other sensitive information.
With an eSIM card, the chances of these issues happening are slim, providing you with greater peace of mind while traveling.
What to Look for When Buying an eSIM Card with Data Plan?
If you’re intrigued by the benefits of an eSIM card with a data plan but aren’t sure which one to choose, it helps to take a step back and identify the most critical characteristics to look for.
Here are some of the top factors to consider when weighing your options:
Quality of Service
Quality of service includes the service’s speed, latency (the time it takes for your phone to send a message and receive a response), and coverage. Quality of service is determined by the cellular network (or networks) behind the eSIM card.
Generally, eSIM card providers share information about their carrier networks. Do some additional research to determine which networks have the best reputation and will provide the best service.
Next, consider the locality. eSIMs, like other digital products or services, are provided almost exclusively online through local or international providers. When choosing an eSIM card, decide whether you want to work with a local or international provider.
Local providers are typically better for regular subscriptions because they’re aware of local laws and regulations (including those around data security and consumer privacy). However, an eSIM card from an international provider would likely be a better choice if you’re traveling internationally.
Many people find eSIM relatively easy to activate and use. However, others need additional support to get their eSIM cards up and running.
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, or if you’re new to the eSIM card world and want some extra assistance, be sure to choose a provider with a robust customer support network.
Check out online reviews and comments to see what past and current users have to say about a particular provider.
Was it easy to contact customer support when they needed help? Did they get precise and actionable answers to their questions?
Finally, don’t forget to look at the prices of different eSIM cards before deciding. Prices vary depending on the amount of data you want (1GB, 5GB, 10GB, etc.) and the plan length (one week, two weeks, etc.).
Consider the sticker price when comparing different eSIM cards with data plans, but don’t stop there. Pay attention to what you get in exchange for that amount (for example, it might be worth it to spend more money to acquire additional data).
Keep in mind, too, that price isn’t everything. The cheapest eSIM card is rarely the best eSIM card. Address the abovementioned factors first, then look for the best price.
Best eSIM Cards with Data Plans for USA Travel and Work
If you’re looking for eSIM cards with data plans that check all the boxes listed above, here are five options to check out:
Airalo touts itself as the world’s first eSIM store designed to solve the issue of high roaming bills. The company’s eSIM cards can be downloaded and installed from over 200 countries and regions and connected anywhere in the world as soon as you land.
Airalo was founded in 2019 by Abraham Burak and Ahmet Bahadır Özdemir. It serves over one million users (as of August 2022) in 200-plus countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and Israel.
For those who want to use Airalo for their international travels, it takes just four steps to get started:
- Download the Airalo app (available on Android and iOS devices)
- Choose your destination and package
- Install your eSIM card
- Activate your eSIM card
If you’re traveling to the United States, you can choose from the following Airalo plans:
- 1 GB of data, valid for 7 days, $4.50 (USD)
- 2 GB of data, valid for 15 days, $8 (USD)
- 3 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $11 (USD)
- 5 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $16 (USD)
- 10 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $26 (USD)
- 20 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $42 (USD)
These data-only plans work on Verizon and T-Mobile 5G networks. All users have access to 24/7 support, too.
Holafly is an international eSIM card shop serving over half a million customers in more than 160 destinations worldwide. It boasts an easy setup process (just one minute to purchase and configure your eSIM card) and offers a reliable 4G connection.
Holafly is available for iOS and Android devices and can be installed by scanning a QR code or manually entering an installation code. Whichever option you choose, you can reach Holafly’s support staff 24/7 if you run into issues.
Holafly offers several data plans for people traveling to the United States, including the following:
- 5 days, unlimited data, $19 (USD)
- 7 days, unlimited data, $27 (USD)
- 10 days, unlimited data, $34 (USD)
- 15 days, unlimited data, $47 (USD)
- 20 days, unlimited data, $54 (USD)
- 30 days, unlimited data, $64 (USD)
- 60 days, unlimited data, $84 (USD)
- 90 days, unlimited data, $99 (USD)
These plans work on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. They’re a bit more expensive than the Airalo plans, but they also offer unlimited data, which is a perk for many international travelers.
SimOptions claims to offer the best mobile operators and market prices with worldwide delivery and 24/7 customer service. The company provides eSIMS for over 180 travel destinations worldwide and allows users to save 100 percent on roaming charges.
With a SimOptions eSIM card, you can easily purchase your eSIM card and have it delivered instantly via email. From here, simply scan the QR code, add the eSIM to your smartphone (SimOptions cards work on iOS and Android devices), and enjoy mobile internet access within minutes.
