Buying Prepaid SIM Cards in the Caribbean Guide

When you are traveling to the Caribbean, one thing you want to be able to do is to keep in touch with your loved ones back home. So how can you make sure that you are staying connected without spending an arm and a leg on roaming fees? Your best option is getting a local SIM card.

What is the best SIM card for the Caribbean?   Every country in the Caribbean has its own options when it comes to SIM card companies. However, the most popular company that can be found throughout the entirety of the Caribbean is Digicel. They offer a wide range of packages and deals with some of the best coverage.

Knowing that every country has its own providers can seem somewhat daunting. You want to make sure you are buying the right SIM card for your area, and we have made it easy for you with this list of best SIM cards for the Caribbean countries. Look through my must-see list and find out all you need to know about SIM cards in the Caribbean.

Why Do I Need a Local SIM Card?

When using your standard cellphone outside of the country, you will be hit with some extraordinary fees and charges for roaming. Purchasing a SIM card that can work with your current cellphone will save you hoards of money without losing contact with the ones you love back home.

No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!

In most of the Caribbean, SIM cards are referred to as ‘chips,’ or the two words are used interchangeably. It is also important to note that some areas have better coverage than others, and you may find yourself in ‘dead zones’ more often than you would like.

It can be somewhat of a challenge to set up a SIM card on your device the first time. That being said, if you need any help with setup, always feel free to ask one of the many workers at the retail shop. They should be happy and more than willing to help.

Tip: Visiting multiple countries in the Caribbean and are 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!

Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (ABC Islands) SIM Cards

Willemstad, Curacao

In Aruba, you can find good coverage throughout the island as well as in Bonaire and Curacao, with Chippie being the best option for those traveling specifically to Bonaire and Curacao. However, you have a much broader selection in the country of Aruba: Digicel, Setar, and Miro Wireless.

  • Digicel is a well-known company with plenty of options when it comes to packages and pricing. Digicel is active in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.
  • Setar is known to be the fastest network in Aruba, also offering specialty ‘WiFi-Aruba’ locations for internet access. The downside is that the SIM card for Setar cannot be used on other islands of the ABC.
  • Mio Wireless is the smallest company at a reasonable rate; however, it cannot be used with GSM phones, rendering it useless to the majority of consumers.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao? Check out my buying guides for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao!

Bahamas SIM Cards

Resort in the Bahamas

The Bahamas consists of 700 different islands, which may leave the consumer concerned with coverage. The good news is that the two companies that offer SIM card services in the Bahamas, BTC, and alive, provide excellent coverage all throughout the Bahamas. There are a few small areas where coverage may lack slightly, but the overall quality is top-notch.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in the Bahamas? Check out my Bahamas SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to the Bahamas!

Barbados and Saint Lucia SIM Cards

Saint Lucia

Barbados and Saint Lucia are known for having some of the best deals when it comes to SIM cards in all of the Caribbean (and the best beaches, too). You will find two companies that have already been featured on this list: Flow and Digicel. These companies follow a strict approval process for being able to operate on the island, which means you will have a network you can trust.

Unfortunately, along the shoreline and certain areas inland, the coverage can suffer quite incredibly. However, a coverage map has shown that Digicel has a better signal for its customers out of the two companies.

Referred to as ‘chips’ by the locals, chips from both companies have some reasonable offers and deals when it comes to their prepaid credit. You can use US dollars as well as Barbadian dollars when purchasing. Typically you will spend between BBD5 and BBD250 with Digicel, while Flow offers BBD5 to BBD120 deals – 1 BBD = $0.50.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Barbados and Saint Lucia? Check out my buying guides for Barbados and Saint Lucia with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Barbados and St. Lucia!

Bermuda SIM Cards

Unlike most nations in the Caribbean, Flow is not active in Bermuda. Instead, you have One and Digicel Bermuda. However, data is still expensive like other Caribbean countries.

Here, One is cheaper than Digicel Bermuda AND has better coverage, which is why I recommend One. You can get a One SIM card for $20. Data packs range from $2 for 20 MB for 24 hours all the way up to 5 GB for 30 days, costing you $100 – criminal.

For comparison, Digicel Bermuda will charge you $150 for 5 GB – even more criminal!

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Bermuda? Check out my Bermuda SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Cuba SIM Cards

Havana during sunset

When it comes to Cuba, two major companies offer local SIM cards to travelers: Cubacel and Digicel. It is important to note that Cuba only offers 2G and 3G wireless services, with 4G not yet being offered to the public.

In Cuba, you may notice that there are many areas where you might have limited coverage, and internet access is also scarce in this area.

There is little to no foreign operators that will allow for roaming in Cuba. Without opting for a local SIM card during your visit, you will be looking at astronomical roaming rates. To avoid this potential situation, consider purchasing a SIM card from Cubacel or Digicel.

