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The 7 Best Prepaid eSIM Plans for the USA (February 2024) + Discounts

4G/5G, Networks, Speeds, Price, Hotspot : Discover our selection of 7 prepaid eSIM providers that offer great value for visiting the United States.

Published: Jun 22, 2022

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Last update: February 19th, 2024

If you're going to be one of the 51 million+ people who visit the United States each year and need an eSIM (or embedded SIM), you've come to the right place.

Everyone knows that mobile communications in the US are among the most expensive places in the world. Major US carriers still have prohibitive prices, which can be challenging (here) for most people living outside the US who are used to cheap and affordable 4G or 5G mobile data plans.

In order to get a cheap data plan, you'll probably have to do a thorough web search, compare lots of options, order a physical SIM card weeks in advance, and pray that everything works once you get there. Sounds old-school, right?

Luckily, eSIM plans are here now, and if you own one eSIM compatible device (check our recently updated list here), you already have access to hundreds of virtual SIM cards (eSIM) from providers around the world and you can connect in the next 5 minutes if you are already in the United States.

Here are our top seven picks of eSIM providers and plans for traveling to the US that will help you avoid roaming charges, are affordable, and give you great value.

But before we dive in, it is probably a good idea to explain you what you should look at and be careful about when you buy a travel plan for the US.

The Best eSIM providers and plans for the US

Our top recommandation : Airalo

🎁 In February 2024 : User the code “ESIMSI1669“ to get US$3 off your first purchase

If you're looking for a decent amount of data while keeping things relatively cheap and having a great user experience, you should definitely check out Airalo.

Airalo is a Singapore-based eSIM provider that offers eSIM plans for hundreds of destinations. Their website, app and overall experience are excellent and getting an eSIM is a breeze.

On top of that, Airalo has great roaming agreements and you can expect to get 5G/4G coverage and speeds in most of the country with Tier 1 telecom providers for the US: T-Mobile Networks and AT&T.

UPDATE: Airalo recently changed their plan to be 5G compatible for the US on both AT&T and T-Mobile Networks, which is great news!.

We love Airalo's "Change" plans for the US, which come in three different flavors: 10GB, 5GB, and 3GB and cost $26.00, $16.00, and $11.00 respectively.

Data

10 GB

Validity30 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Network(s) : T-Mobile (5G), Verizon (5G)

$13.00

$1.30/GB
Learn more â€ș
Data

5 GB

Validity30 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Network(s) : T-Mobile (5G), Verizon (5G)

$16.00

$3.20/GB
Learn more â€ș
Data

3 GB

Validity30 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Network(s) : T-Mobile (5G), Verizon (5G)

$11.00

$3.67/GB
Learn more â€ș

OUR TAKE ON AIRALO ESIM : Airalo is not the least expensive of providers for the US, but it comes with a great balance of reasonably priced data plans, a great customer experience (it's really easy to use). With 5G and compatibility with multiple US providers, it's the best option for regular users.

Yesim : the most affordable 20GB plan

If you want to minimize your spending on your prepaid eSIM plan while sticking to qualitative offers, Yesim plans are likely the way to go.

Yesim is a relatively new eSIM MVNO provider based in Switzerland and Latvia.

Their data only eSIM plan "United States" comes at a price of 25€ (or $27.3) and provides 20GB of 4G / LTE data, which makes it the cheapest plan per GB below 30GB ($1.09.GB).

This amount of data must be used within 30 days, which could last to normal users but won't last long for heavy data users. Tethering (hotspot feature) seem to be allowed.

After applying our "ESIMSIO" voucher code, you'll obtain 5€ off of this plan.

Please note that as a great (paid) addition, Yesim offers users the ability to purchase phone numbers (from the United States, from Canada, or from Netherlands), voice minutes and text messages that will allow you to receive and send calls and text from the Yesim app.

yesim_phone_number_screenshot

We did not review that feature, but it's a very nice one for users that prefer to a phone number in addition to data.

Data

20 GB

Validity30 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Special Offer : €5 OFF

$22.72

$28.14

$1.14/GB
Learn more â€ș

The most advantageous eSIM plans for the United States are undoubtedly Nomad and Instabridge.

Nomad is a well known US based eSIM data provider that offers data plans worldwide. Maya is a more recent Sweden-based provider, that offers very decent eSIM products.

