Traveling to Mexico soon and preparing your trip? Don't get stuck with high roaming costs or slow overseas data roaming packages which limit the internet speed! Get yourself a local sim card. It is cheap and you get the best network, fastest internet speed and big data bundle packages. This is your complete guide for buying a sim card in Mexico with where to buy a sim card, the best network in Mexico, up to date prices and everything else you need to know.

This article is updated in June 2021 with the latest information and up to date prices.

The first thing I do when arriving in a new country is buying a local sim card. As part of my journey to travel to every country in the world I wrote already more than 150 local sim card guides including countries like: USA, Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, etc.

At Cancun Airport you can buy a local sim card for Mexico, but these deals aren't great at all. However when buying a sim card at Mexico City Airport, you will find great prepaid sim card deals for tourists. The easiest place to make money of unknowing tourists is when they just landed, so I recommend to buy from authorized dealers only!

I also wrote a guide for buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen.

Over the last years I made uncountable trips to Mexico. Check out my Yucatan Peninsula itinerary with places like: Isla Holbox, Valladolid, Rio Lagartos, Mahahual Costa Maya, Cozumel and many more. Just recently I visited Mexico again and traveled more than 4,000 kilometer with a rental car through almost 20 States in Mexico.

That resulted in my latest Mexico travel blog with the most beautiful places to visit in Mexico. Go check it out if you need some travel inspo!

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Why buying a sim card in Mexico

Being connected to the internet makes life simply much easier and that counts also for traveling in Mexico! With a working data connection you can easily order a taxi through a taxi app, find a restaurant with good reviews nearby and get direction from Google Maps. What in case of an emergency? You will have to ask other people to use their phone quickly?

Buying a local sim card in Mexico is easy, fast, reliable and cheap!

For those traveling from the USA and Canada there is NO NEED buying a sim card in Mexico as your USA or Canada sim card should have FREE DATA ROAMING in Mexico, but double check it with your provider at home.

When swapping sim cards and changing phone numbers does not have your preference you can look into getting a portable WiFi device. Personally, I am not the biggest fan, but I admit they are a good way to get WiFi on the road. Check the link for my HONEST review about using a pocket WiFi.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying a Telcel sim card for Mexico. Telcel has by far the best 4G network coverage in Mexico and for less than $10 USD you get unlimited social media apps, calling and texting plus 3 GB data for surfing the internet.

Traveltomtom does NOT recommend global sim cards! Only very few of these travel sim card with global coverage are worth it, some are so expensive I would almost call them scams! Have a look at my international sim cards comparison in this link.

Buy a Mexico sim card online

If you don't want to waste your precious vacation days getting a prepaid Mexico sim card then order one online and get it shipped to your home address. There are a bunch of options available online, mostly offering 5 GB data and some calling time. Prices differ so click below to find your preferred Mexico sim card from a bunch of different providers.

If you like a lot of data this a great option for you: 60 GB data sim card valid for 30 days = $90. Hotspot available so you can share with friends/partner/kids!

A lot of North American sim cards can also be used in Mexico. Check my article about the best prepaid USA sim cards to find out which ones have free data roaming in Mexico.

Mobile internet providers Mexico

There are 3 main mobile internet providers in Mexico who all sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. Telcel is the market leader followed by Movistar and AT&T who bought Unefon and Nextel. These last two networks are now part of AT&T Mexico.

movistar mexico prepaid sim card

Where to buy a prepaid Mexico sim card?

Whenever you travel to Mexico you will find out that buying a sim card in Mexico is the easiest thing there is. There are mobile internet shops around everywhere. Especially in the tourist areas you will find multiple Telcel, AT&T and Movistar shops as well as in shopping malls and airports.

You can find specific guides for buying a sim card at Mexico City Airport or a guide for buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen on my website.

Telcel charges 80 pesos ($4) per sim card, Movistar 60 pesos ($3) and an AT&T sim card is free. Mexico sim cards are ready to use, so there is no activation time and costs.

best mexico sim card

Unlike most other countries around the world you do NOT need your passport or ID when buying a Mexico prepaid sim card!

