Skip to Content

3 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Mexico: Buying Guide

Heading to Mexico soon? Mexico is the cheapest country in North America, which consists of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

With beautiful beaches, awesome cuisine, and nightlife, you certainly will have a fantastic experience when in Mexico.

But what about your phone options when traveling to the country?

Unless your provider offers free roaming in Mexico, you may not want to roam because roaming can be expensive.

That is why many travelers tend to explore local SIM card options when visiting Mexico to prevent roaming bill shock and to enjoy domestic rates.

Compared to the Canada and the United States, cellphone usage rates are a steal in Mexico.

Let’s explore the best SIM card options for Mexico, shall we?

Table of Contents

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Mexico

Mexico has three Main Operators and 7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).

Most MVNOs (Virgin Mobile Mexico, QBO Cel, weex, Cierto, Maz Tiempo, and Flash Mobile) are Movistar Mexico MVNOs. Oui Móvil is a Telcel.

Best SIM Card in Mexico

If you want to buy a SIM card in Mexico, I would recommend going with Telcel. Although they are more expensive than the other two big providers, they have the best coverage around the country. If you are on a budget, you could consider Movistar if staying in populated areas.

SIM Card Registration in Mexio

SIM card registration, with the use of your personal information (such as your passport), is not required when buying a SIM card in Mexico.

Mexican Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Telcel, Movistar Mexico & AT&T Mexico, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • 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 Mexico has to offer to us.

Telcel

Telcel Logo

As established earlier, Telcel is the go-to provider when buying a SIM card in Mexico because of its excellent coverage. Their prepaid line is called Amigo. The following Telcel Amigo prepaid plans are available:

  • Amigo sin límite (Amigo without limits)
  • Amigo por segundo (Amigo per second)
  • Amigo Óptimo plus sin fronteras (Amigo ultimate plus without borders)

Amigo sin límite

Amigo sin límite are combo plans with set allowances for data, minutes, and SMS valid in Mexico, Canada, and the US. Calling within and to those countries are free of charge. These plans do not auto-renew and will typically activate a plan equivalent to the recharge order. All packages come with unlimited WhatsApp calls in and to Mexico, Canada, and the US.

  • 20 MXN: 100 regular MB and 200 app MB valid for 1 day. Activation: SL20
  • 30 MXN: 120 regular MB and 300 app MB valid for 3 days. Activation: SL30
  • 50 MXN: 400 regular MB and 500 app MB valid for 7 days. Activation: SL40
  • 80 MXN: 500 regular MB and 1 app GB valid for 13 days. Activation: SL80
  • 100 MXN: 1300 regular MB and unlimited app data valid for 15 days. Activation: SL100
  • 150 MXN: 2000 regular MB and unlimited app data valid for 26 days. Activation: SL150
  • 200 MXN: 3000 regular MB and unlimited app data valid for 30 days. Activation: SL200
  • 300 MXN: 4000 regular MB and unlimited app data valid for 33 days. Activation: SL300
  • 500 MXN: 6000 regular MB and unlimited app data valid for 33 days. Activation: SL500

App data: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Not deducted from your regular data. For activation or renewal, text the data package-specific code to 5050 or type *133#. For a single time activation use code, for recurring activation add ‘R' at the end of the code. To check remaining allowances and validity, type *133#.

Amigo por segundo

Amigo por Segundo are plans with a lower standard rate for data, calls, and texts. Incoming calls in Mexico, Canada, and the US are free while making calls and sending SMS into these countries are charged at domestic rates. Data costs 0.85 MXN per MB, which is why you would want to add data packages.

Amigo Óptimo plus sin fronteras

Amigo Óptimo plus sin fronteras are plans with higher standard rates for data, calls, and texts in Mexico, Canada, and the US, but can be combined with packages that give top-up bonuses that make it cheaper if you use it more.

  • 20 MXN: 120 MB regular data and 200 MB for Facebook and Twitter valid for 1 day. Activation: lnt20
  • 30 MXN: 150 MB regular data and 300 MB for Facebook and Twitter valid for 3 days. Activation: lnt30
  • 50 MXN: 400 MB regular data and 500 MB for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat valid for 7 days. Activation: lnt40
  • 80 MXN: 600 MB regular data and 1 GB for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat valid for 13 days. Activation: lnt80
  • 100 MXN: 1.5 GB regular data and unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be used in Mexico only, valid for 17 days. Activation: lnt100
  • 150 MXN: 3 GB regular data and unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be used in Mexico only, valid for 28 days. Activation: lnt150
  • 200 MXN: 4 GB regular data and unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be used in Mexico only, valid for 30 days. Activation: lnt200
  • 300 MXN: 7 GB regular data and unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be used in Mexico only, valid for 33 days. Activation: lnt300
  • 500 MXN: 13 GB regular data and unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to be used in Mexico only, valid for 33 days. Activation: lnt500
  • For activation text the code to 5050 or type *133#. The activation code is for a single time purchase; for recurring packages add ‘recurrente' to the code. To stop auto-renewal text ‘BAJA RECURRENTE' to 5050.

Movistar

Movistar Logo

Movistar has good coverage in populated areas. In rural areas, not so much. That is why I would only recommend getting Movistar if you stay around big cities. They are cheaper than Telcel while offering similar packages.

