Buying A SIM Card In Germany

Buying A SIM Card In Germany

Buying A SIM Card In Germany

 

buying a sim card Germany

 

Germany is a country that has played a big role in part of Europe and the world’s history. When you are getting ready to travel and you’re all packed up, you may not be wary that a small thing would inflict heavy costs on your phone if you are not wise.

Part of integration with the local community as a foreigner is the purchase of local SIM cards so your expenses will be just like the locals.

As mentioned in my post buying a sim card in the USA, it is important to make efficient use of your smartphone abroad. I suggest that you buy a sim card in Germany to avoid those hefty charges that your regular provider will hit you with.

I have put together this research to enrich you with the whole concept SIM cards, what to look for and what to expect. 

What are the requirements of owning a SIM card in Germany?

In July 2017 a policy was enforced in Germany regarding the use of photo Identification and addresses to purchase SIM cards. However, for tourists, the addresses of the hotels you stay in apply in this case. The point of purchase will determine your hotel’s addressed and they can use Google to determine it.

Who are the Mobile Internet Service providers in Germany?

Germany’s population of 80 million is monopolized by a few big providers of mobile internet. Standard European mobile internet companies are available in Germany. These include:

  1. T-Mobile
  2. Vodafone
  3. O2

There are factors you should seriously take into account when buying SIM cards both when in Germany and anywhere else.  They are:

  1. 4G connectivity
  2. Cost

 

Germany 4G Coverage Map

 

The three SIM card providers listed above have different coverage range. Germany’s 4G coverage maps show that T-Mobile and Vodafone have a better coverage range as compared to O2.

However, the assessment from a lot of countries concludes that mobile internet companies with smaller 4G networks offer better deals on prepaid SIM cards.

 

 

 

1. T-Mobile

t-mobile sim card Germany

 

T-Mobile offers its prepaid data SIM card in three packages. They are:

  • €10 Data Package

You are awarded free calls and texts to other T-Mobile numbers in Germany. You receive a data bundle of 1GB accessible throughout Europe. These services are charged €10 and they are valid for 30 days.

  • €15 Data Package

For €15, you have free calls and texts on the same network. However, there is an addition of 100 free minutes to call any network across Europe.

The €15 data package is an upgrade from the €10 package in terms of data. You are allowed browsing of up to 1.5 GB across Europe.

This package can sustain you throughout your tourism trip as it covers 30 days.

  • €25 Data package

All services at this rate are viable anywhere in Europe. All calls and texts across Europe are free across at this rate. What’s more, you get 1.5GB data bundle which you can still access from anywhere in all Europe.

PROS

  • They have excellent coverage in rural areas of Germany.
  • Telekom offers the best coverage in the country.

CONS

  • They have pricey packages.

 

Check T-Mobile and coverage maps online here.

 

2. Vodafone

 

vodaphone sim card Germany

 

Vodafone has just two data plans for SIM cards that are worthwhile for tourists. These Plans include:

  • €10 Data Package

There are free calls and texts to get in touch with other Vodafone subscribers in Germany.

200 minutes or texts are awarded to be able to contact numbers from other service providers within Germany.

You get a data bundle of 1.5 GB that you can use from anywhere in Europe.

  • €22.50 Data Package

You can call or text other Vodafone users in Germany for free. This is the package for data guzzlers. The data bundle amounts up to 3GB and it can be cashed in throughout Europe.

PROS

  • It has an overall average in performance in cost, coverage, and speed.
  • Its packages are flexible to cover various price levels.

CONS

  • Vodafone has an inconsistent rural coverage.

 

Check Vodaphone and coverage maps online here.

 

3. O2

 

O2 sim card Germany

 

This is the most limited of the mobile internet service providers. They have only one package to offer. You can attribute this to a smaller 4G coverage and network. However, the data package will be cheaper due to the small network.

  • €10 Data Package

The user gets free calls and texts to numbers on the O2 network. You are awarded 300 minutes to reach numbers on other networks within Germany. The package comes with an internet bundle of 1.25GB which is valid in all Europe. The O2 package has a 28-day validity.

PROS

  • O2 has a highly affordable package.
  • It is the only provider with network reception in Berlin U-Bahn train network.
  • The network has good coverage.

 

CONS

  • It has poor rural coverage.

 

Check O2 online and coverage maps here.

 

Where in Germany can you buy SIM cards?