SIM cards are not offered with phone devices in Cuba. They can only be used with SIM-unlocked GSM phones, and roaming can be costly. Remember that there is also a limited number of stores in Cuba, and the overall coverage is not great.

Cubacel

Cubacel is the leading provider for SIM cards in Cuba and offers 2G and 3G options for their customers. Overall, Cubacel has reasonably good coverage for its users but does not provide internet. Instead, the internet will have to be used through roaming, which will be pricey.

It is also important to note that Cubacel only allows travelers to rent their SIM cards and phones, as purchasing is not permitted. When your trip is over, you will need to return both the SIM card and phone to avoid a hefty fine.

  • Cubacel SIM cards can be rented using CUC10, CUC20, and CUC40.
  • There is a mandatory CUC3 rental fee per day.
  • Rates are CYC0.35 throughout the day per minute, CUC0.10 at night.
  • International calls will be charged CUC1.20 per minute.
  • For SMS rates, you can expect CUC0.09 per SMS within Cuba and CUC0.60 internationally.

Note, the Cuban Convertible Peso is pegged to the US Dollar, meaning that 1 CUC is 1 USD at all times.

Digicel Cuba

Digicel is different from Cubacel in a lot of ways. First and foremost, Digicel allows its customers to buy their SIM cards before coming to Cuba either on the Digicel website or Amazon. You can buy a SIM card for $25, and that comes complete with 100MB of data for use.

If you need more data, you can purchase the following:

  • $25 for an additional 100MB
  • $50 for 300MB
  • $100 for 500MB

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Cuba!

Dominican Republic SIM Cards

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has some of the best options when it comes to SIM card options and deals. When it comes to coverage, you will find that coverage is best in the Santo Domingo area, while other areas of the Dominican Republic have a weaker network.

The four leading SIM card companies in the Dominican Republic include Claro, Orange, Tricom, and Viva. These tried-and-true companies offer their SIM cards available for purchase at many locations, including their shops, supermarkets, kiosks throughout the area, and pharmacies.

Unlocked GSM phones have the option of choosing between 2G, 3G, and 4G service. Around the town, you can find a multitude of SIM card machines where you can top-up, although there may be a 30% tax added.

Claro Dominican Republic

The leader in the SIM card service in the Dominican Republic is Claro. They offer the best coverage out of all the other companies and have some incredible deals. Aside from that, they also allow for 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage, although the frequency rates for 4G can be limited.

You can buy from Claro using your registered passport. Then you can buy Claro SIM cards at any of their stores or resale stores for DOP150 (or $2.85 – DOP1 = $0.019). When you need more credit, you can quickly top-up your card in these dominations:

  • 1 week for DOP75
  • 3 weeks for DOP100
  • 1 month for DOP150
  • 2 months for DOP250

Orange Dominican Republic

Orange is very similar to Claro in terms of its coverage and services. One major bonus to using Orange, though, is that the prepaid SIM card will come with a free DOP100 gift if it is uploaded within the first three days after purchase. Orange offers its customers a wide range of packages and deals, as well as 2G, 3G, and 4G options.

Tricom

Tricom offers its customers with 3G services for their compatible GSM devices. There is also the option of 4G/LTE services. Keep in mind that Tricom SIM cards are hard to find, as they can only be purchased from the few stores located throughout the country. You can top-up your SIM card in dominations between DOP60 and DOP460.

Viva Dominican Republic

Viva is the smallest SIM card provider in the Dominican Republic. While their prices are incredibly low compared to other companies, their overall coverage is lacking and is only compatible with a few devices. If you are trying to use Viva, always make sure that your phone is compatible. Viva should not be used for those who plan on using voice and SMS often.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to the Dominican Republic!

French West Indies SIM Cards

Mailboxes in Guadeloupe

Within the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin), you will find three leading SIM card providers: Orange, SFR, and Digicel. Orange and SFR offer the best coverage and packaged deals, while Digicel is the smaller company and does not provide 4G services to its customers.

Overall, these three companies offer prepaid services that are easy to use with no contracts necessary. Most SIM cards should be compatible with your current mobile device. However, they can only be used with SIM-unlocked GSM phones.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to the French West Indies!

Guyana SIM Cards

Guyana SIM card providers include GTT+ and Digicel Guyana. It is important to note that while you can find 2G, 3G, and 4G in Guyana, most of the coverage will only be located on the coastline. The further you venture into the mainland of Guyana, you will lose service completely, so be prepared.

SIM cards from either company can be used in the rest of South American countries, and most are compatible with a multitude of cellphones. However, they can only be used on GSM phones.

GTT+

GTT+, which is Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, is the best SIM card provider in Guyana. They offer the best coverage compared to their Digicel counterparts, and the prices are reasonably low, too. You will find 2G, 3G, and 4G services available with GTT+.