Both providers offer very aggressive prices and offer good quality networks and data for travelers to the United States.

OUR TAKE ON YESIM: Yesim's 20GB USA plan is great and it the most competitive we could find in termes of price/GB for a normal plan. It's connectivity features are great.

GlobaleSIM : the best provider for USA + Canada + Mexico

We are great fans of Nomad, an eSIM MVNO from Singapore.

Their plans are great and reliable, while remaining affordable. If you're not only visiting the United States but also Mexico and / or Canada, their "Regional North America - 30 Days - 20 GB" plan offers great value.

The plan is compatible with multiple local operators in each country, in 4G & 5G.

Data

20 GB

Validity30 day(s)

3 countries

Data only

Special Offer : $1 OFF

$52.00

$53.00

$2.60/GB
Learn more â€ș

Unlike Yesim, this plan is data only and does not come with a phone number.

If you're visiting Canada or Mexico, you might be interested to read our articles about Canada eSIM and Mexico eSIM recommendations.

Instabridge 3GB : perfect for up to three days

In case you don't need as much data as the plans recommended above and stay short term, Instabridge's 3GB data only plan is a great recommendation.

It is the most competitive 3GB plan for the US we could find. It is valid for 15 days, but we think it is very unlikely you can make it like that long if you consume mobile data like an average smartphone owner

Data

3 GB

Validity15 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Special Offer : 20% OFF

$4.80

$6.00

$1.60/GB
Learn more â€ș

OUR TAKE ON INSTABRIDGE: The Swedish eSIM provider is quite new but offers impeccable customer service and great connectivity. Even if it's just for 3GB, that is still important.

Keepgo or Bnesim : For longer stays (30 days and more)

If you are staying in the United States for more than 30 days. Or intend to come several times to the country, KeepGo and BNESIM offer excellent eSIM plans valid for 365 days or not expiring.

KeepGo, an Israel-based telecom provider, offers a 25GB eSIM plan valid for 365 days. With a price tag of $90.00,

it is more expensive but still offers great value due to its super long duration. KeepGo has roaming agreements for the United States with AT&T and T-Mobile. Note that the data remains valid for life, if filled in at least once a year (for any amount).

Data

25 GB

Validity365 day(s)

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

$88.00

$3.52/GB
Learn more â€ș

BNESIM, the Italian eSIM provider, offers a 30 days 20 GB eSIM package!

After using promo code "ESIMS15", the plan costs $46.12 ($54.26 if you don't use our discount code). Expect 4G speeds on BNESIM's US roaming partner: AT&T and T-Mobile.

Data

20 GB

Validity30 day(s)
Autorenew plan

đŸ‡ș🇾 United States

Data only

Network(s) : T-MOBILE (5G)

Special Offer : 30% OFF

$19.94

$28.49

$1.00/GB
Learn more â€ș

Best Mobile App: T-Mobile

T-mobile, one of the major US local carriers, offers a prepaid eSIM plan aimed at tourists. For $40 you will get 10 GB of data.

It's a bit pricey, but you can experience the excellent T-Mobile app and the T-mobile network without intermediary.

To connect, all you have to do is download the T-mobile eSIM app and get your plan here, which is very simple and straightforward.

t_mobile_esim_prepaid_app_products_screenshot

After you have downloaded the T-mobile prepaid eSIM app on Google App Store or Google play store

You will be prompted to create an account before you can purchase mobile data plans.

T-mobile offers several "prepaid unlimited eSIM plans" which are quite pricey. Please note that they come with a fair usage policy (speed might be reduced beyond a 50GB monthly data use) and hotpost feature is very limited (sometimes throttled to 3G speeds). Nevertheless, those plans are of relatively good value.

One great feature that all t-mobile prepaid eSIM plans offer a phone number, with unlimited voice and text ! This is really a great benefit if you look for a phone numbrer.

IMG 7256 screenshot_screenshot

T-mobile also offers non unlimited plans, but they are really pricey for the amount of data they offer.

What to look for in a prepaid eSIM for the USA

There are many eSIM plan options already available if you are travelling to the USA. On esims.io, as of today, we list more than 300 plans from dozen of providers that are compatible in the USA.