  • Amazon

For starters, the world has grown more efficient. You do not have to buy the SIM cards in Germany, thanks to online shopping platforms. A great example and recommendation would be Amazon. With their shipping capabilities, you can get your SIM card before you set out for travel!

Vodafone is an example of SIM cards available on Amazon.

Othe sim cards to choose from on Amazon include Orange, UK Three

  • Frankfurt Airport

Purchasing a SIM card is not highly advisable especially if you are traveling deeper into the country. SIM cards tend to be quite expensive and you will have limited choices. O2 is the most available SIM card and the SIM cards are expensive in this airport despite being the cheapest among big operators.

  • The Cities

Your Google Maps app comes in handy at times like these.  You can search for shops around your location with the keywords as shop and the network provider.

What’s more, you do not necessarily have to Google as these kinds of shops are all over town and close to tourist centers.

  • Media Markt                                                                                                                                                                                                            

This is a chain of huge electronic shops across Germany. You can get the SIM card from the providers discussed in this text and more.

Summary

Keep in mind that these rates are subject to change at any time. At the time of writing, these are the current rates. Germany has one setback when it comes to mobile internet. Its internet speed peaks at 27.15mbps. This speed ranks them at the 48th position in the world.

Vodafone appears the better deal despite its average ratings. It offers the best value for money. What’s more, it is the network with the largest data bundle.

I wish you an exciting trip!

If traveling to the USA, check out our buying a SIM card in the USA post here.

 

If you enjoyed our buying a sim card in Germany guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Pin It!

 

Buying A SIM Card in Germany

 

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

 

 

You may also like:

buying a sim card in france

Buying a sim card in france

buying a sim card Canada

Buying a sim card in Canada

buying sim card in Europe

Buying sim card in Europe

Buying A Sim Card In France

Buying A Sim Card In France

Buying A Sim Card In France

 

buying a sim card in france

buying a sim card in France

 

Traveling to France can be one of the most amazing and rewarding vacations you will ever have. With so much history and cultural diversity, France is one of the most toured countries in the world.

There are so many famous places to visit. The Eiffel tower, many classical art museums, Lyon’s Roman theater and the Palace of Versailles are just a few.

Some places in France can be quite challenging and expensive if you plan to stay connected. As mentioned in my post buying a sim card in the USA, it is important to make efficient use of your smartphone abroad. I suggest that you buy a sim card in France to avoid those hefty charges that your regular provider will hit you with.

 

Sim Card providers in France

There are 4 main providers for sim cards in France. They are:

  • Orange
  • SFR
  • Free Mobile
  • Bouygues Telecom

 

Orange sim card France

Orange is France’s market leader and the #1 mobile network for 7 years in a row. They have the best coverage and the largest number of customers.

Here is what you receive with Orange:

  • A SIM card with a French phone number
  • 120 min + 1000 texts
  • International calls and texts from the European zone
  • 10GB of mobile data valid in the European zone
  • Validity of the credit : 14 days after 1st use
  • 4G/LTE
  • Covers 30 countries

 

Where to buy Orange sim cards

SIM cards can be purchased from official Orange stores, approved resellers or at supermarkets for EUR3.90. You will normally receive EUR5 worth of credit at the time of purchase. You will be required to show your passport or ID card.

Official Orange stores can be very crowded at times, so you might need to keep your patience hat on or try and set the SIM card up yourself to avoid the nuisance of waiting in a long line. If you do not know the French language, it’s a good idea to download the Google translate app beforehand to help with the communication.

The Orange Holiday Prepaid sim card is perfect for tourists and will cost about EUR39.99, you can also get them on Amazon here.

Pro tip:

The standard rate is very expensive, so I recommend you buy a sim package that has data included. You can also buy an add-on that will keep things much cheaper. The following data packs are available:

 

Price

(EUR5)

Valid for 7 days

1 hour local calls

Free SMS

Price

(EUR10)

Valid for 10 days

Free domestic calls

Free SMS, MMS 

Price

(EUR20)

Valid for 30 days

Free domestic calls

Free SMS, MMS

Price

(EUR30)

Valid for 30 days

Free domestic calls

Free SMS, MMS

Add-on data packs include:

EUR10 – 1GB Data – Valid for 14 days

EUR25 – 3GB Data – Valid for 30 days

EUR40 – 5GB Data – Valid for 180 days

 

How to activate your Orange sim card

You will need to follow 3 steps in order to get your line activated.

