Best Singapore Prepaid SIM Card for Travellers

Best Singapore Prepaid SIM Card for Travellers

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Who can live and travel without data SIM card? I CAN’T.

SIM card is my second priority when I arrive in a new country, after local currency. Having a local SIM card with data gives me confidence and assurance that I can survive in a new country even if I don’t speak the language.

When my family and friends visit me in Singapore, they’re always asking me to help them buy SIM cards. Choosing the best SIM card in Singapore is both easy and hard!

Easy because there are only 3 major mobile operators in Singapore, namely Singtel, M1 and StarHub. It’s hard because every operator offers so many different SIM cards with different features and validity, it’s so hard to choose what’s the most suitable card for you.

I’ve been there, I’ve had my share of headache when choosing a SIM card. In this post, I’ll do detailed breakdown of each SIM card from each operator. Then, I’ll do comparison of SIM cards for different scenarios based on length of stay and provide my analysis and recommendations. Finally, I’ll have some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to answer common queries that I often receive. Let’s dive in!

Overview of all Prepaid SIM Cards in Singapore

1. SINGTEL

Singtel’s normal prepaid SIM card is called hi!SIM card, while Singtel’s tourist SIM card is called hi!Tourist SIM card. Below is the comparison of Singtel’s prepaid SIM card and Singtel’s tourist SIM Card.

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-Singtel
Singtel shop
Singtel Prepaid SIM Card - hi! SIM Card (September 2020)

Useful links for Singtel Prepaid hi! SIM Card:

  1. List of Data Plans.
  2. hi!SIM rates (including local call, overseas call, SMS, roaming charges) as of January 2020.
  3. List of data roaming packages.
  4. List of ways to top up hi! SIM card.
Singtel Tourist SIM Card comparison - Prepaid hi! Tourist SIM (September 2020)

For the $30 and $50 Tourist SIM, you can top up to the Main Account to extend the validity of the card, however the hi!Tourist values (100GB data, 3000 mins local call, 5000 SMS, overseas data roam) will not be extended. In other words, the hi!Tourist SIM becomes a normal prepaid hi! SIM card after expiry and upon top-up. I hope it makes sense.

All hi! Tourist SIM cards offer unlimited usage of Facebook, Whatsapp, LINE and WeChat, however, if you read the fine prints, it says the usage of this is limited to 1GB a day. I’d say just ignore this gimmick because when you have 100GB free local data, why should you care about free 1GB data for social media.

My Recommendation for Singtel cards:

Budget travelers: Choose $8 hi!SIM, then purchase 7-day 1GB data plan or 30-day 1GB data plan with the main wallet credit.

Heavy usage travelers: Choose $12 hi!Tourist SIM, $15 hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card or $30 hi!Tourist SIM.

Long-term travelers: Choose $50 hi!SIM card.

Where to buy Singtel SIM Cards?

Normal Prepaid SIM (hi! SIM Cards):

  • Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1, 2 and 3): Travelex Currency Exchange Counters, Changi Recommends Counters. ($38, $50)
  • Singtel shops ($8, $15, $38, $20)
  • Singtel Exclusive Retailers ($8, $15)
  • Selected Authorised Singtel Prepaid Retailers ($8, $15, $38)
  • Selected Cheers ($38)

Tourist SIM card (hi!Tourist SIM Cards):

  • Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1, 2 and 3): Travelex Currency Exchange Counters, Changi Recommends Counters.
  • Singtel shops
  • Singtel Exclusive Retailers
  • Selected Authorised Singtel Prepaid Retailers including Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, Causeway Points, Sentosa FUN Shops
  • Selected 7-Eleven and Cheers

2. STARHUB

StarHub’s normal prepaid SIM card is called StarHub Prepaid, while StarHub’s tourist SIM card is called StarHub Travel Prepaid. Below is the comparison of StarHub’s prepaid SIM cards.

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-StarHub
StarHub shop
StarHub Prepaid SIM Card (September 2020)

Notes about StarHub Prepaid SIM cards:

  1. For $15 Prepaid, free 2GB data comprises 1.2GB first month; then 200MB/month for the next 5 months. FREE WeChat App, Whatsapp Messenger and LINE App is valid for 180 days from activation date.
  2. List of data plans.
  3. StarHub Prepaid SIM card rates.
  4. Here’s the info about Happy Roam.
  5. For $50 StarHub Prepaid SIM, the free 5GB data roam can be used locally as well as overseas in countries listed in the Happy Roam destinations.
  6. List of ways to top up StarHub Prepaid SIM card.
StarHub Tourist SIM Card comparison - StarHub Travel Prepaid SIM cards

Notes: 

  1. Free overseas calls can be used to make a call to the countries listed in the IDD 018 destinations
  2. Free data roam can only be used in countries listed in the Happy Roam destinations
  3. Top-up for all prepaid cards can be done online, through StarHub Prepaid App or offline. See the complete Top up options.