You can buy the Movistar starter pack called chip prepago at any Movistar dealer, 7-11, Walmart, or at airports for 60 MXN. Sometimes, the card comes with 100 MXN in credit. Sometimes, less – depending on where you are getting your card from.

The Prepago comes in two variants: Prepago Simple (Prepaid Simple) and Prepago Ilimitado (Prepaid Unlimited). The Simple is the base plan where you can add internet packages, while the Ilimitade has plans with higher allowances for social media.

For both plans, you can add the following Prepago plans with data, calls, and SMS

  • 10 MXN: Unlimited WhatsApp VoIP calls valid for 3 days
  • 30 MXN: 300 MB regular data, 200 MB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, and unlimited minutes and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, valid for 3 days
  • 50 MXN: 500 MB regular data, 1 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and unlimited minutes and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, valid for 7 days
  • 100 MXN: 1.4 GB regular data, unlimited data for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and unlimited minutes and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, valid for 17 days
  • 150 MXN: 2.1 GB regular data, unlimited data for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and unlimited minutes and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, valid for 20 days
  • 200 MXN: 3 GB regular data, unlimited data for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and unlimited minutes and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, valid for 30 days
  • To activate and/or change plans: USSD #100# then follow the menu.

Prepago Simple

Below are some of the Prepago Simple data-only packages:

  • 10 MXN: 250 MB valid for 1 day
  • 30 MXN: 750 MB valid for 3 days
  • 50 MXN: 1250 MB valid for 5 days
  • 100 MXN: 2500 MB valid for 15 days
  • 150 MXN: 3500 MB valid for 25 days
  • 200 MXN: 4500 MB valid for 30 days
  • To activate and/or change plans: USSD #100# then follow the menu.

Below are some of the data packages that include an allowance for social media apps as well:

  • 10 MXN: 35 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp valid for 1 day
  • 60 MXN: 200 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter valid for 5
  • 120 MXN: 750 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter valid for 21 days
  • 200 MXN: 1.5 GB regular data and 2 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter valid for 30 days
  • 300 MXN: 3 GB regular data and 2 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter valid for 30 days
  • To activate and/or change plans: USSD #100# then follow the menu.

Prepago Ilimitado

Below are some of the combo plans with unlimited calls and texts to Mexico, Canada, and the US, data, roaming allowance, and app allowance:

  • 10 MXN: 15 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp valid for 1 day
  • 30 MXN: 75 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter valid for 3 days
  • 75 MXN: 200 MB regular data and 1 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, and MXN 75 roaming credit valid for 15 days
  • 200 MXN: 1.2 GB regular data and 2 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, and MXN 200 roaming credit valid for 30 days
  • 300 MXN: 2 GB regular data and 2 GB for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, and MXN 300 roaming credit valid for 30 days
  • To activate and/or change plans: USSD #100# then follow the menu.

AT&T

AT&T Logo

AT&T bought Iusacell and Nextel back in 2015 and rebranded them into AT&T Unidos Mexico, but I will call them just AT&T.

You can buy AT&T SIM cards at their stores, but also in Walmart, Coppel, and Fama. The SIM cards at these stores are often free but require a mandatory top-up. Other stores will sell you the SIM cards for around 100 MXN.

You can choose out of the following AT&T plans: AT&T Más (AT&T More) and AT&T por segundo (AT&T per second). I recommend going with Más so that you do not pay per use. The following AT&T Más plans are available:

  • 30 MXN: 300 MB valid for 3 days
  • 50 MXN: 500 MB valid for 5 days
  • 100 MXN: 1 GB valid for 14 days
  • 150 MXN: 1.5 GB valid for 28 days
  • 200 MXN: 2 GB valid for 35 days

All plans include unlimited calls and texts. The calls, SMS, and data are valid in both Mexico and the US. Unfortunately, Canada has been excluded as of lately. Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat usage is not counted against your data allowance.

AT&T also offers international roaming plans for destinations in Central- and South America and the Caribbean, such as Argentina, Guatemala, Panama, and Uruguay. You will pay a maximum of 799 MXN for 1 GB. You would be better off buying a local SIM card in those regions too. Check out my Central America Guide, South America Guide, and Caribbean Guide to pay local rates.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Mexico

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Mexico to get themselves a MexiacanSIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.

However, for some, getting a Canadian SIM card is not an option. For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your operator.

There are other ways to stay online while in Mexico, but they may not be cheap.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the local mobile operators.

International Roaming

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 Mexico 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.

Using a Mobile Hotspot (Pocket WIFI)

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.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

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 Mexico.

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 Mexico

Getting a SIM card from Telcel would do you well when considering a Mexican SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other North American Countries

Visiting other countries in North America? Check out my North America SIM card buying guide, covering other North American 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.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

Support Phone Travel Wiz

It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate, and review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful)

Support Me on Ko-Fi Orange

Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, 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!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services, and products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter

Sign up for my newsletter: Get an excel sheet of the best SIM cards of over 230+ destinations around the world! Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on how to save money while traveling every now and then.

Let's Be Social

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone? A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!

Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is

Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!