  1. Make a first call or send a text
  2. Dial 225 to receive your phone number by text and the validity period of your line
  3. Enjoy right away your full credit including calls, texts, and mobile internet

 

How to top up

You can top up online anytime 24/7 by going to the section “rechargement” on orange.fr and top up your account right away by credit card. You can also top up in person in the store by dialing #124 then the 14 digits of the voucher#.

 

 

SFR

SFR sim card france

SFR is the second largest provider in France just after Orange. SIM cards can be purchased from official SFR stores, approved resellers or at supermarkets for EUR3.99. You will normally receive EUR5 worth of credit at the time of purchase. You will be required to show your passport or ID card.

A tourist sim prepaid card is available from select supermarkets and tobacco shops for EUR34.99.

Here is what you will receive with SFR:

  • A SIM card with a French phone number
  • 1 hour of voice in France, Europe, US and China
  • 500SMS to France, Europe, US and China
  • 2GB of domestic data
  • Unlimited SFR Wi-Fi
  • Valid for 14 days

 

The following packs can also be purchased:

 

Price

(EUR5)

1 Hour domestic voice

Valid for 7 days

Price

(EUR10.99)

Unlimited domestic voice

Valid for 10 days

Price

(EUR20.99)

Unlimited domestic voice

Valid for 30 days

Price

(EUR30)

Unlimited domestic voice

Valid for 30 days

 

You can also buy data packs which include:

 

EUR5 – 300MB Data – Valid for 5 days

EUR10 – 1GB Data – Valid for 10 days

EUR35 – 8GB Data – Valid for 30 days

 

How to activate your SFR sim card

You will need to follow 3 steps in order to get your line activated.

  1. Insert your sim card into your mobile phone
  2. Call 963 to activate
  3. Receive a text with your number and information

How to top up

Visit SFR France recharge at Recharge.com. There you will select from a few options. Text the code you are given to 952. You can also call 952 and follow the instructions.

 

Free Mobile

Free mobile sim card france

Free Mobile is the smallest provider in France but remain very popular. They offer low prices and good deals which target at the young travelers on social media networks. They usually have good promotions on from time to time.

Free Mobile prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers or at supermarkets. Credit can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers or most supermarkets and convenience stores. You will be required to show your passport or ID card.

Free Mobile offers two SIM card options, which can be used either on a contract or in prepaid format. But as mentioned, keep your eyes open for that special deal.

 

Price

(EUR2)

2 Hours calling in France

Unlimited SMS and MMS in France

Auto connection to Free wifi secure

Price

(EUR19.99)

Unlimited calling in France

Unlimited SMS and MMS in France

Auto connection to Free wifi secure

 

How to activate your Free mobile sim card

Activation is extremely simple and will not take you more than 5 minutes.

  • Log in to your Subscriber Area using your 8-digit login and password.
  • Click on the link Have you received your SIM cardClick activate link to activate it and then enter the 19-digit code located on the SIM card holder.

 

 

Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues telecom sim card france

Bouygues Telecom is the third largest operator in France and also offers some great deals at certain times. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers or at supermarkets. Credit can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers or most supermarkets and convenience stores. You will be required to show your passport or ID card.

The prepaid SIM card can be purchased for EUR10, which includes EUR4 credit for calls. The following data packs are available:

Price

(EUR5)

Unlimited domestic text and voice

Valid for 3 days

+ EUR3 for international calls

Price

(EUR10)

Unlimited domestic text and voice

Valid for 10 days

+ EUR5 for international calls

Price

(EUR20)

Unlimited domestic text and voice

Valid for 30 days

+ EUR10 for international calls

Price

(EUR40)

Unlimited domestic text and voice

Valid for 60 days

+ EUR25 for international calls

Additional credit can be purchased online. You can also dial 630.

Coverage and data speeds

Here are the coverage and speeds for the 4 main networks in France.

Image credit Fandom wikia.com

 

What is the best and cheapest prepaid sim card in France?

According to Tripadvisor.ca, here are a few comments left by other Trip Advisor users:

“I personally prefer Orange, which has many different options with different features at different costs, and offers excellent coverage”.

“The Orange SIMs (including the Holiday SIM) can also be recharged on the Internet. I recharge mine & my husband’s whenever needed on the Orange website, using our US credit cards”.

