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Best roaming SIM only deals 2023: Save money when heading overseas

Max Figgett Matt Reed
16 Mar 2023

We've collected all of the best roaming SIM-only deals in one place, whether you're off on holiday or travelling for work

The best roaming SIM only deals let you use your data allowance as if you were at home when you’re in an EU country or further afield. However, the rules have completely changed since Brexit, with mobile networks now charging varying amounts to access your call, text and data plans in different countries. That’s where Expert Reviews comes in.

We’ve scoured the internet to find the best roaming SIM only deals, whether you’re hitting an Italian beach, visiting family in Kolkata or hopping across the pond for a big meeting in Chicago. To make things simpler, we’ve separated them into SIM offers for European travel and those for roaming around the rest of the world.

READ NEXT: The best SIM only deals

Best roaming SIM only deals 2023: Europe

1. iD Mobile: The cheapest roaming SIM only deals

Not only does iD Mobile offer completely free roaming in 50 European destinations and overseas territories (such as Guadeloupe and Martinique), but its prices are some of the lowest on the market. For instance, you can currently pick up 100GB of 5G-compatible data for £15/mth on a one-month contract or step up to 200GB for just £1/mth extra.

It’s certainly not the best option if you’re travelling to, say, India or Australia, but iD Mobile can’t be beaten when it comes to visits to mainland Europe. A word of warning, though: you might still be charged extra if you’re on a ferry or cruise ship between European destinations so we’d always recommend switching off roaming while you’re at sea.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 50

View offers at iD Mobile

2. Tesco Mobile: The best roaming SIM only deals for lower data allowances

If you don’t need bags of data, these Tesco Mobile roaming SIM only deals could be for you. You’ll be able to use your allowance in 48 countries in Europe and overseas territories. Even better, you’ll get extra money off if you have a Tesco Clubcard.

For example, if you’re a Clubcard owner, you’ll pay just £11/mth for 30GB on a two-year contract (it's £12.50/mth for non-Clubcard owners) or you could even opt for 2GB for an ultra-affordable £7.50/mth.

Contract lengths: 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 48

View offers at Tesco Mobile

3. Smarty: The best roaming SIM only deals for short-term trips

Providing strong competition in the low-cost department is Smarty. The provider piggybacks on the Three network and lets you roam freely in 34 EU/EEA countries via all its contracts. While you won’t get all the bells and whistles of a Three contract, Smarty deals are incredibly cheap and start from just £5/mth for 4GB of data. Especially handy for a brief getaway is that they are all one month rolling contracts meaning you can cancel at any time. The only catch is that its deals have a fair-use limit of 12GB no matter your overall allowance – but that should still be enough for most people.

Wherever you plan on travelling in Europe, you’ll need to change your smartphone’s APN or your SIM won’t work abroad. Luckily, Smarty has a straightforward guide on how to it and, once it’s done, you’re set for any trips thereafter.

Contract lengths: 1 month; Daily roaming charge: None in Europe, varies elsewhere; Countries included: 34

View offers at Smarty

Best roaming SIM only deals 2023: Rest of the world

1. EE: Get FREE roaming in popular destinations

EE might be the fastest network in the UK, but it doesn’t have a reputation for saving money. This SIM only deal is an exception, though, and bags you free roaming in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, as well as all of the EU.

All you have to do is pick a plan with an “inclusive extra” (usually £10/mth on its own) and then select the Roam Abroad Pass, which will last for the entirety of your two-year contract. You can currently scoop the unlimited data deal for a decent £36/mth.

Note that you’ll only be able to use 50GB of your monthly allowance while abroad, but that should be enough for the vast majority of travellers.

Contract lengths: 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None (with Smart Benefit); Countries included: 52

View offers at EE

2. Three: Solid savings (if you can find them)

Three’s rules for its roaming SIM only deals are straightforward: you’ll either pay £2 to access your normal UK allowance for 24 hours in Europe or £5 in the rest of the world. That includes countries such as the US, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, among many others.

There are two things to bear in mind, though: first, popular destinations such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China and Japan aren’t included. Second, although you’ll get free calls and texts to UK numbers, you’ll still have to pay through the nose if you want to contact someone with a local SIM.

Still, it's a reliable network with the best coverage around back in the UK, and worth considering when there are savings on offer – Three frequently has discounted contracts including half price for six months deals.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: £2 in Europe, £5 for rest of the world; Countries included: 73

View offers at Three

3. Lebara: The best roaming SIM only deal for India

You’ll have noticed a big omission from the two deals above: India. However, thanks to Lebara, you won’t have to pay extortionate roaming fees while you’re on the subcontinent. All of its 30-day and 12-month SIM plans include free roaming in India as standard, as well as in the EU.

Even better, they also include at least 100 free minutes to 42 destinations around the world, including India, Australia, Canada, Israel, China, the US, New Zealand and Thailand. The 30-day unlimited deal is particularly eye-catching at a bargain £25/mth and gets you bottomless 5G-enabled data and 100 international minutes.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months; Daily roaming charge: None in the EU and India; Countries included: 42

View offers at Lebara

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