3 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Germany [2022 Guide]

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by Yvonne

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Updated

Welcome to Germany! To help you settle, you will want to have a local phone number and mobile internet available. For that, you have two options. Either you are getting a mobile contract that binds you for usually 24 months or you can get a flexible and more affordable prepaid SIM card in Germany and choose the phone plan most suitable to you.

To help you make a choice and not feel overwhelmed by the chaotic offer of mobile phone plans out there, we have selected the best prepaid SIM card in Germany in this guide and the best mobile contract providers in Germany in another guide. 

At the end of the guide, we also give you a bonus option, which is kind of the best of both worlds – a cheap postpaid contract, which you can cancel monthly. I recently changed to this provider.

Quick Overview Of The Best Prepaid SIM Card In Germany

If you are short on time and just want an answer, here is an overview of our comparison for the best prepaid SIM card in Germany.

 Lidl ConnectAldi TalkLebaraSIMon mobile
English Website & Supportx iconx iconpro checkx icon
Unlimited Calls & 3GB Data€7,99 / 4 weeks€7,99 / 4 weeks€9,99 / 4 weeks for 4 GBfrom €8,99 / month
for 10 GB
Auto-Recharge Possiblepro checkpro checkpro checkyes (Postpaid)
Network ProviderVodafoneO2Telefonica / O2Vodafone
Download / Upload SpeedLTE 25 / 10 Mbit/sLTE 25 / 10 Mbit/sLTE 25 / 10 Mbit/sLTE 50 / 25 Mbit/s
One-Time Purchase Cost€9,99€9,99FreeFree
Starter Balance€10€10x iconx icon
EU Roaming Includedpro checkpro checkpro checkpro check
Switzerland Roaming Includedx iconx iconx iconx icon
UK Roaming Includedx iconx iconpro checkpro check

❗️Please note: This guide is intended for anyone moving to Germany. If you plan to visit Germany as a tourist, it is best to get a SIM card directly from a shop of one of the three network providers below, once you arrive in Germany. German providers do not ship SIM cards internationally.

Which is the best mobile network in Germany?

According to the latest in-depth study across the entire country done by Connect magazine, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) is the best mobile network provider in Germany in terms of internet and phone reception. Vodafone comes in second and Telefónica (O2) as last. 

screenshot about mobile networks in Germany
📸 Screenshot / Source: Connect

Telekom, Vodafone, and O2 (owned by Telefónica) are the only three mobile network providers in Germany. Deutsche Telekom used to be state-owned and still has the best network coverage. Vodafone and O2 are closer to closing the gap each year but have not done so yet. Below you can see a map of so-called dark spots of all three providers in Germany (Telekom has 1.448 dark spots, Vodafone has 1.932, and O2 has 2.6000).

screenshot of dark mobile spots in Germany
📸 Screenshot / Source: CHIP

What is the best SIM card in Germany for internet?

As mentioned before, Telekom has the best 4G/LTE coverage and availability, however, to determine what the best SIM card in Germany for internet is, you have to consider where you live and where you spend a lot of time. 

To find out which provider is best for your location, you can use the following network coverage checks. Simply enter your address.

Telekom
Vodafone
O2

As a general rule of thumb, Telekom and Vodafone have the most advanced 5G availability so far and the fastest internet in general. O2 has very good availability in cities, however weak spots in rural areas. Should you be living in Berlin and using the subway system a lot, O2 is your best choice, as it is the only network that covers the entire subway system in Berlin. 

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. Lidl Connect

screenshot Lidl Connect homepage
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lidl Connect

Lidl Connect is the prepaid mobile offer from the big German supermarket LIDL. It uses the Vodafone network lines and offers LTE internet speed. Lidl offers different plans. Its basic Smart S plan was recently awarded as the best Prepaid Tariff by the renowned magazines CHIP and Connect. 

screenshot Lidl Connect prices
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lidl Connect

The Smart S plan offers unlimited phone calls and SMS and 3 GB LTE data. It costs 7,99 euros for 4 weeks. The biggest plan, Smart XL brings 12 GB data for 17,99. The card costs 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.

screenshot Lidl Connect Recharge 1
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lidl Connect translated by Google

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, each time your balance drops below 10 euros. 

screenshot Lidl Connect recharge 2
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lidl Connect translated by Google

I used to have Lidl Connect and was very happy with the value for the price. However, recently I changed to SIMon mobile, the bonus option at the end of the guide.