Traveling onwards through Central America? I traveled for 3 months in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. It was an amazing adventure. I also wrote guides for buying a sim card in: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Prices prepaid sim cards Mexico in 2021

In Europe when buying a sim card the prices are the same in every single shop you go and they offer you the same data packages. Not in Mexico! Im kind of used to this practice as finding the best sim card in Vietnam, Indonesia or Thailand is even worse. Every shop will offer you something else.

All the Mexico prepaid sim cards have the following attributes:

  • The following social media apps are free (unlimited use) in Mexico: Snapchat, Facebook, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Twitter. Youtube is NOT unlimited!
  • The available surfing data can be used in: Canada, USA and of course Mexico.
  • Available calling and texting credit can be used in: Canada, USA and Mexico.

This counts for all AT&T, Movistar and Telcel sim cards you buy in Mexico.

To make it easy: 20 pesos is $1 USD!

Telcel sim card Mexico

Telcel is the biggest mobile internet provider company in Mexico and claims to have to best network, we will see that later when comparing the 4G coverage maps of Mexico.

Buying a Telcel prepaid sim card will cost you at least 80 pesos ($4). Strange but true, at some Telcel shops this 80 pesos sim card includes 50 pesos credit, in some Telcel shops it doesn’t. I found this out when looking for a sim card in Playa del Carmen.

Telcel Mexico sim cards are sold all over: Oxxo, 7Eleven and any random phone shops. You will find the Telcel sign everywhere. Below is a price overview of the Telcel sim cards they offer at Oxxo stores in 2021. For the most up to date prepaid sim card offers and top up packages from Telcel, check their website. Warning: it is one big mess!

telcel sim card mexico

AT&T sim card Mexico

The AT&T shops in supermarkets and shopping malls I asked where able to sell me Mexico prepaid sim cards for tourists with unlimited data.

AT&T Mexico prepaid sim cards with unlimited data:

  • 100 pesos - unlimited internet - 10 days valid
  • 150 pesos - unlimited internet - 15 days valid

You can give it a try, but in official AT&T shops in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Mexico City they were only able to offer me the following prepaid sim cards:

  • 100 pesos = 1.5 GB data - extra 2.5 GB for video + spotify - unlimited social media - unlimited texting/calling - VALID FOR 14 DAYS
  • 150 pesos = 2.3 GB data - extra 3.8 GB for video + spotify - unlimited social media - unlimited texting/calling - VALID FOR 25 DAYS
  • 200 pesos = 3.0 GB data - extra 5.0 GB for video + spotify - unlimited social media - unlimited texting/calling - VALID FOR 30 DAYS

at&T mexico prepaid sim card prices

For the latest AT&T prepaid sim card offers have a look on their website.

Movistar sim card Mexico

At several different Movistar shops I was offered the following Mexico prepaid sim cards. At some Movistar shops they wanted to charge me 60 pesos for the sim card, some shops did not. Below are all the Movistar Mexico prepaid sim cards I found across several shops.

mexico sim card movistar

  • *for this Movistar sim card you will be charged 60 pesos for the card, 1GB Youtube/Netflix included.
  • ** 1GB Netflix included

Latest updates for a Movistar prepaid sim card in Mexico is that you can already find a sim card for tourists for 200 pesos, including 9GB data and unlimited social media apps.

movistar mexico sim card

If you buy the prepaid-only $200 pesos tourist sim card no there is no registration fee. For the most up to date prepaid offers from Movistar Mexico check out their website in the link.

Network coverage Mexico in 2021

As you can see from the above the prices for prepaid sim cards in Mexico are kind of similar. The best value for money you get when you buy a Mexico prepaid sim card. But do they also have the best network. You don’t want to loose network as soon as you go off the beaten path in Mexico.

Network coverage map AT&T Mexico

at&t mexico network coveragre map 

Network coverage map Movistar Mexico

movistar mexico network coveragre map

Network coverage map Telcel Mexico

telcel mexico network coveragre map 

From the above Mexico network coverage maps we can clearly see that the Telcel network is by far the best in Mexico in 2021. If you for example go on a Yucatan road trip it is strongly adviced to buy a Telcel Mexico sim card.