SimOptions offers the following eSIM card plans for U.S. travelers:
- Go USA: 1 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $9.90 (USD)
- Smart Traveller eSIM: 6 GB of data, valid for 10 days, $17.90 (USD)
- 30-Day Pass 10GB: 10 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $24.90 (USD)
- 30-Day Pass 20GB: 20 GB of data, valid for 30 days, $34.90 (USD)
- eSIM2FLY Global: 6 GB of data, valid for 15 days, $39.90 (USD)
None of these plans include phone calls or SMS messaging (but you can use WhatsApp or Skype to connect with contacts).
Nomad provides travelers with prepaid data plans in over 100 countries at local rates.
Like the other eSIM card data plans mentioned in this guide, the Nomad app (and eSIM cards) is accessible on iOS and Android devices. What separates it from other options, though, is the unique social aspect.
After downloading the app, users can create an interest-based travel profile and receive personalized insights from people whose traveling style matches theirs. They can also earn badges like “Food Critic,” “Photo Journalist,” and “Nomad Traveler.”
Nomad offers one of the most diverse collections of data plans available on AT&T and T-Mobile Networks.
Pricing for T-Mobile plans is as follows:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days, $4 (USD)
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days, $10 (USD)
- 5 GB, valid for 15 days, $14 (USD)
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days, $24 (USD)
- 12 GB, valid for 30 days, $26 (USD)
- 15 GB, valid for 30 days, $30 (USD)
- 20 GB, valid for 30 days, $34 (USD)
- 30 GB, valid for 30 days, $50 (USD)
- 40 GB, valid for 30 days, $65 (USD)
- 50 GB, valid for 30 days, $80 (USD)
- 100 GB, valid for 60 days, $240 (USD)
Here are the pricing details for AT&T plans:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days, $6 (USD)
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days, $14 (USD)
- 5 GB, valid for 15 days, $21 (USD)
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days, $39 (USD)
- 15 GB, valid for 30 days, $49 (USD)
Nomad promises that the prices of their data plans are similar to local fees.
Ubigi claims to allow users to travel worldwide and enjoy the best prices for mobile data. The company currently serves travelers in over 190 countries across the globe.
Ubigi also offers a simple, straightforward setup process:
- Download the app or scan a QR code
- Create an account by filling out just five simple fields
- Add a data plan
eSIM cards from Ubigi work on Windows 10 and iOS devices. If you’re interested in a Ubigi data plan while traveling to the United States, you can choose from one-off, monthly, and annual options, making it easy to find a plan that suits your budget and travel style.
One-off plans range from $2.90 (USD) for a one-day, 500 MB plan to $200 (USD) for a 30-day, 200 GB plan.
Monthly plans start at $11 (USD) per month for 5 GB of data and go up to $68 (USD) per month for 5 GB of data that can be used worldwide (including in the United States).
An annual plan costs $68 annually and provides 2 GB of data per month.
All plans work on the T-Mobile network.
Choose the Best eSIM Card with Data Plan Today
Investing in an eSIM card with a data plan is an excellent way to increase your availability and save money while working or traveling in the United States (or anywhere else in the world).
Are you ready to choose an eSIM card? If so, check out the eSIM card providers discussed above.
You’ll have no trouble remaining accessible and staying within your budget if you go with any of these options.
If you found this article useful you might also like:
- The Best eSIM for Traveling and Working in Europe
- The Top VPN Services for Remote Working Professionals and Digital Nomads
- How to Have Reliable Internet Connection to Work While Traveling Abroad
- Top Mobile Hotspots for Digital Nomads
- How to Keep Your Data Secure When Working Remotely
- Best Mobile Banking Apps and Online Services for Digital Nomads
- Best International Travel Insurance Plans For Digital Nomads
- Best Remote Based Working Companies Hiring Now
- The Best Countries to Incorporate a Remote Based Company for Digital Nomads
Disclosure: Any of the links on Remoters.net are affiliate links from which we receive a commission from sales of certain items. We also participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com or endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.
Traveltomtom recommends a T-Mobile sim card for the USA. It has a very extensive 5G network and for $50 you get unlimited data for 30 days, it is cheaper than AT&T. However, the best USA sim card deals can be found online, see below.Which prepaid SIM works in USA? ›
- T-Mobile Prepaid SIM with Unlimited Data.
- Three Prepaid SIM with 12GB Data.
- AT&T Prepaid SIM Card with 22GB Data.
- Orange Holiday World SIM Card with 10GB Data.
- LycaMobile Prepaid SIM Card with 4GB Data.
If you want to buy the best SIM card in the United States, I recommend going with AT&T, T-Mobile, Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, or Ultra Mobile. They offer the best value, options, and quality compared to the competition. AT&T has the best nationwide coverage, especially on 3G.Which SIM card gives unlimited Internet? ›
Vi offers postpaid and prepaid SIM with an exhaustive catalog of plans that include unlimited calls, high-speed data, and many additional benefits.What is the best way to get data in USA? ›
Prepurchase an eSIM Data Plan (Easiest)
The easiest way to buy a data plan for the US is to buy an eSIM data plan because you can activate it instantly so you don't have to pay for shipping. All you have to do is buy the service and then activate it once you're in the US.
