The best pre-paid SIM card for travellers to Singapore

By Chris C., April 18 2016
The best pre-paid SIM card for travellers to Singapore

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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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 100

A couple of weeks ago i tried to purchase a Singtel $15 sim card deal  but i had no luck at Changi as the outlet there only had the $38 sim card deals left, but a visit to  a Seven 11 in the city produced the goods

My wife purchased the same sim  card but we had some technical problems and the shop assistant spent ages on the phone sorting things out  which was very kind of her

Brilliant service and much appreciated

02 Apr 2015

Total posts 8

Prefer the M1, reckon it's the best in Singapore amongst all carriers.

Starhub  has a $15 sim which comes with 100GB for the first 5 days BUT a word of advice, the 4G can only be activated after the 5 days is up. I learnt the hard way, the slow way to be precise.

17 Dec 2013

Total posts 8

I'm traveling soon to Singapore and Malaysia five days each. Will the S$30 work in Malaysia?  Any suggestions? Many thanks

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

No. Cos they're different countries ! Get another SIM card in Malaysia.

12 Sep 2014

Total posts 2

If flying singapore airlines these can also be purchased via the onboard duty free shopping. Very convenient! 

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

A warning to all who buy local SIM cards. Most locally based phone cards have a data and phone plan. So usually you'll have some money left over to use on your next trip. Be WARNED that the next time you stick in the SIM card to make sure that you turn off your DATA first. Because the moment it locks onto the local network (M1, SingTel or Starhub), it will start using the premium rate of something riduculous like S$4 per MB and if your emails start updating, that takes up all of your data before you can even switch on your data plan. I used to have at least $20 left over in my accounts only to see the amount reduce to zero everytime I turn on my phone in Singapore. 

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