We Compare Phone Carriers in the USA So You Don’t Have To
So, you’re planning a trip to The States? You’ve got your flights booked, your accommodation sorted, and your ESTA forms filled out. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to stay connected during your time overseas. You’re probably aware that the best option is to get yourself a trusty prepaid travel SIM card for USA that you can just pop in your phone and reap all the benefits of a prepaid phone plan as soon as your plane touches down.
However, there are plenty of providers to choose from! Just like you will have experienced with finding a cell phone provider at home, not all networks are made equal in America. It can be hard to know which one to choose, especially if you’ve never spent much time in the country at all. So, to help make it a little easier for you to make the important decision of deciding what cell phone carrier to get your next USA travel sim with, we compare the most popular brands in this article.
The Main Contenders
The most popular carriers in the USA are most likely going to be the first ones to consider: T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.
One of the biggest cell phone carriers in the US, T-Mobile is an excellent choice for picking a travel SIM. A prepaid T-Mobile travel sim will keep you connected with good coverage across both Hawaii and a vast amount of mainland America. Unless you’re going to be spending a lot of time in rural Idaho, Utah, Oregon or Washington, you shouldn’t have to worry about coverage one bit.
There are multiple T-Mobile plans available with SIM Corner, each with unlimited calls and texts (except with a data-only SIM for iPad), plenty of 4G data – choose from 6gb or unlimited, and mobile hot-spotting allowed. An excellent option to add to your phone for a sightseeing holiday or a couple’s getaway.
AT&T also shines as one of America’s best phone carriers. The absolute best for coverage, you’ll be able to use an AT&T SIM in 88.9% of the country. AT&T also has excellent data plans for both tablet and mobile. Get a SIM and plug it directly into your own phone, easy! If you’re going to need to keep the kids occupied for extended periods of time, these plans are ideal as you can hotspot them on long road trips, or give them the iPad and the Netflix when you want to have some downtime.
The last big mobile carrier is Verizon, which also provides excellent coverage and fast data plans. If you’re travelling to the US for a short period of time, this may not be such a popular tourist plan, as Verizon is usually only able to be used in conjunction with specific phones—mainly USA phone models. You don’t want to make the mistake of getting a Verizon SIM that doesn’t work in your NZ phone, so make sure you check before choosing this option.
Smaller Phone CarriersAgain, similar to here at home, the US offers a range of smaller phone carriers as well as big ones, and these run on one of the main phone networks but offer their own services. These include Metro and Ultra, which both run on the T-Mobile network.
Although these smaller plans use the T-Mobile network, they may have particular restraints placed on them to subsidise the value in price that they provide. For example, they may not carry across the whole network, and coverage may be thin in a lot of places. Metro also limits the use of Video streaming in its data plans. If you’re going to look into these options, you’re going to want to be careful about a few limitations and restraints.
For these reasons and others, we always recommend you to choose one of the main carriers over a smaller one. The network and data quality you’ll receive will outweigh any savings you made on price.