The National Geographic SIM Card
|Per Minute Rate & Data Calculator|
U.K. and U.S. phone numbers
(either rings into your phone no matter where you are physically)
Free incoming texts to US or UK number
Unlimited free incoming calls in more than 70 countries
Special Europe rates - $0.24 per minute/text/mb
$10.00 initial credit included
Prepaid service - no bills, contracts, or hidden fees one year between recharges
Voice mail, text messaging, data, and 24/7 toll-free U.S. based customer support
Easy to check your call credit and to add more 24/7
Auto call credit recharge - adds one $29 block of call credit any time your balance
dips below $10 (available as a free add-on in the cart)
Easy to use - Plug and Play
Works in over 200 countries worldwide
Listen to an Overview
The National Geographic Travel SIM
The National Geographic Travel SIM is a no-nonsense solution for the international traveler who needs cellular service. This pay as you go service offers affordable cellular, data and texting rates in most countries across the globe. Simply insert the global SIM card in your unlocked cell phone and you are ready to go. Most cell phones have the international networks for worldwide use and many phones either come unlocked or are unlockable (an unlocked phone means it can use any carriers' SIM card).
The SIM card has two phone numbers, a US based number as well as a UK number. Both numbers are always active. Incoming calls on the UK number are free in more than 70 countries. Text messages are free to receive on either number. See the "Call Rates" for specific charges. You can forward your existing US or Canadian number to the US number we provide and get the same benefits as roaming without the high roaming charges you would expect from your carrier! Alternatively, you can give select contacts your new US and/or UK cell phone numbers.
Adding talk time is easy. You may opt for our 'auto recharge' option which automatically adds $29.00 of credit whenever your balance drops below $10.00, or you can dial a simple short code on your handset to add call credit whenever you like. The short codes will come with your instruction booklet and include 24/7 toll free US based customer support, voicemail and balance check.
National Geographic Talk Abroad® Travel SIM is available in standard, micro and nano sizes. The iPhone 4 and 4s as well as the Samsung Galaxy (and most androids) use micro SIM cards while the samsung galaxy s6 and s7 and the iPhone 5 and 6 models use the nano sized SIM. If you order a micro or nano international SIM card, we will include a set of SIM card adapters and a tool kit. The adapters will allow you to adapt the SIM card to a standard size, just in case you need to put the SIM card in a different phone, and the SIM card tool makes opening the SIM card tray easy so you can swap out the SIMs in a snap.
Whether you are a frequent business traveler or a tourist seeking a reliable yet affordable international roaming solution, the National Geographic Talk Abroad® Travel SIM will cover you in over 200 countries. Since this is a prepaid solution, there are no contracts to sign or monthly bills - ever! The SIM card lasts for 12 months from last usage. You can use it in the States or Canada as long as you have GSM coverage. Just check your balance for free to get another 12 months of service life!
Traveling to the EU?
Travelers to the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK) will benefit from extraordinarily low rates. Each $29 of credit will give you 120 minutes of calls, 120 text messages or 120MB of data or a combination thereof. In addition, incoming calls on the UK number are free to receive.
The National Geographic Talk Abroad® Travel SIM supports data in many countries. The SIM card is compatible with unlocked GSM phones and tablets with the proper band. With the exception of the EU and a handful of other countries, data can be very expensive. You should always try to use WiFi whenever possible to save money. The exception would be if you are doing online banking or visiting any other website where the protection of your password is a priority. Please refer to the "Call Rates" tab for exact rates.
Below is an average of what you can expect for data service in the EU (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia,Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK).
- Each $29 will give you approximately
- 120 MB of credit
- 1000+ emails or
- 150+ emails with a small attachment or
- 4 hours of web surfing or
- 1 hour of google maps
- 150+ medium resolution photos or
- 10 minutes of standard-quality streaming video
- 2.5Mbps maximum downspeed (On 3G/HSDPA connection)
- 0.9Mbps maximum upspeed (On 3G/HSDPA connection)
- 3G/HSDPA available in most major towns and cities
- Easy to use - Plug and Play
- Works in over 200 countries worldwide
We highly recommend our auto top up feature. This feature will automatically add a $29 value of credit whenever your balance falls below $10. You will also receive an email of the receipt and a text message indicating that we have added a $29 top up.
