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

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

Singtel used to offer free Singtel WiFi for Singtel users, however from 31 January 2020, it will be gradually phased out.

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 $15 hi!Tourist SIM, $18 hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card or $30 hi!Tourist SIM.

Long-term travelers: 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

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

Notes about StarHub Prepaid SIM cards:

  1. For $15 Prepaid (2.2GB), free data comprises 1.2GB first month; then 200MB/month for the next 5 months. 
  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 5G 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

* 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?

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 travellers visiting Singapore for up to 7 days, namely Singtel $15 hi! Tourist SIM Card, Singtel hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card, StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM Card and M1 $12 Prepaid Tourist SIM Card.

If you’re just staying in Singapore within the 7 days, my recommendation is to get either StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM or M1 $12 Tourist SIM.

However, if you’re planning for a day trip to Malaysia or Indonesia within the 7 days, the best SIM card to get is StarHub $12 Travel Prepaid SIM because it gives you 1GB data roam to Happy Roam destinations, which include Malaysia and Indonesia, and StarHub is cheaper than Singtel in this scenario.

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 not visiting other countries after Singapore, you don’t need to consider this data roam feature.

For information, the countries that are covered in Happy Roam are Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America.

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 a travel card. To understand all the different travel cards, 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 need an EZ-Link card, I recommend that you get Singtel’s $18 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.
  • You’ll get a free round trip with Singapore Cable Car – Sentosa Line. Before you get too excited, Sentosa Line is different from Mount Faber Line
  • Sentosa Line only operates within Sentosa and it has 3 stops: Merlion station, Imbiah Lookout station and Siloso Point. So, you need to make your own way to Sentosa first, then redeem your ticket from the ticketing counter. You can read my guide about things to do in Sentosa Island
  • Meanwhile, Mount Faber Line (which is not included in this EZ-Link SIM Card) serves Mount Faber Station, Harbourfront Tower and Sentosa.
  • Here’s the full info about hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card including benefits of the card and where to redeem the cable car ticket.

If you’re not getting the $18 hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card but want to ride the scenic cable car, you can get this Singapore Cable Car Sky Pass which includes BOTH Mount Faber Line and Sentosa Line.

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 Singtel $30 hi! Tourist SIM Card, StarHub $32 Travel Prepaid SIM Card and M1 $30 Prepaid Tourist SIM Card. StarHub $32 is $2 more expensive than Singtel and M1.

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 during any of the 12 days of your trip, you can get StarHub $32 SIM.

Best SIM Card for 14 days or 15 days of stay

Best Singapore Tourist SIM Card for 14 days 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 and 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 for 3 consecutive days by paying either $3/day (Singtel) or $2/day (M1) to extend its validity to 15 days.

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 people 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
If you’re the kind 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. (I do the same thing with Malaysia and Indonesia because I visit both countries often!).

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 you’re the kind of person who stays in Singapore for a long time because you are caring for your family, but you do not use data often. You use the phone mostly for calling, then the recommended card for you is StarHub’s $8 because it has the most affordable local call rates.

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

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

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 StarHub’s $15 gives too little free data (only 2.2GB) so you can forget about it. Comparing M1’s $15 and $14 SIM Card, the $14 M Card is obviously superior in terms of price and free local data. So you can forget about M1’s $15 too.

Now we are left with Singtel’s $15 and M1’s $14. Singtel’s $15 only gives 1GB for 120 days and 5GB for 30 days. Meanwhile, M1’s $14 gives 4GB for 120 days and 4GB for 30 days. I would choose M1’s $14.

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, I would say that the most suitable SIM card for you is Singtel’s $15 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 either $15 or $14 M Card.

If 20GB a month is too little for you, then the best data plan for M1’s 40GB 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: 9 February 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 🙂

  28. Liz

    hi nice blog! i’ll be in singapore for two weeks and in malaysia for four days. what prepaid sim card would you recommend? (data is more important to me than phone calls)

    1. Eva

      Starhub $12 or Singtel $15 would be good

      1. Liz

        ok thanks and the $12 starhub one includes malaysia is that correct?
        also i won’t travel alone, i’ll need two sim cards for me and my friend. is the singtel $50 one for two people still a thing? (i wasn’t able to find the singtel twin one anymore??) or what would you recommend in that case: buying two seperate sim cards instead for the three weeks we’ll stay there in total?
        cheers 🙂

        1. Eva

          You can actually refer to “Data roaming” in my comparison table; that shows which country you can use data for free using singapore sim card. Yup Singtel $50 is still a thing. It depends on how long you spend in each country. A local SIM card is always cheaper than overseas SIM card.

