Best Filipino Sim for Tourist 2019 (Easy Guide)

Last updated on January 10th, 2019 at 04:30 pm

Why should you get a local SIM Card?

Whenever you travel from one country to another, one thing you shouldn’t forget to have is a local sim card. Why? Because it’s cheaper to get a local SIM Card than wasting money by paying for international texts and calls. In this guide, you will learn about the best Filipino sim for tourist.

As one might expect, It’s hard to travel without Internet because you’ll need your GPS to track your location and destination. Besides, reading guides from blogs prepare you beforehand. Also, your own SIM is important for communicating with locals. Of course, updating your social media will most likely be a part of your routine anywhere. It’s fun sharing experiences! Continue reading to see our comparison between the two leading mobile network providers in the Philippines.

Background about Philippine Internet Speed

Unfortunately, Philippine’s Internet speed ranks lowest among 77 countries. You’ll experience internet lag almost anywhere but it’s bearable (if you are patient enough, ha!. Finding the right promo for your daily internet activities is crucial for balancing your data and your bucks. Learn more about the right budget for travelling in Philippines in this guide

Mobile Network Providers

There are two major mobile network providers in the Philippines, namely Globe and Smart. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are their differences:

Coverage

Globe surpasses Smart with the coverage. A research from OpenSignal tells that more places in Luzon and Mindanao are covered with Globe than Smart. The coverage tells us which geographical area you’ll be able to access a network.

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Photo via OpenSignal

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Download Speed and Availability

Another evaluation from the credible Open Signal tells that Smart is faster than Globe. However, Globe is more accessible than Smart. If you’re confident that Smart has a signal in that area most of the time then you should pick Smart as your SIM. However, if you don’t have any idea which is a better provider then it’s better to use Globe for its higher availability and wider geographical reach. Try to ask locals which provider is the best Filipino sim for tourist and has a stronger signal in an area.

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Where could you get your Filipino Sim For Tourist?

You could get your SIM card anywhere in the Philippines. Seriously no kidding, there are phone kiosks, street vendors, local shops and supermarket that are willing to sell a SIM card. Also, you could get your free SIM card after arriving at the airport. Just present your foreign passport.

Beware, the good salesmen boast their products well as the best Filipino sim for tourist. Remember that the packages offered in the airport maybe more expensive but it’ll depend really on your plan and duration for the trip. Compare the promos in this guide with the packages they’ll offer to find what will suit you.

Click here to get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION BEFORE YOUR TRIP WITH BOOKING.COM!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION WITH AGODA!

GLOBE Prepaid SIM

The SIM is available in Regular, Micro and Nano and has storage of up to 250 numbers and 40 SMS. There are two types for the SIM, A 3g connection and A 4g connection. However, in some places where signal is weaker a 4g connection is hard to get. So even if you’ve availed for a 4g connection there are chances wherein you wouldn’t be able to connect to one. Anyway, It’s better to get a 4g connection(LTE) because of better speed. The former has weaker speed than 4g but you’ll be able to create your own unique number.

Here are Globe’s Prepaid Regular Rates:

Type Text Call per Minute Local Video Call
Globe to Globe Php 1.00 Php 6.50 Php 6.50
Globe to TM Php 1.00 Php 7.50
Globe to other Networks Php 1.00 Php 7.50
International SMS Php 15.00
Globe to Landline Php 7.50
National Direct Call Php 7.50 nationwide
International Direct Call USD 0.40 worldwide
Video IDD USD 0.0067 per second

 

GLOBE Prepaid Promos

Register for promos after loading up credits to save money. It’s wiser to continuously apply for promos after using up all your MB data. Here are the Surfing Promos for Globe:

GoSURF

Rate Data Duration Freebies
Php 15.00 40 MB 2 Days +30 MB Mobile Legends game
Php 50.00 ( Personal Favorite) 1 GB 3 Days +300 MB for app of choice and unlimited SMS to Globe and other networks
Php 299.00 1.5 GB 30 Days +1 GB for app of choice
Php 599.00 4 GB 30 Days +1 GB for app of choice
Php 999.00 8 GB 30 Days +1 GB for app of choice

Dial *143# and choose GoSURF to avail these promos

GoSurf Promos are better when you only need to go to the Internet once in a while and you will not consume much data (Downloading and streaming 720 to 1080 pi, downloading big games, and etc)
SUPERSURF

Rate Duration Data Cap per Day
Php 50.00 All-day surfing available for 1 days 800 mb
Php 120.00 All-day surfing available for 3 days 800 mb
Php 200.00 All-day surfing available for 5 days 800 mb
Php 999.00 All-day surfing available for 30 days 800 mb

Dial *143# and choose SUPERSURF to avail these promos

If you want to be relaxed with your data usage and not worry much with wasting your data then SUPERSURF is for you. This promo is a little bit more expensive than GoSURF but again, it depends on your internet activities daily .The data cap will refill itself everyday depending on the duration of your promo.

Useful Tip for Globe

You should manage your MB data with Globe Switch. Switch has data usage tracker, exclusive and cheap Globe offers for hundreds of apps and rewards. It’s a lot easier to allocate your data with Switch. However, if you don’t like downloading this app then manually text “GoSURF STATUS” to 8080 to receive MB balance updates. It’s important to check your remaining MB so that you could reload and register to another promo without wasting regular load for surfing. The regular rate for surfing the internet is (P5 for 15 minutes or P2/MB, you’ll choose either of the two) More info about globe in their website. This mobile app may become the deciding factor of which is the best Filipino sim card for tourists.

SMART Prepaid Sim

The rates are similar with Globe but you’ll have different promos available for Smart. Globe and Smart obviously favors carriers with their respective networks, that’s the reason why they have better promos with their subsidiary brands. Globe owns Touch Mobile (TM ) and Smart owns Talk n Text ( TNT ). More info about Smart in their website

Type Text Call per Minute Local Video Call
Smart to Smart Php 1.00 per 160 characters Php 6.50 Php 6.50
Smart to TNT Php 1.00 per 160 characters Php 7.50
Smart to other Networks Php 1.00 per 160 characters Php 7.50
International SMS Php 15.00 per 160 characters
Smart to Landline Php 7.50
National Direct Call Php 7.50 nationwide
International Direct Call USD 0.40 worldwide
Video IDD USD 0.0067 per second

 

SMART Prepaid Promos

BigBytes:Cheapest Promo available for surfing

Rate Data Duration Freebies
Php 5.00 15 MB 1 Day None
Php 10.00 ( Personal Favorite) 40 MB 2 Days +200 MB music streaming from Spinnr
Php 15.00 40 MB 2 Days +300 MB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash, and Skype Qik
Php 30.00 100 MB 1 Day +400 MB streaming from Spinnr

Dial *121# and choose a promo

 

GigaSurf:

Rate Data Duration Freebies
Php 50.00 1 GB 3 Days +300 MB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash, and unlimited texts to all networks
Php 99.00 ( Personal Favorite) 1.5 GB 7 Days +300 MB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash.
Php 299.00 2 GB 30 Days +1.1 GB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash.
Php 799.00 4.5 GB 30 Days +1.1 GB Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash.

Dial *121# and choose a promo

Conclusion

Smart’s promos are cheaper than Globe but the data aren’t too high. However, if you’re not that of an excessive data user then Smart’s deals are better for you. Both Globe and Smart has a data cap of 800 mb per day regardless of the data available for the promo. For example, you could waste your 800 mb in a day in either networks (GigaSurf50 and GoSurf50 both have 1 GB for 3 days) but you’d still have remaining 200 mb for the next 2 days.

Best Filipino SIM For Tourist

For us, the best Filipino SIM for tourist depends on which area you are in the most. Your usage will also say what the best SIM is and of course, your budget. The best Filipino SIM for tourist will be different for each one of us. If you travel as a couple or with a friend, it would be nice if both of you buy a different one.

General tips

  • There are places that only Globe could reach but there are also places that only Smart could reach (based on personal experience). It’s better to be observant in the city and try to ask the locals which provider they prefer. If you see more stalls with a banner of Globe then go for Globe because it might be the better provider because of its demand on that area. In our case, Rachel and I always have both because the signal speed and availability varies a lot and this helps us a lot connecting in the Internet.
  • Also, I only included prepaid promos and guidelines in this post because prepaid is more budget friendly than postpaid. It’s a lot easier to control our expenditures with prepaid.
  • Try finding coffee shops or restaurants offering free Wifi because it’ll help you save your data more.
  • Beware of your mobile data usage and make sure it is turned off when you don’t need it.
  • You could load up your SIM with credits via online, Convenience stores (7-11, Ministop), SM malls, nearby stalls and kiosks. Load up only what is needed for your
  • CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION BEFORE YOUR TRIP WITH BOOKING.COM!
  • CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION WITH AGODA!

Let us know what you think is the best Filipino sim for tourist in the Philippines!

For more destinations in the Philippines read our experience in Kawasan Falls, hiking Taal volcano the second most active volcano in the Philippines and our favorite things to do in El Nido, Palawan.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape.