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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Puerto Rico: Buying Guide

Puerto Rico – known for its beaches, coral reefs & the Spanish culture with an American twist.

The island is an unincorporated and organized United States territory.

What that means is beyond the scope of this guide, but it is somewhat part of the US.

But what can you even do in Puerto? A lot.

El Yanque National Forest is a fantastic trail with various waterfalls.

The Castillo de San Cristóbal is a large Spanish fort.

And you have nothing to do at night, visit Bahía Bioluminiscente to see glowing fish or organisms in the bay.

Quite some exciting things to do in Puerto Rico, huh?

For Caribbean standards, Puerto Rico is an inexpensive travel destination.

This makes SIM cards and mobile data average as well (for regional standards).

That is why I recommend local SIM cards to enjoy local rates.

But how much do SIM cards cost in Puerto Rico?

You can get a Puerto Rican SIM card for free from Claro and Liberty (formerly AT&T) in their stores and from resellers, including electronic stores. However, you are required to purchase a plan (starting from 19 USD). You may be able to get a SIM card at San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

Okay, free SIM cards with a catch with a minimum of 20 USD – almost the same as in Canada and the United States itself.

Now you may be thinking, why not use my American (USA) SIM card in Puerto Rico – I can use it here for free!

In many cases, you can. However, speeds can be painfully slow (2G speeds).

So yeah, get yourself a local SIM card.

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

Buying a SIM Card in Puerto Rico Guide (logos of Claro & Liberty)

Original publication: 18th of December 2021. Last updated: 2nd of January 2022.


Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Puerto Rico?

You can buy a Puerto Rican SIM card from Claro or Liberty (formerly AT&T) as a tourist if you are 18 years old or older. There is nothing preventing travelers from buying a SIM card in Puerto Rico.

You do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations.

Moreover, your phone has to support the frequencies used in Puerto Rico.

Finally, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use a Puerto Rican SIM card.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Puerto Rico?

You can get a Puerto Rican SIM card in the official stores of Claro and Liberty (formerly AT&T) and from resellers, including grocery stores, pharmacies & electronic stores. You may be able to get SIM cards at San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

You can expect to pay the following for Puerto Rican SIM cards:

  • Claro Puerto Rico: free, but plan purchase required (minimum of 18.99 USD)
  • Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T): free, but plan purchase required (minimum of 25 USD)
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Can You Use Your Phone in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico uses GSM technology for mobile communications primarily. CDMA phones will not work in Puerto Rico. However, almost all phones use GSM anyway.

You also need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are three ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American frequencies and European frequencies.

Puerto Rico uses American frequencies, which are used in the Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).

Phones sold in the Americas typically have no issues when using their phone in other ITU Region 2 countries.

In Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3), they typically use European frequencies, meaning phones bought in those regions can be used in countries using European frequencies without issues.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Puerto Rico.

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3) and have a low/medium-end device without Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Puerto Rico or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Puerto Rico (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE and 5G NR.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has two mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Claro Puerto Rico
  • Liberty U.S. Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

The following frequencies are used in Puerto Rico:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12, Band 14, Band 17 & Band 29), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700 MHz (Band 4 & Band 66), 1900 MHz (Band 2) & 2300 MHz (Band 30)
  • 5G NR: 850 MHz (through DDS)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Puerto Rico, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

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.

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VoLTE & VoWiFi in Puerto Rico

Both VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFI calling) are available in Puerto Rico.

However, not all mobile operators in Puerto Rico offer VoLTE and VoWiFi.

The following mobile operators offer VoLTE and VoWiFi in Puerto Rico:

  • Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

Claro Puerto Rico does not offer VoLTE nor VoWiFi (yet).

This means that when you make a call with Claro Puerto Rico, your phone will downgrade to 3G (or 2G when 3G is not available) instead of staying connected to 4G/LTE.

This is also why you often cannot use mobile while calling if not connected to WiFi.

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Puerto Rico

Commercial 5G NR has been available in Puerto Rico since 2019, with T-Mobile US extending coverage to the territory. Liberty, then AT&T, started rolling out 5G NR in 2020. the same counts for Claro Puerto Rico.

Best SIM Card in Puerto Rico

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Puerto Rico, I recommend going with Claro or Liberty (formerly AT&T). Both mobile operators have extensive coverage, but Liberty has the best 5G NR coverage. Claro offers cheaper plans than Liberty.

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Best eSIM in Puerto Rico

Unfortunately, none of the mobile operators offer eSIM (to prepaid customers) in Puerto Rico yet.

