Traveling overseas soon? Avoid high roaming costs and get yourself a travel sim card, an international sim card with data that works all over the world! Does that exist? Yes! And good news, I updated this international sim card comparison for all your trips abroad in 2024 and included the best international e-sim cards as well.

First I will give you a comparison of the best international prepaid and e-sim cards available for traveling abroad in 2024, including all the pros and cons. Then at the end I will also explain the differences between a local prepaid sim card and a global travel sim card and tell you what is cheaper.

In the end you can decide for yourself if you think it is worth buying an international (e)-sim card for your next trip or buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival in your holiday destination.

For your convenience I ranked the best international sim cards from best to worst. Number 1 is my top recommendation, then number 2 and so on… However, it also depends on the places and countries that you will be traveling to, so choose your sim card wisely.

Slowly physical sim cards are being replaced by e-sim cards. Physical sim cards are not needed anymore, no more swapping sim cards in your phone if your phone is e-sim compatible.

Actually, e-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling abroad in 2024 and you are online as soon as the plane lands.

Here are some of the latest Traveltomtom e-sim card guides with everything you need to know about buying an e-sim card for: USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South KoreaThailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, IndonesiaPhilippines, VietnamMalaysiaChina, Australia, New ZealandEurope, GermanyFrance, Italy, Spain, Portugal, GreeceUnited KingdomTurkeyEgypt, MoroccoDubai  and many more.

Some links in this comparison of the best international travel sim cards are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!

My recommendation

Depending on your destination local prepaid sim cards will give you more value for money. But you can only buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival. Want to arrive prepared at your holiday destination and be online when the plane lands? Then order an international prepaid sim card or an e-sim card to stay connected.

Overseas data plans and data roaming packages from your mobile operator in your home country is mostly with capped data speed.

Traveltomtom recommends the following international sim cards: international physical prepaid sim cards from SimOptions, international e-sim cards from SimoptionsAiralo Discover Global e-sim cards or Jetpac Global e-sims.

Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card from Airalo with 20 GB data valid for 365 days installed on my phone. This e-sim card is valid in 124 countries and I use it every time the plane lands in a new country.

Depending on where and how long I travel I compare the local prepaid sim cards with the available e-sim cards.

Traveltomtom has used SimOptions and Airalo the most and for many consecutive years. But the competition on the international sim card market is fierce and Nomad as well as Jetpac often have some amazing e-sim card deals so I started using them too. It depends on where I am traveling.

Holafly is an e-sim provider that has e-sim cards with unlimited data, but also a so called FUP. Traveltomtom is not a fan, more about it later.

Comparison international sim card

As expected, there’s a wide range of international sim cards available on the internet. The challenge that most travelers are faced with is choosing the best one for their trip. The pricing and capabilities vary widely and some cater best for one trip, but suck for another trip.

In the following section, I will review and compare the top international sim cards. Read through the list carefully and pick the travel sim that works for you. As promised I listed the best travel sim cards on top!

 In short:

  1. Best sim card for Europe: Orange Holiday Europe & Bouygues Telecom (e-sim)
  2. Best sim card for Caribbean: Knowroaming or KeepGo
  3. Best sim card for North America: Orange Holiday World & Three UK or a Airalo Discover Global E-sim card
  4. Best sim card for Central America: Three UK
  5. Best sim card for South America: Three UK or Airalo Discover Global E-sim card
  6. Best sim card for Africa: Orange Holiday World & Discover Global E-sim card
  7. Best sim card for Asia: Airalo Discover Global E-sim card & Jetpac Global
  8. Best sim card for Southeast Asia: Jetpac Global
  9. Best sim card for the Middle East: Discover Global E-sim card
  10. Best sim card for Oceania: Smart Traveller eSim, Nomad Global

Traveling to the Middle East? I visited all countries in the Middle East myself and wrote detailed sim card guides for them: QatarDubai, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, etc.

All the international sim cards below can be ordered directly online and will either be shipped to your home address or send directly to your e-mail in case of an e-sim card. In case of a physical prepaid sim card they will come in a 3-in-1 sizes which makes them fit into any smart(phone), tablet or portable WiFi device.

In case of e-sim cards always make sure your smartphone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card.

1. Discover Global E-Sim Card from Airalo

The easiest and most convenient way to get internet on your phone when traveling abroad in 2024 is an e-sim card. The way e-sim cards work is that through software on your phone (just settings, nothing fancy) you are able to switch to another network. On this network you are able to use the data allowance according to which package you bought and activated.

Mind you this is an e-sim card and NOT a physical sim card. So no need to swap a physical sim card. Just scan the received QR code, follow the steps, instal the e-sim card and activate it. Trust me it is really simple.

With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number and whenever you want to use your own phone number you simply switch networks again in the settings.

Airalo is one of the leading e-sim card providers and Traveltomtom has used Airalo uncountable times all over the world. Airalo offers sim cards for pretty much every country in the world and they also sell 2 international e-sim cards:

  1. International data-only e-sim card.
  2. International e-sim card including calling and texting.

Both Discover Global e-sim cards from Airalo are valid in 130 countries, depending on the plan you buy the sim card is valid for 365 days. Traveltomtom has this e-sim card installed on his phone. It is a life saver many times and only costs $69 USD.

Prices Discover Global data-only E-Sim Card

airalo discover global international data only esim cards

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $9 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $17 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
  • 5 GB data for 60 days = $35 USD
  • 10 GB data for 180 days = $59 USD
  • 20 GB data for 365 days = $69 USD

Click here for more info or to order a Discover Global data-only E-Sim Card via Airalo.

Prices Discover Global E-Sim Card including calling/texting

airalo discover global international esim cards with calls

  • 1 GB data + 10 minutes + 10 sms for 7 days = $9 USD
  • 2 GB data + 20 minutes + 20 sms for 15 days = $17 USD
  • 3 GB data + 30 minutes + 30 sms for 30 days = $24 USD
  • 5 GB data + 50 minutes + 50 sms for 60 days = $35 USD
  • 10 GB data + 100 minutes + 100 sms for 180 days = $59 USD
  • 20 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms for 365 days = $69 USD

The above data packages are valid in 130 countries:

  • Europe: every European country is covered, including: UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Greenland.
  • North America: USA, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador
  • Asia: China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Macau, Philippines, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan.
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay.
  • Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen.
  • Africa: Sudan, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Gabon, Eswatini, Central African Republic, Chad, Tunisia, Tanzania, Seychelles, Senegal, Reunion, Kenya, Congo DRC, Republic of Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, Madagascar.

Big plus is that the Airalo Global Discover+ e-sim card is 5G ready in many countries.

Click here for more info or to order a Discover Global E-Sim Card including calls/sms directly online via Airalo.

Review Discover Global E-Sim Card

I am very overwhelmed with the amount of countries and especially the exact countries. Almost all the countries above are well known tourist destinations around the world. Fact is that the Discover Global E-sim card is one of the best sim cards for traveling in Africa. It also is by far the best for traveling in South America and Asia. It literally covers almost all countries in these continents.

Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card activated on my phone as well. I bought the 20 GB valid for 1 year and using it a lot when I go to countries for just a couple days like when I was in Qatar, visiting family in Netherlands for 3 days, a couple days in Turkey, etc. To me this international e-sim card is a game changer! Traveltomtom loves the Discover Global E-sim card.

The downside of the Airalo Discover Global eSim card is that in some lesser known countries like Greenland, Belarus, Gibraltar, Eswatini, Central African Republic, etc. the max data speed is 3G. The performance in these countries is pretty disappointing.

But that said, I mostly only use my Global eSim card from Airalo only for the first hours/day when I am in a new country. Then I mostly opt for a local prepaid sim card, especially in the lesser known countries off the beaten path.

Click here for more info about the Discover Global E-Sim Card from Airalo.

2. Jetpac Global

jetpac global international esim card plans

Jetpac is a fairly new e-sim provider and is trying to conquer the market with some incredible e-sim card plans for traveling the world.

At the moment their Jetpac Global e-sim card is valid in 100+ countries. Pretty much all of Europe and East Asia plus Australia, New Zealand, USA and many more countries and Jetpac constantly tries to add countries to the list.

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City.

Asia: Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazachstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam. 

Pacific: Australia, New Zealand.

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA, Uruguay.

Africa: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Reunion, Tunisia.

This long list of countries where the Jetpac Global e-sim card is valid makes it a perfect e-sim card for traveling to East and Southeast Asia. The only countries missing in South East Asia would be: Singapore, Timor Leste, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos. All other countries in South East Asia are covered.

For traveling to Europe it is also a great e-sim card, but Jetpac also has separate e-sims for Europe. See Traveltomtom's list of the best e-sims for Europe.

Prices and rates Jetpac Global

Jetpac Global is at the moment the cheapest international e-sim card as they have an offer for just $1 USD.

  • 1 GB data for 4 days = $1 USD
  • 3 GB data for 7 days = $10 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $25 USD
  • 15 GB data for 30 days = $30 USD
  • 25 GB data for 30 days = $38 USD
  • 30 GB data for 30 days = $45 USD
  • 40 GB data for 30 days = $80 USD

Click here to order a Jetpac Global e-sim card.

The Jetpac Global e-sim card plans are valid for 30 days and the validity starts automatically when it connects for the first time to a network in a country where you can use Jetpac.

Review Jetpac

The Jetpac Global 1 GB data package is obviously a winner at the moment with only $1 USD for 1 GB data in 100+ countries. I am sure this is a promo deal, and it is also only valid for 4 days. Great package to give Jetpac a try though. As long as the deal stands Jetpac is the cheapest international e-sim card for travelling abroad in 2024.

Their 30 GB data pack for $45 USD with a rate of only $1.5 USD per Gigabyte is not bad at all for an e-sim card valid in more than 100 countries. Well done Jetpac!

Personally I just wish these e-sim cards are not just valid for 30 days, but like 100 days or more. That would truly make it easier to travel the world with just 1 sim card.

It is a great e-sim card for traveling the world. Especially in Asia but as well in Europe and Middle East. Traveltomtom also listed Jetpac high on the list of the best prepaid and e-sim cards for traveling to Europe in 2024.

Jetpac Global is only available as an e-sim card and not as a physical prepaid sim card. The Jetpac Global e-sim cards are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls are not supported. The Jetpac global e-sims are not 5G ready.

