Going to Singapore to shop for a weekend? Or do you want to see one of the many attractions? What about seeing the infinity pool up close? Well, better start saving, because all these activities are not cheap.
A lot of travelers stay in Singapore for a few days, maybe a week, sometimes even two weeks if they are feeling generous. Not because there is not much to do in Singapore, but because the country is not that big.
Singapore is one of the few city-states out there, and none of them are big.
Singapore has a few advantages. It has a pleasant climate. Its geographical position is excellent for flying from Europe, Oceania, or Asia and want to fly to another continent – its location is favorable. And it is a shopper's paradise, which is why many from Southeast Asia and East Asia go on short shopping trips to Singapore.
Whatever you plan on doing in Singapore, I bet you will be having a great time.
You may have read my Buying a SIM Card in Singapore guide, where I briefly introduce the Singaporean operators and talk about their prices.
One of the operators may have intrigued you, so you decided to read my Singtel review, StarHub review, and/or M1 review. If you have done so, then you are already knowledgable about the telecom situation in Singapore.
Even if you have read all those articles, it may still be difficult to decide which operator is the best. What if you are on a budget and do not want to spend a lot of money on data? What if you are all about speeds and would be willing to pay a premium for that? What if you plan on using your Singaporean SIM card to call your friends and family abroad? Or to roam with your Singaporean SIM card without a surcharge?
All these questions are difficult to answer when considering the operators separately. Therefore, I have created this Singapore Ultimate Comparison, where I take everything I know about the operators into consideration, compare them, and test them against specific variables.
Based on all these results, it will be easier to determine which operator is the best for specific situations.
With that being said, welcome to the quest to find the best Singaporean prepaid SIM card for you. Let's get started.
Telecom Providers in Singapore
Singapore has 3 telecom providers: Singtel, StarHub, and M1. All operators have 3G and 4G/LTE networks. Each operator also offers tourist SIM cards that all come with 100 GB of local data in addition to various other perks.
What is the best Singaporean SIM card?
- StarHub is, on average, the fastest Singaporean operator
- StarHub has the best plan, its Sunday plan, for those who want to roam for free in various countries (4 GB in 17 countries)
- Singtel’s 8 SGD starter kit is the best for those who want the most starter data and do not want to spend money on data packs
- Singtel has the best tourist SIM card with their hi!Tourist SIM cards
- M1 is the best who want a lot of data do not mind spending more than 10 SGD on data packages
There is much more to learn about these operators, so read along to find the best SIM card for your situation.
What Frequencies are Used in Singapore?
Singapore uses Asian/European frequencies. Additionally, the operators uses extra frequencies. Let’s have a look.
|Singtel||900 MHz & 2100 MHz||900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)|
|StarHub||900 MHz & 2100 MHz||900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)|
|M1||900 MHz & 2100 MHz||1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)|
Because Singapore has no 2G network anymore, it is crucial that your device at least supports the 3G frequencies if the 4G/LTE ones are not supported. If it does not, you may be able to buy a travel phone while in Singapore. To see if your device is compatible with the M1 network, check out this site.
How is the Coverage in Singapore?
Singapore is a relatively small country, so you would expect the coverage to be good. That is the case in Singapore. Unlike other smaller countries like Bhutan and Nepal, Singapore is not extremely mountainous. Additionally, the Singaporean operators pride themselves on having excellent coverage throughout the city-state. Let’s take a look at their coverage maps.
As you can see, there is not much difference in terms of coverage between the operators. There is some coverage on the Malaysian side of the Singaporean-Malaysian border. There appears to be no coverage on the right of Changi Airport. I assume it is because of hangars, but worry not, you will have coverage at the airport itself (or can take advantage of free WIFI while using a secure VPN like NordVPN).
You will also notice that there a blank spot in the Serangoon area. That is because of a military base there (yes, it is in the middle of a suburban area – I stayed there at a hotel a few years ago – could hear the jets flying around every now and then).
There is also no coverage in the Nature Reserve and some of the remote islands. Besides that, your coverage should be good throughout Singapore with all operators.
How much do SIM Cards Cost in Singapore, and Where Can I Buy Them?
You can get a Singaporean SIM from as low as 5 SGD all the way up to 60 SGD. Unlike some countries around the world, the cheapest SIM card, in this case, the one from M1, does come with credit and perks – 500 MB for 20 days and 5 SGD in credit.
The more you spend on a SIM card, the more starter credit, and perks you get. There are 14 different Singaporean prepaid SIM cards out there. I will group them by the operator.
Singtel SIM Cards
Singtel SIM cards, called hi! SIM Cards, can be bought at the following places:
- Singtel stores
- Singtel Authorized Resellers
- 7-Eleven stores
- SingPost branches
- Changi Airport
The hi! SIM card comes in 4 variants, and there is also a hi!Data SIM (20 SGD). Below are all the hi! SIM cards you can buy:
|8 SGD||1.5 GB||30 days||10 SGD|
|15 SGD 1||3 GB||120 days||15 SGD|
|20 SGD 2||5 GB||7 days||None|
|38 SGD 3||3 GB||30 days||38 SGD|
|50 SGD 4||7 GB||7 days||50 SGD|
1 15 SGD starter kit: 3 GB data split into 1 GB anytime data and 2 GB nighttime data from 12 AM until 8 AM. Unlimited WeChat, WhatsApp, and Line for 1 year.
