Looking for the best SIM to travel to the USA for a week. Data is most important.

22
Posted 23rd Oct
The one I know about is T-Mobile which has a $30 Tourist SIM and includes 2GB data. But it will be a bit of pain to get a hold of here in the UK (I have a month before I go and I'm going for a week. Another option is trying maybe to get a burner prepaid phone from Walmart or. similar, like Boost Mobile.

But I thought I'd check eBay and it turns out they have many international SIMs! I'm overwhelmed! I see one that says 5GB for £19... ideal! But, it needs to work in GSM phone and it needs to be on a major US carrier network, as useless if there is no service!

The trip is a week in Chicago so any major network will be fine.

Anyone have thoughts on these SIMs? Or other suggestions? Tks

ebay.co.uk/sch…t=0
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three .... no doubt

i got myself a 3 simonly contract for under £8 earlier in the year with 8gb.... no issues in USA - and best of all is that my wife had three too... so calling each other whilst there was free. as calling a uk number is free, and roaming in USA with three is free...

if you want just payg, grab one of the 321 packages
You might as well grab a three sim with the £20 unlimited 1 month plan - data in the US is too expensive! You’ll get 4G5G* roaming there but you’ll only be able to use a maximum of 12GB ∵ fair use policy and if you want to call US numbers - use ZipCall (it’s a toll-free access number that you can call US using your standard minutes).

*Note user may not experience actual 5G speeds
Edited by: "TheGreatScorpio" 11th Nov
We went to Florida last year & I got a 3 payg sim. Think it cost £10 for 30 days. Worked fine with no problems at all.
Fab. yeah i've been happy with Giffgaff for Europe; glad 3 has an option. Just go to a store and get a SIM or order online?
kellyllek24/10/2019 00:26

Fab. yeah i've been happy with Giffgaff for Europe; glad 3 has an option. …Fab. yeah i've been happy with Giffgaff for Europe; glad 3 has an option. Just go to a store and get a SIM or order online?


Either is fine, online may work out better because of cashback. Other option is potentially Vodafone Roaming Plus, but that's only available to pay monthly and SIMO Vodafone customers - if you go abroad regularly that may work out better for you given Vodafone's generally better coverage in the UK.
kellyllek24/10/2019 00:26

... glad 3 has an option. Just go to a store and get a SIM or order …... glad 3 has an option. Just go to a store and get a SIM or order online?


You can buy a 3 PAYG SIM with inclusive £20 credit for less online. Use the credit to buy the All-in-One 20 bundle = your max 12GB roaming bundle. Maybe bad example via Amazon at £17.99 amazon.co.uk/Thr…LR/ ; possibly cheaper via questionable sources on the bay, Slumtree, Farcebook Markuplace.
Activate the SIM a few days before travel (just in case any issues need sorting). Best to activate it in a 3/unlocked handset with data turned off (if possible?), otherwise you may use part of the inclusive £20 on random data access and not have sufficient funds to buy the All-in-One 20 bundle. Call 444 from the handset with the SIM in it to buy the AIO20 bundle.
I've used my 'three' sim in various countries, never have any problems. In fact, its better than it is here in the UK.

I think the maximum data you're entitled to is 19GB, which I think is dependent on what contract you have. I think its less in some countries though.
TheGreatScorpio23/10/2019 23:06

You might as well grab a three sim with the £20 unlimited 1 month plan - …You might as well grab a three sim with the £20 unlimited 1 month plan - data in the US is too expensive! You’ll get 4G roaming there but you’ll only be able to use a maximum of 12GB ∵ of fair use policy


I was thinking of doing this! As I'm off to America next weekend, and saw this student rate.
AndyRoyd24/10/2019 00:53

You can buy a 3 PAYG SIM with inclusive £20 credit for less online. Use …You can buy a 3 PAYG SIM with inclusive £20 credit for less online. Use the credit to buy the All-in-One 20 bundle = your max 12GB roaming bundle. Maybe bad example via Amazon at £17.99 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-PAYG-£20-Credit-International/dp/B01N2G52LR/ ; possibly cheaper via questionable sources on the bay, Slumtree, Farcebook Markuplace.Activate the SIM a few days before travel (just in case any issues need sorting). Best to activate it in a 3/unlocked handset with data turned off (if possible?), otherwise you may use part of the inclusive £20 on random data access and not have sufficient funds to buy the All-in-One 20 bundle. Call 444 from the handset with the SIM in it to buy the AIO20 bundle.


Thanks for the info. giffgaff is similar in that you have your balance but the you can purchase a goodybag plan out of that balance. But if your goodybag expires they start immediacy deducting from your balance; I try to leave the balance empty just in case!

I see this Three SIM on eBay for £15 and seller has 100% rating.
TheGreatScorpio23/10/2019 23:06

You might as well grab a three sim with the £20 unlimited 1 month plan - …You might as well grab a three sim with the £20 unlimited 1 month plan - data in the US is too expensive! You’ll get 4G roaming there but you’ll only be able to use a maximum of 12GB ∵ of fair use policy


Geenation24/10/2019 09:43

I was thinking of doing this! As I'm off to America next weekend, and saw …I was thinking of doing this! As I'm off to America next weekend, and saw this student rate.