An extra advantage of Jetpac Global e-sim cards is that they provide free lounge access if your flight is delayed. However, you will have to register your flight before you travel and in case of a delayed or canceled flight a LoungeKey voucher will automatically be provided. This is a complimentary service that no other e-sim card providers offer.

Jetpac is now also offering a free VPN  for all Jetpac e-sim users. For more info check out the Jetpack website.

3. Orange Holiday World - not available as e-sim card

The international sim card with data that covers EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Yes, with this prepaid travel sim you have data roaming included in 197 countries and that is the reason why I listed it as number 1.

The price? It is good compared to other similar sim cards.

Down sides of this Orange international sim card is that you can NOT make or receive phone calls, it is a pure data-only sim card only and this sim card does not come with a phone number. The Orange Holiday World sim card is only valid for 14 days. After these 14 days you can top up online, but it is complicated.

This international prepaid sim card is only offed by SimOptions, one of the most trusted sim card providers on the internet.

Click here to directly order an Orange Holiday World as a prepaid sim card via SimOptions.

Orange was initially referred to as France Telecom. As of today, the network has more than 250 million customers worldwide thanks to its big value data plans and free roaming in EVERY country in the world.

Unfortunately the Orange Holiday World sim card is NOT available as an e-sim card, only as physical prepaid sim card.

Prices and rates Orange Holiday World

The Orange Holiday World international sim card costs $49.90 USD and comes with max 10 GB data included. The volume of the package depends on your destination(s).

You get 10 GB data if you travel to any EU country and/or any of the other countries in Zone 1: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Botswana, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Macao, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, Uganda, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam

The Orange Holiday World sim card allows you to use 5 GB data in Zone 2: Argentina, Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Dominican Republic, Uruguay.

You get 1 GB data in: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Sri Lanka, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Togo, Venezuela

In any other country you get 50 MB. That is obvious not a lot and actually pretty useless.

If at any point, you run out of data, calls, or texts, you can top up your sim card online from the Orange website. The same package then costs you only €29 EUR ($31 USD) and you get again up to 10 GB data.

Review Orange Holiday World

If you are traveling to any of the countries listed in Zone 1 or Zone 2 then the Orange Holiday World is an excellent prepaid global sim card that I would recommend to buy.

Personally I wish the package would be valid for a little more than 14 days and I am missing some countries in the Caribbean that could be useful to add as these are popular tourist destinations for people traveling from the USA.

There is NO activation needed as the sim card automatically activates upon insertion in your phone, tablet or WiFi device. It is like plug and play. The credit validity starts when the sim card connects the first time to a supported network. Basically when the plane lands.

Lots of travelers from different parts of the world opt for Orange Holiday World because they are generous with data and cheap compared to other international sim cards. Therefore I call Orange Holiday World one of the best prepaid data sim card for traveling the world.

However, if you are traveling to countries listed in Zone 3 or 4 the Orange Holiday World sim card is NOT the best buy. Orange is also not a great sim card for traveling in the Caribbean.

The Orange Holiday World sim card also a great prepaid sim card for Africa as it covers a wide range of countries with 10 GB data roaming, especially in Central and West Africa. For East Africa check my prepaid sim card guides per country: Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia or the e-sim card below which is ranked as the best international sim card for traveling in Africa.

Click here for more info about the Orange Holiday World sim card.

Orange does offer amazing e-sim cards for traveling to multiple countries, but these are only valid in Europe.

As you can see above these are amazing sim card deals and valid in 39 countries, but limited to Europe only. This makes these one of the best e-sim cards for traveling in Europe.

Click here to order this Orange e-sim cards for traveling in Europe via SimOptions.

4. Nomad - Data eSIM for Global

Nomad is a fairly new player on the e-sim card market, but Traveltomtom has used and tested many Nomad e-sim cards in the last months. They sometimes have exceptional good deals for some destinations. Traveltomtom discovered that Nomad has amazing e-sim card deals for Dubai for example.

However, the international e-sim cards from Nomad are rather expensive. They are valid in more than 100 countries though.

Nomad offers data-only eSim cards from eSIM Go and 1GLOBAL. The eSIM Go plans are valid in 106 countries and the 1GLOBAL plans are valid in 109 countries.

eSIM Go plans

nomad global esim card plans esim go

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $12 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $36 USD

The eSIM Go plans from Nomad are valid in 106 countries and in some countries 5G ready.

1GLOBAL plans

nomad global esim card plans 1global

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $25 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $40 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $45 USD

The Truphone e-sim cards are valid in 109 countries and are also 5G ready in several countries.

Click here to order a a Global e-sim card via Nomad.

Nomad e-sim card specifications

From the moment you buy a 1GLOBAL e-sim card you have 60 days to activate the e-sim card, the eSIM Go sim cards have to be activated within 30 days. Top-ups are available. 5G is supported in some countries, in other countries the max data speed is 4G/LTE. The e-sim cards you buy via Nomad are all data-only and do NOT come with a phone number. Incoming and outgoing calls/sms are NOT supported.

Here are the 109 countries where the 1GLOBAL e-sim card is valid.

