December 31, 2015

Philippine SIM Card 101

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    Here we outline the basic information about mobile networks to help tourists and expats make communication a breeze throughout their stay in the Philippines. A traveler SIM is recommended for a short-term stay while a regular SIM card is recommended for those staying in the country for a long period.



    (Photo from

    There are several mobile network carriers to choose from but let’s focus on the major networks Globe, SMART, and SUN.

    Pre-requisite: Tourists have to consult their carriers for their network handset to be unlocked. Foreigners looking for a long-term stay can opt to unlock their mobile phone in local mobile stores or purchase a cheap mobile phone.

    Short-term Stay

    Globe Traveler SIM (PHP100)

    Visiting tourists can purchase a Traveler SIM with the following features:

    Call abroad for US$.40 per minute                  

    Receive calls and SMS from abroad for FREE

    Cut costs on mobile data by subscribing to TravelSurf

    The SIM can be then reloaded with Globe’s prepaid load cards in PHP100, PHP300, and PHP500 denominations which can be found in Globe booths located in the arrival area of the following airports:

    • Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 3 and 4

    • Clark International Airport

    • Kalibo International Airport

    • Mactan-Cebu International Airport

    • Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport

    • Iloilo International Airport

    For more information about the Travel SIM visit this.

    Long-term Stay

    Regular Prepaid SIM is recommended for those looking for flexible deals and do not want to be bound by a lock-in-period.

    Globe SIM

    A Globe SIM can be purchased for as low as PHP40 at major and regular mobile service stores nationwide where it can also be reloaded. Globe offers several promos that you can avail of such as unlimited calls, texts, and mobile data for a limited time. Globe is also the only carrier that allows   their users to customize their prepaid combo plan. Click here for the complete promo list.


    A SMART SIM can be purchased for as low as PHP15 at major and regular mobile service stores nationwide where it can also be reloaded. SMART is known for offering the best deals when it comes to mobile data, so for those who spend much time in the web, we say go for SMART. Click here for a complete list of their promos.

    Sun SIM

    A SUN SIM can be purchase for as low as PHP15 at major and regular mobile service stores nationwide where it can also be reloaded. SUN cellular offers promos similar to Globe. Click here for a complete promo list.

    On the other hand, postpaid SIM (also called mobile plans) is recommended for those who want to avail of unlimited call, text, and mobile data for a longer duration. This plan also removes the hassle of reloading everytime you run out of load. Globe, SMART, and Sun offer flexible plans that users can customize.

    Globe Postpaid

    The most convenient plan for expats would be the Globe myLifestyle Plan which has built-in unlimited calls and texts to GLOBE, starting at PHP499 where you can customize further and get the gadget of your choice. Click here to apply.

    SMART Postpaid

    As said, SMART is known for offering the best mobile data plans therefore it is recommended to get the SurfPlus Plan 399. Click here to apply.

    SUN Postpaid

    SUN offers the cheapest plan starting at PHP249 that offers unlimited texts ONLY and two hours of tri-net calls (all three networks Sun, Globe, Smart) and unlimited Facebook. However, for those looking for both unlimited call and text then users can opt for the standard Sun Plan 350 which can be further customized by adding add-ons. Click here to apply.

    Postpaid subscribers may opt to pay their bills at the official stores of their respective networks, but to avoid the hassle, subscribers may conveniently pay their bills in one-stop payment centers like Bayad Center or 7-11 convenience stores that can be found around the metro.

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