📱🇺🇸 US mobile PAYG SIM recommendations?

This is completely unrelated to Monzo, but there are a lot of knowledgeable travellers here, so… Does anyone have recommendations for a US phone SIM that’s PAYG and doesn’t require a monthly subscription? I use giffgaff here, and would like something similar for a visit to the US – a SIM where I can top up some credit and either buy a package of data and minutes, or just have them deducted from my balance as I use it. Thanks!

This may not be exactly what you’re after but this is something I used to get whenever I’d go to the States on holiday (before my current plan allowed me to use my package abroad in the states).

For about $30 or so TMobile US offer a tourist sim which lasts 3 weeks and gives you 2GB of 4G data and I think unlimited minutes and texts.


The T-Mobile tourist plan is now available via their app if you have an iPhone with an eSIM.

I use my Vodafone Global Roaming Plus when in the USA, or my EE MAX sim.

Thanks, that is the kind of thing I was looking for (though hoping to find something a bit less expensive). Funny that it’s a tourist SIM, but requires a US credit/debit card to purchase it. :man_facepalming: @chistery, unfortunately my iPhone doesn’t support eSIM. :disappointed:

Both your comments reminded me that it might be cheaper to simply get a Three PAYG SIM because the data/minutes/texts can be used when travelling.


Looks like for £10 I can get the equivalent of the T-Mobile US deal (2GB data, unlimited texts/minutes). I’ll also have to see if it’s possible to setup Google Voice so I can have a local US number if people need to contact me. But I’m starting to think this might be the simplest and least expensive route, especially given the complexities and limitations of the US mobile market.

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If you need people to call you whilst you’re out there, FaceTime Audio or Whatsapp calling might work for you.

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In the past, I’ve bought a simple mobile SIM on ebay and enabled it before I left, but a Three SIM is much easier though sometimes not that fast. Or pop into a Best Buy or somewhere similar and pick one up on arrival?

Have a look at Three. They have various PAYGO deals which allow use in USA.

You’ll also be able to use any remaining credit when you come back (if you are coming back).

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The FAQ for the T-Mobile tourist esim plan says it’s designed for people coming to the US, so odd it says it needs a USA credit card?

How long are you in the USA for?