“Compare the features of the Orange Holiday SIM and the new prepaid SFR SIM carefully; they are not the same, so just be sure you are choosing the SIM that best meets your own needs….”

Summary

Keep in mind that these rates are subject to change at any time. At the time of writing, these are the current rates. There are a few other providers available other than the 4 main ones I recommend, but chances are the service and coverage areas are not as good. I would stick to the main providers. For France, Orange would be my top recommendation.

If traveling to the USA, check out our buying a SIM card in the USA post here.

Also, you can click on the map below for information on buying a sim card in other countries.

[freehtml5map id=”0″]

If you enjoyed our buying a sim card in France guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

Pin It!

 

Buying A Sim Card in France

You may also like:

buying sim card in Europe

Buying sim card in Europe

Buying a sim card in Canada

Buying a sim card in Canada

pocket wifi for europe

Portable Pocket wifi for Europe

Buying A SIM Card In Canada (A Helpful Illustrated Guide)

Buying A SIM Card In Canada (A Helpful Illustrated Guide)

Buying A SIM Card In Canada (A Helpful Illustrated Guide)

Can you buy prepaid SIM cards in Canada?

 

Yes, you can. But..

If you are planning a trip to Canada and need to stay connected on your phone, there is something you should know. Canada has some of the highest rates for cellular rates in the world!

But don’t worry, we Canadians make up for that in many other ways. Yes, I live in Canada and pay those large cell phone bills every month. I don’t like it, but I have learned to live with it like millions of others. If you are traveling here for the first time and need to buy a prepaid SIM card, there are still some decent options available to you.

In this post, I will show you how to buy a SIM card in Canada. Including who to buy from, where to buy and how much you should expect to pay.

 

SIM Card Providers In Canada

There are basically 3 main providers in Canada. They are Bell, Telus, and Rogers. There are some smaller companies as well, but options there will be limited. I suggest sticking with one of those 3 to get the best rates and service throughout the Country. I personally use Bell and recommend them.

One thing you may notice with Canada and cell coverage is due to the geography and population, there will be many areas that don’t have coverage. Most of the normal populated areas will be fine, but if you are traveling to a remote area of the country, don’t be surprised if the cell coverage is weak or non-existent.

Coverage Map For Bell

bell coverage map

image credit comparecellular.com

 

Where To Buy A Sim Card In Canada

There are many places to buy a variety of SIM cards in Canada. The 3 big providers are readily available an all shopping centers and stores such as Walmart, Staples, and Superstore which is a large grocery chain. Convenience stores also carry many SIM cards to choose from. If you are flying into the country, the airport where you arrive will have the cell phone providers, normally at a booth or shopping area of the airport.

Once you choose a SIM card, you will most likely have to activate it your self. It’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t take much time. Normally done over the phone, unless you buy an unlocked phone from them where you can do it online.

You will also need to make sure your phone is unlocked. If not you will need to buy one and chances are, you will need to provide ID. But that can be hit and miss depends on where you go. Also, if you are looking for a SIM for your tablet, you will need to contact Bell as they are the only provider in the country that currently provide it.

 

 

Prepaid SIM Card Canada Comparison

Using a local prepaid SIM card will save you money on roaming charges in Canada. Expect to pay around $30 CDN for 1 GB data. At the time of writing the current exchange rate is $1 CDN = 0.76c USD.

Bell

buying a sim card canada - bell

Bell charges a $9.95 fee upfront but then will credit your account the same amount. Store locator here. Prepaid voice and data charges:

  • $30 – 250MB data,150 anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada
  • $45 – 500MB data, 500 anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada
  • $60 – 1GB data, Unlimited anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada

The additional local rate is $0.20 per minute.

Add on’s for Bell:

  • Daily pass (20MB) – $2, to be used within 24 hours
  • 100MB – $10
  • 500MB – $25
  • 1GB – $30
  • 2GB – $50

 

Telus

buying a sim card canada

The plans from Telus are similar to Bell. Prepaid Data, voice and text rates:

  • $30 – 250MB data,150 anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada
  • $45 – 500MB data, 500 anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada
  • $60 – 1GB data, Unlimited anytime local minutes, $0.50/minute for Canada & U.S. long distance within Canada

The additional local rate is $0.15 per minute.

