Best eSIM providers and plans in the United States 2024
Using an eSIM card for the USA is the best way to ensure easy access to the internet while visiting America from abroad. It allows you to avoid your mobile internet provider’s excessive roaming charges while enjoying faster connection speeds at a fraction of the cost.
Additionally, acquiring an eSIM card in advance grants internet access as soon as you’ve landed in America. Alternatively, you’ll have to search for a physical SIM card in the airport.
There are various options available, and we’ve narrowed them down to the 5 best eSIMs for traveling to the USA. They come in various prices and provide different features, so read about each to find the most suitable one for your needs.
Top 5 best eSIM providers for USA
- Airalo – best eSIM provider for the USA overall
- Nomad – affordable US eSIM with SMS option
- aloSIM – versatile and budget-friendly eSIM card for USA
- Instabridge – cheap US eSIM with pay-as-you-go plans
- BNESIM – all-inclusive US eSIM with above-average prices
What to consider when choosing eSIM for traveling in the United States?
People travel to the USA for various reasons, making their eSIM requirements diverse. Here’s an introduction to the main aspects you should consider when choosing eSIM options for America.
- Data. The main difference between most eSIM providers and their plans is the amount of data included. The cheapest options will consist of merely 1GB, but that might be enough if you don’t plan on watching videos on your phone.
- Duration. eSIM plans vary in duration to accommodate short-term and long-term visits to America. Opting for extended plans with more data is preferable to constantly renewing the cheapest plan.
- Price. The eSIM market is competitive, so there’s no need to grab the most expensive provider and expect the best results. It’s possible to find affordable and effective options, as you’ll see in our list.
- Speed. It’s vital to check what data transfer modes (5G, 4G LTE) the eSIM provider supports to ensure you’ll get blazing-fast browsing speeds while visiting the USA.
- Coverage. America is massive, so you should check whether the eSIM provider you’re eyeing covers the whole continent or only a handful of states.
- Call and message support. Most eSIM providers don’t include a foreign phone number, meaning you can’t use it to make calls and send SMS messages. However, if you don’t mind the added cost, a few include this option.
The best eSIMs for USA travel – detailed list
Our tests concluded that these 5 US eSIM cards are the best and worth buying. Look at their key features to decide which is the most suitable for your travel plans.
1. Airalo – best eSIM provider in the USA overall
|Supports 5G networks:
|Get Airalo today!
Airalo is the best USA eSIM card in 2024 overall. It offers affordable prepaid plans with excellent speeds in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. You can start with a short-term plan and top up as you go or opt for cost-effective monthly plans.
Airalo plans become active once the eSIM connects to a supported network, meaning you can set everything up before visiting the US without elapsing time or data. Moreover, there are no eKYC (personal identification) requirements that could prolong the setup process. Crucially, all plans work in all 50 American states plus Puerto Rico for flexibility. Besides America, Airalo offers plans in over 200 countries worldwide.
Unfortunately, Airalo doesn’t have plans for the USA that grant a phone number, thus making them unsuitable for making calls and sending SMS. However, you have the option to grab a global eSIM that includes data, calls, and SMS.
You can purchase an Airalo US eSIM card for only $4.50 and enjoy 1GB of data for up to 7 days. If that’s not enough, you can top up your plan later or snag a lengthier option with more data for peace of mind. Currently, the lengthiest options provide between 3GB up to 20GB for 30 days.
2. Nomad – affordable US eSIM with SMS option
|Supports 5G networks:
|Get Nomad today!
Nomad is a worthwhile alternative if you’re not keen on using Airalo. It has a few drawbacks, but otherwise, it’s an excellent eSIM for the USA.
Like Airalo, Nomad offers varying prepaid plans for the United States with different durations, data caps, and costs. You can also opt for regional eSIMs if you need online data in particular continents or worldwide. For example, you can get a North American eSIM if you’re traveling through the US and Canada. In total, Nomad provides eSIM options across 165+ countries.
In addition to data plans, Nomad offers US eSIM cards that unlock SMS messaging. The starting package costs $4.00 and unlocks 100 texts for 30 days, but you will find other plans that last longer and grant more texts. Naturally, you can add extra messages to an existing plan if you need more. However, messaging is done through the Nomad app, which requires a stable data or Wi-Fi connection.
Nomad eSIM options in the US start at $6.00 and provide 1GB of data for 7 days. Everything is prepaid, and there are no fees for activating the eSIM. You can also top-up data if the current plan is near depletion, and it’s recommended to do that while it is still active.
3. aloSIM – versatile and budget-friendly eSIM card for the USA
|Supports 5G networks:
|Get aloSIM today!
In many ways, aloSIM is similar to Airalo, our best eSIM for the USA. For starters, both providers offer plans starting at $4.50 and support 5G network connections. However, aloSIM covers fewer countries outside the US and doesn’t have plans with SMS and voice calls. Regardless, it’s a solid option for a budget-friendly US eSIM.
Besides countries like the US and the UK, aloSIM offers eSIM cards covering entire regions to provide data while traveling in multiple countries. Available options include North America, Europe, Asia, and smaller regions like Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. Whichever you choose, you’ll have data-only plans, none including a mobile number.
All aloSIM US plans utilize the AT&T network and its 5G support for excellent speeds. Meanwhile, details may vary in other countries as the service offers virtual cards in 170+ countries worldwide.
Interestingly, aloSIM plans are exactly the same as Airalo's. To be precise, the cheapest 1GB plan is valid for 7 days and costs only $4.50. However, customers have options that last 15 or 30 days with data ranging from 2GB up to 20GB.
4. Instabridge – cheap US eSIM with pay-as-you-go plans
|Supports 5G networks:
|Get Instabridge today!
Instabridge is one of the most affordable American eSIM options available. Although the service has fewer plans to choose from, it stands out with its flexible pay-as-you-go plan, which enables automatically whenever you run out of data. This means you won’t be stuck without internet access if you unexpectedly exhaust the data on your current plan. Plus, you can always switch to a prepaid plan if the rates are unsatisfactory.
Unlike other eSIM providers for the US, Instabridge includes a handful of optional security and convenience perks. For starters, it offers a data-saving browser that compresses your traffic and reduces data consumption. The app also includes a Wi-Fi map for finding free internet hotspots worldwide. Finally, you can enable a VPN on Android devices to make your online connections private.
Instabridge employs a straightforward approach regarding US eSIM plans and offers only three choices. The cheapest 1GB plan lasts 7 days and costs only $3.00. The second option includes 3GB of data, lasts 15 days, and costs $6.00, while the most-extended plan includes 10GB for 30 days with a $14.00 price tag.
5. BNESIM – all-inclusive US eSIM with above-average prices
|Supports 5G networks:
|Get BNESIM today!
BNESIM, also known as Best Network Ever, offers a wide array of services in one app, including eSIM cards in the USA. Unsurprisingly, such an all-inclusive product costs more than the specialized tools we mentioned previously, but it’s worth considering if you have exceptional needs.
Regarding US eSIM plans, BNESIM has a different approach that leads to above-average prices. For starters, national plans centered towards the United States are only available in long-term 30-day plans. That means the cheapest option starts at $11.43 and unlocks 3GB for a month.
On the other hand, you’ll find shorter 7-day alternatives among regional plans. So, if you’re looking for only 1GB of data for a week-long trip, you’ll need to grab a North American plan for $7.27.
Similarly to Instabridge, BNESIM also offers pay-as-you-go plans if you prefer flexibility. US eSIM cards have plenty of options available, starting at $2.41 for every 250MB and maxing out at $127.08 for every 20GB.
Besides eSIM, BNESIM services include physical SIM cards, worldwide calls, international phone numbers, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot router, and a VPN service. These optional services clearly showcase the scale at which BNESIM operates.
Does my phone support eSIM?
Most newly-released smartphones support eSIM technology without trouble. In fact, iPhones sold in the US are sold without conventional SIM card slots in favor of eSIM, although other countries haven’t adopted this practice yet.
