Using Your US Cell Phone in Paris

Do American cell phones work in Paris?

Most modern smartphones are compatible with Europe’s mobile infrastructure. For example, all iPhone models are designed to connect to mobile networks around the world.

Can I use my US cell phone when traveling to Paris?

The short answer is yes. There are four main options to stay connected when using your US cell phone in Paris.

  1. Check if your wireless carrier offers an international plan. This may be the best option for you if you are looking to keep your cell phone number and use your cell phone similarly to how you would at home in the US. Signing up for an international plan with your carrier is likely the simplest way to stay connected when traveling abroad, but depending on the length of your trip, it may not be the most affordable.

If you are an AT&T Wireless customer with an unlimited plan, AT&T International Day Pass is an easy way to stay connected when traveling to Paris. You can get International Day Pass for $12 per day for a single line and $6 for each additional line used on the same calendar day. The good news is you only pay for the days you use.

If you are an AT&T Prepaid® customer, you can get the AT&T Prepaid International Travel Add-On to stay connected in Paris. AT&T Prepaid offers two options: International, which includes 250 minutes of calling from the US to 70 countries, and International Plus, which includes unlimited calling from the US to 85 countries. France is included in both plans. Learn more about AT&T Prepaid international options.

  1. Buy a French SIM card for your US cell phone. This option may be ideal for travelers looking for affordability and limited usage. SIM cards can be physical or digital (eSIM). Most newer model phones will have an eSIM, but if your cell phone has a physical SIM card, you can swap it with an international SIM card from a French wireless carrier. You can even pick up SIM cards at the Charles de Gaulle airport. Keep in mind that switching to an international SIM will mean that your cell phone number from the US will be unavailable until you switch back, and you will have to pay for the service you used in France separately from your US wireless bill.

If your device supports an eSIM, you may be able to download and activate an eSIM for France without having to purchase a physical SIM card. If you own an iPhone 14 or newer iPhone purchased in the US, your iPhone was activated with an eSIM. Many other popular phone models also support eSIM. When returning from a trip using eSIM services, all you have to do is go back into your phone’s settings and switch your domestic phone line back on. This simplicity makes eSIM a great option for travelers. Learn more about what an eSIM is and how it works.

  1. Use Wi-Fi on your US cell phone for internet access and buy a throwaway phone with a French SIM card for calls. This option may work best for frequent international travelers who value affordability. You can buy an unlocked cheap device, like a flip phone, to bring with you on international trips. Take that unlocked phone with you and buy a local SIM card once you arrive. Depending on the phone you choose, some advanced features (like 5G) may not work like they would on a smartphone. When you return home, just turn off the device until your next trip.
  1. Pay roaming fees on your US cell phone. This is an easy option for travelers who are not concerned about affordability. Even without an international calling plan, you can still access data, voice, and text when you’re traveling internationally, but you will be charged at pay-per-use rates. If you are an AT&T customer traveling to France, the pay-per-use talk rates are $2/minute, while the text rates are $.50/message and $1.30 to send pictures and videos1. Data rates are $2.05 per megabyte on land and $10.24 per megabyte on airlines. Learn more about AT&T’s pay-per-use rates.

To enable data roaming for international use, you’ll need to go to your phone’s settings and activate both voice and data roaming to access cellular coverage.

Keep in mind, roaming fees can add up quickly.

More information about International Day Pass

AT&T International Day Pass lets you use your phone as you do at home, giving you unlimited data2, talk and text with your eligible AT&T unlimited plan.

With International Day Pass, you can access your eligible plan in over 210 destinations, including France.

Get started with AT&T International Day Pass.

How much does AT&T International Day pass cost?

If you are an AT&T Wireless customer with an unlimited plan, AT&T offers International Day Pass for $12 per day. It costs $6 for each additional line used on the same calendar day, and you only pay for the days you use.

The first time you use data, send a text, or make or accept a phone call, your 24-hour International Day Pass begins and you will be charged a daily fee. You won’t trigger another daily fee until the next time you use your device in an included country after that 24-hour period ends. The daily fees are calculated and charged to your bill at the end of your billing cycle.

If you’re in an International Day Pass country, such as France, you can call within France, any other International Day Pass country and back to the US for no additional charge. Calls to countries not included in International Day Pass will be billed at International Long Distance rates. Per-minute pay-per-use rates apply unless an International Long Distance package is added to the device placing the call.  Visit to review rates and options.

Paris Louvre Pyramid
Does AT&T turn on AT&T International Day Pass automatically?

It’s best to sign up for International Day Pass before you leave, but if you forget, AT&T will automatically add it for you as soon as you arrive in Paris. You can add International Day Pass to your account via the myAT&T app under Wireless Add-ons.

