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Compare prepaid SIM cards for New Zealand

Buy a local SIM card for domestic and international texts and calls when visiting New Zealand.

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Editor's choice: SimCorner

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  • Plans for 80+ countries
  • No roaming fees or extra costs
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New Zealand draws in tourists at a rapid rate, more than 3 million per year. Because of this huge influx of people, competition among SIM card providers is fierce. This is good news if you are visiting New Zealand for pleasure or business, as you will be able to choose from many options. A prepaid SIM card can cut down on expenses instead of incurring charges from your home network.

Compare international SIM cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
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.
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.
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Cell phone carriers in New Zealand

There are three major cell phone networks in New Zealand:

  • Vodafone
  • Spark
  • 2degrees

Together, the trio covers 98% of the population with either 2G, 3G or 4G/LTE as of 2015. There are a few smaller services that resell the big three’s services in different packages. These include:

  • Skinny mobile
  • Skinny direct
  • Warehouse Mobile
  • Bluesky

An American tourist visiting New Zealand can get a 30-day prepaid SIM card with 200 minutes, 200 text messages and 1GB of data for NZD$29 (US$21.05).

Vodafone

As of 2015, Vodafone’s 4G market covered 84% of New Zealand’s population, with its 3G market covering 97.5% of the population. Vodafone has three packages available for prepaid SIM cards, which all last 28 days. They are:

My Flex Prepay: This plan allows you to combine any number of minutes, texts and data you want, starting with a minimum of 50 minutes, 50 texts and 100MB of data for NZD$11. During your stay in New Zealand, you can bump the data up as high as 3.5GB, the minutes to a maximum of 500 and the texts to an unlimited amount. At the high end, this package costs NZD$47.

A Kiwi Favorite: This plan gives you 750MB of data, 150 minutes to New Zealand and Australian numbers, and unlimited texts to those same two countries for NZD$19.

Big Data Bundle: If you’re ravenous when it comes to data, you can double it to 1.5GB per month along with 200 minutes and unlimited texts for NZD$28.

Additionally, Vodafone offers four 4G Prepay Data Plans and three Prepay Mobile Broadband Boosts to give you even more data.

The Broadband Boosts are for 30 days and cost as follows:

Data Rate
2GB NZD$45
5GB NZD$75
10GB NZD$140

The 4G Prepay Data Plans range in length from 30-180 days and in cost between NZD$20 and NZD$80. They include:

Plan name Data Valid for Rate
Data 20 500MB 30 days NZD$20
Data 30 1GB 30 days NZD$30
Data 50 3GB 90 days NZD$50
Data 80 5GB 180 days NZD$80

NZ Travel SIM

Vodafone offers three SIM card packages aimed directly at tourists. They contain minutes and texts not only in New Zealand but also “back home” – a list of 19 countries including the US. A breakdown of the three plans follows:

Minutes Texts Data Price
200 200 1GB NZD$29
200 200 3GB NZD$49
Unlimited (NZ) 200 8GB NZD$99

To activate your NZ Travel SIM card, call 777. Your services are good up to 30 days on the NZD$29 packages and up to 60 days on the NZD$49 and NZD$99 packages.

Three levels of data boosts are available.

Data Rate
2GB NZD$45
5GB NZD$75
10GB NZD$140

Additional information on Vodafone

If you’re 25 years old or younger, Vodafone offers a special data offer. By confirming your age via Facebook or by showing a photo ID at any Vodafone store, you get 500MB every time you spend at least NZD$20 on a top-up.

Vodafone’s APN: vodafone, and website: https://www.vodafone.co.nz/

Spark

Spark New Zealand has 97% coverage on 3G but does not have a 2G fallback. Spark has opened its 4G/LTE capability in many cities as well. Spark has three value pack offers on prepaid SIM cards for visitors and tourists. Two of them come with a free subscription to Spotify. Here’s a comparison:

Plan details 19VP 19MUSIC 29VP
Data 750MB 750MB 1.5GB
Talk 150 minutes 100 minutes 200 minutes
Text Unlimited (NZ) Unlimited (NZ) Unlimited (NZ)
Activation code Buy19VP Buy19MUSIC Buy29VP
Bonus material 1GB Wi-Fi/day 1 month Spotify 1 month Spotify

Spark also has two special offers if you need more data than minutes or texts during your stay in New Zealand.

