Go back

Can you buy an eSIM for someone else?

Yes, you can!

· 3 min read

In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, the advent of eSIMs has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we connect and communicate, especially when we travel. As more people embrace the convenience of eSIMs, you might be wondering if you can help your travel buddy buy an eSIM while you are buying one for yourself.


Buying eSIMs for other people

If we were to look at it from a purely technical aspect, it is definitely possible to buy an eSIM for someone else. After all, the device that you use to purchase the eSIM does not necessarily have to be the device that you use your eSIM on; and it fundamentally doesn't differ much from how you can buy a physical SIM card and pass it on to someone else to use on their phones.

However, there may be certain restrictions in place that prevents you from purchasing an eSIM plan on behalf of another person. This is typically in the case of postpaid plans, or if you were to purchase an eSIM from a local telco.

Here are some factors that could affect whether or not you can buy an eSIM plan for someone else:

  • How the eSIMs are provisioned: Some telcos provision eSIMs via the devices' EID or IMEI number, instead of QR codes. In such cases, they will usually require that you purchase your eSIM using the exact device that you will be using the eSIM on.
  • Requirement for KYC: Many local telcos worldwide require that you provide a form of identification when purchasing an eSIM - or SIM card. In such cases, you might not be able to purchase an eSIM on behalf of someone else if you do not have their identity documents.

Can you buy a Nomad eSIM for someone else?

Yes, you can! The good news is that Nomad's eSIMs do not require KYC checks, and they can be installed through the scanning of QR codes!

After a successful purchase of a Nomad eSIM, you will receive an email that includes a QR code for your eSIM. You can install your eSIM by scanning that QR code on your phone.

That is to say that Nomad's eSIMs are device-agnostic. Neither does Nomad require you to submit identity documents — all you need to do is to create an account with Nomad!

If you are buying your eSIM for your friend that you are traveling with, all you have to do is to forward the QR code to your friend's email, and get your friend to install that eSIM on their device using the QR code!

Things to note if you are buying a Nomad eSIM for someone else

While it is definitely possible to buy an eSIM for someone else, there are some things that you should look out for.

Make sure that the recipient's phone is unlocked and eSIM-compatible

These are prerequisites for the eSIM to be usable, so you will want to check that they are able to use it before buying it for them!

Check the activation steps of the purchased plan

There are two ways to start Nomad's eSIM plans. In some scenarios, the eSIM plan will start automatically once the eSIM is connected to the local network; in other cases, you may need to manually start your plan from the Nomad app.

If you are gifting the eSIM to another person, you might want to get an eSIM that starts automatically once it connects to the local network. Otherwise, you will have to start the plan on behalf of them from the Manage page of your Nomad account.

You can reach out to Nomad's CS to confirm the activation method of a plan if you are unsure.

Only you can track the data usage of the eSIM

Typically, you will be able to track the data usage of your eSIM from the Manage page of your Nomad app.

However, if you will be gifting your purchased eSIM to another person, they will not be able to see how much data they have used unless they log in to your Nomad account.

Of course, they will still be able to track their usage using their phone settings! And, note that in case they need more data or to purchase add-ons for their plans, you will need to help them make that purchase from your account.

Share your Nomad referral code instead!

Instead of getting an eSIM on behalf of your friend, why not share your referral code with them! If they create an account with your referral code, they will be entitled to $3 off their first eSIM purchase; and you will also get a bonus 300 Nomad points!

Nomad offers data plans in over 165 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.50/GB.

If you are unsure about how much data you need for your trip, Nomad also has a Data Calculator that can help you find the plan that is most suitable for you. Also check out our blog post on data-saving tips when traveling to keep your data usage in check when traveling.