Best roaming SIM cards

Roaming SIMs

Which SIMs are best for roaming? Which let you use your UK allowances in your chosen destination if you’re holidaying outside the EU? And which allow you to use your phone to tether? We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.

Jetting off somewhere nice this summer? Good for you.

But before you pack the Piz Buin and inflatables, it's critical you make sure you've got a SIM-only deal that offers international roaming and allows you to use your UK allowances in your chosen destination. 

If you don't, you could face an unexpectedly hefty bill when you get back. 

Here we've picked out the best roaming SIM only deals on all the major networks.  

Best Three SIM deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Three sim only 3GB data 12 months £5.00
Three sim only 3GB data 12 months £5.00
Three sim only 3GB data 12 months £5.00
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 3GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £5.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 3GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £5.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 3GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £5.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile

Customers who signed up to a pay monthly Three plan on or after 1 October 2021 will need to pay a daily charge of £2 to access the ‘Go Roam in Europe’ scheme. For those travelling further afield, the 'Go Roam Around the World' plan costs £5 a day.

The 'Go Roam' scheme allows you to use your plan as you would back home, for 24 hours.

See more Three SIM only deals

Best Vodafone SIM deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Vodafone sim only 30GB data 12 months £8.00
Vodafone sim only 30GB data 12 months £8.00
Vodafone sim only 150GB data 24 months £25.00
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 30GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • VeryMe Rewards
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 30GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • VeryMe Rewards
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Vodafone sim only
    5G
    • 150GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • VeryMe Rewards
    • £25.00 per month
    24 month contract From Vodafone

Vodafone vies with Three for the title of the best, most extensive roaming scheme. But as with most networks, much depends on the plan you sign up for. 

Before we start to look at what you get, let's get to grips with Vodafone's roaming zones. As of January 2022, these are: 

  • Zone A: Ireland and the Isle of Man.
  • Zone B: 49 European locations
  • Zone C: 32 worldwide locations
  • Zone D: 73 worldwide locations

When you sign up as a new customer for most Vodafone plans (except those with 4 Xtra benefits and Basics plans), you'll be able to use your allowances for no extra charge in the Isle of Man and Ireland. A charge of £2 applies for using your phone in Vodafone's Zone B, which is mostly Europe, and a charge of £6 per day applies to use the phone in Zone B. 

Vodafone's Xtra plans are a much better bet if you travel abroad frequently.

Sign up for an Xtra plan with data limit with 4 Xtra benefits and you can use your phone in Zone A and Zone B for no extra charge. Locations in 

And if you choose an Xtra plan with no data usage limit and 4 Xtra benefits you can roam in Zones A, B and C for no extra cost. But a daily fee of £6 per day applies in Zone D. 

Basics plans don't offer inclusive roaming at all. Which means you'll be required to pay an extra charge in all Vodafone roaming zones. 

See more Vodafone SIM only deals

O2 best SIM deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
O2 sim only 6GB data 12 months £6.99
O2 sim only 6GB data 12 months £6.99
O2 sim only 6GB data 12 months £6.99
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • EU roaming included
    • £6.99 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • EU roaming included
    • £6.99 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • EU roaming included
    • £6.99 per month
    12 month contract From O2

O2 customers who sign up now for select SIM only plans with a monthly allowance above 20GB can use their UK allowances for no extra charge in 48 locations in O2’s Europe Zone, as well as 27 further locations beyond Europe.

Lower cost SIM only O2 plans restrict you to use of your UK allowances in O2’s Europe Zone.

But if you’re on a cheaper plan and are holidaying further afield, you’re able to sign up for an O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On for an additional charge, which extends the area you can use your UK allowances to a further 27 locations.

These include the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Argentina.

See more O2 SIM only deals

EE best SIM deals for roaming

EE’s SIM-only Smart plans and Essential Plans both allow you to use your UK allowances in 48 European locations for no extra charge.

Choose a plan with Swappable Benefits and you’ll be able to extend this to locations outside Europe. It’s just a case of selecting that benefit so that it covers the period when you’re away.

If you’re not on a pay monthly SIM-only plan with Swappable Benefits you can still get inclusive roaming in destinations outside Europe, but you’ll have to sign up for a travel add-on for an additional daily charge.

See more EE SIM only deals

iD Mobile best SIM deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
ID sim only 15GB data 1 month £7.00
ID sim only 15GB data 1 month £7.00
ID sim only 15GB data 1 month £7.00
  • ID sim only
    5G
    • 15GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • No annual price rise
    • £7.00 per month
    1 month contract From iD Mobile
  • ID sim only
    5G
    • 15GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • No annual price rise
    • £7.00 per month
    1 month contract From iD Mobile
  • ID sim only
    5G
    • 15GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • No annual price rise
    • £7.00 per month
    1 month contract From iD Mobile

All iD Mobile plans offer inclusive roaming in 50 destinations, mostly in the EU and EAA. That’s a pretty great deal for SIMs that start at just over £5 per month.

But be aware: Unlike bigger-name rivals, iD Mobile doesn’t offer a roaming scheme that covers popular locations beyond the Continent. And there’s no option to sign up for an add-on to extend your inclusive-roaming zone either.

So if you’re heading to the USA, say, or Canada, you’re out of luck.

See more iD Mobile SIM only deals

BT Mobile best SIM only deals for roaming

All BT Mobile SIM only plans let you use your UK allowances in 47 locations for no extra charge, including the EU and a smattering beyond.

If you’re roaming outside the EU, you can sign up for a Travel Data Pass add-on for an additional charge.

That buys you 500MB of data per day, which you can use in Andorra, Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and the USA.

See more BT Mobile SIM only deals

Virgin Media best SIM only deals for roaming

The Roam like Home scheme is included on all Virgin Media SIM-only plans and offers inclusive roaming in the EU. There’s no option to buy an add-on to extend your inclusive roaming zone.

See more Virgin Media SIM only deals

Sky Mobile best SIM only deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Sky Mobile sim only 5GB data 12 months £10.00
Sky Mobile sim only 5GB data 12 months £10.00
Sky Mobile sim only 5GB data 12 months £10.00
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    5G
    • 5GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    5G
    • 5GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    5G
    • 5GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile customers on all SIM-only plans get inclusive roaming in 30 locations in the EU and EEA with its Roaming Passport scheme.

Going further afield? You can sign up for a Roaming PassPort Plus add-on and use your UK allowances in 12 more locations, including USA, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Africa, for an additional daily charge.

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