Best Macau SIM Cards for Tourists: 2024 Detailed Guide [+Internet & Wifi]

Macau SIM cards are must-have items for travelers visiting tiny Macau. With a local SIM card, tourists can access reliable mobile data, calling, and messaging services during their trip. However, with so many SIM options available, choosing the best Macau SIM cards can seem overwhelming.

This guide will provide detailed information on different SIM card choices for tourists to Macau, helping them choose the most affordable and convenient Macau SIM for smoothly navigating the city using their mobile devices.

I. Should You Get a SIM Card in Macau?

Sure. You should purchase a SIM card in Macau for a smooth and secure Internet connection.

Macau SIM cards, especially prepaid SIMs, are optimal for staying online during your Macau trip. They give you reliable mobile data on your phone, so you have fast Internet everywhere. This means you can easily check in tourist spots and share happy moments, call for a cab, book restaurants, and keep in touch with your loved ones back home using high-speed networks.

Tourists should buy Macau SIM cards for an affordable Internet connection
You should buy Macau SIM cards for an affordable Internet connection

This table helps you know why a Macau SIM card is best to stay connected while exploring tiny Macau:

CriteriaSIM CardInternational RoamingPocket Wifi
Availability– Extensive coverage
– Offered by diverse carriers
– Multiple SIM card options
Coverage depends on agreements between your home carrier and Macau carrierBattery concerns
Convenience– Easy to buy
– Instant use
– Mobile data everywhere
– Access the Internet from your own phone
Use your regular phone numberHave to order pocket Wifi and pick it up
PriceBudget-friendlyExtremely expensive roaming chargesPretty high daily rental 
DeviceUnlocked phoneYour own phonePocket Wifi device, charger, accessories
PrivacyPrivate and reliable connectionOperator tracks your data usageDevice controls your data

► Our Conclusion:

A Macau SIM card is a great value that makes keeping in touch a breeze during your Macau trip. You can use reliable mobile data right on your phone anytime and anywhere. The price is generally affordable depending on the package you pick.

Important Note:

  • Only unlocked phones work with Macau’s cellular networks so be sure to check if your device is unlocked before getting Macau SIM cards.
  • Contact your home mobile operator to unlock your phone if it is locked.

II. Types of Macau SIM Cards for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

There are two main types of Macau SIM cards:

  • Macau physical SIM: a small physical card that may be inserted into or removed from your device.
  • Macau eSIM: a virtual SIM that is built into your phone, not a real SIM card.

Two key SIM card plans include:

  • Data-only SIM: cannot call or text, for Internet only like maps navigation, communications apps, social media, transport and delivery apps, etc.
  • Data + voice + text SIM: Full access to Internet, calls, texts, map use, and apps. All-in-one for communication, browsing, apps use while in Macau.

Now let us dig into the two major SIM card options in Macau: physical SIM and eSIM.

1. Prepaid physical SIM in Macau

Prepaid physical SIM cards for Macau exist in a tangible form. To activate a Macau physical SIM card, you have to put in into your device’s SIM slot. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may choose a data-only SIM or data + voice + text SIM for Macau.

2. Prepaid tourist Macau eSIM

Macau eSIM is a virtual chip that is embedded into your cell phone. You can change operators or packages easily without having to buy and insert a new physical SIM. Just buy and activate your Macau eSIM and it will be ready in just several minutes. eSIM for Macau also has two main sorts (one just for cellular data, one for data plus calling and messaging).

To decide which type of SIM to choose for your Macau trip, follow this table:

TypePrepaid physical Macau SIMPrepaid Macau eSIM
Pros– Provided by all cellular network operators in Macau
– Affordable
– Online purchase and simple setup
– No store visit
– No risk of loss/ damage
– Cost-effective
Cons– High risk of loss or damage
– Unlocked cell phone needed
– Need to purchase/ wait for delivery
– eSIM-supported device (smartphone, smartwatch, iPad, tablet) required
– Unlocked device required 

► Our Recommendation:

For convenience on your Macau trip, go with a prepaid eSIM. You can download an eSIM for Macau right to your phone – no inserting or removing physical SIM. You will stay connected easily without the hassle of switching SIMs. Opt for the data-only eSIM if you communicate with your loved ones back home using communication apps rather than calling or texting in a traditional way. 

III. Best Macau SIM Card Packages for Travelers and Rates

Three major carriers in Macau: CTM, SmarTone, and Three (3)
Three major carriers in Macau: CTM, SmarTone, and Three (3)

Good to know:

MOP 1 = USD 0.12  and USD 1 = MOP 8.06 (as of April 2024)

CTM, SmarTone, and Three (3) are the three major cellular network carriers in Macau.

