Getting a SIM card in Barbados is easy. Additionally, it will be the cheapest way to stay connected while in Barbados.
How much will a Barbadian SIM card cost you?
You can get a SIM card for as little as 10 BBD (5 USD) in Barbados. 1 GB of data valid for 7 days is available for as low as 14 BBD (7 USD).
That is affordable, especially compared to standard international roaming rates. And Barbadian SIM cards are available to tourists too.
In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Barbados. Let's do this.
Original publication: 7th of March 2020. Last updated: 20th of November 2020.
Table of Contents
Can I Buy a SIM Card in Barbados?
You can buy a Barbadian SIM card from Digicel or Flow as a tourist. There is nothing preventing travelers from buying a SIM card in Barbados.
Furthermore, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use a Barbadian SIM card.
Can I Use My Phone in Barbados?
Barbados uses GSM for mobile communications. The 4G/LTE frequencies used in the country are used mainly in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).
Flow Barbados' 2G and 3G frequencies align with the frequencies used in other nations in the Americas. Digicel Barbados, however, uses frequencies mostly used in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3).
To take advantage of 4G/LTE in Barbados, your device needs to support 700 MHz (Band 17) and/or 1900 MHz (Band 2) when going with Digicel Barbados. With Flow Barbados, your phone needs to support 1700 MHz (Band 4) and/or 1900 MHz (Band 2).
If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) or have a high-end phone, then you can generally use your cellphone in Barbados and use 4G/LTE with both Digicel Barbados and Flow Barbados.
If you purchased your phone Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3) and it is not a high-end device, then you should go with Digicel Barbados. However, you will not be able to use 4G/LTE.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Barbados
Barbados has two mobile operators:
The following frequencies are used by the Barbadian operators:
- 2G: 900 MHz, 1800 MHz & 1900 MHz
- 3G: 850 MHz, 1900 MHz & 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 17), 1700 MHz (Band 4) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)
Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).
If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.
Best SIM Card in Barbados
If you want to buy a SIM card in Barbados, I would recommend going with either Digicel or Flow. Both operators have excellent nationwide coverage. Go with Digicel if you need international minutes. Go with Flow if you want free data roaming in many other Caribbean nations.
SIM Card Registration in Barbados
SIM card registration with your passport information is mandatory in Barbados. It will be done at the point of sale.
Barbados Internet Prices & Insights
Although getting a Barbadian SIM card will be cheaper than international roaming, Barbados' mobile data rates are higher than most other Caribbean nations.
The average price for 1 GB of data in Barbados is 9.32 USD, which is above the Caribbean average of 7.19 USD. The world average is 5.03 USD.
That is all according to Cable.co.uk.
Only seven other nations and territories are more expensive than Barbados.
Even then, prices have gone down significantly in recent years, especially since Digicel entered the market.
Be aware that Barbados' data allowances are lower than other Caribbean nations in the region, such as Trinidad and Tobago.
Currency in Barbados
Barbados uses the Barbados Dollar with the symbol BBD (which will be used throughout this guide). However, prices are often listed as just $, BDS, or Bds$. For example, 25 BBD is $/ BDS/Bds$ 25.
The Barbados Dollar is pegged 2:1 to the US Dollar (USD), meaning that 2 BBD is 1 USD. 20 BBD would be 10 USD, 200 BBD is 100 USD, etc.
Many shops allow you to pay in USD in Barbados. Online top-up is often charged in USD. If you pay in USD in cash, expect BBD change in return.
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Transferwise Borderless Account and Debit Card. Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Transferwise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks). I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Transferwise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Transferwise account FREE!
Barbados Prepaid SIM Cards
- Background information
- SIM card types, prices, and availability
- Recharge/top-up information
- Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs)
With that being said, let’s see what Barbados has to offer to us.
Digicel Barbados, just Digicel, is one of the two operators in Barbados. They managed to become the largest operator somewhere between 2013-2015. It is unknown whether they are still the largest operator on the island or not.
Digicel Barbados Coverage
You can expect nationwide coverage with Digicel.
Regardless of where you are in Barbados, mobile coverage will be everywhere, although it may not always be on 4G/LTE.
