The best roaming SIM only deals let you use your allowances as usual when you’re in an EU country or further afield, and with just months until the summer kicks into gear in 2023, it’s good to get your roaming data plans sorted early. However, the playing field has completely changed since Brexit, with mobile networks charging varying amounts to access your call, text and data allotments in different countries. That’s where we come in.
We’ve scoured the internet to find the best roaming SIM only deals for you, whether you’re hitting a Spanish beach, seeing family in Mumbai or hopping across the pond for a big meeting in NYC. To help you, we’ve separated them into SIM offers for European travel and those for roaming around the rest of the world.
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The best roaming SIM only deals for Europe
1. iD Mobile: The cheapest roaming SIM only deals
Not only does iD Mobile offer completely free roaming in 50 European destinations and overseas territories (such as Guadeloupe and Martinique), but its prices are some of the lowest on the market.
For instance, you can currently pick up 100GB of 5G-compatible data for just £14/mth on a one-year contract or step up to 200GB for just £2/mth extra. You can save even more money by signing up for a 24-month plan: unlimited data is currently just £8/mth for the first three months, then £16/mth thereafter, which is great value.
It’s certainly not the best option if you’re traveling to, say, India or Australia, but iD Mobile can’t be beaten when it comes to visiting mainland Europe. A word of warning, though: you might still be charged extra if you’re on a ferry or cruise ship between European destinations so we’d always recommend switching off roaming while you’re at sea.
Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 50
Buy now from iD Mobile
2. BT Mobile: The best roaming SIM only deals for extras
Like iD Mobile above, BT Mobile (which uses EE’s mobile network) allows you to use your UK call, text and 5G-enabled data allowances in 47 European countries and overseas territories for free, under BT’s Rome Like Home pledge.
But there’s more: if you’re a BT Broadband customer, you can currently access some amazing Winter Sale deals from BT Mobile and EE, including six months of unlimited data for an amazing £12.60/mth, Roam Like Home included. Your bill then reverts to the normal £25.20 from month seven, for the rest of the 24-month contract. There’s also a brand new 12-month contract, at £10.80/mth for 20GB for the full 12 months.
Contract lengths: 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 47
Buy now from BT Mobile
3. Tesco Mobile: The best roaming SIM only deals for lower data allowances
If you don’t need bags of data, these Tesco Mobile roaming SIM only deals could be for you. You’ll be able to use your allowance in 48 countries in Europe and overseas territories. Even better, you’ll get extra money off if you have a Tesco Clubcard.
For example, if you’re a Clubcard owner, you’ll pay just £11/mth for 30GB on a two-year contract (it’s £12.50/mth for non-Clubcard owners) or you could even opt for 2GB for an ultra -affordable £7.50/mth.
Contract lengths: 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 48
Buy now from Tesco Mobile
The best roaming SIM only deals for the rest of the world
1. EE: Get FREE roaming in popular destinations
EE might be the fastest network in the UK, but it doesn’t have a reputation for saving money. This SIM only deal is an exception, though, and gives you free roaming in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, as well as all of the EU.
All you have to do is pick a plan with an “inclusive extra” (usually £10/mth on its own) and then select the Roam Abroad Pass, which will last for the entirety of your two-year contract. And there’s never been a better time to do so: you can currently scoop the unlimited data deal for half the price (£18/mth).
Note that you’ll only be able to use 50GB of your monthly allowance while abroad, but that should be enough for the vast majority of travelers.
Contract lengths: 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None (with Smart Benefit); Countries included: 52
Buy now from EE
2. Three: Save 50% for the first six months
Three’s rules for its roaming SIM only deals are straightforward: you’ll either pay £2 to access your normal UK allowance for 24 hours in Europe or £5 in the rest of the world. That includes countries such as the US, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, among many others.
There are two things to bear in mind, though: first, popular destinations such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China and Japan aren’t included. Second, although you’ll get free calls and texts to UK numbers, you’ll still have to pay through the nose if you want to contact someone with a local SIM.
However, those caveats are very easy to overlook when you see that Three has sliced half off the price of all of its two-year SIM plans for the first six months. That means you can, for instance, pick up unlimited data for just £12/mth, 250GB for £10/mth and 100GB for a mere £8/mth.
Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: £2 in Europe, £5 for the rest of the world; Countries included: 73
Buy now from Three
3. Lebara: The best roaming SIM only deal for India
You’ll have noticed a big omission from the two deals above: India. However, thanks to Lebara, you won’t have to pay extortionate roaming fees while you’re on the subcontinent. All of its 30-day and 12-month SIM plans include free roaming in India as standard, as well as in the EU.
Even better, they also include at least 100 free minutes to 42 destinations around the world, including India, Australia, Canada, Israel, China, the US, New Zealand and Thailand. The 30-day unlimited deal is particularly eye-catching at a bargain £23/mth and gets you bottomless 5G-enabled data and 100 international minutes.
Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months; Daily roaming charge: None in the EU and India; Countries included: 42
Buy now from Lebara