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We're going to the US for a road trip coast to coast on Saturday and will be needing our smartphones, at least for navigation but preferably also for Skype and to have Internet access to do research for the places we'll be going to.

Can I buy a pre-paid SIM card for my (unlocked) Samsung Galaxy S5 in a store?

I read on a forum that those aren't sold at all, that all you can get is a 'phone locked to the SIM card.

Is that true?

We can get a travel data deal with my current operator, but it's $27 for 140 MB so we'd prefer to get something with more data.

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    Which country are you from? I ask as the mobile network 3 in the UK (and possibly elsewhere) have a "Feel at Home" offer for its customers where if you travel to a qualifying country (USA is one) then you can use your phone abroad at no extra cost. Data, calls and text messages will be taken out of your contract allowance. – davidb Apr 27 '15 at 12:56
  • I happen to be a 3 customer actually, but they don't offer anything like that in (from) Sweden, only the offer I mentioned in my main post. – Mårten Apr 27 '15 at 13:10
  • Shame that the offer is not replicated across to Sweden. It is the main reason why I am a customer of 3. It makes travelling around some European countries easier...and cheaper! – davidb Apr 27 '15 at 13:12
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There's an entire wiki dedicated to this exact question!

http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/

I'm marking this as a community wiki-answer in case anyone wants to dig into the pretty significant amount of work required to expand this answer with rates and options available for the US. :-)

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Weirdly I thought we had this question, but the only question seems to be in relation to Canada in North America...

Yes, you can. I've done so the last two years, and intend doing this again in June/July this year.

Which company you use depends on your requirements and the deals, of course, but I just went into a couple and asked what they had, and then bought one. It cost like $5 for the sim, and whatever extra I paid for my minutes/data.

I've done this with phone purchased in Canada and Australia, so it's definitely not an issue. Both were modern Android phones as well.

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