2. Aldi Talk

screenshot Aldi Talk
📸 Screenshot / Source: 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. 

The Paket S plan offers unlimited calls and texts and 3 GB LTE data. It costs 7,99 euros for 4 weeks. The biggest plan, Paket L brings 12 GB data for 17,99. The card also costs 9,99 euros; however, it is preloaded with a balance of 10 euros. So it is basically free as well.

screenshot Aldi Talk prices
📸 Screenshot / Source: Aldi Talk

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. 

3. Lebara

screenshot Lebara
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lebara

Lebara is the only telecommunication provider in Germany, that offers an English website and customer service. Lebara offers prepaid SIM cards as well as postpaid plans including free minutes to call 50 countries abroad! Lebara uses the Telefonica network lines.

The HELLO! S Prepaid plan offers unlimited calls and 4 GB LTE data, and includes 50 minutes for calls to 50 countries abroad. The plan costs 9,99 euros for 4 weeks.

Lebara’s biggest prepaid plan is the HELLO! XXL Prepaid plan with 20 GB LTE data, unlimited calls, and 1000 free minutes to call to 50 countries abroad. It costs 29,99 euros for 4 weeks. The SIM card itself is free.

With Lebara, you not only have an English app to manage and top-up your credits easily but also free call minutes to call your friends and family back home, without the need for internet.

screenshot Lebara prices
📸 Screenshot / Source: Lebara

Bonus: SIMon mobile

SimOn mobile website screenshot
📸 Screenshot / Source: SIMon mobile translated by Google

SIMon mobile is the new 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 10GB of data volume with fast 50 Mbits download speeds, unlimited phone calls, and texts, and no one-off fee. A great new 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. Should 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 get a new number as well.

Either way, SIMon mobile offers a very attractive mobile phone plan that is fast, modern, easy, and cheap. This is why I recently changed to SIMon mobile from LIDL connect. I pay almost the same price but get 10 GB data instead of 3 GB – that’s what I call amazing value for money.

💡No ID verification necessary! Another advantage of SIMon mobile is that if you order your SIM card online, you will not have to go through a video IDENT procedure to identify yourself. The card will already be activated once you receive it in your mailbox.

Disclaimer: Paypal or credit cards are not possible for payment. The standard payment method is to set up a direct debit during purchase. Alternatively, you can wire the billed amount to the Vodafone bank account on a monthly basis.

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 four mentioned resellers (Lidl Connect, Aldi Talk, Lebara, and SIMon mobile) to buy a SIM card online. You will have to enter your German address, and the card will generally arrive in 2-3 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 other prepaid SIM cards at gas stations, kiosks, and electronic shops.

How To Activate Your Prepaid SIM Card In Germany?

Once you hold your card in hand, you need to activate it. Since July 2017, all prepaid SIM cards need to be registered in person or via VideoID, to prevent crime and misuse. 

You will need your official ID card or passport and a German home address to register. Online is the fastest way and only takes a few minutes. However, not all passports are supported online. Should your nationality not be valid for online identification, you can go to your closest post office.

Once you activated the card, you can choose the tariff you like and your preferred top-up method in your online account.

🔥 Tip No.1: All SIM cards are Triple-SIM, meaning they are compatible with all SIM sizes and fit in all phones. 

🔥 Tip No.2: Be sure that you have an unlocked phone to use the SIM card in Germany. Should your phone be locked, you can also purchase a new phone from the provider or any other shop.

Conclusion

Prepaid SIM cards from resellers offer better value compared to sim cards and contracts from the network providers directly. Lidl Connect is our top choice for the best prepaid SIM card in Germany, due to its D-network, low price, and easy handling. If you prefer to have a postpaid flexible contract, SIMon mobile from Vodafone is a fantastic option.

📣 This article contains affiliate links. When you click on the links of products we mention in this article and purchase it 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
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Yvonne was born and raised in Germany and has lived in the United States, France, and Spain. She understands the struggle of settling in a new home and is happy to share simple services and tips on how things are done in her home country, to help expats get their German experience started.