So can you get a SIM card at SFO to use in both Canada and USA?I thought I'd share as after lots of searching I wasn't able to get a good answer.
The answer is yes you can get a Prepaid SIM card kit in the international airport.
Just after security there are two vending machines, one for BestBuy and the other AT&T. The AT&T one has GoPhone kits and recharge Top ups. We got two starter kits for $10.98 each after taxes. The kits cater for nano, micro and standard size SIM card requirements.
We used the * and # type codes and the refill numbers we had organised previously.
Had we not already has the recharge amounts the vending machine would have been good to use.
The instructions are in the Getting Started guide otherwise just use:
Use the phone dialler and dial
*888* + Refill card PIN number + # (example: *888*1234567899874#)
Here's the robotic arm in the vending machine in action
Whilst we did this at SFO I'm sure I've seen these machines at LAX as well but it could have been just the Best Buys machine. I know the last trip I did which was last minute I just bought an overseas pack from Telstra (an Australia carrier) as I was only in one city (LA) and wasn't planning to travel far. This time with us travelling to the US and Canada it made sense to get one SIM card which would cover both countries.
Why AT&T GoPhoneI did my research back in Sydney before hand and worked out for a $60 amount we would have 30 days, 6 GB of data to use as well as unlimited calls and text messages within US, Canada and Mexico. The only trick is that you have to activate it in the US (and use it in the US). So I texted a message or two when at SFO - mainly to advise others my number. So that worked well.
The other networks don't seem to offer the ability to use the SIM card from both the US and Canada. This way I get data and calls pretty much more than I'd need. And with both myself and my husband having our own SIMs that would work well.