Calendar iconJun 27, 2023

SIM Cards Simplified

SIM Cards Simplified

Reading time: 7 minutes

If you’ve ever wondered what a SIM card is, what SIM cards do, where it goes, why it’s called a SIM card, and what happens if you switch it out, get ready because PureTalk is giving you the scoop right here in "SIM cards simplified".

What is a SIM card?

A cell phone and a SIM card.

Your SIM card stores the information that enables your service provider to recognize it. Otherwise you couldn’t text anyone or make phone calls. Your phone number is stored on your SIM card along with what are called “authorization keys.” These give your phone authorization to access data, send text messages, the ability to make and receive phone calls, and other services provided by your cell phone plan.

Without a SIM card, your mobile device could not access and receive calls or utilize your wireless provider’s network.

What does a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) do?

Cute dad and daughter, both in glasses, snapping a selfie on the sofa.

According to the people at Wikipedia, “A SIM card is an integrated circuit (IC) intended to securely store an international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephone devices (such as mobile phones and laptops)."

The data contained on a SIM card is what allows you to access your wireless provider’s network with your mobile devices (mobile phone) and utilize the features of your phone plan. It’s a small smart card that is shipped to you once your order is complete.

Where is the SIM tray located?

Adult woman wearing sunglasses taking a photo with her cell phone.

On iPhone, the SIM tray is located on either the right or left side of your phone. On an Android phone, it is located on the top, bottom, or side. It depends upon the model of your phone.

What happens when you change your SIM card?

Cheerful mature man and woman taking a selfie on a sailboat.

The short answer:

Changing your SIM card enables you to use any mobile communication device on your wireless provider’s network, so if you need to switch from one smart phone to another for some reason, you can do so without a problem. Also, if your SIM card goes bad or is damaged somehow, you can put a new SIM card in your mobile device, though you’ll lose some information.

The longer answer:

When you put in a new SIM card, you lose access to the information stored on the original SIM card. The information – phone numbers, addresses, text messages – is still on that original SIM card and all you need to do is pop it back into your cell phones to access it. To make absolutely sure you always have that information, you can also import it into your cell phones. This means that with or without your SIM card, you have access to your contacts.

Benefits of Dual SIM cards

According to the experts at, “Individuals who want to keep their personal and professional lives separate can benefit greatly from having a dual SIM phone. One SIM card can be used for personal uses and another for business reasons. For users who need to stay connected to multiple networks, having a dual SIM phone can significantly improve connectivity. Dual-SIM phones can accommodate two separate phone numbers from different carriers or regions on a single device. This feature can significantly improve privacy. Activating second number on a dual sim smartphone can be beneficial when traveling internationally. You can keep your primary number active while also activating a local number for calls and texts.” 

How to import contacts from your SIM card to your iPhone

Happy man and woman on the beach taking a photo.

Put your original SIM card, as it’s the one with all your contacts, into your iPhone.

Tap Settings > Contacts>Import SIM contacts.

Wait for the import procedure to finish.

Open Contacts and check that your contacts were all imported.

How to import contacts from your SIM card to your Android cell phone

Smiling man and woman sitting on some steps taking a photo.

Open Contacts settings.

Tap the “More” option.

Select “Manage Contacts.”

Tap “Import/Export Contacts” and select Import.

Tap the contacts you want to transfer, then tap “Done.”

Save the contacts to the phone.

Copying your SIM card

For further protection and assurance that your contacts are available to you, you can also make a copy of your original SIM card. This will leave you with two SIM cards, both with the exact same data (except for the unique IMSI identification number on each).

You can now keep one SIM card in your device and the second SIM card as a backup should you need it. Just keep the second SIM card someplace safe. (Do the same with any additional SIM cards, too).

To copy your SIM card, you’ll need a SIM card reader (something you can buy at any large electronics retailer) and your original SIM card’s IMSI number.

Place your original SIM card into the SIM card reader, then connect the reader to your computer. Input the device’s IMSI number when prompted and you will receive an authentication key. Once your SIM card reader has copied the information from your original SIM card it to your computer, you can insert a new SIM card into the reader and the information will be transferred from your computer to the new SIM card.

At PureTalk, we believe in more than helping you understand SIM card ins and outs and tips to help you take good care of your phone.

