Find the prepaid SIM cards that will work best for you when in the Philippines

Don’t pay roaming bills when abroad – buy a local SIM card that suits your needs.

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When traveling to Asia, make sure you live within your budget. One thing you should consider is allotting a portion of your funds to your communication needs. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and relatives, and make sure they can contact you in case of emergencies. You might think this is costly, but you can save money by switching to a local cell phone provider and buying a prepaid SIM card. A 1GB data package is usually priced at PHP50 (about US$1).

The Philippines offers many prepaid SIM card options. Costs are competitive, making it difficult to choose which prepaid SIM card is right for you. Whether you’ll be staying for a short time or longer, get to know the plans and offers at finder.com that will help you save on your communication costs.

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
Updated November 22nd, 2019
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
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.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Prices last updated 09/11/2017

Cell phone carriers in the Philippines

There are two cell phone networks in the Philippines: Smart and Globe. Both networks offer prepaid SIM cards that can meet your needs.

In the 2017 Asia Communication Awards in Singapore, Smart was recognized as Asia’s top digital services provider for 2016 due to its efforts to improve the accessibility of digital services for Filipinos. However, Globe has been the country’s leading telecommunications provider since the third quarter of 2016, having 200,000 more subscribers than Smart. In 2017, Globe overtook Smart as the country’s largest mobile operator with more than 10 million subscribers.

About Smart and Globe

Prepaid SIM cards for both networks can be purchased in the airport, at phone kiosks, local shops and supermarkets, or from street vendors.

Users get 2G on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G up to HSPA+ on 850 MHz on Smart and 900 MHz on Globe, as well as 2100 MHz for both. 4G/LTE is currently being rolled out nationwide by both networks, with Smart using 2100, 1800+ and 850 MHz while Globe is using 1800 MHz, 2500 MHz and 2600 MHz.

Plans offered by Smart and Globe

Smart and Globe offer prepaid SIM packages that, when activated, let you enjoy perks, especially when you load credits. Reload credits can be purchased in local shops, supermarkets and anywhere you see their sign, as well as online.

Smart

The Smart LTE Tourist SIM is free upon arrival at any international airport in the country. Just show your foreign passport to claim one. This Smart SIM card is already loaded with 300MB of data upon activation and is valid for three days. An additional 700MB will be added when you load at least PHP30 within three days of activation. The pack comes with Iflix and Uber voucher cards.

Smart LTE Prepaid SIM costs PHP40. The SIM is already loaded with 300MB of data upon activation and is valid for three days. An additional 700MB will be added when you load at least PHP30 within three days of activation.

Both prepaid SIM cards come in card denominations of PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500. You can also load via Smart Online Store. Denominations are PHP50, PHP100, PHP200, PHP300, PHP500 or PHP1,000.

Current Smart data packages

Smart offers SurfMax, Big Bytes, All Out Surf and GigaSurf data packages. All data packages use 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE where available. (Smart UnliSurf was discontinued in 2015 and replaced by SurfMax.)

SurfMax data packages:

These packages have a data cap of 800MB per day.

PHP50All-day surfing for 1 day
PHP299All-day surfing for 7 days
PHP999All-day surfing for 30 days

Big Bytes data packages:

These packages have varying data caps.

RateDataDurationFreebies
PHP515MB1 dayNone
PHP1040MB2 days+200MB music streaming from Spinnr
PHP1540MB2 days+300MB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo,
Dailymotion, Dubsmash and Skype Qik
PHP30100MB1 day+400MB music streaming from Spinnr

All Out Surf data packages:

These packages also have varying data caps:

RateDataDurationFreebies
PHP20150MB1 dayFacebook, unlimited SMS and free 20-minute calls to Smart, SUN and TNT
PHP30300MB2 daysFacebook, unlimited SMS and free 20-minute calls to Smart, SUN and TNT
PHP50500MB3 daysFacebook, unlimited SMS and free 20-minute calls to Smart, SUN and TNT
PHP991GB7 daysFacebook, unlimited SMS and free 20-minute calls to Smart, SUN and TNT

