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Mexico SIM Card: How to get one in 2024

Enjoy your trip to Mexico with internet through the SIM card with data for Mexico and forget about Roaming

Mark Robins

January 1, 2024

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Every traveler’s nightmare is to be left isolated without mobile internet or WiFi. That’s why you need a Mexico SIM card with data to look for restaurants, order cabs, or send photos back home.

But where can you find a solution to these situations without paying hefty roaming fees? In this article, we will be talking about how and where to buy your prepaid SIM card for Mexico. We will also be introducing you to a new solution known as the virtual SIM card that will allow you to use your cell phone in Mexico, some even with unlimited data, during the days of your stay in the country. Keep reading to find out more about what eSIM is and these alternatives.

Where can I buy a SIM card for Mexico?

There are three ways to buy a Mexico SIM card, and within these two ways, there are multiple options you can take.

prepaid sim card
Prepaid SIM card

You can purchase your data SIM card for Mexico remotely before your trip starts through virtual providers offering this service. It’s important for travelers to check out how long the delivery takes and what mobile they need to use this type of SIM card in Mexico.

Our second option is to use a virtual SIM card. For this, you need an eSIM-compatible device, but if you already have one, we invite you to learn more about Holafly’s eSIM Mexico which we will give you more details about later in this article.

The third way you can take it is a more traditional one, which consists of buying your SIM card for Mexico once you arrive in the country. Some local mobile operators offer these products to their customers and tourists in the country. The purchase can be made through their physical stores. But, as long as you have the necessary documentation, you can get one of their products.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM card for Guatemala)

Buy before you travel

As we mentioned, nowadays, there are many online telecommunication providers for almost any destination in the world, including Mexico. They offer their services through websites where you can choose your plan and service, find the one that fits your needs, order it, and pay for it all with a few clicks. Of course, you must then wait for the delivery of the physical SIM card, which can vary depending on your location.

Finally, we also want to mention that there is a solution for the latter, but we’ll talk about both. If you have a compatible phone, you could consider buying a Virtual SIM Card for Mexico before your trip. This card has the same benefits as a Physical SIM Card, and also, being completely virtual, its delivery is immediate through an email after your purchase.

International SIM Cards for Mexico

One option for travelers is to get a SIM card to use while traveling to Mexico. This option is quite famous, and there are different ways for people to get one before traveling. The thing with this method is how long it takes for the SIM card to arrive.

Nowadays, there are different options available for people to use, such as TravelSIM or SIMOptions, which offer different types of Mexico SIM cards for travelers.

In terms of prices, the final price will depend on what people need. In this case, prices can go from $13 to $87, and the amount of data varies from 500MB to 10GB. Also, there’s an extra fee included for people who want to make phone calls with these SIM cards.

Overall, it’s fair to say that, including the delivery service, one SIM card from these companies can cost more than $50 for just a week of usage. None of the international Mexico SIM cards include unlimited data.

Holafly: Unlimited data virtual SIM card for Mexico

For travelers, the Holafly eSIM for Mexico is a great option to stay connected. It is a better alternative due to how easy it is to get one, and people can get as many as they need, which makes it better than local carriers.

eSIMs for Mexico, such as the one offered by Holafly, are becoming increasingly popular. But Holafly has a better service in terms of what it offers. And different features make it stand out from the rest.

First, users will get unlimited data with the Holafly eSIM, and prices are accessible, with data plans starting at $6 to $139. As for the days, these data packages vary from 1 to 90 days. The only thing you need to use an eSIM is to have a compatible virtual SIM card phone!

But there are more features included for those using the Holafly eSIM for Mexico, such as the following:

  • Top-up service to add more days to your eSIM if you plan on staying longer.
  • Holafly app for Android and iOS devices to purchase and manage your eSIMs.
  • Users will get 3G/4G/LTE speeds using the Holafly eSIM.
  • Unlimited data plans.
  • Data sharing up to 500 MB per day.
  • Great coverage in most popular Mexican destinations.
  • 24/7 customer service & super-flexible refund policy!
  • Immediate delivery after the purchase is completed.

Buy your SIM Card from a local operator in Mexico

The second way and the other alternative you can have is to buy your SIM card once you arrive in Mexico through local operators. Currently, three operators offer these services to tourists: Telcel, Movistar, and AT&T Mexico. 

There is the curiosity that the costs may vary depending on which store you buy the Prepaid SIM card, even if they are authorized agents of any of the phone companies; we will be talking more about each one below.

In Mexico, you’ll be able to choose a SIM card from various brands, each offering different rates and deals. This way, you can choose the deal which meets your needs best. We recommend buying from Telcel or AT&T, which offer the best coverage in the country.

Telcel Mexico

Telcel Logo. Source: 1000Marcas.

Telcel is the largest company in the country and the first to bring 4G/5G speeds to its borders, and it has the most stores around Mexico. You will see a Telcel symbol everywhere, and there will be different stores where you can get a SIM card from this carrier.

With Telcel, the Amigos sin Limite remains a great option for travelers to get access to mobile data with one of the best carriers in the county. But people can also buy one using platforms such as Amazon, where they sell prepaid SIM Telcel cards that include mobile data, text messages, and phone calls.