We believe in helping you get the mobile phones and service you deserve at a real savings.

Right now, and for the foreseeable future, iPhone 14 is all the rage. And PureTalk’s iPhone deals make it easier for you or someone you love to have the latest and greatest smartphones for less. Get iPhone 14 for under $20 a month! iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro for under $25 a month! And iPhone 14 Pro Max for under $30 a month! Those savings can’t be beat.

Get the perfect wireless plan for your family’s needs with PureTalk’s Family Plans

No matter what your family's wireless needs are, PureTalk's Family Plans let you choose the right plan for each family member's needs. You can have any number of lines and choose the perfect wireless plan for each one. Your family members get exactly what they need, and you never pay for anything they don't. In fact, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month on average, for a savings of $900 a year!  Whatever your family's size or wireless needs may be, you're sure to save a bundle!

Shopping for a phone plan for a senior?

Did you know that most seniors use less than 2GB of data per month?  PureTalk offers great plans for seniors that let you pay only for what you actually want – and nothing you don’t. And with PureTalk you get the same great service and blazing fast coverage while saving money each month. 

At PureTalk, we don’t think you should pay for data you don’t need and aren’t going to use.

Switch today and receive great service and blazing fast coverage while saving money each month.

Choose from PureTalk’s most popular plans! 

$20/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 2GB Data  

$25/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 4GB Data   

$30/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 6GB Data  

Need more data one month?

Simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. 

Traveling outside the U.S.? PureTalk offers the best International Roaming! 

Think of PureTalk as your travel partner. Get the best cellphone coverage in 30+ countries including Canada and Mexico with PureTalk International Roaming. 

It’s really a great deal.

Plus, there’s no setup. No additional wireless roaming charges. And no need to run out and purchase a local SIM or micro SIM card. Your phone simply works when you arrive. No hassles and not a moment of disconnection.

How PureTalk's International Roaming works:


Travel to your international destination.

Every plan includes up to $20/month of international credits, so your phone will work in 30+ countries automatically. No SIM swapping or apps required!


Use your phone internationally like you do at home.

When you arrive at your destination, you’ll automatically have up to $20 of international credits. When you make a call, send texts, or use data it will be deducted from your credit balance. Check the rate finder above to see the international rate for your destination.


No overages or surprise charges.

If you use all of your existing international credit, you will not be charged any fees. If you need more international credits, just log into your account portal and select the International roaming add-on. (Credits do not rollover)

PureTalk’s International Roaming means:

Constant connectivity.

No pricey roaming charges.

No additional devices to lug around.


And that’s not all…PureTalk has the best referral program

At PureTalk, when you refer your friends, you reward yourself.

When you join PureTalk, you’re given a unique referral link you can share with friends and family. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend receives a $20 credit applied to their account. Best of all, there are no limits. You can refer as many friends as you want, and you will get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

Everything you need to know about the PureTalk Customer Referral Program:

1. Each customer has a unique referral link to share with friends. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you will receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend will receive a $20 credit applied to their account.

2. There are no limits to how many friends you can refer with PureTalk's Customer Referral Program. Refer all of your friends and get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

3. Your $20 credit will post to your account after your friend completes their second active month of service.

4. To see which of your friends you have referred to PureTalk, log in to MY ACCOUNT and click the "Referrals" tab at the top of the page. You will see all of your referrals listed in the "Referral Credits" table at the bottom of the page.

5. You can post your referral link anywhere you want. On your social media channels, your blog, in emails, etc. You can grab your unique referral link by logging in to My Account and clicking the Referrals tab.

6. There are two ways you can earn referral credits. Your friend can use your unique referral link or enter your phone number at checkout when asked if a friend referred him.

Don’t forget: Remind those you are referring to PureTalk to enter your phone number at checkout IF they’ve forgotten to sign up through your referral link.

With the PureTalk referral program you can earn as many credits as you have friends and save even more on the plan of your choice!

PureTalk’s Risk-Free, 30-Day Money Back Guarantee makes it easy to give us a try

PureTalk's Money Back Guarantee logo.

With PureTalk’s risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply call to cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money. No penalties. No hassles.

Why choose PureTalk?

When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

Don’t wait. Pick a plan now that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and helps you save!


Posted 8 months ago