Best Singapore SIM Cards for Tourists: 2024 Detailed Guide

Buying a SIM card to prepare for a Singapore trip is needed to stay connected during the trip. You still need to contact your own world: family back home, friends or relationships on internet platforms. Because roaming fees are high and free WiFi is not stable, prepaid Singapore SIM cards will be a perfect alternative.

 Below we will persuade you why this is the best choice for your abroad journey.  

I. Should You Get a SIM Card in Singapore ?

YES. While traveling outside your home country, you have to pay attention to a fee called roaming charges. They are additional fees incurred when a mobile phone user connects to a foreign network. These charges apply to voice calls, text messages, and data usage, often resulting in higher costs compared to domestic rates.

Then, let’s take a simple math calculation: 

Roaming charges would set you back about $10 a day, depending on your current mobile network operator. So, for example, your 5-day trip would have cost $50 for contacting.

But a SIM card with a basic calling plan in Singapore costs just $5 per day and you can text messages, call within Singapore and use WiFi.

Many travelers are doing the math when they plan international trips. They’re weighing the convenience of a calling plan against the savings of a SIM card. So when should you use a SIM and when should you use a calling plan? And are they your only options? 

Here are some ways to stay in touch when you pay a trip to Singapore: 

FormsFeaturesPriceReliabilityCoverageConvenience
RoamingUse the current SIM to roam and connect to the Singapore network.HIGH:Higher costs, including additional fees and charges.MEDIUM:Depend on your operators. VARIES: Depend on your home network and agreements with local carriersMEDIUM:Not all network operators in your home country have connection and cooperation contracts with Sing network operators
SIM cardsUse a tourist SIM from your local countryMODERATEHave many options with different data and credit for your requirementsHIGH: Use local mobile networks, ensuring a stable and consistent connectionWIDE:Offer extensive coverage as they use local networks, allowing you to stay connected in various locationsHIGH: Be easy to obtain and use. 
Free wifiUse public Wifi in Singapore such as cafes, restaurants, malls,…FREE:Free but limited, and some places may require purchasesLOW: Be available in certain places, but it can be unpredictable and may not cover all areasLIMITED: Be limited to specific areas like cafes or tourist spots.LOW:Require to search for hotspots, and the connection may not always be seamless.

Pro Tip:

  • If you want to call without being afraid of running out of credit, SIM Card is an option for you. You just need to buy a SIM card and insert it in your current phone. This will give you a Singapore number and the same local rates Singapore.
  • If you don’t need to be online all the time, you can consider the free-Wifi option but remember that some public places also need to pay for wifi.

II. Types of Singapore SIM Cards for Tourists

Simply, we can split SIM cards into two types: prepaid Singapore SIM cards and Singapore eSIMs. Both of them also provide two choices: “data-only” option and “data with voice and text” option.

types of singapore sim cards

1. Prepaid Singapore SIM Cards

  • A new physical SIM card will be inserted into the phone. This allow travelers to have a new phone number and connect into singapore network 
  • Advantages: Have various options with affordable prices as prepaid SIMs are widely supported. 
  • Disadvantages: 
    • Risk of losing or damaging the main SIM card and travelers may need to purchase a replacement. 
    • Furthermore, one phone only uses one SIM, (if the phone has one SIM card slot)

2. Prepaid eSIMs

  • eSIM is a digital SIM profile that is embedded directly into your device. No physical SIM card is needed.
  • Advantages: 
    • You can easily connect to multiple carriers and plans directly
    • Quick and convenient to set up since there is no waiting for a physical SIM to arrive or inserting it.
    • Use 2 SIMs at the same time (or 1 physical +1 eSIM or 2 eSIMs The main SIM remains on the phone, no need to remove it.
    • You can install multiple plans/packages on the same phone, but you are only allowed to activate 1 or 2 packages at a specific time depending on the device type as mentioned above.
  • Disadvantages: Devices must be compatible. Not all phones support eSIMs yet.

► Our recommendation: If you have a mobile device which is compatible with eSIMs, choose this option. eSIM includes all advantages and also upgrades many functions to solve the drawback of physical SIM cards. See a detailed list of eSIM equipped devices.

