Buying a Sim Card in the Philippines- Best Tourist Prepaid Simcard To Use in the Philippines

Whenever I travel to a new country then one of the first things I have to get is a local sim card then activate the internet data. Why? It’s cheaper than roaming or using hotspots. So, if you guys are visiting the Philippines then here’s my guide on buying a sim card in the Philippines and best sim card to use if you’re a tourist!

The Philippines is a gorgeous archipelago in South East Asia. It offers pristine beaches, beautiful natural attractions, picturesque mountains, scenic views, and a lot more. The people are also known for their heartwarming hospitality. As a Filipino, I am proud of my country, and if you have the time and the capacity, you should visit from Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao.

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While traveling around the country, it is necessary to choose the best sim card in the Philippines. Not all tourist spots have Wi-Fi signal, and to keep safe, you need mobile data to check if you’re going in the right direction. A sim card is also essential in case of emergencies.

Network providers here in the Philippines provide both sim cards and mobile data. In this post, we will show you options on the best sim card in the Philippines you can use in your travel.

QUICK FAQs that might help you:

1. My phone is locked, where can I get it unlocked?

There are service centers in the malls that can unlock your phone with a specific price.

2. Which has more signal coverage?

Globe

3. Which has more LTE coverage?

Globe

4. Which is faster in upload or download speed?

Smart

5. Where can I see videos better?

Smart

6. Where Can You Get A SIM Card In The Philippines?

At the airport, any malls, grocery market and even small street vendors. You only need cash and unlike in other countries, having an ID is not necessary yet. Usually the cost of the card is $1 to $2 only. You can also ask the vendor to activate your data but you can also read our tips below.

7. Where to buy phone credit or prepaid data?

They are everywhere! Any small “sari-sari”/ convenience store has a reloading service. You can even ask anyone in the street and ask them this, “Where po pwedeng magpa-load?”


Globe sim card

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  • Globe Sims are available in Tri-cut –standard, micro, nano sizes

  • Data depends on your location; the highest is LTE/4G

  • Your phone needs to be open-line to use it

  • Reloadable anywhere in the Philippines; via load cards,  electronic load or Gcash

    • Load cards are usually available at convenience stores or the mall costing Php 100, 300, or 500

    • E-load are available in small stores, look for a “LOAD HERE” sign costing Php 10.00 and above

    • Gcash app is available in Android and iPhone, but you need to reload it or connect to your card

  •  Check load balance by dialing *143#, enter 7 then press send or send BAL to 222

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Globe Traveler Sim

  • LTE Sim

  • Free and available at the following Airports:

    • Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4

    • Clark International Airport

    • Kalibo International AirportMactan-Cebu International Airport

    • Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport

    • Iloilo International Airport

    • Caticlan Jetty Port

    • Puerto Princesa (PALAWAN) International Airport

Though the Sim card is free, you need to buy load to avail the promos. Text the CODE and send it to 8080.

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Globe Prepaid LTE SIM

  • Available at shops or malls

  • Costs only Php 40.00

  • You need to buy load card or e-load before using

After purchasing you can text FREE to 8080 to avail of the following:

  • 60 MB Surfing

  • Facebook and Viber valid for 7 days

Here are some promos that you can enjoy, do send it to 8080. Note that the cost of each is the last number of the code; so if the code is GoALLNET30, it will cost Php 30.00.

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However, here are Globe Tricks that would save you a lot more money, especially if you will stay long in the Philippines.

Cost: Php 233.00 for 30 days
Step 1: Text GOCOMBOGIEBFA42 to 8080
Step 2: Text GOCOMBOAHBF191 to 8080
Step 3: Text GOSAKTO STATUS to 8080; you will now have 1,000 texts to all networks, 510 minutes calls to Globe/TM, and 1GB data for 30 days

Cost: Php 181.00 for 30 days
Step 1: Text GOCOMBOGIEBFA42 to 8080
Step 2: Text GOCOMBOAGBF139 to 8080
Step 3: Text GOSAKTO STATUS to 8080; you will now have 1,000 texts to Globe/TM subscribers, 510 minutes calls to Globe/TM and 1GB data for 30 days

Cost: Php 216 for 30 days
Step 1: Text GOTSCOMBOKEA37 to 8080
Step 2: Text GOTSCOMBOHBF179 to 8080
Step 3: Text GOSAKTO STATUS to 8080; you will now have 1,020 texts to all networks, and 1GB data for 30 days

Cost: Php 216 for 30 days
Step 1: Text GOTSCOMBOKEA37 to 8080
Step 2: Text GOTSCOMBOGBF121 to 8080
Step 3: Text GOSAKTO STATUS to 8080; you will now have 1,000 texts to Globe/TM subscribers, and 1GB data for 30 days

Add-ons in case you finished all 510 minutes call or 1GB data before the 30 days ended.