Unfortunately, I could not find a current coverage map of Digicel anywhere. The only map I could find was an image from 2015, which talked about Digicel's 3G coverage (and that map was a benchmark map produced by Flow Barbados).
I have been informed that coverage between is on par. As a result, I would recommend you to check out Flow's coverage map to get an idea of Digicel's coverage – it is indeed nationwide.
Getting a Digicel Barbados SIM Card & Price
You can buy a Digicel SIM card for 10 BBD in Digicel stores in Barbados.
You may have to dial *122# to activate your new Digicel SIM card if the salesperson does not do that for you.
Dial *129# to get your Digicel phone number.
Topping-Up Your Digicel Barbados SIM Card
To redeem your Digicel top-up voucher, dial *125*VoucherCode#.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *125*123456#.
You can check your Digicel balance by dialing *120#.
Digicel Barbados Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Digicel Barbados Prime Bundles
Digicel has the new Prime Bundles, which are combo bundles with data, data allowances for select apps, anywhere minutes (local and international minutes), and local SMS.
The following Prime Bundles are available:
|Price||Bundle||Any Use LTE Data||Listen More (Music) Data||Listen More (Radio) Data||Watch More Data||Play More Data||Share More Data||Know More Data||Store More Data||On-Net Minutes||Anywhere Minutes||Local SMS||Validity|
|30 BBD||7 Day Prime Bundle||2 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||Unlimited||70 anywhere minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|55 BBD||14 Day Prime Bundle||4 GB||14 GB||14 GB||14 GB||14 GB||14 GB||14 GB||14 GB||Unlimited||270 anywhere minutes||Unlimited||14 days|
|100 BBD||30 Day Prime Bundle||8 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||Unlimited||300 anywhere minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
You also get unlimited Do More data, which is for the MyDigicel App
Prime Bundles can be activated on the MyDigicel app or by dialing *246#.
Below is a list to download pages of the Prime Bundle Apps:
- Listen More (Music) with D'Music
- Listen More (Radio) with GoLoud
- Watch More with PlayGo
- Play More with Sports Max
- Share More with Bip
- Know More with Loop
- Store More with Billo
Anywhere Minutes are minutes for:
- local use (both Digicel and Flow numbers)
- calls to mobile and landline numbers in Canada and the United States
- calls to mobile Teleconica numbers in Venezuela
- calls to landline numbers in the United Kingdom
- calls to Digicel Caribbean
Digicel Caribbean includes:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- French Guiana
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
You can check your Prime Bundle balance by dialing *246#.
Digicel Barbados Get More Bundles
The Get More Bundles were Digicel's main combo plans before they introduced the Prime Bundles. They include data, minutes, and SMS.
The following Get More Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *246#:
|Price||Bundle||Data||On-Net Minutes||Off-Net Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|7 BBD||Get More 1 Day||350 MB||Unlimited||10 off-net minutes||Unlimited||1 day|
|25 BBD||Get More 7 Days||1.2 GB||Unlimited||70 off-net minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|50 BBD||Get More 14 Days||2.5 GB||Unlimited||250 off-net minutes||Unlimited||14 days|
|90 BBD||Get More 30 Days||5 GB||Unlimited||300 off-net minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
Unused Get More data roll over if you renew the bundle.
You can check your Get More Bundle balance by dialing *246#.
Digicel Barbados APN Settings
- Name: Digicel
- APN: web
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Flow Barbados, just Flow, is Barbados' first operator, which held a monopoly until Digicel entered the market. Flow is a brand by Cable & Wireless used throughout the Caribbean. Flow used to be known as Lime before 2015.
Flow Barbados Coverage
Flow has excellent coverage throughout Barbados.
Although you can expect mobile coverage everywhere you are in Barbados, you may not always have a 4G/LTE connection.
Below is a coverage map produced by the Speedtest app.
Getting a Flow Barbados SIM Card & Price
Flow SIM cards are sold for 5 USD (10 BBD) with 5 USD (BBD) in credit in Flow stores.
If you have forgotten your Flow phone number, dial *555# to retrieve it.
Topping-Up Your Flow Barbados SIM Card
Flow recharge vouchers are sold from 5 BBD to 200 BBD in Flow stores, supermarkets, gas stations, and top-up kiosks across the country. You can also top-up online with (international) debit and credit card.