Add on’s for Telus:

  • 100MB – $10
  • 500MB – $25
  • 1GB – $30

 

Rogers

buying a sim card canada

Rogers is now offering new plans with more data and unlimited minutes included. It also will cost more than the other providers. Prepaid Data, voice and text rates:

  • $80 – 3GB data, Unlimited nationwide calling
  • $85 – 4GB data, Unlimited nationwide calling
  • $90 – 6GB data, Unlimited nationwide calling

Add on’s for Rogers:

You can get additional plans that have more data if needed. Starting around $100 per month and going up to $410 per month for 82GB of data.

 

In Summary,

Unfortunately in Canada, the prepaid or pay as you go cellular plans are not very affordable. Compared to other countries, Canada has some of the highest priced plans.

I recommend going with the plan that suits your needs for data coverage as in general the more data you take, you get more value for the cost. For example, Rogers offers 3GB data for $80, but for an extra $10 you can double the data to 6GB.

Keep in mind that these rates are subject to change at any time. At the time of writing, these are the current rates. There are a few other providers available other than the 3 main ones I recommend, but chance are the service and coverage areas are not as good. I would stick to the main providers.

Also, in Canada, there is sales tax up to 15% depending on where you are.

If traveling to the USA, check out our buying a SIM card in the USA post here.

If you enjoyed our buying a sim card in Canada guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

 

You may also like:

 

 

flight preparation checklist

Flight preparation checklist – what you need to know

first class air travel

Best tips and benefits of flying first class

carry on luggage

What to pack in a carry on bag

Buying A Prepaid SIM Card In The USA

Buying A Prepaid SIM Card In The USA

Buying a Prepaid SIM card in the USA

 

 

To avoid a long list of extra chargers and the subsequent headache, we have to make sure we inform ourselves about the most economical options available to us. How to make efficient use of your smartphone abroad is one those important issues.

Canada and the Americas, in general, are beginning to see quite a bit of change on this front. Since December of last year, Canada has eliminated unlocking fees, making use of alternative service providers a lot more economical. Next, to that, a debate has been sparked regarding roaming charges and it is reported these may be eliminated across the Americas by 2022. Canadian officials have stated that this is no binding contract, however, and no practical goals have been set thus far.

Until these benefits take full effect, we have to make our own arrangements before traveling to the US. Most Canadian providers each offer their own package deals regarding international call, text and roaming charges. But since Canada has some of the highest cellular costs in the world, discarding this option altogether might be your best bet when traveling abroad.

Good alternatives currently available are Roaming SIMs as offered by providers such as Roam Mobility and KnowRoaming, effectively cutting roaming costs for Canadians traveling to the US. But for a lot of travelers, the purchase of a SIM card in the US is still the cheaper option. Allow us to offer you an overview of the best available prepaid SIMs in the USA.

If you are traveling to Europe, and need a sim card, have a look at our buying a sim card in Europe guide.

 

Prepaid SIMs in the USA

T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and MetroPCS some of the most highly rated mobile providers in the US, each for different reasons. From all of these, you can expect prepaid plans starting from $30 a month. Make sure to shop specifically for a prepaid SIM as these won’t bind you to an annual contract. In addition, before purchasing a US SIM card, make sure to check if your phone has been unlocked and if not, request this (now free) service before leaving the country.

 

AT&T

Prepaid plan overview:

Monthly cost excl. taxes

Internet

Minutes

Texts

30USD (39.35CAD)

1GB

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US

40USD (52.47CAD)

8GB

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

55USD (72.14 CAD)

Unlimited

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

75USD (98.37CAD)

Unlimited

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

Unlimited to US, Canada and Mexico

 

AT&T is one of the biggest US mobile providers, offering good rates for unlimited minutes and texts in the US as well as to Canada and Mexico. These plans would be perfect for the traveler who makes frequent use of their smartphone and specifically requires to make calls and send texts from the US to Canada.

You can get the AT&T Prepaid sim card on Amazon here.

 

T-Mobile

Prepaid plan overview:

Monthly cost excl. taxes

Internet

Minutes

Texts

45/50USD (59.02/65.58CAD)

4GB/10GB

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US

60USD (78.70CAD)

Unlimited

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US

70USD (91.82CAD)

Unlimited

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US

 

What T-Mobile lacks in international minutes and texting options, it makes up for in an addition of two plans for the traveler who prefers a little bit of flexibility.

