Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Jordan Guide

Although not a big country, Jordan is an interesting and exciting destination in the Middle East. From Amman to Aqaba, from the Dead Sea and the Magic Bedouin Star, there are plenty of things to do.

What you should not be doing, however, is roaming with your provider. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why seasoned travelers want to buy local SIM cards when traveling, including Jordan. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Jordan. Let's go.

Telecom Providers in Jordan

Jordan has 3 telecom providers: Zain Jordan, Umniah, and Orange Jordan. All providers have an extensive 4G/LTE network, although they are still expanding it.

What SIM card should you buy when visiting Jordan? If you want to buy a SIM card in Jordan, I would recommend going with Zain or Umnaih. Zain has the best speeds and coverage but is the most expensive provider in Jordan. Umnaih has good coverage and lower rates, which could be the option for those who do not wish to spend that much on mobile usage.

SIM cards can be bought at the official stores or from resellers at a premium. Just like other countries in the Middle East, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card.

In many Jordanian areas, a 16% tax mobile- and internet tax needs to be added to most prices. There are tax-free zones like Aqaba, but in general, the tax is not included in the prices listed below.

With that short intro, let’s see what the 3 providers have 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!

Zain Jordan

Zain Logo

Zain Jordan, a company from Kuwait, is no stranger in the Middle Eastern market. With almost 5 million subscribers, it is the largest provider in Jordan. Is also has the best speeds and coverage in the country. A Zain SIM card is sold for 5 JOD ($7.05 + tax) and can be bought at Queen Alia Airport or various Zain stores.

Top-up vouchers are sold from 3 JOD to 36 JOD in various stores. The popular Zain monthly combo plans are:

  • 6.55 JOD: 4 GB (for 4G too), 2 GB for Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, and 500 minutes and SMS
  • 7.86 JOD: 8 GB, 7 GB for Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, 6 GB for 4 G, unlimited calls and SMS

Various data packs are sold. A handful of them are mentioned below:

  • 1 JOD: 1 GB for 1 day
  • 3 JOD: 1 GB for 7 days
  • 3.5 JOD: 500 MB for 30 days
  • 5 JOD: 1 GB for 30 days
  • 8 JOD: 2 GB for 30 days
  • 12 JOD: 4 GB for 30 days
  • 15 JOD: 7 GB for 30 days
  • 20 JOD: 10 GB for 30 days

You can also buy Zain’s monthly data-only SIM card for 15 JOD that comes with 3.5 GB to be used within 30 days. It comes with a 3G USB dongle, which makes it perfect for laptop use. The following EzNet, data-only packs, can be added, which will give you 3G speeds:

  • 6 JOD: 10 GB daytime, 4 GB nighttime, and 4 GB for Facebook
  • 8 JOD: 16 GB daytime, 10 GB nighttime, and 4 GB for Facebook
  • 10 JOD: 18 GB daytime, 14 GB nighttime, and 4 GB for Facebook
  • 20 JOD: 50 GB daytime, 18 GB nighttime, and 4 GB for Facebook

Nighttime data can be used from 2 AM until 10 AM, which is rather generous (I have seen much worse, like from 11 AM until 4 AM). Unlike the other packs, only an 8% tax is added to these plans.

Want higher speeds? You can buy 4G/LTE data plans for the data-only SIM card:

  • 10 JOD for 2 GB
  • 25 JOD for 30 GB
  • 35 JOD for 100 GB
  • 50 JOD for 200 GB

Unlike the 3G data bundles, you have to add 16% tax to these prices.

Umnaih

Umniah Logo

Umnaih is run by a company from Bahrain called Batelco (Bahrain Telecom). Their SIM cards are sold for 5 JOD, and you can experience good coverage with them. Top-up vouchers are sold from 1 JOD to 15 JOD.

The following monthly Umnaih combo packs can be added:

  • 6.55 JOD: 6 GB, 5000 on-net minutes, 750 domestic minutes, and 500 SMS
  • 9.17 JOD: 12 GB, 20000 on-net minutes, 1500 domestic minutes, and 1500 SMS
  • 11.34 JOD: 22 GB, unlimited on-net minutes, 1750 domestic minutes, 1000 international minutes, and 2000 SMS
  • 15.12 JOD: 28 GB, unlimited on-net minutes, 20000 domestic minutes, 1000 international minutes, and 2000 SMS

Do note that tethering, using your phone as a hotspot, is not possible with these packages, and they cannot be used with tablets, routers, or mobile hotspots.