Most of those plans are great and will do just fine for most internet browsing needs, but there are some important features related to the eSIM plan you purchase and to the provider you go with that you should be aware of before your purchase an eSIM plan.

MVNO vs. Local Network eSIM plans

First off, you've got two main types of plans: the ones created by MVNOs like Holafly, Airalo, and Nomad, and then your local providers like AT&T and Verizon.

If you're a globetrotter hopping from the U.S. to Canada to Mexico, MVNOs are your best friend.

They offer multi-country plans that give you the freedom to roam. But if you're staying put in the U.S., you might want to stick with AT&T or Verizon eSIM plans for more consistent speeds and better coverage.

Please note that as of today, T-mobile is the only one to offer prepaid eSIM plans for tourists (through their mobile app), while Verizon and AT&T are still out of this segment and do not offer prepaid eSIM plans for tourists !

This means that for now, relying on prepaid eSIM MVNOs is probably the way to go.

Network quality

  • Local Network(s) Compatibility and coverage Now, if you do go the MVNO route, you've got to play detective. It's crucial to investigate which local networks the MVNO has roaming partnerships with to see which ones you will be able to use.

    Nomad roaming partners in the US

    In the U.S, Nomad offers roaming with both AT&T & Verizon networks. You don't want to be left hanging with a weak signal when you're in dire need of Google Maps. According to PCMag's 2022 mobile network tests, T-Mobile is currently the best network in the U.S., winning in 18 out of 30 cities tested. They've also improved their rural coverage, although they still have more dead zones in rural areas compared to AT&T and Verizon. AT&T, on the other hand, shines in network reliability, particularly in rural areas.

So, if you're going MVNO, look for one that partners with all those networks if possible, or with one of those networks if you have specific needs:

  • Network Prioritization In the U.S., the big networks like AT&T and Verizon have this VIP list, and guess what? MVNO users aren't on it - somtimes. So, during busy times, you might find your data speeds throttled. Just something to keep in mind.

  • Internet Routing and Latency This one's a bit geeky but super important. Some MVNOs route your internet traffic through servers that are miles away from your actual location. Imagine sending your data on a round-trip flight to Europe before it gets to your phone in the U.S. Yeah, that's gonna cause some lag. Some MVNOs are smart about this and have servers all over the world to minimize this issue.

  • 5G or 4G / LTE only Most eSIM plans are still on the 4G train, but if you're all about that speed, look for plans that offer 5G. It's not everywhere yet, but it's growing.

Understand eSIM plan features or limitations

  • Phone Number, Text, SMS: careful about VOIP solutions A lot of eSIM plans are data-only, which is cool if you're just gonna WhatsApp or FaceTime people. But if you need an actual phone number, dig a little deeper. Some plans offer it directly, while others might require you to use a VOIP app. Heads up, though—some services like Uber are picky and won't take VOIP numbers.

  • Hotspot If you're the type who likes to share your connection with other devices, check if the eSIM plan allows for hotspoting. Some do, some don't. Don't assume; always check.

  • Unlimited Plans and Fair Usage Policy: The "Unlimited" Mirage Lastly, don't get seduced by the word "unlimited." Read the fine print. Most of these so-called unlimited plans have a Fair Usage Policy that'll cap your data after you hit a certain point.

    unlimited FUPs holafly USA

    Read the fine lines: Holafly's unlimited plans are not truly unlimited and limit your speeds after a certain usage has been reached.

Conclusion

The United States is not the country where you will get the cheapest prepaid data plans, and you have to be careful about what your eSIM might hide before you purchase it.

That said, some eSIM providers are able to offer eSIM plans that offer decent value and won't break your bank. We love Airalo and Yesim plans the most.

If you are not satisfied and need to compare more eSIM plans, you will find more eSIM plans options for the USA on esims.io. You can also contact us at hello@esims.io if you need advice!

Maya Mobilelogo

USA 20GB - 5 Days

Maya Mobile

$19.00

BNESIMlogo

Surf 20GB/month in United States

BNESIM

$19.94

Airhublogo

United States 15GB Data 30 days

Airhub

$15.00

Maya Mobilelogo

USA 20GB - 10 Days

Maya Mobile

$20.00

BNESIMlogo

Surf 10GB/month in United States

BNESIM

$10.19

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