Best North America SIM Cards: What You Need To Know | 2022
Visiting North America soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a North American SIM card.
Fortunately, North America is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in North America. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in North America in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in North America. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate into a foreign language – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in North America.
Best SIM Cards In North America
North America is vast, and you’ll find various mobile providers depending on the countries you’re visiting. Most providers have partnerships and offer coverage in multiple countries in North America.
We recommend using a SIM card from T-Mobile, Verizon, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, depending on your first destination, you might find other providers.
For example, in Canada, you might not find big brands like Verizon, but you’ll find others like Telus.
How To Buy A SIM Card In North America
You can either buy a North American prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, in mobile provider stores, in a convenience store or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one. Each country has its rules; you might even need to provide an address.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you’d rather be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a North American prepaid SIM card online.
How To Buy A North America Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, Orange Holiday World SIM works in more than 100+ countries and gives you up to 10 GB of data for 14 days.
But, there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you’re planning on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 3 different packages.
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $25 – works in the USA & Canada
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in the USA, Canada & Mexico
- Unlimited Data, valid for 30 days for $85 – works in the USA
Get 10% off your first order with our discount code: ABB10.
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM plan for North America.
How To Buy A North American eSIM Plan
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in North America.
Curious? Learn more about the best eSIM providers.
Airalo North America
Airalo offers many eSIM cards worldwide, and they have regional plans for North American countries. I’ve now been using Airalo while traveling for several months, and I love its convenience.
Read our complete Airalo eSIM review to learn more.
Here’s an overview of the options available in the United States:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $4.50
- 2 GB, valid for 15 days for $8
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $11
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $16
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $26
- 20 GB, valid for 30 days for $42
Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other North American countries, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip.
In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks, and you need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Holafly North America
Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.
I’ve also tried Holafly during my travels in North America, and it worked fine. Overall, it’s important to note that Holafly is more expensive, but they offer unlimited plans.
The Holafly North America eSIM works in 32 countries, and they offer the following plans:
Nomad North America
Another option worth considering is Nomad. They have a Global eSIM plan which covers all North American countries.
Here’s an overview of the plans offered by Nomad:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $20
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $48
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $54
Final Thoughts On North America SIM Cards
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in North America or even an eSIM for North America is pretty easy.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in North America if you wish to have data on your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card.
Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to North America soon? Read one of the following blog posts: