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Airalo eSim Review [2024]

Our Take


S Money rating

In a Nutshell

Airalo provides some of the best international SIM cards for Australians. Access mobile plans for more than 200 countries and regions available directly from the Airalo app — staying connected has never been easier!  

Airalo eSim

Airalo eSim

  • Best - 200+ countries and regions covered worldwide
  • Worst - Few plans include texting & calling


  • Access to eSIM plans in over 200 countries and regions
  • Connects immediately to local network on arrival
  • Keep your home phone number active while using a more affordable plan for everyday needs
  • Avoid excess international roaming charges
  • Get cash back with the Airmoney loyalty program through eSIM purchases and referrals
  • Simple app is easy to use


  • The connection isn’t always reliable, particularly in remote areas
  • Most plans are data only — you won’t be able to make calls or send texts
  • It’s not always the best value for money
  • No unlimited data plans available
  • You won’t get a local phone number with most plans
  • Customer support can be limited


Airalo eSim Review 2024

As the world’s first digital SIM card store, Airalo has changed the game when it comes to staying connected overseas. This eSIM marketplace eliminates hefty international roaming charges and saves you time on the ground searching for a physical SIM card. 

Instead, just browse Airalo’s local, regional, and global eSIMs online, buy one, and install it on your phone. Airalo will connect you to some of the best local network providers in your destination as soon as you land. It’s as simple as that.

Airalo provides some of the best international SIM cards for Aussie travellers, with no other eSIM company matching their range of coverage. 

Thanks to extensive partnerships with local telecom providers, Airalo offers eSIMs in more than 200 countries and regions. However, these eSIMs have limited data packages and few offer a phone number for calling and texting. 

It’s also worth noting that the average Trustpilot review for Airalo is just 2.6 stars (from 1,424 users on 1 December 2023), with the most common complaints centering on connection issues and poor customer support.

What is the Airalo eSim?

Available currencies on the card

Airalo is effectively a marketplace where you can buy eSIMs for more than 200 countries and regions across the world, at affordable prices and with incredible ease. 

With Airalo you can:

  • Download local eSIMs straight from your phone
  • Stay connected wherever you travel
  • Top up on the go
  • Keep your home phone number active (if your phone supports dual SIMs)

What we love about Airalo eSIMs


The last thing you want to do when you arrive in a foreign country, jetlagged and overwhelmed, is to search for a SIM card. That’s not to mention additional nuisances, such as the need to register an account or supply your passport. 

Airalo’s eSIMs are a quick and easy way to get instant connection as soon as you touch down at your destination. You can purchase your eSIM before you go and activate it on landing so that you have data from the get-go. 

Regional and global plans available

Along with country-specific eSIMs, Airalo also provides a range of regional and global eSIMs — perfect for cross-continental trips. 

The Eurolink eSIM covers 39 European countries while Asialink covers 24. Say goodbye to switching plastic SIM cards every time you cross a border!

The Airalo Discover Global eSIM goes one better, with coverage for 130 countries — the Discover+ eSIM even provides data, calls, and texts. 

Keep your home phone number active

Ever been stuck overseas and needed to receive a two-factor authentication text when your home phone number is out of action? 

If your phone has dual SIM functionality, you can keep both your Airalo eSIM and your home phone number active while you’re travelling. 

As long as your home plan allows for free international texts, you can keep your home phone number for emergencies and use your Airalo eSIM for everyday needs. 

Access good speeds worldwide

Overall, we’ve experienced fast internet speeds with Airalo. Since Airalo uses reliable networks, you’ll tend to get the same speed and coverage as you would with a physical SIM. 

The speed of your internet connection generally depends on where you are. In countries with well-developed infrastructure, you’ll likely get 5G speed while most other places should give you 4G. 

Earn rewards with Airmoney

Airalo’s Airmoney loyalty program rewards you with Airmoney when you buy eSIMs, top up, or refer friends. How much Airmoney you receive depends on the cost of the plans you buy. You can then use your Airmoney to save on the cost of your next eSIM. Not bad!

Airalo app

Not only is it easy to find, buy, and install eSIMs on the Airalo app, but you can also track your data so you can see what you’re using and how much you have left. The app also makes it easy to top up your data and access customer support. 

Disadvantages of Airalo eSIM

Most Airalo eSIMs are data only

Almost all of Airalo’s local and regional eSIM cards provide data only. This means you won’t receive a local phone number to make or receive calls. Nor will you be able to send or receive texts.  

The absence of a phone number can be frustrating in an emergency, particularly if you need to quickly contact authorities (such as an embassy or your bank). 

Fortunately, there are workarounds. You can use your data to call and text through data-based apps, such as WhatsApp, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger. Meanwhile, if your phone supports dual SIMs, you can keep your home phone number active to enable calls and texts in emergencies.

Airalo has also released the Discover+ Global eSIM, which supports phone calls and text messaging. However, these options are typically costly, with heavy limits to the number of texts and calls you can make.

Airalo eSIMs are often still more expensive than buying SIM cards at your destination

In many countries, Airalo’s local eSIM plans match the options presented by local physical SIMs fairly well. However, when you compare the value of local SIM companies against Airalo eSIMs it doesn’t always add up. 

Say you’re going to the UK for a month. Take a look at the table below for UK SIM card options. 

Airalo’s cheapest 30-day eSIM is a data-only SIM for US$10. It gives you 3GB on the O2 or Three networks. Alternatively, you can spend a smidge more to get 8GB on the same network, plus text and call capabilities, with O2’s Pay As You Go SIM. 


