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A guide to finding the best prepaid SIM card when travelling to French Polynesia

Buy a local SIM card to reduce your roaming rates.

Updated

Fact checked

French Polynesia is comprised of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific, and is extremely popular with tourists. Using your phone there can work out to be quite costly, so to keep expenses down why not switch to a local SIM card so you can take advantage of better plans, deals and tariffs? French Polynesia has a prepaid SIM card deal for travelers, with offers that could reduce your bills. So, whether you’re planning a quick break, an extended trip or an exploration, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com.

Travel Sim Card

Travel Sim Card from SimCorner

SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards let you enjoy local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world.

View details
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
Flexiroam X
150+
1GB-7GB
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
SimCorner
80+
1GB-Unlimited
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
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Prices last updated 16 Jul 2017

Telco providers in French Polynesia

The French-speaking nation has two main operators: Vini and Vodafone.

Both operators have been tried and tested by local residents and international travelers, and can be trusted. However, unless you can find SIM plans better than your existing provider, we strongly advise you to keep the one you have. The wrong plan can prove expensive!

About French Polynesia’s telecommunications

Vini and Vodafone both offer prepaid SIM cards. They can be purchased from the official store and approved resellers. The islands are not considered part of the EU, so EU roaming caps don’t apply and charges can be very high for roaming. Vini already offers 4G/LTE wireless while Vodafone plans on offering the service toward the end of the year. Below, we have listed both providers and what they can offer you during your stay in French Polynesia.

Vini

State-owned Vini S.A.S. is the main provider on the islands. It offers 4G/LTE services and quite good network coverage. Two types of prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers:

  • The Vinicard Classic voice and data SIM can be purchased for CFP850, and comes with 17 minutes of local voice and 70 local SMS.
  • The Vinicard Extra SIM can be purchased for CFP1,750, which doesn’t include data on the basic package. Data packs must be added. Vouchers are available for CFP500, CFP1,000 and CFP2,000.

Text “conso” to 7100 to check your balance.

The following data packs can be added:

10MBCFP100Valid for 1 hourText “IM10” to 7071
50MBCFP350Valid for 24 hoursText “IM50” to 7071

Data only SIM cards called Internet Mobile Prépayé are available:

  • 100MB for 15 days – CFP500
  • 200MB for 30 days – CFP1,000
  • 400MB for 30 days – CFP2,000

Credit can be added by texting the 14-digit code to 7010. Text “conso” to 7100 to check your balance.

Vini’s APN: Internet

Website:http://www.vini.pf/

Vodafone

If you plan to travel around the islands then Vodafone is the better option, because it has far-reaching network coverage. Vodafone’s 3G services are actually very good and compete with Vini’s 4G offering. Vodafone plans on providing a 4G/LTE service of its own toward the end of 2017.

The following Vodafone SIM cards are available:

  • Vodafone 321 – CFP750 with 36MB data
  • Vodafone Brad – CFP1,450 with 68MB data
  • Vodafone Brad API – CFP2,250 purchases two SIM cards with 136MB data

Credit can be purchased for:

  • CFP200, valid for 7 days
  • CFP500, valid for 15 days
  • CFP1,000 or CFP2,000 valid for 30 days
  • CFP5,000, valid for 60 days

Dial *1122# to check your balance.

The standard default data rate is CFP11 per MB on all prepaid SIMs. The following data packs can be added:

  • 500MB – CFP1,950
  • 1GB – CFP2,450

Vodafone’s APN: any

Website:http://www.vodafone.pf/index.php

Some top tips from finder.com staff:

  • French is the local language, so if you don’t speak French, you may want to download Google Translate onto your phone before you leave.
  • Locals call a SIM card a “Card” or “SIM”.
  • Ask the retailers to help set up the SIM card. They are official sellers and will be happy to help.

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

While it’s well known for its reviews, booking hotels, flights and holidays, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in French Polynesia.

Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

It doesn’t cost you if somebody calls you but unless the person calling you has an international calling plan it is very expensive for them. I usually connect to Wi-Fi and use Skype or Facetime

All incoming calls, even international, are free on the Vini phone/text SIM card, and yes, you will be assigned a local Tahitian phone number”

“The phone can be reloaded with credits with a Vini recharge card, available at all post offices and many stores and shops

Pros and cons of French Polynesia’s telco providers

Both providers require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible international phone. To double check you have this option, or to find out whether it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you set off on your travels.

Pros:

  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone

Cons:

  • No devices offered with the SIM card packages
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
  • Network coverage on some French Polynesian islands can suffer

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Sprint
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
SIMPLE Mobile
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
FreedomPop
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Yes
$0
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$20
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KerryJuly 2, 2018

    Where do I buy a Vini SIM card in California.. Will it work with Apple 8 cell phone?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJuly 3, 2018

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Unfortunately, there is no information anywhere on where you can buy a Vini sim in the USA. However, you can clarify this with Vini directly when you go to their website. As long as your phone is factory unlocked, you can insert any sim on it and it will work.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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