eSIM for use in US

My sister in law lives in Germany and has an iPhone 14 Pro. She would like to get a US eSIM for her infrequent visits to the US.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a 30 pay as you go provider? Or perhaps a better solution?

There are probably many MVNOs which provide cellular service which would meet your sister-in-law’s needs. I use Tello, which is pretty inexpensive and was easy to set up for my iPhone.

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We’ve used Airalo in both the US and Italy. Found it to be very good.

Hope this is not too far OT, but I’m curious how easy it is to get one of these just for faster data speeds when on travel. I’m fine with my T-mobile included roaming for voice and text when I’m overseas, but I wouldn’t mind getting a 2nd foreign eSIM to get faster data. Does iOS make it very easy to use something like this such that your voice/texts use your primary eSIM and the secondary just gets used for 5G?

Yes, I’ve done this a number of times. (Well, I don’t think I’ve ever had 5G specifically outside the US, but LTE for sure.) Mostly with Airalo data-only eSIMs, but also with an Orange eSIM in Portugal and Spain that was voice and data. My home eSIM had data turned off.

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My mileage varies…bought am Airalo eSIM for a trip to the UK last summer…and when I tried to install it on my unlocked iPhone XS Max which is clearly eSIM capable the installer insisted that eSIMs were not compatible with my hardware and exited the install. Luckily they gave me a refund so I didn’t have to dispute it with the credit card issuer.

I’ve used Airalo in Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador, with no difficulty at all and good speeds.

Since several of you have experience with Airalo, I figured I might as well ask here. Has anybody ever tried using one of these in country? Say your carrier has rotten coverage in some parts you will be vacationing and you’d like some better data there. Could you augment that way? When I select US plans I see they make a point of “for travelers to the US” so I wonder if this is just their standard wording or if it indicates you cannot use this side by side with a US primary eSIM.

I haven’t tried it before, but I just started the process and they were very willing to sell me one. I didn’t buy it (I was going to but my phone is literally days old and I think I remember that Verizon phones are SIM-locked for up to 30 days), but I’ll try it on my backup phone a bit later. (It’s only $4.50 for 1 GB of data).

It turned out that my phone was already unlocked. I purchased and it activated fine. There isn’t a great signal where I live, but that’s no different from my primary line.

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These days, only AT&T locks iPhones.

I think that is AT&T’s policy. Verizon stopped selling locked phones several years ago, when they did away with the 2-year contracts.

Today, Verizon always sells phones (at least new model iPhones) at full MSRP (with or without financing). Any discounts, rebates or promotions are paid to you pro-rata over the next 24 months - and if you close your account before then, the remaining payout is forfeit. So they really don’t care if you buy a phone and immediately transfer it to someone else’s network.

This is different from companies that sell phones at a discount, with a contract that has early termination penalties. For them, they may lose money if you close your account before a certain amount of time has elapsed (even with the early termination penalty), so they may lock the phone for a while, in order to keep away the phone-scalpers.

Verizon phones are locked until at least purchase. Verizon changed this a few years ago because they were having issues with theft from delivery trucks IIRC. According to their page on this, phones are supposed to be locked for 60 days. As I said, mine is already unlocked - I bought it Wednesday It may because I transferred from my old phone? Or because I bought from Apple rather than Verizon?

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Yes, it does.

My iPhone 15 (no physical SIM) has an Italian eSIM (Iliad) and an Ultra/Mint eSIM (with Wi-Fi calling for unlimited incoming/outgoing free calls to USA/Canada). The Iliad eSIM gives me unlimited calls to Europe, Canada, and USA plus 5G speeds and 150GB of data for €9,99/month, no long-term contracts (80GB and 4G LTE for €7,99).

Incoming calls and texts just do their thing; with outgoing calls you can select any eSIM per call, with over-rideable defaults for individual contacts. The only trick is to avoid answering the US eSIM when out of Wi-Fi ($$$!!), or answer and tell the caller you’ll quickly call back.

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Thanks to everyone who has responded. I knew I could count on this community for help! I don’t mean to shut off the great comments and suggestions, but I just wanted to thank everyone for their great comments.