6 Best SIM cards in USA For Travelers and Everyone

Best SIM cards in USA: It is well known that telecommunications in the United States are very expensive compared to other countries. If you are only visiting the country, you probably already have many other expenses planned for your trip abroad. So when you pay for extra service, you want the best.

For the US telecommunications market, in particular, it is very important to know the essential differences between CDMA and GSM in the mobile communications sector. In general, the main differences between these two technologies are security factors, global reach, and LTE data speeds.

Today, CDMA is used almost exclusively in the USA, partly in Japan and Canada. More than 210 countries worldwide support only GSM technology, including Europe. What does it mean for the end-user? CDMA phones are carrier bound! You can’t even switch carriers within the same country unless your phone has an “unlocked” SIM card slot! GSM phones can be used on other GSM networks, making roaming much easier.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options in the GSM market because Verizon and Sprint, two of the largest carriers, use CDMA, a different cellular technology. That leaves you with only AT&T and T-Mobile as major carriers. But which of all providers offers the best SIM cards in USA?

We analyze all mobile internet providers and their prepaid plans, which include calls, SMS, and data. Here are our six best SIM cards in USA options so you don’t have to rely on free WiFi abroad!


1. Ultra Mobile Tourist

Ultra Mobile is an MVNO on the T-Mobile network, which means you get great T-Mobile coverage at a lower price. Although Ultra Mobile offers its prepaid plans, the Ultra Mobile Tourist plan is perfect for anyone visiting the US for three weeks or less.

This is a more traditional travel SIM and after 21 days this plan expires, handy for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a cancellation. Because of this, you cannot top up your Ultra Mobile SIM card, so make sure you don’t extend your stay.

For $30 with the included SIM card, you get unlimited calls and texts and up to 3GB of 4G LTE data. You’ll also have 100 minutes of free time to use in 80+ international destinations, meaning you can call friends and family back home without having to use a third-party app.

To purchase an Ultra Mobile Tourist Plan, you can do so online or at a T-Mobile store. There is also a store locator on the Ultra Mobile website that you can use to find stores near you that sell Ultra.


  • T cellular network
  • Unlimited calls and SMS
  • Unlimited international text
  • 100 minutes to more than 80 international destinations
  • Up to 3GB of 4G LTE data


  • Plan cannot be loaded
  • Expires after 21 days
  • Can only be bought in shops

2. T-Mobile Prepaid

Not only does T-Mobile offer some of the best cell phone plans you can get today, but they also have a great prepaid option that will suit most travelers and tourists visiting the US, as T-Mobile’s network is located in has improved tremendously in recent years and its 5G network has one of the widest coverages and fastest speeds in the country, you’ll likely get great service with T-Mobile if you’re traveling to the big cities during your stay.

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There are four T-Mobile prepaid plans to choose from, although the ideal plan for most visitors will be T-Mobile’s $40-per-month 10GB prepaid plan. This plan includes unlimited calls and texts nationwide, up to 10GB of high-speed data, free mobile hotspot data, and unlimited music, so no music you’re streaming is using up your data.

If you want to add international calls, you can do that for an additional $15, or if you’re going to Mexico or Canada for a few days, you can add calls, text messages, and 5GB of data to use there for an additional $5.

Unfortunately, taxes and fees aren’t included in this plan, and the best SIM cards in USA might cost an additional $10 to activate, so you could end up paying more than $50 for this plan. But it’s still a great option if you need unlimited talk, text, and solid data speeds.

If you don’t need as much data during your stay, you can also opt for T-Mobile Connect for $15 per month. While you don’t have the same international extra features as the Simply Prepaid plan, you still get unlimited calls and texts and 2.5GB of data (or 5.5GB for $10 more). If you find yourself using your data a lot, you can upgrade to T-Mobile’s Simply Prepaid Unlimited or Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus plans for $50 or $60 per month respectively.

When you’re ready to sign up, you can easily do so online, but you’ll need a US shipping address. Of course, the easiest way is to go to a T-Mobile store once you’ve arrived and bought a SIM card there, but you’re likely to find T-Mobile SIM kits at many popular retailers as well.


  • T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network
  • Unlimited calls and SMS
  • 10GB data
  • International add-ons available
  • Free mobile hotspot


  • International calls are extra
  • Taxes and fees are not included.
  • Throttled speeds after consuming data

3. AT&T Prepaid

Known for their excellent network coverage, AT&T is also a great provider to buy a SIM card and one of the best prepaid calling plans when visiting the US. It tends to have better coverage than other airlines in rural areas, so it’s also a great option if you plan to travel a lot. For $30 (plus taxes and fees) with AT&T prepaid, you get 5 GB of high-speed data, which then scales down to 128 Kbps. As always, you should check your device’s AT&T compatibility online before signing up.

In this plan, you can use their mobile hotspot and send text messages to more than 100 countries. You can also speak, text, and use data in Mexico and Canada (although data speeds can be slow). And if you think you need more than 5GB of data, you can always upgrade to a 15GB prepaid plan for $40, which is a lot and worth considering.