However, you can get the Island Hopper eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data valid for 7 days.

Moreover, the eSIM can be used in Puerto Rico and these other islands:

With the Island Hopper eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 8 USD/country in the Caribbean!

Best International/Travel SIM Card for Puerto Rico

If you want to buy the best international/travel SIM card for Puerto Rico, I recommend going with SimCorner's South America Travel SIM card. You get 12 GB of data valid for 30 days in Puerto Rico and (Central+) South America, including nearby Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala & Nicaragua.

SimCorner's South America SIM card can, in addition to the aforementioned countries, also be used in Chile, Panama, Peru & Uruguay.

Use discount code PHONETRAVELWIZ for extra savings!

SIM Card Registration in Puerto Rico

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Puerto Rico. This will be done at the point of sale.

Moreover, you can have up to five active prepaid SIM cards in Puerto Rico (at least for Claro).

This restriction applies to both Puerto Rican citizens and non-citizens (including migrant workers and tourists).

Puerto Rico Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Puerto Rico

The Caribbean is not known for being a cheap travel region.

With many luxurious resorts and PRISTINE beaches, it is somewhat understandable why the region is a bit high-class (with some exceptions, like the Dominican Republic and Haiti).

But unlike the Dominican Republic and Haiti, mobile data rates are not that low in Puerto Rico.

So, what are the mobile data rates in the territory?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Puerto Rico is 4 USD, around the Caribbean average of 4.44 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Compared to 2019's numbers, the average cost of 1 GB of data decreased by 72.6%.

Normally, I show you some data about mobile data speeds about the particular country I am covering.

Unfortunately, there is not much aggregate data about mobile download and upload speeds in Puerto Rico.

I can say, however, is that mobile data speeds are reasonable in the territory.

With hurricanes frequently ravaging Puerto Rico destroying towers, coverage and speeds can be slower than usual.

Especially the first few months after a hurricane terrorizes the territory.

With free SIM cards, average mobile data rates, decent download speeds, and extensive territory-wide coverage, you should have a smooth network experience in Puerto Rico.

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Using an American (USA) SIM Card in Puerto Rico

Buying a SIM Card in the United States Guide (logos of T-Mobile, AT&T, Black Wireless, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, FreedomPop, Good2Go Mobile, Google Fi, GoSmart Mobile, H2O Wireless, Lycamobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, NET10 Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk, TracFone, Ultra Mobile & Unreal Mobile)

T-Mobile US, AT&T USA & many mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs, including Boost Mobile USA, Cricket Wireless, Google Fi, H2O Wireless, Lycamobile USA, Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS), Mint Mobile, Straight Talk, TracFone & Ultra Mobile) allow you to use your American SIM card in Puerto without additional roaming fees.

Puerto Rico (and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are considered native or extended coverage by T-Mobile US and AT&T USA.

Verizon does not have native coverage in Puerto Rico (and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for that matter).

While T-Mobile US and AT&T have coverage in Puerto Rico, not all their plans include the islands.

The same counts for the MVNOs – they are less likely to include Puerto Rico (for free).

Moreover, speeds can be excruciatingly slow – basically useless (at 2G speeds).

This guide will not cover T-Mobile US – only the actual local mobile operators.

But it may have slightly different offerings in Puerto Rico to meet the demand of the territory.

If you are still interested in T-Mobile US, you can read more about what it has to offer in my United States SIM card buying guide.

Currency in Puerto Rico

10 US Dollar Note
© U.S. Currency Education Program

Puerto Rico use the US Dollar with the symbol USD (which will be used throughout this guide).

Prices in Puerto Rico are listed in just $.

For up-to-date USD:your currency (let's say Euro) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Puerto Rican Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Claro Puerto Rico & Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T), 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 being said, let’s see what Puerto Rico has to offer.


Claro Puerto Rico

Claro Logo
© Claro

Claro Puerto Rico, just Claro, is the other mobile operator in Puerto Rico.

Claro, as a company, is active in Central America and South America.

Claro uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12) & 1700 MHz (Band 4)

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

Coverage – Claro Puerto Rico

Claro has extensive coverage throughout Puerto Rico.

4G/LTE is available throughout the whole island.

Below is Claro's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Claro Puerto Rico

You can get a Claro SIM card for free in Claro stores (1/2/3). However, you are required to purchase a plan upon retrieval. You may be able to get a SIM card at San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

Claro SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 90 days (no top-up for 90 days or no activity for 90 days).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Claro Puerto Rico

Claro top-up vouchers are sold in Claro stores (1/2/3), grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Puerto Rico.

