In today’s hyper-connected world, staying in touch while traveling is a priority for every tourist. Verizon, a leading telecommunications giant, offers both traditional SIM cards and advanced eSIM technology to ensure tourists experience uninterrupted connectivity. In this article, we will dig deeper into the world of Verizon US SIM cards and eSIM.
Table of Contents
I. Quick Facts about Verizon
Here are quick facts about Verizon you should know:
- Verizon Communications is a U.S. telecom operator headquartered in New York.
- One of the top three telecom operators in the U.S., generating about $137 billion in revenue in 2022.
- Surpassed AT&T in revenue to become the largest U.S. telecom operator in 2022.
- Reported over 143 million wireless retail connections and nearly 9 million fixed broadband connections in 2022.
- Ranked as the most valuable telecom brand globally.
- Provides mobile services nationwide through its wireless network, previously known as Verizon Wireless.
- Offers fixed-line services like fiber-optic broadband and TV through the Verizon Fios brand.
II. Verizon Coverage and Speed in the USA
As one of the three leading mobile operators in the USA, Verizon is recognized for its expansive coverage and dependable service. You can refer to the Verizon coverage map in the image below:
According to data from OpenSignal, Verizon’s 5G availability stands at only 9.8%. This means that Verizon users only have a 5G connection 9.8% of the time. This number is significantly lower than T-Mobile’s 5G availability of 57.9% and AT&T’s 20.7%.
Note: T-Mobile has the largest 5G network in the US, with 5G coverage that surpasses the combined coverage of Verizon and AT&T.
In terms of mobile network speed, Verizon’s performance is also not exceptionally impressive.
As per a report from OpenSignal, Verizon’s average download speed is only 34.3 Mbps, making it the slowest among the top three carriers. In comparison, T-Mobile’s average download speed is 97.1 Mbps, and AT&T’s is 40.1 Mbps.
Regarding average upload speed, Verizon ranks second, with an average upload speed of 8.3 Mbps, just behind T-Mobile’s 11.7 Mbps.
On the 5G network, Verizon’s average download speed significantly boosts, reaching 96.3 Mbps, surpassing AT&T’s 80 Mbps. However, it still lags behind T-Mobile’s leading average 5G download speed of 195.5 Mbps.
However, Verizon excels in terms of average 5G upload speed, reaching 18.5 Mbps. In comparison, T-Mobile achieves an average upload speed of 18.2 Mbps, while AT&T lags behind with an average upload speed of 12.1 Mbps.
Note: Although Verizon offers extensive coverage across the US, its 5G coverage is relatively limited. Additionally, Verizon falls behind T-Mobile’s superior performance regarding mobile network speed.
III. Verizon vs. Other USA Mobile Operators
According to OpenSignal’s report, Verizon only came out on top in one category: Voice App Experience. On the other hand, T-Mobile excels in most categories.
However, when focusing solely on 5G networks, Verizon is the leader in most categories, winning in five categories, including 5G Video Experience, 5G Live Video Experience, 5G Games Experience, and 5G Upload Speed. Nevertheless, the most crucial categories, 5G Availability and 5G Download Speed are won by T-Mobile.
Note: While Verizon offers strong 5G experiences compared to the top three carriers, its 5G coverage is the least extensive among them. Therefore, if your goal is to use 5G in the US, T-Mobile remains a better choice.
IV. Best Verizon US SIM Cards for Tourists
Verizon provides 4 prepaid SIM plans starting from 35 USD. For more detailed information, please refer to the table below:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Mobile Hotspot||Validity|
|35 USD||N/A||Unlimited||Unlimited||N/A||30 days|
|45 USD||15GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Share your wireless network connection with other devices over Wi-Fi.||30 days|
|60 USD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||5 GB of 5G Nationwide / 4G LTE data, then speeds up to 600 Kbps the remainder of the month.||30 days|
|70 USD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||25 GB premium Mobile Hotspot data, then unlimited lower-speed data.||30 days|
- The cheapest plan is priced at 35 USD, which provides unlimited local minutes and local calls but doesn’t include internet access.
- For those requiring a small amount of data, there’s a 45 USD plan that offers 15 GB of data.
- If you have higher data needs, you can explore plans starting from 60 USD that provide unlimited data.
V. Where can you buy a Verizon US SIM card and eSIM?
As a tourist, you have several options to buy a Verizon SIM card:
- Verizon Retail Stores: All of Verizon’s retail stores offer prepaid devices, plans, and refill cards. You can use their store locator to find a shop near your location.
- Convenience Stores: USA SIM cards can also be found at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and CVS.
- Walmart: Walmart sells Verizon SIM cards, which are typically located behind the counter.
- Best Buy: You can buy a Verizon SIM card online or in-store at Best Buy.
- Amazon: Amazon offers the Verizon Prepaid SIM Kit with 3-in-1 SIM (Standard, Micro, Nano).
- Online: You can order a Prepaid SIM card from Verizon’s official website.
Notes: Each option has its pros and cons, allowing you to choose based on your specific needs. Purchasing an eSIM directly from Verizon’s official store is recommended if you require local calls and SMS. However, if your primary requirement is data for internet access, buying from online providers might be the better choice due to its convenience.
VI. How to use Verizon US SIM cards and eSIMs
1. How to install and activate a Verizon US SIM card
Here are the steps to install and activate a Verizon SIM card:
- Insert the SIM Card: Depending on your device, the SIM card slot may be on the side or at the back of the device. If you’re unsure of where the slot is, refer to your device’s manual.
- Power On Your Device: After inserting the SIM card, turn on your device.
- Activate the SIM Card: There are a few ways you can activate your SIM card:
- Call Verizon: Dial *611 or 800-922-0204 to complete the activation process. You may need to provide the SIM card number and your phone’s IMEI number.
