With an iPhone, you can travel internationally and get the internet abroad easily – but don’t get ripped off. You should make sure you buy an affordable international SIM card for your iPhone before you travel abroad.
Let’s learn more!
International virtual SIM card
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How does an international SIM card work on iPhone?
International SIM cards work in iPhones exactly as a traditional SIM card, but with an international SIM, you can connect to the internet abroad and, in some cases, make and receive calls. You can buy an international SIM card in online stores or when you land at your destination.
We recommend buying an international SIM card before travel. It comes with cellular data at an affordable price from the moment you land, and if you have one of the new iPhone devices (iPhone 14), you could not get an international SIM card abroad since these new smartphones don’t support the traditional SIM cards, but you can purchase an international virtual SIM card or eSIM and enjoy your travel without connection problems.
Both alternatives (international SIM cards and eSIMs) are cheaper than the roaming services usually offered by your domestic local operator.
- Keep in mind that some iPhones have locked bands and cannot support an international SIM card or eSIM, you can check here if your iPhone is unlocked to use international SIM cards or eSIMs.
Where can I buy an international SIM card for iPhone?
As we mentioned before, there are two options for buying an international SIM card for the iPhone:
- Buy before you travel in online stores.
- Buy at your destination.
But which one should you choose? Let’s compare:
Advantages of buying before you go
- Internet connection the moment you land – perfect if you need to order a cab from the airport or use Google Maps.
- Order online from the comfort of your own home.
- Don’t get ripped off – some operators know that tourists will spend almost anything to get online (especially in a foreign country). With an online store dedicated to travel, you can trust you’ll get the right price.
- Buy in your language – if you don’t know how to say “SIM card”, in Chinese, it might be challenging to get the right product.
Advantages of buying once you arrive
- More choices – you might find that at your destination, there are more data plans available to find the right fit for your trip.
You can buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card for tourists abroad in airports and at official stores from the leading operators in each country. For Example, in the USA, you can buy a SIM card for travelers with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, and in the UK, you can buy some of these SIM cards with Vodafone UK.
Virtual SIM cards for using iPhones internationally
A virtual SIM card or eSIM is a recently developed tech known for being easy to use and cheaper than other services, and as an iPhone user, you can take advantage of this new technology.
But how does an eSIM work?
The eSIMs work exactly as a traditional SIM card, but it’s completely digital, so you don’t need to insert anything into your iPhone.
Virtual SIM cards are the best way for travelers to get online. Why? Because there’s no need to go in person into a shop or sign contracts, and there’s no waiting around for shipping and delivery. You can just complete your purchase, and in a few minutes, the eSIM will be in your email! Easy-peasy.
The main eSIM disadvantage is that not all iPhone devices support eSIM, only the last-gen devices.
Can I use an international eSIM on my iPhone?
You can use an eSIM or virtual SIM card on any of the following devices:
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone SE 2 (2020)
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone SE 3 (2022)
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 14 Plus
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
Learn more about the devices compatible with eSIM in the following post: eSIM Supported Phones list, and if you are interested in knowing which smartwatches support eSIM, you can take a look here: Smartwatches compatible with eSIM.
How to set up an international virtual SIM card on iPhone?
- Turn on WiFi
- Click “Add new data plan” from your settings menu.
- Scan the QR code
- Install the eSIM and choose it as the option for cellular data.
- Turn on data roaming, and start browsing.
It’s as easy as that and only takes 3–4 minutes!
You can also transfer an eSIM from an iPhone to another. Check this post to learn how you can do so: How to transfer an eSIM from an iPhone to another?
Where can I use my iPhone to connect to the Internet abroad?
With an iPhone, you can enjoy many popular destinations abroad, such as:
- Fast internet connection with AT&T, perfect for your trip to the US
- Lower prices, so you don’t have to break the bank to get online
- The best option for a trip to Miami, New York, or any other part of the USA
- Fast internet for one of our favorite tourist Turkey destinations
- 4G speed throughout the country
- All for an affordable price
- 40 destinations with one eSIM – and all for the price of one!
- Connect to the best internet provider in each destination
- Options for up to a month, so you’re covered during your whole trip.
Discover all 100+ destinations at Holafly’s online store.