Internet for Tourists in the Philippines
How to Have Internet Access in the Philippines
In the Philippines, it will only cost a person 50 pesos or approximately $1 to have 1 GB of data for 72 hours. And there are even cheaper deals if you will not use it for video streaming. There is three major telecommunication company in the Philippines and these are Globe, Smart, and Sun.
I’ve seen free sims being offered at the airport by just presenting your passport. I’m not sure of its difference from a local sim but if you like to verify, below are the rates we pay for and you can check if the same applies to your tourist sim.
Another alternative is to rely on the free internet access available in almost every restaurant or mall. Most SM malls offer free 1 hour of internet every day and this mall is found in almost every city. Cafes are also an ideal place to have internet access and at the same time, you get free charging spots.
However, if you prefer to have your own internet connection anytime and anywhere, here are the sim cards you can consider getting:
According to their website, the cheapest deal for data connection is 15 pesos that come with 40 MB (with free access to musical.ly) for 2 days. The best deal for me is the 50 pesos for 1 GB of data good for 72 hours. In addition, you also get free limited access to one of the apps below:
– Spotify Basic
– YouTube plus Dailymotion
– Clash of Clans plus Clash Royale
– Pokémon GO
A new sim will cost around 50 pesos, I’m not sure of the exact price because it’s not indicated on their website so I will just update this post when I get the info. For more information about their internet promos, you can check this link. If you’re staying longer, just subscribe to another 50 pesos deal upon the expiry of the first one.
In their website, the cheapest deal you can get for data connection is 15 pesos for 40 MB data connection with free 300 MB access either Spinnr, iflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Dubsmash & Skype Qik. The best deal that I will recommend is the 1GB + 300MB for iflix, YouTube, Spinnr, Vimeo, Dailymotion & Dubsmash with an unlimited text feature to any local network for 50 pesos. For a complete list of their promos, check this link.
A new sim only cost 40 pesos from their office but possibly more expensive in other stores and it already comes with 1 GB data connection + 300 MB when activated. Moreover, you get an additional 700 MB when you load it up with 30 pesos within the first three days. This sim is already LTE ready and in triple cut so it’s compatible with any phone. A passport is not required to purchase this sim.
See this link for more details.
Their cheapest offer and probably the most affordable one, among the three, is 5 pesos for 10 MB data connection for 24 hours. But to be honest, I don’t really recommend this network because it almost always has no signal or when it does, the connection is just crappy.
A new Sun Cellular sim will cost 35 pesos and it comes with an unlimited call, text, and Facebook for 24 hours. For more information, you can check this site.
Which is the Best Among the Three: Globe vs Smart vs Sun
For me, the best is Globe but it can depend on your location. There are places where Smart has better signal while other are Globe. But to be safe, I prefer Globe prepaid promos.
Where to Buy Sim Cards in the Philippines?
The best and cheapest place to buy a sim card in the Philippines are directly from the telecoms office. These are usually located inside major malls like SM and Ayala. If you’re staying in Manila, it’s pretty easy to find one because they have a store in almost every mall. If you’re in another city, a quick Google search will show where is their nearest office.
Buying from other stores like a small store on the street is okay too but it will just be a bit more expensive. Although, the difference is not too big so if the mall is too far, it’s better to buy the one in the small store or also known as sari-sari store. The difference is somewhere between 20 to 50 pesos.
How to Reload or Add Load to Your Sim?
When you ran out of load, reloading your sim is very easy. Just go to the nearest sari-sari store and ask if they offer load to your network. If none, just ask around the area and there should be one nearby. When you find a reloading station, just tell them how much and give them the number of your phone. They will let you know once its sent and you should receive a confirmation text stating how much has been reloaded from the system. You can confirm the load you received by dialing *143# for Globe or *214# for Smart. Once you’re sure you received it, give the person your payment and you’re all good.
How to Subscribe to a Prepaid Promo for Globe, Smart, and Sun?
To subscribe to a promo, just type in the keyword and send it to the number indicated in the following list: