Best international sim card to use
April 20, 2010 2:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm heading to Sweden and Denmark in a week (volcano willing) and will need a cell phone while I'm traveling about for 2 weeks. I'm been looking at a number of different sim card providers, but reviews seem to almost always include someone saying how badly they were cheated. I need this phone to call people soon after I land (and depending on where my flight gets re-routed, it might be key), and was hoping to be able to call the U.S. once or twice. Has anyone had any experiences with any good international sim card providers where they weren't horribly gouged?
posted by redbeard to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can't you just sign on to your carrier's international plan? Particularly if you're not buying data roaming, I think they're reasonable enough, and there's no fuss. I've done this with ATT and a dual band Sprint, and been relatively satisfied.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:16 PM on April 20, 2010

Is it critical for you to use your existing US phone? Would just renting a cell from TravelCell or a SIMilar outfit work?
posted by yiftach at 2:25 PM on April 20, 2010

I don't even have a GSM phone - I was going to buy an inexpensive one. But if rental is better...

(and Verizon doesn't cover Sweden)
posted by redbeard at 2:29 PM on April 20, 2010

I've had good luck with They'll sell you a $29 SIM card and a cheap unlocked GSM phone; rates are kinda steep (50 cents/minute for incoming calls, $1/minute to call the US), but it's a solution that "just works."

One note of caution, though: if you use the Callineurope phone to call someone not in the US or Europe (e.g. Africa, Asia, etc), or to originate a call from outside Europe, you will get gouged with a $5/minute rate.

For future trips, keep in mind that it's almost always cheapest to just buy a local pre-paid SIM (to use in your own unlocked GSM phone) when you get there. But since you don't currently own a phone, and you need to make important phone calls immediately upon deplaning, buying a pre-packaged deal might work best for you.
posted by Dimpy at 4:16 PM on April 20, 2010

I was in Germany last month and got a blauworld SIM card and used it with my unlocked GSM phone. I primarily used it to call the U.S., and it worked great for that. It was only 7.9 eurocents/min for calls to USA, and all incoming calls were free while I was in Germany. So cheap! My wife was able to call me from the US using vonage and google voice for real cheap.

I checked their site, and it says you can use it in other countries as well, but the "roaming rates" are higher -- €0.22 euro/min incoming and €1.49 euro/min outgoing (to US or Europe).

The €10 starter pack comes with around €10 free calling time (essentially a free SIM card). The question remains as to how you will get one of these even if you want one -- I don't know if you can get this SIM card outside Germany.
posted by thewildgreen at 10:58 AM on April 21, 2010

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