Using Macau prepaid tourists SIM card is rather affordable. Here are some of the most prevalent Macau SIM plans for tourists and their rates.

CarrierDataValidityPriceLocal call tariffLocal messages 
CTMUnlimited local mobile data3 daysMOP 78 – USD 9.7MOP 0.4/min– Incoming SMS: Free;
– MOP 0.25/sms
Unlimited local mobile data7 daysMOP 188 – USD 23.3MOP 0.4/min– Incoming SMS: Free;
– MOP 0.25/sms
SmarToneUnlimited local data  + free 300 local minutes + free caller number display30 daysMOP 73 – USD 9MOP 0.32/min
_
Three2GB30 daysMOP 48 – USD 5.9MOP 0.4/min– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/sms
4GB + 1.000 local airtime30 daysMOP 88 – 10.9MOP 0.4/min– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/sms
12GB Macau local data usage + 10.000 Macau minutes + 3GB Mainland China365 daysMOP 198 – USD 24.6 MOP 0.4/min– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/sms

Note: The details about Macau SIM card plans above are subject to change. You had better visit the providers’ websites for the latest information.

► Our Recommendation:

When traveling to Macau, you should consider CTM, SmarTone, or Three Macau, depending on your travel priorities and budget levels.

  • CTM is the best choice as CTM has the best network coverage across Macau and offers prepaid SIM cards with unlimited data amounts and attractive bonuses.
  • SmarTone and Three are also great options that offers affordable data plans and easy online top-up options.

IV. Where to Get a Tourist SIM Card for Macau?

Visitors can get a Macau tourist SIM card with extensive 4G coverage and high-speed data in three major ways, as follows:

  • Buy online before departure
  • Buy at Macau airport
  • Buy in Macau cities

1. Buy prepaid Macau SIM card online before departure

Some reputable eSIM providers, like Gigago, let you buy prepaid eSIMs for Macau online. Just download an eSIM plan online and activate it using the QR code sent to your email. This way, you will have instant Internet access when you reach Macau.

Pros: No need to go anywhere to buy SIM card when you arrive, instant Internet connection

Cons: Need to have a device that works with eSIM

2. Buy physical Macau SIM cards at Macau Airports

Tourists to Macau can buy a physical SIM at carrier kiosks or vending machines at Macau International Airport (MFM). These sales points let you get service right away when you touch down.

Pros: convenient, immediate data use

Cons: fewer plans and might cost more than buying online or at other spots in cities

3. Purchase physical Macau SIM cards in the cities

Stores across cities and towns in Macau sell physical Macau SIM cards with tons of options. You can easily find stores that supply SIM cards from carriers like CTM, SmarTone, and Three. 

Pros: Widely available, diverse SIM options, reasonable rates

Cons: Need to head to the store yourself

Buy Macau SIM cards in carrier stores in cities
Buy Macau SIM cards in carrier stores in Macau cities

Pro Tip:

  • Prepare your passport/ driver’s license for ID proof, MOP cash/ credit card when buying from stores in Macau cities or at Macau airports.
  • Use Google Maps or ask friendly locals for accurate store locations in the cities.

► Our Recommendation:

If you want the best deals and do not mind shopping around, get a SIM card from stores in cities around Macau.

If your phone is compatible with eSIM, getting a Macau eSIM plan online is super easy. You do not have to spend time going somewhere to sign up. Just use your phone and you are all set up for data right away.

V. How Much Data Is Enough for a Macau Tourist SIM Card?

It is critical to think about how much data you will use before picking a plan for your Macau trip. 1GB of data lets you:

  • Use social media for 2 to 3 hours
  • Send/ receive about 100-150 photos or texts on WhatsApp
  • Watch low-quality videos for 30 to 60 minutes
  • Use maps for directions for 5 hours

The amount of data you need depends on your travel time in Macau and data usage habits. You should define which group of data users you belong to and then opt for a suitable plan:

  • Light users (mostly use maps, email, messages, not much browsing): 3-5GB/ week
  • Medium users (check emails daily, use maps, stream HD sometimes, use social media): 5-10GB/week
  • Heavy users (do lots of video calls, watch HD videos, browse a lot, play games online): 10GB+/week

Pro Tip

  • Opt for a package with more Gigabytes than you think you will use. It is better to have extra just in case you want to post more pictures or get lost in Google Maps exploring Macau.
  • Take advantage of free Wifi whenever you can. Places like coffee shops, restaurants, hotels usually have it. This will help save your data for when you are on the go.

VI. Macau eSIM – Best Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Stay Online in Macau

eSIM is the best alternative to physical SIM cards to get the Internet when visiting Macau. It is worth it for the convenience, flexibility, and privacy.