Buying a local SIM card in USA
Once you are in the USA, you can look for physical stores of the biggest carriers in the country, like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, and buy a prepaid SIM card with them. Branches are distributed all over the country, and you can even find offers at international airports.
A prepaid SIM card is purchased for a set amount that acts as a credit balance with the provider. As talk time and other services are used, the company makes charges against the credit amount.Can a foreigner get a SIM card in USA? ›
Can I get a sim card in the USA? You can buy a sim card in the US, simply picking one up from a store when you land in the US.Which network is best for USA? ›
Verizon has the most nation-wide coverage, while AT&T and T-Mobile are neck and neck, and Sprint is far behind coming in last place. The group of four major cell phone providers in the U.S. is known as the Big Four, and it includes Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint.Which SIM card has best coverage? ›
The cell phone carrier with the best 5G LTE coverage is Verizon, while T-Mobile boasts the best 5G coverage. Generally, Verizon offers the best 4G LTE signal strength with excellent rural area coverage. T-Mobile boasts the largest 5G footprint, but the smallest 4G LTE network among the Big Three wireless carriers.
- Smart Communications.
- Globe Telecom.
- DITO Telecommunity.
- GOMO! (Globe MVNO)
- TNT (Smart MVNO)
Before selecting a SIM for yourself, look at the offers they are providing. It is best to evaluate the call charges, the packages, the internet speed, data limit, and message offers beforehand. Sometimes getting a SIM card with international roaming works, but local cards are cheaper.What is a universal SIM card? ›
SIM cards come in three sizes: Standard (Mini), Micro, and Nano. The Universal SIM Card Kit gives you everything you need to activate your unlocked, compatible phone on the Cricket network. Each kit includes pop-out SIM cards in all three sizes.What is a travel SIM card? ›
Travel SIM Card – Definition
A travel SIM card allows you to connect to a local network in various countries around the world. In this manner, you can avoid excessive roaming fees that your local operator or carrier may charge when you are abroad.
AT&T Prepaid® Unlimited¹ plan gives you unlimited data, talk & text plus text from the U.S. to over 230 countries.Which is cheapest for unlimited data plan? ›
- Jio 199 Plan (Jio 1.5GB Plan)
- Jio 249 Plan (Jio 2GB Plan)
- BSNL 199 Plan (BSNL 1GB Plan)
- BSNL 247 Plan (BSNL 3GB Plan)
- Airtel 219 Plan (Airtel 1GB Plan)
- Airtel 249 Plan (Airtel 1.5GB Plan)
- Vodafone 219 Plan (Vodafone 1GB Plan)
- Vodafone Idea 249 Plan (Vodafone 1.5GB Plan)
Data SIM Card – Definition
A data only SIM a data allowance that allows users to have mobile Internet on their device, but no minutes for calling or texts for SMS. However, users can still make calls or send messages through applications like Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, WeChat, etc.
100GB is roughly enough data for any one of the following: 5000 Hours browsing. 25,000 Music Tracks. 650 Hours streaming music.How much does USA data cost per GB? ›
In 2021, the cost of 1GB of mobile phone data in the US cost an average of just $3.33. However, that number has jumped by 69% to $5.62 in 2022. By comparison, the cost of 1GB of data in the UK dropped from $1.42 in 2021 to $0.79 in 2022, a decrease of 44 percent.How much does a monthly data cost in USA? ›
|Connection type||Average monthly cost in 2021||Download speed range|
|All connection types||$61||3–2,000 Mbps|
Benefits of a pay-as-you-go SIM-only deal
It's flexible, as you aren't tied to any long-term contract or commitment. Instead, you pay upfront for credit or a set amount of minutes, texts and data, and you can top this up once you've used up your allowances.
