Best International Travel SIM Cards for Aussies
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Best International Travel SIM Cards for Aussies

Angelica Silva

Angelica Silva

25/11/2020 • 8 minute read

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Planning a relaxing girl’s getaway to a tropical paradise? Looking to hike across some of the world’s most beautiful terrain with the family? Or, are you wanting to get off the grid and have a moment of self-discovery? Whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure or an eat, pray, love experience, it’s important to check in with your friends and family while you’re tens of thousands of kilometres away. That’s where travel SIM cards come in handy.

We know some of you may be planning on escaping your digital bubble, but there’s nothing worse than being in a foreign place, unable to make or receive calls or messages and without access to the internet. Surely not ALL those travel snaps can be posted as #throwbacks.

International roaming services used to be the first option for people who travelled around the world. However, those roaming rates don’t come cheap. Thankfully, they led to the creation of something much cheaper and all-around easier- international SIM cards. If you find yourself frequently getting bitten by the travel bug and jetting off, an international SIM card will make your trip all the more seamless by allowing you to stay connected with the rest of the world while you wander around it. We’ve put together a list of the top international travel SIM cards for Aussies based on countries. Check it out!

What is the best travel SIM card?

The top travel SIM cards for you will depend on a range of factors. First, it’s important to understand that the cost, type, and process of buying a SIM varies significantly depending on your destination country. To save you the hassle of scouring the internet for this information, we’ve put together some key details on the most commonly travelled-to locations.

Please note, the information shown in the below table reflects the current situation within each region as of August 2020. Ensure you check options directly with your destination before making any final decisions.

International SIMs across the globe

European Union
  • 2G, 3G and 4G plans available.
  • Unlocked GSM phones only.
  • The EU has abolished roaming charges for SIM cards purchased within the EU.
  • ID and registration are required in most countries.
  • No devices are offered with SIM card packages. 
United Kingdom
  • 2G, 3G and 4G plans available.
  • Unlocked GSM phones only.
  • A passport is not required to purchase a SIM card. 
  • The UK is part of the EU roaming pact.
United States
  • 2G, 3G and 4G plans available.
  • CDMA and GSM platforms.
  • Both prepaid and pay-as-you-go plans available.
  • Most providers only offer prepaid SIM cards with devices
Asia
  • 2G, 3G and 4G plans available in most countries.
  • Unlocked GSM phones only.
  • Some of the cheapest SIM cards in the world.
  • Strict regulations and complicated rules in countries like India, China, and Bangladesh can slow down the process and make it harder to purchase a SIM.
  • Countries like China and Indonesia charge roaming rates when travelling to different provinces
New Zealand
  • 2G, 3G and 4G plans available.
  • Unlocked GSM phones only.
  • Only three major phone networks provide 4G coverage.
  • Some deals are only available for NZ residents.

*Information subject to change over time.

Now that you have a better idea of the requirements for purchasing a SIM card in different countries, let’s talk about some of the best options on the market.

Knowroaming

Knowroaming’s international SIM works with voice calls and texts, along with data. But what makes it stand out amongst its competitors is the special, little sticker it comes with. You use this sticker to place over your normal SIM card. And just like magic, it converts it into a prepaid international SIM. Once the sticker is applied and you’ve downloaded the Knowroaming app, you can start saving your hard-earned money on roaming charges in over 200 countries. 

What’s included?

  • The sticker costs $29.99
  • If you don’t want to use the sticker, Knowroaming also offers a regular international SIM card for $9.99, which works similarly to the sticker
  • Unlimited data plans are available in 125+ countries from $7.99 a day
  • You also receive free WhatsApp data for 30 days any time you purchase credit via the Knowroaming app

Find Out More @

Knowroaming

TravelSIM 

TravelSIM offers call, text and data options in more than 190 countries. You’re given one Australian number to use worldwide and can send free texts between other TravelSIM members.

What’s included?