If you are interested in a more affordable solution that does not however offer voice calls, please visit our International Data SIM page.
To order directly from your phone while overseas:
Add $29.00 of credit instantly by dialing *161# SEND directly from your Talk Abroad handset.
Check your National Geographic Talk Abroad Balance
Or check your balance from your phone by dialing *187# and sending it like a call
Frequently Asked Questions for The National Geographic Travel SIM Card
Why is the National Geographic Travel SIM the best SIM card available for roaming?
There are several other SIM cards on the market. The Nat Geo SIM has a reputation for reliability and transparency in terms of rates and features. We do not cut corners on customer service nor on cellular service which is not often the case in the roaming SIM card business. We offer 24/7 US based toll free support. We are certain that you will agree with us that the National Geographic Travel SIM is the best SIM available on the market.
What are the rates for the National Geographic SIM card?
For the latest rates, please click on the "Call Rates" tab.
I just need an international SIM card with data. Is this the best travel SIM card for me?
SIM cards that are dedicated only to data tend to have better rates than SIM cards that are data and voice. If you need a data only SIM card for global use, for example, for your tablet or you just simply do not need to make and receive phone calls (or you can use data for you calls through Skype, Whatsapp or similar), please visit this link http://www.cellularabroad.com/dataSIMs.php Here you will find data SIM cards for global use that you can use, virtually worldwide, as well as SIM cards intended for use in one country which usually offer much better rates than international roaming data SIM cards.
Is there a better SIM card for international use than a global roaming SIM?
Potentially, yes. If you are traveling only to one country, it makes sense to get a local SIM card, for example if you are going just to Italy or just to the UK. Cellular Abroad offers many local SIM cards for popular destinations http://www.cellularabroad.com/SIMcards.php You may also be able to get a SIM card when you arrive, but not only is it more convenient buying one before your trip, if you do not speak the local language, you may have a very challenging time trying to use the SIM card. Also, in some countries, you cannot buy a SIM card unless you are a local resident and you will have no way of getting a US number. What many of our customers do is to use the National Geographic SIM card as a backup in case they cannot locate a local SIM card in the country they are traveling to. The National Geographic global SIM card, while it does work around the world, is more expensive but more convenient than getting a local SIM card.
What cell phones use SIM cards?
Virtually every newer cell phone has a slot for a SIM card. Having said that, many carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, use a technology in the United States that does not require a SIM card. Most of their phones are hybrids and use the CDMA technology stateside and the GSM technology, which requires a SIM card, internationally. Unless your phone is an older phone or an entry level phone, it should have a location for a SIM card. Check with your provider to make sure that it has the proper GSM networks. Another requirement is that your phone is unlocked. All Verizon Android 4G phones and Verizon iPhone 5's and 6's come unlocked. Other carrier's phones will need to be unlocked by the carrier.
What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked cell phone is a cell phone that allows you to put any carrier's SIM card in and work. Cell phones come out of the factory compatible with any carrier. However, since many carriers subsidize the price of the phone, they "lock" them so that they can only work on their network. Basically, the carrier is saying, "I will give you a phone at a lower cost but you can only use your phone with our company." After your contract is up with them, usually 2 years or so OR, if you pay off the rest of the subsidy, they will unlock the phone. In addition, some carriers, notably Verizon, does not lock their high end phones to begin with.
Will I get 3G or 4G data speeds internationally?
Virtually all international carriers offer 3G data speeds oversees. Some carriers do offer 4G speeds, and you may even get 4G speeds at times, but typically, 4G is allocated to local SIM cards when and if available.
What is the difference between a micro SIM card and a nano SIM card?