  29. Ian

    Hi Eva, your Blog was really helpful, I do have some questions because ill be staying in singapore for 3 months and I am a heavy data user and i really like to have that 100GB data that singtel is offering If i top it up how long can i maximize its validity. And for example i used up all the data what can i do? Is there a plan i can have to get another 100GB? Super thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Eva

      Hi Ian, for Singtel 100GB sim card, yes you can top up with $3/day however I think that it’s quite expensive to top up $3/day for 3 months. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s any data plan that gives 100GB yet. Ugh, I hate the expensive data plans for prepaid numbers, but that’s the way it is in Singapore (at least for now). Personally, I think it’s better that you get the normal prepaid sim card, then top up with monthly plans. If you need to use huge amount of data for work, I suggest that you connect to [email protected] free public connection that’s available at certain public locations, or use the wifi from your accommodation.

  30. B. Mamentu

    Hi Eva, can I buy the $12 Starhub happy travel prepaid in transit area changi airport around 12am-1am ? Looks like they only sell $38 & $50 last time. If not, how about in public area ? Thanks.

    1. Eva

      Last time I checked, there wasn’t $12 card being sold in transit area, but things always change. However, if you pre-order the $12 StarHub sim, you can collect them anytime of the day at public area.

  31. Bill

    Hi Eva, Can you please help me with some advice. I need a permanent SIM card to retain my Singapore number and I live in Australia. I have been using M1 but getting killed on the charges, $18 every month and $2 per min when someone calls me from Singapore, which is like once or twice a month for a few minutes. For some reason the M1 $15 top up with 180 days validity does not work, I’m wondering if that is only for Singapore based ISMs, if there is such a thing? Would the Starhub happy prepaid $15 work in my case? I not the roaming calls are $1.50 per min, which is cheaper than M1. Alternatively the $38 Hi card is also attractive but I cant seem to find how much the roaming charges are. What would your advice be please? Thank you in advance!

    1. Eva

      Hi Bill,
      How do you top up your M1 prepaid card? If you go to M1 website (https://www.m1.com.sg/Mobile/prepaid-plans/m-card/top-up) you can see the options to top up for “data and voice”, “IDD and voice” and “main balance.” I suggest that you top up just the “main balance” and don’t accept any international calls if you want to avoid $2 charges.

      To be honest, I can’t find out what the Starhub’s charges for accepting calls from Singapore when you’re in Australia is. If it’s $1.50 and it’s cheaper than M1’s $2 then, I’d say go for Starhub. Because Starhub’s “Main wallet” top up options are the same as M1’s “main balance” top up options. Both offer $10 & $18 top up. Do note that if you use Starhub, and you want to top up, choose “main wallet” top up, not data top up etc.

      Hope it helps!

  32. Kun Qi

    I am planning to purchase Hi! Tourist EzLink SimCard. But I am wondering is the EzLink card still able to use after validity period? How about the balance in the EzLink card?

    1. Eva

      The EZ-link and Singtel SIM card are totally different thing. The validity of SIM card doesn’t affect EZ-Link validity. EZ-Link will follow the usual EZ-Link rules. The only difference is, the normal EZ-Link has non-refundable deposit of $5 but the EZ-Link from Singtel doesn’t have any non-refundable portion.

      EZ-Link balance can be refunded when you return it. You can read my post about EZ-Link rules here: https://trevallog.com/singapore-tourist-pass-ez-link-standard-ticket/

  33. Jessica

    Hello, I will be living in Singapore for 4 months and was wondering what would be the best plan to go with? Thanks in advance!

    1. Eva

      Hi, you can probably get the $15 normal prepaid sim card from one of the operators. You can then use the main credit to purchase whichever data plan that you want.

  34. DT

    If I am travelling to Singapore on half yearly to yearly basis, which prepaid sim should I choose? If I get the 7 days sim, I only can get 3 sim per passport right?