Based on my past experience, I think StarHub is the most competitive operator, they often provide better value compared to other operators with their promotions. But, I feel that they have too many promotions, add-ons, bonuses and different top-up prices. Some promotions last for a long time, others disappear after a while.

It’s hard to make the right decision when trying to choose the best StarHub card or the best StarHub plans at any given time if the variables keep changing. To make it simple, I recommend that you ignore all the bonuses when trying to decide which card/plan is the best.

My Recommendation for StarHub cards:

Budget travellers: Choose $8 Happy Prepaid, then purchase 3-day 1GB data plan or 30-day 1GB data plan with the main wallet credit.

Heavy usage travellers: Choose $12 Happy Travel Prepaid or $32 Happy Travel Prepaid.

Long-term travellers: Choose $15 or $50 Happy Prepaid.

Where to buy StarHub Cards?

3. M1

M1’s normal prepaid SIM card is called M Card, while its tourist SIM is simply called M1 Tourist SIM Card. Below is the comparison of all M1’s prepaid cards.

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-M1
M1 shop
M1 Prepaid SIM Card - M Card
M1 Prepaid SIM Card - New M1 M Card (September2020)

* International call rates
## For use in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia and Taiwan, you can use your existing data from your local data packs without extra charges (but you need to activate data roaming first). For other countries, you need to purchase a roaming pack.
^ Top up options for M Card

M1 Tourist SIM Card comparison - Prepaid Tourist SIM

My Recommendation for M1 cards:

Budget travellers: Choose $5 M Card Prepaid SIM and purchase 1GB 3-day or 300MB 30-day with main wallet credit.

Heavy usage travellers: Choose any of M1 Tourist SIM.

Long-term travellers: Choose $15 M Card Prepaid SIM.

Where to buy M1 Cards?

M1 Tourist SIM Card:

  • Pre-order $12 M1 Tourist SIM and collect from Changi Airport or city areas.
  • M1 Shops ($12/$30 Tourist SIM)
  • Changi Meet & Greet ($30/$50 Tourist SIM) at Changi Airport Terminal 1, 2, 3 & 4 Arrival Halls (Public Area)
  • Changi Recommends ($30/$50 Tourist SIM) at Changi Airport Terminal 4 Arrival Hall (Public Area)
  • Selected 7-Eleven and Cheers ($12 Tourist SIM)

M Card:

What’s the best Tourist SIM for short-term travellers?

Now that I have covered every prepaid SIM card from each operator, it is time to compare these SIM cards across different operators, based on several scenarios.

Different people have different length of stay, data usage and other preferences. To simplify, I’m going to assume that short-term travellers are leisure travellers who use a good amount of internet (1GB to 3GB) on a daily basis for the purpose of navigation, on-the-go research and social media. For these people, Tourist SIM cards are the best option because it’s affordable and it gives 100GB which is more than enough for 2 weeks of stay in Singapore.

If you think you don’t belong in this category because you can survive without internet when exploring Singapore, then you can skip this section and jump to the next section where I discuss about normal prepaid SIM card (not Tourist SIM).

In this section, I’m going to compare all Tourist SIM cards in Singapore based on different lengths of stay.

Before I dive into the comparison of tourist sim cards, I want highlight one thing that you should take note about Tourist SIM: they don’t give free overseas SMS.

Best SIM Card for 7 days of stay

Best Singapore Tourist SIM Card for 7 days of stay

There are 4 Tourist SIM cards that are designed for short-term travellers visiting Singapore for up to 7 days, namely:

If you’re just staying in Singapore within the 7 days, you can get any of the $12 Tourist SIM card from Singtel/StarHub/M1 Tourist SIM.

However, if you’re planning for a day trip to Malaysia or Indonesia within the 7 days, both StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM and Singtel $12 hi!Tourist SIM card gives you 1GB data roam to Happy Roam destinations, which include Malaysia and Indonesia.

The best thing about StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM is the Happy Roam feature, which gives tourist SIM users free data roaming that can be used in over 17 countries. That’s a lot of countries compared to the 4 countries that Singtel Tourist SIM’s users can get.

If you are visiting any of these 17 countries after Singapore (Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America), consider getting StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM.

If you don’t need a lot of data because you can use your hotel or hostel’s wifi, or if you’re a budget traveler and you think paying $12 for data is a waste of money, but you need a SIM card to make calls, forget the Tourist SIM and get M1’s $5 Prepaid M Card.

If this is your first time visiting Singapore and you want to explore the country using public transportation, you need to have a travel card. To understand all the different travel cards in Singapore, read: Singapore Tourist Pass, EZ Link or Standard Ticket? Which One is Better?

If you have read my guide about travel cards and decide that you want an EZ-Link card, I recommend that you get Singtel’s $15 hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card. Here are some details about this card:

  • It is a 2-in-1 Tourist SIM and EZ-Link travel card
  • Basically, you peel off the SIM card from the EZ-Link card, so you have 2 physical items: 1 small SIM Card and 1 EZ-Link.
  • The SIM card validity is 7 days while the EZ-Link validity is 5 years from the manufacture date.
  • The EZ-Link card has $3 free credit. However, please note that minimum balance you need to maintain in EZ-Link card is $3 (below $3, you can’t take any MRT or bus with it), so you still have to perform a top up of minimum $10 to the EZ-Link in order to use it for public transport.

PS: If you’re a first-timer visitor to Singapore, I recommend you check my comprehensive library of Singapore Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

Best SIM Card for 12 days of stay

Best Singapore Tourist SIM Card for 12 days of stay

There are 3 Tourist SIM cards that are designed for travellers visiting Singapore for up to 12 days, namely:

All 3 SIM cards offer similar local data, local calls and SMS.

For data roaming, StarHub $32 covers more countries than the other two. Both Singtel and StarHub offer 90 mins international calls while M1 offers only 50 mins international calls.

If you’ll be travelling to Malaysia or Indonesia or just staying in Singapore during trip, you can get either Singtel $30 or M1 $30 SIM.

If you’ll be travelling to Australia or Thailand during your trip, you can get Singtel $30 Tourist SIM.

If you’ll be travelling to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan during your trip, you can get M1 $30 Tourist SIM.

If you’ll be travelling to countries not covered by Singtel $30 or M1 $30 SIM, but covered in StarHub’s Happy Roam, you can get StarHub $32 SIM.

Best SIM Card for 14 days or 15 days of stay

Best Singapore Tourist SIM Card for 14 day and 15 days of stay

There are 2 Tourist SIM cards that are designed for travellers visiting Singapore for up to 14 days and 15 days, namely:

  • Singtel $50 hi! Tourist SIM Card
  • M1 $50 Prepaid Tourist SIM Card

Both cards have similar offering, except for the data roaming coverage and international calls duration.

If you are visiting Malaysia and Indonesia during your trip, you can opt for either card.

If you are visiting Australia or Thailand during your trip, you can get Singtel $50 Tourist SIM.

If you are visiting Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan during your trip, you can get M1 $50 Tourist SIM.

To be honest, I think both cards are too overpriced for leisure travellers. One can simply purchase either Singtel’s $30 or M1’s $30 Tourist SIM, then perform top up to extend its validity to 15 days. But do take note that if you top up a Tourist SIM, the Tourist values (i.e. 100GB data, 3000 mins local call, 5000 SMS, overseas data roam) will not be extended.

The only difference between the $30 cards and $50 cards are the data roaming quota. The $30 cards give you 3GB data roaming while $50 cards give you 5GB data roaming. So, I think the $50 cards are more suitable for business travellers or luxurious travellers who need more data roam.

What’s the best card for budget travellers, long-term travellers or residents?

Best SIM card for budget repeat visitors or budget long-term travellers

Best SIM card for budget repeat visitors or budget long-term travellers in Singapore

If you’re a budget type of person who keeps coming back to Singapore at least once a year, it’s likely that you want to get a cheap SIM card that’s valid for months rather than the Tourist SIM card which is only valid for several weeks (I do the same thing with Malaysia and Indonesia because I visit both countries often!). But you have to remember to top up the card before it expires!

For this case, it looks like the best SIM card for you is the M1’s $5 M Card simply because it is the cheapest, it’s valid for 90 days, it has quite a competitive price for data plans. However, if the free 200MB for 20 days is not enough for you, then the second best choice is M1’s $8 New M Card, which gives you free 1.5GB for 30 days.

If you’re a budget long-term traveller who uses mostly hostel’s free wifi, doesn’t need a huge amount of data on your phone, needs just enough data to check Google Maps to make sure you’re not lost, and are conscious about budget, then I feel that the best card for you is also the M1’s $5 M Card. If the free 200MB is not enough for you, I suggest going for M1’s $8 New M Card or Singtel’s $8 hi! card.

Best SIM card for long-term travelers or residents who use data frequently

best prepaid sim card for singapore long term travelers or singapore residents

So, if you’re not too budget, and you want to keep a Singapore number because you visit about every 6 months, you need to use data and you don’t want to rely on wifi, I think the $15 category is suitable for you.

Personally, I think that M1’s $15 gives too little free data (only 4 GB) so you can forget about it. StarHub’s $15 gives 6GB + 2GB but the 2GB is not immediately available when you first purchase the card, so I think you can forget about StarHub’s too.

Now we are left with Singtel’s $15 and M1’s $14. Singtel’s $15 only gives 3GB for 120 days and 5GB for 30 days. Meanwhile, M1’s $14 gives 4GB for 120 days and 4GB for 30 days. With the same amount of free local data, I would choose M1’s $14 because it’s cheaper.

