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Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in the USA in 2022

When you travel to the USA, stay connected! Because the American sim card market isn’t as developed as Europe, it sounds simpler than it is. It’s not difficult, but it’s not that hard. The best way to access the internet and avoid expensive roaming fees is to buy a Simcard in the USA. This guide will tell you everything: the best sim card, prices, where to get one, my recommendation, and which network is best.

Expect to not have many options. Only 2 providers of prepaid sim cards are available in the most visited country. Yes, you did read correctly… TWO OPERATORS

International sim cards for the USA are highly recommended. More details will follow. An e-sim card is the best way to stay connected while traveling to the USA. This article also covers this topic.

I am a full-time world traveler and have visited over 135 countries. As of July 2022, I can tell you that purchasing a local sim card for the country you are visiting in order to get data on your phone is the best way to go. You will have the best network coverage, maximum data speed, and unlimited local calls.

I have written more than 200 guides to local sim cards for countries such as Canada, Mexico, and Germany.

Prepaid USA sim cards are not competitively priced. I recommend that you use either an international prepaid sim with data to stay connected while traveling in the USA, or an esim card.

Why purchase a sim card in the USA?

While WiFi is ubiquitous these days, it’s important to have internet access when you travel in the USA. You can order a taxi via an app, find nearby restaurants, and use Google Maps to get directions. Or, you can simply stay in touch with your friends and check your email and social media.

Traveling is easier and safer when you are connected to the internet. You don’t need a data connection to your phone to get around.

It is simple to buy a sim card for the USA. The sim card is instantly activated by plugging it into your phone.

Don’t also rely on public WiFi. The internet speed is not guaranteed and can fluctuate. Remember that you can surf the internet on public WiFi using an insecure connection. In these situations, a VPN is highly recommended.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends the T-Mobile Simcard for the USA. You get unlimited data for 30 consecutive days and a 5G network that is very large. It costs $50, which is less than AT&T.

We recommend an international sim card with global network coverage in 2022. Below is a comparison and review of the top international sim card options for travelers in 2022. Order online and have them delivered to your home. A sim card with 12GB of data will be available for $39.90 USD.

You want it to be even simpler and cheaper. What is the best way to access your data while traveling abroad in 2022 Get an American e-sim card Already, you can get 10GB of data for only $26 USD

Before purchasing a sim card in the USA, make sure that your phone is not locked. Unlocked phones are not compatible with foreign sim cards. Ask your provider before you travel if you’re not certain.

Travel in the USA with an E-sim Card

An e-sim card, which works in the USA, is the best and most convenient way to stay connected while traveling to the USA. They can be ordered online in less than 5 minutes. The code will be sent to your mobile phone. Once it is entered, your e-sim card will be activated. These are some of the best e-sim cards deals in America:

  • 1GB data for 7 Days = $4.5 USD
  • 3GB data for 30 Days = $11 USD
  • 5GB data for 30 Days = $16 USD
  • 10GB data for 30 Days = $26 USD

Click here to Order one of the USA e-sim Cards directly, or for more information.

Another e-sim card I found for the USA gives you 6GB of data for 10 consecutive days for $17.90 USD. Click here to purchase this e-Simcard for the USA.

Where can I buy a sim card for the USA?

Arrival at the international airport

It is not easy to find resellers or sim card shops at international departures at most US airports. This is still a mystery to me! Do you mean for real America? Houston Airport: The guy at the information desk said, “Uh…a prepaid Simcard?”

Despite this, I’m determined to keep writing sim card guides for US airports. I have already begun with the Big Apple. Are you flying to New York? You can check out my guides for purchasing a sim card at New York JFK Airport and purchasing a sim card at Newark Airport, New Jersey. There will be many more in 2022.

Uncountable sim card guides have been written for international airports, including Paris, London, and Rome. Sim card shops can be found at every international airport. They are located next to money exchangers and car rental companies. It was a disaster landing in Los Angeles/Forth Worth (Houston), Dallas/Forth Worth (New York JFK), Newark, Miami, and Los Angeles over the past years.

Official retail stores

Official retail stores are the best place to purchase a sim card in the USA. You will get the best advice from the staff and your sim card will be ready in no time.