    1. Eva

      You should get the one that’s valid for 180 days. Yes, you are allowed to have 3 registered prepaid sim card.

  35. Dan

    Hi, im visiting singapore for 14 days, if i buy $15 hi tourist sim card it will expire in 12 days, i extend it on the 13 day, but can i extend again on the 14 day? Thanks

    1. Eva

      Hi Dan, Singtel $15 hi tourist sim is only valid for 7 days, not 12 days. You can get $30 hi tourist sim that’s valid for 12 days, then extend it 2 times by topping up 2x$3 (total spending = 30+6 = $36). But I suggest that you just buy 2x $15 hi tourist sim (total spending = $30).

  36. Susan

    For the 100G on M1 or Singtel, ca I use the data for Google Maps? What does *local data mean?

    1. Eva

      Yes you can use Google Maps. Local data means the amount of data you can use while you’re in Singapore.

  37. Wendy

    Hi, I can no longer find the Starhub Internet SIMs ($18 and $32). Do you know if they still sell them? I was looking into it because I will be in Singapore for a few hours and then going to Bali for 10 days, and then back to Singapore for 5 days. Do you think it would be a good idea to just buy one SIM card in Singapore and roam in Bali? Or buy one in Singapore and one in Bali? Thanks!

    1. Eva

      Hi Wendy, you’re right, I can’t find the Internet SIM anymore too. I guess they’re no longer selling it. If you’re in Singapore for a few hours, will you be leaving the airport? If you’ll be staying in the airport, you can use their wifi. Personally, I think it’s better that you just buy a local SIM in Bali, then when you come back to Singapore, you can get a local SIM in Singapore. Cos Local Bali SIM is cheaper. Also if you use Singapore SIM in Bali, you need to worry about topping it up to extend its validity or to add data. Happy travel!

      1. NC

        It’s still there, just not on the usual Starhub products section – go to Prepaid menu, under “Buy & Manage” select Pre-order SIM and the Internet SIM products will appear.

        1. Eva

          Thank you, I found it!

  38. Hiappy

    Hi, which prepaid plan is suitable for Malaysian who doesnt stay in Singapore but need a Singapore number to use for Singapore banking. So that I can receive sms or otp. Data is not compulsory. Just want to find cheapest plan to be able to receive sms for free. Tq.

    1. Eva

      Hi Hiappy. I presume you need to use the SIM card over a long period. If that’s the case, StarHub $8 is the best choice for you, because at the end of 90 days, you can top up $10 to extend it for another 120 days. With Singtel, $10 top up only gives 90 days of extension, M1 $15 top up gives 50 days of extension. Hope it helps!

  39. Jen

    This is fantastic, thank you so much for your advice. I had some questions at the end, most of which you ended up covering for other commenters! There’s two things I’m still wondering about- I’m staying out by Red Hill, do you think that’s too far afield to get a tourist-friendly sim? I’m especially keen on the Singtel Hi!Tourist EZ pass/sim card. Another question is about compatibility, I have an (unlocked) Samsung S8, I figure it will be fine, but should I go for one company over another based on that? Thank you very much for your advice. I’m really looking forward to my trip in Friday!

    -Jen

    1. Eva

      Hi Jen! I think the nearest Singtel store for you is Orchard or Bugis, so it’s not that far away from Redhill. In case you miss it, here are Singtel store locations: https://www.singtel.com/store-locator
      For phone compatibility, all of the SIM cards sold in Singapore are of the same sizes so it shouldn’t matter which phone you are using 🙂 Hope you have a good trip in Singapore!

  40. Erwin Banzon

    Hi, Eva,
    Thank you for the very helpful information on Singapore SIM cards.
    We’ll be travelling to Singapore for 4 days for an event in Sentosa. The event requires continuous internet usage for at least a day in Sentosa. We will also need to use the internet the rest of the trip to help guide us in visiting Singapore. Can I ask for your recommendation on the best SIM to use in Sentosa?
    I’m also confused on the data plan for regular SIMs and Tourist SIMs. Regular SIMs only have data plans from 500mb to a few gig, while tourist SIMs indicate a flat 100GB. Wouldn’t the tourist SIM automatically be the best choice if mobile access to the internet is the main criterion?
    Thanks again,
    Erwin

    1. Eva

      Hi Erwin,
      I’d recommend that you use any of the tourist sim card since you’re coming for 4 days and you need to use a reasonable amount of data.
      Regarding comparison between regular & tourist sim, yes regular sim only gives a small amount of data while tourist sim gives gigantic amount of data. Regular SIM is suitable for people who live in Singapore, not just visiting. In the long term, regular SIM is much cheaper compared to Tourist SIM. Also, not all tourist SIM’s validity can be extended cheaply. Hope you enjoy your trip to Singapore!

