So you are planning to go overseas… Maybe to Europe for business, South America to travel, Australia for surfing and fun, maybe India for a spiritual yogi retreat?
Anyway, you're going somewhere far far far away, but you need and to keep in touch with home and your colleagues. You've heard all about how expensive roaming can be if you take your usual SIM card with you, so you've done the sensible thing and looked at international SIM cards. Job done. But are all international SIM cards the same or are there pitfalls you should avoid?
Is it a lifetime SIM card?
Most of them rely on a contract. Meaning it has a date of expiration. You might prefer a lifetime SIM card, with no contract, no agreement, so you can be free to recharge it, everytime and everywhere you fly. Beware of hidden costs!
Are incoming calls free?
In the US, incoming calls and text messages are often chargeable. That's not always the case in other countries, especially Europe. Therefore, if you can choose an international SIM card that offers free incoming calls then you can often stay in touch more cheaply by sending a text message and getting someone to call you. Some international sim cards actually offer free incoming calls.
Your phone may be incompatible or locked, check that!
Your phone won't necessarily work in all countries. If so, you'll need to get the phone unlocked before you can put in a SIM from a new network.
What about a data plan only?
This is always an option you should check, depending on where you're going. Because yes, who needs regular voice call today, when you can actually get in touch with your friends, family, lovers, colleagues through Whatsapp, Messenger, Skype, Viber, Facebook… and so much more. If you have a solid internet, you won't actually need an expensive package. What you can do as well, is buying a pocket wifi hotspot. Let's say you're in India, and internet is not good everywhere, this little technological and quite cheap object will be a life saver!
Check for inflated call rates, especially to “local” numbers
Some international SIM cards offer really competitive headline rates, but these may only be for certain countries and certain call types ... Make sure to check the call types for the countries you'll be visiting.
Our advice: switch now to Global Mobile, don't be a puppet.