Are you planning a trip to Jamaica and looking for the best way to stay connected? This is a complete guide for buying a sim card for Jamaica in 2024 with where to buy a sim card in Jamaica, up to date prices as per January 2024, the best e-sim cards for Jamaica, the best 4G/5G network in Jamaica, my recommendation, a vlog about my experiences and even info about international sim cards for Jamaica.
Wherever I go one of the first things I do is making sure I get instantly connected to the internet. Having data on your phone makes life so much easier. Traveling to Jamaica is more fun if you can get directions from your phone, stay in touch with friends, look up nearby cool things to do, find fun bars and good restaurants, order a taxi through an app, etc.
As I am also traveling to every country in the world and I write a sim card guide everywhere I go you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: USA, Miami, New York, Newark, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Mexico City, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Antigua & Barbuda, UK, London, Europe, Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Dubai and many more.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card for Jamaica
First of all we don’t want our Jamaica holiday to be ruined by high roaming charges. Roaming charges on your sim card from home can easily be $3 USD per MB, which means just opening the Instagram app can costs you around $100 USD.
Also keep in mind that overseas data roaming plans from your home provider limit your data speed. Which means you probably will be surfing the internet on 3G.
A smartphone without data is useless these days and getting directions from Google Maps, or finding nearby friends suddenly becomes impossible.
Yes, the resorts and hotels in Jamaica have reliable WiFi and I must say I was surprised with the data speed of the WiFi. However, as soon as you walk out on the beach you will lose connection.
Also keep in mind that surfing the internet on public WiFi is through an unsecured network. The use of a VPN service is recommended. With a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card you use a secured network.
Traveltomtom recommends a Digicel sim card for Jamaica. They have the best 3G/4G network and sim cards with data are cheap. The price depends where in Jamaica you buy your sim card.
If you are planning to buy a sim card in Jamaica then keep in mind that you can only get physical prepaid sim cards, there are no e-sim cards available for tourists in stores in Jamaica, only on the internet.
Traveltomtom definitely recommend e-sim cards, but for traveling to Jamaica there are unfortunately very limited options available in 2024. See below for more info.
That said, another great way to stay connected when traveling to Jamaica in 2024 is a world travel sim card. These international prepaid sim cards with data work in sometimes up to 140 countries. Click on the link to find my comparison of the best travel sim cards in 2024.
When using a Jamaica sim card, international or an e-sim card for Jamaica, always make sure your phone is unlocked. In general phones from the USA are locked, phones from other countries around the world are mostly unlocked. When not sure ask your sim card provider from home and unlock your phone before your trip to Jamaica.
Best e-sim cards for Jamaica
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Jamaica in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a sim card shop and swapping physical sim cards. You order an e-sim card for Jamaica online, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within just a couple minutes you have installed your Jamaica e-sim card on your phone.
As soon as you arrive in Jamaica you are automatically connected and can enjoy data on your phone as if you were at home. Pretty much as soon as the plane lands.
Airalo is a reputable e-sim card provider that offers e-sim cards for Jamaica from Jamcomm.
- 1 GB for 7 days = $9.5 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Jamaica directly online via Airalo.
The above Jamcomm e-sim card operates on the 4G/LTE network of Digicel and is a data-only e-sim card.
SimOptions sells an e-sim card from Ubigi which is valid all over the Caribbean in 28 countries/islands.
- 1 GB data for 30 days = $29.90 USD
The Ubigi e-sim card is basically the ultimate e-sim card for the Caribbean but it is also more expensive than the Airalo e-sim card for Jamaica.
Click here to order this e-sim card for the Caribbean via SimOptions.
Nomad is a trusted e-sim provider that often has amazing e-sim card deals. However, the Jamaica e-sim cards are rather expensive compared to Airalo. At least Nomad has bigger data packages.
- 1 GB for 7 days = $25 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days = $40 USD
- 5 GB for 30 days = $45 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for traveling in Jamaica via Nomad.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Jamaica.
Mobile internet operators in Jamaica
Jamaica is a relatively small country with a population of 3 million. There are only 2 mobile internet operators: Flow and Digicel. Both mobile internet provider offer prepaid sim cards for tourists in Jamaica.
Both operators only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists, e-sim cards are not available. So in case you have one of the newest iPhones from the USA and no physical sim card slot anymore, you can NOT buy a tourist sim card in Jamaica.
Prepaid sim card registration
When buying a prepaid sim card in Jamaica you will need to bring your passport for the registration. A copy of your passport will be taken in the store and you will receive a new prepaid sim card with a Jamaican phone number. Jamaican phone numbers start just like in the USA with +1.
You can buy up to 3 prepaid sim cards with 1 passport. If for some reason you prefer your sim card not to be registered on your passport there is a way out. International sim cards and e-sim cards do NOT require a registration with your passport, just your email address.
Where to buy a sim card for Jamaica
The most convenient place to buy a sim card in Jamaica is at the airport on arrival. But prices will of course be much higher.
Sangster International Airport Montego Bay
At Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay there is a local phone shop called ‘Stay Connected’. Here you can buy a Digicel sim card for Jamaica, but expect tourist prices. They easily charge 3x as much as the original price. Not the cheapest place to buy a Jamaica sim card, but the fastest way to get connected when arriving in Jamaica.
Normal Manley International Airport Kingston
At Kingston Airport there is an actual Flow and Digicel store now. They recently opened and they replace the representatives in the company t-shirt roaming outside. Expect also here tourist prices. The same as at Montego Bay. Both phone stores are in the arrival hall.
