I'm looking for the cheapest possible plan, that will allow me to receive calls and will have a small amount of data, 1gb max. All the prepaid plans I found seem to be at least 30$+taxes.

Where i live you used to be able to buy a SIM card with 1gb of data for an equivalent of maybe 1-2$ that would allow you to receive calls for a couple of weeks and then either You throw it away or pay some money to continue using it.

Is there something similar available in the USA? (Chicago area if relevant)

  • This might be hard to find. US prepaid mobile is mostly designed for locals rather than travelers. You might see what's available at shops in O'Hare. Also consider getting a USA coverage plan from your existing mobile carrier, if they offer one. Dec 3 '19 at 18:41

In simple words, there is no service which will provide you 1gb with calls/text at your expected price point. And as Michael commented on the question, you cannot purchase a US prepaid sim from US networks as they ask your SSN in most of the cases. You have to find someone living in the US and has a valid SSN to get you a prepaid sim under their name.

Apart from that, there are some very good international sim's which you can purchase with data and unlimited calls/text for your travel purpose like Lyca Mobile, Vodafone and others. But they charge you minimum of $25 to $30.

The best option would be to check with your existing carrier in your country if they offer you international roaming plans.

  • 3
    I think you're mistaken about the need of a SSN in the United States. I've never heard of or experienced demand for an SSN; this recent article in a well-respective travel website also makes no mention of it. toomanyadapters.com/buying-sim-card-usa Dec 4 '19 at 19:32
  • I am not really sure about that. Because of the security reasons, lately they have been asking SSN and are not giving sim cards to international travelers especially AT&T. I am not really sure about the other networks. One of my friends recently (August 2019) faced this challenge and a family member took care of her with his SSN. And I experienced this when I came to the States on vacation back in 2013 when my cousin had to buy a prepaid sim from AT&T for me.
    – ShellZero
    Dec 4 '19 at 19:41
  • I bought a T-mobile SIM from a Best Buy in May 2019, no questions were asked. Registration was done online without any problems for me as a foreigner.
    – Anders
    Dec 22 '19 at 21:04
  • @Anders that’s cool :)
    – ShellZero
    Jan 9 '20 at 9:23

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