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Prepaid SIM card for North America: Where to Buy in 2024?

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the best SIM card for North America. You will read about prices, and more


January 1, 2024

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In this article, we are going to present you with the best options you can have to stay connected during your trip to North America. If you are not related to the topic, you can opt for a prepaid SIM card that works for an entire continent. This solution of a multi-country coverage SIM card is a cheaper alternative to the international roaming that you could use with your local operator. So if you are planning to visit the USA, Canada, or Mexico, you have come to the right place to know where and how to buy your SIM card for North America.

We will also give you information about the new technology available; these are the virtual SIM cards for North America with which you will enjoy better benefits. You need to have a compatible mobile phone, and you will have access to the easiest and fastest way to stay connected.

eSIM for North America

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Where can I buy a SIM card for North America?

We are going to help you find out how and where you can purchase your tourists SIM card for North America. But first, you must keep in mind what your needs are because there are many options available. There are alternatives such as pocket wifi or using public wifi networks to maintain your internet connection, which represents higher costs and even insecurity for your Information. It is not common to find solutions with coverage in multiple countries, and this is why SIM cards are gaining ground in the market.

tourists using their cell phone in north america
Tourists use their cell phones. Source:

Now that you know the importance of having your own internet connection through a SIM for North America, we will tell you where you can buy it. Basically, travelers have two ways to go, each with its own advantages and conditions. To these solutions, we also want to add the eSIM or virtual SIM card with which you can take better advantage.

  • Buy them before your travel through online stores that offer prepaid SIM card services with coverage in North America. You will get an eSIM that works in the USA, Mexico, and Canada.
  • Another option is to buy it once you arrive at your destination through local telephone companies or authorized agents.

The new advance and solution for many tourists are virtual SIM cards. Many stores, such as Holafly, offer an eSIM North America and multiple destinations worldwide.

Buy before you travel

Within the experience among travelers, the recommendation is to buy your prepaid SIM card before you start your adventure. Doing so has important benefits, so if you can solve this task before, you will be saving time and money. Nowadays, it is very easy to buy a SIM card through an online store, and search for your destination, and you have many options. Before choosing any of the stores, you should always confirm beforehand what speed and coverage you will have available in North America and find out if there are any usage policies. 

You should also consider that this prepaid SIM card is physical and must be sent to your address. This sometimes takes time, so be prepared. Many times, providers will add this as an extra cost, so be sure of what amount you will be paying. A clear solution to this is buying a virtual SIM card. You will not have to wait for any shipping, the activation is almost immediate, and they are less expensive.

Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling

In either case, whether you choose the physical or virtual SIM card, if you are buying it before your trip, you will have benefits such as:

  • Be always connected – You will have your SIM card before you arrive in the country, so you can activate and use it from the first moment you land in North America.
  • Multi-country options – Many providers offer SIM card options with coverage in multiple countries, such as physical and virtual SIM cards for North America, which work in the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Don’t waste time – If you are moving from one country to another, locating local stores in each country will be a hassle to purchase a SIM card. Having it beforehand means you will no longer have to deal with this task.
  • No getting lost in languages – Shopping is always a little more difficult when you are not fluent in Spanish, English, or French. Online stores have multilingual customer service available.

For these reasons, we recommend purchasing your SIM cards before your trip to North America starts. It is the most practical way to have an internet connection during your experience.

Buy your tourist SIM card in North America

Despite all the benefits of buying your SIM card before arrival, you can also purchase this service in the physical stores of local operators. Sometimes there are also options available at major airports, but in this way, it is more difficult to find multi-country solutions. With this in mind, we will talk about the operators that work in North America.

AT&T SIM card

This US-based operator offers prepaid SIM cards, which have coverage in Mexico and Canada as well. In all versions, the packages include unlimited calls and messages. Additionally, you will be connected to 5G networks whenever available but are subject to 2G off-net data speeds.

These prepaid SIM cards allow you to share data with other devices and roll over unused data. Any of the selected plans will auto-renew as long as you have sufficient credit. Finally, you can bring your own phone to activate the prepaid SIM card or get an eSIM for US from AT&T.

T-Mobile SIM card for North America

This is another major operator that works in the US and also offers a prepaid SIM card with coverage in Mexico and Canada. In this case, they offer a base plan with coverage in the USA, and for an additional 5$, you can extend it with coverage in other destinations in North America. However, only the first 5GB of usage outside the USA will be at 4G LTE speeds. After that, there will be a reduction to 128Kbps. Their packages also have unlimited calls and messages within the three countries at no additional cost. As an additional feature, you can use music apps that will not consume data from your plan, and you have the possibility mobile hotspot with your phone. 

