KnowRoaming Review

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

Are you looking for a KnowRoaming review? Over the last seven years, I’ve used both their travel SIM card and travel SIM sticker in dozens of countries. The obvious benefit of KnowRoaming is that you can save up to 85% off international voice and data roaming.

Admittedly, most mobile providers now offer international data plans, but depending on where you’re coming from, it can still be expensive. For example, as a Canadian, our roaming plans are not cost-effective at all. Plus, unless you have an unlimited data plan, there’s always the worry that you may go over your limit, which would result in massive charges.

In my KnowRoaming review, I’ll go over how KnowRoaming works, what it costs, and the differences between the KnowRoaming SIM card and KnowRoaming SIM sticker.

KnowRoaming review

How KnowRoaming benefits

  • Inexpensive roaming data
  • Available in multiple SIM sizes

Don’t worry if the KnowRoaming benefits seem limited. The only thing that matters is that you can get data while you’re travelling for a reasonable price.

KnowRoaming is pretty easy to use. You purchase one of the three SIM card options, download the app, and purchase data plans. When you’re abroad, you switch to KnowRoaming’s network and you’re good to go. You get a free US number as an account holder and you can also purchase a local number when travelling to other countries.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but having data on your phone when you travel is a life changer. The first time I visited Japan, data phones didn’t exist. I had to rely on paper maps to get around. However, when I returned to the country a few years later, I had maps, instant directions, and even a translator thanks to data.

Admittedly, KnowRoaming can be more expensive compared to getting a plan with a local carrier, but it’s more convenient. With KnowRoaming, your SIM will pretty much work all over the world, so there’s no need to worry about switching SIMs. This is especially important when visiting multiple countries.

KnowRoaming SIM options

Depending on the SIM you choose, you may also have the option to have calls to your home number forwarded to you while you’re abroad. Which SIM you choose is a personal preference since you’ll have access to cheap voice and data plans regardless.

KnowRoaming sticker

The KnowRoaming sticker is arguably the most popular product since you’ll get voice and data access on your mobile phone without physically having to switch your SIM. As the name implies, the KnowRoaming sticker is a sticker. It literally sticks onto your existing SIM card.

The main advantage of the KnowRoaming sticker is that you can have your calls forwarded to you when you’re abroad via their ReachMe service. This is obviously handy for anyone who needs to take calls regardless of where they are.

KnowRoaming SIM card

The KnowRoaming SIM card is like any other SIM card. You replace your regular SIM with the KnowRoaming SIM card when you’re abroad and you’re good to go. You can’t have calls forwarded to you when using the KnowRoaming SIM.

With both options, you can not have any text messages forwarded to you. You’re better off using WhatsApp, or you can even purchase a local number if you need to talk to someone locally a lot.

KnowRoaming eSIM

You can also use KnowRoaming without worrying about a SIM card or sticker. With eSIMs, you scan a QR code to purchase a local or global data plan. The eSIM is an affordable option, but it’s only good for data.

I used to use the KnowRoaming SIM sticker, but I had a few times where my home carrier needed me to get a new SIM. Admittedly, this has only happened twice in the last six years, but since the SIM sticker can’t be reused, I had to repurchase them.

I’ve now switched to the KnowRoaming SIM card. Yes, it requires me to physically swap cards and I can no longer forward my calls, but no one calls my phone number anyways. If someone is going to call me, they can do it via WhatsApp.

Is KnowRoaming reliable?

Many travellers who have used global SIM cards in the past might be concerned about reliability. I’ll admit that I’ve had more than one experience where the product I’ve tested was barely useful. If the data speeds are slow or you have a hard time connecting to the network, then a global SIM card is useless.

With KnowRoaming, you can get data access in 200+ countries. The company has agreements with local carriers so your speeds should be decent. Throughout the years, I’ve mostly had access to 4G data speeds. On a few occasions, it’s been 3G but that was some time ago. 5G has just started to roll out throughout the world, and I haven’t travelled much recently due to COVID-19, so I haven’t been able to test things.

Admittedly, there were a few occasions over the years where I wasn’t able to connect to the network when arriving in a new country. That said, this issue was always resolved quickly by reaching out to customer service. All it really required was for me to manually connect to the proper network. As soon as I did that, I was good to go.

KnowRoaming rates

One problem with many roaming plans is that you have no idea how much you’ve spent until you return home. With the KnowRoaming app, you can manage your services and monitor your account making it easy to avoid roaming charges since you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending.

You would buy data plans in advance and then activate them when you’re abroad. Some of the data plan prices are as follows:

  • Global unlimited data 1 day – $3.99 USD
  • Global unlimited data 3 days – $9.99 USD
  • Europe/Asia 1GB – $9.99 USD
  • Europe/Asia 5GB – $39.99 USD
  • Global 1GB – $24.99 USD
  • Global 5GB – $99.99 USD

KnowRoaming does have pay as you go rates, but it’ll almost always be more expensive compared to buying a data plan. Pay as you go is turned off by default.

