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Data only SIM cards are ideal for iPads, tablets, and mobile hotspots. You'll find the best value SIM cards with MVNOs.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators are low-cost carriers that operate on the same major US networks, but offer discounted cell phone plans. Growing more popular, there's so much choice when it comes to carriers and plans.
At MoneySavingPro we like to take away the confusion and overwhelm, so we've compared and broken down the best data only SIM cards.
Take a look below to find your perfect deal.
Prepaid SIM cards with data
Tello: Best prepaid data only SIM card
T-Mobile wireless network coverage
1GB 4G/5G Data
No contract. No bulk buying.
24/7 friendly customer support
4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage
Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling
Free international calls to 60+ countries
Coverage in rural areas
This Tello SIM kit includes 1GB data for $6 for 1 month of wireless service. Tello internet plans offers wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. Read Tello review
Tello SIM card: $6/mo
Tello SIM card: $10/mo
Tello SIM card: $15/mo
Tello SIM card: $20/mo
Tello SIM card: $25/mo
Tello SIM card: $29/mo
US Mobile: Best data only SIM card for iPad
Verizon & T-Mobile wireless network coverage
4GB 4G/5G Data
* 100 Days FREE Trial
Flexible, no contract plans
24/7 customer service
5G coverage available
No international calling
This US Mobile SIM kit includes 4GB data for $15 for 1 month of wireless service. US Mobile internet plans offers wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. Read US Mobile review
US Mobile SIM card: $10/mo
US Mobile SIM card: $15/mo
US Mobile SIM card: $20/mo
US Mobile SIM card: $26/mo
Mint Mobile: Best data only SIM card for 5G coverage
T-Mobile wireless network coverage
10GB 4G/5G Data
* Only $60 for 3 Months
Offers the latest phones with 0% finance
Prepay months in bulk for more savings
Reliable network coverage
Works with most GSM phones
No family plans
Minimum 3 months
This Mint Mobile SIM kit includes 10GB data for $20 for 3 months of wireless service. Mint Mobile internet plans offers wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. Read Mint Mobile review
Mint Mobile SIM card: $15/mo
Mint Mobile SIM card: $20/mo
Mint Mobile SIM card: $25/mo
Tello: Best data only SIM for unlimited data
T-Mobile wireless network coverage
Unlimited 4G/5G Data
Red Pocket: Best data only SIM card for hotspots
AT&T & Verizon wireless network coverage
20GB 4G/5G Data
Latest selection of phones
Account dashboard needs work
No 0% financing options on latest phones
This Red Pocket SIM kit includes 20GB data for $40 for 1 month of wireless service. Red Pocket internet plans offers wireless coverage on the AT&T & Verizon 5G and 4G LTE networks. Read Red Pocket review
Red Pocket SIM card: $10/mo
Red Pocket SIM card: $25/mo
Red Pocket SIM card: $40/mo
Data only SIM benefits
There's a range of benefits to choosing a data-only SIM card from a low-cost carrier, whether you're looking for the best SIM card for alarm systems or the best data only SIM card for hot-spotting, you'll find the cheapest price with MVNOs.
Lower price: MVNOs offer affordable plans when purchasing a SIM card with one of these low-cost carriers. With all the same options available, even the best GPS tracker SIM card deals, but at half the price of going direct to one of the big three.
Same excellent coverage: You'll find a great selection of deals on an AT&T data SIM card, Verizon data SIM card, or T-Mobile data SIM card. Being powered by the main networks, you'll get access to the same good coverage.
No annual contracts: With the best prepaid data SIM card deals they offer a monthly rolling contract, with no 24 or 12 months commitment or hidden fees.
4G LTE data speeds: Operating on the same US networks, you'll have access to the nationwide 4G LTE data speeds.
5G network: If your mobile device is compatible you can find deals on the best 5G SIM card with low-cost carriers, offering 5G at no extra cost on their data-only SIM cards.
Unlimited plans: If you use a lot of data for browsing the internet, video streaming, listening to music or you're looking for the best hotspot SIM card for tethering, the good news is you can get unlimited hotspot data for half the price.
Mobile devices: You'll find a range of the best iPad SIM card and the best Tablet SIM card deals to help you stay connected with a data-only SIM card for your device.
High-speed hotspot data: Ideal for travelers, you can stay connected on your laptop, even if there's no WiFi using cellular networks.
Best data SIM card on T-Mobile
Compare: T-Mobile data SIM cards
Best data SIM card on Verizon
Compare: Verizon data SIM cards
Best data SIM card on AT&T
Compare: AT&T data SIM cards
Best SIM cards with data only
Verizon & T-Mobile
AT&T & T-Mobile
What is a data SIM card?
A data only SIM card is a SIM card that doesn't come with any minutes or text messages. You only receive data.
Prepaid data SIM cards are perfect if you need a tablet SIM card and you want to go online but there's no WiFi available.
Those who would use a data-only SIM card are mainly those who have a data-only device, like a tablet or a hotspot device. That way, they can access the internet in areas that WiFi is not accessible. For instance, say that WiFi is not accessible in a certain location in Maine, but the 4G LTE network is available.
Someone in need of internet access for business, school, etc. would then be able to secure mobile broadband internet via tablet or mobile hotspot and a bring your own phone plan. That way, the person can connect to the internet and check anything essential.
Data SIM card sizes
There are different sizes of SIM cards. What you need for a SIM card size is dependent on the device you own.
The iPad requires a Nano SIM card. Older tablets might require either a micro SIM card or a standard SIM card.
Most SIM cards are 3-in-1 tricut, meaning that they're one size fits all. Simply cut the card to the size you need to fit the device. Before you buy a device, make sure you know what size SIM card you'll need to activate it.
Switch to a cheap data only plan
Don't worry if you've already got a data only plan. Switching is simple.
Pick a plan. Consider how many connected devices you have and then choose the amount of data you need. Not sure? Get a clearer picture with our data usage calculator.
Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your current account is paid up and in good standing. If you're bringing a mobile hotspot device with you, make sure it's unlocked to use on another carrier.
Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your new one is ready to go. You'll get a data only SIM card from your new provider. Follow their instructions to activate your new plan.
Data only SIM card FAQs
Can I get a data only SIM card?
Yes. You can get a data only SIM card which is ideal for tablets and hotspots.
What is the best data only SIM card?
The best data only plan depends on how much data you need and your budget. Estimate how much data you really use so you're only paying for what you need.
What is the cheapest prepaid data SIM?
The cheapest prepaid data SIM plans start at $5 per month. Low cost carriers have a range of data plans so you only pay for what you use.
MVNOs can save you hundreds of dollars on your data only plan, and with no contracts you have the flexibility to change or cancel at any time.
Do you really need unlimited data? On average we use around 3 to 5GB of data per month, so it's worth checking your data usage to see if you can choose a set data only SIM card.
Data only SIMs use a cellular network to provide you access to Wifi. If you're unsure on the best network you can check coverage using the ZIP code of the areas you plan to travel to.