Now, let’s move to the next analysis!

If you’re a resident in Singapore, I presume you’ll be using data most of the time, so the criteria to choose the best SIM card for you would be the price of data plans, especially the monthly plan.

If you’re like me who uses a mobile phone to browse websites, use social media and watch YouTube videos, you probably need 20 GB a month.

For usage of 20GB or less in a month, I would say that the most suitable SIM card for you is Singtel’s $15 hi! card because 20GB costs $25/month and it’s valid for 30 days. StarHub’s data plan is only valid for 4 weeks, meanwhile M1 doesn’t have a 20GB data plan.

If you think 20GB is too much for you, and you can survive using just 4.5 GB or 15GB a month because you don’t really watch youtube videos or use Instagram, then I recommend that you choose M1’s $14 M Card, then purchase the monthly data plans of 4.5GB for $14.

If 20GB a month is too little for you, then the best choice is M1’s $14 M Card and the best monthly data plan is 50GB which costs $28 a month.

Coverage

Regarding coverage, personally I have used the service of all three mobile operators, and what I can say is, each operator performs well at certain locations and bad at other locations. No operator is truly better than other operators. This is just my opinion 🙂

Purchase on the spot or in advance?

First of all, not all SIM cards can be purchased in advance. For those cards that can be booked online, I highly recommend that you do, because you’ll never know how long the queue can be.

In busy city/tourist areas like Bugis or Orchard, queues at telecommunication shops can be insane (at least 30 mins of waiting).

At the airport, not every SIM card is available for sale (#truestory: they only sell the more expensive ones, but they keep changing strategy so you’ll never know).

If the SIM card that you want can’t be purchased online, I think your best bet is to go to not-so-busy 7-Eleven or Cheers convenient stores, or go to telecommunication shops in the morning (between 10 to 11am) or late at night (9pm onwards).

FAQ

These are some of the most common questions that readers have asked me over the years.

1. What’s required to purchase SIM card in Singapore?

You need to bring passports during registration of the SIM card.

2. How many sim cards can I buy?

Each person is only allowed to have 3 prepaid SIM cards under their name, regardless of the service provider.

3. What are local data and roaming data?

Local data is the data that you can use in Singapore. Roaming data is the data that you can use when you’re outside Singapore.

4. Are incoming calls free?

Unfortunately, no. You will be charged when you receive local calls. If you have a lot of free local calls minutes, then these will be deducted when you receive incoming calls.

5. I want to maintain the validity of my SIM card so I can use it when I come back to Singapore in the future. How can I do so?

Get any prepaid SIM card, not the tourist SIM card. Then, download the apps (either Singtel hi! App, StarHub Prepaid App, or M1 Prepaid App) to check your card validity.

Finally, monitor your card validity consistently so that you can top up before its expiry date. These apps allow you to top up with credit card so it’s ok if you’re outside Singapore.

6. What is the cheapest SIM card in Singapore?

M1’s $5 M Card.

So… that’s it!

I hope I have provided you with enough information to make your decisions 🙂 If you have any questions, let me know in the comment or ask me in Trevallog Community on Facebook.

Planning for a trip to Singapore? Here are some essential information to read next:

  1. Read my best articles about Singapore
  2. Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free
  3. A Weekend Itinerary for Budget Travellers in Singapore

Last updated: 27 September 2020

Best Singapore Prepaid Sim Card Feb 2020

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make any purchase through my links, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. 

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This Post Has 182 Comments

  1. Larissa

    Hello, I was looking at Singtel’s website and I couldn’t find anything about 2 people using $50 hi!Tourist SIM Card. How does it work? Will 2 sim cards be available? Or I and my friend need to share one sim card? Thanks in advance, Larissa.

    1. Eva

      Hi Larissa,
      I have called Singtel to clarify. Apparently they have phased out the Twin Pack. Now, it’s only single sim card for $50 Tourist Sim. Thanks for highlighting this to me! My article will be updated this month to reflect the changes. If you need 2 sim cards for short term stay, I recommend getting the $12 or $15 Tourist SIM.

    2. Rachelle

      Hi,

      Good read! Great Article! Just want to ask, Sim cards validity can go as long as 180 Days. When does the validity starts? The moment you purchased it or the moment you activate the sim card to your phone?

      1. Eva

        Hi Rachelle, it starts from the moment it’s activated.

  2. Nad

    Hi Eva

    i have a 17 hrs transit and plan to go out of the airport to see some places.what would be the best sim, i will need it for google maps & whatsapp/viber

    1. Eva

      Hi Nad,
      You can get the cheapest sim card since you’re in Singapore for less than a day. You can consider M1’s $5 or Singtel/StarHub’s $8. If you need more data than the free provided data, just use your existing credit to purchase data using the app.

