Known for its impressive white beaches and coral reefs, Anguilla is a popular travel destination for those who wish to relax or those who love water. As an island nation, you can find beaches everywhere… literally.
The Valley, which is the capital of Anguilla, has the Ebenezer Methodist Church. It also has spectacular views from Crocus Hill. Sandy Ground is a great place for those who love the nightlife, as there are plenty of bars and restaurants around there.
Blowing Point allows you to see dolphins swimming around, while Island Harbour is a great place for fishing. You will have a lot of fun in Anguilla.
What may not be fun is dealing with an expensive roaming bill from your provider because you decided to roam with your provider in Anguilla. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy an Anguillan SIM card.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Anguilla. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Anguilla
Anguilla has 2 telecom providers: Flow Anguilla, and Digicel Anguilla. Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Anguilla? If you want to buy a SIM card in Anguilla, I would recommend going with Flow for the fastest 4G/LTE speeds you can get on the island. If you are looking for choice in terms of combo and data packages, then I would recommend Digicel because they offer more packages than Flow.
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Coverage with both providers is almost identical and only on the main island.
Like many countries in the Caribbean, you have to show your passport when buying an Anguillan SIM card
Flow used to have a monopoly in Anguilla until Digicel decided to shake things up. Since then, both operators have a market share of roughly 50% because locals prefer having a SIM card from both Flow Anguilla and Digicel Anguilla (for free or cheap on-net calls and SMS).
The East Caribbean Dollar, XCD, is pegged 2.70:1 to the US Dollar, meaning that 2:70 XCD is 1 USD (or 1 XCD is $0.37).
With that being said, let’s see what Anguilla has to offer to us.
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
Flow Anguilla, just Flow, is the incumbent operator in Anguilla. They used to be known as Lime until 2015. Since then, the company has been rebranded into Flow.
Flow offers 4G/LTE speeds up to 200 Mbps, which is why I recommend them for those who care about speeds.
You can get a Flow SIM card for 25 XCD ($9.25) in Flow stores and post offices. Recharge cards are sold from 5 XCD to 200 XCD in supermarkets and gas stations throughout the island. You can also top-up online with a credit card.
To see your Flow balance, you have to dial *120#.
The following Flow Always On Prepaid plans are available:
- 5 XCD: 1 GB, 25 minutes, and 25 SMS for 1 day. Activation: dial *244*0#
- 16 XCD: 1 GB, 200 minutes, and 200 SMS for 3 days. Activation: dial *244*1#
- 40 XCD: 3 GB, 350 minutes, and 350 SMS for 7 days. Activation: dial *244*2#
- 120 XCD: 10 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS for 30 days. Activation: dial *244*3#
All Flow Always On Prepaid plans come with unlimited social messaging, which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. You can also activate these plans online.
Digicel Anguilla, just Digicel, has disrupted Flow’s monopoly for almost 2 decades now in various Caribbean countries, including Anguilla. Compared to Flow, who only has 4 prepaid combo packs, Digicel has many more, which is why I recommend them to those who have specific requirements.
Digicel SIM cards can be bought for 25 XCD in Digicel stores. Top-up vouchers are sold throughout the country, and you can recharge online with a credit card.
To check your Digicel balance, you can dial *120#. You can see your data balance by dialing *120*131#.
You can get a Digicel Quick Pick combo bundle, which come in the following variants:
- 6 XCD: 100 MB, 25 on-net minutes, and unlimited on-net SMS for 1 day
- 28 XCD: 700 MB, 175 on-net minutes, and unlimited on-net SMS for 7 days
- 105 XCD: 3 GB, 750 on-net minutes, and unlimited on-net SMS for 30 days
All Digicel Quick Pick bundles come with unlimited WhatsApp messaging. You can activate a Quick Pick bundle online or on the My Digicel App.
Need more data? Digicel offers Freedom Plus Bundles, which come with more data and minutes:
- 5 XCD: 300 MB and 20 minutes for 1 day
- 16 XCD: 1 GB and 200 minutes for 3 days
- 35 XCD: 2.5 GB and 300 minutes for 7 days
- 120 XCD: 8 GB and 1000 minutes for 30 days
Digicel Freedom Plus Bundles can be activated online. Do note that Freedom Plus Bundles renew if there is enough credit. You can disable auto-renewal on the My Digicel App.
Only want to pay for data? Digicel Freedom Bundles that only come with data:
- 4 XCD: 300 MB for 1 day
- 13 XCD: 1 GB for 3 days
- 26 XCD: 2 GB for 7 days
- 80 XCD: 6 GB for 30 days
These Freedom! Bundles can be activated online. Freedom Bundles renew if there is enough credit. You can disable auto-renewal on the My Digicel App.