You can find GT+ SIM cards in any GTT shop, and top-ups for your card are available in-store or online. The standard rate for GTT+ is GYD10 per 1 MB ($0.05). Add-ons and packages can be purchased, such as weekly service for GYD1,499 and monthly service for GYD5,299.

Calls to the United States and Canada are included in the bundle packages from GTT+.

Digicel Guyana

Digicel is the only other provider found in Guyana. While they offer the same types of services and coverages, the major difference between Digicel Guyana and GTT+ is that their 4G is not a ‘real’ 4gG, rather a super 3G+ service. This means that their 4G service may fail in comparison to the GTT+ version.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Guyana? Check out my Guyana SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Guyana!

Haiti SIM Cards

Mountains in Haiti

When visiting Haiti, do not be shocked if there is not a whole lot of connection with your mobile device. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in all of the Western Hemisphere and has been knocked down with multiple natural disasters, leaving their network systems in shambles.

Two companies provide SIM cards in Haiti: Digicel Haiti and Natcom. Both of these networks are deemed to be somewhat reliable and only offer 3G coverage. A lot of the locals will have two different SIM cards to see which one will work better.

Blackouts are a common occurrence in Haiti. That being said, you should always make sure to charge your device while the power is on, or you might not have the chance for a while.

You can top-up your card at many of the street vendors in Haiti. However, you also have the option of sending credit directly to your phone number. Both of these options do come with an extra fee.

Digicel Haiti

Digicel is the leading company for SIM cards in Haiti. They have the most reliable service with voice coverage being more reasonable than other options. Their 3G service is only available in certain designated areas to allow for faster data.

Some of the noted areas where you can find 3G coverage with your Digicel phone include Anse A Galets, Cap-Haitian, Cotes des Arcadins, Hinche, Port-de-Paix, Merabalais, and Saint-Marc.

Digicel offers many different featured packages and can be bought on their website or in-store, although their stores may be a challenge to find. Some of the more popular bundles include:

  • Unlimited for 6 HTG
  • 20 MB for 4 HTG
  • 500 MB for 45 HTG
  • 3 GB for 250 HTG
  • 30 GB for 2000 HTG

1 HTG = $0.01

Natcom

Natcom was created in 2010 with the help of the Vietnamese. The end result was a company that may have overall less coverage than Digicel but is actually faster in certain areas throughout Haiti. It is also far cheaper than their Digicel counterpart, making it an excellent choice for anyone on a budget.

There are many different package bundles available from Natcom. SIM cards can be easily bought at one of their stores, and top-ups can be done online or at one of the many street vendors, allowing for more data quicker.

The default price for Natcom bundles is 2.50 HTG per one MB. However, you also have the option of these popular packages:

  • 60 MB for 9 HTG
  • 180 MB for 18 HTG
  • 3 GB for 400 HTG
  • 25 GB for 2000 HTG

They also offer a special ‘Tourist SIM card’ at the Port-au-Prince airport and Cap-Haitien airport. These specialty SIM cards offer 100MB for 1 full day and are entirely free. After that, you have the option of topping up your card for further use.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Haiti? Check out my Haiti SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Haiti!

Jamaica SIM Cards

Beach in Jamaica

Two major companies offer mobile network operations. These include Digicel Jamaica and Flow by Cable & Wireless. Coverage will differ depending on what area you find yourself in Jamaica.

  • Digicel Jamaica is found in Jamaica and is the go-to for SIM card needs. They run CDMA and GSM networks together, CDMA used for inbound roaming exclusively. They offer a wide selection of packages to choose from, with the new 4G LTE platform being available since 2016. Coverage is continuing to expand, and you can buy a SIM card for around JMD 500-700 (or $3.55-$5.00 – JMD 1 = is less than a cent, $0.007).
  • Flow Jamaica is the other company in Jamaica that offers 2G, 3G, and 4G services to its customers. They are known to have some incredibly fast speeds ad were awarded the ‘SpeedtestAward’ by Ookla. You can find a SIM card by flow at any of their locations for 500 JMD.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Jamaica!

Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands SIM Cards

Puerto Rico

Both Puerto Rico the US Virgin Islands are US Territories found in the Caribbean, which means a lot of US travelers, whether they are staying short-term or long-term, can bring their phones with them and not have to worry too much about expenses. For anyone else, you may want to consider opting for a Claro or Open Mobile SIM card.

In Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, you can choose between Open Mobile, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. In Puerto Rico, you can choose Claro as well.

