Skip to Content

2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Sint Maarten: Buying Guide

Sint Maarten – a special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, also referred to as a constituent country of the Kingdom.

It is often confused with Saint Martin, mostly because the island is called Saint Martin. To make it even more confusing, the northern half of Saint Martin is simply called Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic. So you have a Dutch side, Sint Maarten, and the French side, Saint Martin.

What makes things even more interesting is that there are no formal border checks between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin. So you may accidentally pass the border and end up at the other side.

But before you do so, you will most likely land at the Dutch side because the main international airport, Princess Juliana International Airport, is located there. L'Espérance Airport/Grand Case Airport has only four airlines servicing it – Princess Juliana International Airport has 25 airlines servicing it.

Sint Maarten is known for its lovely weather, incredible beaches, and thrilling nightlife. Besides being a relaxing travel destination for mainly the Dutch, Americans, and Canadians, many cruise ships stop at the island with passengers from countries worldwide.

The thing is – it is a given that you want to share your Sint Maarten experiences online. I think it is an unwritten law somewhere.

But before you get too excited, you should know that international roaming can be expensive. It could be so expensive that it could pay for a second holiday in Sint Maarten.

Why waste that money on a phone bill instead? And how to prevent such a bill shock? Get a local SIM card in Sint Maarten.

Not only are they relatively affordable, but they allow you to enjoy local rates when in Sint Maarten, which are significantly lower than standard roaming rates.

But how expensive are SIM cards in Sint Maarten?

You can get a Sint Maarten SIM card for 18 USD with 11 USD in credit with UTS/Chippie or 20 USD with 10 USD in credit with TelCell. In addition, a data plan with 5.25 GB of data for 7 days is available for as low as 10 USD.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

And they say the Caribbean is criminally expensive. It actually is… but those prices are reasonable… it could be worse!

But before you go out and get yourself a Sint Maarten SIM card, there are still some things you should know about SIM cards in this place.

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

Buying a SIM Card in Sint Maarten Guide (logos of UTS/Chippie & TeleM/TelCell)

Original publication: 6th of June 2021. Last updated: 30th of July 2021.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Sint Maarten?

Anyone living in or visiting Sint Maarten can buy a SIM card from UTS/Chippie or TelCell without restrictions.

You do need to ensure your SIM card is registered in your name, have a phone that supports Sint Maarten's frequencies, and have an unlocked device (SIM-lock free).

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Sint Maarten?

You can buy a Sint Maarten SIM card in the official stores of UTS and TelCell.

You can expect to pay the following for SIM cards in Sint Maarten:

  • UTS/Chippie Sint Maarten: 18 USD
  • TelCell Sint Maarten Sint Maarten: 20 USD

Can You Use Your Phone in Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten uses GSM for its cellular communications, meaning that you need a GSM-capable phone to use your phone in the country. Fortunately, there is about a 99% chance your phone supports GSM.

Besides that, you need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are 3 ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American Frequencies and European Frequencies.

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

The Americas (North-, Central, and South America + the Caribbean), ITU Region 2, use American Frequencies, which are different from the European Frequencies.

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

St Maarten uses a mix of American frequencies and European frequencies for 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE.

If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, you may experience slower speeds on 3G and 4G/LTE, but you may not experience reception issues.

If you purchased 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, you may enjoy faster speeds on 3G and 4G/LTE, but you may experience reception issues.

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

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten has two mobile network operators:

  • UTS/Chippie Sint Maarten
  • TelCell Sint Maarten

The following frequencies are used in Sint Maarten:

  • 2G: Shut down
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 850 MHz (Band 5), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2100 MHz (Band 1)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

To check whether your phone will work in Sint Maarten, 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.

5G in Sint Maarten

5G is not available in Sint Maarten as of 2021, and the regulator has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Best SIM Card in Sint Maarten

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Sint Maarten, I recommend going with either UTS/Chippie or TelCell. Both operators have great coverage throughout Sint Maarten, and they both offer free roaming in Saint Martin. However, UTS/Chippie has more options in plans. TelCell is, on average, cheaper.

SIM Card Registration in Sint Maarten

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Sint Maarten. This will be done at the point of purchase.

EU Roaming in Sint Maarten

European Union (EU) & European Economic Area (EEA)

Sint Maarten is a special municipality in Caribbean Netherlands. Caribbean Netherlands is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands itself is part of the European Union (EU). Caribbean Netherlands is not part of the EU nor the European Economic Area (EEA).

As a result, the EU/EEA Roam Like At Home roaming regulation does not apply in Sint Maarten. Therefore, you should not expect to roam for free if you have an EU/EEA SIM card while traveling in Sint Maarten.