The quick answer is, very little in terms of size but a lot in terms of compatibility. The nano SIM card is just a small fraction smaller than the micro SIM card, but if you try to put a micro SIM card into a nano sized SIM tray, it won't fit, and vice versa. You can get an adapter to size up from a nano SIM to a micro SIM or even standard SIM, but you cannot adapt down.
What is a mini SIM card?
Some phones refer to the SIM card size as mini. A mini SIM card is also known as the standard size SIM card. In the 90's, there were phones that took SIM cards that were the size of a credit card and hence, when the smaller size came out, what we now refer to as a standard size SIM was referred to as the mini SIM. Some phone manufacturers still use this antiquated nomenclature which, admittedly, adds to the confusion.
Will I have to put in any settings on my phone in order to use the SIM card?
There are no setting you need to enable or change to use the voice and texting features of the SIM, if you plan on using data then yes, you will have to change the APN on your phone as per the information provided with your SIM card. This is typically easy to access in your phone's settings. Please refer to the instruction guide for your phone or, better yet, go online to view a step by step either video or webpage that shows you exactly how to do this.
How do I Activate My SIM Card?
Simply insert your SIM and power on the handset. Once you register a network (show reception bars) your service is active. You can do this in the US or Canada. Your service is valid for 12 months from the day of activation and gives you 12 more months of service life from each time it simply registers on a network.
How Long is the SIM Valid?
As long as you turn on your cell phone or tablet before 12 months expire and it picks up a network, your service will be extended for an additional 12 months. You can do this as long as you are in a GSM coverage area - even in the United States or Canada.
What is My Phone Number?
You will have U.K. and U.S. phone numbers, regardless of where you are traveling. Your phone numbers are emailed to you the same day your order ships, typically same or next business day for purchases, and will be clearly marked on you invoice. While you can receive calls and text messages on either number, you can only make calls or text messages from your UK phone number.
How Do I Check My Credit?
You may check your credit at any time by dialing *187# on your handset for free. You will receive a text message with your current credit. You can also check your credit online.
How Do I Add Credit?
You can add talk time at any time - together with your purchase as well as prior to and during your trip. Choose the "Auto-credit top-up" option during checkout to enable your credit to be recharged automatically every time your credit drops below $10.00. Alternatively, you can add $29 to your account at any time while traveling, instantly, by dialing *161# send from your handset. Previous call credit will accumulate to your new call credit.
How Are the Calls Charged?
When you make a call, charges begin only when the other party answers the call or if the call goes to voicemail. Outgoing and incoming call charges, where applicable, are based on 60-second intervals.
Is There Voice Mail?
Yes, your National Geographic SIM Card has voicemail capabilities.
How do I activate Voice Mail?
Your voice mail is already activated. You can access your voice mail system from your handset. It's the cost of a call to the UK from your location, typically $0.69 per minute. From your handset, you dial a 3 digit number as per our instructions and follow the prompts to listen to messages. You will receive a text message alerting you of any new voicemails.
Can I Text?
You can send and receive SMS text messages from your Talk Abroad® international cell phone. However, we nor any carrier, can be responsible nor guarantee that you will always be able to send and receive SMS messages in all circumstances and in all countries. While you can receive text messages on both your UK number and your US number, you can only text out on the UK number.
Why do I have two phone numbers?
In a few words, added convenience and to reduce costs. Most travelers will have people from the United States or Canada call them on the US number. This is more convenient for callers from the US/Canada and it is less expensive for them to call a US number. If you are traveling to Europe or elsewhere, it is more convenient for the Europeans to call a European number.
Can I keep my usual number?
You can keep your usual number simply by forwarding it to the new US number.
Does the SIM Card Have Data Capabilities?
Data services are available but please note that we do not offer data in all countries.
To set up data, all you need to do is set your APN to "mobiledata" - this can be done in your phone's connection settings.
Due to the way they are manufactured, RIM Blackberry model handsets are not compatible with our data services.