- Online Activation: Go to the Activate or Switch Device page in My Verizon. Follow the prompts to activate your SIM card.
- Complete Setup: Follow any additional on-screen instructions to complete the setup process.
Note: Please ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with Verizon’s network before starting this process.
2. How to set up and activate Verizon eSIM
Here are the steps to set up and activate a Verizon eSIM:
- Download and Install the Verizon App: You can get it from the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Get Verizon Service for Your eSIM Device: This can be done by calling Verizon or visiting the My Business portal.
- Setup eSIM on Your Device: For Apple devices, go to Settings, tap Cellular, then Set Up Cellular or Add eSIM. If you’re using an Android device, the process might differ slightly.
- Activate the eSIM: Go to the ‘Activate a Device on an Existing Line’ page on Verizon’s website. If you have an iPhone 14 or later, choose whichever IMEI you want.
- Obtain the Verizon eSIM QR Code: Navigate to the eSIM activation section in the Verizon app to find your QR code.
- Scan the QR Code: Using your device’s camera, scan the QR code provided to activate your eSIM.
Note: Not all devices support eSIM, so it’s important to confirm your device’s compatibility before starting this process.
VII. How to Top-up your Verizon US SIM card
Topping up your Verizon US SIM card involves adding funds to your prepaid account. Here are some ways to do it:
- My Verizon App: If you have the My Verizon app, you can tap the Menu icon and then select Payment. From there, tap Add Funds and choose the type of card you want to use for the payment.
- My Verizon Website: Sign in to My Verizon and click “Add Funds” to reach the Add Funds page. Enter the amount you want to add and select the card you want to use.
- Prepaid Instant Pay: This is an online payment method that does not require signing in. You can enter your phone number and the amount you want to add on the Prepaid Instant Pay page.
- Refill Card: You can also purchase a refill card from Verizon or a Verizon retailer and add the funds directly to your account. The amount can range from $5 to $75.
VIII. How to check Verizon Balance
To check your Verizon balance, you have a couple of options:
- Verizon website: Login to your My Verizon account on the official website of Verizon, where you can access your account balance.
- Call: Dial #BAL (#225) from your prepaid phone or call 888-294-6804 from any phone to obtain this information.
- My Verizon App: Within the My Verizon app, tap the Menu icon and navigate to the Payment section to easily access your account balance.
IX. Alternatives to Verizon US SIM Cards for Tourists
Verizon is not the only mobile operator that provides SIM cards for tourists traveling to the USA. If, for some reason, you don’t prefer or cannot purchase a Verizon US SIM card, there are alternative options available to you.
1. T-Mobile SIM card for tourists
In addition to Verizon, T-Mobile stands out as one of the top mobile operators in the US. As previously mentioned, T-Mobile’s notable advantage lies in its exceptional 5G coverage and speed. Therefore, if your priority is utilizing 5G in the United States, T-Mobile should be your first choice.
T-Mobile offers 7 prepaid plans tailored for users, including tourists. For more information, please consult the table below:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Mobile Hotspot||Price/GB||Validity|
|10 USD||1GB||1000||1000||N/A||10 USD/GB||30 days|
|15 USD||3.5GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||N/A||4.29 USD/GB||30 days|
|25 USD||6.5GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||N/A||3.85 USD/GB||30 days|
|35 USD||12GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||N/A||2.92 USD/GB||30 days|
|40 USD||10GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Shared with 10GB handset data||4 USD/GB||30 days|
|50 USD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited at 3G speeds||N/A||30 days|
|60 USD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Up to 10GN high-speed data, then unlimited at 3G speeds||N/A||30 days|
2. AT&T SIM cards for tourists
AT&T is also a prominent mobile operator in the USA, alongside Verizon and T-Mobile. Therefore, it serves as a viable alternative to Verizon SIM cards.
AT&T offers 3 prepaid SIM card plans that cater to everyone, including tourists. For further details, please refer to the table below:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Mobile Hotspot||Validity|
|30 USD||5GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Uses plan data allotment||30 days|
|40 USD||15GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Uses plan data allotment||30 days|
|65 USD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||5GB||30 days|
3. USA eSIM from eSIMUSA.net
An alternative to a Verizon SIM card is the eSIM offered by eSIMUSA.net. The advantage of using eSIMUSA.net’s USA eSIM for tourists is that you can complete the entire process online without the need to provide your passport for registration. Moreover, you have the flexibility to choose from a range of data and validity options that suit your needs.
Refer to some USA eSIM plans from eSIMUSA.net:
Tip: Explore more USA eSIM plans to choose the one that suits you best.
X. FAQs about Verizon US SIM Cards
1. What services does Verizon offer?
Verizon offers wireless mobile services, including voice calls, text messaging, and data plans. They also provide fixed-line services like fiber-optic broadband and TV under the Verizon Fios brand.
2. Does Verizon offer 5G coverage?
Yes, Verizon has been expanding its 5G network across the USA to provide faster and more advanced wireless connectivity.
3. Can I bring my own device to Verizon?
Yes, you can often bring your own compatible device to Verizon, allowing you to use Verizon’s network without changing your phone.
4. How can I activate a Verizon US SIM card or eSIM?
You can activate a Verizon SIM card or eSIM by contacting Verizon customer support or visiting a Verizon store.
5. How can I monitor my usage and avoid overage charges?
You can monitor your usage through the Verizon app or online account. Be aware of your plan limits and consider using Wi-Fi whenever possible to prevent overages.
XI. Final words
Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or exploring with loved ones, Verizon US SIM cards and eSIMs ensure that you can stay connected without compromise. With a variety of plans, advanced eSIM technology, and a commitment to network excellence, Verizon empowers tourists to fully immerse themselves in their journeys while staying connected to what matters most.