Official retail stores of Digicel or Flow
The best place to buy a sim card in Jamaica is at an official retail store of Digicel or Flow. Here you will get the best service, the cheapest prices and the staff makes sure you are instantly connected and your Jamaica sim card is registered properly. This is my advice when you are looking for the best sim card for tourists in Jamaica.
On the streets
Traveltomtom does not recommend buying a sim card on the streets in Jamaica. In tourist hotspots like Negril and Montego Bay I have seen people offering prepaid sim cards for tourist prices. First of all they are overpriced and second, keep in mind that a Jamaica prepaid sim card only works if it is registered on your name.
These ready to use sim cards you buy on the streets in Jamaica are registered on someone else’s name. NOT recommended!
As mentioned before there is the possibility to order an e-sim card for Jamaica via Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions or buy an international prepaid sim card that will be delivered to your home address before your trip.
Prices prepaid sim cards Jamaica
Prepaid sim cards for Jamaica are much cheaper at official Digicel or Flow stores. At the international airports they sell sim cards in USD.
Stay Connected - Montego Bay Airport
At the phone store ‘Stay Connected’ at Sangster International Airport you can buy one of the following Digicel prepaid sim card plans:
- 6 GB data + 300 minutes + 10 GB for social media for 3 days = $15 USD
- 14 GB data + 700 minutes + 25 GB for social media for 7 days = $23 USD
- 20 GB data + 2,500 minutes + 50 GB for social media for 28 days = $45 USD
Opening hours: daily 10.00 am - 6.00 pm - CASH ONLY, credit cards are not accepted.
You can find the same tourist sim cards at Kingston International Airport.
As I mentioned before the best place to buy a sim card in Jamaica is at an official retail store. The prices below are in Jamaican Dollars and as per January 2024: $1 USD = $155 JMD and $100 JMD = $0.64 USD.
A Digicel prepaid sim card costs $750 JMD ($5 USD) and it comes with the following plan:
- 6 GB data + 300 minutes + 10 GB social media
On top of that you can top up with one of the following prepaid data plans:
- 3 GB data + 100 minutes + 5 GB social media for 1 day = $216
- 6 GB data + 300 minutes + 10 GB social media for 3 days = $479 - $3 USD
- 6 GB data + 500 minutes + 25 GB social media for 7 days = $895
- 15 GB data + 2,500 minutes + 50 GB social media for 28 days = $3,349 - $21 USD
All Digicel stores around Jamaica are only open from 09.00 AM till 6.00 PM. Located the nearest one by using Google Maps.
Flow has several prepaid sim card plans that all come with unlimited calls & text as well as international minutes:
- 1 GB data + unlimited social media apps + 1 GB TikTok for 2 days = $315 JMD - $2 USD
- 3 GB data + unlimited social media apps + 2 GB TikTok for 5 days = $585 JMD
- 8 GB data + unlimited social media apps + 4 GB TikTok for 7 days = $830 JMD - $5 USD
- 8 GB data + unlimited social media apps + 4 GB TikTok for 28 days = $2,300 JMD
- Unlimited data + unlimited social media apps + 8 GB TikTok for 28 days = $4,900 JMD - $31 USD
Best 4G/5G network in Jamaica in 2024
Pretty important for staying connected when traveling to Jamaica is the network coverage and therefore I will compare the Jamaica network coverage maps for both mobile internet providers and find the best 4G/5G network in Jamaica in 2024.
Is there 5G in Jamaica?
Unfortunately as per January 2024 there is still no 5G in Jamaica. The best you can get is 4G/LTE. The data speed I experience was pretty solid on my Digicel prepaid sim card with up to 45 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload.
Flow 3G/4G network coverage map
Digicel 3G/4G network coverage map
Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not completely correct, that said it is a great indication to prove the point. Because from the above mobile data network coverage maps we can clearly see that Digicel has by far the best network coverage in Jamaica in 2024.
For example I went to Negril and I had a pretty good 4G/LTE signal throughout my stay at 7 Mile Beach.
Best sim card for Jamaica in 2024
Traveltomtom is a fan of e-sim cards for traveling the world. However, for Jamaica the e-sim card plans are very limited and I simply need more than just 5 GB data. Therefore if you are a heavy data user I recommend buying a physical prepaid sim card for tourists in Jamaica. But if you just need 1 or 2 GB data to stay connected than an e-sim card is my first recommendation for when traveling to Jamaica in 2024.
Buying a local prepaid sim card in Jamaica is the cheapest way to stay connected on your holiday. Prices for Jamaican sim cards are fairly cheap, but much more expensive when you buy them at the airport. At the international airports of Kingston and Montego Bay you pay tourist prices in USD for the sim cards.
There are two options, a Flow and a Digicel prepaid sim card, but it leaves no doubt that Digicel is the best prepaid sim card in Jamaica in 2024. Have a look at my comparison of the 4G/LTE network coverage maps in Jamaica and you instantly understand why Digicel is the best tourist sim card.
Here is also a vlog about my experiences buying a Jamaica sim card with all my tips and what it looks like arriving at Montego Bay Airport.
Order a sim card for Jamaica online
Normally Traveltomtom also recommends sim cards that you can order online. Unfortunately for Jamaica there are very limited options and Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card in Jamaica as the best way to stay connected on your trip. As soon as there are international prepaid sim card deals for Jamaica online I will add them here.
Actually there is a physical international prepaid sim card available for Jamaica but you pay $49.90 USD for just 1 GB data. If that is what you want then you can order this Jamaica prepaid sim card via SimOptions.
For now I am sure all the information about staying connected when traveling to Jamaica was helpful for your upcoming trip. Let me know if you have questions and leave me a message below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Jamaica!