Just need to quickly call or text someone? You can also get the Digicel Quickie bundle for 1.50 XCD, which comes with unlimited on-net calls and SMS, unlimited WhatsApp messaging, and Facebook for 1 hour. The Quickie bundle can be activated on the My Digicel App.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Anguilla
I have discussed the relevant providers in Anguilla in this article because using an Anguillan SIM card would be much cheaper than roaming with your provider… in most cases. However, buying a local SIM card is not the only way to stay connected in Anguilla. You can buy an international SIM card, use a mobile hotspot, or use free WIFI connections. Below, I will discuss the alternative options to use your phone in Anguilla.
Roaming in Anguilla with Your Provider
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is Digicel Barbados, then you would be roaming with Digicel Barbados in Anguilla.
The issue with roaming is that it can be expensive. There have been many horror stories where people had to pay thousands in roaming fees when coming back from their holidays, which is just a shame, in my opinion. However, roaming does not always have to be expensive, especially when visiting a neighboring country.
Many providers offer roaming plans. Some allow you to roam for free in Anguilla, while others would offer you a roaming bundle with a set number of minutes, SMS, and data. Finally, several operators let you use your plan’s allowance for a daily fee.
As you can see, there are many options out there, so be sure to explore the roaming options your provider has. Conveniently for you, I have reviewed the roaming options of many providers (and many more to come) and discussed everything you need to know about roaming with your provider. If you are lucky, you may not even have to buy a SIM card in Anguilla and can roam for free there.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
One thing I would not recommend doing is to Roam As You Go. Just like prepaid cards where you can buy bundles or Pay As You Go (as in, charged per minute, SMS, or MB), Roaming As You Go can be insanely expensive (that is how people get expensive roaming bills). So far, there are a handful of providers I have reviewed that offer affordable Roam As You Go rates. But generally, avoid it. Get a roaming plan if you can or buy a SIM in Anguilla.
Using an International SIM Card in Anguilla
International SIM cards are cards that have been made for travelers so that they do not have to deal with roaming costs.
The number of international SIM card providers is too many to count, but international SIM cards give you the same convenience as roaming with your provider. A few providers I know are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
They allow people to call you at one number instead of five in case you are exploring multiple countries in one trip. Moreover, you do not have to deal with multiple SIM cards you will never use again. In short, international SIM cards have been made for the international traveler in mind.
Although this sounds fabulous, international SIM cards are much more expensive than local SIM cards in Anguilla. Some international SIM card providers charge ridiculous fees (sometimes, even more than roaming with your provider), while others offer awful service. It is, therefore, important to go with a reputable company so that you do not have to deal with surprised when traveling around the world.
On the other hand, international SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. Many countries in the Caribbean require you to register before you can use a SIM card, which can be a hassle for some. Additionally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some travelers, which is why an international SIM card can be handy. You order it before you depart and can use it in various destinations.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple ones, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
Using Portable Hotspots (Pocket WIFI) in Anguilla
Portable hotspots, also referred to mobile hotspots or pocket WIFI, are routers small enough to bring with you everywhere you go. They are portable, battery-powered wireless routers that allow you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Just like with the number of international SIM card providers, there are so many mobile hotspots out there that it is challenging to keep track of them all. Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know.
You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI of Travelwifi, starts at $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
The first time I used a portable hotspot was when I was in Bangkok, Thailand, with my dad. He uses the Dutch telecom provider called KPN, which does not let you roam for free in Thailand. I was with 3 Denmark (3 Danmark), which also did not allow me to roam for free. The router was offered for free by our Airbnb host. Let me tell you how convenient that thing was!
I do not remember the exact brand router we used, but we could connect our phones to it, explore Bangkok, and upload highlights of our trip on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp without the need of connecting to unsecure and slow connections in Thailand.
That is why I often recommend those who are traveling in groups or with families to consider getting a pocket WIFI device so that each individual does not need to buy a local SIM card and data packages. In some countries, the cost of getting a local SIM card or packages is so low that it is not even worth getting a mobile hotspot. In others, it could save you money.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
Connecting to Free WIFI Networks in Anguilla
Finally, we have the most cost-effective way to stay connected in Anguilla which is using free WIFI networks.
Using WIFI networks should not cost you any money (unless you are connecting to premium hotspots), which is why it is a popular option for travelers. Go to a local café, buy a coffee, connect to their WIFI, and post your pictures to Facebook or Instagram. Straightforward, right? Well, let’s see if that is indeed the case.
First, you need to find hotspots. In some regions, they are readily available. In others, you cannot find any, require you to give your personal details (for commercial purposes), are restricted for those who are a subscriber of an operator’s, or are so slow that you wished you never connected to them.
In the case of Anguilla, you will find many hotspots in resorts, but most of them are slow.
Public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes. That is I use, and would recommend you to start using, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to a public hotspot. What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your subscription now!
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Anguilla
Getting a SIM card from either Flow or Digicel would do you well when considering an Anguillan SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots like Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide covering the other Caribbean destinations, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French) & Sint Maarten (Dutch), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Anguilla
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Anguilla. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Anguilla drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Anguilla
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Anguilla. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in an Anguillan hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Anguilla
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Anguilla, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the local currency 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.
Enjoy your trip!