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Need SIM card suggestions for Netherlands, Germany, Austria

I have read the previous posts about the UK Vodaphone SIM, but those were written pre-BREXIT back in October.
Now Post BREXIT, what SIM would you recommend for Netherlands, Germany and Austria?

Last year I used GIFF GAFF in the UK and Scotland and that worked well, but now GIFF GAFF says to use their SIM card this time around, I would need to use it in the UK first before I could roam with it in Eu countries. This trip I am not going to the UK.

Any other recommendations on SIM cards for the EU?

Posted by
4684 posts

I think the UK Vodafone SIM will probably still work fine as it did before Brexit. Their website still claims they offer free roaming in 48 European countries. And I don't think it has the same requirement that you use it in the UK first (GiffGaff) before they will enable EU roaming.

https://www.vodafone.co.uk/explore/costs/travelling-abroad/index.htm

The actual countries are shown here:

https://www.vodafone.co.uk/cs/groups/public/documents/webcontent/vfcon079682.pdf

I haven't used one of these UK Vodafone SIMs. I still keep alive the Dutch Vodafone SIM I bought on eBay a few years ago. It's not cheap to buy on eBay anymore, but if the Netherlands is your first stop, this would still be a great deal if you can wait until you get there - just visit a Vodafone store and set one up. You would be able to use it in Germany and Austria, too.

One advantage of the Dutch Vodafone SIM is that it is easier to top-up online. (I just do it right on their website.) The UK version is a little more complicated but doable. Find the UK Vodafone thread here for details.

Posted by
1026 posts

I would still use a UK Vodafone SIM card. First I believe that the UK still needs to abide by EU regulations until the end of the calendar year. (Someone please correct me if this is incorrect). Second, I believe that a number of the UK telcos have announced that they will continue to offer no cost roaming post brexit.

Posted by
1367 posts

Rocket is correct in saying that a number of the telcos (including Vodafone UK, Three and O2 - per the article linked below) have announced they will continue to offer free roaming post-Brexit.

There is speculation, however, about whether they'll be able to continue to do so:
https://telecoms.com/502179/uk-telcos-are-potentially-helpless-in-the-european-roaming-debate/

The article ends by saying:
This is very much crystal ball gazing at the moment. There might be a deal to protect the UK consumer, but it is just as likely that there will not. The European powers control the roaming fate of the UK consumer, not the UK telcos.

For now, Vodafone UK still advertises that their global roaming allows you to "use your home plan in 48 European destinations at no extra cost, and with no restrictions […] So, whether you have a Big Value Bundle, Extras, Freebies or just Pay as you go 1, you can stay in touch while you’re away using your inclusive data, minutes and texts.

Posted by
1367 posts

To Andrew H's point: I don't think it has the same requirement that you use it in the UK first (GiffGaff) before they will enable EU roaming.

That was certainly the case for me when I used the Vodafone UK SIM last fall in Germany and 2 other EU countries, without having used it first in the UK - which I did not visit on that trip. I'll certainly report back if I hear that anything has changed with Vodafone UK.

As an option, their online chat (account login not required) has been very helpful to me and other travelers. You might try asking them the questions.

Posted by
199 posts

Thank you to all who responded.
CWSocial: I'm going to buy the UK Vodaphone SIMs on Amazon for $4,97 each (need 2) based on your excellent posts on how to set up, activate and top off.
I will be in Europe for 30+ days, (39 days) so I will purchase the Big Value Bundle, and I will purchase a second bundle while I'm there. I have a PayPal account, so hopefully that will work while I'm there.

Since I don't leave until mid-April, I will purchase the SIMS on April 1, to have time for delivery and to set up, unless somebody has a reason I should buy them now. I like setting up and testing while I'm here in the US to make sure everything works, but pop the SIMS out and don't install them again until I land at my destination airport, I install the SIMs while I'm waiting for my bags at the airport. (I carry the SIMS in a contact lenses container and tape a paper clip to it)

The only new variable this time around is that I have a dual-SIM iPhone, so I will need to have my US number put onto the e-SIM slot so I can use the Vodaphone SIM card.

I will report back after my trip on how it went. Thanks for the info.

Posted by
1367 posts

Hi Derek, glad to hear you're going to give it a try!

With your trip length of 30+ days, you will be able to take advantage of an option that I did not - rollover with your Big Value Bundle. At the time that your bundle is set to expire, IF you have sufficient credit on your SIM, the bundle will automatically renew and rollover any remaining minutes, data and text.

Please see their very specific conditions for "Total Rollover" to take advantage of this.