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Compare prepaid SIM cards for United States

Reduce your rates by using a local SIM card.


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Editor's choice: SimCorner

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  • Plans for 80+ countries
  • No roaming fees or extra costs
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Using an out-of-country phone network in the United States of America can work out to be expensive, so consider switching over to a local SIM card to take advantage of better deals and plans. The US has some of the best prepaid SIM cards available, with deals that could reduce your bills. You can buy 1GB of data from the leading telco provider in the US for as little as $10. So, whether you’re planning a quick break or a tour of America, check out the best SIM card options on

Compare international SIM cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
Flexiroam X
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
Up to 10GB
1- 5 working days

Compare up to 4 providers

Telco providers in the United States

There are four main operators in the United States: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. All four operators go through a strict approval process before being allowed to operate, and each one competes with the others to offer the best deals. Their services have all been tried and tested by both locals and travelers, and can be trusted. According to OpenSignal’s network map, coverage is very good in the main towns and cities. It can suffer as you head out toward the desert areas or countryside regions.

About the telco operators in the US

All four operators offer prepaid SIM cards, and you can buy them from supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets, as well as at international airports. 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE plans are available on all networks for some CDMA and unlocked GSM phones. You can buy a prepaid SIM card by showing your passport, and your telephone number is already active when you purchase it. To add credit, there are several kiosks around various towns and cities, and vouchers are stocked in most stores and supermarkets. Some carriers in the United States do allow you to purchase prepaid SIM cards but they have to be purchased with the handset as a package. Make sure you check the total price before purchasing, as they can work out to be expensive. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your stay in the US.


Verizon is the largest provider in the United States. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. It also offers both CDMA and GSM platforms, but check whether your device is compatible first, as only a limited number are supported on CDMA. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers, and credit can be purchased from the same retailers and most supermarkets across America. Verizon has the largest number of subscribers in the US, along with the best coverage and best speeds.

Prepaid SIM cards and “pay-as-you-go” plans can be added to the SIM cards as long as your phone is compatible with Verizon’s service. If not, you will have to purchase a phone with the SIM card in order to use it in the States.

Its 4G/LTE-compatible SIM packs can be purchased for $49.99. This may sound like a lot, but it includes unlimited talk and SMS within the US, plus 2GB data. Credit can be purchased in the guise of “PIN cards” or “PIN codes” for anywhere between $15 and $150 from most stores and supermarkets across the country. Just look for the Verizon sign.

The following options are restricted to prepaid SIM packages that come with a Verizon smartphone. Prices vary depending on what smartphone you choose, but these deals are obviously much more expensive than just acquiring a SIM card.

The following data plans can be added (each valid for 30 days):

  • $40: 3GB
  • $50: 7GB
  • $60: 10GB
  • $80: Unlimited data

High-speed data can also be added:

500MB30 days$5
1GB90 days$10
3GB90 days$20

In addition, data can be added for tablets or modems (also restricted to when you buy a tablet or modem package with Verizon):

$15500MB1 week
$201GB1 month
$352GB2 months
$605GB2 months
$10010GB2 months

Verizon’s APN: internet /or/ vzwinternet, website:


AT&T is the second-largest operator and the largest GSM-based provider in America. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers, and credit can be purchased from the same retailers and most supermarkets across America. AT&T “GoPhone” prepaid SIM cards can be picked up for free, but packages must be added to use them.

There are two prepaid plans available: one includes data, voice and SMS while the other is a data-only SIM card for modems and tablets.

Credit can be added in many different denominations between $15 and $100, valid between 90 and 365 days.

The following voice and data plans are available:

$30Unlimited in USData charged at $2 per MB or 250MB for $5
$35Unlimited in US1GB included
$45Unlimited (to Mexico and Canada included)6GB included
$65Unlimited (to Mexico and Canada included)Unlimited US data

There are also $1-per-day data add-on packs that can be purchased, valid per calendar day.

The following data-only packs are also available

$252GB500MB for $10 add-on available
$505GB1GB for $10 add-on available
$758GB2GB for $10 add-on available

AT&T’s APN for smartphones: phone, APN for modem, routers and tablets: broadband



T-Mobile US is catching up with both Verizon and AT&T. Its plans are very popular with the younger audience, and it offers better prices than its competitors. Prepaid SIM cards come labeled as “activation kits” with a SIM card, detailed information about how to set it up in both Spanish and English, and/or a smartphone. SIM cards can be purchased for $25, but they have only $3 of credit. Dial *611 from a T-Mobile phone to activate. Credit can be purchased from most stores or supermarkets from $10 up to $200. Prepaid SIM cards are valid for 90 days after credit is added.