  3. ericson ang

    hello. planning to ride a cruise in singapore. singapore to malaysia and back to singapore. may i ask what internet sim card i can use on board the ship>? with calls to be made to the philippines if possible. … thank you

    1. Eva

      Based on my experience, there won’t be any signals when you’re on board the ship in the middle of nowhere 🙂 you need to purchase wifi package from your cruise company.

  4. Uttam

    Hi Eva,

    I’m traveling Singapore next week for 6days from India. I’m thinking to purchase starhub $12 happy prepaid travel sim card. Is this sim card local data will allow me to do free WhatsApp chat and WhatsApp call when I will be at Singapore. Or I need to top with other data plan to do WhatsApp chat?

    1. Eva

      Hi Uttam,
      Yes the $12 StarHub Happy Prepaid Travel data allows you to use Whatsapp chat. You don’t have to purchase any data plan. The data can be used for everything including browsing, social media, etc.

  5. Ray

    Great blog !
    We are 9 people, meeting in Singapore then cruising. We visit Ko Samui, Bangkok, Sihanookville, Ho chi min, back to Singapore and then on to Phuket, Penang, KL and back to Singapore. Total 18 days,
    Could you recommend a suitable sim, mainly to keep in touch with each other, but data to to access email etc.
    Second question, is US $ the best universal currency ? Just for coffees taxis etc in the various countries.
    Thanks
    Ray

    1. Eva

      Hi Ray,
      You can get any normal prepaid card (from any operator), then purchase data roaming so that you can use it when you’re in Thailand and Malaysia. For example, you can get Singtel $8 normal prepaid, then use the $10 credit to purchase 1GB 30-day hi!DataRoam Pack A.
      Unfortunately, all telcos don’t cover data roaming in Vietnam, so you might have to consider getting local vietnam sim card when you are there.
      For currency, all of these countries don’t accept USD as payment. You might want to exchange your USD when you arrive there, or exchange at your home country.

      1. Ray

        Hi Eva,
        Thanks for your prompt reply and good advice.
        Brilliant 😀
        Thanks
        Ray

  6. Andy

    I’ve found that ordering in advance with Klook requires you to state which terminal you are landing in. Unfortunately it seems that for my particular flight into Changi (SQ915) that this seems to randomly land at either terminal 2 or terminal 3. I need 2 SIM cards anyway, so I’ve ordered one for each terminal, and at worst I will lose SGD 12. Just hoping that UOB will allow me to pick up both cards from whichever terminal I land in!

    1. Eva

      If UOB doesn’t allow you to pick up both cards from whichever terminal you land in, I suggest that you take the free Skytrain to the other terminal to collect it. All of the UOB counters are located at Public Area, that means you need to come out from Baggage collection in order to collect the card.

  7. Honza

    Be aware of StarHub kiosk in front T1 arrivals.They scam tourist and force to sell them Travellers SIM with 3 days validity for S$12 (or S$18, didn’t remember), or 12 days for S$32. I need 4 days validity so i must pay them S$32 even I had data sim info saved in phone. So if you are tourist and don’t want waste your money don’t buy data sim cards at StarHub kiosk in front of arrivals hall.

    1. Eva

      Hi Honza, $12 SIM for 3 days doesn’t sound quite right, it should be for 7 days. If that’s what they told you, it is a scam. Sorry that it happened to you.

      To avoid getting hard-sell, I think future tourists can consider to pre-order this in advance and collect when they arrive.

  8. Rob

    Hi Eva,

    This is a truly amazing guide. Thank you ever so much, it is incredibly good of you to put it together.

    My trip is going to take me through Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China. I can see options that would cover me for the first three, but what would you recommend for China as well? I will be in Singapore for 2 weeks, Malaysia for 1, Thailand for 1 and China for 6 weeks.

    It might be simpler to just get a 1-month option for the first three countries and then get a new SIM for China. But I was wondering if you knew of a clever option that would cover all 4 for 2.5 months.

    Many thanks!
    Rob

    1. Eva

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for your compliment!

      For China data roaming using Singapore’s prepaid SIM Card, the cheapest data roam package I can find is StarHub’s Happy Roam. It is S$10 for 1GB data with 4 weeks validity. Meanwhile, Singtel’s ReadyRoam is S$20 for 2GB with 1 month validity. M1 doesn’t even offer roaming for China for prepaid cards.

      So if you’re taking StarHub, you can consider getting the $15 prepaid SIM, then top up with $10 credit, so now you have $25 credit. When you leave Singapore, you can use the $10 credit to buy 1GB data for the first month, then another $10 to buy another 1GB data for the second month. Do note that this option gives you very little data (only 1GB a month).

      I have never bought a sim card in China but my gut is saying that it’s probably cheaper to get China’s local SIM card when you arrive there. I agree that the easier way is to get a card for the first 1 month in Southeast Asia. You can get any prepaid sim card (not tourist sim) and then just purchase a 4-week data plan 🙂 Hope it helps and hope you have a great trip!