If you stay in places like Mexico City, only go surfing in Puerto Escondido or enjoying the beach in Cancun you are fine with any Mexico sim card as all mobile internet providers have good 4G coverage in the main tourist destinations in Mexico. But are you traveling around in Mexico: TELCEL!

Is there 5G in Mexico?

Also remarkable... there is no 5G network available yet in Mexico as of June 2021! Will it ever come, probably yes? Or is Mexico going straight for 6G in 2026, just like South Korea!

Best prepaid sim card Mexico in 2021

There are always prepaid sim card deals in Mexico, but to find out which shop has ongoing offers you have to check their websites. In general you can rely on the above prices and packages as they are updated per June 2021.

Depending on your kind of Mexico trip the network coverage is more important than prices for prepaid sim cards. Movistar Mexico has great sim card deals and offers the most value for money. However their network coverage is not great!

Therefore I came to the simple conclusion that a Telcel sim card is the best Mexico prepaid sim card for tourists in 2021!

On all my Mexico trips I have used Telcel. Lately I got my Telcel sim card at Mexico City Airport for $200 pesos ($9 usd) and got 3.2 GB data + unlimited social media apps, texting and calling.

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Buy your Mexico sim card online

If you are looking to buy a sim card for Mexico online and get it shipped to your home address I found these options for you. They are much more expensive:

Orange Holiday World - $49.90

  • NO calls
  • NO text
  • 10 GB
  • valid for 14 days

T-Mobile Prepaid SIM 50GB - $69.90

  • UNLIMITED (international) calls*
  • UNLIMITED (international) text*
  • 50 GB (Canada + Mexico included)
  • valid for 15 days

AT&T UNLimited Data + Talk + Text - $79.90

  • UNLIMITED calls (USA, Canada, Mexico only)
  • UNLIMITED text (USA, Canada, Mexico only)
  • 30 GB (Canada + Mexico included)
  • valid for 30 days

Click here to order one or more of the above Mexico prepaid sim cards online through the Simoptions website. They are specialized in selling prepaid sim cards for travelers.

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My experience buying a Mexico sim card in Cancun

First of all I love the fact that Mexico sim cards come with unlimited use of social media. I reckon most of the data I consume is through these apps. As a professional travel blogger I constantly want to be online updating my Instagram stories. I mostly buy a Telcel sim card for my Mexico trips and I am pretty content with it. May be not always at super speed, but pretty fast at least.

 

When buying a Mexico sim card I go for a Telcel sim card because of its extensive network, far better than the others. For example when traveling to Mahahual in the South of Yucatan, there is only a Telcel phone signal available, the same for when traveling to Rio Lagartos to see Las Coloradas Pink Lake.

telcel prepaid sim card mexico

Here is one of my experiences buying a sim card in Mexico when I was traveling in Yucatan for 3 months.

The above package of 300 pesos ($15) is what I bought for getting me through my Yucatan itinerary. In total I traveled a little over 3 months in Yucatan and because of the ongoing Telcel promotion (not every Telcel shop offered me this) I got 7 GB and unlimited social media for 33 days. A pretty epic deal for using the best network in Mexico!

I hope the above tips for buying a sim card in Mexico were helpful. May you have additional questions let me know, Im happy to help. Looking for more Mexico travel tips? What about these amazing Yucatan tourist destinations? Travel to Holbox for its sunsets, visit Rio Lagartos for Las Coloradas Pink Lake, read more about scooter rental in Cozumel or for the most authentic travel experience in the Yucatan travel to Merida Mexico. In total I visited 21 places in the Yucatan peninsula, click on the following link to find my Yucatan itinerary!

Please return the favor and share the link of this article somewhere on the internet. Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest or share in a Facebook Group means a lot to me. Thank you very much in advance.

Some links in this Mexico sim card article are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I’ll earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your understanding!

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