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SIM Cards in Brazil: The Best Prepaid Plans | 2024 Guide

Brazil – known for its carnivals, well-known football (soccer) players like Neymar, Pelé & Ronaldinho, and the Amazon Rainforest.

It is also the 5th largest country in the world and the largest in South America.

Unlike Australia, the 6th largest country worldwide with a population of 26 million, Brazil has a population of more than 210 million.

It can be rather crowded in the country at times.

But what can you do in Brazil? Probably too much to experience in one lifetime.

From visiting and taking a photo of the iconic Christ the Redeemer to enjoying breathtaking views on the Sugarloaf Mountain cableway.

From sunbathing on the many beaches, such as the Copacabana Beach, to the THRILLING nightlife in all cities, there is no reason to be bored in Brazil.

But before you share your colorful Brazil experiences online, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.

You are way better off using a local SIM card, like a Brazilian one, to enjoy local rates.

Fortunately, Brazilian SIM cards are inexpensive.

You can get a Brazilian SIM card for 10 BRL (2.05 USD), but sometimes up to 15 BRL (3.10 USD), in the official and partner stores of Vivo, Claro, TIM & Oi stores or resellers, including kiosks and pharmacies. Airports, including both in São Paulo, sell SIM cards too.

Those SIM card prices are almost nothing and in line with regional standards.

Some will say that mobile data rates are high in Brazil.

In the (far) past? Maybe. Now, Brazil is one of the 53 lucky countries where the average cost of 1 GB of data is less than 1 USD.

So you will certainly not break the bank on mobile data costs in Brazil.

In this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Brazil. Let's do this.

Buying a SIM Card in Brazil Guide (logos of TIM, Vivo, Claro & Oi)

Original publication: 2nd of March 2020. Last updated: 29th of February 2024.


Table of Contents

What is the Best SIM Card in Brazil?

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Brazil, I recommend going with Claro. It has one of the best coverage nationwide and has a large variety of plans (at average prices). TIM has the best 4G/LTE coverage, but it has only one prepaid plan.

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So, who are all these mobile operators and what options are available for you?

Brazil has four three mobile operators offering prepaid services that are easily accessible to travelers:

  • Vivo Brazil (Vivo Brasil)
  • Claro Brazil (Claro Brasil – includes former Nextel)
  • TIM Brazil (TIM Brasil)
  • Oi – does not exist anymore
Cellular Connectivity Illustration by Phone Travel Wiz

Anyone living in or visiting Brazil can buy a Brazilian SIM card with some restrictions.

Officially, you need a CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) number, which is the local tax ID issued to citizens and residents, to buy and register a Brazilian SIM card.

However, the mobile operators can sell you a SIM card without a CPF number but with your passport (number) instead if you visit their stores.

Resellers, such as kiosks, are unlikely to do that.

Therefore, you should visit the official (partner) stores to get yourself a Brazilian SIM card.

Besides that (potential) restriction, you are free to use Brazilian SIM cards.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Where Can You Buy a Brazilian SIM Card (+Prices)?

You can get a Brazilian SIM card in Vivo, Claro (includes former Nextel), TIM & Oi stores and third-party stores, including kiosks, pharmacies & grocery stores. Some Brazilian airports sell (tourist) SIM cards (at inflated prices).

You can expect to pay the following for Brazilian SIM cards:

  • Vivo Brazil: 20 BRL
  • Claro Brazil (includes former Nextel): 10 BRL
  • TIM Brazil: 10 BRL

Note that Brazilian SIM cards can be more expensive than those listed above when purchased at an airport.

Use the Wise Currency Converter tool (free) for up-to-date BRL (Brazilian Real) to your currency (let's say USD – US Dollar) exchange rates.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

For your convenience, below are some exchange rates between BRL and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 BRL = 0.20 USD
  • 10 BRL = 2.05 USD
  • 100 BRL = 20.50 USD

But for any other currency, the Wise Currency Converter tool.

(Travel) eSIMs for Brazil

In recent years, (travel) eSIMs have become extremely popular.

Especially after Apple made iPhones (14- & 15 series) sold in the United States eSIM-only, forcing its users to use eSIMs – even when abroad.

As a result, the adoption of eSIM technology by mobile operators worldwide rose impressively quickly.

Currently, TIM Brazil is the only mobile operator offering eSIMs to prepaid customers.

But if you purchase an eSIM from any of these mobile operators, you must comply with Brazil's SIM card registration regulations.

Suppose you do not wish to do so for privacy reasons (for example) or want to be connected immediately without paying for an overpriced SIM card (or eSIM) sold at a Brazilian airport. In that case, you may consider getting a travel eSIM for Brazil.

In my Brazil eSIM buying guide, I analyze various eSIM options of eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide.

Buying an eSIM for Brazil Guide (logos of Holafly, TIM, SimOptions, Alosim & Joia)

Surprisingly, travel eSIMs can be cheaper than a Brazilian SIM card or eSIM in specific scenarios.

Moreover, Latin (Central- and South) America-wide and global eSIM options are also available at competitive prices (without having to deal with expensive international roaming rates).

In this Brazil SIM card buying guide (the one you are reading), I will stick to the local SIM cards and eSIM, but you can read my Brazil eSIM buying guide for more information about travel eSIMs covering the country.

But here is a quick overview already + applicable discount codes if you are interested in purchasing a travel eSIM for Brazil:

  • Airalo: Maneiro (formerly called Joia – Brazil only), Latamlink (19 countries in Latin (Central- and South) America) & Discover+ (125+ countries worldwide + up to 200 worldwide minutes & 200 worldwide SMS)
  • Alosim: Brazil
  • Holafly: Brazil & South America (14 countries in Central- and South America) – options include unlimited data
  • Nomad: Global (109 or 139 countries, depending on the variant)

Here are some discount codes to sweeten the deal:

  • Airalo: NEWMAY15 for 15% off (if you have never bought an Airalo eSIM before). Otherwise, AIRALOMAY10 for 10% off (for existing users) – only the first 3000 users can redeem either discount code)
  • Alosim: PTW for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Holafly: PHONETRAVELWIZ for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Nomad: ADU123 for 3 USD off (on your first-ever Nomad order only)

Once again, check out my Brazil eSIM buying guide to learn more about these eSIM options.

Buying an eSIM for Brazil Guide (logos of Holafly, TIM, SimOptions, Alosim & Joia)

The eSIM guide is as comprehensive as this SIM card buying guide, but it solely focuses on travel eSIMs (while the guide you are reading focuses on local SIM cards and eSIMs for prepaid users (where applicable).

Brazilian Prepaid SIM Cards Explored

Below, I will guide you through Vivo Brazil, Claro Brazil (includes former Nextel) & TIM Brazil, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices & availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans & special packs (such as social media packs)

With that said, let's see what Brazil offers us.


Vivo Brazil (Vivo Brasil)

Vivo Brazil Logo
© Vivo Brazil

Vivo Brasil, just Vivo, is the largest mobile operator in Brazil.

It is a mobile brand of Telefônica from Spain.

It also has the second-fastest mobile speeds in the country.

Vivo means Alive in Portuguese.

Vivo uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 5G NR: 700 MHz (n28), 1800 MHz (n3), 2100 MHz (n1), 3500 MHz (n78) – not for prepaid (yet)

This is what you will learn about Vivo:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Vivo SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Vivo Brazil

Vivo has extensive coverage throughout Brazil.

Its coverage is on par with Claro Brazil's, which has the best coverage, and TIM Brazil's, which has the best 4G/LTE reception.

Below is TIM's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Vivo Brazil

You can buy a Vivo SIM card for 20 BRL in Vivo stores and from Vivo dealers. Resellers, including kiosks and pharmacies, sell SIM cards too. It is possible to get a Vivo SIM card at airports, including São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport/Congonhas Airport.

Vivo Brazil Store
© Vivo Brazil

Text NUMERO to 8300 to see your Vivo phone number.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Vivo has no eSIMs.

You can consider getting a travel eSIM for Brazil, which can, in specific scenarios, be cheaper than getting a SIM card from Vivo.

Especially if you get a Latin (Central- and South) America-wide eSIM (for when you visit at least two or more supported Latin American countries) or a global eSIM (for frequent travelers visiting multiple continents).

In my Brazil eSIM buying guide, I analyze various eSIM options of eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide.

But I will introduce them here quickly:

  • Airalo: Maneiro (Brazil only), Latamlink (19 countries in Latin America) & Discover+ (125+ countries worldwide + up to 200 worldwide minutes & 200 worldwide SMS) – use code NEWMAY15 (15% off – first-time users only) or AIRALOMAY10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: Brazil – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: Brazil & South America (14 countries) – all variants in both options include unlimited data – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: Brazil & Global (109 or 139 countries, depending on the variant) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

Once again, check out my Brazil eSIM buying guide to learn more about these eSIM options.

Buying an eSIM for Brazil Guide (logos of Holafly, TIM, SimOptions, Alosim & Joia)

For now, I will continue with Vivo.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Vivo Brazil

Vivo top-up vouchers are sold in Vivo stores, partner stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Brazil.

Vivo Brazil SIM Card
© Vivo Brazil

The following (online) top-up options are available:

  • 10 BRL
  • 15 BRL
  • 20 BRL
  • 30 BRL
  • 40 BRL
  • 50 BRL
  • 100 BRL

To top up your Vivo SIM card, you would dial *7000VoucherCode.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *700123456#

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *8000, text SALDO to 8000, or visit this page to check your Vivo balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Mue Vivo (My Vivo) app (Android/iOS).

Vivo Brazil Mue Vivo App
© Vivo Brazil

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Vivo Brazil

Vivo has only one data-featured prepaid plan: Vivo Turbo Pré (combo). It includes data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

I will list all the prices in BRL (Brazilian Real).

To convert BRL to your currency (let's say CAD – Canadian Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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© Wise

These Vivo Turbo Pré are available:

PriceDataSocial Data 1Local MinutesLocal SMSValidity
15 BRL4 GBUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimited10 days
17 BRL5 GBUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimited15 days
20 BRL6 GBUnlimited 2UnlimitedUnlimited15 days
30 BRL10 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 for GoRead, Skeelo Super Light & WhatsApp
2 +6 GB YouTube data

Vivo Brazil Vivo Turbo Pré Plan

APN/Internet Settings – Vivo Brazil

  • Name: Vivo
  • APN: zap.vivo.com.br

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Claro Brazil (Claro Brasil)

Claro Logo New
© Claro

Claro Brazil, just Claro and officially Claro Brasil, is the second-largest mobile operator in Brazil.

It is also the best mobile operator in most regards in the country.

Additionally, it is the fastest as well.

Claro also acquired Nextel Brazil back in 2019, which used to be the 5th recommended option in this guide.

Claro uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 2100 MHz (n1), 2600 MHz (n7 OR n38), 3500 MHz (n78) – not for prepaid (yet)

This is what you will learn about Claro:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Claro SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Claro Brazil

Claro has the best coverage in Brazil.

However, TIM Brazil has better 4G/LTE availability.

Below is Claro's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

Claro Brazil Coverage Map

However, click here to see Claro's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – Claro Brazil

You can buy a Claro SIM card for 10 BRL in Claro stores. Resellers, including kiosks and pharmacies, sell SIM cards too. It is possible to get a Claro SIM card at airports, including São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport/Congonhas Airport.

Claro SIM Cards
© Claro Brazil

Text CLARO to 1052 or dial *1052#, select option 9, select option 6, and select option 1 to see your Claro phone number.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Claro has no eSIMs.

You may want to get a travel eSIM for Brazil, which can be cheaper than getting a SIM card from Claro (in some cases).

Especially when getting a Latin (Central- and South) America-wide eSIM if you do not stay in just Brazil or a global eSIM valid for up to a year if you want one eSIM to work practically worldwide.

My Brazil eSIM buying guide analyzes various eSIM options of eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide.

Here is a quick introduction to them:

  • Airalo: Maneiro (Brazil only), Latamlink (19 countries in Latin America) & Discover+ (125+ countries worldwide + call and text feature) – use code NEWMAY15 (15% off – first-time users only) or AIRALOMAY10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: Brazil – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: Brazil & South America (14 countries) – these eSIMs have unlimited data – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: Brazil & Global (up to 139 countries) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

For more information, such as the prices and data allowances, check out my Brazil eSIM buying guide.

Buying an eSIM for Brazil Guide (logos of Holafly, TIM, SimOptions, Alosim & Joia)

But let's continue with Claro for now.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Claro Brazil

Claro top-up vouchers are sold in Claro stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Brazil.

The following (online) top-up options are available:

Top-UpBonus DataValidity
10 BRLN/A30 days
13 BRN/A30 days
15 BRLN/A30 days
20 BRL2 GB60 days
25 BRL2 GB60 days
30 BRL2 GB90 days
35 BRL2 GB90 days
40 BRL2 GB90 days
50 BRL2 GB120 days
100 BRL2 GB180 days
Claro Brazil Top Ups

To top up your Claro SIM card, you would dial *577*VoucherCode# or dial *1052#, select option 2, and select option 2 again.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *577*123456#

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *544#, *555, or dial *1052#, select option 2, and select option 1 to check your Claro balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Minha Claro Móvel (My Claro Mobile) app (Android/iOS).

Claro Brazil Manha Claro Móvel App
© Claro Brazil

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Claro Brazil

Claro has two data-featured prepaid plans: Claro Prezão (combo) & Pacotes Adicionais Claro Pré/Additional Packages (data).

I will list all the prices in BRL (Brazilian Real).

To convert BRL to your currency (let's say CAD – Canadian Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise
Claro Prezão – Claro Brazil

The Claro Prezão are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

Claro Prezão can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 2006:

PricePlanDataSocial Data 1Local MinutesLocal SMS
11.99 BRLPrezão 3 GB3 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited7 days
29.99 BRLPrezão YouTube12 GBUnlimited 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
34.99 BRLPrezão TikTok12 GBUnlimited 3UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
34.99 BRLPrezão Free Fire12 GBUnlimited 4UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 for Claro Music, Claro Curse & WhatsApp
2 +3 GB for YouTube
3 +5 GB for TikTok
4 +5 GB for Free Fire & +3 GB for YouTube

Claro Brazil Prezão Plan
Pacotes Adicionais Claro Pré (Additional Packages) – Claro Brazil

The Pacotes Adicionais Claro Pré (Additional Packages) are data plans (with 5G NR access).

Pacotes Adicionais Claro Pré can be activated by dialing *1052#:

PriceDataSocial Data 1Validity
7.99 BRL300 MBUnlimited30 days
13.99 BRL500 MBUnlimited30 days
21.99 BRL1 GBUnlimited30 days
29.99 BRL2 GBUnlimited30 days

1 for WhatsApp

Claro Brazil Pacotes adicionais Claro Pré Additional Packages

APN/Internet Settings – Claro Brazil

  • Name: Claro
  • APN: claro.com.br

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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TIM Brazil (TIM Brasil)

TIM Brazil Logo
© TIM

TIM Brazil, officially TIM Brasil, is the third-largest mobile operator in Brazil.

It is mostly owned by Telecom Italia from Italy.

In 2012, TIM was caught in two scandals where SIM cards were activated and registered on deceased or non-existing people.

Another scandal was where TIM intentionally dropped calls so that customers had to name new calls, which resulted in extra connection charges.

TIM uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz, 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 700 MHz (n28), 1800 MHz (n3), 2100 MHz (n1), 3500 MHz (n78) – not for prepaid (yet)

This is what you will learn about TIM:

* Coverage
* How to Get a TIM SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – TIM Brazil

TIM has the best 4G/LTE availability in Brazil.

This was also confirmed by Opensignal.

It does, however, have a list of locations where 4.5G is available.

Below is TIM's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

However, click here to see TIM's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – TIM Brazil

You can buy a TIM SIM card for 10 BRL in TIM stores. Resellers, including kiosks and pharmacies, sell SIM cards too. It is possible to get a TIM SIM card at airports, including São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport/Congonhas Airport.

TIM Brazil SIM Card
© TIM Brazil

Text NUMERO to 8300 to see your TIM phone number.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

It is also possible to get a TIM eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

You should consider getting a travel eSIM for Brazil because they can sometimes be cheaper than getting a SIM card from TIM.

Especially if you get a Latin (Central- and South) America-wide eSIM or a global eSIM.

I discuss various eSIM options of eSIM providers for Brazil in my Brazil eSIM buying guide, which are:

  • Airalo: Maneiro (Brazil only), Latamlink (19 countries in Latin America) & Discover+ (125+ countries worldwide + minutes and SMS) – use code NEWMAY15 (15% off – first-time users only) or AIRALOMAY10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: Brazil – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: Brazil & South America (14 countries) – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: Brazil & Global (up to 139 countries) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

As I said, check out my Brazil eSIM buying guide for more information, as I have to continue with TIM for now.

Buying an eSIM for Brazil Guide (logos of Holafly, TIM, SimOptions, Alosim & Joia)
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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – TIM Brazil

TIM top-up vouchers are sold in TIM stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Brazil.

TIM Brazil Top Up
© TIM Brazil

The following (online) top-up options are available:

  • 10 BRL
  • 15 BRL
  • 20 BRL
  • 30 BRL
  • 40 BRL
  • 50 BRL
  • 100 BRL

To top up your TIM SIM card, you would dial *244 or *244# and follow the instructions.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Dial *222# to check your TIM balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the MUE TIM (My TIM) app (Android/iOS).

TIM Brazil MUE TIM App
© TIM Brazil

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – TIM Brazil

TIM has only one data-featured prepaid plan: TIM Pré Top (combo). It includes data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

I will list all the prices in BRL (Brazilian Real).

To convert BRL to your currency (let's say CAD – Canadian Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

TIM Pre Top can be activated by texting TOPMAIS to 4141.

PriceData 1Nighttime Data 2Social Data 3Local MinutesOn-Net SMSLocal SMSValidity
20 BRL11 GB12 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited100 SMS17 days
30 BRL13 GB19.8 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited100 SMS30 days
40 BRL16 GB33 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited100 SMS30 days

1 +2 GB bonus
2 between 0:00 and 6:00
3 for Prime Video Subscription included

TIM Brazil Pré Top Plan
© TIM Brazil

APN/Internet Settings – TIM Brazil

  • Name: TIM Brasil
  • APN: timbrasil.br
  • Username: tim
  • Password: tim

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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The Preferred Way to Stay Connected in Brazil

Getting a SIM card from Claro would do you well when considering a Brazillian SIM card.

Going to other places around the world? You should also check out my SIM card buying guides for other destinations worldwide.