You can get a T-Mobile Prepaid sim card on Amazon here.

 

Pay as you go

Starting at only 3USD a month, this plan best suits those who only need to make occasional use of their smartphones and consider an unlimited plan to be a waste of money. Per month this plan includes 30 messages and 30 minutes for domestic use, with 0.10USD more per addition. A data plan is available with the purchase of a data pass.

You can get a Pay as you go plan on Amazon here.

 

Tourist SIM

This is the plan for you if you are only traveling to the US for 3 weeks or less. You pay 30USD for 1000 minutes of talk as well as unlimited texts and data at 2GB. This plan is not renewable and will expire automatically after 3 weeks of use.

You can get a Tourist sim card an Amazon here.

Verizon

Prepaid plan overview:

Monthly cost excl. taxes

Internet

Minutes

Texts

30USD (39.35CAD)

500MB

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

40USD (52.47CAD)

3GB

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

50USD (65.58CAD)

7GB

Unlimited to US

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

60USD (78.70CAD)

10GB

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

75USD (98.37CAD)

Unlimited

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

Unlimited to US and 200 international countries incl. Canada

 

At a glance, Verizon might instantly seem less interesting than the previous ones but we would recommend contacting this provider you want to make use of the Verizon Prepaid Family Account. This way you can have up to 5 prepaid lines on one account, making it easier to manage multiple prepaid lines.

You can get the Verizon Prepaid plan on Amazon here.

 

MetroPCS

MetroPCS is a provider owned by T-Mobile and is a highly respected low-cost provider, offering unlimited data from 50USD and for 40GB for 40USD including taxes. One of the biggest plusses is that here you will not have to endure possible sales pitches or problems regarding annual plans or contracts since this provider does not offer them! They work on prepaid plans only.

 

What about an MVNO?

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) are alternative providers that work on the networks of the major providers and offer services that are a whole lot cheaper. They are generally considered to be a rather watered-down version of the services offered by the bigger providers so this option is really only interesting when you are not a big smartphone user. FreedomPop, for instance, offers a rather limited service free of charge with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts for one month.

 

For more info on buying a sim card for other countries, click the area on the map below. 

[freehtml5map id=”0″]

 

Conclusion

The cheaper option for a Canadian traveler is the purchase of a US SIM. There are several options available and it is important to sort out your priorities before making a decision. You can go for a more costly plan with the bigger providers if you are a frequent smartphone user and will need to make full use of unlimited plans and international minutes. This makes these top providers perfect for those traveling for business. If you only make occasional use of your smartphone, make sure to explore the Pay as you Go or MVNO options further. In short, simply consider what you value the most and go from there!

 

If you enjoyed our buying a sim card in the USA guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

You may also like:

traveling with a smartphone

Traveling with a smartphone-Is your phone ready?

Buying A Sim Card In Europe (Best Sim Card Deals 2018)

Buying A Sim Card In Europe (Best Sim Card Deals 2018)

Buying A Sim Card In Europe

Updated: Feb13/2019

 

 

Why should you buy a sim card for other countries?

If you are traveling overseas into Europe, it is generally a good idea to get a sim card while you are there. Or purchase one prior to leaving. Even though your non-European cell phone will work there, it can get quite expensive.

It is recommended to use a European sim card if you plan to use your phone for voice or data.

Getting a new sim card will give you a European mobile number and you will pay cheaper rates than if you were to stay with your current provider, even with an international plan. Generally, with a European SIM card, it’s free to receive domestic texts and calls.

If you make domestic or local calls, expect to pay anywhere from about 2–20 cents/minute and 5–15 cents to send a text within the EU.

To save money and get the best rates, buy a new SIM card every time you go to a new country.

 

How to buy a sim card in Europe?

To get a European SIM card, you’ll need to do the following:

Make sure you have a proper phone. You will need to either have a European phone or have one that can be unlocked for the new sim card to work. I find a lot of cell phone providers lock their phones so you can’t switch sim cards.

First check with your current provider, if you have a phone that cannot be unlocked, you will need to buy one for your trip. You can buy a cheaper unlocked phone if you plan to use it for international travel only.

You can also buy one in Europe when you get there that will already have the proper sim card installed.

Shop around for a new sim card. It will be easy for you to buy a sim card in Europe. They are located everywhere, including all mobile phone stores, shopping malls, newsstands, and vending machines.