  • Europe: every European country is covered, including: UK, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Russia
  • North America: USA, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala, Grenada, Jamaica, Honduras, Turks & Caicos
  • Asia: China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Armenia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Macau, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Kazachstan
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Fiji
  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana
  • Middle East: UAE, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
  • Africa: Mozambique, South Africa, Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, Mayotte, Reunion, Tanzania

The eSIM Go e-sim cards are pretty much valid in the exact same countries.

The Nomad Global e-sim cards are great for traveling in North America, South America and even Pacific as it covers a lot of countries in these continents.

For traveling in Europe it is way too expensive. Check out my list of the best prepaid and e-sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024 for much cheaper deals.

Click here for more info about the Nomad Global esim cards.

5. Holafly

Holafly is a popular e-sim provider and has to be part of this comparison. They have e-sim cards for all popular tourist destinations around the world.

Holafly only works with e-sim cards with unlimited data and Traveltomtom is NOT a fan of using sim cards with unlimited data.

This is because unlimited is not truly unlimited, not at data at high speed. There is a so-called Fair Use Policy (FUP) and if you go over that quota your data speed is reduced to basically an E signal. Barely enough to send photos through WhatsApp. Social Media apps won't be working anymore.

Anyway... here are the Holafly international e-sims.

In fact, Holafly does not have a global plan which is for example valid in several countries on different continents. Holafly has different e-sim cards per continent:

  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Caribbean
  • North America
  • Latin America

The rates per regional e-sim differ a little bit but in general comes down to the following plans:

  • 1 day 'unlimited' data = $6 USD
  • 2 days 'unlimited' data = $10 USD
  • 3 days 'unlimited' data = $13 USD
  • 4 days 'unlimited' data = $16 USD
  • 5 days 'unlimited' data = $21 USD
  • 6 days 'unlimited' data = $25 USD
  • 7 days 'unlimited' data = $29 USD
  • 8 days 'unlimited' data = $31 USD
  • 9 days 'unlimited' data = $35 USD
  • 10 days 'unlimited' data = $37 USD
  • 11 days 'unlimited' data = $40 USD
  • 14 days 'unlimited' data = $48 USD
  • 20 days 'unlimited' data = $64 USD
  • 30 days 'unlimited' data = $75 USD

The Holafly e-sim cards are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls/sms are NOT supported. These e-sims do also not come with a phone number. The Holafly e-sims operate on the 4G/LTE network and are not 5G ready.

Review Holafly

Traveltomtom has tried out Holafly in several different countries and with mixed feeling. Apart from experiencing reduced internet speed Traveltomtom was also not happy with the data speed of Holafly e-sims. Especially inside buildings popular social media apps like TikTok and Instagram were not working smooth.

Lately Traveltomtom went on a trip to Colombia and tried out Holafly again as a test and it was a disaster. In Colombia Holafly is using the Movistar network, the weakest mobile data network in Colombia, see my Colombia prepaid sim card guide for a comparison of the 4G/5G network of Movistar, Claro and Tigo.

Truth is that I was pretty much offline as in the Northern regions of Colombia there is basically no Movistar signal. After a couple days I couldn't handle it any more. Holafly was a big fail and I went to a Claro store to buy a local prepaid sim card.

6. Surfroam

surf roam international sim card

A Surfroam international sim card is a data only global sim card. With mobile coverage in 200+ countries and territories as they state on the Surfroam website.

You can not receive and make phone calls however you can receive sms. Also Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Viber are unlimited and always accessible when buying a Surfroam prepaid travel sim card.

Prices and rates Surfroam

At Surfroam they offer 2 products: a normal sim card for €15 EUR ($16.4 USD) and an e-sim card for €20 EUR ($22 USD). Basically Surfroam is a free international prepaid sim card as you get either €15 EUR ($16.4 USD) or €20 EUR ($22 USD) credit INCLUDED.

The common rate for most Western countries is €0.01 per MB, which means €10 EUR ($11 USD) per 1 GB data. They charge you per MB. See here a quick overview of the costs per MB per continent.

surf roam international sim card data roaming

Review Surfroam

As opposed to other world sim cards, with Surfroam you don’t need to buy data bundles in advance. This flexibility appeals to long-term travelers or those hopping between different countries of the world constantly.

Also a big plus of Surfroam is that they are providing a ‘free’ international sim card, what you pay, you get back in credit.

Overall, the Surfroam data roaming rates and its pricing model is flexible and easy to understand. Compared to other international sim cards this is very clear, transparent AND MUCH CHEAPER!

There is data roaming coverage in over 200 countries and territories and per country is stated how much they charge per MB.

One of the negative sides of Surfroam are the steep shipping costs. For most Western countries you already pay more than $20 USD, for the USA Surfroam adds even $25 USD shipping fee. Therefore I would recommend you buying the Surfroam e-sim travel sim card instead to save on shipping costs.

Also when looking at the rates per MB of the countries in Africa, it is an easy conclusion that Surfroam is a good sim cards for traveling in Africa, but not so much for South America.

For more info check out the Surfroam website.

Traveltomtom traveled to more than 70% of the countries in Africa and wrote detailed sim card guides for the following countries in Africa: Kenya, NairobiTanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Africa, Uganda, Gabon, Cameroon, Congo BrazzavilleRwanda, BurundiNamibia, Lesotho, ZambiaEgypt, Ghana, Sao Tome & Principe, Ivory Coast and many more. If you travel to any of these countries I would recommend you to check the link.

