How an eSIM can help you avoid roaming charges on an iPhone

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No one wants to face a massive phone bill when they get home from an international trip. If you’re looking for a way to avoid roaming fees on your iPhone, electronic SIM cards (or eSIMs) are a quick and easy solution.

Let’s walk through how to avoid roaming charges with an iPhone eSIM. We’ll also go over how to turn off roaming on your iPhone to avoid unexpected charges.

What are roaming charges?

Phone networks are limited to individual countries. When you leave the country, your phone carrier must connect your device to a different carrier’s network, so you can keep getting service. But there’s a cost for this, known as a roaming fee, which you’ll have to pay.

Roaming fees are usually charged by the minute (pay-as-you-go) or per day. As of the time of writing, Rogers charges $12 per day of roaming in the United States or $15 per day of roaming in many other countries. Likewise, $12 Telus charges $14 per day of roaming in the United States or $16 per day of roaming in 200+ other countries.

Say goodbye to roaming fees with an eSIM for iPhone

Stop losing cash to roaming fees. When you get an eSIM for your iPhone, you can cut out roaming fees and travel without worrying about service disruptions when you change countries.

Unlike physical SIM cards, eSIMs are built directly into the hardware of devices. Waiting line at the store to buy a SIM card or waiting for one to be shipped to your house is a thing of the past. An eSIM card can be purchased online and installed from home.

The price you’ll pay for an eSIM plan depends on how much data you need, your destination country, the length of your stay, and other factors. eSIMs cost as little as a few dollars for a day and less than 1GB of data or as much as $100+ for 365 days of travel and unlimited data.

How to get and activate an eSIM on an iPhone

  1. Is your iPhone eSIM compatible? Most new iPhones are eSIM compatible, but you can view a list of eSIM-compatible iPhones here.
  2. Select an eSIM plan. Compare iPhone eSIM plans on simbud to find the plan you need for your destination. Check out popular providers like Nomad, Airalo, and Felxiroam.
  3. Activate your eSIM. To activate an eSIM on an iPhone, you’ll usually need a QR code from your carrier. Once you have this, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Add Data Plan.
  4. Use your iPhone. Congrats! You’re all good to go. Now you can travel abroad and enjoy seamless connectivity.

Popular eSIM providers for iPhone users

There’s no lack of options when you’re looking for an iPhone eSIM plan. We’ve put together a list of some of the more popular providers on the market:

How to turn off roaming on iPhone devices

It’s easy to disable roaming on iPhones. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings. Select the gear icon on the home screen.
  2. Turn on Cellular/Mobile Data. Select Cellular, Cellular Data, or Mobile Data near the top of the menu. Turn on Cellular Data by toggling the switch.
  3. Go to Cellular Data Options. Select Cellular Data Options near the top of the screen.
  4. Turn off Data Roaming. Toggle the Data Roaming switch to turn it off (if it’s not already off).

It’s always a good idea to turn off roaming on your iPhone before you travel. Otherwise, you might be charged roaming fees without realizing it.


iPhone and Android users can get around roaming charges by using an eSIM plan when traveling. Pre-installed on most new iPhone models, eSIMs can be activated from anywhere and are much more convenient than physical SIM cards. Additionally, it’s easy to switch eSIM plans when switching countries.

Learn more about the difference between eSIMs and physical SIM cards here.

No. You’ll be charged roaming fees if your carrier needs to connect to a foreign network. Using Wi-Fi, you can connect to the internet on your iPhone (usually for free) without using roaming data.

Yes, going on Airplane Mode prevents your phone from connecting to mobile networks. This makes it impossible to activate roaming. To keep using your phone without enabling roaming, you’ll need a new physical SIM card or eSIM.


Stop worrying about how to stay connected with friends and family when traveling abroad. Use an eSIM on your iPhone to enjoy international network access and avoid crazy roaming charges. Most new iPhone models support eSIMs, and you’ve got plenty of eSIM plans to choose from regardless of where you’re going and how much data you need.