This also means that you can not roam for free in the EU/EEA with a Sint Maarten SIM card.

Roaming in Saint Martin

Sint Maarten and Saint Martin
© Directorate of Intelligence, CIA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Sint Maarten, the Dutch side in the south, and Saint Martin, the French side in the north, share one island. Sint Maarten has two operators, while Saint Martin has five operators.

Because of the mountainous nature of the island, it is not always possible for the operators from each side to cover both sides of the island. As a result, those with a Sint Maarten SIM card can roam for free in Saint Maarten. UTS/Chippie is active in both parts of the islands. TelCell Sint Maarten roams on the Dauphin Telecom Saint Martin network.

Dauphin Telecom Saint Martin, Orange Saint Martin, and SFR Saint Martin roam for free on the TelCell Sint Maarten Network. Unfortunately, Digicel Saint Martin does not offer free roaming in Sint Maarten.

Sint Maarten Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Sint Maarten

I usually like to start off by saying that mobile data is quite affordable in the Americas. Luckily, that can also be said for the Caribbean, although other regions in the Americas offer much lower data rates.

Only two territories/countries in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe & Haiti, have an average cost of 1 GB of data for less than 1 USD (but only 53 countries meet that requirement, so do not be upset yet).

But how expensive is mobile data in Sint Maarten? Is it expensive?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Sint Maarten is 5.90 USD, a bit higher than the Caribbean average of 4.44 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

As Sint Maarten is part of Caribbean Netherlands, it is often grouped with other territories of Caribbean Netherlands in research-related publications, including the one of Cable.co.uk, as shown below.

Sint Maarten Mobile Data Rates 2021
Source

The 5.90 USD average is a figure I found out myself by doing my own calculations.

In terms of speeds, do not expect much in Sint Maarten. UTS/Chippie Sint Maarten claims the maximum achievable download speed you can get is 16 Mbps. TelCell is slower than UTS/Chippie, so expect even lower with them. And the 16 Mbps is the maximum speed, not the average.

Besides that, the network quality of acceptable for regional standards. So you should have a somewhat smooth network experience in Sint Maarten.

Currency in Sint Maarten

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

Sint Maarten uses the US Dollar with the symbol USD (which will be used throughout this guide). The Netherlands Antillean Guilder with the symbol ANG (NAƒ/NAf/ƒ/f) is also used in Sint Maarten but not as much. Prices are often solely listed in USD.

Netherlands Antillean Guilder Bank Notes (10, 25, 50 & 100 ANG)
© Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten/Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten

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!

Wise Signup Banner

Sint Maarten Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through UTS/Chippie & TelCell, 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 Sint Maarten has to offer to us.

UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

UTS/Chippie Logo
© UTS

UTS Sint Maarten, with the mobile brand Chippie, is one of the two operators in Sint Maarten. UTS as a company is active in various places in the Caribbean.

Chippie uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: Shut down
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 850 MHz (Band 5), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2100 MHz (Band 1)

This is what you will learn about Chippie:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Chippie SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping-Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* Chippieland Explained
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to TelCell

Coverage – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

Chippie has great coverage throughout Sint Maarten. However, you will often be limited to 3G.

Chippie is also active in Saint Martin, the French side, and allows for free roaming there without additional costs (as long as you have an active plan).

4G/LTE reception can be found in the more populated areas of Sint Maarten.

Below is Chippie's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

You can get a Chippie SIM card for 18 USD with 11 USD in credit in Chippie stores.

Dial #191# or *91 to access the Chippie menu.

Topping Up & Recharging – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

Chippie top-up vouchers are sold in Chippie stores and many other stores throughout Sint Maarten, including post offices, kiosks, and grocery stores.

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
5 USD30 days 
10 USD30 days 
20 USD30 days 

To top up your Chippie SIM card, dial *191*VoucherCode#, *789# and select option 1, or dial *91 and select option 2.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *191*123456# when using the shortcode method.

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 #191# or *91 to check your Chippie balance.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

Chippie has three types of data-featured plans, which are:

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

3-in-1-Data Bundles – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

The 3-in-1 Data Bundles are combo bundles with data, minutes, and SMS. In addition, the data allowance of your 3-in-1 Data Bundle can be used as free roaming data in Chippieland (Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius & St. Martin (French)).