2 20 SGD starter kit: hi! Data SIM card – data-only.
3 38 SGD starter kit: data can also be used in Malaysia on the Maxis/Hotlink network. The starter kit also available at Changi Airport.
4 50 SGD starter kit: exclusively available at Changi Airport.
Starhub SIM Cards
StarHub SIM cards can be bought at:
- StarHub stores
- StarHub partner stores
- 7-Eleven stores
- Cheers convenience stores
- SingPost branches
- Changi Airport
StarHub’s prepaid SIM cards, simply called Prepaid SIM Card, come in 3 variants:
|8 SGD||10 SGD||90 days||800 MB (30 days)||None|
|15 SGD||15 SGD||180 days||1.2 GB* (30 days)||Unlimited WeChat, WhatsApp, and LINE (180 days)|
|50 SGD||50 SGD||180 days||100 GB (10 days)||5 GB Roaming Data (30 Days) **|
* 15 SGD SIM card: 1.2 GB for the 1st month. 200 MB for the coming 5 months. Often extra data during promotions.
** 50 SGD SIM card: roaming data can be used in Happy Roam countries, which are Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The following rates apply:
- Local calls: 0.18 SGD/min
- Local SMS: 0.05 SGD/SMS
- International SMS: 0.15 SGD/SMS
- Data: 0.05 SGD/10 KB (or 5 SGD/MB)
M1 SIM Cards
M1 SIM cards, called M Cards, can be bought at the following places:
- M1 stores
- M1 Exclusive Distributors
- M1 Prepaid Preferred Partners
- M1 Appointed Authorized Retailers
- FairPrice Xpress stores
- SingPost Branches
- Changi Airport
The M1 Cards come in 6 variants:
- 5 SGD: 500 MB for 20 days and 5 SGD in credit. *
- 8 SGD: 1.5 GB for 30 days and 10 SGD in credit for 90 days
- 14 SGD: 4 GB for 120 days and 14 SGD in credit for 180 days
- 15 SGD: 4 GB for 120 days and 15 SGD in credit. *
- 25 SGD: 1 GB per day, 5000 minutes, unlimited incoming calls, and 5000 SMS, all valid for 30 days
- 60 SGD: 1 GB per day, 5000 minutes every 30 days, unlimited incoming calls, and 5000 SMS every 30 days, all valid for 90 days
* 5 SGD card expires in 90 days and the 15 SGD card expires in 180 days
The following Main Balance rates apply:
- Local calls (off-peak): 0.20 SGD for the 1st minute, then 0.08 SGD/min (applies from 8 PM until 8 AM on weekdays and all day on weekends). Applies to accepting calls too.
- Local calls (peak): 0.20 SGD for the 1st minute, then 0.16 SGD/min (applies from 8 AM until 8 PM on weekdays). Applies to accepting calls too.
- SMS: 0.05 SGD/SMS. Applies to receiving SMS too. The First 10 received SMS, and the first 5 sent SMS are free.
- International calls: variable.
- International SMS: 0.05 SGD/SMS to XL Axiata (Indonesia), and 0.15 SGD/SMS to other destinations
What Tourist SIM Cards Does Singapore Offer?
Tourist SIM cards, or Travel SIM Cards, are SIM cards targeted to travelers like you and me. Often, they are overpriced, awful, or borderline scams, especially when purchased at the airport. However, that does not always have to be the case.
In Singapore, all tourist SIM cards come with 100 GB. That is an insane amount of data. The best part is that those SIM cards are affordable too for the perks you get, starting at 12 SGD for 7 days.
I have been to many places around the world, and I have yet to find tourist SIM cards offering this much data and perks for such low prices.
Besides local data, you also get roaming data for select countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States, international minutes and SMS, and local SMS.
If you have read my Buying a SIM Card in Singapore guide, then you already know that I am a massive fan of these tourist SIM cards. Do note that most of these tourist SIM cards cannot be extended, meaning that you will lose your number after max. 15 days, but there are some exceptions. Let’s see what your options are.
Singtel hi!Tourist SIM Cards
The Singtel hi!Tourist SIM card comes in 3 variants:
|Price||Data||Unlimited Social Apps *||Local Calls **||International Calls||Local SMS **||Roaming Data ***||Validity ****|
|12 SGD||100 GB||Yes||500 minutes||30 minutes||100 SMS||1 GB||7 days|
|30 SGD||100 GB||Yes||Unlimited||90 minutes||Unlimited||3 GB||12 days|
|50 SGD||100 GB||Yes||Unlimited||90 minutes||Unlimited||5 GB||15 days|
* Social media apps are Facebook, LINE, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Fair-use Limit of 1 GB per day.
** Unlimited local calls and SMS: Fair-use limit of 3000 local minutes and 5000 local minutes for the 30 SGD and 50 SGD tourist SIM cards.
*** Roaming data can be used in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
**** The SIM card will expire as stated. However, the 30 SGD and 50 SGD tourist SIM cards can be extended if you top-up on the hi!App. The tourist plans, however, cannot be extended unless you buy a new SIM card.
Do note that the official price of the 12 SGD SIM card is 15 SGD. That SIM card has been on a promotion for ages. I assume Singtel wants to make it appear that you are getting a deal, but StarHub and M1 have been selling their 7-day tourist SIM card for 12 SGD for a long time, and Singtel wants to match them.
Because of this never-ending promotion, I will keep referring to the 15 SGD 7 days hi!Tourist SIM card as the 12 SGD one.
StarHub Travel SIM Cards
The following 2 StarHub Travel SIM Cards are available:
|Price||Data||Roaming Data *||Local Minutes ***||Local SMS||Unlimited Incoming Calls||International Minutes||Validity|
|12 SGD||100 GB||1 GB||500 minutes||100 SMS||Yes||30 minutes||7 days|
|32 SGD||100 GB||3 GB **||3000 minutes||5000 SMS||Yes||90 minutes||12 days **|
* Roaming data can be used in Happy Roam countries, which are Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
** 32 SGD Travel SIM Card: although the SIM card is valid for 12 days, the roaming data allowance is valid for 30 days.
*** Local minutes apply to IDD 018 destinations, which are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
You can keep using your StarHub Travel SIM card after the travel plan expires by buying a regular data plan.
M1 Tourist SIM Cards
You can also buy an M1 Tourist SIM, sold for 12 SGD, 30 SGD, and 50 SDG, which come with the following perks:
|Price||Data||Roaming Data **||Local Calls||International Calls||SMS||Validity|
|12 SGD *||100 GB||None||500 minutes||20 minutes||100 SMS||7 days|
|30 SGD||100 GB||3 GB||3000 minutes||50 minutes||5000 SMS||12 days|
|50 SGD||100 GB||5 GB||3000 minutes||50 minutes||5000 SMS||14 days|
M1 Tourist SIM cards are not renewable, meaning that you would have to buy a new one once it expires.
How do I Activate my Singaporean SIM Card?
Your SIM card will be activated upon purchase. Do note that if you want to buy a SIM Card in Singapore, you need to show your passport upon purchase. It is mandated by law that all prepaid SIM cards are registered to a person. So, if you plan on buying your SIM card in the city and not at the airport, do not forget your passport or another form of identification, such as a Work Holiday Pass or a (Singaporean) Student’s Pass.
Singtel does allow you to activate your SIM card with the hi!Prepaid app. For more information on how to self-register, see their webpage explaining all of it.
How and Where can I Top Up my Singaporean SIM Card?
You can buy top-up cards at the same places where you can buy a SIM card, which are many places throughout Singapore. You can redeem the top-up card online or on the mobile apps of the operators.
You can also top-up online with a credit card. It is, however, not known whether the websites accept international credit cards.
Do note foreign currency exchange with traditional debit and credit cards are expensive because banks use unfavorable currency exchange rates or take an insanely high commission, which is almost criminal. Let’s not talk about PayPal’s fees. That is why I use Transferwise for any non-Euro payments (because my main currency is the Euro).
TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Singaporean dollars for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment. I even use my Transferwise debit card when paying for things abroad (with Google Pay as well).
What Packages do Singaporean Operators Offer?
Each operator offers a variety of packages you can choose from. One operator may have many different plans to choose from, while another only has one. Let’s have a look.
Singtel Data Plans
Singtel has several data plans you can choose from: the Singtel 5/7/30-day plans, Singtel Value+ Data Plans, Singtel Ultimate Plans, and Sintel SG.M’Sia Data Plass. Let’s see what these plans include.
Singtel 5-day, 7-day, and 30-day Plans
Singtel has 6 plans lasting for 5 days, 7 days, and 30 days. The plans are listed below.
|2 SGD||100 MB||5 days|
|8 SGD||1 GB||7 days|
|10 SGD||1 GB||30 days|
|20 SGD||3 GB||30 days|
|25 SGD||20 GB||30 days|
|30 SGD||40 GB||30 days|
Singtel Value+ Data Plans
Singtel’s Value+ Data plans come with a data allowance to be used at any time, a separate nighttime allowance, and unlimited data for select apps. They come in 2 variants:
|Price||Anytime Data||Nighttime data (12 AM – 8 AM)||Validity|
|10 SGD||1.5 GB||750 MB||7 days|
|13 SGD||1.5 GB||750 MB||30 days|
There is often a promotion going on for the 10 SGD plan (with more anytime data), so keep an eye out on this page.
Unlimited social data applies to the following apps:
- Me Radio
- Smule Sing!
Singtel Ultimate Plans
The Singtel Ultimate Plans are short-term plans with a generous data allowance. They come in 3 variants:
|7 SGD||2 GB||1 day|
|16 SGD||6 GB||3 days|
|30 SGD||15 GB||7 days|
Singtel SG.M’Sia Data Pass
The Singtel Singapore-Malaysia data pass can be used in both Singapore and Malaysia, as the name implies. It is sold in 1 variant only for 10 SGD with 1 GB for 28 days.
