New eSIM Service Offers Cheap, Easy Data on Trips Abroad

Jul 18, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Here at TPG, we swear by Google Fi mobile service for trips abroad. I’ve been an off-and-on subscriber for the better part of five years, and it’s consistently mentioned as one of the top options for frequent international travelers. Occasional overseas flyers might be after a one-and-done solution, though, and a new service just launched that has me especially intrigued.

KnowRoaming, which has provided a handful of creative solutions for overseas data over the years, now offers an entirely digital eSIM, making it easy to sign up online and get connected in just a few minutes. eSIM compatibility is still fairly limited, but it’s available with the most recent iPhones, along with Google’s latest generation of Pixel phones.

Data-only packages are available in 1GB ($10) or 5GB ($40) increments. You need to sign up on KnowRoaming’s dedicated site, then scan the QR code with a compatible phone.

I purchased and added my eSIM in about 90 seconds, though downloading the app and registering the SIM there to activate my 30-day package took a bit more time. Once you buy an eSIM, you can purchase more data directly through the app — assuming you have enough left (or a Wi-Fi connection available) to get online.

I tried out the service with a 1GB USA package in New York City. My Pixel 3a connected to AT&T’s 3G network after a few minutes, with serviceable data speeds:

Performance paled in comparison to the carrier’s LTE service, though, which we tested with an iPhone and an AT&T-issued SIM:

For now, service is available in the US and Europe, including Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

KnowRoaming expects to have coverage in 200+ countries “soon,” but, in the meantime, you may find more coverage (and less-expensive USA/Europe alternatives) from KnowRoaming competitors — United Networks offers service in a handful of Asian countries, for example, along with inexpensive 5GB Europe/USA packages for $32.

Featured image by Zach Honig/TPG

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.