Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers

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. So, I always include tips about buying local SIM card in all of my airport guides.

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 phone 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 comparison and breakdown of each SIM card, then provide you with my recommendations! Let’s dive in!

1. Singtel

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-Singtel

Singtel shop

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - Singtel

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - Singtel

I would say that some great features of Singtel are: free Singtel WiFi at shopping malls and certain public places, generous data roam for $30 and $50 Tourist SIM (useful if you travel to Malaysia for a day or two), and the ability to share the SIM card over 2 devices with $50 Tourist SIM (they give 2 SIM cards). Also, it’s possible to extend hi!Tourist SIM Cards just by topping up with $3/day.

My Recommendation for Singtel cards:

Budget travellers: Choose $8 hi!SIM, then purchase 7-day 1.5GB data plan or 30-day 1GB data plan.

Heavy usage travellers: Choose $15 hi!Tourist SIM or $30 hi!Tourist SIM.

Long-term travellers: Choose $50 hi!SIM

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, $20)
  • 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

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-StarHub

StarHub shop

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - Starhub

*Free data roam can only be used in 17 countries in the Happy Roam destinations
** For $15 Happy Prepaid (2.2GB), free data comprises of 1.2GB first month; then 200MB/month for next 5 months. FREE WeChat App, Whatsapp Messenger and LINE App is valid for 180 days from activation date.

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - Starhub

# Free overseas calls can be used in 19 countries in the IDD 018 destinations
*Data roam can only be used in 17 countries in the Happy Roam destinations
++ Top up options

The advantages of buying StarHub prepaid cards are:

  • Data plans for Happy Prepaid SIM are the cheapest among all providers
  • $12 Travel SIM gives 1GB data roam (great for travellers who visit other countries besides Singapore within 7 days)

The downside is that they have too many promotions, 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 a 3-day 1GB data plan or 30-day 1.2GB data plan.

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

Long-term travellers: Choose $50 Happy Prepaid.

Where to buy StarHub Cards?

3. M1

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers and Tourists-M1

M1 shop

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - M1Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers - M1

The target users of M1’s Tourist SIM is very clear: $12 for shorter stay (7 days), $30 & $50 for longer stays (10 days & 14 days) with visit to other countries.

Basically, the basic features of M1 Tourist SIM are Similar to those of Singtel’s. However, M1 Tourist SIM offers data roam to 5 countries for $50 card (unlike Singtel who offers only 3 countries). The disadvantage of M1 Tourist SIM: top-up not available.

My Recommendation for M1 cards:

Budget travellers: Choose $5 M Card Prepaid SIM.

Heavy usage travellers: Choose any of M1 Tourist Long-term

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 required to purchase SIM card in Singapore?

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

Conclusion

Different people have different length of stay, data usage and other preferences. To simplify, here are my recommendations for different scenarios.

Short-term travellers:

Best card for up to 7 days of visit: Starhub $12 Happy Travel, M1 $12 Tourist SIM

Best card for up to 10 days of visit: M1 $30 Tourist SIM, Singtel $30 hi!Tourist SIM Cards, or Singtel $50 hi!Tourist SIM Cards (the latter if you want to share the usage amongst to 2 users)

Best card for up to 12 days of visit: Starhub $32 Happy Travel Prepaid

Best card for 14 days of visit: M1 $50 Tourist SIM

Internet SIM (for WiFi device or phone):

Best internet SIM for 5 days: StarHub $18 Internet SIM

Best internet SIM for 7 days: Singtel $20 hi! Data SIM

Best internet SIM for 15 days: StarHub $32 Internet SIM

Long-term travellers or residents:

Budget/low-usage users: M1 $5 M Card

Normal-usage users: StarHub $15 Happy Prepaid or M1 $15 M Card

High-usage users: Singtel $50 hi! SIM or StarHub $50 Happy Prepaid

Regarding coverage, personally I have used the service of all three 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 🙂

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

Last updated: 8 July 2018

Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore

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47 Comments on “Best Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore for Travellers

  1. Im travelling to singapore for 4Nights,Malaysia 3Nights and bangkok 5Nights. Kindly suggest the best SIM card

    • Hi Savio, either Singtel or M1 can be used in Malaysia for data roaming, however, both can’t be used in Bangkok, so you’ll need to purchase local Thai SIM card when you’re in Bangkok!

    • haiiii which sim card you buy finally? and which plan?

  2. Hi.. can a hi!tourist singtel sim card work on huawei wifi portable or pocket wifi device? If not what kind of sim you may suggest that will work on that type of device. Tnx in advance

    • Hi Ryan, hi!Tourist SIM Card is available in normal SIM, MicroSIM and NanoSIM. If your Huawei pocket wifi can accept these sizes and it’s not locked, the sim card should be able to work on Huawei pocket wifi.

  3. Great psot. Thanks for the detail breakdown and I have the clear picture on which SIM plan I should go for. I just would like to know whether any retailer accepts credit card payment for SIM Purchase?

  4. Hi Eva, I’m travelling for 2 months to Singapore. If I plan to use data and call, which plan do you recommend?
    Thanks!