Plan details 20DATALOVER 40DATALOVER
Data 1.5GB +1GB Facebook, Twitter, Spotify 4.5GB +1GB Facebook, Twitter, Spotify
Talk NZD$0.49/minute NZD$0.49/minute
Text NZD$0.20/text NZD$0.20/text
Activation code BUY 20DATALOVER to 258 BUY 40DATALOVER to 258
Extras 1GB Wi-Fi/day
1 month Spotify
1GB W-iFi/day
1 month Spotify

Like Vodafone, Spark has specific SIM card plans if you are likely to be making calls and texts both domestically and internationally. The list of countries includes: Australia, UK, US, India, China and more. Here’s a breakdown:

Plan details NZD$29 Card NZD$49 Card
Length of validity 1 month 2 months
Data volume 1GB 3GB
Domestic minutes 200 200
International minutes 100 200
Domestic texts 200 200
International texts 50 100

Spark also offers a number of straight data packages that are ideal for travelers who find their trip extended by a week, a month or more. Data add-ons for prepaid SIM cards are as follows:

Volume Validity Price Activation code
100MB 7 days NZD$3 BUY DATA100
300MB 7 days NZD$10 BUY DATA300
1GB 30 days NZD$20 BUY DATA1GB
3GB 30 days NZD$50 BUY DATA3GB
5GB 90 days NZD$90 BUY DATA5GB

Any of these packages can be updated by texting the code to 258. To cancel them, replace “BUY” with “END” in each package code.

Spark also has a “social” package available in which you can get 1GB/month of data spread across Facebook, Twitter and Spotify for NZD$9/GB. Activate this package by texting “BUY 9SOCIAL” to 258. To check your credit balance, text “bal” to 333.

Spark’s APN: internet, and website: https://www.spark.co.nz/

2degrees (2°)

2° joined the market in 2009. 2° cards are most commonly found at grocery stores in major cities. The starter price is a flat NZD$5 and is known as the Prepay Plus. It can be topped up with vouchers sold in stores or online with a credit card. The default rate on data is NZD$0.05/MB, but there are better deals to be had with the following data packages:

Text the activation codes to 233. To end a data plan, replaced “BUY” with “STOP” in the code.

2 degrees also has an offer for which you can consume as much data as you wish inside of a timed limit. These plans are as short as 5 minutes for NZD$0.50 and as long as 24 hours for NZD$6.

2° APN: internet, and website: http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/

MVNOs in New Zealand

There are four mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) doing business in New Zealand. All four provide low-cost SIM cards that can be used for a few days. They are:

Skinny Mobile

Skinny Mobile is owned by Spark, and your device must be capable of 3G 850 MHz to be effective. You can purchase a card online or at one of several stores affiliated with Spark, including:

  • The Warehouse
  • Harvey Norman
  • Paper Plus
  • Countdown
  • Pack

You can top up at more than 6,000 retail locations or by using a pre-registered debit or credit card online. Purchasing data plans can be a bit of a head scratcher. You must start by buying either a weekly or monthly combo before you can purchase add-ons. The weekly and monthly combos are as follows.

Weekly combos

Data volume Validity Price Activation code
100MB 1 month NZD$6 BUY 100MB
300MB 1 month NZD$10 BUY 300MB
1GB 1 month NZD$20 BUY 1GB
3GB 1 month NZD$50 BUY 3GB
Plan name Cost Data Minutes (NZ) Texts (NZ)
Standard NZD$5 100MB 60 750
Busy Fingers NZD$4 60MB 15 750
Loose Lips NZD$4 60MB 60 100
Data only NZD$5 250MB n/a n/a

Monthly combos

Plan name Cost Data Minutes (NZ) Texts (NZ)
Text Unlimited NZD$8 n/a n/a Unlimited
Starter NZD$9 100MB 30 Unlimited
Big Value NZD$16 500MB Unlimited Unlimited
Big Data NZD$26 1GB Unlimited Unlimited
Ultimate NZD$46 2.5GB Unlimited Unlimited

Once you’ve acquired a weekly or monthly combo, you can choose the following add-ons.

7-day add ons

Data Rate
80MB NZD$2
200MB NZD$4
600MB NZD$8

30-day add-ons (not available for weekly combos)

Data Rate
500MB NZD$10
1GB NZD$20
2GB NZD$25

Skinny Direct

Skinny Direct is a second brand of Spark, but it’s only available online and your SIM card gets linked to your credit card. You must remember to cancel online when you want the contract to end; otherwise the plan will keep renewing.

Skinny Direct is generally only for use by New Zealanders, and they must include a mailing address to acquire a card. However, there’s an easy hack to get around it.

  1. Buy a Skinny Mobile SIM card without any credit on it.
  2. Register the Skinny Mobile SIM card.
  3. Sign up on Skinny Direct and click the option to “keep my current number”.
  4. That will put Skinny Direct onto the card you bought for Skinny Mobile.

There are two data rates for Skinny Direct:

  • NZD$30/month: 3GB data, unlimited domestic minutes and texts.
  • NZD$50/month: 6GB data, unlimited domestic minutes and texts.

Additional data can be added at the rate of 1GB for NZD$10 per 30 days.

Bluesky

You can purchase cards online or at some convenience stores. There are two cards available:

  • Starter pack, which costs NZD$5 but does not have any credit.
  • SuperSIM pack, which costs NZD$16 and has a pre-loaded NZD$16 plan with it.

From there, you can purchase one of several data plans.

Plan Length Price Data
Weekly 7 7 days NZD$7 None
Data 10 30 days NZD$10 750MB
Data 16 30 days NZD$16 500MB
Data 19 30 days NZD$19 1GB
Data 30 30 days NZD$30 1.5GB
Data 48 30 days NZD$48 2.5GB

Beyond the original plans, you can add on 500MB for NZD$10 or 150MB for NZD$3.

Warehouse Mobile

Warehouse Mobile starts at NZD$4 and can be bought online or at 90+ retail outlets. Data costs NZD$0.06/MB and top-ups cost a minimum of NZD$10. Therefore a NZD$20 top-up would get you an additional 333MB of use.

Additional information from TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has a community bulletin board that specializes in New Zealand travel. Here are a few tips on New Zealand SIM cards from visitors to the country.

“2 Degrees is probably your best bet and they do special packages with data. Go to the second one in that link. Buy from most convenience stores of from The Warehouse (a large dept store – there is one in the CBD or Newmarket).”

“I have used both 2 degrees and Vodafone prepay. 2 degrees always seems to be the better deal with lost-cost voice, free texts and a very reasonable data plan. Your handset must be “carrier” unlocked to use 2 degrees.”

“I decided on Telecom, as they do have better coverage. Telecom appear to have lifted their game to match 2 degrees in terms of value bundles, with the added bonus of better coverage outside metro areas.”

Call into a Telecom NZ shop when you get there, pay $5 for a local SIM & phone number and then $19 value bundle will get 100 mins talk, unlimited txt & 500mb of data – should be plenty for 2 weeks browsing interweb”

Pros and cons of New Zealand’s top telco providers

There are multiple options for cell phone networks and MNVOs in New Zealand. Gathering information is the best way to parse through all the different offers to figure out which suits your needs best.

Pros

  • All three major providers offer 4G/LTE coverage.
  • You don’t have to register for a SIM card to purchase it.

Cons

  • Some good deals are designed just for residents of New Zealand, meaning you have to work around the rules to get a card.
  • Skinny Mobile is tied directly to your credit card, meaning if you don’t cancel it, it will keep charging automatic top-ups each month.

Additional question about SIM cards in New Zealand

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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