Traveling to Miami and wondering how you can stay connected? I recommend getting a prepaid sim card as this will help you save on roaming costs whilst on vacation in Florida. While you could use public WiFi, this isn't always fast and secure. Free WiFi tends to be unreliable, and can be monitored – even in your hotel. If you must use public WiFi, make sure to use a VPN.
In this guide I'll cover everything you need to know about getting a prepaid sim cards in Miami and at Miami International Airport. Visiting multiple countries? Some of the sim cards covered in this guide can be used in other countries. I'll also cover eSims and how they work and the best options for a trip to Miami.
Tips on using your phone with a USA Sim card
If you're visiting Miami, Florida from outside of the USA, you'll need to make sure your phone can support the frequencies used by USA mobile networks. Luckily most phones can (especially those from big brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google, Sony). But it's always worth checking. You can normally find this information in your phone's manual, or by searching for your phone's exact model number on Google. You can find your model number in the phone settings, and MobileFun has a guide on how to do this for different phones.
There are 3 main networks in Florida (and the USA); AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Below is a table covering the band types they support.
Under 4G Bands where there’s a *, it means that your phone must support at least one of the bands marked with * to work on that network. So for example with Verizon, your phone must support band 13 to work on Verizon's 4G network.
|Network||3G Band type||4G Band type||5G Band type|
|AT&T||GSMA/HSPA/HSPA+ 1900 MHz, 850 MHz||2, 4, 5, 12*, 14, 17*, 29, 30, 66||n260, n5|
|T-Mobile||GSM/HSPA/HSPA+ 1900 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz||2*, 4* 5, 12*, 66, 71*||n41, n260, n261, n71|
|Verizon||CDMA 800, 1900 PCS||2, 4, 5, 13*, 66|
n40, n26-, n261, n2, n5, n66
Another thing to check is, whether your phone can support eSims. If your phone was released since 2020, chances are you can support at least 1 eSim. eSims are digital sim cards, that are downloaded and installed onto your phone over WiFi. This is a great option if you don't have a dual sim card phone as whenever you swap out a phyiscal sim, there's a risk you'll damage or lose the sim card.
If you swap out your main sim card you won't be able to receive calls/texts from things like your bank verification codes without swapping the sim card back in. It's much easier to use an eSim instead of dealing with physical sim cards during your trip to Miami.
But if your phone doesn't support an eSim or you'd rather buy a physical sim card then I recommend making sure you have a sim card ejector tool on you. Make sure to buy one with the loop on it and you can attach it to your keys to ensure you don't lose it. If you forget to buy one before you start traveling, don't worry as you can buy them online in the USA and have it delivered to a store for collection or your accommodation.
Buying a Prepaid Sim Card in Miami Airport
If you want to be connected to the internet soon as you land, then you can pick up a sim card for tourists in Miami International Airport. But you will be paying extra for the convenience, the prepaid sim cards here in the airport are not cheap. So I don't recommend buying one here unless you can't wait until you can get to a store outside the airport, buy one online or don't want to use a travel eSim.
One of the best places to buy a sim card at Miami Airport is the Ice Currency Exchange Stores. This airport shop sells prepaid sim cards, cell phones, prepaid calling cards as well as offering currency exchange. Some also sell things like covid tests.
There are a 6 different Ice Currency Exchange Stores, these are located in:
- Central Terminal, Concourse E at 1st Level Arrivals.
- Central Terminal, Concourse E at 2nd Level Departures (Pre-security). Located near Subway, by door 10.
- North Terminal, Concourse D at 3rd Level Train Station (This is a stand so sim card options may be limited)
- North Terminal, Concourse D at 1st Level Arrivals
- South Terminal, Concourse J at 3rd Level International Arrivals (Temporarily closed as of February 2023)
- Central Terminal, Concourse F at 2nd Level Departures (Temporarily closed as of February 2023)
Communitel Baggage Storage also sells usa sim cards at Miami Airport. They have one shop located in the Central Terminal, Concourse E at the 2nd Level Departures floor before security. It's located near door 9, next to Chef Creole and opposite the TSA security area.
You may also find sim cards in the InMotion stores, these can be found in a few different places:
- North Terminal, Concourse D at 2nd Level Departures (pre-security, opposite the American Ticket Counter)
- Central Terminal, Concourse G at 2nd Level Departures (pre security, opposite the United Airlines Ticket Counter)
- South Terminal, Concourse H at 2nd Level Departures (pre-security, opposite the Viva Airlines Ticket Counter)
If you have a connecting flight in Miami International Airport where you'll be staying on the departure side and want to buy a prepaid sim card in the airport for traveling in the USA, check out one of these departure-side stores:
- InMotion store, North Terminal Concourse D, opposite Gate D20
- Sound Balance, North Terminal, Concourse D at 2nd Level Departures by Gate D-24
- Ice Currency Exchange, North Terminal, at 2nd level departures, by Gate D19
- Ice Currency Exchange, North Terminal, Concourse D at 2nd Level Departures by Gate D-29
- Ice Currency Exchange, South Terminal, Concourse H-J Connector at 2nd Level Departures (Temporarily closed as of February 2023)
- Sound Balance South Terminal, Concourse H-J Connector at 2nd Level Departures
When it comes to the sim card plans, available, all three stores are expensive. There are much better prepaid sim cards available in the USA for tourists. But if you're wanting to connect straight away, here are your options. I recommend the Ultra Mobile options as these offer you the best value.