To top up your Claro SIM card, dial *7246 (*PAGO) 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 *88 or *125# to check your Claro balance.

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

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Claro Puerto Rico

Claro has two data-featured plans: Prepago con Residencia + Rescate/Prepaid with Residence + Rescue (combo) & Prepago con Protección Móvil + Residencia + Rescate/Prepaid with Mobile Protection + Residence + Rescue (combo).

Prepago con Residencia + Rescate (Prepaid with Residence) – Claro Puerto Rico

The Prepago con Residencia + Rescate (Prepaid with Residence) are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Prepago con Residencia + Rescate are available:

PriceLocal/USA DataLocal/USA MinutesInternational MinutesLocal/USA SMSValidity
18.99 USD4.5 GB1100 minutesN/A1100 SMS1 month
26.99 USD5 GBUnlimited100 minutesUnlimited1 month
36.99 USD15 GBUnlimited100 minutesUnlimited1 month
46.99 USD20 GBUnlimited100 minutesUnlimited1 month
56.99 USD50 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited1 month
66.99 USD60 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited1 month

1 also for Canada & Mexico data roaming

Prepago con Protección Móvil + Residencia + Rescate (Prepaid with Mobile Protection + Residence + Rescue) – Claro Puerto Rico

The Prepago con Protección Móvil + Residencia + Rescate (Prepaid with Mobile Protection + Residence + Rescue) are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

They are similar to the Prepago con Residencia + Rescate (Prepaid with Residence). However, they also include insurance for your phone.

If you plan on staying in the territory for a short period, the plans may not be worth it because you cannot take advantage of all the advantages, and they are (slightly) more expensive.

But, if you want to learn more about Prepago con Protección Móvil + Residencia + Rescate, check out this page.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

Liberty Logo
© Liberty

Liberty Puerto Rico, just Liberty and formerly AT&T, is one of the mobile operators in Puerto Rico.

AT&T (from the United States) decided to sell its Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands division in 2017.

While it took years for the rebrand to complete, it has finally happened.

However, Liberty still uses some of AT&T's features, such as online top-ups.

Liberty uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: N/A – shut down on the 31st of December 2016
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12, Band 14, Band 17 & Band 29), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700 MHz (Band 4 & Band 66), 1900 MHz (Band 2) & 2300 MHz (Band 30)
  • 5G NR: 850 MHz (n5 – through DDS)

This is what you will learn about Liberty:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Liberty SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages

Coverage – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

Liberty has extensive coverage throughout Puerto Rico.

Most of Puerto Rico is already covered by 5G NR.

Below is Liberty's 4G/LTE and 5G NR coverage map:

Below is Liberty's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

You can get a Liberty SIM card for free in Liberty stores. However, you are required to purchase a plan upon retrieval. You may be able to get a SIM card at San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

You can top-up your Liberty SIM card in Liberty stores (1/2) or online.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

Liberty has two data-featured plans: No-Contract Plans (combo) & Unlimited Plans (combo).

All Liberty plans have to be activated in-store.

No-Contract Plans – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

The No Contract Plans are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

No-Contract Plans have to be activated in a Liberty store (1/2):

PriceData 1Local/International Minutes 3Local/International SMS 3Validity
25 USD1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USD5 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD15 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 +unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 +Canada & Mexico data roaming
3 to Canada, Mexico, the United States & the U.S. Virgin Islands

Liberty US Virgin Islands No-Contract Plans
Unlimited Plans – Liberty Puerto Rico (formerly AT&T)

The Unlimited Plans are combo bundles with unlimited data, minutes & SMS.

Unlimited Plans have to be activated in a Liberty store (1/2):

Price Plan DataLocal/International Minutes 3Local/International SMS 3Validity
45 USDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
55 USDUnlimited PlusUnlimited 1, 2, 4UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 +Canada & Mexico data roaming
2 5G NR access
3 to/in Canada, Mexico, the United States & the U.S. Virgin Islands
4 guaranteed “high speed” (unthrottled when the network is busy) for 22 GB

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Puerto Rico

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Puerto Rico to get themselves a Puerto Rican SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.

However, for some, getting a Puerto Rican SIM card is not an option.

For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any other SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your mobile operator.

There are other ways to stay online while in Puerto Rico, 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.

Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Puerto Rico 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 mobile 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 Puerto Rico.

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 Puerto Rico

Getting a SIM card from Claro or Liberty (formerly AT&T) would do you well when considering a Puerto Rican 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.

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 & 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).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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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 & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

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In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & 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 cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile 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!

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