Singtel Data-Featured Top-Ups
Although there is a large variety of data packages with Singtel, perhaps you are also interested in calling or texting in addition to using data with your Singtel SIM card. There are a few top-ups that come with data too, which will be listed below.
Singtel LocalSaver Top-Up
The Singtel LocalSaver Top-up card costs 18 SGD and comes with 1 GB anytime data and 1 GB for at night (12 AM – 8 AM), 1000 local minutes, 5000 local SMS, and 5 SGD credit for IDD 019 calls.
IDD 019 applies to the following countries:
Singtel hi!RedHot Top-Up
The hi!RedHot Top-up is sold for 30 SGD that comes with 4 GB anytime data and 1 GB for at night (12 AM – 8 AM), 1000 local minutes, 1000 local SMS, and 10 SGD credit for 019 calls (see above). All for 30 days.
The Singtel ChinaSaver is a top-up card that costs 22 SGD that comes with 500 minutes of IDD 019 calls to Myanmar. In addition, you get 1.5 GB local data, unlimited WeChat and WhatsApp, 300 local minutes, and 300 local SMS. All for 30 days.
The MyanmarSaver card is sold for 23 SGD, comes with 1.5 GB local data, unlimited Facebook, Line, and Viber data, 300 local minutes, 300 local SMS, and 30 minutes of IDD 019 calls to Myanmar. All for 30 days.
Singtel has 4 social plans: Facebook Plans, Line Plans, WeChat Plans, and WhatsApp Plans. Let’s see what they offer.
Singtel Facebook Plans
The Facebook plans come with unlimited data for Facebook. The 7-Day and 30-Day plans also come with hi!Music, which includes unlimited data for Spotify, Smule Sing!, KKBOX, MeRadio, and Saavn:
- 1 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 1 day
- 5 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 7 days
- 9 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 30 days
Singtel LINE Plans
LINE users can take advantage of Singtel’s LINE plans that come with unlimited LINE data (including images, videos, video calls, and voice calls):
- 1 SGD: unlimited LINE for 1 day
- 6 SGD: unlimited LINE for 7 days
- 12 SGD: unlimited LINE for 30 days
Singtel WeChat Plans
Big WeChat user? Then you can take advantage of Singtel’s WeChat plans:
- 0.50 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 1 day
- 3 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 7 days
- 6 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 30 days
Singtel WhatsApp Plans
Singtel offers unlimited data plans (messages, images, and videos – no VoIP) to its customers:
- 0.50 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 1 day
- 3 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 7 days
- 6 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 30 days
StarHub Data Plans
StarHub has 3 different plans you can choose from: the StarHub Basic Data Plans, StarHub Sunday Plans, and StarHub Happy Data 30-Add on.
StarHub Basis Data Plans
StarHub has 5 basic data plans to choose from:
|3 SGD||1 GB||1 day|
|5 SGD||1 GB||3 days|
|6 SGD||600 MB (+ Amazon Prime)||28 days|
|8 SGD||1 GB||7 days|
|10 SGD||1 GB||28 days|
StarHub Sunday Plans
StarHub also has 2 data plans that come with free data on Sundays. The definition of free data is 10 GB of data, which gets throttled to 1 Mbps for the remainder of that Sunday. You cannot tether (mobile hotspot) on Sundays, though.
The following 2 Sunday plans are available
|Price||Data||Free Data on Sundays||Validity|
|18 SGD||2 GB||Yes||28 days|
|25 SGD||20 GB||Yes||28 days|
One cool perk of the 25 SGD plan is that 4 GB out of the 20 GB can be used in Happy Roam countries. This is optional, however, so if you feel like using 20 GB in Singapore, you can.
The following 17 countries are considered to be StarHub Happy Roam countries:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
StarHub Happy Data 30-Add On
There is also the Happy Data 30 Add-On, which is a plan that costs 30 SGD, comes with 3 GB (that can also be used in Happy Roam countries), 150 minutes, 1000 SMS, and free incoming calls, all valid for 30 days.
If you have an active Happy Data 30 Add-on, you can purchase a Data Plus 15 Add-on that costs 15 SGD, comes with 2 GB, and free incoming calls, all valid for 15 days. You can activate Data Plus 15 only when you have an active Happy Data 30 Add-on.
StarHub Data-Featured Top-Ups
StarHub keeps things easy with their data-featured top-ups with their 2 StarHub Voice and Data-top ups:
|Price||Main Wallet Credit||Validity||Data||Minutes||SMS||Unlimited Incoming Calls||Unlimited Social Apps|
|17 SGD||None||30 days||200 MB (30 days)||120 minutes||500 SMS||Yes||LINE & WhatsApp|
|25 SGD||10 SGD||50 days||400 MB (50 days)||120 minutes||500 SMS||Yes||LINE & WhatsApp|
StarHub has 2 social data plans for both LINE and WeChat. For 0.40 SGD/day or 6 SGD/30 days, you get unlimited data for LINE and WeChat. These plans use StarHub’s 3G network instead of their 4G/LTE network. Even then, the speeds should still be fine.
