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This post lists some of the best SIM cards and plans that are suitable for travelers to New York City and the US who bring their own phone.

Here are some other posts you might find helpful.


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through the links below. This doesn't affect the price to you.


If you are coming to the U.S. for up to 3 weeks, this is a SIM card with great features for a good price.


  • Valid for 21 days
  • Unlimited data, with up to 2GB at 4G LTE speed
  • Unlimited domestic and international texting to 140+ countries & destinations
  • 1,000 minutes of domestic talk within the U.S.
  • your phone must be unlocked

Price: $30

How to purchase: 

To buy this online in advance, you must have a U.S. address which isn't the case for most tourists. So you will likely have to wait until you arrive in the U.S. to buy the card.

Fortunately, there are many T-Mobile stores everywhere. Find a location by visiting their website.




This card can be purchased online. It's available in 3 increments of time so you can choose a card for the amount of time you will be in the U.S.


  • prepaid SIM card; nano size only
  • available in 3 increments, 7-day, 14-day and 30 days
  • unlimited high-speed data, calls, and text messages in U.S.
  • data is 4G LTE on T-Mobile’s network
  • your phone must be GSM compatible
  • SIM card works with cell phones only; no ability to use mobile WiFi hotspots
  • may take 24 hours for T-Mobile to activate it

How to Purchase: 


This card offers cards for every budget and every size SIM card slot.

The card is valid for 3 months, but even if you are not staying here that long, you may find the 3G deal very good.




  • 3 months of unlimited talk & text and your choice of how many GB of 4G LTE data
  • 3 choices for the amount of 4G LTE data: 3GB, 5 GB, 10GB
  • 3 sizes: standard, micro, and nano
  • Mint Mobile has a 7-day money-back guarantee in case the card doesn’t work with your equipment.

Prices and how to purchase:


Straight Talk can support most brands of phones, including iPhones and Androids. You can see if your phone is compatible here.

These cards do not require a contract. You choose the amount of high-speed data. Once your data allotment is up, you’ll have unlimited data at slower 2G speeds.

All plans above $30 dollars come with unlimited talk and unlimited text.




  • $30/month – 1500 minutes, unlimited text, 100MB of data
  • $35/month - 5GB of data
  • $45/month - 5GB of data
  • See other plans here

Global Service Add-On:  $10 extra to be able to call internationally. Check their website for rates to countries.

How to purchase: Online from Straight Talk.


Their plans include International Talk minutes to any of the 80+ countries in their network. 

Check out their website to see a full list of countries and any restrictions. 

Note:  Make sure you check in advance that your phone is supported by this SIM card.


All plans come with: 

  • Unlimited Calling to USA & 80+ Intl Destinations
  • Unlimited Domestic and Global Text
  • $5.00 One-Time Intl Rollover Roaming Credit

Plans and Prices (all good for 30 days of use):

  • $19 Plan & Sim Kit
    • 1GB of 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Data at Lower Speeds
    • $1.50 Call Anywhere Credit
  • $23 Plan & Sim Kit
    • 2GB of 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Data at Lower Speeds
    • $1.50 Call Anywhere Credit
    • Mobile Hotspot Capable
  • $29 Plan & Sim Kit
    • 5GB of 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Data at Lower Speeds
    • $5.00 Call Anywhere Credit
    • Mobile Hotspot Capable  

How to purchase: Visit their website


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: October 3rd, 2021
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