Seems ridiculous to take a credit search hit just for a month's service when the non-credit-file-bashing PAYG option is actually cheaper. Plus with a contract you'd have to provide your notice to cancel on the same day as taking out the contract, just to avoid paying beyond the minimum 30day term.
Or you could be very cunning by timing the purchase online so that the SIM delivery to cancellation timeframe is within 14days to benefit from potential of zero charges unless used any out-of-allowance services, which is kinda possible if outside UK.
AndyRoyd24/10/2019 15:56

Seems ridiculous to take a credit search hit just for a month's service …Seems ridiculous to take a credit search hit just for a month's service when the non-credit-file-bashing PAYG option is actually cheaper. Plus with a contract you'd have to provide your notice to cancel on the same day as taking out the contract, just to avoid paying beyond the minimum 30day term.Or you could be very cunning by timing the purchase online so that the SIM delivery to cancellation timeframe is within 14days to benefit from potential of zero charges unless used any out-of-allowance services, which is kinda possible if outside UK.


PAYG is also £20 for 12GB. So why not just get the 1-Month Unlimited Deal, use the 12GB in the US and when back in the UK just use it as a temporary SIM for the rest of the month for Unlimited Data. You never even know, Three might provide a banging deal for you to stay after the one month period.
TheGreatScorpio24/10/2019 17:44

PAYG is also £20 for 12GB. So why not just get the 1-Month Unlimited Deal, …PAYG is also £20 for 12GB. So why not just get the 1-Month Unlimited Deal, use the 12GB in the US and when back in the UK just use it as a temporary SIM for the rest of the month for Unlimited Data. You never even know, Three might provide a banging deal for you to stay after the one month period.


One-off PAYG 12GB is £15 as prev posted, but yeah, if you want your credit file to take a hit for a potentially unused come-in-handy that's fine.
Or alternatively unlimited data on a 3 12m SIMO can be achieved at equiv £6.66/m as mentioned here: hotukdeals.com/com…818
+1 for the PAYG £20 three SIM card.

Been to the U.S twice recently and used this both times. You can call and receive calls from UK numbers at no charge and get 12gb data. The only downside is, you won't be able to call U.S numbers for free

If you want to call U.S phone numbers while you're out there, just top up £5 on Skype and use that on your phone to call U.S numbers. Simples.

Also, If you need to go a step further and have a U.S phone number while you're there. You can get a Skype U.S. number for a month for about £5.50 which you can receive calls and texts to the Skype number which can be handy.

I have also tried to buy a SIM card while I was in the US (prior to using the three Sims) and found it extremely difficult. Went to a bunch of stores including Walmart to try and buy a burner and They have a totally different system to the UK and you can't just go into a store, buy a SIM, top it up and start using it. While I was there also found the T-Mobile option (only available from T-Mobile stores) and iirc you are right that it is something like $30 for 2gb data and no calls

My suggestion is:

Buy a three sim card and a SEPARATE £20 top up from a three store (SIM card will be free when purchased with a top up). Then activate it the day before you leave the the country and use the £20 to buy the £20 unlimited bundle which then gives you 12gb roaming in the USA. MAKE SURE YOU ACTIVATE WHILE IN THE UK!! OTHERWISE IT WILL NOT WORK ABROAD - and you will not be able to activate while not in the UK

Be careful while purchasing from three that you don't purchase a SIM card from three that already includes the £20 bundle. If you buy the one that already includes the bundle, they active it there and then in-store - so it might run out before you even go if you buy it too soon.
Edited by: "jambone" 25th Oct
jambone25/10/2019 04:32

+1 for the PAYG £20 three SIM card. Been to the U.S twice recently and …+1 for the PAYG £20 three SIM card. Been to the U.S twice recently and used this both times. You can call and receive calls from UK numbers at no charge and get 12gb data. The only downside is, you won't be able to call U.S numbers.If you want to call U.S phone numbers while you're out there, just top up £5 on Skype and use that on your phone to call U.S numbers. Simples. Also, If you need to go a step further and have a U.S phone number while you're there. You can get a Skype U.S. number for a month for about £5.50 which you can receive calls and texts to the Skype number which can be handy.I have also tried to buy a SIM card while I was in the US (prior to using the three Sims) and found it extremely difficult. Went to a bunch of stores including Walmart to try and buy a burner and They have a totally different system to the UK and you can't just go into a store, buy a SIM, top it up and start using it. While I was there also found the T-Mobile option (only available from T-Mobile stores) and iirc you are right that it is something like $30 for 2gb data and no calls My suggestion is:Buy a three sim card and a SEPARATE £20 top up from a three store (SIM card will be free when purchased with a top up). Then activate it the day before you leave the the country and use the £20 to buy the £20 unlimited bundle which then gives you 12gb roaming in the USA. MAKE SURE YOU ACTIVATE WHILE IN THE UK!! OTHERWISE IT WILL NOT WORK ABROAD - and you will not be able to activate while not in the UKBe careful while purchasing from three that you don't purchase a SIM card from three that already includes the £20 bundle. If you buy the one that already includes the bundle, they active it there and then in-store - so it might run out before you even go if you buy it too soon.


