What’s The Best International SIM Card in 2019 for Travelling in Europe?

Overseas travel is unfortunately often associated with excessive charges and high roaming rates. This is especially true in Europe, where you encounter a large number of different carriers as you travel across individual regions.  This is where an international SIM card will help you immensely, especially when used with the dual SIM phones.

Editor's Choice

Traveling to Europe and looking for phone and data connections?  We recommend the Orange Holiday Europe prepaid international Sim card.  Works in 30 of the largest countries in Europe.

Purchasing a local SIM card may be a good solution for certain cases, but certainly not for traveling across Europe. You will quickly get tired of constantly changing your SIM card, and the people you try to stay in contact with will have to play a guessing game when determining which number they should use to contact you.

A much better alternative is to purchase an international SIM card that you can use in all of the countries that you will be visiting, thus keeping the same number and never worrying about extra charges. Even though there are many international SIM card providers, one stands out as the best choice for traveling in Europe. We are talking, of course, about Mobal and their new Europe Plus SIM.

Best SIM Card For Europe Travel

Which country are you traveling to?  Select the country below:

 

Orange Holiday SIM

Our number one favorite option is the Orange Holiday SIM. Easily the best SIM card that you can buy for any sort of European travel, they provide tourists 4G LTE data across 30 popular Europoean destinations. You'll get fast, reliable data almost anywhere in Europe, but particularly around the larger cities, just like in the US.

Orange's Holiday SIM has a whole 10GB of data to use, 1,000 SMS messages, and two hours of talk time. That's way different than many local and international SIM cards, since many European options are going the data-only route.

The card only lasts 14 days after activation, but you can call them up or go online to add more days if you decide to extend your stay.

UK Europe ThreeUK SIM Card

The ThreeUK SIM Card for international European travel is an excellent choice as well. This SIM card will allow you to call UK numbers, as well as EU numbers, while you are traveling around Europe. This is one of the more affordable choices -- putting you on Three UK's network. You actually get 12GB of data to use, 3000 voice minutes, and 3000 texts.

There are actually 71 different destinations in Europe that this SIM card covers, but some popular options you can expect to use it in includes the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

It's easily re-loaded with data; however, you can use this one in a phone only -- there are no tethering or personal hotspot features attached to this SIM card. So, unfortunately, you won't be able to use it to power your laptop or PC's Internet.

ProductBrandNamePrice
OrangeOrange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM CardBuy It Now|$49.9(Price as of 04/13/2019 14:59 ET)
ThreeThree Prepaid SIM Card EuropeBuy It Now|$39.9(Price as of 05/03/2019 06:49 ET)
GlocalMeGlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, Worldwide High Speed WiFi HotspotBuy on Amazon|$164.99(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
MobalEurope Plus SIM by Mobal. 1GB of Fast 4G Data IncludedBuy on Amazon|$59(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Europe Plus SIM

Founded in 1989, Mobal is one of the world's longest running cell phone providers and a provider of the bestselling international phone in America. Their fair approach to customer support already convinced thousands of international travelers, who appreciate that they never have to worry about hidden fees and surprising data caps. These travelers know how great it is to be able to easily connect with friends and family from any place they visit.

Mobal Europe Plus SIM service comes with 1GB of free data and unrestricted tethering. You can use your international Internet connection to connect online with your laptop or tablet. All you need to do is create a portable hotspot and you are all set.

Unlike with roaming, there’s absolutely no reason to worry about accepting incoming phone calls because they are completely free in over 130 countries. The same is also true for text messages that you send to your loved ones and business partners.

Outgoing call rates cannot rival local providers, but 30¢ per minute in all countries beats roaming and the added convenience tips the scale in Mobal’s favor. After all, how else could you keep a single US phone number?

The service itself doesn’t require you to sign any contract. You simply pay $59 for every month you want to use the service and stop paying when you don’t need it anymore. The SIM card itself works with all devices and mobile operating systems. You will, however, have to pay for additional data, which sits at $10 per 1GB. You get 1GB of free data to start you off, though.

Cellhire Europe SIM data

Cellhire is another great choice that will enable any GSM phone -- think phone's from company's like AT&T and T-Mobile -- to use data in Europe during your travels. It gives you fast 4G data roaming speeds in thirty different European countries. Your first purchase will give you 4GB of total data to use that is only valid for 30 days. The major downside here is that once you use it up or that thirty days is over, you are unable to add more -- you'll have to buy a completely separate SIM to use Cellhire again. It essentially operates as a throwaway SIM card.