Something worth mentioning about Telcel Mexico is that their SIM cards also work in Canada and the USA, which might be helpful for travelers. As for prices, this is the updated Amigos sin Limites price list:

  • 2GB of mobile data plus text messages and phone calls for $9.
  • 4GB of mobile data plus text messages and phone calls for $18.

AT&T Mexico

AT&T Logo. Source: Wikipedia

The second option available for travelers to use with local carriers comes with AT&T Mexico. Similar to Telcel, people can get a prepaid SIM card and then get a data package. The available plans vary from 5 to 30 days, varying from $2.5 to $18 according to the chosen plan.

Similar to Telcel, and thanks to the coverage offered by AT&T, SIM cards with data packages purchased in Mexico also include features to use in the USA and Canada, such as text messages, phone calls, and even mobile data for certain apps like WhatsApp or Facebook. 

Also, people won’t have to worry about not finding a store to get an AT&T SIM Card, as there are stores throughout the country.

Movistar Mexico

Movistar Logo. Source: Liderlogo.

The last carrier on our list comes with Movistar. As of now, Movistar Mexico is the least favorite option for travelers, especially because their coverage and service have a lower quality compared to the rest.

On the other hand, they do try to include more benefits to the SIM cards they offer for travelers to have a better experience by including free use of apps such as:

  • Pinterest.
  • WhatsApp (30 days of free use).
  • PUBG.
  • Free Fire.
  • Spotify.
  • And many others.

Currently, Movistar Mexico offers three different first-time data packages to customers. These will vary from 1GB for 14 days and 4GB for 30 days. If people stay longer than this, they can get data packages that vary from $2.5 to $9 to get more mobile data and access to free apps as well.

As we mentioned before, in this country, the costs can vary depending on where you buy your Prepaid SIM card, regardless of the operator and whether it is through their stores or authorized agents. A Prepaid SIM card purchased in Mexico can go from $3 for less than 5 days of use to $30 for 30 days of use plans. However, on many occasions, you must add to this price $4 for administrative costs and another $4 for SIM card configuration. At some physical stores, this happens, and in some not.

In the case of buying them through online stores, this phenomenon is not repeated because the remote providers maintain the prices indicated on their websites without adding fees other than shipping costs to your address. In this case, the costs can go from $20 to $50.

Where can you get a SIM card in Mexico?

When traveling to Mexico, there are different places where to get a SIM card. As there are lots of visitors year after year, stores such as Oxxo and 7-Eleven are great options to get one, but there are also other alternatives, such as Walmart.

People can also try to get a SIM card from official stores from any of the mobile carriers we previously mentioned. On the other hand, there are also some stores on the airport which people can rely on

For travelers who decide to use this method, these are the pros of it:

  • No need to sign a contract to get a SIM card.
  • Easy recharge process through different stores.
  • Access to local LTE/4G networks.
  • Access to free apps for a limited time.
  • Easy to swap SIM cards if necessary.

As for the cons of this service, we could mention the following:

  • As the SIM card is not under your name, it’s hard to get proper support from any carrier.
  • If your Android or iOS device doesn’t work with local networks, you won’t be able to use the SIM card.
  • The amount of mobile data is limited for what travelers could need while abroad.
  • Some stores will charge an extra fee for the setup process or for the SIM card itself.

Is it worth getting a SIM card in Mexico?

In the case of buying them through online stores, this phenomenon is not repeated because the remote providers maintain the prices indicated on their websites without adding fees other than shipping costs to your address. In this case, the costs can go from $13 to $80 or more.

Truth be told, SIM cards offer different additional features to travelers, such as free access to some apps, but these won’t grant high-speed connections. Also, the amount of mobile data is not so high, which might be a letdown.

Therefore, it’s fair to say that this decision must be taken by each traveler according to their budget and what they need. 

Which SIM card is best in Mexico?

After analyzing the different options people have, as long as you have an eSIM-compatible device, the best option is to take the Holafly virtual SIM card with you.The different features they offer, such as unlimited data and a mobile app to manage and purchase eSIMs, make it a great option for travelers. And, they have a competitive price which makes it better for all types of budgets.

Frequently Asked Questions about the SIM Card for Mexico

Any questions? If you have any doubts regarding SIM cards for Mexico, we will answer the most common questions below.

How much does Roaming cost in Mexico?

Paying for data roaming is a common way of connecting to the internet in Mexico. But it is also the most expensive. You could be paying between $7.17 – $14.33 for each MB you use. So if you watched a video on YouTube, you could end up paying hundreds.

What is the best SIM card for Mexico?

You should check the amount of coverage and quality of the SIM card. Some companies have poor coverage, so we recommend using SIM cards from AT&T or Telcel, as Holafly’s online store offers with its eSIMs.

Do Telcel SIM cards expire?

Yes. These SIM cards tend to expire after some time, in most cases after 1 year. But it’s always important to ask in the store before completing the purchase process for how long the SIM will work.

Does Telcel Mexico work in the USA?

Yes. Telcel Mexico also works in the USA. The prepaid Telce SIM card will work as long as the data package is active.

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