  41. Kate

    Hi Eva, I had a question about the ez-link part of the hi tourist ez-link sim card. Would I be able to get a refund on the remaining balance of the ez-link part of the card when I leave singapore? I know the normal ez-link card allows refund for remaining balance, but does this combo card do that as well?

    Thanks for your help!!

    1. Eva

      Hi Kate, yes you will be able to get a refund. It is treated as a normal ez-link card.

      1. Kun Qi

        How about the number linked with the EzLink card? Am I able to change the data plan while remaining the phone number after validity period?

        1. Eva

          The sim card number is not linked with EZ-Link card. They come in a package. The sim card is stuck on the EZ-Link card, you just have to peel the sim off from the ez-link. the validity of sim card is not affected by ez-link and vice versa.

  42. Precious

    H Eva,

    We will be there in SG for 2 days and also, 2 days in Malaysia. What sim would you recommend? Also, I have questions below:

    1. Can I use any of those sims in Malaysia too? (text, calls, internet) as we need to contact (through call or text) the representative of where we are staying.

    2. Can the data be shared to other phones? Or it is exclusive only to the user.

    1. Eva

      Hi Precious, which country will you visit first? If you visit SG first, you can buy SG singtel/starhub $12 simcard, then use this card’s data roam in Malaysia. With SG tourist sim, you can’t make calls/texts, you can use whatsapp though. Nowadays many hotel/tour representatives are using whatsapp. If you buy $12 sim, it can’t be shared. Only Singtel $50 sim card can be shared (it gives you 2 separate sim cards). It’s better that you buy 2 x $12 sim, rather than $50 sim in my opinion. Hope this helps 🙂

  43. Teoh

    Hi, I am going for a 1-day trip to Singapore from Malaysia, what card do you recommend? Thanks 🙂

    1. Eva

      Hi Teoh, any Tourist SIM card is great for short term visit 🙂

  44. Roy

    Hi Eva,
    We are travelling to Singapore later this year, will be there for 2 days then boarding a cruise. I have a ZTE Blade L5 phone, what would be the best sim to buy for use mainly for sms and a little data ? You have a very good handle on the local situation as shown in your advice. Thanks in advance for any hints. Roy

    1. Eva

      Hi Roy, the cheapest sim card would be M1 $5 card, which gives you 200MB (for minimum web surfing) and $5 credit. The overseas SMS charge is 15 cents per SMS. If the data allowance is too little for you, you can consider Singtel $8 or Starhub $8.

      I’m assuming you’re taking the cruise to Malaysia or Thailand, and you need to use data there, then probably it’s safer to use Starhub $12 Tourist SIM which gives you free data roaming to those countries. The disadvantage of tourist SIM is that you can’t use it for overseas SMS. Nowadays, you can easily use Whatsapp instead of traditional SMS.

  45. Lynn

    is there a permanently cancel data roaming on SIM card so that it won’t roam when going overseas?

    1. Eva

      You can do it from your phone manually. If you want the operator to do it on their end, you need to call them or go to their shops.

  46. John

    Hi, Eva. Could you tell me how to use the ezlink feature on hi tourist sim card? Is it on the sim card, or it is on different entities?

    1. Eva

      Hi John, there’s an EZ-Link card, from which you peel off the SIM card. You can just tap the EZ-Link card to use it.

  47. Andre Rizky Haekal

    Hello. I’m interested with 2 in 1 ez-link sim card provided by Singtel. Could you tell me how to use the ez-link feature? Is it on the sim card, or it is on the plastic card when we remove the sim card?

    Based on my knowledge, nfc sim card only can be used on NFC-enabled android with “Dash” app by Singtel also. If the ez-link feature is on the plastic card (not on the sim card), that would be great. Need an explanation here.

    Thank you!

