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Best roaming SIM only deals 2023: Save money when heading overseas

Max Figgett Matt Reed
1 Jun 2023

We've collected all of the best roaming SIM-only deals in one place, whether you're off on holiday or travelling for work

The best roaming SIM only deals let you use your data allowance as if you were at home when you’re in an EU country or further afield. However, the rules have completely changed since Brexit, with mobile networks now charging varying amounts to access your call, text and data plans in different countries. That’s where Expert Reviews comes in.

To help you find the roaming SIM only deal that closest fits your travelling needs, we've rounded up the best below. It isn't an exhaustive list, but rather the offers that the SIM sommeliers at Expert Reviews are happy to recommend.

And, for more information about what the mobile networks are actually like to use and why we recommend certain deals over others, scroll further down the page.

Best roaming SIM only deals: At a glance

  • Best deal for Europe: Smarty
  • Best deal for the rest of the world: Three

The best roaming SIM only deals this June

1. Smarty: The best roaming SIM only for Europe

This Smarty roaming SIM only deal represents insanely good value for money if you're jetting off a European trip: you can currently pick up 100GB of 5G data for just £12/mth on a rolling monthly contract. However, just make sure to be quick because this offer from our favourite mobile network overall won't be around for long.

Key details

Contract length1 month
Monthly price£12
Unlimited minutes and textsYes
Price per gigabyte12p

View deal at Smarty

2. Three: The best roaming SIM only deal for the rest of the world

Although it can't quite match Smarty's sheer quality, this Three deal is superb value for money if you're heading further afield and are happy to pay the network's daily charges (see further down the page): 120GB of 5G data for £12/mth on a one-year deal

Key details

Contract length12 months
Monthly price£12
Unlimited minutes and textsYes
Price per gigabyte10p

View deal at Three

The best mobile networks for roaming in Europe

1. iD Mobile: The cheapest roaming SIM only deals

Not only does four-star iD Mobile offer completely free roaming in 50 European destinations and overseas territories (such as Guadeloupe and Martinique), but its prices are some of the lowest on the market.

It’s certainly not the best option if you’re travelling to, say, India or Australia, but iD Mobile can’t be beaten when it comes to visits to mainland Europe. A word of warning, though: you might still be charged extra if you’re on a ferry or cruise ship between European destinations so we would always recommend switching off roaming while you’re at sea.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None; Countries included: 50

Read our full iD Mobile review

2. Smarty: Best roaming SIM only deals for short-term trips

Providing strong competition in the low-cost department is five-star Smarty. The provider piggybacks on the Three network and lets you roam freely in 34 EU/EEA countries via all its contracts. While you won’t get all the bells and whistles of a Three contract, Smarty deals are incredibly cheap and they're all one-month rolling contracts meaning you can cancel at any time. The only catch is that its deals have a fair-use limit of 12GB no matter your overall allowance – but that should still be enough for most people.

Wherever you plan on travelling in Europe, you will need to change your smartphone’s APN or your SIM won’t work abroad. Luckily, Smarty has a straightforward guide on how to it and, once it’s done, you’re set for any trips thereafter.

Contract lengths: 1 month; Daily roaming charge: None in Europe, varies elsewhere; Countries included: 34

Read our full Smarty review

The best mobile networks for roaming in the rest of the world

1. EE: Get FREE roaming in popular destinations

Four-star EE might be the fastest network in the UK, but it doesn’t have a reputation for saving money. This SIM only deal is an exception, though, and bags you free roaming in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, as well as all of the EU.

All you have to do is pick a plan with an “inclusive extra” (usually £10/mth on its own) and then select the Roam Abroad Pass, which will last for the entirety of your two-year contract. Note that you will only be able to use 50GB of your monthly allowance while abroad, but that should be enough for the vast majority of travellers.

Contract lengths: 24 months; Daily roaming charge: None (with Smart Benefit); Countries included: 52

Read our full EE review

2. Three: Solid savings (if you can find them)

Three’s rules for its roaming SIM only deals are straightforward: you will either pay £2 to access your normal UK allowance for 24 hours in Europe or £5 in the rest of the world. That includes countries such as the US, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, among many others.

There are two things to bear in mind, though: first, popular destinations such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China and Japan aren’t included. Second, although you will get free calls and texts to UK numbers, you will still have to pay through the nose if you want to contact someone with a local SIM.

Still, it's a reliable, four-star network with the best coverage around back in the UK, and worth considering when there are savings on offer – Three frequently has discounted contracts including half price for six months deals.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months, 24 months; Daily roaming charge: £2 in Europe, £5 for rest of the world; Countries included: 73

Read our full Three review

3. Lebara: Best roaming SIM only deal for India

You will have noticed a big omission from the two deals above: India. However, thanks to four-star Lebara, you won’t have to pay extortionate roaming fees while you’re on the subcontinent. All of its 30-day and 12-month SIM plans include free roaming in India as standard, as well as in the EU.

Even better, they also include at least 100 free minutes to 42 destinations around the world, including India, Australia, Canada, Israel, China, the US, New Zealand and Thailand.

Contract lengths: 1 month, 12 months; Daily roaming charge: None in the EU and India; Countries included: 42

Read our full Lebara review

How do we seek out the best roaming SIM only deals for you? At Expert Reviews, we put a lot of thought into the offers we recommend and always want to get the most for your money. We've outlined our full deal-hunting strategy in a dedicated article, which you can read by clicking on this link.

Read more