M1 Data Plans
M1 is keeping it simple and has only 1 type of data plan with different allowances and validities. Let’s see.
M1 Basic Data Plans
M1 has a large variety of data plans. These plans are valid for 3 days, 7 days, or 30 days.
One cool perk of these data plans is that you can use your data allowance in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, and Taiwan at no additional cost.
Below are all the 10 M1 data packs:
|1 SGD||10 MB||7 days||None|
|2 SGD||100 MB||3 days||None|
|5 SGD||1 GB||3 days||None|
|5 SGD||300 MB||30 days||None|
|7 SGD||1 GB||7 days||None|
|10 SGD||1 GB||7 days||None|
|10 SGD||2 GB||30 days||7 days of free incoming calls|
|14 SGD||4.5 GB||30 days||30 days of free incoming calls|
|21 SGD||15 GB||30 days||30 days of free incoming calls|
|28 SGD||50 GB||30 days||30 days of free incoming calls|
M1 Data-Featured Top-Ups
M1 has 3 types of data-featured top-ups: M1 All-in-One top-ups, M1 Data and Voice top-ups, and Credit top-ups. Let’s see what these top-ups offer.
M1 All-In-One Top-Ups
There are 4 All-in-One top-ups you can choose from:
|All-in-one Top-up||Daily Data Allowance||Max. Data||Minutes||Unlimited Incoming Calls||SMS||Validity|
|11 SGD||1 GB/day||7 GB||100 minutes||Yes||100 SMS||7 days|
|16 SGD||1 GB/day||14 GB||500 minutes||Yes||500 SMS||14 days|
|24 SGD||1 GB/day||30 GB||5000 minutes||Yes||5000 SMS||30 days|
|58 SGD||1 GB/day||90 GB||5000 minutes||Yes||5000 SMS||90 days|
M1 Data and Voice Top-Ups
M1 has 2 Data and Voice top-ups:
|Data & Voice Top-up||Data||Minutes||Unlimited Incoming Calls||SMS||Validity|
|19 SGD||2.5 GB||1000 minutes||Yes||500 SMS||30 days|
|30 SGD||5 GB||1000 minutes||Yes||1000 SMS||30 days|
M1 Credit Top-Ups
There is one credit top-up that comes with data, which is the 18 SGD top-up that comes with 1 GB for 7 days, 18 SGD Main Balance for 180 days, and free incoming calls for 20 days.
M1 has 2 social media plans for Facebook and IMO. For Facebook, you can get 30 GB of data for 30 days for 7 SGD (does not apply to Facebook Messenger).
For IMO, you can get 30 GB of data for 30 days for 12 SGD (does not apply to in-app web browsing).
What Is the Best Singaporean SIM Card?
Now that you know everything there is to know about Singtel, StarHub, and M1, it is time to figure out which SIM card is the best for you. In the upcoming scenarios, I will solely focus on data allowance, as that is what most travelers are interested in.
An exception to this is when analyzing the tourist SIM cards, where I will take certain non-data perks into consideration.
Although a lot of the SIM cards come with credit for Pay As You Go use, Pay As You Go data rates with the Singaporean operators is almost criminal, so you will only get a handful of MB at those rates, which is why they will not be calculated.
With that said, let’s find out which SIM card is the best.
The Best Singaporean Tourist SIM Card
Singtel’s, StarHub’s, and M1’s tourist/travel SIM cards all come with 100 GB of local data, regardless of which SIM card you plan on buying. But what about the other perks? Let’s have a look.
The Best Tourist SIM Card for Local Calls
Singtel’s 30 SGD and 50 SGD hi!Tourist SIM cards come with unlimited local calls, while StarHub and M1 have a maximum of 3000 minutes. Even though managing to hit 3000 minutes is a challenge on it’s on, the Singtel hi!Tourist SIM cards are the best for local calls (unlimited local calls).
The Best Tourist SIM Card for International Calls
Singtel starts offering 90 minutes of international calls from their 30 SGD SIM card, while StarHub does so too with their 32 SIM card. Additionally, StarHub limits the international call allowance to Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines only. At the same time, there are no restrictions with Singtel. As a result, the Singtel hi!Tourist SIM cards are the best for international calls (90 international minutes).
The Best Tourist SIM Card for Local SMS
Once again, Singtel starts offering unlimited local SMS from their 30 SGD tourist SIM card. Both StarHub and M1 offer 5000 local SMS with their 32 SGD card and 30 SGD card, respectively. Even though sending 5000 SMS is an achievement on its own, the Singtel hi!Tourist SIM cards are the best for local SMS (unlimited local SMS).
The Best Tourist SIM Card for Roaming
Here, I am interested in how much GB we can get and in how many countries one can roam in. With both StarHub and Singtel, you get 1 GB of roaming data with their cheapest tourist SIM card, priced at 12 SGD, while M1 starts offering roaming data with their 30 SGD plan. Singtel and StarHub also offer 3 GB of data with their 30 SGD and 32 SGD plans, respectively. StarHub has only 2 tourist SIM cards, while Singtel and M1 both have a third-tier priced at 50 SGD, which comes with 5 GB of roaming data.