You do not need to remove International Day Pass when you return to the US. International Day Pass only charges a daily fee when you use your device in an included destination. And when you travel abroad in the future, International Day Pass will already be on your device, so you’re all set for your next international trip.

What is the difference between AT&T International Day Pass and Passport?

You can no longer add AT&T Passport® to AT&T unlimited plans, AT&T Mobile Share®, or AT&T 4GBSM consumer rate plans. This feature retired on August 12, 2021. If you have an auto-renew AT&T Passport on your account, you’ll keep it. International Day Pass is the current international travel plan offered by AT&T.

Read more information about the legacy AT&T Passport offering.

Other considerations when using your US cell phone abroad

How do I keep my cell phone from being stolen when traveling?

Unfortunately, tourists can sometimes fall victim to pickpockets. While it’s hard to avoid all risk of having your belongings stolen, here are some tips to avoid cell phone thefts while traveling to Paris:

    • Don’t keep your cell phone in open pockets.
    • Don’t keep your cell phone on the table at a restaurant or café.
    • Don’t take your cell phone out near metro doors.
    • Watch out for people who ‘bump’ into you or try to distract you.

If you’re an AT&T customer and you think your cell phone has been lost or stolen while you’re traveling abroad, the first step you should take is to try and find your device. Once you suspend service, you won’t be able to use GPS apps or features to find it.

Next, you should contact AT&T’s International Department at +1-314-925-6925, so the AT&T team can help suspend your service until you can get a replacement device.

The good news is if you’re enrolled in AT&T Protect Advantage, your insurance covers lost and stolen phones. If you don’t already have device insurance, AT&T customers can sign up for AT&T Protect AdvantageSM during the open enrollment period. Each Protect Advantage plan includes an unlimited number of claims3, $0 unlimited screen and back glass repairs4, same-day replacement and set-up5, unlimited battery replacements6, unlimited photo and video storage7 and access to a ProTech expert.

Learn more about AT&T Protect Advantage.

Will my US cell phone charger work in France?

Most US cell phone chargers, including iPhone chargers, can accept the higher voltage provided by electrical outlets in France. That means you likely will not need an electric power converter for your trip to Paris. However, you likely will need a French outlet adapter to charge your US cell phone. Most outlets in Paris will be Type E sockets. All you would need to charge your US cell phone in Paris is a European travel plug adapter. There are lots of affordable US to French outlet adapters available.

If you’re a frequent international traveler, you might also consider a world travel adapter.

Katherine’s recommendations: When I traveled to Paris, I decided International Day Pass would be the most convenient way to stay connected on my US cell phone. As soon as I landed in Paris, I received a text message to confirm I wanted to activate international service, and I was able to use my cell phone just like I would at home. My trip was only a few days, so the $12 daily fee was worth it to me.

Unfortunately, during my visit to Paris, I made the mistake of tucking my iPhone in an open pocket of my jacket when visiting a busy tourist attraction, and it was stolen. I was able to report the incident to AT&T’s International Department, and they immediately suspended service. When I got back to the US, I filed a claim to replace the stolen device, and I was grateful to have AT&T Protect Advantage. An incident that could have been majorly inconvenient and expensive was easily resolved, and I was able to continue enjoying sightseeing in the City of Lights. C’est la vie!

1Standard domestic messaging rates apply to text, picture, and video messages received.
2When added to your unlimited plan. Coverage and data speed vary by destination and may be changed.
3Maximum device value of $3500 per claim
4Unlimited Screen and Back Glass Repairs are available in select areas. Newly launched device models may not be eligible for repair. Visit or call 888.562.8662 to check current eligibility. Same-day repair option depends on claim approval time, part and technician availability. Eligible devices and available areas are both subject to change at any time. Repairs will be available for certain devices, in select locations, which are subject to change at any time.
5Available for select devices in select areas and is subject to parts and technician availability. Claims must be filed and approved by 4pm (local time). Eligibility is determined at time of claim approval and is contingent on certain criteria. Claims may be fulfilled with new or AT&T Certified Pre-Owned equipment of the same model or other models of like kind and quality and may be previously opened, used, refurbished, or remanufactured, and/or may contain original or nonoriginal replacement parts. Colors, features and accessory compatibility are not guaranteed.
6Subject to eligible wireless phones outside of manufacturer’s warranty period that power on but fail to hold an adequate charge after ProTech diagnostic testing. Available for select devices in select areas. Battery replacements come with a 60-day limited warranty.
7Unlimited Photo and Video storage: Video size limitations may apply.

This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Katherine Wrobleski, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are her own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.

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