      1. Rob

        Thank you so so much. This is fantastic! I also see that it covers Australia and NZ, which would be handy as well. Ideal!

        I think, for simplicity, I’ll top up with a good amount of credit before leaving Singapore. That should give me flexibility in deciding how much roaming data I need in each month.

        Thank you again, you’re a star!

  9. U2fan

    Hi Eva,
    If I’m staying for 11 days, can I buy a 12$, 7 day valid Singtel sim, and extend it to 11 days by topping up on the 7th day? or cant we extend the singtel 7 day sim at all?

    1. Eva

      Hi U2fan, yes you can extend Singtel’s Tourist SIM on the 7th day by topping up $3/day. Yes you can extend.

  10. Fernando

    Hello Eva. Congratulations on such a great article. Unfortunately I saw it only after purchasing a $32 Starhub Tourist SIM card. Since I travel to Singapore and the US every few months, I understand your recommendation was to purchase the regular Prepaid SIM instead.
    Can you please elaborate on the disadvantages of the Tourist SIM? I believe with a $18 top-up I can extend the validity of my Tourist SIM by 180 days. If I do that online every 180 days, will my SIM card remain active, despite being a Tourist SIM?
    Finally, if I use the top-up credit to purchase a WOW Data Plan, my assumption is that I can use it during my trips to the US even if I don’t visit Singapore, right?
    Please correct me if I’m wrong and if I should get a regular Prepaid SIM card instead before I leave Singapore, in a few days.
    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Eva

      Hi Fernando,
      Regarding extending the Tourist SIM by topping up $18 and buying WOW data plan to use it overseas, yes I have the same understanding as you. I asked StarHub and they confirmed my understanding is correct.

      1. Fernando

        Hi Eva,
        I greatly appreciate that you’ve confirmed with StarHub. For accuracy, I’ve just noticed the specific $18 top-up option is not available via the Prepaid App, but I presume one can extend the Tourist SIM by choosing other amounts, such as $10 (for 120 days), $20 (for 180 days), etc.
        Thanks again!

        1. Eva

          Hi Fernando, I guess so. When I talked to them, they said you can extend the card for just 30 cents for 30 days. I almost couldn’t believe it, that’s so cheap.

  11. Heinz

    HI Eva,

    thanks for your reply. Both helps and not 🙂 I would like to avoid topping up e.g. every month just to keep it valid. So most likely I need to go for one with longer validity. Will be there again next week 🙂

    1. Eva

      Ah I see. Yeah if you don’t wish to keep topping up, the best method is to get the one with longest validity.

  12. Heinz

    Hi Eva,
    looking for a prepaid SIM I could use for several visits over the next ~12 month, each most likely ~1 week.
    Just don’t want to get a new one every time, just doing top up again to “reactivate” it when needed.
    1GB and very little call activity I guess per stay.
    What would be your recommendation?
    Thanks, Heinz

    1. Eva

      Hi Heinz, you can refer to my FAQ no 3. Just get any basic SIM Card (not Tourist SIM) and download the app to monitor the expiry dates. Hope it helps!

  13. Roselyn

    Hi Eva ,
    For sure they do have to register our names ( for security rules , against crimes ) but is it possible to choose the date of activation of the SIM card , on their device ?

    Do you have any possibilty to ask a seller in a Singtel shop , may be by phone ?
    That would be very nice from you . As I am still abroad.

    As my trip will be for next month, i have more times .
    I have found that the $18 can be bought on line and collected on Changi terminal 2.

    1. Eva

      Hi Roselyn,
      I just learned that Singtel has launched a self-registration feature for prepaid sim card. All you need to do is purchase the card from authorised seller, then download the hi!App, and register on your own. This is the info: https://www.singtel.com/personal/products-services/mobile/prepaid-plans/registeryoursim

      I suggest that you confirm again with the store at Changi Terminal 2 that you can indeed choose to self-register. What store is it at Terminal 2?

      1. Roselyn

        Hi Eva,
        Here’s the link to Singtel for collecting prepaid hi!tourist SIM cards at Changi >>> t.ly/gYkY8
        https://www.singtel.com/personal/products-services/mobile/prepaid-plans/collection-location

        For me , that would be at TRAVELEX :
        Terminal 2 Arrival Baggage Hall, Travelex
        #016-037
        Located outside Belt 34 and 35, beside Information Service Desk
        Open 24 hours daily

        So the solution is
        1- buy on line 2 hi!tourist cards $18 ,and ( better ) predownload at home the hi!App
        2- collect the 2 cards at the Travelex counter ( T2 ) on arrival
        3- ask the employee ( if he/she knows ) to kindly show us how to register for the first time
        4- otherwise DIY the 5 steps of self registration of the first SIM card
        5- 7 days later , DIY again the registration of the 2nd SIM card

        The second point is : to be sure that we can use the 2 EZ Link cards on that arrival day to take MRT to downtown ?
        Have you the possibility to call this Travelex counter at T2 , or any other Singtel counter/shop ?