Although the roaming data allowance is similar, the countries you can roam in is not. Let’s have a look.
Singtel hi!Tourist SIM Card Roaming Countries
StarHub Travel SIM Card Roaming Countries (Happy Roam)
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
M1 Tourist SIM Card Roaming Countries
- Hong Kong
StarHub is the clear winner with the number of countries you can roam in. At the same time, Singtel and M1 offer the most roaming data allowance with their most expensive SIM cards (5 GB). An additional perk with the 32 SGD StarHub Travel SIM card is that although the SIM card is valid for only 12 days, the roaming data allowance is valid for 30 days, outdoing both Singtel and M1. As a result, the StarHub Travel SIM card is the best for roaming.
The Overall Best Singaporean Tourist SIM Card
Based on all these findings, the Singtel hi!Tourist SIM cards will be the best if you plan on getting a tourist SIM card in Singapore.
However, if you are solely interested in roaming in as many countries within a month, then the StarHub Travel SIM card may be interesting. Do note that the data allowance is limited at 3 GB.
The Best Singaporean SIM Card for Budget Travel
Nowm you are in Singapore and are on a budget. You do not want to spend a lot of money on mobile data because that money could be spend on experiences. Which SIM card will be the best? In the following section, I will go over various scenarios.
Because the tourist SIM cards were covered in the previous section, they will not be included in these scenarios.
Spending 1 SGD
In some countries around the world, 1 SGD, or the local equivalent (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) can get you some data for Pay As You Go rates or even some data. Unfortunately, 1 SGD is not enough to buy a SIM card, so you have to increase your budget for mobile data a little bit.
Spending 10 SGD
With 10 SGD, you can finally buy a SIM card, and they come with a data allowance. You can also buy one of the cheapest plans out there. I will split this scenario into 2: only wanting to spend a total of 10 SGD (SIM card + cheapest plan) and wanting to spend 10 SGD on a data pack.
Combined Spending Power of 10 SGD
If 10 SGD is your overall budget, then these are your options:
|Operator||SIM Card Price||Starter Data (30 days)||Data Package Price||Data Allowance||Total Price||Total Data Allowance||Data in GB|
|Singtel||8 SGD||1536 MB||2 SGD||100 MB (5 days)||10 SGD||1636 MB||1.6 GB|
|StarHub||8 SGD||800 MB||None||None||8 SGD||800 MB||0.78 GB|
|M1||8 SGD||1536 MB||2 SGD||100 MB (3 days)||10 SGD||1636 MB||1.6 GB|
In this scenario, both Singtel and M1 are the winners, being able to get 1.60 GB for 10 SGD. However, the 100 MB data plan from Singtel will last you for 5 days, while the one from M1 will last you for 3 days only. As a result, Singtel 8 SGD SIM card plus the 2 SGD 100 MB 5-day data plan will be the best combination if you only want to spend 10 SGD on a SIM card and a data plan.
Spending 10 SGD on a Data Pack
Now, let’s say you want to spend 10 SGD on data and want to buy the cheapest SIM card, which is 8 SGD for all the operators. What are your options then?
|Operator||Starter Data (30 days)||Data Package Price||Data Allowance||Total Data Allowance||Data in GB|
|Singtel||1536 MB||10 SGD||1024 MB (30 days)||2560 MB||2.5 GB|
|StarHub||800 MB||10 SGD||1024 MB (28 days)||1824 MB||1.78 GB|
|M1||1536 MB||10 SGD||2048 MB (30 days)||3586 MB||3.5 GB|
In this case, M1 comes with the most generous data allowance, offering 2 GB for 30 days. Together with the 8 SGD SIM card, you can get a total of 3.5 GB with M1. Therefore, M1 will be the best if you want to spend 10 SGD on data.
Spending 30 SGD
With 30 SGD, you can buy one of the tourist or travel SIM cards, which will outdo any regular SIM card or data package because of the 100 GB data allowance. Either way, I will only focus on regular SIM cards because you may want to stay in Singapore for more than 2 weeks or want to maintain a Singaporean SIM card.
There are many ways how you can approach this scenario with Singaporean SIM cards because each operator has a large variety of SIM cards. I will analyze 3 situations:
- Wanting to buy the most expensive SIM card PLUS a data pack, which should not result in spending more than 30 SGD
- Wanting to buy the 15 SGD SIM card PLUS a data pack, which should not result in spending more than 30 SGD
- Wanting to spend (close to) 30 SGD on a data pack and buying the cheapest SIM card (8 SGD) AND add the starter data allowance to the total data allowance.