7. KeepGo

keep go prepaid international sim card

KeepGo is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica, and AT&T with offices in Israel, the USA, and the Netherlands and operates on 500 connected networks in more than 100 countries. The Keepgo international sim card is a data only sim card and does NOT support any incoming or outgoing calls & text.

Prices and rates KeepGo

GoFi Prepaid Data Sim Card - $39 USD

This is a sim card just for Europe and the USA. With this pay as you go sim card you pay $8 / GB data, regardless where in Europe or the USA you are.

Not great for world travelers, but may be if you travel between the USA and Europe a lot.

Lifetime Prepaid Data Sim Card - $49 USD

This international sim card works in more than 100 countries and comes with 1 GB data included.

keep go international sim card

If you want more data you will have to add one of the data packages below:

  • $14 USD= 500 MB
  • $26 USD = 1 GB
  • $61 USD = 3 GB
  • $88 USD = 5 GB
  • $165 USD = 10 GB

Click here to order a KeepGo international sim card.

The data packages are valid for 1 year! If you top up once per year, all data is valid for lifetime.

The Keepgo Lifetime Prepaid Data Sim Card is valid in all of Europe and the following countries & territories:

Algeria, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Montserrat, Myanmar, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Russia, Saoudi Arbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunesia, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Review Keepgo

Buying a Keepgo global sim card it self is rather expensive as you pay $49 and only get 1 GB included. Good thing is that Traveltomtom readers can get a 10% discount by applying the KeepGo Coupon Code: TRAVELTOMTOM. They also sell WiFi hotspots for international travel.

The Keepgo data package prices are rather expensive, but compared to other international sim cards they have better prices than for example OneSimCard, Travsim and Gosim and therefore they deserve spot number 6 in this list of the cheapest international travel sim cards in the world.

Coverage wise the Keepgo sim card has some specific advantages. Looking at the list of countries where Keepgo offers free data roaming I come to the conclusion that Keepgo is also one of the best international sim cards for the Caribbean. They cover almost every island, territory and country in this pristine part of the world.

Keepgo offers free shipping worldwide which is another great plus. For more info check the KeepGo website.

If traveling to the Caribbean it is definitely recommended to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival. Prepaid sim cards with data are cheap. Check out Traveltomtom's sim card guides for: Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Antigua & Barbuda.

8. Know Roaming

knowroaming worldwide sim card

They call themselves the ultimate travel sim card you will only ever need to stay connected in 200+ countries & territories.

Prices and rates Know Roaming

The price for a Know Roaming Travel SIM card is $9,99 and does NOT come with any credit. Know Roaming international sim cards do NOT support incoming and outgoing phone calls. You can opt for a Know Roaming e-sim which is for free.

You will have to buy any of the below data packages to use your sim card abroad:

  • Global: 5 GB data for 30 days in 79 countries = $99.99 USD
  • Europe: 5 GB data for 30 days = $39.99 USD
  • Asia: 5 GB data for 30 days = $39.99* USD

* valid in: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Know Roaming also offers an international e-sim card service with data plans for Europe, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East & Global.

  • Europe: 5 GB data for 30 days = $39.99 USD
  • Asia: 5 GB data for 30 days = $39.99 USD
  • Caribbean: 1 GB data for 30 days = $39.99* USD
  • Latin America: 5 GB data for 30 days = $117.99** USD
  • Middle East: 5 GB data for 30 days = $40.99*** USD
  • Global: 5 GB data for 30 days = $110.99**** USD

* valid in: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands.

** valid in: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay.

*** valid in: Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Saoudi Arabia, Qatar.

**** valid in Europe & some popular tourist destinations around the world + some off the beaten path countries.

Review Know Roaming

Compared to other international sim card services the Know Roaming sim card is cheap: just $10. Their global data packages are average priced compared to other services and you can choose per continent.

For the Know Roaming e-sim you only pay for the data package which is a great service and therefore prices are cheaper than other services.

Know Roaming is one of the best prepaid international sim cards for the Caribbean as they cover almost every island, however data roaming is expensive. The Know Roaming Latin America sim card is way overpriced and not recommended at all. Instead Know Roaming is one of the best sim cards for Asia.

For more info about the Know Roaming travel sim card check their website.

9. Travelsim

travelsim global

A Travelsim international sim card works in 135+ countries, covers 170+ countries and states to work in 200 countries. All information found on their homepage! Just like free incoming calls and text. Well, I bet some of this is true at least.

Prices and rates Travelsim

Travelsim offers a world sim card for $10 USD and an e-sim card for $6. When buying a Travelsim sim card it also suddenly states free incoming calls in 70+ countries and coverage in 135+ countries. :)

Their pricing and rates are clear and straight forward though.

prices travelsim international sim card 2

prices travelsim international sim card 1

Review Travelsim

When ordering a Travelsim international sim card prices are easy to understand, however more expensive than other global sim cards and therefore not my prefered sim card for travelers. They offer free shipping worldwide on orders over $50 USD and their calling credit is valid for 18 months. For more info check the Travelsim website.