  • Claro Puerto Rico has excellent service for those staying in Puerto Rico. They have great coverage with 4G/LTE services. Many retailers sell these SIM cards, but they can also be found in official Claro stores. You can also find prepaid, no contract, and specialty contracts for modems and tablets at a different rate.
  • Open Mobile is a Puerto-Rico only company that is paired with Verizon Wireless. This means that anyone with a Verizon phone can easily roam on the Open Mobile network, which is offered in 2G, 3G, and 4G. Data packages can be purchased between $5 and $250.
  • AT&T is noted as the largest GSM provider in America with services ranging from 2G to 4G. You can opt for buying a ‘GoPhone’ with prepaid SIM cards and choose between different packages for data, voice, and SMS, or opt for data-only SIM cards used for modems and tablets.
  • T-Mobile is another popular US company, although their prices are notably lower. This draws a lot of the crowd in. You can purchase SIM cards with a variety of different levels of data, such as the $45 Unlimited Data with 4GB Cap to $75 Unlimited Data with a 30GB cap.
  • Sprint is the smallest US-based companies with plenty of great deals. The downside to their SIM cards, though, is that they come with phones which you may or may not need. The packages themselves are rather pricey due to the inclusion of the phone, so if you do not require a phone, you should opt for another company.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands!

Suriname SIM Cards

Suriname

Suriname is an astounding place full of beauty, but less-populated areas will offer little to no coverage. In general, the two companies found in Suriname, Telesur and Digicel, only offer up to 3G coverage, although they are packaged as 4G devices.

  • Telesur is one such company, with TeleG being their GSM network. SIM cards are around SRD20 and, if you run out of service, you will need to top-up the card within 60 days, or it will be closed. TeleG top-ups can be both in SRD and US denominations.
  • Digicel Suriname also offers a repackaged 4G, which is actually 3G, with service mostly in the populated areas. Their SIM cards are available at SRD20 as well, known as the Digicel Flex option. Digicel top-ups allow most international credit cards.

Just note that 1 SRD = $0.13

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Suriname? Check out my Suriname SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Suriname!

Trinidad and Tobago SIM Cards

North Coast Trinidad

Two companies in Trinidad and Tobago offer SIM card services: Digicel and bMobile.

  • Digicel Trinidad and Tobago is a reliable company in Trinidad and Tobago. They have worked tirelessly to become the best network in the area, surpassing bMobile in terms of coverage and speed. They are expecting to be a nationwide 4G covered service, making it well worth the price, which can be anywhere from TTD 6.50 to TTD 336.38 (or $0.95 to $49.60 – 1 TTD = $0.15).
  • bMobile is the mobile division of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago. They are, without a doubt, the most established mobile company in Trinidad and Tobago and offer incredible service and coverage for their customers. You can find SIM cards by bMobile at their store in the Piarco airport as well as malls around the area. Prices range from TTD 50 to TTD 300, and combo packages are available.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Trinidad and Tobago? Check out my Trinidad and Tobago SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog for your flights to Trinidad and Tobago!

Less Populated Areas

Antigua and Barbuda SIM Cards

Again, Flow Antigua and Barbuda and Digicel Antigua and Barbuda are the two companies offering SIM card services in Antigua and Barbuda. Both operations have a multitude of packages and specials to save money.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Antigua and Barbuda? Check out my Antigua and Barbuda SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Dominica SIM Cards

This mountainous area can have some extremely pricey roaming fees, so it is always best to buy a SIM card that works in the area. The two companies to find SIM cards in Dominica includes the ever-popular Flow Dominica and Digicel Dominica. A long list of packages and deals ensures you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in Dominica? Check out my Dominica SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten, Dutch, should not be confused with Saint Martin, the French part. In Sint Maarten, you can get SIM cards from Digicel, CHIPPIE, and TelCell.

The British Virgin Islands SIM Cards

The British Virgin Islands utilizes three different companies: Digicel, Flow, and CCT. All offer some incredible incentives and package deals. You will find excellent coverage throughout the British Virgin Islands.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards in the British Virgin Islands? Check out my British Virgin Islands SIM card buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, The Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos SIM Cards

Flow and Digicel are the two providers of SIM cards on these islands. Sometimes, Flow is better. The other times, Digicelbe is better. In many cases, they are equally as good and popular because the locals have a SIM card from both operators.

RELATED: Want to learn more about SIM cards on these island nations? Check out the individual SIM buying guide with up-to-date and detailed information regarding prices and packages.

Conclusion

Whether you are traveling short-term or long-term, you need to make sure you have a trusty SIM card to help you save money and stay connected to loved ones. While each country in the Caribbean has its own companies that offer SIM cards, it seems the most popular choice in all areas is Digicel.

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 the Caribbean

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 the Caribbean.

Book Your Accommodation for the Caribbean

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

Get Your Travel Insurance for the Caribbean

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 the Caribbean, 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 local currency 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 due to the current pandemic and does not have any travel plans for after his stay in Taiwan.

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