Combined Spending Power of 30 SGD (Most Expensive SIM Card)
If you plan on buying the most expensive SIM card, hoping to get the most starter data out of it, and are willing to buy a data pack, as long as you do not spend a total of 30 SGD, then these are your options:
|Operator||SIM Card Price||Starter Data||Data Package Price||Data Allowance||Total Price||Total Data Allowance|
|Singtel||20 SGD||5 GB (7 days)||10 SGD||1 GB (7 days)||30 SGD||6 GB|
|Singtel||20 SGD||5 GB (7 days)||10 SGD||2.25 GB (7 days)||30 SGD||7.25 GB|
|StarHub||15 SGD||1.2 GB (30 days)||10 SGD||1 GB (28 days(||25 SGD||2.2 GB|
|M1||25 SGD||1 GB/day (30 GB total)||5 SGD||1 GB (3 days)||30 SGD||31 GB|
First, let me explain the Singtel situation.
Singtel has a 30-day data plan that comes with 1 GB for 10 SGD. They also have a Value+ Data plan that comes with 1.5 GB anytime data and 750 MB for at night (12 AM – 8 AM) – 2.25 GB total for 7 days. The validity of both plans is 7 days, so you would be better off getting the Value+ data plan with Singtel in this scenario.
However, M1 outdoes all the other operators with their 25 SGD starter kit that comes with 1 GB of data a day for 30 days. In total, you can use 30 GB with this SIM card. I am not sure if you would even need that 5 SGD 1 GB data plan, but it is an option.
The only downside is that you cannot use more than 1 GB on a day, which may be off-putting to some, but I assume most will be fine.
Therefore, M1 has the best starter SIM card if you only want to spend a maximum of 30 SGD on a SIM card and want to get the most data.
15 SGD SIM Card Plus a Data Pack (Combined Spending Power of 30 SGD)
Now you do not want to buy the cheapest SIM card because you want the most starter data and want to buy a data pack, so you want to buy the 15 SGD SIM card and a plan. What are your options? Let’s have a look.
|Operator||SIM Card Price||Starter Data||Data Package Price||Data Allowance||Total Price||Total Data Allowance|
|Singtel||15 SGD||3 GB (120 days)||13 SGD||2.25 GB (30 days)||28 SGD||5.25 GB|
|StarHub||15 SGD||1.2 GB (30 days)||10 SGD||1 GB (28 days(||25 SGD||2.2 GB|
|M1||15 SGD||4 GB (120 days)||14 SGD||4.5 GB (30 days)||29 SGD||8.5 GB|
|M1||15 SGD||4 GB (120 days)||11 SGD||1 GB/day (7 GB total)||26 SGD||11 GB|
Let me explain the M1 situation first.
M1 has an All-in-One top-up for 11 SGD that comes with 1 GB of data per day for 7 days. You can use more data with this top-up than with the 14 SGD data plan. The issue is that it is only valid for a week compared to 30 days with the data plan.
Either way, M1 provides the most data with both options. As a result, M1 will be your best option if you want to spend a maximum of 30 SGD, which includes buying the 15 SGD SIM card.
Spending 30 SGD on a Data Pack
In this scenario, you are only concerned with spending a maximum of 30 SGD on a data plan. You will get the cheapest SIM card, costing 8 SGD, and want to get the most data. What are your options? Let’s take a look.
|Operator||Starter Data (30 days)||Data Package Price||Data Allowance||Total Data Allowance|
|Singtel||1.5 GB||30 SGD||40 GB (30 days)||41.5 GB|
|StarHub||0.8 GB||25 SGD||20 GB (28 days)||20.8 GB|
|M1||1.5 GB||28 SGD||50 GB (30 days)||51.5 GB|
The results are clear: M1 is the best option if you want to spend a maximum of 30 SGD on a data pack and want to get the most data.
Buying the Most Expensive SIM Card
Once you are willing to 50 SGD on a SIM card, things start to become a bit difficult to compare. Both Singtel and StarHub sell a SIM card that costs 50 SGD, which is their most expensive SIM card, while M1’s most expensive one costs 60 SGD.
For comparison’s sake, I have changed the standard scenario from 50 SGD to just the most costly SIM card because of the price difference.
|Operator||SIM Card Price||Starter Data|
|Singtel||50 SGD||7 GB (7 days)|
|StarHub||50 SGD||100 GB (10 days)|
|M1||60 SGD||1 GB/day (max. 90 GB – 90 days)|
Even though M1’s most expensive SIM card is slightly more expensive than the ones of Singtel and StarHub, their data allowance is still generous. Although the 1 GB a day restriction may be bothersome to some, you will get 1 GB/day for 90 days. StarHub’s 100 GB can be used whenever you feel like it, as long as it is done within 10 days.
Based on these findings, M1 is the best option if you are staying in Singapore for a few months and want to get a generous data allowance on a daily basis, while StarHub will is the best option for short-term heavy data usage.
Buying the Most Expensive Plan
Now, your budget is large enough to buy the largest data plan because you assume that the more you pay, the more data you will get. Let’s see that is true.
|Operator||Data Pack Price||Data Allowance|
|Singtel||30 SGD||40 GB (30 days|
|StarHub||25 SGD||20 GB (28 days)|
|M1||58 SGD||1 GB/day (max. 90 GB)|
Now we have a bunch of data packs with different validities. But there is more to the eye.
