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Suggestions needed-Buy sim card online- Iphone to use in Europe

I want to purchase SIM cards online BEFORE arriving in Europe for unlocked Samsung Galaxy and I-phones. We will be meeting up with our daughter at the end of her university choir trip to Italy, France, Germany and Austria. She will not have the time or flexibility to purchase SIM cards for her unlocked phone when she arrives or buy a new SIM card for each country.
We (her parents) would also like to have the SIM secured before we arrive for our Germany/Austria trip.
I have found options online but do not know if one is better from another. We would like to make calls between us and use data for mapping programs. Has anyone purchase a SIM card before arriving in Europe in the last Year? What options do you suggest?

Posted by
1025 posts

Unless I am mistaken, SIM cards have to be picked up in Europe, with the purchaser showing a passport at the time of purchase. This is an anti-terrorism requirement, and while coupons for SIM cards can be purchased in advance, they need to be exchanged for the actual SIM at the store or reseller.

At least this is how I THINK it is done, based upon prior posts here.

Posted by
6796 posts

There are SIMs you can buy online for use in Europe, some also offer other services such as call forwarding, and voice mail so you preserve your "home" phone number, but all that I have seen are significantly more than getting a SIM there.

The other issue, that maybe others can provide input on, is that Germany has tightened restrictions on getting a SIM, from what I have seen. When I was there a couple years ago (September 2016) it was as easy as walking into a Vodaphone store, plopping down 25 euro and getting a couple gigs of data and 10 euro of phone and text credit. Some though have now had problems with a verified address and other anti-terrorism measures. Not sure if that is still an issue.

Do make sure you have an unlocked phone. If you have Verizon or another carrier, call and verify if there are any settings that would need to be changed in order to insert another SIM, my Son had issues and then spent an hour in a Vodaphone store until the right person came along that understood what needed to be done to get the SIM to work.