For reference, both the KnowRoaming SIM card and KnowRoaming sticker are $9.99 USD.

KnowRoaming promo code

If you’re looking for a KnowRoaming promo code, I’ve got you covered. Use KnowRoaming referral code BARRY18 when you check out and you’ll get 50% off the KnowRoaming SIM Sticker & receive a free $10 credit. This deal is only available when ordering directly through knowroaming.com.

The discount applies to SIM cards only and not data plans.

Alternative options

While KnowRoaming is incredibly convenient and has reasonable prices, getting a local SIM card will usually be the cheapest option since you can get a local plan. That said, if you get a local SIM, you won’t be able to take calls from your home phone number.

Also, if you’re going to be travelling to multiple countries in one trip, a local SIM may not be compatible once you change countries. KnowRoaming is great since you can visit multiple destinations and still get low rates. For example, their Asia data plans cover all of Asia.

You could also check with your regular mobile provider to see what kind of roaming voice and data plans they offer. Depending on where you reside, an international plan might not be that expensive. That said, I’m Canadian and the cost of roaming packages is insanely high which is why I use KnowRoaming.

In many Asian countries renting a pocket Wi-Fi is cheaper than KnowRoaming’s data plans but they’re only good for data. You won’t be able to make voice calls at the cheaper rate, nor will you be able to accept calls from your home number, so there are definitely pros and cons to each option. Of course, you could always make calls via WhatsApp if you really wanted.

Final thoughts

My KnowRoaming review is positive. Fast speeds and healthy data packages that are cheap are perfect for all types of travellers. If you need to make voice calls, the sound quality is excellent with no delays. KnowRoaming is a great choice for travellers who are looking for a single product that will allow them to stay connected while travelling.

KnowRoaming Review

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

12 Comments

  1. Our Big Fat Wallet on June 18, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    I didn’t even know this existed, how do the prices compare to Roam Mobility for travel to the US?

    • Barry Choi on June 18, 2015 at 8:49 PM

      Our Big Fat Wallet,

      Roam Mobility is better for the U.S. and Mexico. Know Roaming is better internationally especially if you’re travelling to multiple countries.

  2. Virna on June 21, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Good to know this is available for international travel. I hope you can do a blog post on cell phone plans. My contract with Bell is expiring in August.

    • Barry Choi on June 21, 2015 at 10:52 AM

      Virna,

      Once your plan expires, call some of the other wireless providers to find out what they’re offering. May have $300 credit promotions if you switch over to them, but their plans might not be as good as your current one.

  3. Eric Pease on November 29, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    Used your code for 50% off! thanks!

  4. Travel Fees and Charges to Avoid - Money We Have on February 6, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    […] them under control. If you plan on travelling to multiple countries, then you should check out KnowRoaming since they offer voice and data plans at competitive rates. The best part about KnowRoaming is that […]

  5. Jaymee on April 3, 2019 at 4:13 AM

    Just bought this for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong and China… thanks for recommending this Barry 🙂

    • Barry Choi on April 3, 2019 at 7:01 PM

      Have fun during your travels!

  6. Melissa on May 11, 2019 at 1:38 AM

    Try using knowroaming SIM stickers with lowest roaming charges and can be used in more than 200 countries

  7. Keimei on June 13, 2019 at 5:12 PM

    Hi Barry, I sent you questions when Chase bailed on Canada and left us Canadians high and dry with Marriott Rewards. I have switched to AMEX and generally happy with it, not 100% accepted at merchants. But it seems that the acceptance rate overseas is less. This fact added to the Foreign Transaction Fee is a bit much. This adds up to about $25/1000 in purchases. So the choices begin to add up get another credit card with out FTF or take enough cash at the start. The ATMs were great for this until the banks got a bit more greedy and hit you up with a charge of $5/withdrawal. Noe I’m on your page about knowroaming, do you load the sim before travelling? Their webpage is unclear with the purchase of say the sim sticker with 7 day plan

    • Barry Choi on June 14, 2019 at 7:41 AM

      Hi Keimei,

      You purchase the SIM sticker in advance and then you can load funds into your account at any time.

  8. Keimei on March 19, 2020 at 2:10 PM

    Hi Barry, I have been in contact with Knowroaming about the extraordinary situation that exists now. I wanted to know if they would waive the “9 months” clause that they have with respect to account activity. It seems that they are sticking to the policy. I think that this is a chance to show some compassion to their customers. So money in my account that I cannot use overseas at this time will expire, and who knows when travel will be safe again.

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