        That would be great !
        Thanks for all , Eva .

        1. Roselyn

          By the way , if you manage to get in touch with them , may be will they tell you how long they do keep these prepaid cards at their counter ( 1 week 2 weeks , or much more, till redemption ) ? Beccause there’s a promotion, ending on December 31; for these $18 cards .

        2. Eva

          Hi Roselyn,
          I managed to find Travelex’s phone and called them. They do sell $18 2-in-1 Singtel EZ-Link card. They usually do the registration for customer and activate on the same day. If customer insist to register themselves, it’s possible, but there is a risk that the customer has exceeded their prepaid SIM Card limit. So, each person is allowed to register only 3 prepaid number under his/her name. If you have exceeded it, and you insist to register yourself, Travelex will not be able to refund you. In the case where you’ve exceeded your allowable limit, you need to go to Singtel’s shop to request for your previous number to be removed, before you can proceed with registration.

          With that, I believe your plan should work 🙂 You can get them to help you register for your first SIM Card, then purchase another one but keep it for self-registration.

          I’m not sure how long they will hold the card and neither do they.

          1. Roselyn

            Hi Eva ,
            You are so wonderfull :
            ” I managed to find Travelex’s phone and called them”
            I didn’t find it by myself, and couldn’t tell how very sincerely I thank you !
            Now I know that my two $18 EZ Links cards can be bought at the Travellex desk on Terminals and I’ll ask them to active for the first card and I”ll activate myselself the second 7 days later , on hi!App
            Within this first week , we can use the 2 EZ Links for travelling with MRT / Bus ….
            That’s great !
            By the way do you have kept their phone number ?

  14. Roselyn

    Yes but with the 2 EZ cards , we can both use immediately for travelling out of the airport with the MRT , and buying special price tickets in Sentosa during the first week
    I wanted to activate the second card the second week only
    Any idea ?

    1. Eva

      I don’t think it’s possible. You can ask SIM card seller to confirm this to be sure. Another way is to activate both cards at the same time when you purchase them. Then, in the 2nd week of your trip, probably you can top up $3/day to extend the validity of 1 SIM Card, but this is quite costly compared to buying another new SIM card.

  15. Roselyn

    Hi Eva,

    We”ll be 2 for 2 weeks in Singapore.
    We have planed to buy : 2 hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card is a 2-in-1 ($18 / 100Gb x 2)

    1 – Do you know if it’s possible to preorder on line and collect at the airport ? if so , do you have the web link for that ?

    2 – We would like
    * to use the 2 EZ cards , ON ARRIVAL , ( and after topping up $10 more ) to take the MRT for 2 , then later buy tickets for a couple of Sentosa attractions , during the first week
    * but activate just ONE SIM card , immediately, and the second 7 days later on, and then use the second 100 GB data pack.
    Do you think it is possible ? As the 2 ends of validity are differents , are the 2 beginning of validity too ? Physically SIM card is separate from the EZ card , and probably serial numbers …

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Eva

      Hi Roselyn,
      1. I don’t have information whether the $18 EZ-Link SIM Card is sold at the airport. I have only seen them being sold in the city, not airport.
      2. I think it’s not possible to do so, because when you purchase the SIM Card, the seller has to immediately register your passport in order to activate your SIM Card. In your case, because you’ll be there in 2 weeks, you might want to consider getting only 1 EZ-Link SIM Card, and another normal EZ-Link for your travel partner.
      Hope it helps!

  16. Patrick

    Hi, I will be posted overseas for a few years. I want to get a prepaid SIM that can receive sms while away. What is the best card I should get?

    1. Eva

      Hi, any basic sim card will be good as long as you keep renewing it while you are overseas. Nowadays, you can top up most prepaid sim card online.

  17. Vlad

    Hi,
    I will be visiting Singapore next week (for a week) and the most internet I will need is for WhatsApp.
    If I buy a Singtel hi! 8$ and then activate (via *100#) WhatsApp Social Plan 3$ for 7 days, then I will have 500Mb to use anytime + 7$ remaining credit.
    Should work, right?
    Thank you,
    Vlad

    1. Eva

      Yes

  18. Will

    Great! Thank you for your assistance. Your travel log site is very helpful and useful.

  19. Will

    hi, we are traveling to Singapore in new few weeks for a week. we are looking for recommendation of data size for using the phone for using apps, such as grab as well as the train schedule and walking routes from/to tour destinations. Additionally, our flight land in Singapore airport at 1230am. are there stores open at that hour to purchase a sim card? thank you.

