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Best free eSIM service in 2024

Unlocking the best free eSIM trial is all about leveraging the latest deals offered by low-cost providers. You'll get the same coverage for a fraction of the cost without the worry of hidden fees and price hikes. Here are the best value eSIM carriers to consider.


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How to choose the best eSIM carrier

What network coverage do you prefer?

Low-cost eSIM carriers operate on the same 5G & 4G LTE networks as major carriers. T-Mobile scores the highest for 5G coverage, according to an Opensignal 5G Experience Report (2023). If there is a network that already works best for you, you can choose an MVNO that operates on that network. Use our coverage checker to find the best cell phone service in your area.

How much data do you need?

Do you really need an unlimited data plan? The big wireless companies want you to think so, but the average monthly cellular data consumption is around 10GB. So, if you spend most of your time at home or work on Wi-Fi, it's a fair bet your cellular data usage is much lower. You can choose a data plan tailored to your needs with cheap cell phone providers and stop paying for what you don't use. But if you do choose an unlimited data plan, be aware that high-speed data is normally capped.

Is hotspot data included?

Most carriers allow hotspot data usage but limit the amount of data that can be used via tethering. The limit depends on the carrier and plan you choose. Some carriers also offer data only plans for iPads, tablets, and mobile hotspots.

What's the monthly price?

While big wireless unlimited plans cost around $75-90 per month, the best MVNOs offer budget-friendly eSIM plans, ranging from $5-35 per month without sacrificing wireless coverage and data speeds. Watch out for hidden fees & taxes; big carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are notorious for this.

How many lines do you need?

With big wireless, you only get the lowest advertised price if you buy four lines. With MVNOs, the price you see is the price you pay, even for one line. Many low-cost carriers now offer further discounts for multi-line plans.

Can I bring my own phone or buy a new device?

While the big three love keeping their customers locked into a constant phone upgrade cycle, MVNOs encourage you to bring your own phone. This means you take back control and only change your phone when it suits you. If you do want to purchase a new phone, many prepaid eSIM providers offer financing options and refurbished phone deals.

Are there any deals or promotions?

Big wireless promotions can seem good at a glance. But once you read the fine print, it often reveals unneeded perks and long contracts. Many MVNOs offer discounts for new customers and transparent pricing.

What perks are available with an eSIM?

Most MVNOs offer a range of perks and add-ons that can enhance your wireless experience. These can include things like international calling plans, data rollover, and even unlimited streaming on certain apps. Big wireless carriers may offer similar perks, but they often come at an additional cost. Also, be wary of "free" subscriptions to streaming services. We suggest keeping these services separate to avoid price hikes.

How good is the customer service?

Most eSIM carriers have excellent ratings when it comes to customer support. With smaller customer bases, they are often able to provide more individualized and hands-on support compared to the big carriers. Many MVNOs have dedicated customer service teams that are readily available to assist you with any questions or concerns.

What international features are available?

Most eSIM carriers offer free international calls to many countries. If this is high on your priority list, make sure to choose a carrier that includes this feature. If this is important to you, make sure to choose a provider that includes this. For international travel, checking the carrier's mobile data roaming availability is vital to avoid unexpected costs or inconveniences while you're abroad.

Do they have parental controls?

Many MVNO carriers offer parental control features that enable parents to monitor their children's phone usage and data consumption. With parental controls, you can set data limits, restrict access to certain apps or websites, and even track your child's location. Some AT&T MVNOs offer these features as part of their standard plans, or you'll find this feature on your cell phone.

Check out our comparison of the best prepaid eSIM plans to ensure you find the best deal.

eSIM plan guides

How we choose the best eSIM carriers and plans

To select the best eSIM carriers and plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

We keep our comparisons fresh by checking our eSIM plans weekly and giving our content a makeover every 3 months. This way, we ensure you're getting the most current and precise information.

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