What’s the Best Tourist SIM for Singapore?

Ask Mr. Thrifty

Looking for the best tourist SIM for Singapore? Read on for Mr. Thrifty’s analysis.

Singapore is an extremely popular destination and transit point and has, arguably, the world’s finest airport in Changi.

A lot of people transit through Singapore and spend a few days touring the Lion City. Buying a temporary SIM will enable you to get the most out of your trip to Singapore. Temporary SIMs for Singapore are widely available and offer a generous amount of call time and data for a reasonable price.

Here are a few tips:

  • The 3 main mobile carriers in Singapore at SingTel, Starhub and M1. They all provide fine service and coverage, certainly within the central areas where most tourists will be circulating.
  • A Google search will turn up information that the best deal on a temporary SIM in Singapore is Starhub’s Tourist SIM for S$12. It’s valid for 7 days and includes 100GB of data and more.
  • There are several kiosks at Changi Airport advertising Starhub. BUT, this specific S$12 Tourist SIM is curiously “unlisted” at the Starhub kiosks at the airport itself. The idea, apparently, is to try to upsell you to more expensive plans. The staff manning these kiosks were evasive and even misleading when asked about the S$12 tourist SIM plan.
  • After digging around a bit more, Mr. Thrifty stopped in at the Cheers convenience store in the arrivals area of the airport and bought a tourist SIM from rival carrier M1 for the same S$12 that features the same data allowance.
  • Mr. Thrifty activated the S$12 M1 tourist SIM on the spot and used it without incident during his recent 5-day trip to Singapore. The network was on 4G almost all of the time and it was quite adequate to use as a hotspot for his laptop too. His only regret is that he wasn’t able to fully utilize the 7-day validity of the SIM.
  • Highlights of the M1 Tourist SIM for Singapore are: 7 days validity, 100GB data, 500 minutes of local calls, 100 local SMS, 20 minutes of international calls.
M1 - the best tourist SIM for Singapore
  • SingTel also offers a similar tourist SIM plan (their hi!Tourist SIM card) with a list price of S$15, currently (perhaps permanently) discounted to S$12. According to SingTel’s website, hi!Tourist SIM cards can be bought at the Travelex currency exchange counters at Changi Airport. Mr. Thrifty didn’t try to buy it, so cannot verify its availability. While the SingTel card offers 30 minutes of international calls (an additional 10 minutes compared to M1 and StarHub) and is on par with M1 and StarHub on the other dimensions, Mr. Thrifty doesn’t like such discount gimmicks and doesn’t think they should be rewarded.

The final verdict: Mr. Thrifty thinks that M1 offers the best tourist SIM for Singapore for most people. It’s an excellent value, and you can pick one up on arrival for S$12 at the Cheers convenience stores at Changi Airport Singapore. You’ll need to provide your passport in order for the staff at Cheers to register your SIM and it should be operational within 10 minutes. He’s also had good experience with M1’s customer service. In fact, back in the day when M1 first launched its service in Singapore, he won a free Nokia banana phone in their lucky draw. Mr. Thrifty is biased. And eternally loyal.

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