Unsurprisingly, older phones (made before 2018) don’t support eSIM cards since they don’t have the necessary hardware. Plus, the only way to upgrade is to buy a new smartphone. Overall, the best way to determine if your phone supports eSIM cards is to check the specifications on the manufacturer’s official website.
Below are a few smartphone examples that support eSIM technology.
|XR, XS, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
|2 (with Google Fi), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Fold
|S20, S20X, S21, S22, S23, Fold, Z Flip
|P40, P40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro
|12T Pro, 13
Most importantly, your phone must be unlocked from carrier restrictions to enable eSIM usage. Most phones sold in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are unlocked, while in America, they’re locked. You can find out whether your phone is locked by contacting your mobile internet provider or checking your phone’s settings (steps will vary depending on the model). Additionally, they can easily unlock your phone, though they may request a fee.
Benefits of using an eSIM in the USA
Here’s a rundown of the main reasons an eSIM for the USA is superior to a regular SIM card.
- Mobile data as soon as possible. Using an eSIM grants immediate access to the internet upon arriving in America. That means you can use web services or contact someone without leaving the airport.
- Immediate activation. You can enjoy the benefits of your US eSIM immediately because you can set it up in advance.
- Access to your regular SIM card. You can use an eSIM together with your regular SIM card to reap the benefits of both. To be precise, the eSIM will be responsible for accessing the web, while the physical SIM card will provide phone services (calls and SMS).
- No need to buy a new SIM card. Activating an eSIM card means you don’t have to buy a new SIM card and remove your regular one. This approach minimizes the risk of damaging or losing your original SIM card while traveling.
- No expensive roaming charges. The US eSIM allows you to avoid the insane roaming charges your mobile internet provider typically charges in America.
- Flexible data amounts. Our recommended eSIM services offer flexible and affordable plans to accommodate your travel plans.
Things to know about using an eSIM card for USA
Here’s a summary of what you should know about using an eSIM card for the USA:
- Requires an unlocked phone. Ensure your phone is unlocked and free from carrier restrictions. You can find out and unlock it by contacting your mobile internet provider or checking the appropriate settings menu.
- Requires eSIM support. You can only use an eSIM card on devices that support the technology. Most newly-released phones support it, but you can easily check online and see if your smartphone is compatible.
- Most services don’t grant a virtual phone number. The majority of eSIM providers for the USA only grant mobile data without a virtual phone number. That means you won’t be able to make phone calls and send SMS messages. You may have to pay extra and pass KYC verification if you need the latter features.
- Activating the eSIM. Your eSIM card will activate as soon as you’re in range of a suitable network, a.k .a. when you enter the United States. However, details may vary depending on the eSIM provider.
An eSIM for the US is a cheap and convenient way to access the internet in America with minimal effort. Firstly, you won’t have to worry about pricey roaming charges from your regular mobile internet provider. Secondly, you won’t have to buy a physical SIM card in the airport or search for one elsewhere while navigating in America without GPS assistance. Instead, you’ll have web access when your plane lands in the USA.
Our most recommended eSIM for the USA is Airalo. It offers various national and regional plans in the USA, North America, and elsewhere worldwide. The plan variety and the option to top-up existing ones means you’ll never run out of mobile data while traveling. Plus, you can grab plans that include data, calls, and texts for the complete experience.
What is the cheapest eSIM card for the USA?
Instabridge is the cheapest eSIM provider for the USA. It offers plans that cost only $3. Naturally, the low price means you only get 1GB of data for 7 days, but for frugal travelers, that’s more than enough. Plus, you’ll be transferred to the pay-as-you-go plan if you use up your data.
Can I use 5G on a USA eSIM card?
Yes, most eSIM cards for the USA support 5G connections. However, details may vary based on your provider and location. We recommend using , which provides 5G support in all 50 American states using T-Mobile and Verizon networks.
Which eSIM is best for the USA?
is the best eSIM for the USA. It offers many short-term and long-term plans to accommodate varying travel needs. Additionally, it ensures top speeds with 5G support across all 50 states. You can even choose plans that include data, call, and SMS support.