III. Where to buy a Singapore SIM Card for Convenience and Cheap Price? 

We recommend 04 ways you can find a SIM card which is up to your requirements: 

1. Before departure

  • Buy at physical stores that provide travel SIM cards
  • Or order online on websites selling travel SIM cards, wait for the delivery person to come to your home.

Note: For this method, you must prepare the SIM removal tool yourself.

2. At airports

  • Every international airport can offer these cards. The price including prepaid calling credit and data is often at $15-30, more or less. 
  • A caution you need to keep in mind is SIM cards sold at airports are always more expensive from 20% to 30% compared to those sold in the city center. The option to choose is also limited. 

Note: Pay attention to opening and closing time as stores at these airports don’t open 24/7. 

Effortless Convenience: Get Connected Upon Touchdown with a SIM Card from Changi Airport
SIM Card kiosks at Changi Airport

3. In convenience stores, supermarkets or gas stations after arrival 

  • Some popular brands are Walmart, Walgreens and 7-Eleven. 
  • But in these places you have to activate the SIM card by yourself. Consider carefully before buying in these stores.

4. Through online

  • You can choose prestigious online websites that provide travel SIM for tourists. They have prepaid physical and virtual one. Online stores like Gigago, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart are good places for your search.
  • But you must have an address for delivery. 

► Our recommendation:

Among these ways, buying online before departure is the most convenient, because  you will be more proactive with your plans and don’t need to worry about language barriers. 

Enhance Your Singapore Adventure with a SIM Card
Physical SIM card of M1 – one of 3 popular operators in Singapore

IV. Which Singapore Network is the Best for Tourists?

In Singapore, there are several mobile network operators but which one is the best fit for you? Let’s compare the Top 3 – Singtel, M1, and StarHub – to help you decide:

Rank5g NetworkAverage SpeedTourist PlansPrice
Singtel#1Yes, with the fastest speeds in the country.4G: 46.8 Mbps5G: 710 Mbps3GB to 100GB, valid for 7 to 30 daysS$12 to S$30
M1#2Yes, but with slightly slower speeds than Singtel.4G: 43.5 Mbps5G: 520 Mbps 10GB to 100GB, valid for 7 to 30 days.S$12 to S$28
Starhub#3Yes, with coverage expanding.4G: 42.7 Mbps5G: 480 Mbps10GB to 100GB, valid for 7 to 30 daysS$12 to S$25

Pro Tip:

  • For speed and widest coverage: Choose Singtel, especially if you're a heavy data user or in remote areas.
  • For good value and solid performance: M1 is a great option, particularly if you're on a budget.
  • For unique deals and competitive pricing: StarHub could be your pick, especially if you're flexible with coverage.

1. Singtel

  • Singtel is Asia’s leading communications technology group, providing a portfolio of services from next-generation communication, 5G and technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses.
  • The Group has presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and reaches over 740 million mobile customers in 21 countries. 
  • This operator also gains many awards like Comchest Awards 2023, Steward Leadership 25 (SL25), Tripartite Alliance Award (TAA) 2023 ….
Reliable Connections, Limitless Adventures: Discover Comprehensive Coverage with Singtel in Singapore
Singtel’s coverage map in Singapore (source: nperf)

2. M1

  • M1, a subsidiary of Keppel Ltd., is Singapore’s first digital network operator, providing a suite of communications services, including mobile, fixed line and fibre offerings, to over two million customers.
  • They offer a wide range of mobile and fixed communication services to our consumers, and deliver an extensive suite of services and solutions to our corporate customers which includes symmetrical connectivity solutions of up to 10Gbps, managed services, cloud solutions, cybersecurity solutions, Internet of Things and data center services.
Connect with Confidence: Experience Strong Signal Strength with M1
M1 Singapore coverage map for stable mobile connection (source: nperf)

3. Starhub

  • StarHub is one of three leading homegrown Singapore companies that delivers world-class communications, entertainment and digital services. 
  • With extensive fibre and wireless infrastructure and global partnerships, Starhub brings to customers quality mobile and fixed services, a broad suite of premium content, and a diverse range of communication solutions. 
  • Listed on the Singapore Exchange mainboard, StarHub is a component stock of the SGX iEdge SG ESG Leaders and Transparency Indices and included in ESG-focused FTSE4Good Index Series. StarHub is ranked as the world’s most sustainable telco in the Corporate Knights Global 100 2023.
Coverage You Can Rely On: Trust in StarHub without Disruption
Coverage map of Starhub on globe map (source: nperf)

► View more about coverage of operators in: nperf – Orange 3G / 4G / 5G coverage map, France

V. Best Singapore SIM Card Packages for Tourists and Price

Stay Connected Everywhere: Embrace Seamless Coverage with Singtel, M1, and StarHub in Singapore"
Big 3 mobile network operators in Singapore

Singapore has 03 major network carriers, which are M1, StarHub, and Singtel.