The following data packs can be added to prepaid SIM cards:

  • $5: 500MB for 1 day
  • $10: 1GB for 7 days

There are also monthly prepaid plans available:

$45Unlimited dataUnlimited cap: 4GB
$55Unlimited dataUnlimited cap: 6GB
$75Unlimited dataUnlimited cap: 30GB

There are also the following data-only SIM plans available:

$5500MB1 day
$101GB7 days
$303GB30 days
$405GB30 days
$507GB30 days
$1005GB150 days

The following data packs can also be added; they renew automatically after 30 days:

  • $20: 2GB
  • $35: 6GB
  • $50: 10GB
  • $65: 14GB
  • $80: 18GB
  • $95: 22GB

T-Mobile’s APN:, and website:


Sprint is the smallest operator but has some good deals available. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers, and credit can be purchased from the same retailers and most supermarkets across America. The only catch here, though, is that you must buy a prepaid SIM card pack, which comes with a smartphone. Prices vary depending on which phone you select, but this makes these SIM card packages extremely expensive. We therefore suggest you choose one of the other providers mentioned, as they offer better services and better deals. However, if you do find a better deal on this network, then go ahead and use it because it be trusted.

Sprint’s APN: cinet.spcs, and website:

Some top tips from staff:

  • Locals call a SIM card a “SIM” or “chip”.
  • Ask the sellers to set up the SIM for you, because they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we’ve highlighted above or go to the official operator website to seek advice.
  • Remember, it’s always better to get things done early, before the shops get too busy. That way you’re more likely to receive better assistance and avoid the crowds!

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

While it’s well known for reviews, booking hotels, flights and vacations, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in the US.

Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

What I do is use a standard AT&T SIM card in my phone, and it gives me all the features I want. As long as your iPhone is unlocked, you’ll be perfectly OK.

The prepaid phones are everywhere, the drugstore/pharmacies will have a selection IE CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens. You may find a RadioShack not too far from your stay and they usually have a better selection.

I have a $2 per day plan with T-Mobile. I bought a SIM card, it was $25 but $15 went toward the prepaid plan so it ended up costing only $10 for the activation of the SIM card. The plan is talk-text-data unlimited. This is very good cost wise.“

Pros and cons of the top telco providers in the US

All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked, GSM-compatible international phone (or CDMA if you plan on using those services). To double check you have this phone, or whether it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you leave.


  • Good value for money
  • The United States has good coverage
  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone
  • Cheap handsets are sold in stores


  • Most providers only offer prepaid SIM cards with devices, which pushes up the price
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones or unlocked CDMA devices
  • Signal can suffer in the desert or far-flung regions

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Starting at 2 GB
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
Starting at 2 GB
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Compare up to 4 providers

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11 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JacobAugust 18, 2019

    Can I find one in Seattle airport?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaAugust 18, 2019Staff

      Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, you can buy US SIM cards from international airports, kiosks, drug stores, and official outlets.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

    Default Gravatar
    MulshankarApril 29, 2019

    I frequently visit USA so I need SIM card with validity of one year to use local phone call, Internet, WhatsApp etc. Please suggest the suitable SIM card which allow online top up and one year validity which can be extended.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Mulshankar,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      The funds that you add do expire after thirty days on the smaller denomination refill cards and the feature cards, while $25 and higher refill cards have more extended expiration dates. But an unused refill card will not expire just because you’ve purchased it. The page we are on offers a list of US providers as well as the different prepaid plans they offer. While we do not provide specific product recommendations, we can help guide you through the process of comparing options.
      Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    GladysOctober 16, 2018


    I have a quick trip to the US. Is there a way to buy prepaid data before I arrive?

    Thank you,

      Default Gravatar
      AshOctober 16, 2018

      Hi Gladys,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      Unfortunately, you cannot order a Prepaid SIM card before you arrive in the US as you will need your passport to purchase one. You can buy a Prepaid SIM card from supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets and any of their international airports.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.


    Default Gravatar
    DavidSeptember 21, 2018

    I am visiting the States next week. When I was living in the States, some of the best prepaid plans were at WalMart. Is this still the case?

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloSeptember 21, 2018

      Hi there,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Yes you can definitely get a sim card in Walmart. The prepaid sims are everywhere, the drugstore/pharmacies will have a selection IE CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens. You may find a RadioShack not too far from your stay and they usually have a better selection.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)


    Default Gravatar
    mireilleMarch 21, 2018

    Hi! is it possible to buy a SIM T-mobile
    upon arrival from Hongkong at San Francisco International airport?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RonMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hello Mireille,

      Good day! Appreciate you contacting finder regarding your inquiry.

      Yes it is possible. Usually kiosks from Telco providers are available at Major international airports in the US for foreigners/tourists who would wish to rent/purchase sim cards upon arrival at the airport. Sometimes they can be easily seen past through immigration and baggage claim; you can see kiosks usually side by side. Otherwise, you may look for the airport concierge so you can seek assistance.

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,

      Default Gravatar
      RyanAugust 14, 2018

      I say if you can skip the airport,Go to the nearest chain store,they sell a veriety of prepaid SIM card packs for much less than the airport charges and activate it yourself. You can skip the hassle at the airport stores.

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