USA Sim Card: Which One To Choose? Find Rates, Info, Packages…
Are you about to visit New York or another region of the United States, and you want to be able to use your phone without limit or without the risk of expensive bills? Good news: it is absolutely possible!
By choosing the right USA SIM card, you can easily continue to use your smartphone to contact your loved ones, but you can also use mobile data, post on social networks, browse the Internet and use online applications.
I explain how to do it in the following lines!
How To Stay Connected In The United States?
To keep in touch and stay connected on your phone during your trip to the USA, several solutions are available. They all work in different ways and do not all allow the same use. Depending on your needs, the most suitable offer will not necessarily be the same – but as we will see, for a fairly frequent use of your phone, there are still options that stand out from the others.
The right plan to stay connected in the USA
In my opinion, the best plan to stay connected during your stay in the United States (whether for a few days or 2 months), is to opt for a Holafly prepaid Sim card. It is very simple to use and will allow you not only to benefit from a good Internet connection, but also to call anywhere in the USA and receive calls without paying. There are many blocked packages suitable for all uses (from €29 for 10 days) and the card will be delivered to you free of charge in 7 to 10 working days. If your phone is compatible, you can also opt for an e-Sim card.
Continue To Use Your Classic Package
Let’s start with the simplest solution: use your own sim card normally. You can absolutely continue to use your phone in the United States, even with your usual plan
The only problem is that if you don’t have an international plan, there’s a very good chance that your mobile plan will only offer you a very small amount of data… if at all. And if this is your case, consuming mobile data in the territory of the United States will incur roaming charges. In other words, you will pay out of package, and the bill can climb VERY quickly
Here are some examples :
- With a classic SFR or RED plan, the price of mobile data while roaming is €9.24 per MB
- At Orange, apart from the limited quantity which varies according to the formulas, the price will be €13.31 per MB
- For a classic package at Bouygues, it will be €10.24/MB
In other words, posting a tiny handful of holiday photos on Instagram can easily cost you the price of a good restaurant! (And let’s not even talk about the videos…)
Making or receiving calls, and sending or receiving SMS/MMS will also be billed to you outside the bundle. In short, by using data roaming (roaming), you will still be able to use the Internet in an emergency, but certainly not frequently.
The Free Mobile Case
Among the classic formulas of the major French operators, those of Free Mobile stand out very clearly. Indeed, the price is only 15 cts/MB. This offer is therefore much more interesting, especially since these packages are non-binding.
However, two things should be noted:
- Firstly, this a priori attractive offer does not mean that you can use the Internet on United States soil without taking precautions … For example, watching a film on VOD in HD on Netflix or on another platform consumes around 3 GB per hour. Watching a 2-hour film (and therefore 6,000 MB) will still cost you around… €900! (in my opinion, it is better to go to the cinema in a limousine with a private driver, at this price…). The operator is of course supposed to alert you well before this sum is reached, but you will have understood it: even if Free offers a price almost 100 times lower than its competitors, in fact it is still an offer that clearly has its limits.
- Second, if this price is much lower than those of competitors, it is because it comes with less optimal coverage. We must therefore expect lower speeds, even connection problems in some places.
Opt For An International Package From A French Operator
As for the professional formulas and the more upscale formulas that include a lot of international data, they often offer quite attractive rates and will allow you to use your phone almost at will during your stay in the USA.
The problem with these offers is simple: subscribing to them requires a commitment of 12 to 24 months.
At SFR for example:
- A plan with 100 GB of mobile data in Europe and the French overseas departments costs €50 /month the first year, then €65 /month thereafter.
- A package with 100 GB of mobile data that can also be used in the USA and Canada costs €60 /month the first year, then €75 /month thereafter.
Over 24 months, you will therefore have paid a total of €240 more with the plan that can be used in the USA (compared to that used in Europe and overseas departments only).
As you will have understood, unless you go to the United States several times a year (and again…), the amount is far too high and this type of package is not really suitable for tourists and occasional travelers.
Use A Prepaid Sim Card
Opting for a prepaid SIM card formula offers several advantages. The most notable of these is that you will be practically guaranteed to be able to connect to the network of one of the largest operators in the United States (AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile), and therefore to enjoy a high-quality service, with substantial speeds and really wide coverage.
The principle is simple: you buy a card, choosing a plan suited to your needs of course, and that’s it! Once in the United States, you will be sure to be able to make and receive calls (classic calls, thanks to the American number of the prepaid SIM card; but also internet calls thanks to applications like WhatsApp). You can also consult and send emails, use your GPS, publish on your networks…
One of the big advantages of these packages is that with them, there will be no unpleasant surprises. For example, if you paid for 6 GB of mobile data and it is consumed, you will either not be able to access the Internet or your speed will become very limited. Some prepaid SIM plans even offer unlimited data !
