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 Unlimited data 1 month £24.00
Three sim only Unlimited data 1 month £24.00
Three sim only Unlimited data 1 month £24.00
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • Unlimited 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £24.00 per month
    1 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • Unlimited 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £24.00 per month
    1 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • Unlimited 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £24.00 per month
    1 month contract From Three Mobile

Three’s Go Roam scheme is excellent. Opt for any pay monthly SIM only deal Advanced Plan and you’ll get inclusive roaming in 71 locations worldwide for no extra charge with Three’s Go Roam Around the World scheme.

This includes the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia, as well as throughout Europe.

Pick an Essential Plan and you’ll still be able to use your UK allowances overseas via the less extensive Go Roam in Europe scheme.

As its name suggests, you’ll be restricted to European locations.

Customers on an Advanced plan with an unlimited usage limit can also use their phone to tether in EU locations.
Three pay monthly customers also get free travel upgrades on easyJet outbound flights.

And you’ll be able to stash your hand luggage at the easyJet bag drop when you arrive and you won’t have to scrap for space in the overhead lockers when you get on board.

Three customers flying easyJet can also expect to get their suitcase first off the baggage reclaim.

See more Three SIM only deals

Best Vodafone SIM deals for roaming

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Vodafone sim only 20GB data 12 months £8.00
Vodafone sim only 20GB data 12 months £8.00
Vodafone sim only 100GB data 12 months £20.00
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £20.00 per month
    12 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 4GB data 12 months £6.00
O2 sim only 4GB data 12 months £6.00
O2 sim only 4GB data 12 months £6.00
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 4GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • 1 month free Disney+
    • £6.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 4GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • 1 month free Disney+
    • £6.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • 4GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • 1 month free Disney+
    • £6.00 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

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

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Virgin sim only 6GB data 1 month £5.95
Virgin sim only 6GB data 1 month £5.95
Virgin sim only 6GB data 1 month £5.95
  • Virgin sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Roam like home in the EU
    • £5.95 per month
    1 month contract From Virgin Mobile
  • Virgin sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Roam like home in the EU
    • £5.95 per month
    1 month contract From Virgin Mobile
  • Virgin sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Roam like home in the EU
    • £5.95 per month
    1 month contract From Virgin Mobile

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 3GB data 12 months £7.00
Sky Mobile sim only 3GB data 12 months £7.00
Sky Mobile sim only 3GB data 12 months £7.00
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 3GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £7.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 3GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £7.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 3GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £7.00 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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