Travel SIM cards make it possible to bring your own cell phone on an international trip without paying roaming charges or extra fees.
The best place to buy prepaid SIM cards is Amazon.com, which has low prices and easy delivery. Find specific SIM cards in the search box below.
For travelers who wish to bring their cell phone with them overseas, travel SIM cards may be the best option for communicating with friends and colleagues all over the world. With a normal cell phone, you would incur expensive roaming charges if you used your cell phone overseas, but if you purchase travel SIM cards to use with a GSM phone, you will be able to make affordable calls.
SIM cards are for use with GSM phones. Many cell phone providers, especially in the US, such as Verizon, do not offer GSM phones. In that case you will need to buy or rent a cell phone for use overseas. Even if you do have a GSM phone, you may need to have it unlocked to be able to use a third-party SIM card (not from your mobile service provider).
Before you decide to purchase prepaid international SIM cards in your home country, consider whether or not it is more worth it to you to buy a local SIM card at your destination country. Many countries offer cheap SIM cards that you can buy at local convenience stores, that come pre-charged with a certain number of minutes, and that you can recharge by buying a stored-value recharge card. These prepaid SIM cards are ideal if you are planning to make most of your calls locally in your destination country, such as if you are there for business.
Alternatively, you may choose to purchase one of the international travel SIM cards that are easily available online or from many major telecommunications companies. These roaming SIM cards allow you to use your GSM cell phone in multiple countries, at vastly more reasonable prices than using your regular cell phone service. For example, GO-SIM offers a global SIM card that can be used in 175 countries and regions in the world, with varying per-minute rates for different countries. One Simcard is another popular provider. Many of these prepaid SIM cards have free incoming calls, which can save you money and make it much easier for friends to reach you in the event of an emergency. Many companies that offer global SIM cards also have package deals that allow you to buy a GSM phone or rent a cell phone, with the SIM card already installed. You can buy pre-charged starter kits that have a set amount of stored value on the card, or you can charge your card to the desired amount.
Keep in mind that per-minute rates do tend to be higher than using a regular international calling card, which can be used at land line phones. If you plan to be talking for long periods of time, it may be much more economical, and only marginally less convenient, to buy an international calling card to use at your hotel phone. In addition, per-minute rates vary by country, so check whether the rates at your destination country are as reasonable as you expect.