    1. Eva

      Hi Will,
      Based on your message, I’m not sure how long you will be in Singapore. Maybe there’s typo in your message. Assuming you’re in Singapore for 7 days, you can get the $12 Tourist SIM Card from Starhub or M1, because it gives 100 GB, which is more than enough for use within 7 days.
      If you’re pre-ordering the $12 Starhub or M1 Tourist SIM card for collection at the airport, the redemption counter is open 24 hours daily.
      Hope it helps!

  20. Lizan

    HI Eva,
    Thanks for the post. I’m almost crack my head thinking if to get overseas sim or activate my data passport or just get a local prepaid. I’m going Canada and their sim data plan is so expensive and it’s only like 2GB for 14days! Arhhh I’ll rot in the mountain…. M1 to activate my data is $25 for canada and I was thinking why not just buy starhub prepaid as I saw Canada is one of the country that is in the list. THANK YOU for helping me to narrow down my search!

    1. Eva

      Hi Lizan,
      It’s amazing to hear that you manage to save money on data roaming because of this post. Hope you have a great time in Canada!

  21. SC

    Great advice, thanks Eva!

  22. SC

    Hi Eva,

    Thanks for the information. It’s very well laid out and easy to follow.

    This is more of a specific question, but I am curious if I purchased, for example, a 7-day card does the 7-day start on the hour you activate the card and runs on a 24 hour cycle? This would be helpful for me as I could choose the start time of the card and not have to buy more to extend my coverage.

    Thanks in advance!

    SC

    1. Eva

      Hi SC,
      Great question! Unfortunately I had never paid attention to this detail. My family usually visit me for less than 7 days, so there’s never any case where they had to worry about expiring SIM card. Based on users review of M1 Tourist SIM, the 7-day card starts on the DAY you purchase it, not the HOUR.

      Please note that SIM card sellers will activate the card for you on the day of purchase. So if you want to activate it the next day after your arrival, please purchase/collect the ticket on the day you want it to be activated.

      Enjoy your trip to Singapore!

  23. mai huang

    Hi Eva

    I’m going asia cruise on Feb 2020 for 21 days, singapore, thailand, vietnam, malaysia, cambodia, indonesia, if you can help me, what kind the sim card so I get.
    thank you
    Mai

    1. Eva

      Hi Mai Huang, you can get Singtel $8,then top up $10. Now you have $20 credit. Use this to purchase data roaming plan for 18 countries (it costs $20 for 2 GB for 30 days. Details can be found here.

  24. Melvyn

    Hi, what would you recommend for someone like me that doesn’t stay in SG but works there on weekly basis? I’m quite a data consumer mainly as the company is tied to WhatsApp/Slack/Google. Hardly using it for text or calls. Will be using data calls/conferencing/email mainly.

    Thanks!

    1. Eva

      Hi, I’d recommend that you get the normal prepaid card, either Singtel $15, StarHub $15 or M1 $15 then purchase the monthly data plan.

  25. Ian

    Hi, Eva
    I am travelling to Singapore for the formula 1 GP on 19 to 24 September 19, and thinking of taking the 15$ Singtel card, I really only need data for whats app and may be a few international calls,(I hope 100 GB is enough for me as my bro will also be hotspoting my connection) I wanted to know if, buying my sim card online would it Grantee that I get it at the airport or can they say its not in stock, then what do?

    1. Eva

      Hi Ian,
      Based on my own experience buying StarHub’s Tourist SIM, they never run out of stock. Btw, I may be wrong but I think Singtel $15 is not sold in Airport. If you want Singel $15, you need to get it from retailer shops outside Airport. Otherwise, you can get StarHub or M1’s $12 SIM.

  26. Joshua

    Hi Eva,

    I’m planning to visit Singapore next week, for internet connection we do have Huawei Mifi to use share with other members.

    Does Starhub and Singtel support using portable wifi ?

    Since i found out that M1 Tourist does not support Mifi
    https://www.m1.com.sg/terms-and-conditions/m-card
    The Prepaid Tourist SIM can be used on 3G / 4G phone only.

    Thanks

    1. Eva

      Hi Joshua,
      Sorry I don’t really know the answers. Perhaps you want to contact Singapore & StarHub directly 🙂

  27. Lucas

    Hi Eva, Thanks for a very comprehensive review.

    I need your help on my case. My family and I will stay 3 days in SG and 1 day in MY. We have 4 phones who all needs data (phone calls are not necessary).

    My initial plan is to get 2 SIM’s and turn on the hotspot to share the data.

    1/ Is this recommended? if yes, which SIM should I get?
    2/ If not, how should I do it?

    Appreciate your help. Thanks!

    1. Eva

      Hi Lucas. Glad you find it helpful! I agree that the cheapest way is to share the data through hotspot, but do prepare powerbank because hotspot usually drains phone battery. Another way is to get Internet SIM then put it in a wifi device, but this is too troublesome as you need to get a wifi device plus charger. Or, you can consider getting 4x $12 tourist SIM so that you and your family members don’t have to stick together all the time. Hope this helps 🙂

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