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best sim card france

The 10 Best France SIM Cards in 2021

Author: Anthony Lee

Smartphone Expert

best france sim card

Traveling to France and looking for a Prepaid SIM Card? We will tell you how good the coverage in France is, which providers you can choose from and where you can buy the cheapest SIM card in France.

Even abroad, everybody wants to be always reachable anywhere you go. But a quick call or a quick look at Facebook and other social media platforms can be expensive at the end of the month. So-called roaming charges apply if you want to use your smartphone abroad. However, since France is part of the EU, you benefit from regulated prices.

Specifically, this means that since June 2017 there have been no further costs for the mobile phone user. If you own a SIM Card from a European country, you can freely use the mobile internet across borders. However, there are some exceptions and restrictions and the providers can take action against excessive use. If you want to be sure, check whether you data package is billed differently.

In France, there are prepaid cards from various providers, which can be obtained in supermarkets. You can purchase SIM Cards online in advance before you travel, too. Since prepaid cards have to be registered and you have to show your ID, customers who don’t speak French could be better off by purchasing online.

Here are our favorite Prepaid SIM Cards for a perfect trip to France.

In France, Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom are among the well-known providers, each of which has its own comprehensive network. Just like any other SIM Card, you simply insert it into a smartphone and activate it activating the mobile internet or by calling. This solution is particularly suitable for travelers who do not want to rely on their local internet provider and pay the high roaming charges.

International SIM Card
Editor's Choice
Orange Holiday Europe – 10GB Internet Data in 4G/LTE (+10GB Additional for SIMS Activated from April 4TH) + 120 mn + 1000 Texts in 30 Countries in Europe
Orange Holiday Europe - 3GB Internet Data in 4G/LTE (currently 8GB promotion) + 30mn + 200 Texts from 30 Countries in Europe to Any Country Worldwide
Three 10GB Data Pay As You Go SIM
Data Plans
20GB
8GB
10GB
Calls
120 Min International Calls
30 Min International Calls
Unlimited (within Europe)
SMS
1,000 SMS
200 SMS
Unlimited (within Europe)
Rating
Prime Benefits
Editor's Choice
International SIM Card
Orange Holiday Europe – 10GB Internet Data in 4G/LTE (+10GB Additional for SIMS Activated from April 4TH) + 120 mn + 1000 Texts in 30 Countries in Europe
Data Plans
20GB
Calls
120 Min International Calls
SMS
1,000 SMS
Rating
Prime Benefits
More Information
International SIM Card
Orange Holiday Europe - 3GB Internet Data in 4G/LTE (currently 8GB promotion) + 30mn + 200 Texts from 30 Countries in Europe to Any Country Worldwide
Data Plans
8GB
Calls
30 Min International Calls
SMS
200 SMS
Rating
Prime Benefits
More Information
Best Price
International SIM Card
Three 10GB Data Pay As You Go SIM
Data Plans
10GB
Calls
Unlimited (within Europe)
SMS
Unlimited (within Europe)
Rating
Prime Benefits
More Information

Are you looking for an alternative to SIM Cards? We compared the best Pocket WiFi’s.

Three - Pay As You Go Sim Card for France

Founded in Hong Kong, but mostly known for its operations in the United Kingdom, Three has evolved to be one of the major internet service providers around the world. Today, Three provides mobile internet service to more than 130 million customers. With the SIM Cards offered by the Three and the Go Roam program, you can browse through the internet in more than 70 countries worldwide. The full coverage can be found here.

Three Pay As You Go 12GB

  • Data: 12GB (free roaming)
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe
  • SMS: Unlimited within Europe
  • Coverage: 71 countries worldwide (including Europe)

Orange - The European Prepaid Data Sim Card

If you are traveling to France, it is definitely worth taking a look at Orange. Orange is the one the major mobile internet companies and its network has been recognized as the best across Europe several times now. Originally known as France Telecom, Orange now has over 250 million customers and is known for its generous Europe SIM Card package. You will be able to use the mobile internet not only in France but all across Europe. See below the details.

Orange Holiday Zen
855 Reviews
Orange Holiday Zen

  • Data: 3GB (extended to 8GB currently)
  • Calls: 30 Minutes (from Europe to worldwide)
  • SMS: 200 Texts (from Europe to worldwide)
  • Coverage: 30 countries in Europe

Orange Holiday Europe
  • Data: 20GB
  • Calls: 120 Minutes (from Europe to worldwide)
  • SMS: 1000 Texts (from Europe to worldwide)
  • Coverage: 30 countries in Europe

Cellhire - International Mobile Sim for France

Cellhire might be less known than the other companies mentioned here but they are the leading supplier during events (FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and many more). With the headquarters in the United Kingdom and many across offices across the glove, Cellhire has itself established as a major internet provider. The France SIM Cards offered by them provides a great value.

