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Best global SIM cards of 2020

Best global SIM
(Image credit: simon2579)
PRICE
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Everyone likes to be able to use their smartphone when they travel internationally, but it’s too easy to rack up a large roaming bill if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you can usually cut costs by purchasing a local SIM card in the country that you’re visiting.

Best global SIM

This is usually the cheapest option, but if you’re visiting numerous countries in a short space of time, a global SIM might be more suitable. In general, global SIMs work worldwide, allowing you to text, call, and browse the internet from wherever you are.

We’ve put together the following list of the best global SIM cards currently available. Included are affordable options for international calls and texts, as well as a few data-heavy choices.

  • Want your company or services to be considered for this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.

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Knowroaming offers global calls, messages, and data in over 200 countries. (Image credit: Knowroaming)

1. Knowroaming

A selection of international SIM options

Near global service
Affordable short-term data plans
Flexible payment options available
Innovative eSIM on offer
Long-term use can be expensive
No voice and text plans
Pay-as-you-go is pricey
No affordable local options

Knowroaming offers a selection of international SIM options for travelers in different parts of the world. For starters, you can purchase a SIM sticker ($14.99) that attaches to your current SIM card, effectively transforming it from a local to an international card.

Alternatively, a physical SIM ($9.99) is available. This can be recharged with credit or specific pre-paid plans. Knowroaming also offers an innovative QR code eSIM that can be used to connect to different mobile networks across the world.

Prices vary according to your location and the type of service you want. Global data plans start from $3.99 per day or $9.99 per three days. Alternatively, purchase a Global 5GB data plan for $99.99. A 5GB data plan confined to Europe, Asia, or the USA costs $39.99.

On the other hand, voice and text service is only available on a pay-as-you-go basis. Rates vary by location but generally range from $0.10 to $0.30 per SMS, $0.10 to $0.50 per MB of data, and $0.10 to $1.00 per minute of calling.

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Flexiroam offers a selection of global SIM options. (Image credit: Flexiroam X)

2. Flexiroam X

A range of local and global SIM options

Powerful mobile-usage tracking app
Global and regional plans available
Data rollover on recharge
Discounts available with advance purchases
Data prices are quite high
SIM postage can be expensive
Only Visa and Mastercard recharge available
Less-visited countries not supported

Flexiroam X offers a range of local and global SIM options for travelers around the world. Its global plans are on the expensive side, but the long-term data plans with up to 360 days’ validity are great value for the money.

Both physical and eSIM cards are available, providing flexibility for those who want to keep their local SIM as well. Data roaming is available in over 140 countries, and any unused data will be rolled over when you recharge.

Unfortunately, Flexiroam X is a data-only service. Voice and text services aren’t available, which could frustrate some people.

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Three offers international service in 90 countries. (Image credit: Three)

3. Three

An impressive suite of options for international travel

Unlimited data available
Pay for what you use
No additional roaming fees
90 countries supported
Best suited to European users
Data Passport is expensive
Only popular tourist countries supported
Free calls and texts to UK only

UK-based Three mobile offers an impressive suite of options for international travelers. For starters, all Three users with an advanced plan will benefit from free data roaming and free calls/texts to the UK. Prices vary significantly by plan.

Alternatively, those who need a large amount of data will benefit from Three’s Data Passport. It costs approximately $6.20 per day (£5 per day) and includes unlimited data in 90 countries. This is quite an expensive option, but it could suit business users and those who travel for short lengths of time.

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WorldSIM offers global voice, text, and data service. (Image credit: WorldSIM)

4. WorldSIM

Global SIM card specialist

Free SIM card on offer
Variable rates by country
12-month credit expiration
Affordable data-only bundles
Expensive pay-as-you-go in some countries
Limited service in remote areas
Only UK and USA numbers supplied
No contract plans available

WorldSIM is a global SIM card specialist that supports 200 countries across the world. When you order a free SIM card, it will come triple punched to fit micro, nano, and standard card slots. Delivery is free with an initial credit purchase of $65 or more.

On top of this, your WorldSIM card includes free USA and UK numbers. If required, you can pay an additional fee for a number from any of the 50 supported countries. Prices for data, calls, and texts vary by country. In general, though, these are quite affordable compared to those of many other international SIM services. Data-only bundles are also available in most countries, with prices starting from just $0.005 per MB.

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TravelSIM offers affordable international network use in numerous countries. (Image credit: TravelSIM)

5. TravelSIM

International roaming in over 170 countries

Supports over 170 countries
Receive calls and texts for free
eSIM option available
18-month credit expiration
Some destinations are quite expensive
Limited data-only plans
Non-refundable recharges
Only Estonian number available

TravelSIM has become a favorite among business travelers across the world. It offers international roaming in over 170 countries and boasts more than 4.5 million worldwide users. Even better, TravelSIM allows you to receive calls and texts for free from anywhere in the world.

Both physical and eSIM cards are available, providing flexibility for travelers of all demographics. Unfortunately, TravelSIM’s rates are extremely variable between countries. It’s important to check the prices for your destination before you travel, to ensure that you’re not paying a small fortune for your phone use.