  • A standard TravelSIM Starter pack with $5.00, data and SMS credit is available for $25.
  • You can then add any amount between $25 and $200 of credit.     
  • All credit lasts for six months – remaining credit rolls over if you recharge with $5 or more before its expiry 
  • TravelSIM is also available through Australia Post

Find Out More @

TravelSIM

Flexiroam

While most travel SIM cards require you to swap your regular domestic SIM card for a global version in order to roam internationally, Flexiroam allows you to continue using your regular SIM outside of Australia. The Flexiroam X is a thin microchip that you attach to your regular domestic SIM, then activate it through the Flexiroam mobile app. When you’re travelling, just switch to the available Flexiroam network – it’s that easy! Or should we say, it’s that FLEXIble? We’re not sorry.

What’s included?

  • You can access 4G data in 70 countries, and 3G in 80
  • While Flexiroam does not have texting allowance, you can make calls through the Flexiroam app and use the app similarly to WhatApp and text people using data

Find Out More @

Flexiroam

GigSky

With GigSky, gone are the days of physical travel SIM cards. No more spending minutes trying to pop open that tiny SIM card slot on the side of your phone. Thanks to groundbreaking eSIM technology in the latest iOS, Android, and Windows devices, GigSky allows you to instantly connect to global mobile data with the tap of a button. All you have to do is create a GigSky account, select your destination and choose the data plan that best suits your needs.

What’s included?

Rates will vary depending on the country, but data for many popular destinations is billed as follows: 

  • 15 Days Plan: 1 GB for $11.99
  • 30 Days Plan: 5 GB for $49.99 

GigSky will be more suitable for you If you only require a few gigabytes of data and don’t need to make calls or send texts.

Find Out More @

GigSky

Keepgo

Keepgo is a company that develops global connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and broadband devices. The IoT giant offers a range of travel SIM cards – physical and virtual. They also offer coverage in over 100 countries.

What’s included?

Lifetime Prepaid Data SIM Card – An international data SIM valid in 100+ countries

  • Includes 4G internet connection
  • Compatible with all unlocked devices, including iPads, tablets, wifi hotspots, dual SIM phones and laptops

GoFi Prepaid Data SIM Card – SIM card only for the USA and Europe

  • Can be used with free and paid local phone numbers in the USA and UK
  • Compatible with all unlocked devices, including iPads, tablets, wifi hotspots, dual SIM phones and laptops

Find Out More @

Keepgo

WorldSIM

Known as the pioneers of the international SIM card, WorldSIM certainly has the awards to back up that statement. Their prepaid international SIM card offers data, calls, and SMS plans. It works in 200 countries, and you can receive free incoming calls from family and friends in 118 countries. More good news – the SIM card itself is free! All you need to pay for is the credit or data bundle you want.  

What’s included?

  • Choose from WorldSIM’s international SIM card for phones, or their worldwide data SIM for tablets and portable wifi routers
  • Prepaid service – no contract
  • The SIM card is triple-pinched, meaning it will fit standard, micro and nano SIM card slots
  • The card itself is free – you only pay for the credit that you add to it
  • Any credit that you add to the card will not expire, as long as you use the card once a year 

Find Out More @

WorldSIM

Remember…

Whether you’re jetting off on the holiday of a lifetime or planning to get off the grid, you should always make sure you have the ability to stay connected with your family and friends. This means making sure you’ve got a solid international SIM card. The last thing you want is to fall into any trouble – lost passport, missed flight, stolen luggage – and not have any way to contact home. Hopefully our list of travel SIM cards has given you some ideas on what option may be best for you.

 

Want to know more helpful insights and tips on travel money?

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Oiyo is a consolidated online resource, we are not financial advisors. We work with a range of industry professionals and compliance check our articles to ensure factual accuracy. However, we do not provide professional financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented in this article relate to your unique circumstances.


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Angelica Silva

Written by Angelica Silva

Angelica Silva is a contributing writer for Oiyo. Over the years, Angelica has worked as a journalist for a range of publications with her work appearing in SBS, Business Insider, and Brown Girl Magazine. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts from the University of Queensland.

More about Angelica Silva

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