Virgin Atlantic Airways - Flying Club (Gold)
Member since 24 Jul 2013
Total posts 18
Hi there, I'll be traveling to the US tomorrow and looking to purchase a SIM card (mainly for data use)
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 13 Jul 2012
Total posts 151
No, you will not be able to find US SIM cards at LAX.
You are also unlikely to find SIM cards at Walmart and other supermarkets in the US; you will have to purchase one from the carrier (AT&T or TMobile).
Check out the locations and hours of their stores in Las Vegas.
Another option is to purchase a US TMobile SIM in Sydney airport from Sim Corner, although it can be a hit and miss (last time I bought one they failed to activate it prior to my arrival to LAX and sorting it out required emailing them plus waiting for another few hours).
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 08 Jun 2014
Total posts 88
Head out to T-Mobile, there are a few around the Airport but you either need to drive out, UBER it or get your rental car.
Member since 29 Nov 2013
Total posts 438
That you're asking about buying a sim indicates you have an unlocked device - why not commit to a real global carrier like Vodafone who offer AUD 5 per day phone/data roaming in the US and lots of other countries...
Member since 03 Nov 2014
Total posts 130
Because $5 a day is a lot compared to some of the deals offered overseas - also means you'd be with Vodafone when you're at home...plenty of people still avoid them after the Vodafail issues...
Member since 11 Oct 2014
Total posts 374
Originally Posted by dimi :
No, you will not be able to find US SIM cards at LAX
by dimi at Apr 24, 2017, 04.53 PM.
Incorrect. See LAX airport website (from which the below has been taken) www (dot) lawa (dot) org
If memory serves me correctly from last trip <6 months ago, the kiosk in Tom Bradley can be accessed by turning left within the Arrivals area after exiting the secure area. It is just past the escalator to Departures level and near the Terminal EXIT doors.
You can buy a SIM card from T-Mobile with Data for say $20 US and have 4GB, ok maybe $30. That's certainly cheaper than $5 a day to roam from an Australian company!
Originally Posted by kimshep :
by kimshep at Apr 25, 2017, 03.57 PM.
Awesome! Thanks for letting me know, Kimshep.
By any chance do you know how much a SIM card costs there?
According to TripAdvisor it is US$89 for a SIM.
I guess I will give them a call before going to LA next time.
Amongst a plethora of plans, T-Mobile are currently offering the following 31 day value plans:
These are taken from T-Mobile directly, which is how I renew my T-Mobile cell number each time I visit the USA. Not sure whether ICE Currency adds a surcharge / commission to the customer for the SIM .. or whether they are paid a commission ex T-Mobile.
In the first case, it would be a minimal amount for a domestic SIM. When I bought my T-Mobile SIM (at a non-ICE vendor) in 2012 the SIM card was free and the service was activated while I paid.
HINT: I've had the same US cell number for the past 5 years. When departing the USA, simply call T-Mobile Customer service and have your 'monthly' plan changed to PAYG (Pay As You Go - which allows you to retain the same cell nbr without any monthly payments). When you return to the US (within 12 months), just call them, change the plan back to .monthly' and advise them of your credit card number for payment. Rinse and repeat.
Nowadays, I simply land at the airport (LAX or DFW), dial Customer Support, and I'm activated in under 5 mins. No need to even visit a T-Mobile store.
Member since 20 May 2015
Total posts 2
We've used the Woolworths Global SIM card in the US and Japan on a couple of occasions over the last few years and found it quite good. One of the benefits is that for a few dollars more you can buy a local phone number (eg an Australian no. or a US no., etc) which allows anyone calling you from Oz (or USA) to use that no. for the cost of a local call. We did have an issue with a faulty batch of Woolworths Global SIMs last year and were forced to buy a replacement AT&T SIM in New York which was a bit annoying. But Woolworths SIM customer service was very good and they did refund us all the additional costs when we got back home. The only problem is that we weren't able to purchase the Oz phone no. allowing family in Ausrlaia to call us for the cost of a local phone call.
Member since 25 Apr 2015
Total posts 7
The USA is one of THE most difficult places to get a working SIM for your phone ... believe me I got stuck using Starbucks Wi-Fi on 2 separate trips because all the info I was given prior to leaving Australia was WRONG !!! Third time lucky I did this ..... Pre-buy an AT&T SIM from an Australian seller on E-Bay (less than A$15) and go to the AT&T website to set up your pre-paid plan. I'm not going to say this process is easy but the guy I bought it from included a brilliant set of instructions that seriously made it a breeze to arrange ..... I picked a 30 day plan for about $50 with stacks of data and calls. AT&T works almost everywhere and will ..... hopefully ..... auto-connect on switch-on (if not you will have to search for the AT&T network in your phone setup). Lastly and most important .... once you insert the AT&T SIM, DON'T TURN ON THE PHONE UNTIL YOU GET TO THE USA. btw .... Starbucks is good to sit and check your mail regardless :-)
Member since 07 Dec 2014
Total posts 50
Whenever I head to the US I get an AT&T GoPhone SIM. I typically say in LA for a night, so one of the first things I do is drive to an AT&T Store to get a SIM. The GoPhone has options of either $45 USD for 6GB or $65 USD 'unlimited' data (at 3 mbps with throttling past 22GB). Provided you're staying for a reasonable visit its is typically good value (e.g. 6 weeks with Vodafone at $5/day is $210, while its $90 USD for 2 months on AT&T 6GB plan).
Member since 29 Jul 2014
Total posts 145
Bear in mind that 3G-4G coverage depends not only on what Bands are supported by each carrier - but also the band capabilities supported by your handset (which do vary). Apple & Microsoft Windows handsets generally tend to cover almost all 'bands' and should pose little, if any, issue in connecting to the major carriers. Because of the profusion and technical variation of Android handsets, this is not always the case (ie. a cheaper handset of brand x might have a less capable chipset, compared to the flagship model of the same brand).
Broadly, most carriers in the USA support the following technologies:
Of the big 4, given T-Mobile's vast network expansion in the USA (doubled in the last 2 years - and with more modern technology), their network coverage and speed is now equal to or exceeds ATT. Next down the list is Verizon, followed by Sprint. An independent organisation named OpenSignal (dot com) is a great source of accurate, updated information re. network coverage / telco comparison / and technical comparison, which is use by the FCC.
The reason that ATT is complex to connect to has more to do with their stringent marketing and the manner in which they customise their handsets (lots of pre-loaded in-house and external software). Just ask anyone in the USA about updates to any given ATT-supplied handset vs. the same handset from any other supplier.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Purchase SIM Card at LAX
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox