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Can I buy a USA prepaid eSIM for tourists online?

You can, but it is easier to get a travel eSIM from Nomad instead.

· 5 min read

Looking for ways to stay connected for your next trip to America? One of the best ways to do that would be to get a data eSIM for USA! The beauty of eSIMs are that they are convenient, and that you don't need a physical SIM card to stay connected. And since eSIMs are virtual SIMs, it is no surprise that there is an expectation that eSIMs can be bought online, without ever having to visit a physical store.

Most of the time, eSIMs can be bought online. But the installation and activation process is not always straightforward. In fact, if you are a short-term traveler to USA, some eSIM options might prove to be too much of a hassle. Let's look at some of the options for how you can buy a USA eSIM online.


Can I buy a USA eSIM from Local Mobile Network Operators?

Major mobile network operators in the USA, like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, offer eSIMs for USA. While these local carriers do not offer tourist plans, a popular alternative is to simply get a prepaid plan. And yes, the major operators offer eSIMs for prepaid plans.

You can visit the official websites of the carriers to buy an eSIM online for your USA trip. If you are planning to get a prepaid plan from the major network providers, there are a few things you should note:

  • You can purchase your eSIM online, but activation may not always be straightforward. Some providers (AT&T) might send you the eSIM installation QR code via mail, so you have to place your orders early.
  • Some providers will automatically download the eSIM to your device after you have connected to the network upon arrival. This means you will need to register your device at the point of purchase.
  • Some providers, like T-mobile, will need you to make your purchase using the device that you will be installing the eSIM on. T-mobile also requires you to install their T-mobile prepaid eSIM app for the installation process.

Essentially, how you buy, install, and activate your eSIM for USA varies from provider to provider. In fact, it could also vary depending on your:

  • Device brand
  • Device OS

Before making your purchase, be sure to read the installation and activation instructions. Make sure to also check that your device is compatible with the network bands of the local carriers.

Get an eSIM online from providers of travel eSIMs

For a more straightforward approach, consider getting an eSIM from a provider of travel eSIMs. These providers make it easy for you to buy your eSIM online, drawing out the full potential of the convenience of eSIMs. There are many providers of travel eSIMs offering international travel eSIMs across many countries globally. One such provider is Nomad.

Why you should get a Nomad eSIM for your USA travels

Buying an eSIM online from Nomad is much more straightforward than if you were to get it from a local carrier:

  • Receive your installation kit fast: You can buy an eSIM online and get your installation QR code via email. You will receive your QR code almost immediately after you complete your purchase.
  • Seamless installation and activation of your eSIM: Install your eSIM at your own convenience. Activate your eSIM without ever having to speak to customer service. Take note that you need WiFi for eSIM installation.
  • Device agnostic: You can buy your eSIM data plan for USA on one device, and install it on another. The device you will be using your eSIM on is not tied to the device you used for purchase. You also do not need to register your device. However, you do need to make sure that the device using the eSIM is eSIM-compatible.
  • App-free, if you don't want to download an app: Nomad has mobile apps available on iOS and Android for better convenience. But if you don't want to download an additional app, you can still do everything on the web store! You can buy your eSIM on the Nomad web store, and even track your data usage on the web store.
  • Multiple networks: Nomad's eSIMs work with AT&T and Verizon's networks. The eSIM plan is not limited to just a single network, and will automatically hook on to the stronger network. You no longer need to worry about the lack of network coverage or bad internet connection during your travels.
  • Buy just what you need: Nomad offers a variety of eSIM data plans for USA. You will be able to find a plan that is suitable for your data usage habits and travel duration! And if you ever run out of data, you can simply purchase an add-on and continue to stay connected using the same eSIM.

Okay, that sounds good. But what is the catch?

One of the limitations that you should be aware of is that Nomad's eSIMs are data-only. This means that calls and texting are not possible with Nomad's eSIMs.

But, today, it is possible to stay connected even if you can't make and receive calls or send texts via cell. VoIP, social media, and messaging apps that you already use is your answer to staying connected without the ability to make calls and send SMSes via cell.

But, if you really need a number to send and receive SMSes, Nomad also offers SMS plans for USA.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will using a Nomad eSIM change the phone number of my iMessage and Whatsapp?

No, it will not! You can retain your primary phone number for your iMessage, Whatsapp, and all your other messaging app. Simply choose not to change your phone number when prompted.

2. Can I use my physical SIM card together with the Nomad eSIM?

Yes, you can. You can keep your physical SIM card in your device, while using a Nomad eSIM for your data needs in USA. Remember to set your Nomad eSIM as your data eSIM from your device settings to avoid roaming charges on your primary SIM card.

3. Can I use hotspot with Nomad eSIM?

Yes, Nomad's eSIMs come with support for hotspot / tethering.

4. What are the additional costs associated with Nomad eSIM?

There are no hidden costs associated with Nomad eSIM. The price that you see on the eSIM plan is what you will have to pay.

Get a Nomad travel eSIM for USA

Nomad provides a variety of eSIM data plans for USA at affordable rates from as low as USD1.60/GB. Nomad's eSIMs will automatically connect to the strongest networks, providing stable coverage as you travel through USA.

It's easy to get a Nomad eSIM. Simply create an account on the Nomad Web Store or iOS/Android apps, find a plan that is suitable for your needs, and proceed with the check out! Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email that includes the installation and activation instructions for your plan.

We recommend that you buy and install your eSIM before you fly. You will need a stable internet connection to purchase and install your eSIM. Buying your eSIM ahead of time will remove the stress of not getting connectivity at the destination airport.

And in case you need a number to send or receive text messages while in USA, Nomad also offers SMS plans for USA.