Find the best prepaid eSIM data plans

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No more fumbling with a tiny SIM card whenever you switch phones or carriers. An eSIM card is a digital SIM card. It’s purely electronic. Like a SIM card, an eSIM lets you activate a phone plan on your device. But unlike a SIM card, an eSIM is a part of your device’s hardware and can be updated remotely.

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If you have a compatible phone, download your carrier’s app or scan the QR code provided by your carrier to install an eSIM. If your carrier doesn’t support eSIMs, all you have to do is get your phone unlocked and buy an eSIM from another provider.

Once your new digital SIM card is installed, buy a data plan online and activate the card. That’s it! No trips to the store. No waiting in line to buy a new SIM card when you travel abroad. It’s that simple.

List of eSIM compatible phones

If you want to get a virtual SIM card, you’re probably wondering “Is my phone eSIM compatible?” Here’s a list of eSIM compatible phones as of 2023:

Phones that do NOT support eSIMs:
  • iPhones from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao (except for the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone SE 2020, and iPhone XS).
  • All Galaxy FE models and Galaxy phones from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
  • Samsung phones from South Korea except for the Galaxy S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, Z Flip4, and Z Fold4.
  • Huawei P40 Pro+ and all Huawei phones from China.

Get an eSIM plan in 4 simple steps:

1. Verify that you have an eSIM compatible phone

Before you buy, make sure your device supports eSIMs.

2. Select your country

Choose the destination you’re planning on visiting.

3. Select your data package​

Choose a package with the amount of data you’ll need for the length of your trip.

4. Pick a provider

Visit the provider’s website to buy the data plan you want.

Unlock amazing features with an eSIM

More secure than a SIM card

Physical SIM cards can get lost or stolen. An eSIM card is digital and can’t be taken out of your phone, which helps keep your data, photos, and messages from falling into the wrong hands.

Easy to get

Choose a data package online, install your eSIM card on your phone like an app, and start using it right away—no need to visit a store in person!


Many eSIM providers offer global packages with phone service in dozens of countries, so you don’t have to buy a new SIM card every time you travel. Explore regional packages, pay-as-you-go plans, frequent flyer offers and more.

How to activate an eSIM card

Connect to Wi-Fi

Make sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi.

Settings > Network & Mobile settings

Go to your network & mobile settings from your phone settings and follow the prompts to add a new data plan or network to your device.

Add a new plan or network


Settings > Mobile Data > Add Data Plan


Settings > Connections > SIM card manager > Add mobile plan

Scan the QR code

Scan the QR code provided by your carrier to complete the process.

To reassign eSIMs to a new device without getting a QR code from their carrier, iPhone users can use the eSIM Quick Transfer feature to reassign eSIMs to a new device following roughly the same steps.
Not all carriers support eSIM Quick Transfer, and you need to be using iOS 16 or later for it to work.

Explore popular providers
to find the best eSIM for international travel


Flexiroam provides seamless eSIM travel connectivity in 150+ countries. Stay connected without physical SIM cards using reliable, cost-effective plans and innovative technology.


Airalo is a eSIM travel marketplace offering a wide range of international SIM cards. With coverage in 190+ countries, Airalo provides convenient, instant, and affordable access to mobile data connectivity without physical SIMs.


Nomad offers hassle-free global eSIM solutions. Stay connected anywhere with reliable mobile data. Get an eSIM and travel around the world with Nomad's wide coverage and flexible, cost-effective connectivity.

Other popular international eSIM travel providers

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Are there any drawbacks to using an eSIM card?

Virtual SIM cards are super convenient, but there are some limitations. Not all phones are compatible with eSIMs. Although more eSIM compatible phones will likely hit the market in the future, you may have to invest in a more expensive model for now.

Even if you have a phone with eSIM-compatible hardware, your carrier may not offer eSIM plans. (Of course, an easy workaround is to get your phone unlocked and buy an eSIM card from another carrier.)

Switching phones might also be troublesome. Popping a physical SIM card out of one device and inserting it into another is relatively simple. But switching an eSIM to a new device isn’t as easy if your phone dies all of a sudden. On top of this, some carriers are still working out the bugs when it comes to changing networks with virtual SIM cards.

But convenience is hard to ignore. Available since 2016, virtual SIM cards aren’t new to the market and are steadily growing in popularity. Drawbacks notwithstanding, it looks like eSIMs are here to stay.

FAQs about eSIMs

eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, a fully digital SIM card that lets you activate a phone and/or data plan on your device using a memory chip built into the device’s hardware. An eSIM can be activated and transferred remotely—no need to handle (or risk losing!) a physical SIM card.
Not yet, but you can get eSIMs for travelling to many countries around the globe.
To check if your eSIM card is activated, go to your phone’s Settings, then go to your network & mobile data settings (Mobile Data for iPhones or Connections for Androids). If your eSIM is active, it will appear under the list of plans.

eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, and iSIM stands for integrated Subscriber Identity Module. The biggest difference between the two is that an eSIM is a chip with a dedicated spot in the phone’s hardware, while an iSIM is built into the modem in the phone’s processor and doesn’t require as much dedicated space.

Functionally, you won’t notice a difference between an eSIM and an iSIM. Both free up space normally occupied by a physical SIM card, allowing for upgraded parts or a more compact design.

To get an eSIM for international travel, check out the providers above, choose an eSIM plan with the coverage you need for your destination, purchase the plan and activate it by going to your phone’s settings and adding the eSIM to your list of available plans. Keep in mind that not all phones are compatible with eSIMs, and you’ll likely need a QR code from your eSIM provider to activate the plan.
Yes. The cheapest plans are often limited to a single region or country and are best suited for short-term trips. If you’re visiting multiple countries or want to use your phone internationally during layovers, it’s best to opt for an eSIM plan that comes with greater coverage, although you may end up paying more.
Yes, you can buy an eSIM plan from an international provider and use it on a phone from your domestic carrier. But your phone must be eSIM compatible. If you bought an international eSIM, your phone must be unlocked to activate the plan.
Yes, you need to unlock your phone to use an international eSIM or a physical SIM card from another country. Unlocking your phone allows you to use it with different carriers and networks, which you’ll need to do if you travel abroad.

eSIMs Guides