Why can't you call US numbers? Wouldn't it be allowed and just charged as an international call?
jamie1525/10/2019 04:44

Why can't you call US numbers? Wouldn't it be allowed and just charged as …Why can't you call US numbers? Wouldn't it be allowed and just charged as an international call?


Sorry I should have been more clear - updated my OP

You're correct, it would be charged as an international call (£2per min?), but considering the user likely only had the £20 package, there would be no additional credit on the SIM card, meaning a call could not be completed due to insufficient funds.
Edited by: "jambone" 25th Oct
jambone25/10/2019 04:49

Sorry I should have been more clear - updated my OPYou're correct, it …Sorry I should have been more clear - updated my OPYou're correct, it would be charged as an international call (£2per min?), but considering the user likely only had the £20 package, there would be no additional credit on the SIM card, meaning a call could not be completed due to insufficient funds.


Yes that's what I thought Just checked and it is £1.40 per month. Of course using a VOiP provider would be advisable (as long as data allowance is sufficient to handle both that and regular data usage), I would recommend Talkatone though over Skype as that would give a free US number with free calling within the US
Edited by: "jamie15" 25th Oct
jamie1525/10/2019 04:57

Yes that's what I thought Just checked and it is £1.40 per month. Of …Yes that's what I thought Just checked and it is £1.40 per month. Of course using a VOiP provider would be advisable (as long as data allowance is sufficient to handle both that and regular data usage), I would recommend Talkatone though over Skype as that would give a free US number with free calling within the US


I've not heard of talkatone before, I'll check them out for my next USA trip - Thanks!
jambone25/10/2019 05:01

I've not heard of talkatone before, I'll check them out for my next USA …I've not heard of talkatone before, I'll check them out for my next USA trip - Thanks!


You're welcome Only meant to work in the US btw, I needed to call eBay USA once - used Talkatone and saved lots of money on the call but had to use a VPN.
jambone25/10/2019 04:32

+1 for the PAYG £20 three SIM card. Been to the U.S twice recently and …+1 for the PAYG £20 three SIM card. Been to the U.S twice recently and used this both times. You can call and receive calls from UK numbers at no charge and get 12gb data. The only downside is, you won't be able to call U.S numbers for freeIf you want to call U.S phone numbers while you're out there, just top up £5 on Skype and use that on your phone to call U.S numbers. Simples. Also, If you need to go a step further and have a U.S phone number while you're there. You can get a Skype U.S. number for a month for about £5.50 which you can receive calls and texts to the Skype number which can be handy.I have also tried to buy a SIM card while I was in the US (prior to using the three Sims) and found it extremely difficult. Went to a bunch of stores including Walmart to try and buy a burner and They have a totally different system to the UK and you can't just go into a store, buy a SIM, top it up and start using it. While I was there also found the T-Mobile option (only available from T-Mobile stores) and iirc you are right that it is something like $30 for 2gb data and no calls My suggestion is:Buy a three sim card and a SEPARATE £20 top up from a three store (SIM card will be free when purchased with a top up). Then activate it the day before you leave the the country and use the £20 to buy the £20 unlimited bundle which then gives you 12gb roaming in the USA. MAKE SURE YOU ACTIVATE WHILE IN THE UK!! OTHERWISE IT WILL NOT WORK ABROAD - and you will not be able to activate while not in the UKBe careful while purchasing from three that you don't purchase a SIM card from three that already includes the £20 bundle. If you buy the one that already includes the bundle, they active it there and then in-store - so it might run out before you even go if you buy it too soon.


sorry just catching up on this. So so I not want to get this one off eBay?

ebay.co.uk/itm…jEI
kellyllek11/11/2019 00:44

sorry just catching up on this. So so I not want to get this one off …sorry just catching up on this. So so I not want to get this one off eBay? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-credit-THREE-3-NETWORK-PAY-AS-YOU-GO-Nano-Micro-Standard-SIM-Card-321-PLAN/222851606973


£15 for a 3 sim inc £20 top-up is fine, with two caveats:
check with seller to confirm the lifetime of the included credit;
don't let the phone connect to cellular data (nor make any other chargeable action) prior to converting the entire inclusive £20 topup to the AIO20 bundle.
AndyRoyd11/11/2019 01:33

£15 for a 3 sim inc £20 top-up is fine, with two caveats: check with s …£15 for a 3 sim inc £20 top-up is fine, with two caveats: check with seller to confirm the lifetime of the included credit;don't let the phone connect to cellular data (nor make any other chargeable action) prior to converting the entire inclusive £20 topup to the AIO20 bundle.


Exactly this.
If you want to call US numbers for free USE ZIPCALL - TOLL FREE ACCESS NUMBER!
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