Cost of mobile internet in the US for foreign visitors

We will be spending 3 weeks in the US and are wondering what we could do to minimize the cost of using the internet during that time. Are there any recommendations like local sim-cards? My iPhone 13 does not have a slot to accommodate physical sim-cards.

I used GigSky a few times in the last years. Had no issues and the prices are ok in my opinion.
Download the app, see the plans, then sign up and get an esim through the app.

Merci vielmals!

I think you do have one? I thought the iPhone 14 was the first without a slot. However, I’m not sure that you’ll get a better deal with a SIM versus eSIM in the U.S. at this point.

Blush… and shame on me.
It sure has a slot, it was hidden under the cover which I never remove.

I did exactly the same thing when the iPhone 14 was announced—checked my iPhone 13 Pro!

I think that the main issue here was that the SIM slot used to be on the phone’s right side (power button side), but for the iPhone 13 Pro (and probably other iPhone 13’s), it shifted to the volume button side.

When I prepared my iPhone 13 Pro to be sent back as part of the iPhone Exchange Program, I, too, was surprised when I removed the case to find no SIM slot in the usual place. I remembered that phones on the program used the eSim for the assigned carrier, but I wanted to check the slot before sending the phone back. Sure enough, it was empty.

ESIM is the way to go, I like Airlio but if you are cheeky you could try to download the Tmobile app- Network Test Drive: iOS app and get free data but may be blocked in DE App Store. I downloaded it while in DE buy US based and got 30GB for a month free.

It’s been a few years since we were there but we went to Walmart and bought a one month pre-paid card. Worked perfectly and was about $30 from memory - no idea how much data.

How much data do you expect to use? You may find a low-cost MVNO, like US Mobile or Tello, will fit your needs. You can sign up for service for just one month.

T-Mobile offers a three-month free trial of its cell data network. (I see @schnell already mentioned this above.)

I won‘t be needing more than 5GB or so, I think I‘ll find a local solution. The T-mobile offer is good only for US contracts or existing US phone numbers, so not for me. Thanks everybody for taking a look.

Where is your home country? You might find a domestic SIM that includes roaming is the cheapest option. When I travelled to the US in the summer, I got a (free) Three pay-as-you-go SIM and bought a 10GB data pack for £10. Lasts for a month and no contract, recurring payments, subscription to cancel, etc. The ‘Go Roam’ included with all pay-as-you-go meant I could use this in the US for no extra charge.

Apparently UK only. There is no german equivalent.

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That would be a great option. In Australia, international roaming with a major carrier typically costs around $10 per DAY(!) which is why we looked at a US Sim card. I would happily pay $10 or $20 for a month but not $300.

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You might check on Mint Mobile, which uses the T-mobile network, allows tethering, and has some good deals on 3-month trials.

I´m in Seattle now and I have purchased a T-Mobile prepaid card for 6GB/30 USD. Not the cheapest option, but it works. Roaming seems to be the least attractive way of using the internet abroad.