The best prepaid SIM cards for Mexico

Andrea Santiago Orgaz

10 Jun 2022

If you're heading on holidays, buying a SIM card for Mexico and keeping your cell phone active is essential. We've broken down all your options so you can pick the best one that suits your needs.

When traveling, we all love to be able to use our phones, whether it's for sharing photos on social media or using your free time to call friends and family. It's also important to be contactable in case of an emergency.

You could always just use your normal SIM to do these things, but international roaming charges will most likely blow your budget.

The best alternative? Simply buy a Mexican SIM card from a local carrier.

Why buy a local SIM card when traveling?

Buying a SIM card in Mexico will make your life easier. Some of the reasons why you should get one when traveling are:

💌Allows you to look up things to do, places to eat, transfer money, and how to get around at the tap of your finger. These conveniences will end up saving you time and energy on your travels.

🤳 Social media access for sharing photos and chatting with friends and family. When we are on vacation we always want to share our best photos, GB allowance allows this.

📌 You can go out exploring without the fear of getting lost and easily locate yourself using Google Maps with your data connection.

📞You can make calls home and send and receive WhatsApp messages, at a heavily discounted rate compared to using call minutes and SMS.

What is the best SIM card for Mexico?

The best SIM card for Mexico depends on your needs. For this reason we have shared what we think are the four best options below.

We suggest to try purchase just the SIM itself to save money, then buy your bundle. Depending on where you buy the SIM from (airport, kiosk, hotel, online) will cost you between 29-149 pesos ($1-6 USD approx.).

Telcel SIM + Sin Limite bundle

Telcel is the largest mobile network with the best 4G and 5G coverage so take this into account if you plan to travel to remote areas or places without wi-fi.

There are a number of options to choose from, however if you are going to be in Mexico for 2 weeks or more, we suggest the Sin Limite 300 bundle. It comes with unlimited calls, messages and social media while in Mexico, plus 4GB of data, all available for 30 days.

You can purchase a Sin Limite bundle with Ding, just tap to recharge Telcel. If you would like to find out more you can also read our guide on the benefits of the Telcel Sin Limite bundles.

AT&T SIM + Unlimited Plan

AT&T as a brand is relatively new in Mexico, arriving in 2014. However it boasts over 90% coverage as it merged the Iusacell and Nextel networks. Earlier this year it rolled out it's 5G access too.

An AT&T SIM will cost about the same as other networks. Once the SIM is purchased, you can buy an amount of AT&T credit to purchase an Unlimited plan.

If you're budget is $30 for the month, we would suggest Telcel's plan. However AT&T do have a $50 Unlimited plan which comes with unlimited data.

Movistar SIM + 12GB Navigation

Movistar has a coverage rate of 72% and is connected via the AT&T network. It's connection and coverage speeds aren't as impressive, however it is made up for in price.

You can recharge Movistar with Ding, specifically the 12GB Navigation bundle is our recommendation. For approximately $18 it comes with 12GB of data, unlimited social networks and unlimited calls and SMS to USA, Mexico and Canada.

This a great option if travelling with friends who also have a local Mexico SIM card as you can contact them in different ways, even if you don't have internet coverage.

Virgin Mobile SIM + Unlimited Plan

Virgin Mobile is a relatively new company in Mexico and only sells prepaid cards. Their payment schemes and plans are affordable and they have different points of sale in the city, including the CDMX subway.

With Virgin Mobile prepaid cards you can get great benefits with an extended validity, unlike other companies. It does not have nationwide coverage, so if you want to purchase a prepaid card from this company, we recommend you to check their website to see if they have coverage in the city you are visiting.

A Virgin recharge of 150 MXN will get you an unlimited data plan that also includes unlimited calling minutes within Mexico.

Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card in Mexico?

The easiest place to buy the SIM is at the airport. There are stands at the arrivals terminal that sell them, if you are going to buy one, we recommend you to buy one from one of the mobile network's stands mentioned above.

You can also purchase a SIM online before you leave. A quick Google search will land you on Amazon or Mercadolibre and you can recharge and have your SIM ready as soon as you land.

If you prefer to buy in store, you can head to one of the mobile networks stores, often found in shopping malls and urban areas. SIM cards in Mexico are also available in 7-Eleven, OXXO and supermarkets such as Walmart. You don't need any documents to buy them, and you just need to insert the SIM card into your cell phone to activate it.

What to do once I have purchased my SIM card?

Your SIM may come come loaded with some data or minutes once you purchase. Feel free to use this up first, or just recharge your Mexico cell phone instantly with Ding. To do this, just tap the link above and follow these steps:

  1. Enter your Mexico mobile number (the country code +52 is already prefilled)

  2. Select the amount to recharge or the bundle that best suits

  3. Select your preferred payment method. Our payments are completely secure and we offer popular options such as PayPal, Google Pay, and credit and debit cards. Once you accept the payment, the recharge will be received instantly.

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