The Ultimate Cell Phone and Internet Data Guide for Digital Nomads to Get a SIM Card in Mexico

If traveling to Mexico is something you’d like to cross off your bucket list and wonder if you need to get a Mexican SIM card, the answer is yes! Getting one while visiting will ensure that you have cell phone data and phone reception in Mexico at all times.

In this ultimate guide, you’ll discover the best Mexican phone carrier, where to get a SIM card, and other helpful information for travelers and digital nomads. 

The Best Mobile Carrier in Mexico

If you want to have good reception and cell phone data in Mexico, Telcel is the phone company you’ll want to use. Telcel is the largest cell phone provider in Mexico, so getting a SIM card from them will allow you to have the most coverage all over the country.

What Are Other Mobile Carrier Options?

AT&T and Movistar are the other cell phone companies available in Mexico. However, the terrible customer service of Movistar and the poor reception of both make them unattractive options.

NOTE: You may already have international cell phone service in Mexico. We recommend calling your current phone company to consult this before traveling and/or buying a local SIM card.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a SIM Card in Mexico? 

SIM cards in Mexico range from $1 to $10 USD; this is only for the card without data, though you’ll need to fill the card with credit to have cell phone data in Mexico. Without credit, it’ll be obsolete.

How to Get a SIM Card in Mexico

TelCel SIM Card, Mexico

If you decide to follow our recommendation and buy a Telcel SIM card, you can quickly get it at multiple sales points: Oxxo, Walmart, corner shops, tech kiosks, