Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Bermuda Guide

Logos of Telecom Providers in Bermuda: One and Digicel

Bermuda is famously for the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, where everything that goes within the triangle mysteriously vanishes. I have to say, I was afraid of the Bermuda Triangle when I was little… you probably were too!

Now, Bermuda is a popular destination for its resorts and for cruise ship tours.

Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, has a cool shopping street. St. George's has the King's Square and the St. Peter's Church.

Somerset Village has cool parks to explore, and Tucker's Town is a town for those who love to golf. As you can see, your trip to Bermuda will be exciting.

What will not be exciting is dealing with an expensive roaming bill you will get for roaming with your provider in Bermuda. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers want to buy a SIM card in Bermuda.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Bermuda. Let's go.

Telecom Providers in Bermuda

Bermuda has 2 telecom providers: One and Digicel Bermuda. Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.

What SIM card should you buy when visiting Bermuda? If you want to buy a SIM card in Bermuda, I would recommend going with One because they offer cheaper packages than Digicel while having better coverage and speeds than Digicel.

Like most countries in the Caribbean, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Bermuda.

Do note that you are required to pay a Government License Fee of 0.40 BMD per day or 12 BMD per month.

The Bermudian Dollar, BMD, is pegged 1:1 to the US Dollar, meaning that 1 MBD is 1 USD.

With that being said, let’s see what Bermuda 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!

One

One Logo

One is the incumbent operator in Bermuda. They held a monopoly in Bermuda until Digicel entered Bermuda in 2005. One still has a larger market share than Digicel Bermuda, but their coverage is slightly ahead of the one of Digicel Bermuda as of recently.

One SIM cards can be bought for 20 BMD with 10 BMD in airtime in One stores (Hamilton, Heron Bay, and St. George’s). Top-up vouchers are sold in supermarkets, grocery stores, and pharmacies throughout the country from 1 BMD to 200 BMD. You can also recharge online with a credit card. To check your One balance, dial *120#.

If you are planning on primarily using data, then I would recommend using their Pay per Use base plan, which will not cost you anything, while the Talk & Text base plan costs 2.50 BMD per day, but it comes with unlimited calls and SMS. Additionally, you have to pay the Government License Fee.

The following One Prepaid Data plans can be added to the base plans:

  • 2 BMD: 20 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial *777*11#
  • 3 BMD: 100 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial *777*1#
  • 15 BMD: 500 MB for 14 days. Activation: dial *777*12#
  • 45 BMD: 1.5 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial *777*13#
  • 100 BMD: 5 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial *777*4#

Normally, you can activate One Prepaid Plans online by dialing a USSD code (such as *777*13# for the 1.5 GB plan). However, if it is your first time activating a One plan, you have to either visit a One store to activate a plan or call One customer service at 700.0000.

Besides these One Prepaid Plans, you can also an Unlimited Social Plan, which allows you to send “unlimited” messages on WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook Messenger, and iMessenger for 2 BMD per day. This only applies to messages and not to images, videos, voice calls, or video calls. To activate this plan, dial *777*14#.

If you use more than 20 MB on the Unlimited Social plan, then your speed will be reduced to 128 Kbps. You cannot combine the Unlimited Social Plan with a regular data plan. This means that you would need to be on a WIFI connection to do anything else than messaging when on an Unlimited Social Plan.

Digicel Bermuda

Digicel Logo

Digicel Bermuda, just Digicel, entered Bermuda in 2005. Their network coverage and speeds used to always be behind the one of One. However, their network has drastically been improved with recent 4G/LTE auctions. As Digicel is still more expensive than One, I do not expect their market share to improve drastically anytime soon.

Digicel SIM cards are sold for 20 BMD in the Digicel Retail Flagship Store in Hamilton, which is their only store in Bermuda. Top-up vouchers are sold all over Bermuda, but you can also reload online with a credit card. Dial *120# to see your Digicel credit balance.

Digicel offers Freedom Bundles, which are their combo plans that come with unlimited calls, SMS, and unlimited social apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – no VoIP). Additionally, unused data will roll over when the plan renews successfully (auto-renew when there is enough credit).

The following Digicel Freedom Bundles are available:

  • 4 BMD: 100 MB for 1 day
  • 20 BMD: 250 MB for 7 days
  • 35 BMD: 500 MB for 14 days
  • 70 BMD: 1 GB for 30 days
  • 100 BMD: 2 GB for 30 days
  • 150 BMD: 5 GB for 30 days

You can activate a Digicel Freedom Bundle by dialing *100# or on the My Digicel App.

There is also a Digicel Daily Data plan. It costs 2.50 BMD per day and comes with 50 MB. This plan does not have any minutes or SMS (but incoming calls are free), nor does it include unlimited social apps. It also auto-renews if you have enough credit. To activate this plan, dial *100#, select option 1, and option 3.

You can also boost your data allowance with the Digicel Freedom Boosts. However, they can also be bought as standalone data packages for those who do not want to call or text while in Bermuda. The following Freedom Boosts are available:

  • 10 BMD: 300 MB for 14 days
  • 20 BMD: 600 MB for 14 days
  • 40 BMD: 1000 MB for 30 days
  • 100 BMD: 5000 MB for 30 days

Digicel Freedom Boosts can be activated by dialing *100# or on the My Digicel App. These boosts do not auto-renew.

Also, you can get a Digicel Go Social plan, which comes with unlimited Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp (no VoIP):

  • 10 BMD: unlimited social app for 7 days
  • 20 BMD: unlimited social apps for 14 days
  • 35 BMD: unlimited social apps for 30 days

Digicel Go Social plans can be activated by dialing *100# or on the My Digicel App. These Go Social plans do auto-renew when there is enough credit.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Bermuda

I have discussed the relevant providers in Bermuda in this article because using a Bermudian 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 Bermuda. 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 Bermuda.

Roaming in Bermuda 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 Flow Saint Kitts and Nevis, then you would be roaming with Flow Saint Kitts and Nevis in Bermuda.

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 Bermuda, 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 Bermuda 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 Bermuda.

Using an International SIM Card in Bermuda

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.

OneSimCard Banner

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 Bermuda. 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 Bermuda

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.

Travelwifi Banner

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 Bermuda

Finally, we have the most cost-effective way to stay connected in Bermuda 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 Bermuda, you will find many hotspots throughout the country.

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 Bermuda

Getting a SIM card from One would do you well when considering a Bermudian 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 Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, 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 Bermuda

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 Bermuda. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Bermuda drop.

Book Your Accommodation for Bermuda

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 Bermuda. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Bermudian hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance for Bermuda

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 Bermuda, 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.

Transferwise Banner

Enjoy your trip!

Ernest Adu

Ernest Adu, going by just Adu, is the founder and editor at Phone Travel Wiz. He has been a traveler for 6 years. Although from Europe, the Netherlands, Adu's favorite region in Asia, in particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan, and plans on exploring Oceania and more of East and Southeast Asia.

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