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.
Make sure to only get a Prepaid option, do not commit to any long-term binding contracts!
Prepaid SIM cards offer the best value for money when it comes to mobile communication in Germany. 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.
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.
The Smart S plan offers unlimited phone calls and SMS within Germany 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.
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.
Instead of ordering your SIM card online, we recommend to buy it at one of the many LIDLs across Berlin. Just ask for the LIDL Connect Starterpack at the counter.
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.
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.
The Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card packages are called CallYa and they offer the following data packages valid for 4 weeks. Vodafone Germany has a very advanced 4G/5G network and their prepaid sim card deals are by far the best. For €20 you get 15 GB data + unlimited calling and texting in all of Europe.
How To Activate Your Prepaid SIM Card?
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.