10. GigSky E-sim Card

gigsky international sim card

GigSky does NOT sell physical sim cards anymore and only offers an international e-sim card. There are multiple data packages available some with pretty good deals. Gigsky is a data only service, you can NOT make or receive phone calls/sms.

Gigsky has coverage in 116 countries. Their coverage in Africa is very limited.

Prices and rates Gigsky

Great thing is that the Gigsky e-sim cards are free, but you will need to download their app to use their service. Through the app you can buy your desired data bundles. They offer regional data packages as well as a World Plan.

There are multiple Regional Plans, a great one is the Latin America sim card, and there is 1 world sim card with fixed data bundle prices.

Review Gigsky

Some of the offered international data roaming plans are pretty decent. Overall Gigsky is one of the best sim cards for traveling in South America with 5GB in almost every country in Latin America for just $40 USD.

Compared to other international travel sim cards the Gigsky worldwide sim card is expensive with 5GB data for $60 USD and therefore I would NOT recommend using the Gigsky e-sim card for traveling the world. The international sim card deals above are much better value for money!

Or check out the following sim card guides:

For example buying a sim card in Vietnam will cost you $9 USD and gets you 2 GB data PER DAY + 60 minutes calling time valid for 30 days. Just saying, that local prepaid sim cards are amazing alternatives to international prepaid sim cards.

However, nowadays the easiest way to stay connected are e-sim cards and you can buy an e-sim card on the internet for pretty much every country. Here are some of the latest Traveltomtom e-sim card guides: Italy, France, USA, Thailand.

11. OneSimCard

onesimcard international

According to many websites OneSimCard takes the cup when it comes to the cheapest international sim card. But is this true? Let's see...

This prepaid mobile service provider is a product of US telecommunication carrier Belmont Telecom. At OneSimCard they say they operate in 200+ countries, but there are only 197 countries in the world!? Bit of a weird start…

The international sim cards offered by OneSimCard come with two numbers, an Estonian one (Europe) and one of your choice: USA, Canada, Australia.

Prices and rates OneSimCard

Anyway at OneSimCard they offer 4 different international sim cards:

Universal SIM - $29.95 USD
  • Calling & texting in more than 160 countries*
  • Free incoming calls in more than 120 countries
  • Free incoming sms in more than 160 countries
  • Data roaming in more than 160 countries*
  • Free $10 credit

*For using data and make calls/sms you will have to buy additional data or voice packages.

Expedition SIM - $34.95 USD
  • Calling & texting in more than 200 countries*
  • Free incoming calls in more than 110 countries
  • Free incoming sms in more than 200 countries
  • Data roaming in more than 170 countries*
  • Free $10 credit

*For using data and make calls/sms you will have to buy additional data or voice packages.

Europe & More SIM - $19.95 USD
  • Calling & texting in more than 100 countries*
  • Free incoming calls in more than 70 countries
  • Free incoming sms in more than 100 countries
  • Data roaming in more than 90 countries*
  • Free $10 credit

*For using data and make calls/sms you will have to buy additional data or voice packages.

eSIM

This is no physical sim card, but a digital SIM. It allows you to have a data/call package activated through a provider without using a physical sim card. It mostly works by installing an app.

At OneSimCard they offer an international eSIM for $9,95. It does NOT come with any credit, you will have to buy data and calling bundles at extra charge through the OneSIMVoIP app.

The OneSimCard eSIM comes with a European number and has coverage in over 160 countries. There is no shipping needed as you can download it on your phone instantly.

Additional data roaming packages

OneSimCard makes use of two different zones. In Zone A you will find mostly all western countries as well as the standard tourist destinations in the world. In Zone B will find more off the beaten path countries.

The OneSimCard data plan prices are pretty expensive. Here are some examples:

  • Universal SIM - Zone A - 5 GB data - 30 days = $90 USD
  • Universal SIM - Zone B - 5 GB data - 30 days = $199 USD
  • Expedition SIM - Zone A - 2 GB data - 30 days = $20 USD
  • Expedition SIM - Zone B - 2 GB data - 30 days = $99 USD
  • Europe & More SIM - Zone A - 3 GB data - 30 days = $50 USD
  • Europe & More SIM - Zone B - 3 GB data - 30 days = $99 USD

These are examples of kind of standard tourist data packages. Well if you ask me… EXPENSIVE!

Review OneSimCard

Personally I think OneSimCard is very expensive. First off they basically make you pay for an international sim card that has no packages included. When you take away the $10 USD free credit you are still paying $10 USD just for an international sim card only. When buying the Expedition SIM even $24.95 USD

It also states everywhere data roaming from $0.01 cent per MB. Well, I have tried to look for that country, but I can’t find it! Instead, I found out that basically all Western countries you pay $0.25 cent per MB. That is 25x more!

That also means $10 credit is just 40 MB, that is basically opening Instagram 1x and your credit is gone! Oh for example roaming in Algeria cost $1.75 per MB with a Universal SIM and $25 USD per MB with an Expedition SIM. That is $1,000 USDjust for opening Instagram! I am dying… :)

So other international sim card comparisons that recommend OneSimCard... I think are a joke!

All that glitters is not gold in the global sim card world and as you can predict I do not recommend buying a OneSimCard for using data abroad, but just for receiving calls they are ok. For more info check the OneSimCard website.