International SIM cards can help you stay connected when you travel abroad. They allow you to use your own phone and existing cellular plan while in another country. With these SIM cards, you can make voice calls, send text messages, and get online with your mobile device.Should I get a travel SIM card? ›
If you travel more often, or you're planning an extended stay in one country or region, you can save money by using an international SIM card. Pay-as-you-go lets you stay in control of how much you use your phone and what you pay for it. Just figure out how often, and for what purposes, you think you'll use your phone.How long can I use a prepaid SIM card? ›
Most telecom providers will block your local SIM card after 6 or 12 months of inactivity to make the telephone number available for use again by a new customer.What is the difference between a SIM card and a prepaid card? ›
A prepaid SIM card is a SIM card that does not come preloaded with credit. It can be used to provide mobile phone service in countries where no other form of communication is available, such as when traveling to a remote area without an active cell phone signal.What is the difference between prepaid SIM card and SIM card? ›
A prepaid SIM card is a SIM card (or an eSIM) which is not attached to a mobile plan. Instead, the user must purchase credits upfront in cash. These credits can be applied towards making phone calls, sending SMS messages or using mobile data. A major advantage of prepaid cards is the absence of credit.What is another name for SIM card in USA? ›
A SIM card, also known as a subscriber identity module, is a smart card that stores identification information that pinpoints a smartphone to a specific mobile network.How long does it take to get a SIM card in USA? ›
You should receive your SIM card 2-4 business days after you ordered it. See here if your SIM never arrives.How much does a new SIM card cost? ›
SIM cards can be purchased for very little on eBay and if having to pay full cost usually the charge is $5. The up to $20 comes in with authorized retailers and some inflate costs greatly for the SIM cards. How many SIM cards do you own?What is America largest most reliable network? ›
Verizon has also received the highest number of awards in network quality for the 30th time as compared to all other brands in the J.D. Power 2003-2022 Volume 1 and 2 and 2023 Volume 1 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Studies.
So what's the difference between 4G and LTE, and is 4G or LTE better? In short, 4G offers a much faster speed, more stability and access to a larger variety of online activities. LTE is a half-point between 3G and 4G, so its performance suffers compared to the fourth generation.Which network carrier is expensive in USA? ›
Verizon is the most expensive wireless carrier, but it offers unparalleled coverage, fast data speeds, and robust perks that are worth the price for many people.Which mobile data has the best coverage? ›
- Verizon: 70% 4G coverage.
- AT&T: 68% 4G coverage.
- T-Mobile: 62% 4G coverage.
- Smarty: The best all-round mobile network. ...
- EE: The best mobile network for performance. ...
- Lebara: The best mobile network for customer satisfaction. ...
- Voxi: The best budget network for social media and streaming. ...
- Sky Mobile: A good all-rounder with exceptional service.
- Verizon has the best 4G LTE coverage that spans across 70% of the United States. ...
- Depending on your location, you may be covered by Verizon's 5G. ...
- Explore Verizon's coverage map to see if their 4G/5G service is available in your area.
- Reliance Jio rules the top table. ...
- The Airtel plan priced at 199 rupees comes with 1.4GB daily data limit. ...
- Similar to the Airtel plan, the Vodafone 199 plan also offers 1.4GB daily data for 28 days.
Mobile SIM cards help you make phone calls, send messages and connect to the internet. Meanwhile, data-only SIM card, also known as data SIM, does not support SMSs and regular calls. It serves only one of the functions of a mobile SIM card – connecting to the internet.Which SIM has the fastest data? ›
nPerf. EE were the fastest mobile network in 2020 according to the annual awards from nPerf. EE was the fastest network according to these results with a 10Mbps lead over second placed Vodafone.How do I choose a SIM for data? ›
- Find and tap Settings > Network & internet > Advanced > Dual SIM > Cellular data.
- Select a SIM card.
Nano SIM cards are the most common size – most smartphones made from around 2015 onwards use a nano SIM card.
There are three basic sizes of SIM card: the standard, the micro, and the nano. Of the three, the Standard is the original SIM and the largest. Today, these are mainly used on older phones.Which is the best SIM for international roaming? ›
Airtel offers the highest IR Pack validity options, and Vodafone Idea's validity options are confined to a month of travel.Can you just buy a SIM card from AT&T? ›
Get a physical SIM card
You can get SIM card kits at one of our stores, online through att.com, or from another online retailer. The kits come with three SIM card sizes. You can use it if you want to bring your own device to AT&T, or if you just need a new physical SIM.
Is there an unlimited hotspot plan? Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Visible all technically have unlimited hotspot plans. But each plan comes with caveats and limits on premium data.How much is unlimited Internet in USA? ›
With the best unlimited data plans from major carriers ranging in price from $60 to $90 per month, pick the plan that fits in your budget or turn to a discount carrier like Mint or Visible. Also consider what benefits each wireless carrier includes with their different tiers of unlimited data.Which Sim gives unlimited data at night? ›
Now on ViTM Hero Unlimited; you can enjoy all the data you want, from 12 am to 6 am every day, at no extra cost! Go on, binge all night, every night. Only with ViTM Hero Unlimited Daily Data recharges, starting ₹299.Is Internet Unlimited in USA? ›
Many internet providers have data caps, but some don't. Usually you can expect a monthly cap of 1TB. Xfinity offers a little more data (1.2TB per month), while providers like Google Fiber, Spectrum, and CenturyLink have no data caps at all.