If you are planning a trip overseas and want to take a mobile (cell phone), then it's wise to look into getting local SIM Cards for destinations you are visiting. Not only will you save money on making calls but you will also be able to receive calls for FREE in most countries!
Taking a mobile phone with you while travelling has been a very expensive and often complicated option. Not only do you have to pay a lot more than normal for making and receiving calls, but large parts of the world do not use the same mobile standard, often making your mobile from home worthless overseas. On top of this, if your mobile does work overseas, you might find that your travel insurance company won't cover any costs associated with it being stolen while you are travelling making it considerably less interesting to take your new expensive mobile with you on your round-the-world trip. Although renting mobile phones is usually an option, with prices for rentals ranging from US$29-$59 per week and per minute charges ranging from US$1.50-$5 per minute for both your incoming and outgoing calls, this gets expensive very quickly however.
For those travellers that are thinking of using a mobile overseas and who don't want to pay the extreme 'roaming' costs of taking their GSM mobile from home, prepaid (or 'Pay As You Go') SIM cards for your travelling destinations can be a huge cost saver. And now you can buy them before you leave home making it a lot easier to make sure everyone has your right number(s) while you are travelling!
In an attempt to help you in your research, Travellerspoint has taken the time to compare three of the prepaid SIM card providers available online. These companies will ship internationally and offer a large range of SIM cards for different countries or regions. They can conveniently be purchased online.
We have highlighted the areas that we believe each prepaid SIM card provider excels in. You are strongly recommended to check directly with each of these providers to have a thorough understanding of the differences between them and any specials, changes or discounts there might be.
||USA||USA, UK, Australia||Australia|
|Worldwide Delivery||Yes||No (15 countries)||Yes|
|USA Shipping Costs||US $5||US $20+||Free|
|International Shipping Costs||US $5||varies||Free|
|Number of countries
(region/global SIM cards)
|Number of countries
(country specific SIM cards)
|Telephone Customer Service||Yes (English)|
|Yes (6 Languages)|
|GSM phones (Unlocked)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Global SIM Card
(one SIM card for multiple countries)
|Global SIM Cost||US $19 inc US $10 credit||US $34.80 inc £36 credit||AU $29 inc AU $10 credit|
|Global SIM - Calls from||US $0.49/min||US $0.45/min||AU $0.20/min|
|Global SIM - SMS from||US $0.69||US $0.15||AU $0.16|
|Global SIM - Data from||US $0.49/MB||US $0.58/MB||AU $0.02/MB|
|Delivery Times||1 day||1-3 days||5 days|
* this chart serves as a COMPARISON ONLY and is not legally binding. Please consult each company individually to determine exactly what they offer.
Telestial, ekit and dataGO all offer global SIM cards. Starting at just US$ 9 (with credit included!), these cards represent good value for travellers interested in having only one SIM card and phone number to cover multiple countries, whilst keeping roaming charges in check.
For those not interested in travelling with a mobile, calling cards are a great way to call home cheaply. Consider these benefits:
We've compared two popular calling cards to illustrate some benefits. Visit the International Calling Cards page for details. Or visit both providers directly to compare for yourself.