Telcel SIM card for North America

It is known as the largest phone operator in Mexico and offers its customers SIM card options with coverage in Canada and the USA. Their packages offer unlimited calls, messages, and WhatsApp within the three destinations. Locally, if you are in Mexico, you have social networks free of data usage. The options available range from 50MB for one day to more complete plans of 6GB for use in 30 days. With these prepaid SIM cards, you will be connected to 4G and 5G speeds while they are available, although you will be subject to usage policies.

How much does a prepaid SIM card for internet in North America cost?

As you may have noticed, there are many service providers in North America, but not all of them offer packages with coverage in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. For this reason, the price range in what you can expect to find is a bit high. Prepaid SIM cards for North America can range from $30 for very basic versions and up to $60 for mid-range solutions. We would also like to remind you that you will have to wait until you arrive in one of these countries to be able to purchase them. In either case, you will need to provide your personal information to proceed with the purchase.

Holafly virtual SIM card for North America: a great alternative

eSIM for North America
Holafly eSIM card for North America with unlimited data.

We have given you a lot of information about physical SIM cards, but it is time to learn about virtual SIM cards and see how they can make things easier for you. They are the new technology in communications and bring a digital migration from the typical physical chips. With this evolution on the horizon, we have multiple benefits, such as greater flexibility and much faster activation on your phone.

Online stores like Holafly offer virtual SIM cards with North American coverage that are ideal for your visit and are just a few clicks away. You just need to have a compatible phone, and you can enjoy the best way to stay connected to the internet and with immediate delivery anywhere in the world you are. To give you even more insight into the eSIM for North America, we will take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and disadvantages of Virtual SIM cards


  • A faster solution.

The process of purchasing and activating a Holafly virtual SIM card for North America takes no more than a few minutes. Simply access the online store, select the product of the region, and after your purchase, you will be able to activate your eSIM via a QR received in your email.

  • A solution with more reach.

Like any other online purchase, you can make it at any time and anywhere with internet access. It also has the great advantage of having immediate delivery, so you will not have to wait for the arrival of a physical SIM.

  • A greener solution.

The change from physical chips to virtual chips will reduce the mass production and material consumption of these devices.

  • Unlimited data plans

One of the best advantages of Holafly is its unlimited data plans for this region. This is the best option if you are a tourist and need to stay connected without worrying.

  • Multi-country coverage

Rather than needing to check a Mexican eSIM card or a USA virtual SIM, people can simply buy the North American eSIM and travel to all these destinations and stay connected without spending more money,


  • Reduced compatibility.

Virtual SIM card is a new technology in incorporation, so not all mobile phones are compatible with them. You must confirm that yours is compatible and to make it easier, we leave you an updated list of eligible phones for the service.

Anyway, you should know that this virtual card does not include a local number, so you won’t be able to make calls or send texts. 

How much does a Holafly virtual SIM card for North America cost?

Currently, the virtual card for North America has eight plans available:

Days of UseMobile DataPrice (USD)
5 DaysUnlimited data27 USD
7 DaysUnlimited data34 USD
10 DaysUnlimited data44 USD
15 DaysUnlimited data54 USD
20 DaysUnlimited data64 USD
30 DaysUnlimited data87 USD
60 DaysUnlimited data144 USD
90 DaysUnlimited data214 USD
Table 1. Price comparison of the different eSIM plans of Holafly

The Holafly eSIM for North America is a great option for people traveling to these three countries. Once you arrive at your destination you won’t have to worry about buying a SIM card because you will already have it.

Frequent questions about the best SIM card for North America

How can I have an internet connection in North America?

You can buy a SIM card from a national operator when you land or use an eSIM like the one Holafly offers. Either way, you can also connect to public networks.

How much does a SIM card for North America cost?

The price of a SIM card for North America ranges from $27 to as much as $214. The price will depend on whether you purchase a physical or virtual SIM card, the provider, and of course, whether you will need delivery with a physical SIM.

What if I have a problem with my SIM card for North America? 

Depending on the type of service your operator offers, your problem can be solved. In the case of Holafly, they offer 24/7 service and support for their eSIM via chat or phone.

Why should I buy a SIM card for North America?

It is an excellent alternative to be connected all the time. By buying a physical or virtual SIM card, you will avoid paying for international roaming, and you will save time since you won’t have to look for Wifi networks.

Recommendations to buy the best SIM card for North America.

  • If you are not using your phone, turn off your data plan. This way, you will avoid consuming your data. 
  • Make sure your phone has unlocked bands so that it can connect to other networks.
  • Don’t download apps, games, or videos with your mobile data. This way, you will avoid consuming data from your plan. So download everything you need before your trip begins.

Alright, we have reached the end of this article. Hopefully, this information will help you pick the best SIM card for North America. There is no doubt that Holafly will give you an amazing experience with their eSIM. You won’t regret it!