Unfortunately, Cellhire only offers data for phones -- you won't get any calling or texting capabilities out of this one.

O2 Prepaid SIM Card

O2 has a pretty good international SIM card setup as well. O2 offers a couple of different packages, allowing you to choose your level of data, talk, and text.

This particular SIM card that we're looking at will give you a whopping 20GB data to use in the UK with 4G LTE, and then an additional 20GB data while roaming in Europe, but with a 3G conection. This card works in most EU countries -- there are very few that aren't supported.

Keepgo Global Lifetime SIM Card

And finally, we're looking at Keepgo's Global Lifetime SIM card. Their goal is to give you data, phone, and text wherever you go in the world, including many of the European nations. This one will give you a 1GB  mobile data credit that stays valid for 1 year; however, once you use it up, Keepgo does allow you to easily add more -- this isn't a throwaway SIM like the Cellhire.

Now, it can be a throwaway -- as the SIM expires after a year. However, with each data refill the validity of the data or plan is extended an additional year, so you could keep this one SIM card going for as long as you want.

This one does come with some SIM adapters to make sure the SIM card is compatible with all phone types -- i.e. regular SIM sizes, nano SIM, etc. Keep in mind that Keepgo's SIM cards only work on GSM phones.

What about International Cell Phones?

Most unlocked GSM phones will work with international sim cards.  The top tiered phones such as the newer generation iPhones and unlocked Samsung Galaxy phones will work. T-Mobile phones generally are also unlocked, and if for some reason your T-Mobile phone is locked, simply ask them to unlock it for you, it will be done without question.

Unless you have an iPhone, CDMA phones do not work well with international sim cards, so if you have a phone from Verizon Wireless, your best bet is to try to get Verizon to unlock the phone for you, or try one of these cheap global gsm phones below.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S10Buy on Amazon|$644(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
OnePlusOnePlus 6TBuy on Amazon|$514.9(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
HUAWEIHuawei P30 ProBuy on Amazon|$949(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
MotorolaMotorola Moto G7+ PlusBuy on Amazon|$322.64(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
Sony Xperia XZ3Buy on Amazon|$574.53(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

How to Get Started

When you order your international SIM card, you have to wait 2-5 days before you receive it in your mail. Alternatively, you can pay $25-35 for a priority shipping option and have it in your mailbox next business day by 10:30 am.

All that remains to do is to activate the SIM card via the included activation link and leave for your European adventure.

Each month of use is billed individually, which means that you never pay for something that you won’t use.

An International Sim Card Versus Roaming

To remain at least somewhat relevant, carriers have implemented more palatable pricing structures and removed some of many outdated restrictions placed on their customers.

Sadly, even with these welcomed changes, international roaming still isn’t a viable option for most people. Those who are travelling to just a single country are much better off purchasing a local SIM card, and others can save lots of money by paying for a proper international SIM.

AT&T

The least friendly of the bunch is AT$T with their 25-15 cents overage charges and high costs of data. The basic package starts at $30 and includes 120MB of data and $1 per minute calls. Things get a little better with the $120 option. It includes 800MB of data and 35 cents per minute calls.

T-Mobile

On the other hand, T-Mobile leverages their international network by offering customers free international data roaming in over 140 countries. The only problem is that the free plan is limited to 2G speeds.

The cheapest plan with faster speeds costs $15 for 100MB of data to use for one day. When customers download more than the allocated amount, speeds become limited to 128 Kbps.

Sprint

Sprint closely mimics T-Mobile’s model by offering free 2G data roaming in 60 countries around the world. Extra connection speed costs the same as with T-Mobile.

Verizon

Last but not least, is Verizon with their improved TravelPass service. Customers pay a one-time fee each time they want to connect to a foreign network. Voice and data usage is then billed as normally. This costs $10 per day, with the exception of Canada and Mexico, where it costs just $2.

Things to Consider Before Traveling

Modern technology isn’t always travel-friendly. Different countries and regions use different standards and your particular phone may not work outside the country you brought it in. Furthermore, operators like to lock their customers to their own network to keep them from leaving for a competing provider.

Is Your Phone Unlocked?

You may have heard that about the concept of carrier locks, but there’s a good chance that you are unsure about what it really means. When you purchase a phone from a carrier, there’s a good chance that the phone will be configured to work only their network to prevent you from using a rival carrier’s plan.