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You can buy an AT&T SIM card online, along with a prepaid plan, or you can go to an AT&T store. Other retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart sell AT&T SIM cards for around $10, which is more than you’d pay online, but it’s always an option.


  • Wide coverage with the AT&T network
  • Unlimited calls and SMS
  • 5GB of data
  • Unlimited text to 100+ countries
  • Calls, SMS, and data in Mexico and Canada


  • Taxes and fees are not included.
  • Throttled speeds after consuming data

4. Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile is one of the best MVNO carriers today and uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G network, making it a great prepaid SIM card if you plan to stay in the US for at least three months. Whether you’re a student studying abroad or your job has moved you for a few months, Mint Mobile is guaranteed to offer you great coverage at an affordable price.

Mint requires you to purchase at least three months of service in advance. After that, you’ll get the best deals if you sign up for six or twelve months. For three months on the unlimited plan, pay $90 and get unlimited calls, text, and data, a 5GB mobile hotspot, and free calls to Mexico and Canada. Although you can add additional international features like calling and roaming, you’ll have to pay more. If this is a high priority for you, another provider with free international calling is a better option.

3 months (introductory price)$15/mo. ($45)$20/mo. ($60)$25/mo. ($75)$30/mo. ($90)
3 months$25/mo. ($75)$35/mo. ($105)$45/mo. ($135)$40/mo. ($120)
6 months$20/mo. ($120)$25/mo. ($150)$35/mo. ($210)$35/mo. ($210)
12 months$15/mo. ($180)$20/mo. ($240)$25/mo. ($300)$30/mo. ($360)

Joining Mint Mobile is easy, and you can even sign up for an online trial to get a free Mint Mobile SIM card. It’s particularly easy if your phone is eSIM capable, as you can activate the SIM card directly from your phone and then continue your service if you wish. You can also get a Mint SIM card from Target, Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon.


  • Mint 4G LTE and 5G network
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Affordable unlimited plan
  • Free trial available
  • Free mobile hotspot


  • You must register for at least three months.
  • International calls are extra
  • Unlimited data is reduced to 35 GB

5. Lyca Mobile

Lycamobile is unique in that it is a global MVNO and a US MVNO on the T-Mobile network. The easiest way to check if your phone is compatible is to enter its IMEI number on the Lycamobile website, but most unlocked GSM devices should work.

Lycamobile offers multiple plans to choose from and caters to those who need unlimited domestic calling and texting as well as international calling and texting to over 75 countries. Each plan includes these features at no additional cost, making it the perfect plan if you’re someone who wants to be able to call abroad at all times.

When it comes to data, you have several options, from 2 GB to 60 GB. The cheapest 2GB plan is $19, while the top plan with unlimited data is $50. The 2GB plan is only available to new customers. So if you’re already signed up, this plan comes with 1GB of data. Each plan comes with slightly different bonus features, so you’ll have to choose what makes the most sense for you.

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Fortunately, Lycamobile SIM cards are quite easy to come by. They are sold online on the Lycamobile website and Amazon, but you can also find Lycamobile SIM cards at various retailers, including 7-Eleven, drug stores, local convenience stores, etc. If in doubt, you can also use the online retailer locator to find them. the nearest dealer in your area.


  • Multiple plans to choose from
  • Sold at various dealers
  • Unlimited international calls and SMS
  • Payable
  • T Mobile Network


  • Expensive unlimited subscription
  • 5 percent tax on online plan purchases

6. Cricket Wireless

If you think you won’t need minutes while in the US and just need data, you might consider a data-only plan from Cricket Wireless, an MVNO on the AT&T network. $35 gets you 20 GB to use for the entire month, or $55 gets you 100 GB.

Also, this plan comes without minutes, so you have to make sure you’re okay with apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Skype to connect with family or friends. Includes text and picture messaging in the US, and use in Mexico and Canada if you want to visit those countries as well. It’s the perfect plan for anyone who spends a lot of time on the go and wants to be able to stream, download and browse at high speeds.

You can get a Cricket SIM card by going to an authorized Cricket Wireless retailer, which you can find using Cricket’s online retailer locator. Other popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart will also sell universal SIM card activation kits for Cricket Wireless. The good news is that you can always switch to a different Cricket plan using the same SIM card if you end up needing minutes.


  • At least 20 GB of high-speed data
  • Great AT&T coverage
  • Used in Mexico and Canada
  • SIM cards available at various retailers


  • No minutes


You really can’t go wrong with a best SIM cards in USA from the T-Mobile or AT&T network when visiting the United States, and the card that’s right for you will depend on the length of your stay and whether you want features like the ability to call home. If you’re only traveling for three weeks or less, the Ultra Mobile Tourist plan is your best bet, offering enough talk, text, and data to keep you connected.

On the other hand, if you are in the US for a few months, Mint Mobile will offer you the best value for several months. And if you’re somewhere in between, a prepaid plan from T-Mobile or AT&T is simple, reliable, and guarantees great coverage.