3 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Germany [2024 Guide]

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Researched & written

by Yvonne Koppen

Updated

Hey, welcome to my review of the best prepaid SIM cards in Germany for foreigners in 2024.

In the past 10 years, I’ve tried multiple prepaid SIM card providers in Germany. Including two of the three providers I reviewed in this guide.

Let’s get started with a quick overview:

If you have a German or any other EU bank account:

  • SIMon mobile: the best value for money. It’s a flexible post-paid plan that you can cancel monthly. The current offer is 12GB for 11,99 euros/month for new customers. Price includes flat rate SMS & calls, roaming for EU & UK. They use Vodafone as their network provider. I’m a happy customer since 2021 🙂.

If you don’t have a German bank account, these two are great options:

  • Lidl Connect: A prepaid SIM card offer from the German supermarket chain Lidl. You can cancel anytime through their online form. Their current offer is 12 GB for 14,99 euros/4 weeks. Price includes flat rate SMS & calls, roaming for EU and UK. They use Vodafone as their network provider.
  • Aldi Talk: A prepaid SIM card offer from the German supermarket chain Aldi. Also 100% prepaid. Their current offer is 12GB for 14,99 euros/4 weeks. Price includes flat rate SMS & calls, roaming for EU & UK. They use O2 as their network provider.
SIMon mobileLidl ConnectAldi Talk
Simple Germany Score8.07.47.3
English Website & Supportx iconx iconx icon
Unlimited Calls & Data Plan€11,99 / month
for 12 GB
€14,99 / 4 weeks for 12 GB€14,99 / 4 weeks for 12 GB
Auto-Recharge Possibleyes (Postpaid)pro checkpro check
Network ProviderVodafoneVodafoneO2
Download / Upload Speed5G - 50 / 25 Mbit/s5G - 50 / 25 Mbit/s5G - 50 / 25 Mbit/s
One-Time Purchase CostFree€9,99€9,99
Starter Balancex icon€10€10
EU Roaming Includedpro check 1pro check 1pro check 1
UK Roaming Includedpro checkpro checkpro check
eSIM Availablepro checkpro check 2pro check 2
1: EU roaming does not include Switzerland
2: To get their eSIM, you need to first receive a physical SIM card, activate it, and then contact customer support to request the switch to an eSIM.

Simple Germany’s Hot Tip

Switching to SIMon mobile from another low-cost provider gives you a better deal. It’s a smart strategy to use a traditional prepaid SIM card for a few months and then switch to SIMon mobile to secure a great offer.

Please Note

This guide is intended for anyone moving to Germany. If you plan to visit Germany as a tourist, SIMon mobile is not for you. You can either purchase Lidl Connect or Aldi Talk at their respective supermarkets. All German SIM cards need to go through an ID verification before being able to use them. German providers do not ship SIM cards internationally.

How did we choose the best prepaid SIM cards in this review?

For this review, I researched the German market for offers with a good reputation, great value for the price, and ease of signing up and use. I then signed up for each provider’s current offer for 12 GB of data with a flat rate for SMS and calls.

Based on my experience and research, I ranked them on their product quality, user-friendliness, customer service channels, and digitalization. I would also usually rank them on their English-friendliness; however, we’ve found no competitive offer in English. I provide a final score for each offer using our Simple Germany Scoring System.

You don’t need to spend hours lost in Germany’s chaotic and complex market of prepaid SIM cards. Choose one of the providers listed in this guide and start surfing in no time!

We found two great offers from prepaid SIM card providers (Lidl Connect and Aldi Talk) and an amazing offer from a flexible postpaid provider (SIMon mobile).

The only difference between the prepaid and postpaid plans is that you must have a German or European bank account to sign up for the postpaid plan. What’s important is to have an IBAN number.

What are the best prepaid SIM cards in Germany?

Prepaid SIM cards offer the best value for money when it comes to mobile communication in Germany. We have chosen the top resellers of each mobile network to give you the best overview and options. 

Most websites are in German; however, they are very straightforward. We recommend using Chrome’s Translate to English function to navigate easily. 

Here are our top picks for the best prepaid SIM card in Germany.

1. SIMon mobile [Best Value for Price]

SIMon mobile is a sub-brand from Vodafone, aiming to compete with the prepaid tariffs from the discounters. SIMon mobile offers a postpaid contract; however, you can cancel it every month, so you still keep your flexibility.

It stands out by offering 12 GB of data volume with its basic rate and having an eSIM as an option.

Additionally, you have unlimited phone calls, and texts, and no one-off fee. A great feature is the possibility to pause your contract for up to 3 months. This comes in handy, whenever you leave Europe to travel.

The cost structure is very straightforward.