    1. Eva

      Hi, it’s on the plastic card, not NFC, so don’t need to worry about phone compatibility 🙂

  48. Stephanie

    Hello I would need a sim card for Singapore to use for data and calls for a week and then ten days in Hong Kong too. What do you recommend ?? Pref more data

    1. Eva

      Hi Stephanie, I’d recommend that you get Starhub/M1 $12 to be used in Singapore for 7 days. Then, when you reach HK, just buy a HK Sim Card. I have a post about HK airport in case you need it.

  49. GSN

    Hi

    This is a very nice blog giving a full picture on the options. I am planning to stay in Singapore for 25-30 days. Which is the best prepaid SIM that I can buy? Starhub 12$ travel SIM looks good. but that comes with only 7 days validity. Can I topup with the same plan or do I need to buy new 12$ SIM again and again after the validty. Data upto 1GB per day and minimum local calls are the requirements.

    Thanks,

    1. Eva

      Hi, yup you can top up. Refer to link ++ under the table in “StarHub” section.

      1. Manuel

        Hi Eva,

        as a follow-up question and what I couldn’t find answered anywhere: will a topup extend the validity of the card?

        $12 Tourist-SIM + 7-day-1 GB data extension after 7 days would be all I need for my 12 day trip to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China.

        1. Eva

          Hi Manuel, yes your top up will extend the validity. You can perform top up through Happy Prepaid app or online.

  50. Som Kundu

    Hi Gary,

    Firstly sorry if I have missed anything in your first post. I am sure you must be having a Singapore visa already since you plan to stay / visit on your 2nd trip. As such if you are book in two different PNRs then you need to complete you immigration after arrival at Changi and then take a call whether to leave the airport or stay inside and explore. Though Singapore transport is really nice but still a mere 5 hours outside might do no good and it would be better to explore at leisure when you are staying. The only nearby place I can think off are the GBTB (not recommended in 5 hours) or atleast the Flyer and MBS.

    Once you arrive, you complete immigration, collect your luggage and book them at the baggage store counters (haven’t used it so can’t say where you will find them ; should be easy though) and then hop around withing Changi using the Sky Train from Terminal to Terminal. The Free Wi-Fi at Changi (using OTP) is for 3 hours only (that’s what it showed for me on the sign-in page). If you do not have a local sim or if your international sim cannot receive the OTP sms, then you can approach any of the help desks or self-service kiosks and get a password generated. Make sure to use the correct option to sign-in to the Wi-Fi network. It should show you how long it will be valid (3 hours or more) and I am sure you can renew it again with a new password post the 3 hours mark. I was there only for 2.5 – 3 hours layover so did not have to renew again.

    1. Gary

      Hi Som Kundu,

      First of all, thanks for your excellent suggestions and advice. Yes, in terms of visa, citizens of my country do not require a visa for Singapore and are given 30 days upon entry. You are absolutely right regarding the 2 different PNRs, as I found out after doing some reading that these transfer facilities and luggage transfer were an old service of Changi before 2016. Since some online forums keep saying that, informally, some full fledged airlines still provide luggage transfer service, I would head to Terminal 3 and try my luck at Air NZ counter. The worst outcome would be a “no” and I’ll just head down to immigration and collect my luggage.

      As you mentioned, I was planning to go to GBTB for a while. I’ll grab a sim card like Eva recommended, and maybe head back to airport to try and get an early check in and spend my time visiting the Airside part, using free Wi-Fi as you suggested.

      Once again, I really appreciate your helpful comments.
      thanks and regards,
      Gary

  51. Gary

    Hi Eva,

    Many thanks for this very useful and informative post. I plan to come to Singapore on 3 occasions in the next 90 days.
    1. First is to take my connecting flight to New Zealand (6 Nov 2018), duration of stay around 11 hours layover
    2. When back from NZ (10 Dec 2018 – 14 Dec 2018), duration of stay 4 – 5 days, after which heading to Malaysia
    3. When back from Malaysia (11 Jan 2019 – 15 Jan 2019), duration of stay, again 4 – 5 days after which I head to
    my home country

    From your post, I figured out that i should get Singtel normal prepaid Hi! simcard $15 or Happy prepaid $15 because of their validity. (180 days) Then on the 2nd visit and 3rd visit I buy a data plan of 7 days each visit. On the first visit since its just 11 hours layover, I can just use the free local data provided in the sim

    The tourist sim cards validity from singtel and happy prepaid are just 7 days, so it’s not convenient if i need to get a new sim each time I enter singapore.

