Best prepaid sim cards in the Philippines

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Prepaid sim cards in the Philippines

One thing you should consider when you’re traveling to the Philippines is allocating a portion of your money to your communication needs.

Staying in touch with friends and relatives is important, and ensuring they can contact you in case of emergencies.

You may think this is expensive but by switching to a local cell phone provider and purchasing a prepaid SIM card, you can save money. A package of 1 GB of data is usually priced at PHP50.

Many prepaid SIM card options are available in the Philippines. Costs are competitive so choosing which prepaid SIM card is right for you is hard. Whether you’re staying for a short time or longer, get to know the best plans and offers that will help you save on your communication costs.

The Philippines has two cellular phone networks: Smart and Globe. Both networks offer prepaid SIM cards which can meet your requirements.

Prepaid SIM cards can be bought at the airport, at phone kiosks, local shops, supermarkets or from street vendors for both networks.

Smart and Globe offer prepaid SIM packages which allow you to enjoy the benefits when activated, especially when loading credits. Reload credits can be purchased both at local shops, supermarkets and wherever you see their sign, and online.

Plans offered:

SMART

Upon arrival at any international airport in the country, the Smart LTE Tourist SIM is FREE Yes! You heard me right, it’s FREE! To claim one, simply show your foreign passport. This Smart SIM card is already loaded with 300 MB of data on activation and is valid for three days. If you load at least PHP30 within three days of activation an additional 700 MB will be added.

If you missed to claim you free Smart LTE Tourist SIM card, you can also buy the Smart LTE Prepaid SIM for only PHP40. This sim is also loaded with 300MB of data upon activation and is valid for three days. An additional 700MB will be added when you load at least PHP30 within three days of activation.

Both of these prepaid SIM cards come in PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500 card denominations. You can also load via Smart Online Store. Denominations are PHP50, PHP100, PHP200, PHP300, PHP500 or PHP1,000.

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Current Smart data packages

Giga Video data packages:

  • GIGA VIDEO 50
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 1 GB + UNLITEXT to ALL for 3 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ 75
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 1 GB + UNLICALL to TRINET + UNLITEXT to ALL for 3 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ ALLNET 100
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 1 GB + UNLICALL to ALL + UNLITEXT to ALL for 3 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO 99
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 2 GB for 7 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ 149
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 2 GB + UNLICALL to TRINET + UNLITEXT to ALL for 7 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ ALLNET 199
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 2 GB + UNLICALL to ALL + UNLITEXT to ALL for 7 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO 299
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 4 GB for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ 449
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 4 GB + UNLICALL to TRINET + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ ALLNET 549
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 4 GB + UNLICALL to ALL + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO 399
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 6 GB for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ 549
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 6 GB + UNLICALL to TRINET + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ ALLNET 649
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 6 GB + UNLICALL to ALL + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO 499
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 8 GB for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ 649
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 8 GB + UNLICALL to TRINET + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.
  • GIGA VIDEO+ ALLNET 749
    1 GB VIDEO EVERY DAY for YouTube, iflix, NBA, iWant and Cignal Play + 8 GB + UNLICALL to ALL + UNLITEXT to ALL for 30 days.

SurfMax Data Packages:
This is a good option for the use of light data only such as browsing web pages and social media posts, using messaging apps, emails, and web searching (via search engines).
These packages have a data cap of 800MB per day.

You can subscribe by texting the corresponding syntax/keyword/ and send to 9999 (Example: SurfMax995 to 9999)

GLOBE

Globe TravelSurf offers FREE prepaid SIM packages personalized to the needs of travelers. Yes, its FREE! Free sims are available at the Globe booths in the following international airports: NAIA Terminals 1, 3 and 4, Clark, Kalibo, Mactan-Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Caticlan and Laoag. Card denominations come in PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500. TravelSurf offers the following features:

Travel3 for PHP150 with 250MB mobile data valid for 3 days

Travel7 for PHP500 with 1GB mobile data + PHP200 credit valid for 7 days

Travel30 for PHP1,000 with 5GB mobile data valid for 3 days

Just text “Travel3”, “Travel7” or “Travel30” to 8888 to activate the service for your preferred package.

Globe LTE SIM also costs PHP40 and uses a 4G network. It has a pre-set mobile number. Call card denominations are PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500. Over-the-air prepaid reloading rates start from PHP10 and go up to PHP900. They are available nationwide from authorized Globe Load outlets.

Current Globe data packages

GoSURF data packages:

  • GoSURF15
    100mb open access data + 30mb for intagram for 2 days.
  • GoSURF50
    1gb open access data + 300MB for app of choice and unlimited SMS to Globe, Touch Mobile and abs-cbnmobile for 3 days
  • GoSURF299
    2gb open access data + 1GB for app of choice for 30 days
  • GoSURF599
    4gb open access data + 1GB for app of choice for 30 days
  • GoSURF999
    8gb open access data + 1GB for app of choice for 30 days

SuperSURF data packages:
Same as the Smart SurfMax, this package this is a good option for the use of light data only such as browsing web pages and social media posts, using messaging apps, emails, and web searching (via search engines).
These packages have a data cap of 800MB per day.
Be careful when watching videos or listening music online because video/music streaming also contributes to excessive use of bandwidth allocation.

  • SUPERSURF50
    Valid for 1 day — PHP50
  • SUPERSURF120
    Valid for 3 days — PHP120
  • SUPERSURF200
    Valid for 5 days — PHP200
  • SUPERSURF999
    Valid for 30 days — PHP999

Globe SuperSURF promo offers are available to Globe/TM Prepaid subscribers and Pocket WiFi and Tattoo users.

Advice when purchasing a prepaid SIM

Because in the Philippines there are only two mobile network operators, there are areas in the country that don’t get strong coverage from either Smart or Globe. There is only one network available for data use in some areas outside of Metro Manila and this changes per region. Boracay, for example, the top summer destination in the country, has a strong Smart signal and coverage as compared to Globe. Up north, in Baguio City, the country’s summer capital enjoys strong Globe signaling and coverage, while Smart is weaker.
It is recommended that you ask the local vendor who has a better signal when buying a prepaid SIM. Check which provider has lots of outlets in the area. Outlets are more likely to carry the dominant brand, which has better coverage over the other.
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