Just need data? The following data packs can be added:

  • 0.5 JOD: 500 MB for 24 hours
  • 1 JOD: 200 MB for 7 days
  • 1.5 JOD: 400 MB for 7 days
  • 2 JOD: 500 MB for 7 days
  • 3 JOD: 500 MB for 30 days
  • 5 JOD: 1 GB for 30 days
  • 7 JOD: 2 GB for 30 days
  • 10 JOD: 2.5 GB and 2.5 GB for Skype for 30 days

You can also buy add-ons for several social media apps. They are all sold for 1 JOB and come with 1 GB per month or per week:

  • YouTube: 1 GB per week
  • Twitter: 1 GB per month
  • WhatsApp: 1 GB per month (no VoIP calls)
  • Facebook (Messenger): 1 GB per month (no VoIP calls)

Want a data-only SIM card? Umnaih sells 3G SIM cards, called Evo 3G Prepaid, and 4G SIM cards, called Evo 4G Prepaid, for 5 JOD. For the Evo 3G Prepaid card, the following packs can be added:

  • 6 JOD: 10 GB, 6 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 7 JOD: 14 GB, 12 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 10 JOD: 18 GB, 16 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 15 JOD: 35 GB, 11 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media

For the first purchase, you get 4 GB and 4 GB for nighttime for free. Nighttime data is consumed from 2 AM until 10 SM. The apps for social media data are WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. All of these conditions and perks apply to the 4G SIM card too.

The following monthly packs can be added to the Evo 4G Prepaid SIM card:

  • 7 JOD: 18 GB, 12 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 10 JOD: 22 GB, 24 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 12 JOD: 35 GB, 26 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 15 JOD: 40 GB, 36 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media
  • 28 JOD: 100 GB, 20 GB nighttime data, and 4 GB for social media (all valid for 90 days instead)

Orange Jordan

Finally, we have Orange Jordan, which is also a big player in the Middle Eastern market. Orange is the smallest player in Oman and has the “worst” speeds and coverage. It has improved with the development of their 4G/LTE network, but you may experience patchy coverage. Orange SIM cards are sold for 1.72 JOD in various stores.

You can any of the following monthly Orange combo plans:

  • 2.63 JOD: 1 GB, 1 GB for Facebook, 60 minutes, and unlimited SMS
  • 2.63 JOD: 1 GB, 2 GB for Facebook, 60 minutes, and unlimited SMS
  • 7.87 JOD: 3 GB, 6 GB for Facebook, 200 minutes, and unlimited SMS
  • 9.18 JOD: 4 GB, 6 GB for Facebook, and unlimited minutes and SMS
  • 11.80 JOD: 6 GB, 6 GB for Facebook, and unlimited minutes and SMS
  • 14.41 JOD: 8 GB, 6 GB for Facebook, and unlimited minutes and SMS
  • 19.64 JOD: 25 GB and unlimited minutes and SMS

You can also buy Prepaid Orange Net, which is Orange’s data-only SIM card that comes with a 3G USD dongle. They are sold for 15 JOD, which comes with 3.5 GB. The following monthly data-only plans can be added:

  • 6 JOD: 5 GB
  • 7 JOD: 10 GB and 5 GB for nighttime use
  • 9 JOD: 15 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 11 JOD: 25 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 15 JOD: 30 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 27 JOD: 100 GB (for 90 days)

Want 4G/LTE data-only plans? See your options below:

  • 7 JOD: 10 GB and 5 GB for nighttime use
  • 9 JOD: 15 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 11 JOD: 25 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 15 JOD: 30 GB, 5 GB for nighttime use, and 5 GB for Facebook
  • 27 JOD: 100 GB (for 90 days)

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Jordan

I have discussed the relevant providers in Jordan in this article because using a Jordanian 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 Jordan. 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 Jordan.

Roaming in Jordan 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 Omantel from Oman, then you would be roaming with Omantel in Jordan.

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 Jordan, 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 Jordan 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 Jordan.

Using an International SIM Card in Jordan

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 and SimOptions.

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 Jordan. 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 Middle East 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 Jordan

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 and Vision Global Wireless are reputable pocket WIFI providers. 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. Both 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 Jordan

Finally, we have the most cost-effective way to stay connected in Jordan, 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 Jordan, you can find a hotspot here and there, but not many.

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 or learn more about NordVPN.

The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Jordan

Getting a SIM card from Zain or Umnaih would do you well when considering a Jordanian 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 are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots 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 Middle East? Check out my Middle Eastern SIM card buying guide, covering other Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. 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 Jordan

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

Book Your Accommodation for Jordan

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

Get Your Travel Insurance for Jordan

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 Jordan, 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 currency of your destination 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!

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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