    As for data usage, I’m not that much of a heavy user. I can make 2Gb last over a week roughly.

    I’m not sure whether I have the correct understanding of how it is, and i would appreciate your kind advice.

    Also, should I go out of the airport to purchase the sim? since airport seems to sell only the more expensive ones.

    Appreciate your time and reply 🙂

    1. Eva

      Hi Gary,
      You’re right, the tourist sim cards are not meant for you. Yup, it’s better that you get the normal sim card that is valid for 120 days or 180 days. I have a couple of points:
      – on your first visit, are you going to come out of Changi Airport and visit other places? You have only 11 hours, I assume you need 1.5 hours to exit the gate, and you need to check in around 2.5 hours before your flight. So, you only have maximum 5 hours left. If you’re only staying in Changi airport, you can use the free wifi. There are many places to explore in Changi and I think 5 hours is barely enough.
      – if you really do want to get out of the airport on your first visit, you can try getting the sim card at any 7-11 or cheers outside airport. Yearh, the cards sold in Changi are mostly expensive ones.
      – If you need 2 GB in a week, do take note that the 7-day data plan gives only 1GB a week. So, you need to be extra careful in using the data.
      Hope I answered your questions!

      1. Gary

        Dear Eva,

        You have raised some very interesting points in your reply. Actually, not being very familiar with Changi Airport, I was unaware that they had a flight transfer facilities, which would allow me to stay in transit area at the Airside without passing through Immigration and without the need to collect my checked in luggage.

        My initial plan was to do that and leave my luggage at the left baggage (landside) after immigration and head to the city, since i would have a few hours before my connecting flight in the evening, and eventually check in again. Therefore, in this scenario, I would go out and get a sim card at 7-11 or sellers outside of the airport. And get the normal sim as per your suggestion.

        After reading about the flight transfer facilities, I plan to head to the Transfer Counter for my connecting flight (Air NZ) and ask them for boarding pass, and ask if my checked in luggage can be retrieved and transferred to my Air NZ flight. If it is possible, then I plan to stay in the Transit area and enjoy all the numerous facilities and areas of Changi, and then I would be using their free Wi-Fi. Therefore I will only get the sim card on my 2nd visit to Singapore on the 10 Dec 18. I will keep in mind your recommendations about the sim card. 🙂

        Once again, thank you very much for your post, your suggestions, and recommendations. Thanks to you I got more options, and the possibility to spend my hours at Changi transit areas.

        Best regards,
        Gary

        1. Eva

          Hi Gary,
          I have no ideas about flight transfer, yeah the best option would be to ask at the transfer counter or email Air NZ 🙂 Hope you have a good trip in Singapore! You’ll love GBTB. Just my two cents, if you purchase the tix online, you’ll get it cheaper. Take care!

      2. Gary

        Hi Eva, Thanks for your latest suggestions in regards to the online tickets for GBTB. I’ll keep it in mind, and also your recommendations regarding sim cards. I’m excited to go to Singapore again, I love the place, and haven’t had a visit since 2009.

        Best regards,
        Gary

  52. Larry

    Hi,
    My friend for the USA is coming for visiting for 14 days. We shall go to BKK for a week.
    Can you please recommend which SIM card is suitable for him?

    Thanks

    1. Eva

      Hi Larry, it really depends on his budget and how much data/talktime he needs. Generally, the tourist sim gives more than enough data for a week. When he goes to BKK, he can use Thai sim card or top up his SG sim card.

  53. Som Kundu

    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.

    1. Eva

      Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s really helpful!

    2. Som Kundu

      Completed my 5-days trip of Singapore yesterday (though felt its insufficient time and missed many places) and came to Bali for 3-days. The StarHub network was excellent in all places and never did I face any slowness anywhere. Per my last post on 2nd day at Singapore I already mentioned few places I been to. For the next 3 days went to Sentosa island, Universal Studios (within Sentosa), Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Marina Bay Sands (57th Floor) but still had no issues with network. Even in a moving MRT underground, the 4G/LTE network was strong enough to do any work.

      1. Eva

        Nice to know that Starhub card works well!