Text GOCTCOMBOGKA14 to 8080 for additional 500 minutes calls to Globe/TM

Text GOTSCOMBOHAA17 to 8080 for additional 1,000 texts to all networks

Text GOTSCOMBOKEA37 to 8080 for additional 1GB data


Touch Mobile (TM) sim card

  • TM are available in Tri-cut –standard, micro, nano sizes

  • Data depends on your location; the highest is LTE/4G

  • Your phone needs to be open-line to use it

  • Reloadable anywhere in the Philippines; via load cards,  electronic load or Gcash

    • Load cards are usually available at convenience stores or the mall costing Php 50, 100, or 300

    • E-load are available in small stores, look for a “LOAD HERE” sign costing Php 10.00 and above

  • Check load balance by dialing *143#, enter 7 then press send or send BAL to 222 

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Smart sim card

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  • Smart Sims are available in Tri-cut –standard, micro, nano sizes

  • Data depends on your location; the highest is LTE/4G

  • Your phone needs to be open-line to use it

  • Reloadable anywhere in the Philippines; via load card or electronic load 

    • Load cards are usually available at convenience stores or the mall costing Php 100, 300, or 500

    • E-load are available in small stores, look for a “LOAD HERE” sign costing Php 30.00 and above

  • Check load balance by going to Smart Menu > Prepaid balance or Text ?1515 to 214.

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Smart All-In-One Travel Sim

  • LTE Sim

  • Free and available at the following Airports, present your passport:

    • Manila – NAIA Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4

    • Batanes – Basco Airport

    • Cebu – Mactan-Cebu International Airport

    • Davao – Francisco Bangoy International Airport

    • Cagayan de Oro – Laguindingan Airport

    • Iloilo – Iloilo International Airport

    • Bacolod – Bacolod-Silay International Airport

    • Clark – Clark International Airport

    • Kalibo – Kalibo International Airport

    • Tacloban – Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport

    • Caticlan – Godofredo P. Ramos Airport

    • Puerto Princesa – Puerto Princesa International Airport

    • San Vicente – San Vicente Airport

    • Siargao – Siargao Airport

Though the Sim card is free, you need to buy load to avail the promos. Text the CODE and send it to 9999.

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Smart Prepaid SIM

  • Available at shops

  • Costs only Php 40.00

  • You need to buy load card or e-load before using

There are instructions on the Sim Card, follow it and load a minimum Php 30.00 5 days from activation and you can avail the following:

  • 300 MB Surfing

  • 700 MB Surfing after the Php 30.00 load

Here are some promos that you can enjoy, do send it to 9999. Note that the cost of each is the last number of the code; so if the code is All Out Surf 30, it will cost Php 30.00.

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If you want data, here is SurfMax where you can “unlimited” internet surfing. However, download is only up to 800mb per day.

Text SURFMAX85 to 9999, for unlimited 2 days

Text SURFMAX250 to 9999, for unlimited 7 days

Text SURFMAX500 to 9999, for unlimited 15 days

Text SURFMAX999 to 9999, for unlimited 30 days


Talk ‘n Text sim card

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  • TnT Sims are available in Tri-cut –standard, micro, nano sizes

  • Data depends on your location; the highest is LTE/4G

  • Your phone needs to be open-line to use it

  • Reloadable anywhere in the Philippines; via load card or electronic load

    • Load cards are usually available at convenience stores or the mall costing Php 100, 300, or 500

    • E-load are available in small stores, look for a “LOAD HERE” sign costing Php 30.00 and above

  • Check load balance by dialing *123#, Balance/Services > Check Balance or Text ?15001 to 214. 

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Talk ‘n Text Prepaid LTE SIM

  • Available at shops

  • Costs only Php 30.00

  • You need to buy load card or e-load before using

Here are some promos that you can enjoy, do send it to 6406. Note that the cost of each is the last number of the code; so if the code is SURFSAYA20, it will cost Php 20.00.

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SUN cellular sim card

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  • Sun Sims are available in Tri-cut –standard, micro, nano sizes

  • Data depends on your location; the highest is LTE/4G

  • Your phone needs to be open-line to use it

  • Reloadable anywhere in the Philippines; via load card or electronic load

    • Load cards are usually available at convenience stores or the mall costing Php 50, 150, or 200

    • E-load are available in small stores, look for a “LOAD HERE” sign costing Php 10.00 and above

  • Check load balance by dialing *221# or dial *247#

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Sun Cellular LTE Sim

  • Available at shops

  • Costs only Php 35.00

  • You need to buy load card or e-load before using

Here are some promos that you can enjoy, do send it to 247. Note that the cost of each is the last number of the code; so if the code is CTC10, it will cost Php 10.00.

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Choosing depends on your budget, the coverage of that network, the speed you need and the length of your stay. For me, data and what my family is using is essential. It’s easier to communicate with family or friends if you have the same network.

I don’t use much data if I am staying in hotels with free Wi-Fi. After considering those, I’ll check how many days I am in the Philippines and decide what Sim to purchase. I hope this will help you with what you feel is the best sim card in the Philippines.