Using a UK mobile in USA

I thought I’d document my recent experience of getting a local SIM for my mobile phone for use in the USA whilst on holiday.

Best Buy – a US clone of Curry’s – offer a range of SIM only options. The SIMs ranged from 1$ up to about 10$ with no obvious difference. I went with the Total Wireless “Bring Your Own Phone” CDMA SIM Kit which was fine for  an iPhone 8. It cost $1+tax = $1.06 in Massachusetts.  I went on-line using wi-fi to add an unlimited voice/texts and 5GB data package lasting 1 month. This cost $38.42 and would have been a bit cheaper if I’d opted for auto-renew, but that sounded like a recipe for being charged when I forgot to cancel, so I didn’t.

It gave me a fully working phone on the Verizon network for under £30 for a month. I didn’t check the actual usage, but used the phone extensively for three and a half weeks without any problems.

The only glitch was having to list a US address and phone number, but I see no reason why you couldn’t just give a hotel or friend’s details – they didn’t get used or checked against the card used to pay. Actually getting the data to work involved a call to their customer service, and then sort of ignoring their printed instructions, but this didn’t take long.