    • Hi CC, it really depends on your needs and style. StarHub data plans are the cheapest among the three, but their rates for local call may not be the cheapest. You need to consider whether data or call is more important to you.

  5. Hi Eva,

    Thanks for your post!! These are the kinds of posts I definitely look for when traveling to different countries, so again, thanks for your detailed entry.

    This may seem somewhat odd, but I’m literally traveling to Singapore for one full day and a half, and I was wondering which SIM card you’d recommend? May seem like a silly question, but I am a heavy user of data and sometimes don’t use Wifi when it’s free since it could be slow at times so I resort to data/LTE.

    Any thoughts or recs is great.
    Thanks!!

    • Hi CJV, I’d recommend you get the $15 Singtel hi!Tourist, $15 Starhub Happy Prepaid, or $15 M1 Tourist SIM. These 3 cards would give you 15GB of data, which is more than enough for 1.5 days I guess! 🙂

  6. I will be short-term exchange student for about 5 months. Which one do you recommend to buy a sim?

    • Hi Win Tun, for long term usage, if you’re using at least 4GB a month, it’s better to get M1 because its 4GB monthly plan costs only $21 (cheapest among 3). If you’re using less than 4GB a month, it’s better to get Starhub’s monthly plan.

  7. Hi Eva,

    May i check which one to choose if in singapore for two weeks. Please advise, Thank You.

    • Hi cc, for 2 weeks usage, I think it’s wise to get normal sim card instead of tourist sim card. After buying normal sim card, you can purchase any of the weekly data plans that suits you!

  8. Hi Eva,
    thanks for your info. I will go traveling to Singapore 3 days, and Kuala Lumpur 4 days. Please recommend the best option and best value…

    Thank you very much

    • Hi Hengky, Singtel or M1 tourist SIM would be good for short-term travellers.

  9. For the starhub price plan table, the ** footnote for the $15 plan is missing. I checked with starhub and they advised that ** refers to “1.2GB from the first month and 200MB per month for the next 5 months. FREE WeChat App, Whatsapp Messenger and LINE App is valid for 180 days from activation date of your $15 Happy Prepaid SIM. The bundle includes unlimited use of text messaging on WeChat App, Whatsapp Messenger and LINE App.”

    • Hi Iris, you’re right! Thank you so much. I will update this post really soon as each operator offers new pricing and features now.

  10. Hi Eva! Thank you so much for this! Very detailed, thorough, and helpful information indeed!

  11. Hi Eva, for the StarHub Happy Travel prepaid which gives 100GB local data, does “local data” means it can be use for Whatsapp?

    • Hi Grace, local data means you can only use it when you’re in Singapore. Yes, you can use it for Whatsapp when you’re in Singapore, you can’t use the local data outside Singapore. Hope it helps!

  12. Hi all, there seems to be a conspiracy at the airport where all shops only sell the $30+ sims but one of the money exchange booths still sells the $15 sim

    • Hi Martin, if you’re planning to get $12 tourist sim, it’s easier to pre-order in advance and collect it at the airport upon arrival. The choices of sim cards are indeed limited at the airport.

  13. I will going to singapore 24 july – 29 july, malaysia (melaka & johor) 29 july – 2 agustus. After read your blog i prefer buy m card prepaid sim $15 get $15 credit, it’s get free local data 2gb (singapore) and i planning buy data roam plan for using in malaysia. After look https://www.m1.com.sg/personal/mobile/prepaidmobile/mcard#tab4. i little confuse about this data roaming.. i look 2 data offer: $15 Roaming Pack 2GB Data + 10 mins Calls (valid 10 days) and Roam with your existing local data in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia and Taiwan at no additional cost, with montly $14 for 2gb.. what different between this 2 offer?

  14. and from johor i will be back to changi singapore 2 aug.. so full itinerary’s: singapore 24 july – 29 july, malaysia (melaka & johor) 29 july – 2 aug, singapore 2 aug.. btw if okay i buy this prepaid.. can i buy at changi after arrived? or i must pre order too?

  15. about roaming m1.. after read again.. it’s must buy Mobile Data and Data Roaming or just one of them? if buy both $15 Roaming Pack for 2GB Data + 10 mins Calls (valid 10 days) and Data Plans – 2GB for 30 day for $14? so all cost $15+$14 = $ 29.. like that? or just charge one of them?

    • Hi Jemmy,
      If you buy m card prepaid sim $15, you’ll get 2gb local data. This data you can’t use overseas.
      If you purchase data plan 30-day $14 you will get additional 2gb. This data you can use overseas in 5 countries but you need to activate data roaming first.
      If you buy $15 Roaming Pack, you’ll get another 2gb for roaming (not for local).
      If you want to use your local data for roaming, you need to purchase either roaming pack ($15 or $28) or data pack/data plans. After that, activate your data roaming.

      I suggest you buy either 30-day $14 or $15 Roaming Pack. Don’t need to purchase both.

  16. 1. if i buy 30-day $14 i get 2gb can use overseas but need to activate data roaming first. for activate data roaming need pay again or not? if not how to activate data roaming?
    2. or can i just buy $15 roaming pack for using in malaysia?
    3. i mean i buy m card prepaid sim $15 with credit $15, i get free 2gb local data for use in singapore, and buy $15 Roaming Pack with credit $15 and get 2gb roaming for use in malaysia.