You can activate a 3-in-1 Data Bundle by texting the Activation Code to 3636:

PriceDataLocal Minutes 1Local SMSValidityActivation Code
2.99 USD1 GBN/AN/A1 day B1D
10 USD2.5 GB35 minutes10 SMS7 days B7D
25 USD2 GB45 minutes30 SMS30 days BS
35 USD4 GB60 minutes60 SMS30 days BM
55 USD8 GB90 minutes60 SMS30 days BL
120 USD12 GB 240 minutes90 SMS30 days BXL

1 also to Saint Martin

3-in-1 Data Bundles auto-renew. You can disable auto-renewal by dialing #191#.

Prepaid Data Add-Ons – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

The Prepaid Data Add-Ons are data add-ons for the 3-in-1 Data Bundles (S, M, L & XL – 25 USD to 120 USD plans). They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Activate a Prepaid Data Add-On by texting the Activation Code to 3636:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
4 USD1 GBUntil plan expiresDM
7 USD2 GBUntil plan expiresDL
10 USD4 GBUntil plan expiresDXL
Prepaid Data – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

The Prepaid Data plans are data-only bundles. The data allowance of Prepaid Data can be used as free roaming data in Chippieland (Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius & St. Martin (French)).

The following Prepaid Data plans are available, which can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 3434:

PriceDataValidityActivation CodeDeactivation Code
2.25 USD500 MB1 day 3gvp 1d3GVP STOP
16.75 USD2.5 GB10 days 3gvp 10d3GVP STOP
35 USD4 GB30 days 4gvp 30d4GVP STOP

Prepaid Data Plans auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Deactivation Code to 3434.

Chippieland Countries & Benefits

Those with a Chippie SIM card and an active plan can take advantage of Chippieland features, which include:

  • Make and receive calls at the local rate of the Chippieland destination you are visiting
  • You can be reached on your own mobile number
  • No roaming costs will be charged
  • Use the data in your active bundle at no additional costs when traveling within Chippieland

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

The following countries are part of Chippieland:

Chippieland Countries
© UTS/Chippie

APN/Internet Settings – UTS Sint Maarten (Chippie Sint Maarten)

  • Name: UTS Sint Maarten
  • APN: premium

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

TelCell Sint Maarten

TeleM/TelCell Logo
© TelEm Group

TelCell Sint Maarten, just TelCell, is the other operator in Sint Maarten. It operates as one operator or network in Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten. This means that you can use your TelCell SIM card in any of those places without having to pay roaming fees.

TelCell uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: Shut down
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 850 MHz (Band 5), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2100 MHz (Band 1)

This is what you will learn about TelCell:

* Coverage
* How to Get a TelCell SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping-Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to Chippie

Coverage – TelCell Sint Maarten

TelCell has great coverage in Sint Maarten.

TelCell's 4G/LTE availability is better than the one of UTS/Chippie Sint Maarten. However, speeds will still be disappointing.

Below is TelCell's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – TelCell Sint Maarten

You can get a TelCell SIM card for 20 USD with 10 USD in credit in TelCell stores.

TelCell SIM Card
© TelEm Group

TelCell 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).

Topping Up & Recharging – TelCell Sint Maarten

TelCell top-up vouchers are sold in TelCell stores and many other stores throughout Sint Maarten, including convenience stores, supermarkets, and electronic shops.

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

Top-UpValidity
1 USD – 2.99 USD2 days 
2 USD – 4.99 USD5 days 
5 USD – 9.99 USD10 days 
10 USD – 19.99 USD30 days 
20 USD – 59.99 USD60 days 
60 USD – 99.99 USD80 days 
100 USD – 200 USD100 days 

To top up your TelCell SIM card, dial *123*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *123*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 *124# to check your TelCell balance.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – TelCell Sint Maarten

TelCell has only one data-featured plan, which are the Data Plans.

You have the following options:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
2 USD750 MB1 day DATA ON to 1001
3 USD1.5 GB1 day DATA ON to 2001
7.50 USD4 GB1 day DATA ON to 2004
10 USD1 GB30 days DATA ON to 1007
10 USD5.25 GB 7 days DATA ON to 3001 
20 USD3 GB30 days DATA ON to 2030
30 USD5 GB30 days DATA ON to 1030
35 USD7.5 GB 30 days DATA ON to 1035
40 USD10 GB30 days DATA ON to 1040

You can check your data balance by texting info to 111.

APN/Internet Settings – TelCell Sint Maarten

  • Name: TelCell
  • APN: internet.telcell.an
  • Authentication Type: PAP or CHAP

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Sint Maarten

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

However, for some, getting a Sint Maarten 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 Sint Maarten, but they may not be cheap.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the two local 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 Sint Maarten 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 Sint Maarten.

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 Sint Maarten

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:

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!