To put this all in perspective: buying a prepaid sim card in Switzerland, one of worlds most expensive countries, will cost you $20 USD and but it comes with $20 USD credit. Then you activate 24 hours unlimited high speed internet for $3 USD in Switzerland. That means for $21 USD you have 1 week UNLIMITED high speed internet when buying a local sim card in Swiss.

Conclusion of OneSimCard: really expensive data roaming plans and therefore is OneSimCard not directly recommended for using as an international sim card for traveling the world.

12. WorldSIM

worldsim international sim card

Another global sim card that claims to be a free international sim card, well… A WorldSIM International travel sim card is only ‘free’ if you add €120 EUR ($131 USD) credit to it! Not a great start when Traveltomtom is reviewing your service.

WorldSIM offers a data roaming only sim card as well as an international sim card for calling/texting. They are priced equally, however data roaming with the calling/texting sim card is much more expensive. The data sim card offers data roaming in 188 countries.

Prices and rates WorldSIM

The cheapest deal you can find on WorldSIM is €42 EUR ($46 USD). You will get a global sim card with €24 EUR ($26 USD) credit.

Just like for example OneSimCard they claim data roaming rates from 0,01 cents but I can’t find that country. In most Western countries and popular tourist destinations data roaming starts from 0,02 cents.

Review WorldSIM

For a reason it is only listed at spot X in my comparison of the best international sim cards. WorldSIM is pretty expensive and the cheapest data roaming is €20 EUR ($22 USD) per 1 GB data.

Most countries off the beaten path are VERY expensive. Don’t go to Cuba, that costs you more than $3 USD per MB, that is $3,000 USD per 1 GB or what about the Caribbean countries? About $0.30 per MB, that is $300 USD per 1 GB.

When looking for an international sim card for traveling the world then Traveltomtom does NOT recommend WorldSIM, simply because there are much cheaper options available. For more info check the Worldsim website.

Prepaid tourist sim cards vs. international sim cards

But before buying an international prepaid or e-sim card for your trip abroad I want to make you aware of the existence of local prepaid sim cards as well. Because the main reason I am writing this blog post is for you to save money on high roaming costs when traveling. In most cases local prepaid sim cards are the cheapest way to get data on your phone.

There is a big difference between local prepaid sim cards for tourists and international travel sim cards. While the former is great for traveling in 1 country, an international sim card is a great option for travelers who don’t intend to stay in a country for very long and visit multiple countries on one trip.

An exception is a European sim card. There are international sim cards created just for Europe, but also a lot of local prepaid sim cards in Europe allow FREE roaming within the EU. But it is a bit more complicated with a lot of small letters full of restrictions.

Click here for more information about buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe in 2024 or check my list of the best prepaid and e-sim cards for Europe travel in 2024.

For example all the below listed international sim cards claim to cover Africa. Yes, they are not lying, but the rates per MB are averaging around $0.10, that means 100 MB will cost you $10. That can be as little as using Instagram for about 10 minutes.

Comparing this to a local prepaid sim card for tourists in Uganda where the same $10 gives you more than 15 GB data for 1 month, you can understand why Traveltomtom recommends a local prepaid sim card over a global sim card in some countries.

What is cheaper?

A local prepaid sim card for tourists gives you often more value for money than an international sim card. Therefore in the beginning of this article I told you that you will have to decide whether you want to buy an international sim card for traveling abroad or buying a local prepaid sim card for tourists on arrival.

Because I am aiming to travel to every country in the world and I buy a sim card in every country I visit I also already wrote already more than 200 guides for buying sim cards: London, Paris, Tanzania, LebanonRome, USA, Canada, Mexico, South AfricaGuatemala, HondurasTurkey, Israel, Dubai, Thailand, KenyaIndonesia, Sydney, SingaporeVietnam, UK, Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Georgia, Colombia, Dominican Republic and many more.

Local prepaid sim cards are often pretty cheap and come with big value data bundles. Most countries and operators have special tourist sim cards. Downside is that you can only buy them on arrival, so you have to visit a phone store during your holiday or get one from the airport.

In most countries they only provide physical prepaid sim cards for tourists and e-sim cards are not available.

But where local prepaid sim cards stop working, international sim cards continue to roam. With a sim card designed with overseas travel in mind, you will be online as soon as the plane touches the ground.

With international sim cards, you can cross borders and continue to enjoy data on your phone browsing the internet, make/receive calls, and send texts as if you are still at home all with the same sim card.

Crossing many borders in a short period of time? International travel sim cards are the best solution! Which one? Personally I recommend e-sim cards for traveling in 2024, but check my list below.

Where can you buy an international sim card?

Buying an international sim card can only be done on the internet often through a third party. In this article I will show you the best websites where to buy a global sim card for world travelers and I will link directly to the operators so in case you are interested you can have a look on their websites for more details.

International sim cards for traveling the world are available as physical prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards. Physical prepaid sim cards will be delivered to your home address and e-sim cards will be send to you as a QR code in your email.

Where can you buy local prepaid sim cards for tourists

Local prepaid sim cards can only be bought in a store or kiosk in the destination itself. In almost every country you will find local prepaid sim card shops on arrival at the international airport. On Traveltomtom you can find sim card guides for more than 100 airports around the world: Bangkok, Jakarta, ManilaBali, Hong Kong, Singapore, ShanghaiSydney, Istanbul, Cairo, Dubai, New York, Miami, London, Rome, Paris, Madrid, BarcelonaAmsterdam and many more.