Anyway, you will never have to pay out of bundle due to a simple error. The only things that may be billed to you outside the bundle will be international calls and text messages. VOIP calls and messages sent through apps like WhatsApp or Messenger use mobile data, so they are risk-free.
To obtain a prepaid SIM card, there are two solutions:
- Buy it locally in the United States. The offers are numerous and sometimes quite interesting, but choosing this option will prevent you, for example, from using your GPS, making a call or even using the Uber application as soon as you arrive at the airport.
- Order it from France. This is for several reasons the most interesting solution. Already, you will not pay more for the SIM card, and you could even pay less than in the USA, in particular thanks to certain reductions or promo codes. Then you can use your phone as soon as you arrive.
Holafly offers prepaid SIM cards for the USA, which allow you to take advantage of the networks of the best operators in the country. I talk to you about these formulas in more detail below. To take advantage of these offers, the only precaution to take is to make sure to order your USA SIM card early enough, in order to receive it at home before your departure.
Use An Esim Card
The operation of an e-SIM card is quite similar to that of a prepaid SIM card, with a few differences: here, you will not receive a smart card: everything happens in digital format, thanks to a QR Code. This means you won’t need to remove your own SIM card (if your phone only has a SIM card slot), and you won’t even need to travel to buy a prepaid SIM card, or wait to receive it by post.
As your usual SIM remains in your phone, you will keep your number and therefore this e-SIM does not allow you to make traditional calls or to send or receive SMS/MMS for free. It only concerns mobile data (Internet browsing, email, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.).
After purchasing an e-SIM card, you will immediately receive an email containing your e-SIM QR Code, and in a few moments your package will be ready to use! For this option, it is also to Holafly that I recommend that you turn. You can find a detailed description of their offer in the rest of this post.
USA Holafly Sim Cards
The Prepaid Sim Card
This is undoubtedly one of the most suitable and practical offers for many travelers to the United States, whether for a few days or for a stay of up to 2 months. The Holafly prepaid Sim Card is:
- Very simple to use: you insert the card, you activate roaming, and everything is ready!
- The assurance of not paying a penny more than what was expected – excluding international calls and SMS.
- A functional phone number to be able to call anywhere in the USA and receive calls for free.
- The possibility of keeping your WhatsApp number by logging into your usual account.
- A card delivered free of charge in 7 to 10 working days (48 hours with paid delivery).
You can find 7 different prepaid Sim card plans for the USA at Holafly:
- 10 days and 6 GB of mobile data: €29
- 15 days and 8 GB of mobile data: €34
- 20 days and 10 GB of mobile data: €39
- 30 days and 12 GB of mobile data: €44
- 20 days and unlimited data: €59
- 30 days and unlimited data: €87
- 60 days and unlimited data: €169
Even the most basic formula will be more than enough for fairly heavy Internet use, as long as you avoid all video content. And being able to enjoy real unlimited data consumption in the United States for 59 € is undoubtedly much more interesting than the offers of the major French providers. Note however that this SIM card does not allow you to share your internet connection with your family or friends, unlike the e-SIM card.
The Fastest: The E-sim Card
Here is the simplest formula of all, which does not require any handling, and thanks to which you will not even need to anticipate and place an order a week or more before the date of your departure.
The Holafly e-SIM card is:
- Instant delivery.
- A very simple configuration: just scan the QR Code received.
- Keeping your WhatsApp number and your classic phone number.
- Connection sharing with the people you travel with.
Here are the different Holafly e-SIM card formulas:
- 5 days and 3 GB of mobile data: €19
- 7 days and 5 GB of mobile data: €29
- 10 days and 7 GB of mobile data: €34
- 15 days and 12 GB of mobile data: €47
- 20 days and 16 GB of mobile data: €57
- 30 days and 20 GB of mobile data: €69
- 60 days and 25 GB of mobile data: €87
- 90 days and 30 GB of mobile data: €109
This e-SIM card formula is really more practical, and in my opinion it is especially interesting for the shortest trips. The offer at 19 € for 5 days and 3 GB will be suitable for many travelers who plan to spend a few days in the United States.
The possibility of sharing the connection with an e-SIM can make a real difference if you are traveling as a couple, with family or friends. Being able to use the Internet together with a single card is a real plus!.
For stays of a week or more, on the other hand, the prepaid SIM card is more advantageous; and unlimited mobile data is only available with the Holafly prepaid SIM card.