They will normally cost no more than $10 and will include some minutes for the amount you pay. If you are using a smartphone, you will want data. Expect to pay around $30 for a sim card that will include a months data usage.

Also if you are traveling with a tablet or laptop and you need data coverage, make sure you include it as well. You can read more on the best tablets for international travel here.

Once you purchase the new card, ask the store clerk to install and set it up for you. Make sure to test it at the store by making a call. It will most likely ask you for a PIN code, so make sure to enter it properly and if you need it to be translated for your language, ask the clerk how and where you can set that up.

 

girl using cell phone how to buy a cell phone in europe

 

Best sim card for Europe with data

Here are 3 of the best providers that offer sim cards with data.

 

1. Orange Holiday Europe – Prepaid SIM card


✅ 10GB of Internet in Europe on 4G networks – Data tethering and use in hotspots allowed

✅ 2 hours and 1000 texts from Europe to worldwide

✅ Credit valid 14 days after 1st use

✅ Triple cut SIM card (standard/micro/nano). No activation, easy to use

✅ Covers 30 countries in Europe: Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Germany, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Canary Islands , Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France mainland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Rhodes, Romania, UK, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden

✅ Easy to recharge online

 

You Can Get The Orange Holiday Europe– Prepaid SIM card on Amazon here:

 

 

 

2. Mobal Europe Plus SIM Card – Excellent Coverage Throughout Europe

✅ 1GB of fast 4G data included

✅ Free calls & texts: Unlimited and FREE incoming calls & texts. Super low call rates to USA and Canada from most countries.

✅ No contract necessary

✅ Your SIM is activated for one month. Service is active from the start date of your choice and will end 30 days after the start date.

✅ Easy to recharge online

 

You can get the Mobal Europe Plus SIM card on Amazon here:

 

 

 

3. OneSimCard Prepaid International SIM Card


✅ Mobile coverage in over 200 countries, free incoming calls in over 160 countries

✅ Mobile data service in over 160 countries

✅ SIM offers a European and US phone number

✅ 5 GB of international roaming data available

✅ Wi-Fi and mobile data calling using same phone number

✅ Free incoming texts from everywhere

✅ No contracts, simply pay for the service you use

 

You can get the OneSimCard Prepaid International SIM Card on Amazon here:

 

 

 

Buying a SIM card in the United Kingdom

Basically, in the UK there are 4 main network providers. (O2, EE, Three, and Vodafone). They will all be very similar in price and coverage. You will find any one of these providers fairly easily, and honestly just go with the one that is convenient for you. It’s not worth the hassle of looking around too much to save a few cents.

 

Topping up your SIM card

If you are not going to be using your mobile phone very much in the UK, it might be more cost-effective to buy a UK prepaid SIM card from a mobile phone shop. You can also purchase top-up vouchers whenever you need more credit. It’s very convenient and easy to do.

Some UK mobile phone companies include:

  • Carphone Warehouse
  • Phones 4 U
  • O2
  • Vodafone
  • T-Mobile
  • Orange

You can either opt for a contract or a Pay-As-You-Go. Look at the pros and cons of both options to see what works best for you. If you decide to use a longer-term contract, you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of identity
  • Address in UK
  • Enrolment in University/college (or acceptance letter)
  • Proof of employment (or acceptance letter)
  • Bank details

Some of the larger providers will do a credit check, so if you are not a citizen or cannot pass a check, then the best way to go is a pay as you go plan.

 

Summary:

Before you travel to Europe, ensure you have a cell phone that can be unlocked. If your current phone cannot be unlocked, then you will need to buy one. Check with your current provider to find prices and rates under your current plan to use in Europe.

Chances are it will be better to buy a SIM card when you arrive in Europe, but you can also get one prior to leaving. You can check the best prices on Amazon here, or purchase one once you arrive at your destination.

Don’t forget a data plan if you will need data. Data can be very expensive if you don’t have a proper plan. Also, you can read up on the EU rules for data and roaming policies here.

Hopefully, this helps you with some tips on buying a SIM card for traveling to Europe. There are many options available, so choose the one that works best for you.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

You May Also Like:

 

flight preparation checklist

Flight preparation checklist – what you need to know

first class air travel

Best tips and benefits of flying first class

carry on luggage

What to pack in a carry on bag