If you never had a German phone number and wish to get a new German phone number, you will pay 11,99 euros a month.

If you already have a German mobile phone number and would like to switch to SIMon mobile, you have two options:

  1. If you want to keep your current German mobile phone number and change to SIMon mobile, you either pay 8,99 euros or 14,99 euros a month, depending on the provider you want to change from. When entering the name of your previous provider on the homepage, you will immediately know which category your current provider falls under.
  2. If you don’t want to keep your current number, you can select the 11,99 euros per month option, and you will also get a new number.

Additionally, you have two different options to upgrade to have even more data available:

  1. Add 5 GB per month for only 3 euros extra per month (total of 17 GB per month)
  2. Add 15 GB per month for only 8 euros extra per month (total of 27 GB per month)

You can book both add-ons permanently or for individual months, as you can always cancel them towards the end of each month.

SIMon mobile offers a very attractive mobile phone plan that is fast, modern, easy, and cheap.

If you purchase a physical SIM card, you do not need to verify your identity to activate your card. SIMon mobile uses your bank information and address to verify your identity.

If you purchase an eSIM at checkout, you must verify your identity via a video call or at a German post office. The available options for identity verification depend on your nationality. The system will show you the appropriate choices automatically. Easy!

Disclaimer: Paypal or credit cards are not possible for payment. The standard payment method is to set up a direct debit with your EU or German bank account during purchase.

Our Simple Germany Rating for SIMon mobile

Here is our rating for the 12 GB offer from SIMon mobile:

Overall Rating: 8.0

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English-Friendly:

0

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Product Quality:

10

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User-Friendly:

10

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Digital-First:

10

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Customer Service Channels:

10

SIMon mobile gets a 8/10. It’s the only offer in this review where you can pause your contract for up to 3 months. This is amazing if you travel for long periods of time. Their offer is simple to understand. Their EU roaming includes the UK; however, it does not include Switzerland.

The only reason why it does not have a 10/10 is because everything is in German.

My Experience with SIMon mobile

I changed from LIDL Connect to SIMon mobile in 2021. I love how easy they are to use and understand. I don’t have to worry about topping-up my account (which was tedious with the other providers). Plus, I pay almost the same price as I did with the previous provider, but for almost double the GBs – that’s what I call amazing value for money.

For this review, I purchased a new SIM card to test their sign-up process again. I was able to purchase a new SIM card with my Wise bank account. It has an IBAN number from Belgium. So, this proves that any EU IBAN number works.

Important Note: After buying, you may need to wait for up to 24 hours to get the confirmation email for your order.

2. Lidl Connect

Lidl Connect is the prepaid mobile offer from the big German supermarket LIDL. It uses the Vodafone network lines (the second strongest network in Germany).

They have different plans based on the amount of gigabytes of data you need. Here is a quick overview:

  • 6 GB for 8,99 euros / 4 weeks
  • 12 GB for 14,99 euros / 4 weeks
  • 20 GB for 19,99 euros / 4 weeks

All the plans mentioned above offer unlimited phone calls and text messages.

There is a one-time payment for the card, which is 9,99 euros; however, it comes with a balance of 10 euros. So basically, it is for free.

Once you activate your card, you can select the data plan you would like to choose on your Lidl online account. You can change the tariff whenever you want or add data packages when needed.

With Lidl, you can either manually wire money every 4 weeks to your account or activate an automatic recharge from your bank account or via Paypal of let’s say 10 euros, whenever your balance drops below 10 euros. 

I used to have Lidl Connect and was very happy with the value for the price. However, in 2021, I changed to SIMon mobile, the first option in this guide, which offers even better value for money.

You can purchase their SIM cards online or in their supermarkets.

Our Simple Germany Rating for Lidl Connect

Here is our rating for the 12 GB plan from Lidl Connect:

Overall Rating: 7.4

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English-Friendly:

0

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Product Quality:

9

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User-Friendly:

10

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Digital-First:

10

megaphone icon

Customer Service Channels:

9

Lidl Connect is a great option for a prepaid plan. EU roaming includes the UK, and their SIM card is very easy to purchase online or in their supermarkets. You can pay with PayPal, credit card, or bank transfer.

It is also 100% in German. Their customer service phone number is not super easy to find. So, they rank a bit low on the Customer Service Channels score.

Although they advertise that eSIM is available, the process of getting it is a bit complicated. You first need to receive and activate your physical SIM card; then, you need to contact their customer support to get the eSIM. So, if eSIM is important to you, be aware of that extra step you must take.

My Experience with Lidl Connect

I was able to purchase a new SIM card with my credit card. The process was very easy. I immediately got the confirmation email for my order.

Lidl Connect sent me emails for every step in the process. I loved this because I knew exactly where my SIM card was. I ordered their SIM card on a Tuesday and received it on a Thursday. That is super quick!