Keep in mind that buying a local prepaid sim card on an international airport is mostly more expensive. You can get better prepaid sim card deals from official retail stores in city centers, shopping malls or from random mobile phone shops.

In some countries you can also buy local prepaid sim cards in convenience stores, gas stations or supermarkets. Keep in mind when buying a local prepaid sim card in any of these shops that you will mostly have to activate the sim card yourself. That means it is not plug and play.

Two things that both local and international sim cards have in common is that they avoid high roaming costs!

International sim cards with unlimited data

Traveltomtom does NOT recommend e-sim cards with unlimited data. In most cases 'unlimited' does NOT mean 'unlimited' and there is always a so-called FUP (Fair Use Policy). Holafly is one of those e-sim card providers that sell international e-sim cards with unlimited data, but they have a strict FUP. Always read the small letters to not get surprised!

In the past I often had negative experiences with sim cards with unlimited data. If one day you use more than the FUP limit you have to wait 24 hours for your data speed to get restored. Those 24 hours your international sim card with unlimited data is pretty much useless. It is simply really inconvenient.

If you buy an international sim card with for example 30 GB data and you are going on a holiday for 10 days then you should have more than enough data. Those 30 GB data sim cards are pretty much the same as a sim card with unlimited data in these cases. But you will not need to be worried about the Fair Use Policy and data speed reduction.

Can international sim cards connect from everywhere?

Technically speaking – yes. International sim cards are designed to work in multiple countries, but as you have read above there are a ton of restrictions. An international sim card isn’t programmed to one specific network. Instead, it operates on several networks in different geographical locations and can therefore be used in multiple countries.

International sim cards usually operate on networks that use the GSM framework. GSM stands for Global Systems Management Communications. Once the sim card is inserted, it connects to one of the local networks automatically if the plan you chose works in the country you are traveling to.

If you intend to use your phone with an international sim card, you have to make sure your phone is unlocked as well as e-sim compatible in case you are choosing to use an e-sim card over a physical prepaid sim card.

International sim cards only work in unlocked phones

As previously mentioned, you need an unlocked phone for the international sim card to work. A cell that comes with a sim lock can only be used within a defined cellular network and is blocked for any other networks.

This mostly applies to phones bought in the USA, Canada. Phones bought in Europe, Australia, Middle East are mostly unlocked.

There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a new phone if you can get your current one unlocked by your carrier. Once your phone has been unlocked, you can easily switch to any local or international sim card whenever you need to.

If you have a sim lock, I recommend you to unlock your phone before your trip. Contact your local mobile service provider to ask them to unlock the phone and find out if you’re required to pay any unlocking charge.

Do you really need an international sim card?

International sim cards are also referred to as travel sim cards and that is simply because of how convenient they can be for travelers visiting multiple countries. If you don’t want to worry about roaming charges while you are traveling abroad and crossing broders, you can purchase an international sim card.

But if you are visiting just one country on your trip abroad you can easily opt for a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for that specific country and there is no direct need to buy an international sim card that is valid in multiple countries.

If you use a lot of data then in general local prepaid sim cards are cheaper than e-sim cards, but e-sim cards are much more convenient as you can order them already online before your trip and as soon as the plane lands you are online.

On Traveltomtom you will find more than 200 sim card guides from all around the world: Tajikistan, Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan, Izmir, Marseille, Tashkent, Algeria, Curacao, Zurich, Bangkok, Bali, Micronesia, Miami, Manila, Shanghai, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Zambia, Ghana and many more.

With a prepaid sim card you are always in control of your bills!

I cannot stress enough about the importance of staying connected while you travel. International sim cards avoid being charged exorbitant data roaming charges. Enjoy low and affordable rates with no hidden fees by getting an international sim card.

Which international sim card is the best? Did you already pick from all the great options that I recommended you? Of course Traveltomtom recommends the ones on top of the list more than the options on the bottom. The last ones are the least recommended but I just wanted to give you all the options, so you could make up your own mind about which international sim card you are going to use for your trip abroad.

I am sure that at least some of the the above tips for buying an international sim card were helpful.

Summerizing:

Remember that there are several factors that you need to put into consideration such as country coverage, prices for data plans, data speed 4G/LTE/5G, calling options, data-only, SMS packages, credit validity and duration/validity.

At the end of the day, the best international sim card is the one that suits your needs and your trip.

If you have any more questions please feel free to leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help you out.

Since Traveltomtom is on a journey to travel to every country in the world I get to a new country regularly. Everywhere I go I buy a new local prepaid sim card or I order an e-sim card on the internet. In my bag I have a collection of about 200 little prepaid sim cards from all over the world, but nowadays I use e-sim cards pretty much all the time because they are so convenient.

Is this article was helpful please consider helping me in return by sharing this article in the internet. Every tweet on X, post to Reddit, share in a Facebook Group or pin on Pinterest is worth a lot to me. Thanks in advance!

Looking for some extra travel inspiration? Check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom and get fuelled by my journey to visit every country in the world. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.