  17. Hi Ms. Eva, this is a good help. Thanks for the blog. May I ask if i buy StarHub $12 Prepaid Travel, can I use this when I go to Johor Malaysia for 1 day? Thanks

  18. Hello, I will be visiting Singapore for 5 days and Indonesia for 4 days. Want to buy 2 sim cards (to share between 4 people). Primary required would be data to use for navigation purpose and apps.
    Which sim would be good to buy ?
    Day 1 – Day 5 : Singapore
    Day 6 : Depart from Singapore for Indonesia
    Day 6 – Day 8 : Indonesia
    Day 9 : Depart from Indonesia for home country (via Singapore).

    • Hi, I think you can consider Singtel $50 tourist sim. You can buy 2 cards for 4 person use. You can use it in Singapore and Indonesia.

  19. Hi Eva, thank you for the reply. I too had the $50 sim in mind but then did not want to spend that much. Basically it will be a good choice since we only need 2 sims between 2 sets of people (1 between parents and 1 between self+wife)… so for $50 will get that… But then was also trying to see if can get any combination at a lesser price else will go for $50. hotels will have free wifi and many outside places too so 1 GB to 2 GB of data should be fine in roam (Indonesia).

    • If you only need about 1GB in Indonesia, I think you can consider 4pcs of Starhub $12 tourist sim. In total, you’ll need to spend only $48, and each of you will have 1GB in Indonesia 🙂

  20. Hi, I would like to ask where we can get the starhub happy travel sim card or SingTel Hi travel simcard? I’m going to Singapore for 3 days 2 night. Other than airport, any other place near woodland or orchard perhaps? As I’m taking bus from Malaysia JB.

    • Hi, if you don’t come via Changi airport, you can try to visit any of Starhub shop, 7-eleven or cheers. I don’t think there’s any shop in Woodlands Checkpoint that sells sim card. Alternatively, you can consider M1’s $12 tourist sim and pick it up from Bugis/Raffles Place/Orchard (Paragon).

  21. Hi Eva

    When you say buy additional data with the $5 mcard or $8 starhub is that using the credit provided meaning total cost is still $5/8?

    I found from previous experience that it is difficult to get the low value card because they all try to sell the more expensive cards. Any clue where to best get them? Preferably at Changi so we can be contactable straight away. Otherwise was thinking of preordering one $12 sim then buy the rest in the city.

    Thanks
    Charles

    • Hi Charles,
      Yes, you can buy additional data using the main credit stored in your card. Yes, the total cost is still $5/$8. You’re right, it’s quite difficult to get the starter SIM card at Changi Airport. The best place to find more SIM card choices is the telco shops itself. In the article above, you can find a sub-section about “where to buy xxx card?” Head to the link that says “M1 Shops”, “Starhub Shops”, or “Singtel Shops”.

  22. Great info, thank you! I had a question about the data usage. If I got the $15 hi! tourist sim card that comes with 100GB of data (valid for 7 days), is there a daily data usage cap? Like can I use up the 100GB data in 2-3 days or is there a max data cap per day so that 100GB is spread out over 7 days (14-15GB / day max).

    • Hi Dan,
      It isn’t mentioned anywhere in the website and T&C about per day limit, so I believe there is no limit to how much data you can use a day.

  23. Hi Eva! I’m planning on taking a cruise holiday from singapore, with transit in Malay and Thailand. From the blog you write with such detail above (thank you for that!) I understand that Singtel’s 15$ Hi! Tourist card doesnt come with 1GB data roam, but from what I read in https://www.singtel.com/personal/i/phones-plans/mobile/prepaid/hitouristsimcards this page, it comes with 1GB data roam, is it a new package they come out with or is it they don’t give the 1GB data roam? I need the data roam because it means I can buy only Singtel’s card and use it in Malaysia and Thailand right?
    Also, I am crossing from Batam to Singapore, can you suggest me should I get Starhub’s card or Singtel card, and where to buy from Harbour Front?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Sisca! Yes Singtel $15 hi!tourist sim now offers 1GB free dataroam to Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. So, you can just get this sim card and use it for roaming in Malaysia and Thailand. When you purchase this sim card, make sure the packaging indicates “1GB dataroam” because old stock would not have this 1GB dataroam offer, only new stock offers 1GB dataroam.
      Well, starhub is slightly cheaper than singtel. Singtel signal is quite reliable. You can buy singtel/starhub/m1 sim card from Vivocity, located just beside Harbourfront. Enjoy your cruise!

  24. I am visiting Singapore currently (my 2nd day today as I write this post)…. I got a StarHub travel sim for $12 (7 days validity) with 100 GB local data and 1 GB data roam…. Getting good signal at all places till now – been to Gardens By The Bay, Jurong Bird Park, Little India and had pretty great 4G signal in the MRT from Little India to Boon Lay station (no disruptions anywhere)…. So people can go for StarHub as well instead of Singtel… Both seem competent and equally good.

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