      2. Som Kundu

        Well yeah… was surprised myself since I was having a signal even after 5 mins of taking off from Changi airport, it kept showing me 4G with just 1-bar and could still open google. Then suddenly it came to No Service which is understandable.

  54. Sisca

    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!

    1. Eva

      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!

      1. Maria Ventzl Sandor

        Hi Eva,
        My family and me (3 of us) will traveling to the beautiful Singapore and we will stay 8 days there. We’re all a heavy data users so can you please tell me which pre paid sim is the best for us , also we would like to call each other if we’re separated.
        Thank you very much
        Maria

        1. Eva

          Hi Maria,
          You can get Singtel $15 tourist sim or Starhub $15 tourist sim, then at the end of 7 days, just do a top up to extend the validity. Both cards give 100GB local data and 500 mins local call.

  55. Dan

    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).

    1. Eva

      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.

    2. ANDRO

      I am a seafarer that will be visiting SG soon. I will only have a photocopy of my passport with me when roaming around SG. Will i still be able to buy a sim card even if i only present the photocopy of my passport? Thanks.

      1. Eva

        Based on my experience, it’s not possible to buy a sim card with a photocopy of passport.

  56. Charles

    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

    1. Eva

      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”.

  57. KEE XUE BING

    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.

    1. Eva

      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).

  58. Som Kundu

    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).

    1. Eva

      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 🙂

  59. Som Kundu

    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).

    1. Eva

      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.

  60. Maricar

    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

  61. jemmy

    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.

  62. jemmy

    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?

    1. Eva

      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.

  63. jemmy

    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?

  64. jemmy

    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?

  65. Martin

    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

    1. Eva

      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.

  66. Grace Tjia

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

    1. Eva

      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!

  67. Grace

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

  68. Iris Wee

    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.”

    1. Eva

      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.

  69. Hengky

    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

    1. Eva

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

  70. cc

    Hi Eva,

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

    1. Eva

      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!

  71. Win Tun

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

    1. Eva

      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.

  72. CJV

    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!!

    1. Eva

      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! 🙂

  73. CC

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

    1. Eva

      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.

  74. HF

    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?

    1. Eva

      Nowadays most retailers access card payment 🙂

  75. Ryan

    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

    1. Eva

      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.

  76. Savio

    Thank you

    1. jemmy

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

  77. Savio

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

    1. Eva

      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!

      1. Claire

        Hi! First of all thank you so much for the breakdown, so thorough! I just want to ask for your opinon. I’ll be in Singapore for a month. I don’t really care for calls or texts since most people have WhatsApp or iMessage anyways, so if I just want great/unlimited data, which one should I get?

        1. Eva

          Hi Claire, I’d suggest that you get the cheapest prepaid card from either operator, then top it up and buy a monthly data plan. Let’s say, you estimate that you need 2GB for a month, you have 3 options:
          1. get Singtel $15 SIM (which gives 1GB data), and top it up with $10 credit then buy monthly plan for 1GB. In total, you’re spending $25 for 2GB of data.
          2. get Starhub $8 (which gives 0.8GB data), then you want to buy monthly plan 1GB at $11, you need to top up $15 because they don’t allow top up for odd amount; in this case, you’ll spend $23 for 1.8GB.
          3. get M1 $15 which comes with free 2GB data.
          Looking at this comparison, the best deal for 2GB is M1 $15 SIM.

          If you need 3GB or 4GB, just use the same method to compare them 🙂

          Also, there’s no SIM card/data plan that gives unlimited data unfortunately, so you need to estimate your usage first. If it’s not enough after a while, then just do a top up 🙂

      2. Elaine

        Hi Eva,

        So for this case eg. Long term about 21 days, we could also buy $12 tourist cards on 3 separate occasions in order to maximise the 100GB each time for minimum spending? Is it easy to get $12 tourist SIM cards in the shops outside?

        1. Eva

          Hi Elaine, if you’re heavy data user, then yes, you can buy $12 tourist card 3 times to maximize the usage. Alternatively, get 1 no of $12 Starhub tourist sim, then top up $10 to extend the validity. That $10 credit can be used to make local calls or purchase data plan. Yes, it’s easy to find $12 tourist sim, you can find them in Starhub shops, 7-eleven, cheers, etc.

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