The mentioned StarHub data pack is one of their Sunday plans, meaning that you can use unlimited data on Sundays, but speeds will be throttled to 1 Mbps after using more than 10 GB. Let’s say you will use 10 GB each Sunday for 4 weeks, which will increase your data allowance with 40 GB, making the total data allowance 20 GB + 40 GB = 60 GB.
Now it becomes interesting to know how much you would pay per GB with each operator. We have the following calculations:
- Singtel: 30 SGD/40 GB = 0.75 SGD/GB
- StarHub: 25 SGD/20 GB = 1.25 SGD/GB
- M1: 58 SGD/90 GB = 0.64 SGD/GB
Although the upfront cost with M1 is higher than with the other operators, your cost per GB will be the lowest IF you manage to use 1 GB a day for 90 days, which may be a challenge (especially if you are not staying in Singapore for such a long time). Therefore, Singtel’s plan will be the preferred plan.
The Best Singaporean SIM Card for Speed
Internet speed is an important factor in choosing an operator. Imagine buying a 50 GB data plan, but you get slow 2G speeds (100 Kbps) – it would feel like you have been ripped off. That is why I like to do various speed tests with each operator I test throughout the city I am in or the country as a whole.
Normally, I do 3 speed tests with the operator I test. Sometimes, I do fewer tests because the speed test app will consume more data if the speeds are high or because my data allowance is low.
Because I bought the tourist SIM card from each operator that comes with 100 GB of data, I decided to do 5 speed tests due to the generous data allowance. The speed tests were done in Little India, Orchard (Lucky Plaza), Orchard Mall, Sentosa, and Changi Airport. Let’s have a loot at the results.
The Fastest Operator in Terms of Absolute Download Speed
I got the fastest download speed, 116 Mbps, with StarHub in Little India.
The Fastest Operator in Terms of Average Download Speed
With StarHub, I managed to get the fastest average download speed of 62 Mbps throughout Singapore.
The Average Download Speed Ranked
- StarHub: 62 Mbps
- Singtel: 59 Mbps
- M1: 47 Mbps
The Fastest Operators in Terms of Absolute Upload Speed
I got the fastest upload speed, 62 Mbps, with StarHub in Orchard (Lucky Plaza Mall).
The Fastest Operator in Terms of Average Upload Speed
With StarHub, I managed to get the fastest average upload speed of 25 Mbps throughout Singapore.
The Average Upload Speed Ranked
- StarHub: 25 Mbps
- Singtel & M1: 15 Mbps
So, Who is the Fastest?
Based on these results, StarHub is the clear winner in each category. My speeds with StarHub was great throughout Singapore, although it was bad when I was on the lowest floor in Orchard mall with a download speed of 3 Mpbs. That mall has 14 floors, so I can understand why the speeds were slow.
However, both Singtel and M1 did excellent at the same spot, with download speeds of 63 Mbps and 75 Mbps, respectively.
The only other place where StarHub was slower than another operator was at the airport, 21 Mbps, while I had a download speed of 40 Mbps with Singtel. Again, at the exact same spot.
I am not too bothered with upload speeds because download speed matters the most. However, the speeds were not smooth with StarHub. Sometimes, insanely fast upload speeds. Other times, single-digit upload speeds. Singtel was much smoother in this regard. The upload speed with M1 was sometimes embarrassing, with 0.45 Mbps and 0.91 Mbps.
For now, it is safe to assume that, when taking all these results into account, that you will get the best speeds with StarHub in Singapore.
The Best Singaporean SIM Card for Free Roaming
There a few plans that come with data that can be used in select destinations abroad, which are:
- Singtel SG.M’Asia Data Pass
- StarHub Sunday Plan
- M1 Basic Data Plans
The Singtel SG.M’Asia Data Pass costs 10 SGD and comes with 1 GB that can be used in both Singapore and Malaysia.
4 GB of 20 GB with the 25 SGD StarHub Sunday plan can be used in Happy Roam countries, which are:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Any of the 10 M1 Basic Data Plans can be used in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
Based on the number of countries you can roam in, StarHub, with their Sunday Plan, is the best option for free data roaming.
The Best Overall Singaporean SIM Card
Now that we have gone over everything you need to know about Singtel, StarHub, and M1, it finally is time to determine which operator is the best.
You probably have noticed that if you take only one factor into consideration, whether that be speeds, prices, or a specific perk, you will get a different best for each factor. Therefore, you have to take all the factors into consideration when deciding to buy a local SIM card, which is difficult to do before you actually test the SIM card themselves.
You have seen that each operator is the best in some way. Singtel has the best tourist SIM card, M1 is the best for those on a budget and want to get the most data for their money’s worth, and StarHub has the fastest speed and the most generous free data roaming allowance.
To get the best deal, I would highly recommend the Singtel hi!Tourist SIM card if you primarily focus on data. If you plan on staying in Singapore for more than 2 weeks, then M1 will be the best prepaid SIM card for travelers visiting Singapore.
Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other Asian Countries
Visiting other countries in Asia? Check out my region-specific SIM card buying guides:
- Central Asia
- East Asia
- (Middle East)
- South Asia
- Southeast Asia (revamped in September 2022)
- West Asia
Or check out my SIM card buying guides for individual Asian countries:
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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