Airalo Review: Best eSIM in the Market for Travellers?

In today’s digitally-driven world, staying connected while traveling is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. I’ve also discovered that telcos often offer roaming only for destinations popular with locals, which prompted me to try out Airalo for my recent Kazakhstan trip. Here’s my Airalo review and experience with using their eSIMs.

In this Airalo Review:

Airalo eSIM Products

Airalo Products - Airalo Review

Airalo sells a range of eSIMs. Prices vary depending on the validity period and amount of data you require.

  • Local eSIMs — these cover one country
  • Regional eSIMs — these cover a region, such as Asia or Europe, good option if you’re visiting multiple countries in a trip
  • Global eSIMs — these give you coverage in 150 countries. It doesn’t cover every country, so do read up before purchasing. Global eSIMs also come with a call and text option, on top of data.

Coverage (No. Of Countries)

Airalo is a global eSIM marketplace and at the time of writing, Airalo currently offers eSims for over 200 countries, so chances are, they have coverage for the destination you’re heading to!

Cost

At the time of writing, cost of getting 1GB of data for 7 days starts at US$4.50 for most countries. This is very affordable for countries like Japan and Australia. The best part of it all — no throttle! There are many travel SIM card providers that throttle your internet once the specific daily usage threshold is reached.

There are also various top up packages, should you require more data during your trip.

Setting up the eSIM

Airalo has a pretty user-friendly platform and setting up an eSIM with Airalo was simple. You can purchase an eSIM for your destination directly through their mobile app or website.

Firstly, you’ll have to check if your mobile phone supports eSim.

Once you’ve confirmed if you can use eSIM with your mobile phone, select your destination, choose the data plan that suits your needs, and make the payment. Once the payment is confirmed, you’ll receive instructions via email on how to activate the eSIM on your device. You’ll also be able to find the instructions in the mobile app.

How Airalo Works - Airalo Review

I got the email confirmation immediately after paying and managed to set up my eSim within 5 minutes. There was even a video guide with step-by-step instructions! One important thing to note, you’ll need a stable Wi-Fi connection to purchase, install, and activate your Airalo eSIM, so I’d recommend you set up your eSim before your trip, whilst you still have reliable internet connection at home.

Airalo Loyalty Program

Airalo offers a loyalty program that allows you to accumulate extra credit whenever you make a purchase. The amount spend also counts towards upgrading your membership tiers. Membership tiers determine the percentage of credit you receive when you make a purchase.

I personally really like this as every purchase counts towards my next; and it helps me save some money.

TierTotal Amount Spent (USD)Airmoney Reward
Traveler$0 – $19.995%
Silver Traveler$20 – $69.996%
Gold Traveler$70 – $199.997%
Platinum Traveler$200 and above10%

Connectivity

Airalo works with local telcos for its services. For example, in Singapore, it uses Singtel’s network while in Kazakhstan, Airalo taps onto Beeline’s network. The connectivity largely depends on how strong the local telco’s network is, but it seems like Airalo only works with reliable and large telcos.

My Experience In Kazakhstan

I’ll be using my experience in Kazakhstan in this review. I found it quite difficult to get data roaming from local telcos here in Singapore and also could not find any sim cards from sellers like ICC, which prompted me to try out Airalo.

Kolsay Lake, Kazakhstan

I purchased at my Airalo eSIM at home, a few days prior to my trip. As I had to work on-the-go, I picked the 10GB, 30 days option and paid US$18 for it. Once payment was made, I managed to set up the eSIM within 3 minutes with the setup instructions!

During my time in Kazakhstan, the connection was good while we were in the city, but it does get cut off intermittently. It’s barely noticeable unless you’re on a Whatsapp call.

I did also managed to hotspot my laptop for a zoom call. The connection for that zoom call was good and the call went smoothly.

However, I was not able to get connection at remote places such as Kaindy Lake. Popular spots that had well-developed tourist centres like Kolsay Lake and Shymbulak had pretty good connection.

Read: 4D Kazakhstan Itinerary

Advantages Of Using eSIM

The most obvious advantage of using an eSIM is not having to switch out your physical SIM card for it.

Secondly, you can set up your eSIM at home and turn it on once you’re in your destination country, allowing you to be connected immediately, rather than having to search the airport or country for SIM cards.

Overall Rating

Overall, I am quite impressed, which prompted me to write this Airalo review. I have used eSIMs in the past, but always had bad experiences as they were unable to connect, or were way slower than promised. Airalo is cost effective as well and is cheaper than many options offered by local telcos; in Singapore at least.

Cost: 4/5
Connectivity: 3/5 (but it’s location dependent)
Ease of use: 5/5
Able to hotspot: YES

Airalo Discount Code

When you sign up for Airalo, you can use code JIAXUA4798 for US$3 off your first purchase. Signing up is free.

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ)

Sapa - Airalo Review

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a SIM card that allows the user to easily switch between mobile carriers and plans without the hassle of physically swapping cards. You can add and activate multiple mobile data plans from local or international carriers.

Are there downsides to using an eSIM?

The first downside would be compatibility. eSIMs may not work on older phones and you should always check the phone models that are supported.

The second downside is that some eSIMs can only be activated once. Should you lose your phone, or decide to change your phone, you might not be able to use the same eSIM again.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. There are affiliate links in the post but all opinions remain my own. A purchase through affiliate links earns us a small commission and if you found this post useful, do consider making a purchase through the link, it greatly supports our ongoing work!

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