Google Maps is the best way to locate your nearest shop. Type in t-mobile for example. Google Maps suggests T-Mobile (see Locations). Click on the link to locate the closest store. Most mobile phone providers are found in the larger shopping centers located in major cities.

Convenience shops

Yes, you can buy USA sim cards at convenience stores such as CVS, 7Eleven, and Walmart. It is difficult to find information about packages as they are usually located behind the counter. Do not expect staff to have any knowledge about these prepaid USA sim cards. This is not recommended.

Online purchase of sim cards for the USA

If you find buying a US sim card upon arrival too complicated, then read my article on the best international sim cards for travelers in 2022. It has many great alternatives that you can order online.

You can find sim cards that you can use in America online. These sim cards are sent to your home and activated automatically upon first use. Click Here to view more than 10 prepaid sim cards with data for travel in the USA. Although it is more costly, it is very easy and convenient.

It is almost impossible to imagine that only four major mobile internet providers exist in a country of more than 300 million citizens.

  • T-Mobile
  • AT&T
  • Verizon
  • Sprint (bought from T-Mobile).

Sprint and Verizon are the best options if you’re looking for a sim card to use in the USA. The CDMA technology is used by these two USA mobile internet providers. It’s a completely different technology from the rest of the globe. This basically means they don’t have a Simcard and international phones won’t work with their networks.

Even though I was aware of this, I wanted to confirm and visit the Verizon store in Atlanta, Georgia for more information. VERIZON does not offer prepaid sim cards to the USA for tourists. It is possible to get around this, though it can be a bit complicated. Click here to purchase the Verizon sim card on Amazon. This is a prepaid sim only, with no calls or data.

It’s a lot of work if you ask me since the next step is to add credit, and then activate a (data-) package.

This means that tourists who visit the USA have only two options: a prepaid sim from AT&T or T-Mobile.

Register process

It is easy to register a prepaid sim card in the USA. Your passport is required to purchase a sim card. A photo or a copy will be taken of your passport and attached to your registration. The new US sim card number and number will be registered under your passport number and name.

You can order an online prepaid USA sim card to avoid this. Or, you can get an esim card for the USA.

Prices for prepaid sim cards in the USA in 2022

T-Mobile USA charges $10 for the activation of a prepaid sim card. There are 3 sim card packages available. See the photo above. They all come with unlimited calling and texting for a month.

  • $40 = 10GB Data
  • $50 = Unlimited Data + 3G Hotspot
  • $60 = Unlimited data + 10GB 4G hotspot

Data is not available for use outside the USA. You will need to pay $5 more for 5GB of data that you can use in Canada or Mexico.

These are the most recent T-Mobile prepaid sim card deals as of July 2022. For more information, visit the T-Mobile USA Website.

An activation fee of $15 for AT&T USA Prepaid Sim is required. You can also get 3 different USA sim card packages that include unlimited calling and texting. These are valid for 1 month.

  • $30 = 5GB Data
  • $40 = 15GB of data
  • $50 = Unlimited Data (speed reduced if the network is busy).
  • $75 = Unlimited Data (speed reduced after 22GB network congestion)

An AT&T USA Prepaid Sim Card can be used in Mexico and Canada for free. Data roaming is available at no additional cost, which can be a great advantage if you plan to travel to Canada. AT&T has many disadvantages. It’s not possible, and I wouldn’t want it! It also states that there is no access to 5G in the $30, $40, and $50 plans.

These are the most recent AT&T sim card deals, as of July 2022. For more information, visit the AT&T USA website.

The comparison of the prepaid sim card in the USA is clear: AT&T USA IS cheaper THAN T-MOBILE USA A T-Mobile USA sim card is definitely better than an AT&T sim card based on price.

The USA’s Best 4G/5G Network in 2022

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to the USA for business or pleasure, the chances of getting no signal are slim. The USA has a good network and 5G is available.

AT&T 4G/5G network coverage map

AT&T and T-Mobile have extensive coverage in all tourist areas of the USA. Nevertheless, the USA mobile network coverage map updated in 2022 clearly shows 2 things.

  • AT&T offers better coverage in remote areas
  • TMobile offers a better 5G network

Click here to see the official network coverage for T Mobile and AT&T as reported by their websites.

What is the best sim card for prepaid in the USA?

Comparing the US prepaid sim card cards, we can easily conclude that T-Mobile in 2022 is the best sim card in the USA! They have the best-prepaid sim card deals and the best 5G network.