|InMotion and Sound Balance||LycaMobile USA – 7GB Data, Unlimited calls & Texts (for 30 days from activation)||$30|
|InMotion and Sound Balance||LycaMobile USA – 15GB Data, Unlimited calls & Texts (for 30 days from activation)||$50|
|InMotion and Sound Balance||Ultra Mobile – 2GB 5G/4G data and unlimited data at slower speeds, Unlimited calls and texts within the USA, Unlimited international texts. (3 weeks duration)||$30|
|Communtiel Baggage Storage||Ultra Mobile – 4GB Data, Unlimited calls and texts (for 30 days)||$37|
|Ice Currency Exchange||Lycamobile USA – 12GB Data, Unlimited calls & texts (for 30 days from activation)|
Buying a prepaid eSim for the USA
If you have a phone that supports eSims, then I really recommend buying an eSim instead of a physical sim card. eSims are a digital sim card, that you download onto your phone. They're also much cheaper than the sim cards at Miami international airport.
If your phone only supports one sim card, then definitely consider using one as swapping out your physical sim card sucks. As I mentioned eariler, there's the risk you'll damage the sim, and you can't receive calls/texts so no way of verfiying things like card payments.
Plus eSims are affordable. If you're traveling with kids who have their own phone or a tablet that supports eSims you could buy them an eSim so they can continue to access things like YouTube Kids to keep them entertained as you drive between attractions. If you're looking for things to do with kids in Miami, check out this guide on visiting Miami with kids.
eSims do have some downsides though. Travel eSims only offer data plans and don't issue you with a phone number. So you can't use them for calling or texting.
Does my phone support eSims?
Most Android phones purchased since 2020 support eSims but iPhones from the iPhone XS and iPhone XR (2018 onwards) support eSims.
Samsungs high-end phones from the S20 onwards (e.g. note, flips, fold, s-series) supports them. You can view a full list of what phones support eSim here but if in doubt, check your phone's manual/with the manufacturer.
When it comes to eSims, I recommend using Airalo. Airalo makes it really easy to buy, install and activate the eSim. They're affordable, and you can easily extend/purchase more eSim plans as needed.
When picking an eSim plan you can pick between one that covers the whole of the USA or worldwide. Airalo also sells regional eSims but there isn't one available for North America.
If you're only visiting the USA, then the best sim card for Miami is most likely Airalo's USA eSims which start at $4.50 (USD). If you run out of data or your plan expires, you can purchase another eSim. There's no contract, it's completely pay-as-you-go.
Here's the eSim cards for the USA offered by Airalo:
Airalo offers the following USA eSim plans:
- $4.50 for 1GB data, that lasts 7 days
- $8 for 2GB data that lasts 15 days
- $11 for 3GB data that lasts 30 days
- $16 for 5GB data that lasts 30 days
- $26 for 10GB data that lasts 30 days
- $42 for 20GB data that lasts 30 days
Airalo also offers a range of international eSims that cover up to 89 countries worldwide. These cost more, but they work out cheaper if you're visiting multiple countries. They also go up to 180 days duration on the longest plan, whereas USA ones only last for as long as 30 days. I find these worldwide sim cards are best for those who are low data users, as if you're a high user you'll probably need to purchase more data (and extra data costs the same as the initial sim card).
Here's the international eSim cards offered by Airalo:
Airalo offers the following worldwide eSim plans:
- 1GB data, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3GB data, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5GB Data, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10GB data, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20GB data, valid for 180 days for $89
Note: these eSims are data only! So if you need calls/texts you still need a physical sim card for your trip around Florida. So continue reading to find a different sim that is suitable.
Purchasing a Sim Card in Miami
If you want a physical prepaid sim card, the best alternative to buying a sim card for the USA at Miami Airport is to buy one once you're in Miami. Just visit one of the many phone stores, and you'll be able to pick up a prepaid sim card that works throughout Miami and other areas of Florida such as Orlando.
I recommend getting an Ultra Mobile tourist sim card as they include unlimited calls, texts, and data (at slow speeds) with all their plans. They also use the T-mobile network so you'll get good signal coverage throughout Miami, even if you're on the beach. You can buy them online but if you want to buy one in person you'll need to visit one of their authorized retailers.
The sim cards from an Ultra Mobile authorized retailer start at $15 for 250MB of 5G/4G fast data and unlimited data at a slower speed going up to $59 for 60GB data at 5G/4G speeds + the slower unlimited data.
You can find two Ultra Mobile retailers in Downtown Miami. These are located at:
- Appleberry, located on 113 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, FL. Google Maps Link here.
- Munani Group Inc, located on 50 SW 10 Street 1212 Miami, FL. Google Maps link here.