Here are plans of these mobile network operators for travelers to Singapore:

OperatorPlan name Price rangeData Validity
M1Bespoke Flexi, SIM-only Plans$20 – $80 per month500Mbps, 1Gbps, 2Gbps, GamePRO 1Gbps30 days
StarHubSIM-only Plans$25 – $100 per month30GB – 300GB30 days
Phone Plans$30 – $120 per monthVaries depending on the planVaries depending on the plan
Prepaid Plans$8 – $502GB – 100GB7 – 28 days
SingtelCombo Plans$20 – $95 per month10GB – 200GB100 – Unlimited
SIM-only Plans$20 – $95 per month100 – Unlimited28 days
Prepaid Plans$8 – $501.5GB – 10GB5 – 30 days

VI.  How Much Data Do You Need for Your Trips? 

First, you should know what you can do with 1GB of data? 

  • Browse casually: Check emails, social media, and basic websites (around 2 hours per day).
  • Stream music: Enjoy non-stop tunes for about 7 hours.
  • Use Google Maps: Navigate the city with ease for roughly 10 hours.
  • Post photos and videos: Share vacation highlights on social media (limited usage).
Which data plans are the best for you
Habits affect to the amount of data you consume in the Singapore trip

So, which data plans are suitable for you:

Heavy Data Users:

  • Activities: Streaming video calls, heavy social media use, online gaming, frequent GPS navigation.
  • Recommended data: 30GB or more per week (consider unlimited plans).

Medium Data Users:

  • Activities: Moderate social media, occasional GPS navigation, music streaming, photo/video sharing.
  • Recommended data: 10GB – 20GB per week.

Light Data Users:

  • Activities: Basic browsing, occasional messaging, minimal GPS use.
  • Recommended data: 3GB – 5GB per week.

Average tourists: 10GB – 15GB per week is a good starting point, allowing for moderate use.

Businessmen: 20GB – 30GB per week ensures smooth video calls and data-heavy tasks.

Wi-Fi sharing: Opt for plans with hotspot capabilities if you share data with other devices.

Pro Tip:

  • Use Wi-Fi at hotels and cafes to save data.
  • Download movies and shows before arrival to save data while streaming.
  • Turn off background data and limit video streaming to Wi-Fi.

VII. Singapore eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet

Best SIM Card options in Gigago
Gigago’s data packages for Singapore trip

Besides some popular ways (such as portable wifi, roaming, physical SIM cards) to keep in touch with others while traveling, eSIM has emerged as a perfect alternative to the inconveniences of the above forms thanks to scientific and technological advances. 

Below are some superior benefits of eSIM that you should take consideration: 

  • Convenient for installation: With eSIM, you just need a QR code to get one. No need to disassemble. Therefore, no risk of losing the main SIM
  • Easier to switch networks: Instead of inserting a new SIM into your phone, you can switch to a different network quickly as up to five virtual SIM cards can be stored on one eSIM at a time. You also won’t need to go hunting for a SIM ‘ejector tool’ to remove the old SIM from your phone.
  • Have more than one SIM: eSIMs also offer the same advantages as dual-SIM phones with two slots for traditional plastic SIMs, the most obvious being that you can have two phone numbers on one device.

And if you are wondering which supplier can provide quality and reliable eSIMs for your trip to Singapore, we recommend Gigago as the No.1 eSIM service provider based in Hong Kong. Gigago offers a unique range of data-only and combined data & call credit plans, which start from a 5-day plan with 1GB per day for $5. They also have 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day plans ranging from 1GB to 50GB of total data, or 1GB to 3GB per day, with prices from $5 up to $89.50.

Besides competitive price, choosing Gigago Singapore eSIM, you can reap the following additional benefits:

  • Easy online purchase and activation process.
  • Multiple payment options, including PayPal.
  • 24/7 customer support via chat and email.

Pro Tip: You should analyze your data needs and choose the Gigago eSIM plan that fits you best. Remember, data-only plans are cheaper but require separate calls (Wi-Fi calls or local SIM for outgoing). Data & call credit plans offer convenience but might be slightly more expensive per GB.

VIII. How to Use Singapore Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

1. Using prepaid Singapore tourist SIM Cards

These are some steps to buy a SIM card you should take into consideration:

Firstly, Make sure your phone is unlocked. 

  • The most important thing you have to check before buying a new SIM card is whether your phone is already unlocked. You can contact your carrier and make clear if your phone is tied to a particular network. Then, if the answer is yes, ask your carrier to unlock for you. 
  • Another solution is buying an inexpensive device to contact while having a trip abroad. These devices are often unlocked and you can buy them in your hometown or destination countries. 

Secondly, choose where to buy and which plans is up to your requirements 

Lastly , Set up SIM cards. 

  • You totally can ask clerks to set up the card for you. It is usual service in any store ( except for some kinds of stores I said above).  
Setting up a Singapore Prepaid SIM Card is not difficult! We are here to help you.
Basic step to activate Physical SIM Card

2. Setting up and activating Singapore eSIM 

Setting up and activating your Singapore eSIM is relevantly easy ! Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you connected:

Before you buy:

  • Check Compatibility: Make sure your phone supports eSIM. Most recent iPhone and Android models do, but you can check the manufacturer’s website or your phone settings to be sure.
  • Choose your eSIM: Decide on a data plan that suits your needs and purchase it online from a trustworthy provider like Gigago. They offer various tourist eSIM plans with different data allowances and validities.
  • Receive your eSIM: You’ll receive an email with the eSIM profile, usually in the form of a QR code or activation codes. Save it carefully!

Setting up your Singapore eSIM:

  • Connect to Wi-Fi: Before activating your eSIM, it’s recommended to connect to a Wi-Fi network to avoid data charges during setup.
  • Open Settings: Locate your phone’s Settings app and navigate to the “Mobile Data” or “Cellular” section.
  • Add eSIM: Look for an option like “Add Cellular Plan” or “Add eSIM”.
  • Choose Activation Method: You’ll usually have two options:

Scan QR Code: Select this if you received a QR code in your email. Scan it with your phone’s camera.

Enter Details Manually: Choose this if you received activation codes. Enter the SM-DP+ address and activation code provided in the email.

  • Follow Prompts: Your phone will guide you through the remaining installation steps, which may involve downloading a carrier profile and confirming the plan details.
  • Restart your phone: Once the installation is complete, restart your phone for the eSIM to activate.

Pro Tip:

  • If you encounter any issues during setup, ensure you're connected to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  • Double-check that you entered the activation details correctly if using manual activation.
  • Contact your chosen mobile operator's customer service for further assistance.

IX. FAQs

Which type of Singapore SIM card should I choose for my trip?

Two main types of SIM cards in Singapore are physical SIM cards and eSIMs. Depending on plans, both offer data, calls, and SMS services, but eSIMs have gained popularity for their convenience and flexibility.

Where can I buy a SIM card in Singapore?

You can purchase a SIM card at Changi Airport, convenience stores like 7-Eleven, telecom shops, or online before your trip.

Do I need to show ID to purchase a SIM card in Singapore?

Yes, you’re required to show a valid passport or ID when buying a SIM card due to regulatory requirements.

Can I use my foreign phone with a Singapore SIM card?

Yes, as long as your phone is unlocked and compatible with Singapore’s mobile networks (usually GSM 900 and 1800 MHz for 2G; W-CDMA 2100 for 3G; and Bands 1, 3, 7, 8 for 4G/LTE).

Can I use my Singapore SIM card in other Southeast Asian countries?

Some Singapore SIM cards offer roaming services in other Southeast Asian countries, but it’s often more economical to purchase local SIMs when traveling to different countries.

What should I do if my Singapore SIM card is not working?

Ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible, check that you’ve correctly inserted the SIM, and that the APN settings are correctly configured. If issues persist, contact the SIM card provider for assistance.