Validity Data Texts Minutes O2 Cost in AUD*
Airalo  30 days 5GB N/A N/A A$22
Three 30 days 7.5GB Unlimited Unlimited A$19
EE 30 days 8GB Unlimited 500 minutes A$19
O2 30 days 8GB Unlimited Unlimited A$19


*Converted from USD and GBP to AUD, using the mid-market rate on 1 December 2023.

Technical hiccups can be tricky to sort out

Any kind of smart tech is vulnerable to glitches. Though we haven’t experienced any problems, the most common Airalo complaints on Trustpilot are about issues with connectivity and topping up.

Unlike with physical SIM cards, you can’t just walk into an Airalo store and have someone sort it out. Airalo’s customer support consists of a Help Centre, email support, and a chat function on the website and app. 

While the direct chat begins by providing prompts to help you find answers, you can also request to speak to a person for extra assistance. 

However, 1:1 support isn’t always immediately available — it can sometimes take hours to get a response. Naturally, that’s not particularly helpful if you need an immediate fix!

How to use an Airalo eSIM

Airalo eSIM cards work much like physical SIM cards but are digital.

That means you won’t be handling a physical SIM card. Instead, you purchase your eSIM directly through the Airalo website or app, follow the instructions to install it on your phone, and activate it when you’ve landed at your destination. 

Most Airalo eSIMs are data-only, which means you can use any apps that require an internet connection (including social media apps, WhatsApp, and Facetime). Some eSIMs come with a phone number to give you the ability to call and text as well.  

Choose your eSIM plan

The Airalo app and website make it easy to find a specific country plan or explore regional and global options.

Once you’ve found your eSIM, you can select a plan based on the duration of your trip or how much data you need. Most plans have a set amount of data valid for a set duration (usually a maximum of 30 days). 

Install your eSIM

Airalo will walk you through how to set up your eSIM on your phone. You have three options for installation:

  • Through the Airalo app
  • With a QR code
  • Manually through your phone settings

While most eSIMS only activate once you arrive at your destination, some activate as soon as you install them. Each eSIM’s activation policy is available under the ‘Additional Information’ section when you purchase the eSIM. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best not to install your eSIM until you arrive at your destination.  

Topping up

If you’re running low on data before your eSIM expires, you can also top up the eSIM — although you’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy more data upfront. 

How Airalo eSIMs work

Airalo doesn’t own telecommunications towers. Instead, the company partners with local internet and telecom providers across the globe, allowing your Airalo eSIM to use their bandwidth. 

For example, the Airalo Australian eSIMs use the Optus mobile network. In the US, Airalo eSIMs access data through T-Mobile and Verizon while UK eSIMs use the O2 and Three networks. 

While this setup is convenient, a possible downside is that the local providers may favour their own customers during peak periods — in which case Airalo eSIM holders may experience reduced speeds. 

Available currencies on the card

How it compares

As we’ve already discussed, Airalo eSIM costs vary depending on where you travel, how long you’re travelling, and how much data you want. There may also be a premium for the regional and global eSIMs. 

So is Airalo worth it?

When compared against other SIM card options, as you can see in the table below, Airalo has its advantages and disadvantages. 

It’s unbeatable for convenience and more affordable than many alternative eSIM providers or international roaming with your home phone plan.

However, data options are limited and the absence of a phone number for phone calls and texts is a real disadvantage. 

Fortunately, the extensive availability of public WiFi and the ability to have two active SIM cards on your phone at once (for most modern phones) largely overcome these obstacles. 

Validity Data Texts Minutes O2 Cost in AUD*
Airalo  30 days 5GB N/A N/A A$22
O2 UK local SIM 30 days 8GB Unlimited Unlimited A$19
Telstra International Roaming Day Pass 1 day 1GB Unlimited Unlimited A$10
Holafly 15 days Unlimited N/A N/A A$56

*Converted from USD, GBP, and EUR to AUD, using the mid-market rate on 1 December 2023.


Is Airalo legit?

Yes, Airalo can be trusted! They provide a legitimate solution to staying connected overseas. Since Airalo began, more than 5 million people have used their eSIMs across more than 200 countries and regions. 

What payment methods does Airalo accept?

Airalo accepts payments through your credit card or bank card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, and Alipay. You can also pay with any Airmoney you’ve accrued through the app.

What are some Airalo alternatives?

Some alternatives to Airalo include eSIM providers Holafly, Nomad, AloSIM, and Maya Mobile. Holafly’s eSIMs are generally more expensive but their plans tend to include unlimited data and can be valid for up to 90 days. Nomad also provides eSIMs with unlimited data options. 

What devices support the Airalo eSIM?

Almost all of the most recent Android and Apple devices are compatible with eSIMs, although these phones must be unlocked and compatibility can vary between countries. 

Compatible devices include iPhones (since the iPhone 11), various iPads (since 2015), Samsung Galaxy S series phones, the Galaxy Fold and Flip phones, and Google Pixel (since the Pixel 3). Here’s a full list of compatible devices for Airalo eSIMs. 

It’s important to check individual eSIMs before you buy. For example, the Czech Republic eSIM is not compatible with Google Pixel phones.

Does Airalo give you a phone number?

Most Airalo eSIMs are data only, which means you won’t receive a local phone number to be able to make phone calls and send text messages. 

The exception is the Discover+ Global eSIM, which comes with an international phone number based in Austria (country code +43). 

Also, if your phone supports dual SIM cards, you can keep your home SIM in your phone so that your home phone number is active for calls and texts (although this will incur those costly international roaming charges!). 

Learn more about the best travel money, debit and prepaid cards for travel