If you are traveling to the USA and want to stay connected with your phone, you might be wondering how to buy a prepaid SIM card in the USA. A prepaid SIM card is a small chip that you insert into your phone to access a local network and get data, calls, and texts. Prepaid SIM cards are convenient because they allow you to avoid expensive roaming charges and use your phone as you normally would.
However, buying a prepaid SIM card in the USA can be tricky because there are only two main network providers that sell them to tourists: AT&T and T-Mobile. These providers have different plans, prices, coverage, and compatibility with different phones. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about buying a prepaid SIM card in the USA in 2023, including where to buy one, how much it costs, what plan to choose, and how to activate it.
Where to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in the USA
There are several ways to buy a prepaid SIM card in the USA, depending on your preference and convenience. Here are some of the most common options:
Online stores: You can buy a prepaid SIM card online before you travel or even when you are already in the USA. Online stores offer SIM cards from AT&T, T-Mobile, or other MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that use their networks. Some of the online stores that sell prepaid SIM cards for the USA are Mint Mobile, Ultra Mobile, Holafly, and Amazon. Buying online can be cheaper and more convenient than buying in person, but you need to make sure that the SIM card is compatible with your phone and that it will be delivered on time.
Local carriers: You can also buy a prepaid SIM card directly from AT&T or T-Mobile at their stores or kiosks. You can find them at some international airports, malls, or other locations. Buying from a local carrier can be more reliable and easier to activate than buying online, but it can also be more expensive and less flexible. You will need to show your passport and pay with a credit card or cash.
Convenience stores: Another option is to buy a prepaid SIM card from a convenience store such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, or CVS. These stores sell SIM cards from AT&T, T-Mobile, or other MVNOs such as Cricket Wireless or Lycamobile. Buying from a convenience store can be cheaper and more accessible than buying from a local carrier, but you need to check the expiration date and activation instructions of the SIM card.
How Much Does a Prepaid SIM Card Cost in the USA
The cost of a prepaid SIM card in the USA depends on the provider, the plan, and the duration of your stay. Generally speaking, prepaid SIM cards in the USA are not very cheap compared to other countries. You can expect to pay between $15 and $90 for a prepaid SIM card with data, calls, and texts for one month.
Here are some examples of prepaid SIM card plans for the USA in 2023: