Singapore remains a popular destination for Australian business and leisure travellers alike, and while many Aussie telcos include The Lion City in their various roaming packages, it’s always cheaper to grab a local SIM if you’ll be staying for more than just a few days.
Singaporean SIM cards also give you the advantage of having a local (+65) phone number, which you can give to prospective clients and suppliers in the city-state instead of using your Australian number: making your presence in the region appear more than just temporary.
Fortunately, Singtel – the parent company of Australia’s Optus – sells an easy-to-use ‘hi!Tourist’ SIM pack for just S$15 (A$14.37) which comes with a well-rounded set of inclusions.
Buying your Singtel hi!Tourist SIM card
These tourist SIM cards are widely available, beginning with RHB Bank currency exchange and Changi Recommends counters on arrival at Singapore Airport, plus Singtel shops, the Tanah Merah and HarbourFront ferry terminals, 7-Elevens and Cheers outlets.
For your S$15, you’ll get 500 minutes of calls and 100 text messages to local Singapore numbers, 30 minutes of international calls including back to Australia and 4GB of data, all to use within five days.
Staying for up to a week? Just S$3 (A$2.87) per day (after the first five days) extends any unused entitlements above and also adds 500MB of data, 100 local minutes, 100 local SMS and five minutes of international calls to your allowances.
Visiting Singapore for 8+ days
For longer visits, swap out the S$15 card for a S$30 pack – the same price as you’d pay for eight days via the system above but with a whopping 14GB of data, unlimited local calls and SMS and 90 minutes of international calls for up to 10 days, after which you can extend for S$3/day as above.
Also thrown in with the S$30 pack is unmetered access to Facebook via its smartphone apps and to WhatsApp, Line and WeChat via the same. However, note that neither of these packages allow you to send international SMS, such as back to Australia or to neighbouring countries.
If your pocket or purse packs an iPhone, you can of course continue to send iMessages to other countries as these are transmitted as data rather than in traditional text format, and with all phone types, chat apps like Facebook Messenger and email remain options for communication back home.
Should that be a deal-breaker, check out M1’s prepaid M Card instead which lets you text back to Australia for just S$0.15 (A$0.14), but which charges you to receive calls and also for every call made.
Also read: Five tips for doing business in Singapore
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