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Deal of the Month: Ting Unlimited for $25/mo*

Best GSM SIM Card in 2021

Compare the cheapest prepaid GSM plans

99% coverage4G & 5G speedBring your phoneNo contracts
Big wireless coverage at small prices: switch & save up to $600 a year
Tello Sim Card - Vertical
1GBLTE Data
$10per month
Powered by:
Mint Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
4GBLTE Data
$15*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $45 for 3 Months Service
US Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
12GBLTE Data
$20per month
Powered by:
See DealFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Ting Sim Card - Vertical
UnltdLTE Data
$25*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $20 Off for 3 Months
Ultra Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
2GBLTE Data
$11*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* Extra 20% Off with code: MSP20
Good2Go Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
3GBLTE Data
$10*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* 50% Off for 3 Months
Mint Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
15GBLTE Data
$25*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $75 for 3 months Service
Unreal Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
50GBLTE Data
$50*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* Buy 1 Month Get 2 Months Free
Ting Sim Card - Vertical
5GBLTE Data
$20*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $5 Off for 6 Months
Good2Go Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
1GBLTE Data
$7.50*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* 50% Off for 3 Months
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Disclaimer: MoneySavingPro is a free price comparison service but we do not provide service directly. We do our best to keep all the information up to date but there may be some discrepancies between the price you pay.

Big savings, no compromises
Nationwide CoveragePowered by the major networks
Bring your own phoneKeep your existing phone and number
4G LTE data speedsSame fast speeds as the big guys
No contractsFlexible and commitment-free
Customize your planOnly pay for what you use
Buy onlineNo need to visit a store
Best GSM SIM Card Hero
Same coverage, massive savings!
Stop the Unlimited Data Plan Rip Off!
CarrierNetworkDataPriceAnnual
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnlimited*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Avg. data usage only 3-5GBSavings$65/moSavings$780/yr
Coverage CheckerFind great value plans with the best coverage in your area
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Switching & saving is simple
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Customize your planDon't pay for data you don't use
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Bring your own phoneKeep your phone & number
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Order SIM card onlineInsert your new SIM card & activate

The best cheap GSM SIM card in October

Looking for a SIM card for your GSM phone? You've come to the right place.

GSM (Global System for Mobiles) is one of the technologies used worldwide for cell phones and is used by AT&T and T-Mobile.

There's a range of low cost carriers, also known as MVNOs, that can save you money on your GSM SIM card. Powered by AT&T and T-Mobile networks, you'll receive the same quality coverage at half the price.

Take a look below for a break down of carriers and plans available, to find the best GSM SIM card deal for you.

Check Carrier Coverage

Best cheap GSM plans

Tello SIM Card - Best prepaid GSM SIM card - TelloTello SIM Card - Best prepaid GSM SIM card - Tello
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$10/mo
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support

  • No contracts

  • Budget friendly family plans

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Benefits

  • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

  • Keep your current phone number

  • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

  • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

  • 24/7 customer service

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for unlimited data - Mint MobileMint Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for unlimited data - Mint Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo** $90 for 3 months Service
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Benefits

  • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

  • Keep your phone number

  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

  • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

  • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

  • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

Ting SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for talk & text - TingTing SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for talk & text - Ting
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0 GB
Price
$10/mo** $5 extra per GB
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Simple plans for light phone users

  • Customer service

  • Nationwide LTE and 5G coverage

  • Good selection of handsets

Cons

  • Not for the data hungry user

Benefits

  • Offers coverage on both Verizon and T-Mobile

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or start-up fees

  • Bring your GSM or CDMA phone - most devices are compatible - or buy one from Ting

  • Keep your current number

  • Tethering/mobile hotspot allowed, speeds limited to 3G for GSM tethering

  • Use your plan minutes to call 60+ international locations

  • International roaming capability (at surcharged rates)

  • Extensive customer service hours by phone, chat, or email

Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for seniors - Good2Go MobileGood2Go Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for seniors - Good2Go Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo** 50% Off for 3 Months
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • No contract

  • No credit checks

Cons

  • No unlimited data options

  • No app interface

Benefits

  • Coverage on the nationwide AT&T & T-Mobile networks

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or buy a Good2Go Mobile phone

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering not supported

  • International calling to over 60 countries available as affordable plan add-on; calling to other countries via add-on calling card

  • Customer service available by phone 7am - 1am EST every day

Red Pocket SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for kids - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for kids - Red Pocket
Minutes
500
Texts
500
Data
0.5 GB
Price
$10/mo
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage

  • No contracts

  • Latest selection of phones

Cons

  • Account dashboard needs work

  • No 0% financing options on latest phones

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fees

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA device and keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering allowed with your plan data

  • Free international calling to 70+ countries

  • Customer service available in English, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish via chat or phone

US Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for tablet data - US MobileUS Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM SIM card for tablet data - US Mobile
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
2 GB
Price
$10/moFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

Compare cheap prepaid GSM carrier plans

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltd1GB$10
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd4GB$15** $45 for 3 Months Service
US MobileVerizon & T-MobileUnltdUnltd12GB$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
TingT-Mobile & VerizonUnltdUnltdUnltd$25** $20 Off for 3 Months
Ultra MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd2GB$11** Extra 20% Off with code: MSP20

GSM SIM card benefits

  • Powered by the major US networks: GSM MVNOs provide wireless plans on the same major telecoms service you can trust. AT&T and T-Mobile are the two networks that run on GSM.
  • Save up to 50%: cut your cell phone bill in half and only pay for what you need.
  • No contracts: if you're not happy you can cancel at any time. No early termination fees.
  • Keep your phone: you can bring your own phone and keep your phone number with a hassle-free switch over. Saving even more money.

Best cheap T-Mobile GSM SIM card

Mint Mobile 4GB data plan* $45 for 3 Months Service

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo*

$3.75 per GB

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G LTEUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G LTE4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Best cheap AT&T GSM SIM card

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G/5G data

$10/mo*

$20/mo

$6.67 per GB

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $690 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G LTEUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G LTE3GB$20/mo$210/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$690/yr

What is a GSM SIM card?

All GSM phones use a SIM card. This tiny card is sent by your carrier when you sign up for their cell phone plan. It stores all your phone information, like contacts and personal data. It also makes it super easy to switch carriers.

If you're a frequent traveler, a GSM phone is ideal. You can purchase a local SIM for your unlocked device and save some extra dollars while you're away from home.

Depending on your phone, there are three types of SIM cards;

  • Standard SIM
  • Micro SIM
  • Nano SIM

The Nano SIM card is the most common and is used in newer smartphones like the latest Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhones.

Don't forget to check which size SIM card your phone uses before signing up.


Which carriers are GSM?

Below is a list of carriers compatible with the GSM network piggybacking off AT&T or T-Mobile. If you're not sure which network is the best for your area, use our coverage map to check.

You'll be sent your GSM SIM card kit in the post with simple activation instructions to help you get started. If you're looking to bring your own phone, check on the carrier's website to make sure your phone is compatible.

T-Mobile GSM carriers list

CarrierNetwork(s)
Boost MobileT-Mobile
Boom! MobileVerizon & T-Mobile
Consumer CellularT-Mobile
FreeUP MobileT-Mobile
Metro by T-MobileT-Mobile
Mint MobileT-Mobile
Red PocketAT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon
Republic WirelessT-Mobile
Simple MobileT-Mobile
Straight TalkT-Mobile, AT&T & Verizon
TelloT-Mobile
TingT-Mobile & Verizon
TracfoneVerizon, AT&T & T-Mobile
Ultra MobileT-Mobile
Unreal MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
US MobileVerizon & T-Mobile
Gen MobileT-Mobile
WingAT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile
Good2Go MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
Hello MobileT-Mobile
GoSmart MobileT-Mobile
LycamobileT-Mobile
Walmart Family MobileT-Mobile
Speedtalk MobileT-Mobile

AT&T GSM carriers list

CarrierNetwork(s)
Cricket WirelessAT&T
FreedompopAT&T
h2o WirelessAT&T
Pure TalkAT&T
Red PocketAT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon
Straight TalkT-Mobile, AT&T & Verizon
TracfoneVerizon, AT&T & T-Mobile
Unreal MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
WingAT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile
Good2Go MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
Black WirelessAT&T
easyGO WirelessAT&T
Airvoice WirelessAT&T
Optimum MobileAT&T

How to switch to a cheaper GSM carrier

Some carriers lock a cell phone to their network. But if you want to unlock your phone, in most cases it's an easy fix. Then, you can use it across any network.

If your current provider is one of the big four telecoms companies, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint, you'll want to make sure your phone is fully paid off before switching.

With an unlocked phone, you can switch carriers hassle-free. With a low-cost alternative carrier, there's no contract. So, if you sign up and it's not what you expected you're free to switch.

Until a few years ago CDMA phones didn't use SIM cards, but they've now been built to use both CDMA and GSM. This makes it easier to change between the networks.

Considerations when comparing GSM carriers

  • How much talk, text and data do you need? With a low-cost carrier, you can tailor a plan to your needs. By keeping track of your usage you can save money and easily update your plan if needed. Use our free tool to check your average data usage.
  • Bringing your own phone? If your phone is unlocked and compatible with a GSM SIM card this is a great way to save money.
  • Who offers the best coverage? You can use our coverage map to find out which network and carrier work best in your area.

GSM vs CDMA

CDMA and GSM technology was developed for old school 2G connectivity back in the early 90's. While the GSM network is used worldwide, CDMA is used mainly in the US.

But there's a newer technology in town, LTE.

As technology evolved, 4G LTE was created for data only. Still relying on GSM and CDMA for voice and text to fill in the gap when 4G was not available.

So because LTE phones need a SIM card, and the latest CDMA handsets now include SIMs, it's easier than ever to switch with a CDMA carrier.


GSM SIM card FAQs

What is a GSM SIM card?

GSM means Global System for Mobile Communications. All GSM phones have SIM card slots for storing phone information.

What is a SIM card for?

A SIM card holds information from your phone including contacts and data. It means you can easily transfer information from one phone to another.

Which carriers are GSM?

AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM network. So any MVNOs running on these networks are GSM compatible.

How do I know if my SIM card is GSM?

If your current provider is AT&T or T-Mobile then your SIM card will be a GSM SIM card.


Recap

Saving money on your cell phone bill is easy with low cost carriers. And with a great selection of plans there's something for everyone.

GSM MVNOs make it easy for you to bring your own phone, as long as it's compatible. If you're not sure your phone is compatible you can find out with our IMEI checker.

GSM SIM cards are great if you travel abroad as unlike CDMA, the GSM technology is used worldwide for cell service.

If you're not sure which carrier has the best coverage for you, just pop your ZIP code into our coverage checker to find the best for your area.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

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