  • No physical SIM: An eSIM lets you buy and install a data plan using QR code sent via your email.
  • Easy setup: Activating a Macau eSIM is super quick and straightforward from your phone.
  • Change plans on the fly: If you find a better deal, switching plans and providers is just a few taps away with eSIM. 
  • Stay connected: With eSIM right in your device, you never have to worry about losing that tiny SIM card.  
  • Better for the planet: eSIM helps cut down on electronic trash versus physical SIMs that often need replacement.

If you are seeking a reputable eSIM reseller for Macau, Gigago will be the best choice. Gigago provides tourists to Macau with eSIM plans from CTM – one of the biggest cellular network carriers in Macau with the most widespread 4G/5G coverage and fast data speeds.

Gigago offers a range of eSIM plans for Macau
Gigago eSIM plans for Macau

For Macau, Gigago offers a diverse range of Macau eSIM plans, starting at just $5.00 for 1GB per day, used in 5 days. The other Macau eSIM packages are around $5.00$89.50 . Just opt for the eSIM plan that best aligns with your needs, preferences, trip duration, and budget levels.

VII. Which Macau Cellular Networks Are the Best for Visitors?

To help you pick the best mobile network in Macau, let us take a closer look at the three top carriers: CTM, SmarTone, and Three. 

CriteriaCTMSmarToneThree
CoverageBestGreatGreat
SpeedSuper fastFastFast
PriceAffordableAffordableAffordable

1. CTM

CTM has the broadest 4G/5G coverage in Macau
CTM coverage map in Macau (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #1

CTM has the most extensive 4G/ 5G network coverage across Macau, including in more crowded urban areas as well as small towns. Their network has consistently fast download and upload speeds across their coverage area.

2. SmarTone

SmarTone has extensive coverage in Macau
SmarTone coverage map in Macau (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #2

SmarTone has widespread 4G coverage. Their coverage extends a bit further into some rural and less populated regions compared to CTM. Their service reaches more remote locations that travelers may want to visit.

3. Three

Three boasts great coverage in Macau
Three coverage map in Macau (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #3

Three (also called 3Macau) provides broad 4G access throughout Macau as well. Their network speeds are also quite good overall and often on par with CTM and SmarTone.

► Our Recommendation:

  • To be honest, you cannot really go wrong with any of the three main providers. They each have good coverage around Macau so you should be able stay connected pretty much anywhere you go. Your data will also work fast enough for things like maps, messaging and social media. You should pick your carrier based on price – go with whoever offers the plan that fits your budget and data needs best.
  • If data speed and attractive bonuses are your priorities, opt for CTM Macau.

VIII. How to Use Macau Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

Once you have picked your carrier and data plan for your Macau trip, it is crucial to know hoe to access the Internet using Macau SIM cards/ eSIMs.

1. Using prepaid Macau SIM cards for visitors

Once you have got a prepaid SIM for Macau, follow these simple steps:

  • Turn off your phone and pop open the SIM card slot. Slide in the new SIM.
  • Turn your phone back on and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • If needed, enter the APN info provided by the operator to set up internet access.
  • Dial the carrier’s special number to check your plan details/ balance.
  • All done – now you can start using your new Macau SIM card to call, text and surf the web while there!

2. Setting up and activating Macau eSIM

Steps to set up your Macau eSIM include:

  • Check that your device is unlocked and ready for an eSIM.
  • Buy and download your Macau eSIM online. The provider will send the activation pass/ QR code to your email.
  • Open your phone’s eSIM settings and scan the QR code or enter the activation pass you got.
  • Restart your mobile device and you are all set! No fussing with tiny plastic SIM cards.

IX. FAQs

Can I buy Macau SIM cards at the airport?

Yes, you can purchase Macau SIM cards from kiosks and stores located at the Macau International Airport. However, airport SIMs tend to be more expensive than stores in the city.

Can I use my Macau SIM card internationally?

Macau SIM cards generally do not include international roaming. However, carriers offer add-on roaming packages that allow data and calling in nearby regions like Hong Kong and mainland China.

Which carrier has the best coverage in Macau?

The three major carriers in Macau – SmarTone, 3Macau, and CTM – all have reliable 4G/5G coverage across the territory. Network speeds and availability may vary slightly depending on the location and carrier. Of all three providers, CTM has the most extensive coverage in Macau and delivers the fastest data speed.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, getting a Macau  SIM card is an easy way to stay connected while traveling in Macau. Whether you go with a traditional SIM or the newer eSIM option, Macau SIM cards provide reliable LTE data and phone services. A Macau eSIM plan from Gigago can make exploring Macau a breeze by keeping you online at an affordable cost. Purchasing a SIM at the airport is convenient but shopping in town ensures you get the best value.