If you're planning on going to Miami South Beach, then you could head to either of these stores:
- Amigo Wireless Miami Beach located on 710 Washington Ave 10 Miami Beach, FL. Google Maps link here.
- Max Wireless Inc, located on 1145 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, FL. Google Maps link here.
There's also tons more stores throughout Miami stocking the Ultra sim cards (the ones above were some of the highest rated), so make sure to check their store locator.
Another good option is a T-Mobile sim card. They're not as cheap as Ultra Mobile though but they offer a fast internet connection. There's tons of T-Mobile stores throughout Miami so soon as you arrive in the city you can go pick one up. One of the easiest places to buy one is at the Miami International Shopping Mall where you can also find popular chain stores such as SEPHORA. There's also a T-Mobile store right by Miami Beach, which you can find on Google Maps here.
Buying a Prepaid Travel Sim Card Online
If you want to be really organised, you could buy a sim card online. This way you can have your prepaid sim card for Miami ready to go when you land. It's also a much cheaper way to buy a travel sim card online for the USA than at Miami Airport. For purchasing one online for use in the USA check out my full guide for buying a USA sim card here.
But here's a summary of the best sim cards for Miami covered in that guide. All of these sim cards available for international shipping to most countries (including the UK, Australia, and most of Europe) so you can purchase these sim cards before you arrive in the USA and activate them soon as you land.
If you're already in Miami, you can also order these sim cards online – either to your accomodation (if they let you receive parcels) or to a pick up location.
Lycamobile offer a sim card that has unlimited text, calls and data in the USA. Lycamobile does tend to have slower connection speeds than other options but they still have good service in Miami. Plus they're affordable and allow you to make & accept international calls. Used up your data plan? Lycamobile can be topped up online, through their site using their quick recharge option. You can purchase this sim card here.
T-Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and 50GB data for within the USA. You MUST activate this within 90 days of purchase. T-Mobile tends to be one of the better mobile operators in Florida, especailly around Miami, Orlando and Tampa. But they can be more pricer than other options. Buy the sim card here.
Simify offer an unlimited data tourist sim card for the USA. This prepaid sim card uses the T-Mobile network and supports 5G data speeds so you'll get great coverage and be able to stay connected throughout not just Miami but the whole of the USA. They come with hotspot/tethering enabled so you can have multiple devices connect to one unlimited data plan! You can buy the Simify sim card here.
Ultra Mobile sells sim cards online such as one that includes 6GB 4G Data, unlimited texts and talk. While this is a USA, you can order the Ultra Mobile sim card online and get it delivered to your hotel or a collection point so you know it'll be in Miami before you arrive. Purchase the Ultra Mobile sim card here.
You could also buy an international sim card which can be used in the USA and many other countries. Such as this OneSimCard Expedition International SIM Card, which works in 200+ countries and costs only $0.01 per MB of data used. You can purchase the OneSimCard here.
Another great option for visiting multiple countries is the Simify global prepaid SIM Card for International Travel that includes 6GB Data that can be used in 120+ countries for 15 days with tethering and hotspotting enabled so multiple devices can share one sim card.
If you'll be visiting Mexico and/or Canada as well as the USA, then you could get Simify's prepaid travel sim that covers the USA, Canada and Mexico. You'll get 15GB data, plus calls & texts for 30 days + hotspot/tethering support. You can buy the sim card here.
Pocket WiFi for traveling in Miami
If you're traveling with multiple devices, or as a group and want to avoid buying multiple sim cards then a pocket wifi can be a great investment. If you're traveling a lot then I recommend buying your own device as you can save a ton on roaming fees by using local sim cards in the device. But if you're only vacationing once a year then renting can be a better option.
Here's the top rated devices if you want to buy a pocket WiFI device. Both the devices listed, are highly rated by customers and include international roaming services. Both are pay-as-you-go so you won't be tied to a contract.
|Mobile WiFi Device / Mobile WiFi Plan|
|Skyroam Pocket WiFi||Mobile WiFi Hotspot & Power Bank, works in 130+ countries including the USA and Europe.|
|Skyroam WiFi Top Up Cards||Skyroam Pre-Paid Card: 5 Global WiFi Day passes for the Skyroam Wifi Hotspot|
|GlocalMe Pocket WiFi||GlocalMe G3 4G Mobile WiFi Hotspot, with 1.1GB Global data. (Top up using their website.)|
When it comes to Pocket WiFi Rentals, there are a few rental companies covering Miami and the rest of the USA.
TravelWiFi – Prices start from $4.40 per day, and allow you to connect up to 5 devies. They'll deliver it to your chosen destination.
RentnConnect – If you're traveling from Europe, The Middle East or UAE then you can rent a pocket wifi from RentnConnect that works in the USA. You cannot get this delivered to the USA though so make sure to order it with enough time, to receive the device before you fly to Miami.
Hope you found this guide to buying a sim card in Miami useful. Visiting other areas of the US? Check out my guide to buying a USA sim card here.
Traveling outside of the USA? Check out my other sim card guides to find the best sim cards & avoid data roaming fees.