Some smartphones are sold specifically as “unlocked” (often for a premium price), which means that you are free to use the phone on any network. These days, most carriers offer at least some way how customers can unlock their phones. It’s often not very straightforward, and it sometimes even costs money.

Whatever the case may be, you need to make sure that your phone is unlocked before you begin your travels. One of the simplest ways to do that is to head over to IMEI.info and input your IMEI number in the search field. You can get this number by dialing *#06# on your device.

Does Your Phone Support GSM Networks?

Mobile phones operate on two basic technologies: CDMA and GSM. Both CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobiles) are methods used by various radio communication technologies to facilitate wireless communication.

In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM networks, while Sprint and Verizon Wireless use CDMA. This rather complicates things because the rest of the world uses GSM.

If that wasn’t enough, GSM has 4 different frequencies, each used in a particular region. Europe operates on GSM-900 and GSM-1800, but North America uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz communication bands.

Your phone has to support the particular frequency of a local carrier to work properly. Some phones come with a so-called quadband support, which means that they can be used anywhere in the world.

You need to consult manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that your phone is fully compatible.

Verdict

It’s very unlikely that roaming prices would reach acceptable levels in the foreseeable future. Operators simply don’t have enough incentive to change their flawed business models and customers have to deal with the consequences.

Fortunately, international SIM cards, such as the Europe Plus SIM from Mobal, provide an excellent, cost-effective alternative for savvy travelers. We highly recommend you check just how much you could save and imagine what it would be like to travel without worrying about paying absurd sums of money.

ProductBrandNamePrice
OrangeOrange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM CardBuy It Now|$49.9(Price as of 04/13/2019 14:59 ET)
ThreeThree Prepaid SIM Card EuropeBuy It Now|$39.9(Price as of 05/03/2019 06:49 ET)
GlocalMeGlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, Worldwide High Speed WiFi HotspotBuy on Amazon|$164.99(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:33 ET)
MobalEurope Plus SIM by Mobal. 1GB of Fast 4G Data IncludedBuy on Amazon|$59(Price as of 05/20/2019 04:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

8 Replies to “What’s The Best International SIM Card in 2019 for Travelling in Europe?”

  1. I’ve been all over Nestern Europe. I have T-Mobile, and I’ve used it everywhere GPS, calls and text. My bill has always been the same. No extra charges. Well, just a couple of weeks ago, I received a letter that my plan was being changed. Next month, I am going to Costa Rica, and in February I’ll be in Northern Europe. I better check again to see if I’ll have coverage, or if I have to purchase one of these international sim cards.

  2. From Clay Telecom I bought a SIM card at IGI Airport for my Europe business trip. They told me the SIM will provide unlimited data with high speed but the data connectivity was very poor caused delay in surfing, mailing and messaging.

    When I contacted customer care of Clay Telecom they apologize for the inconvenience I faced and asked me to power off my cellphone for a while and then to switch it on. Then when I connected to data it started working properly with high speed connectivity.

    My review is to say thanks to whole customer support team of Clay Telecom for being very polite and cooperative to me.

  3. This site is great, and so helpful! My S7 froze up while charging. I got on my desktop, found this site, and was instructed to hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, and viola-problem solved, quick and easy just as I like it! Naturally, I hope that I don’t have any future phone issues, but it’s nice to know this site is available if I do. Thanks folks for saving me a trip to the phone company, and a big hassle-GOD BLESS!

  4. Four of us from the US will be traveling in Europe this summer: 27.06.17 till 24.7.2017 for almost a month. We will be taking a road trip: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (using Co-Pilot GPS app), fly into Stockholm for a few days then taking the Baltic Sea Cruise (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Warenburger, Copenhagen, Oslo and ends in Amsterdam then another road trip through Holland, Belgium and France.

    We would like unlimited data-only plan for my iPadAir2 for these countries as mentioned above. Which company provides the BEST Unlimited Data-Plan only (need about 5GB) that covers all these cities/countries? Will the SIM card coverage woks on Celebrity Cruise?

    You assistance is much appreciated.

    Eric
    Seattle, Washington US

  5. It appears that they recently changed their plans, they offered unlimited data internationally last year. Looks like it’s only 1GB now.

  6. The global card claimed at Unlimited data is only showing 1GB of data for tye links above. Does anyone else see this?

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