GigaSurf data packages:

These packages have varying data caps too:

RateDataDurationFreebies
PHP501GB3 days+300MB for iflix, YouTube, Spinnr, Vimeo, Dailymotion & Dubsmash + UNLI TEXTS TO ALL NETWORKS
now with FREE YOUTUBE for 3 days
up to 1 hour (1GB/day)
PHP992GB7 days+ UNLI TEXTS TO ALL NETWORKS and with FREE YOUTUBE for 7 days
up to 1 hour (1GB/day)
PHP2992GB30 days+1.1GB for iflix, YouTube, Spinnr, Vimeo, Dailymotion, & Dubsmash
now with FREE YOUTUBE for 30 days
up to 1 hour (1GB/day)
PHP7994.5GB30 days+1.1GB for iflix, YouTube, Spinnr, Vimeo, Dailymotion, & Dubsmash
now with FREE YOUTUBE for 30 days
up to 1 hour (1GB/day)

Smart APN and Website

Connection nameSmart Internet
Access point nameinternet
Username
Password
Proxy
Proxy port
Homepagehttp://m.smart.com.ph

Globe

Globe TravelSurf offers free prepaid SIM packs customized for travelers. They are available at the Globe booths in the following international airports: NAIA Terminals 1, 3 and 4, Clark, Kalibo, Mactan-Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Caticlan and Laoag. Card denominations come in PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500. TravelSurf offers the following features:

Travel3 for PHP150 with 250MB mobile data valid for 3 days

Travel7 for PHP500 with 1GB mobile data + PHP200 credit valid for 7 days

Travel30 for PHP1,000 with 5GB mobile data valid for 3 days

Just text “Travel3”, “Travel7” or “Travel30” to 8888 to activate the service for your preferred package.

Globe Non-LTE SIM costs PHP40. It uses the 3G network, and you get to choose your own mobile number. Globe LTE SIM also costs PHP40 and uses a 4G network. It has a pre-set mobile number. Call card denominations are PHP100, PHP300 and PHP500. Over-the-air prepaid reloading rates start from PHP10 and go up to PHP900. They are available nationwide from authorized Globe Load outlets.

Current Globe data packages

Globe data packages are called GoSURF and SuperSURF. GoSURF may be suitable if you’re using your mobile phone for both calls and data, but if you’re a heavy data user, it’s advisable to use SuperSURF.

GoSURF data packages:

These packages have varying data caps. Free apps are as follows: Facebook, Viber, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pokemon GO, Spotify Basic, Musical.ly, Vimeo, COC + Clash Royale, Mobile Legends and Disney (available on GoSURF 599 and 999 only).

RateDataDurationFreebies
PHP1540MB2 days+30MB Mobile Legends game
PHP501GB3 days+300MB for app of choice
and unlimited SMS to Globe,
Touch Mobile and abs-cbnmobile
PHP2991.5GB30 days+1GB for app of choice
PHP5994GB30 days+1GB for app of choice
PHP9998GB30 days+1GB for app of choice

SuperSURF data packages:

These packages have a data cap of 800MB per day.

PHP50All-day surfing for 1 day
PHP120All-day surfing for 3 days
PHP200All-day surfing for 5 days
PHP999All-day surfing for 30 days

Globe APN and Website

Connection namemyGlobe INET
Access point namehttp.globe.com.ph
Username
Password
Proxy
Proxy port
Homepagehttp://m.globe.com.ph

Case Study: Tried and tested by finder.com

Buying a prepaid SIM card in the Philippines is easy. Aside from kiosks that can be found in the airports when you arrive, almost all stores with Smart or Globe signage, street vendors, 7/11 stores and other convenience stores carry prepaid SIM cards.

There are also stalls and kiosks inside the malls where you can purchase cards. Store clerks are very accommodating when you ask them for a recommendation. If you have your mobile phone with you, they will even volunteer to install the prepaid SIM for you.

Communicating with the local vendors and store clerks is easy because English is a second language in the Philippines. But for posterity, here are some phrases that may help you communicate better when buying a prepaid SIM:

EnglishFilipino
How much?Magkano?
Where?Saan?
How much is this prepaid SIM?Magkano itong prepaid SIM?
Where can I buy a prepaid SIM?Saan ako bibili ng prepaid SIM?
Thank you!Salamat!

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Some top tips:

  • If you’re on mobile data, activate your GPS and use Google Maps. These can help you identify where you are.
  • Download the Philippines map for your phone.
  • Use Uber or Grab taxi. It’s advisable to have both apps in your phone so if you can’t book using Uber, you can use the other app.
  • Electronic loads or e-loads for mobile credits are available. You can go to the nearest 7/11 store and ask for that if you don’t want to buy prepaid call cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as many Filipinos are friendly and will readily answer you or refer you to someone who can help you.

A word of advice when buying a prepaid SIM

Because there are only two mobile network operators in the Philippines, there are areas in the country that do not get strong coverage from either Smart or Globe. In some areas outside metro Manila, there’s only one network available for data usage, and this changes per region. For example, Boracay, the country’s top summer destination, has a strong signal and coverage from Smart compared to Globe. Up north, in Baguio City, the summer capital of the country enjoys a strong signal and coverage from Globe, while Smart is weaker.

It’s advisable to ask the local vendor which has a better signal when buying a prepaid SIM. Don’t ask anyone connected to Smart or Globe, as they will push their respective products. It also pays to be observant. Check out which provider has many outlets in the area. It’s more likely that outlets carry the dominant brand that has better coverage over the other.

The current state of cell phone networks in the Philippines

OpenSignal is a wireless coverage mapping company that crowdsources data on carrier signal quality from users who have downloaded its app. As of September 2017, Globe leads in 4G availability, with users able to latch onto Globe’s LTE signal 62.6% of the time, while Smart is at 52.7%.

  • OpenSignal awarded its 4G speed award to Smart for its average download of 10.6Mbps.
  • Both networks tied in the 3G speed award again.
  • Overall speed went to Smart for faster LTE connections to its customers at 4.2Mbps.

More questions about finding the best SIM?

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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

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26 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MelMay 12, 2019

    Hi! Do I have to bring adapter or converter to charge my cellphone? I’m from North America.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Mel,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      Yes, you may need to bring an adapter/converter that will work with 220v outlet for your charger. This may help you not to damage your phone due to charging if your charger is set to lower voltage outlet.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

  2. Default Gravatar
    JulieApril 22, 2019

    I want to buy an electronic sim card for my iPhone X. However, I want a SIM card with the same number as my previous number. Is this possible?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Julie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      There’s a recently signed and enacted a law in the Philippines called the Mobile Number Portability Act or Republic Act No 11202. It was signed by President Duterte last February 14, 2019. So, there’s a chance for you to keep your old number when switching to a new provider. However, since this is a relatively new law, telcos might still be in the process of putting up the system for this to happen.

      You may try to approach your provider and mention the new law. They should be able to assist you further.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    GRJanuary 4, 2019

    Hi there, We’ll be arriving in the PH in 3 weeks, spending time in Bantayan Island
    and Cebu city itself and then El Nido and Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Which provider (Smart or Globe) has good LTE signals in these areas? Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 6, 2019Staff

      Hi GR,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Both Smart and Globe has good coverage in the places you mentioned. The deal breaker here could be their plans and offers. It would be a good idea to review the offers of both networks and from there, you would have a better idea which telco would be best for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  4. Default Gravatar
    KellyDecember 28, 2018

    Hi there,

    I have a few questions for you.

    1) Globe seems to offer two 30-day packages for PHP999. One is 8 GB + 1 GB for app of choice, and the other is All day surfing for 30 days. Why would someone choose the first one when it seems the second one is unlimited?

    2) I’ve heard that if you sign up ahead of time to get a SIM card, you can get one for free and then just pay for the plan. Do you know anything about this?

    I’m traveling to the Philippines (I’ll be between Manila, Cebu City, Davao, and possibly Boracay) for a work opportunity. I’ll be there for 32 days and am trying to figure out the best option for me. I don’t think I’ll need much calling or texting, but primarily data (since I can communicate with home through Whatsapp!).

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. Glad to hear about your work opportunity in the Philippines. :)

      Regarding your question, please let me answer them one by one.

      1. Please note that even though Globe advertises “All day surfing”, there’s a data cap you should know about. You can only surf the Internet for only 800 MB per day. Once you reach that cap, your Internet speed would be throttled down to 2G speed, making it technically, “unlimited.” Thus, this is the primary reasons why customers choose other plans that allow them to surf the Internet with more data allowance per day.

      2. I’m not sure if they have a promo like this. Perhaps, they offer such promo in the past, but not sure if they still have it. If you want to confirm, you may ask Globe directly or a friend in the Philippines.

      If you are just after a good amount of data, both Smart and Globe have something to offer. You can check the table above and see which plan would best fit your needs.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    BillDecember 2, 2018

    Hi,

    I’m planning a 30 day visit to the Philippines in January. What is the most convenient sim card I should buy? A card that can call any network in the Philippines.

    Thanks!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 3, 2018Staff

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for getting in touch! You can find sim cards in the Philippines at convenience stores or when you arrive at the airport. To be able to call to all networks, you may register to a pre-pay plan and you can find these plans when you search it on the provider’s local website. Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    YolandaNovember 6, 2018

    I’m planning to buy an unlocked iPhone to use while in the Philippines. Can I buy both Smart and Globe SIM cards and switch them in the phone as needed? Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Yolanda,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Yes, you can buy 2 different sim cards in the Philippines and switch them when needed.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  7. Default Gravatar
    sherryNovember 5, 2018

    Hi,
    For both Smart and Globe, for their 7 day plans, do they count the days by every 24hr or does the days end at midnight? ie, if i activate it on 1dec 8pm, does the plan end on 7dec midnight or 8dec 7.59pm?
    Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Sherry

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Sherry,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      For both Smart and Globe, they count the days by the same time you get or buy of their packages or plan. So, for example, if you take advantage of their 7-day plan on December 1, 8 pm, your plan will expire on December 8, at 8 pm, at the same time.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  8. Default Gravatar
    JamesOctober 29, 2018

    I’m in USA and shopping for a phone for a friend. I am looking at International phones hoping it will work in the Philippines – Cebu – Lapu Lapu / Mactan.
    I need to purchase the correct phone that will work there.
    Do the sim sizes come in nano sim / micro sim?
    Once you get the sim card can you utilize the various merchants minute or time upgrades with either plan Globe or Smart???

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 29, 2018

      Hi James,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Make sure that you are buying a Factory Unlocked phone so that you can insert any sim on it and it will work. When it comes to sim sizes, most sim cards in the Philippines are now called “Tri-cut”. Meaning, it is cut in three sizes, the standard size, micro size and nano. Please make sure you have researched about the specs of the phone you are buying before making a purchase. Most specs are easily available online.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  9. Default Gravatar
    JulieOctober 9, 2018

    Hi, if I were to get the free Smart Tourist LTE SIM card which already give me 300MB for 3 days. And if i add the PHP299All-day surfing for 7 days, does it means that total I will have 10 days?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesOctober 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      The initial 3 days will only apply to the 300mb data once you activate the sim card. If you add the PHP299 All-day surfing for 7 days, it will be a separate timeline from the 3 days and the 7 day period will start separately on the day you activate it. They do not add on top of each other. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  10. Default Gravatar
    CristianJune 8, 2018

    Hello, you can send me the website to buy sims Card in quantities please, I need the cheapest Sim Card from Globe Filipino Company, thank you very much for your answer, greetings.

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJune 9, 2018

      Hi Cristian,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Unfortunately, we do not have this information on finder. You can however go to Globe’s website and contact their customer service and ask them on how to purchase sim cards in bulk. They are very responsive to messages and always ready to answer customer’s issues.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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