3. Aldi Talk

Aldi Talk is the direct competitor of Lidl, not only in terms of the prepaid mobile phone offer but also with its core product, the supermarket.

Aldi offers a very similar product as Lidl; however, the most significant difference is that Aldi uses the O2 network, which is the smallest network in Germany. The O2 reception in cities is excellent, whereas if you spend a lot of time in rural areas, it is not a good choice for you. 

They also have different plans:

  • 6 GB for 8,99 euros / 4 weeks
  • 12 GB for 14,99 euros / 4 weeks
  • 20 GB for 19,99 euros / 4 weeks

The SIM card also costs 9,99 euros; however, it is preloaded with a balance of 10 euros. So it is basically free as well.

When you compare mobile phone contracts, those using O2 are always cheaper than those using Vodafone or Telekom. Therefore Aldi offers the same product for the same price on a weaker and cheaper network.

Once you activate your card, you can select the data plan you would like to choose on your Aldi account. You can change the plan online, whenever you want. 

With Aldi, you can also manually wire money every 4 weeks to your account or activate an automatic recharge of let’s say 10 euros each time your balance drops below 10 euros. 

Of course, you again have the option to buy a top-up balance card at an Aldi supermarket. You will find them at the cashier counter. 

Our Simple Germany Rating for Aldi Talk

Here is our rating for the 12 GB plan from Aldi Talk:

Overall Rating: 7.3

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English-Friendly:

0

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Product Quality:

9

lightning icon

User-Friendly:

9.2

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Digital-First:

10

megaphone icon

Customer Service Channels:

9

For those looking for coverage from O2, Aldi Talk is a great option. They are also 100% in German, and their EU roaming coverage includes the UK but not Switzerland.

Their customer service phone number is not super easy to find. So, they rank a bit low on the Customer Service Channels score. Also, I had a tough time finding more detailed information about their pricing and offer, so they also received a lower score in our User-Friendly criteria.

Just like with Lidl, they offer an eSIM only after purchasing and activating a physical SIM card.

How to get a prepaid SIM card in Germany?

You have two options to buy a prepaid SIM card in Germany:

1. Buying a prepaid SIM card online

Follow the link of one of the three mentioned resellers (SIMon mobile, Lidl Connect, and Aldi Talk ) to buy a SIM card online. You will have to enter your German address, and the card will generally arrive in 2-3 business days via postal mail. 

2. Buying a prepaid SIM card in a local store

You can buy Lidl Connect and Aldi Talk at the respective supermarkets. You can also find SIMon mobile and other prepaid SIM cards at gas stations, kiosks, and electronic shops.

How to activate your prepaid SIM card in Germany?

By law, since July 2017, all prepaid SIM cards must be registered in person or via VideoID to prevent crime and misuse. 

If you purchase a physical SIM card with SIMon mobile online, you do not need to go through the verification process. They verify your ID in their background with your banking information and German address.

If you purchase a SIM card from other providers or an eSIM from SIMon mobile, you must verify your ID before activating it.

You will need your official ID card or passport and a German address to register. Our research shows that hotel addresses are also accepted.

Online is the fastest way to verify your identity, and it only takes a few minutes. However, not all passports are supported for online verification. If your nationality is not valid for online identification you can do this process at a German post office.

Once your ID is verified, your SIM card will be activated, and you can use it.

Simple Germany’s Hot Tip #1

All SIM cards are Triple-SIM, meaning they are compatible with all SIM sizes and fit in all phones. 

Simple Germany’s Hot Tip #2

Be sure that you have an unlocked phone to use the SIM card in Germany.

Conclusion

Prepaid SIM cards from resellers offer better value than SIM cards and contracts from the network providers directly.

Lidl Connect is our top choice for Germany’s best prepaid SIM card due to its D-network, low price, and easy handling. 

If you prefer to have a postpaid flexible contract with even better value, SIMon mobile from Vodafone is a fantastic option.

This article contains affiliate links. When you click on the links to the products we mention in this article and purchase them, we will receive a small commission. It will not make any difference to you in price; however, it allows us to keep Simple Germany alive and striving.

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About the Author

Yvonne Koppen is a researcher and writer at Simple Germany, focusing on demystifying German bureaucracy for international skilled workers.

She has lived and worked abroad, which helps her understand how difficult a move to a new country can be. Beyond her professional pursuits, Yvonne loves to plan and go on road trips, puzzle, and do a triathlon here and there.

She is committed to creating accessible, empowering content through her writing and YouTube videos. Yvonne's passion for continuous learning and her ability to simplify complex topics make her an invaluable resource for expats seeking to navigate their new life in Germany.