Cellhire Data SIM Card 4GB

  • Data: 4GB Data in 4G Speed
  • Calls: not included
  • SMS: not included
  • Coverage: 36 countries in Europe

Cellhire Data SIM Card 8GB

  • Data: 8GB Data in 4G Speed
  • Calls: not included
  • SMS: not included
  • Coverage: 36 countries in Europe

Cellhire Data SIM Card 8GB

  • Data: 8GB Data in 4G Speed
  • Calls: not included
  • SMS: not included
  • Coverage: 36 countries in Europe

OneSimCard - Prepaid SIM Card for France

When it comes to international SIM Cards, we definitely cannot overlook OneSimCard. This international mobile service providers offered Prepaid SIM Cards for more than 200 countries worldwide. They allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service in France and would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

OneSimCard Prepaid International 3-in-one SIM Card
809 Reviews
OneSimCard Prepaid International 3-in-one SIM Card

  • Data: as low as $0.01 per MB
  • Calls: free incoming calls in over 160 countries
  • SMS: free incoming texts from everywhere
  • Coverage: 200 countres worldwide
  • Phone Number: Europe & USA

OneSimCard Universal 3-in-one SIM Card

  • Data: as low as $0.01 per MB
  • Calls: free incoming calls in over 160 countries
  • SMS: free incoming texts from everywhere
  • Coverage: 200 countres worldwide
  • Phone Number: Europe & USA
  • Credit: $5 included

KeepGo - Roaming SIM Card for France

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T.  The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use internet in France, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling to France several times per year.

Keepgo Global Lifetime 4G LTE Data SIM Card
  • Data: 1GB (valid for 1 year)
  • Calls: not included
  • SMS: not included
  • Coverage: 105 countries worldwide

Mobal - France Sim for Calls & Texts

Mobal was founded by an international traveler who became frustrated by the insane roaming costs abroad. Their focus is providing service to American travelers going to Europe. Nonetheless, they offer a wide range of Talk & Text only SIM cards that allow you to connect anywhere you want to go.

Mobal World Talk & Text SIM Card
51 Reviews
Mobal World Talk & Text SIM Card

  • Data: no data
  • Calls: check with Mobal for pricing
  • SMS: check with Mobal for pricing
  • Coverage: 190 countries worldwide

O2 - Leading Mobile Internet Provider in France

O2 is a subsidiary of Telefonica UK Limited and employs more than 6700 employees and 450 retail stores worldwide. Just recently, O2 has been awarded as the prize of the Best Network Coverage in 2019 (second time in a row). This mobile network operator is famously known for its blue color and the bubbles. Besides that, they offer great value on their Prepaid SIM Cards for Europe and France. Perfect for holiday or business trip abroad to save roaming charges.

O2 SIM Card Prepaid 4G LTE

  • Data: 20GB
  • Calls: 10,000 Minutes
  • SMS: 10,000 Texts
  • Coverage: Countries in Europe only

Data SIM Card for France

In addition to the Prepaid SIM Cards which includes calls & text credit,  there are data-only SIM Cards for France. They are often cheaper than packages with calls and text messages. Data SIM cards can be interesting not only for tablet users, but also for smartphone users if you mostly message via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger while being on vacation.

Register a France SIM Card

Prepaid cards purchased in France must be activated or confirmed within 14 days. This requires both a valid address and a copy of the ID card or passport. If you do not register the SIM Card, you can no longer use the French SIM card after the specified period.

Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom offer an online platform to register your SIM Card. You can go through this process before you start your trip. If you want to avoid the whole process completely, we recommend to purchase a pre-registered SIM Card.

You can choose the time of activation, which is a great advantage with a fixed arrival and departure date. This is how travelers can ensure that their SIM Card packages are valid exactly when they are in France.

Since the authorities are not among the fastest institutions abroad, the activation of a SIM card for France is always time-consuming. It is in the interest of every traveler to purchase a SIM card as early as possible and to select the activation period. The biggest advantage is that you can immediately use the SIM card upon your arrival in France.

Keep the costs low thanks to Prepaid SIM Cards

With a prepaid SIM card, nobody has to worry about spending an unexpectedly large amount of money on calls, as the possible costs are limited to the previously loaded credit. Exceeding the data volume while using the mobile internet has no financial consequences, since most the internet service provider will start throttling the internet speed.

Making calls back home

After the EU roaming fees have been abolished, normal domestic internet packages from any provider within Europe apply to calls and internet during the stay in France – the “roam-like-home” principle.

Please note: Some SIM cards only allow calls within Europe, some limit it to a few selected country. The Orange SIM Card allows for calls outside Europe only. This means, you can call friends & family in the United States from France, but you cannot make calls from France to Germany.

Can every smartphone use SIM Card for France?

In order to be able to use a separate SIM card for France, travelers should ensure that your smartphone is not locked. If this is not the case, the card cannot be exchanged.

Nowadays most smartphone support the frequencies for mobile communications that is being used in Europe. Practically, every unlocked smartphone will work in France.

The only reason that the SIM card purchased for France is not compatible can be the different SIM card size slot. Most SIM Cards purchased only come in 3 different sizes – Nano, Micro and Standard. Please make sure that is the case and you will not have any problem inserting the SIM Card into your smartphone.

Roaming in Europe

The EU law “Roam Like Home” has been in place since June 2017. This means that as an EU citizen on holiday or on business trips within the EU, can now use their domestic mobile internet abroad without having to pay roaming charges. 

In reality, however, it is still the case that the various EU countries have to cope with significant price differences. Mobile operators are faced with competitive advantages and disadvantages – due to the local currency, the economy and the construction and operating costs of their networks. Although the EU prescribes maximum prices which, according to a given plan, will gradually decline over the next few years, it also gives countries opportunities to circumvent the regulations.

Exceptions to EU roaming

Countries with very low prices may apply for exemption if the internet roaming of oversea customers would cost too much. Even under “Roam Like Home” the providers can limit their offer abroad. For example, many providers cut off the use of data after a few months or slow down the data speed. In addition, additional costs may be incurred if the use exceeds specified limits.

Last update on 2020-11-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate

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