Is New Zealand up next on your destination list? New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit, with a unique culture to experience and vast landscapes to see. However, making sure that you have data that isn’t going to break the bank while in the country can be an uphill battle.
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Some carriers back home may provide you with the ability to get some data in New Zealand, but rates are insane. Roaming charges on carriers like AT&T and Verizon can be out of this world, truly.
That’s why we really like Prepaid SIM cards usually provide you with some very affordable rates, but on top of that, your network coverage is just so much better, often resulting in better data speeds, too.
Not sure which SIM cards are the best for your trip? Here are some of our favorite SIMs for New Zealand.
ThreeUK Smart Silver
First up on our list, we’re looking at the ThreeUK Smart Silver card.
One of the cool things about ThreeUK is that they make their Smart Silver card so easy to activate. Just insert the SIM card into your phone’s SIM tray — your phone does need to be GSM and unlocked — then power the phone back on, and then you’re ready to start using data.
We should note that this SIM card does carry a timer, lasting 30 days after activation. Once that 30 days is up, the SIM card will expire, and there’s no topping off or adding “time.”
Additionally, the SIM card gives you 5GB of data to use once activated; however, if that 30 days is up, the card expires whether you have used the data or not. It’s worth noting that the card will expire by either used up data or used up time, ultimately coming down to whichever happens first.
ThreeUK’s Smart Silver doesn’t have any outgoing calling or texting abilities, but the card does say that you can at least receive incoming calls and texts.
You might actually want to consider using a local carrier for your travels through New Zealand. It’s pretty easy to just pick up a SIM card when you land, either from the airport or at a local store.
A SIM card from a local carrier is almost always the way to go, because by cutting out the middleman, you’re not paying a whole lot for data in the country. On top of that, network speeds are usually faster, too.
KeepGo Global Lifetime
The KeepGo Global Lifetime SIM SIM is another excellent choice for travelers. With your purchase, you get a free 1GB of data to use while traveling throughout the great country of New Zealand. Once used up, you are then charged per 1GB that you use — usually at a rate of $10 per.
That said, KeepGo is one of the pricier options for travel. But, it’s still one of the few options that you have for staying connected during your travels. And since it’s a data-only SIM, you will have to keep communication over social media platforms like Messenger or WhatsApp.
This SIM card is nice in particular because there are few like it that have so much international support. So if you have multiple countries on your destination list, the KeepGo should continue to work without interruption.
T-Mobile Postpaid Plans
T-Mobile is an excellent choice for those that are traveling abroad. Unlike most carriers, they actually offer affordable rates for international travel to countries like New Zealand and Australia. In most cases, T-Mobile is going to give you unlimited text and data in other countries.
That said, you will actually need to be on a T-Mobile postpaid plan, since they don’t offer discounted international rates on prepaid plans. You’ll actually have to be using either T-Mobile ONE or Simple Choice.
Talk time costs a little bit extra, at $0.25 per minute.
These are some of the best ways that you can get some good data and cell coverage in New Zealand. We think that the ThreeUK Smart Silver SIM will likely be your best avenue, but you also might want to check out any local SIM cards when you land.
Local SIM cards will almost always perform better than anything you can pre-buy for your trip, simply because you cut out the middleman this way. Speeds are often a lot better as well.
However, if that isn’t an option for you, we love what ThreeUK is offering in the Smart Silver, essentially giving you a no commitment throwaway card. Or, the T-Mobile postpaid plans are some of the best for uninterrupted use, not having to worry about messing around with different SIMs.
What’s your favorite SIM card for traveling to New Zealand?