Are you traveling to the US for the first time and you will need mobile data on your trip?
Or perhaps you’re simply looking for an easier and cheaper way to connect to the internet while in the States?
Using an E-sim is in our opinion the best choice for short stays in the USA, as you can order it from anywhere, it’s hassle-free to install, and convenient too!
Forget the annoying experiences of going to a shop, getting a prepaid sim-card, finding a needle to open the phone, switching SIM cards, and losing your old SIM in the process (yeah, this is what always happened to me, and what grew my hate for switching SIM cards when abroad!)… this all belongs to the past!
In this short and crisp article, we want to share with you the most important info you should know about choosing and using an eSIM in the USA.
What is an eSim? Why it’s convenient? How does it work? Here you’ll find it all!
At the end of the article, we will also suggest you check out our favorite eSIM USA provider, which could save you a good time, money, and stress 😉
Let’s dive right in!
1. What is an E-Sim Card?
1.1 What is an E-Sim in Short?
An eSIM, short for “embedded SIM“, is a digital or electronic SIM card that is embedded directly into a mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch.
Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, which are removable and can be replaced, eSIMs are built into the device during manufacturing and are not physically interchangeable.
1.2 How do you use an E-Sim Card?
Many people get scared when facing new technologies, and that goes with E-Sims too! Well… you don’t have to!
Installing and setting up the E-sim is a pretty straightforward process and I can promise you that once you have tried an E-Sim once, you’ll love it way more than any traditional SIM card (which personally, I repeat, I HATE, HATE, HATE!).
In order, to install an E-sim on your phone, you need to do is:
- Check Device Compatibility: Only new phones support eSIM technology. Most modern smartphones and tablets released after 2020 support eSIMs. You can usually find information about eSIM compatibility in your device’s settings, manual or online.
- Obtain an eSIM: You can obtain an eSIM from a mobile carrier or through an eSIM provider. Some carriers offer eSIM plans, and there are also third-party eSIM providers that offer data plans for international travel or as an alternative to traditional carriers.
- Activate the eSIM: when you purchase an eSIM, after signing up for a data plan, you’ll be emailed the activation instructions and related codes/QRs/Activation Links (the procedure to install the E-Sim might be slightly different from carrier to carrier).
- Use the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using it as you would with a physical SIM card: for calls, messages, and data. You can also choose between a physical SIM and an E-Sim which to use for any given action (es. data through the E-Sim, receiving calls from the original SIM to maintain your number, etc.).
1.3 What are the advantages of using an E-Sim Card?
Choosing an E-SIM offers several advantages over a physical SIM, the major ones being:
- Convenient: You don’t have to get it shipped or from a shop: everything is made online!
- Fast: you can activate it instantly after purchasing, no need for needles or waiting for activation!
- Top-up Online: wanna change plan? From your account is easy and fast!
- Sustainable: you’re not buying anything physical, thus reducing the e-waste you would create with a real SIM
- Multiple Profiles: you can switch between more E-sims, carriers, and plans with ease.
2. Understanding eSIM Compatibility in USA
2.1. Are eSIMs Available in the USA?
Yes, of course, eSIM is widely available in the USA!
Most major mobile operators, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, offer eSIMs.
You can also buy an eSIM from a third-party provider, such as Gohub.
2.2. Does your phone support eSIM?
Here’s a brief summarised list of e-sim compatible phones from Apple, Samsung, Google, and Oppo:
- iPhone: iPhone SE (2020), SE (2022), XS/XR, series iPhone 11, series iPhone 12, series iPhone 13, series iPhone 14, series iPhone 15 (and newer)
- Samsung: series Galaxy S20, series Galaxy Fold, series Galaxy Z Flip
- Google: Pixel 3a (and newer)
- OPPO: Find X3 Pro (and newer), Find X3 (and newer)
- For more details, you can check this list
The linked eSIM-supported device list is updated every day (as more phones are being thrown into the market!).
If you’re in doubt, your best bet is to ask directly to your phone provider directly or search online the following: “Is (phone model) esim compatible?”.
Note: sadly, older phones which are not e-sim compatible cannot be upgraded in any way to be e-sim compatible, as the e-sim is built within the phone the moment it is manufactured and cannot be added afterwards.
3. How to Get the Best eSIM USA?
3.1. Where to buy the best eSIM USA for travel?
After extensive research and price comparisons, we came to the conclusion that to get the best eSIM prices and more suitable options, the best choice is to buy from third-party eSIM providers.
Compared to traditional phone companies, which tailor their offers mainly to the domestic market, third-party E-sim providers offer more affordable, flexible prepaid plans designed especially for tourists.
The other upside is that these providers often cover multiple countries, so you don’t have to waste time hunting down a new SIM provider when you travel to another destination.
3.2. How much does an eSIM USA cost?
Gohub (esimgohub.com) is a reputable international travel SIM & eSIM provider that has been in business since 2018, It offer affordable data packages (remember that the US in general is a really expensive country!) and excellent coverage both in cities and remote federal lands.
They offer a variety of data packages for the United States, as well as 24/7 support to ensure you have the best experience while traveling:
- For Light Users: $18.19 for 5GB (valid for 15 days)
– Network Operator: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon
– Sharing (Hotspot/Tethering,..)
- For Average Users: 16.20 Euro for 1GB/Day (valid for 7 days)
- For Heavy Users: 114Euro for 2GB/DAY for 30 days (60GB per month)
- Besides these two options above, Gohub also offers a variety of data packages that you can customize to suit your trip.
After those full-speed data allowances are used up, you still get unlimited access, although at 128Kbps, so you’re never stuck high and dry (128Kbps is pretty crappy yes, but can make a difference between being able to reach out for a taxi or get stranded in the middle of the Texan cactuses! eh eh 😉
2.3. Tips to Choose an eSIM USA Plan?
Firstly ask yourself how often you use your phone (a light, moderate, or heavy user).
Then consider how long is your duration in US.
Now you’ve got a starting point to compare eSIM providers and plans.
Once you know where to start, check out the market by simpling googling “E-Sim Usa”.
The e-Sim market is new and vibrant, it’s changing fast and so are plans and offers!
Pro tip: if the sticker price looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Several times we got E-Sims that seemed a true deal, but then the coverage was awful and the speed a joke (as digital nomads, that’s our nightmare number one! arrrgh how much I hate it!).
Because of that, don’t just choose the cheapest eSIM plan, but place reliability and ease of use high in your priority list as they’re extremely important in a travel-friendly eSIM.
To ensure a smooth connection in the USA, all you should do is choose a reputable eSIM provider.
And here we are at the end of the article!
In conclusion, if your device is eSIM-compatible, using an eSIM can be a cost-effective solution for your travels, also in the US!
The process of purchasing, installing, and using them is hassle-free (and if you ask me, a much better experience than those hateful annoying SIM cards that I always lose!).
We had a great experience with Gohub, and we would like to suggest them to anyone considering eSIM for future journeys.
After reaching GoHub out to thank them, they also decided to offer a 20% discount on the first purchase for our readers, so enjoy ;D
Before going, I would like to ask you:
- What do you think about the article?
- Have you ever used an E-Sim before? How was your experience?
- Do you have any tips you would like to leave for future readers?
If you’d like to share your experience, we would be happy to hear it! 🙂
So please, let us know in the comments below!
Thank you a lot for reading, and as always…
See you in the next article! 🙂
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