To redeem your Flow voucher, dial 121, and follow the instructions.
To check your Flow credit balance, dial *120#.
Flow Barbados Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Flow Barbados Prepaid Combo Plans
The Prepaid Combo Plans are combo bundles with data, local minutes, minutes to Canada, the UK & the USA, and SMS.
The following Prepaid Combo Plans are available:
|Price||Plan||Data||WhatsApp Call Data||On-Net Minutes||Local, Canada, UK & USA Minutes||Anywhere Local Minutes||On-Net SMS||Local SMS||Validity||Activation Code|
|5.99 BBD||Prepaid 1 Day Plan||250 MB||250 MB||Unlimited||100 minutes||N/A||250 on-net SMS||N/A||1 day||*244*2501#|
|23.99 BBD||Prepaid 7 Days Plan||1 GB||250 MB||Unlimited||150 minutes||N/A||N/A||5000 local SMS||7 days||*244*1007#|
|39.99 BBD||Prepaid 14 Days Plan||2 GB||500 MB||Unlimited||250 minutes||N/A||N/A||5000 local SMS||14 days||*244*2014#|
|90 BBD||Prepaid 30 Days Plan||3 GB||N/A||N/A||N/A||300 anywhere local minutes||N/A||5000 local SMS||30 days||*244*4030#|
To activate a Prepaid Combo Bundle, dial the Activation Code.
For example, if you want the Prepaid 7 Days Plan, you would dial *244*1007#.
Flow Barbados Data Only Plans
The Data Only plans are standard data bundles.
The following Data Only Plans are available:
|5 BBD||50 MB||1 Day||*146*50#|
|7 BBD||200 MB||1 day||*146*200#|
|10 BBD||500 MB||3 days||*146*500#|
|12 BBD||700 MB||7 days||*146*700#|
|14 BBD||1 GB||7 days||*146*1007#|
|30 BBD||1.5 GB||14 days||*146*1500#|
|36 BBD||2 GB||30 days||*146*2000#|
|48 BBD||4 GB||30 days||*146*4000#|
|60 BBD||10 GB||30 days||*146*10000#|
Unused data rolls over if you let the plan renew.
To activate a Data Only Plan, dial the Activation Code.
For example, if you want the 1 GB plan, you would dial *146*1007#.
Flow Barbados Travel Pass Flow Data Pass
The Travel Pass Flow Data allows you to use your domestic data allowance in the Flow Market (countries where Flow operates) without the need to purchase a roaming plan. The Travel Pass Flow Data is automatically enabled on every Prepaid Combo Plan or Data-Only Plan for free.
The Travel Pass Flow Data can be used in the following Flow Markets:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
- Turks and Caicos
Flow Barbados APN Settings
- Name: Flow Internet
- APN: ppinternet
Note: do not use just “internet” as a prepaid customer. That APN is reserved for postpaid customers. Leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Barbados
I would highly encourage anyone visiting Barbados to get themselves a Barbadian SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.
However, for some, getting a Barbadian SIM card is not an option. For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any other SIM card than the SIM card provided by your operator.
There are other ways to stay online while in Barbados, but they may not be cheap.
However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the two local operators.
International roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling in other countries because you do not have to buy a new SIM card, have to deal with SIM card registration regulations, nor have multiple phone numbers to deal with.
However, international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, especially compared to buying local SIM cards. That is why many travelers are not fond of international roaming.
International roaming has its pros and cons. However, it is important to know how it works. This in-depth guide explains it all.
Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Barbados here.
Using an International SIM Card or Travel SIM Card
International SIM cards are SIM cards made for the traveler in mind. Using them is often cheaper than international roaming. However, they are almost always more expensive than using a local SIM card.
There are many other advantages and disadvantages of getting international SIM cards, which you can learn about here.
Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.
Using Free WIFI Networks
Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because they are free. The major downside of trying to use WIFI hotspots is that you will have to locate them, and they are not available on every corner in Barbados.
Make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN so that hackers cannot steal your personal data.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Barbados
Getting a SIM card from Digicel or Flow would do you well when a Barbadian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries
Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide, covering other Caribbean nations, such as:
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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