A USA sim card with unlimited data, from T-Mobile, is recommended for a trip to the USA. The activation fee is $10 + $50 plan = $60 (+tax), and you’re good to go for the rest. The sim card is valid for 1 month. T-Mobile’s 5G network is the largest in the country.

I bought a T-Mobile sim card in Las Vegas and traveled to the US for three weeks. The 5G network was extremely fast and I had no problems connecting. With a T-Mobile sim card, I was able to get excellent signals throughout my trip, even in the National Parks I visited: Zion, Utah, Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Shenandoah, Virginia.

You will find both a T-Mobile and an AT&T store in Times Square New York within 100 meters of each other. It is easy to walk in and purchase a prepaid sim card. You will be connected in 5 minutes.

If buying sim cards in the USA upon arrival is too difficult, I have a solution. You can either order your USA sim card online, or you can get an E-sim card to the USA. E-sim cards are also much cheaper! You can find 10GB of data for only $26 USD by clicking on this link. Check out my article on the best global sim card in 2022, including free roaming within the USA.

Online purchase of a USA sim card

You can also purchase one of these international sim cards online, and they will work when you travel in the USA. Here’s a list of 8 of the most popular international sim cards available for the USA.

1. Lycamobile UNL Text 

  • UNLIMITED (international calls)
  • UNLIMITED (international text)
  • 1 GB
  • Valid for 1 Month
  • Price: $14.99

To order the sim card through Amazon, click on the link. This sim Lycamobile sim card is not recommended for use in the USA. This sim card is not worth the money. You can find better options below. You can buy any of these international sim cards from the USA online via this link

2. Three UK PAYG AIO15s – $29.90

  • No calls
  • NO text
  • 10GB of data
  • Valid for 30 Days

3. Three UK PAYG AIO20s – $39.90

  • No calls
  • No text
  • 12 GB of data
  • Valid for 30 Days

4. Three UK PAYG MBB12GB – $59.90

  • No calls
  • NO text
  • 12 GB of data
  • Valid for 1 Year!

5. Three UK PAYG MBB24GB – $79.90

  • No calls
  • NO text
  • 24 GB of data
  • Valid for 2 Years!

6. Orange Holiday World – $49.90

  • No calls
  • NO text
  • 10GB of data
  • Valid for 14 days

THE MOST RECOMMENDED USA SIM CARD FOR TOURISTS BELOW

7. T-Mobile Prepaid SIM 50GB – $69.90

  • UNLIMITED (international calls)
  • UNLIMITED (international text)
  • 50 GB (Canada + Mexico included)
  • Valid for 15 Days

8. AT&T UNLimited Data + Talk + SMS – $79.90

  • UNLIMITED calls (USA, Canada, Mexico only)
  • UNLIMITED text (USA, Canada, Mexico only)
  • 30 GB (Canada + Mexico included)
  • Valid for 30 Days

Click Here to Order any of these international sim cards online for travel in the USA.

Comparing all of the international sim card options for the USA, then personally I would suggest the 2 last options: T-Mobile or AT&T. Both sim cards offer calling, while the other does not!

T-Mobile is my preferred choice depending on how long you are traveling. If your trip lasts longer than 15 days, then get an AT&T sim card online from the link.

You can see that buying a sim card for the USA online is cheaper than purchasing one on your arrival in the USA. You can also avoid the hassle of visiting a local mobile phone shop upon arrival in the USA. You should know by now that I recommend an E-SIM card for traveling to the USA.

A vlog was also made during my recent trip to the USA. You can check it out below.

Click Here to Order any of these international sim cards online for travel in the USA.

Comparing all of the international sim card options for the USA, then personally I would suggest the 2 last options: T-Mobile or AT&T. Both sim cards offer calling, while the other does not!

T-Mobile is my preferred choice depending on how long you are traveling. If your trip lasts longer than 15 days, then get an AT&T sim card online from the link.

You can see that buying a sim card for the USA online is cheaper than purchasing one on your arrival in the USA. You can also avoid the hassle of visiting a local mobile phone shop upon arrival in the USA. You should know by now that I recommend an E-SIM card for traveling to the USA.

A vlog was also made during my recent trip to the USA. You can check it out below.

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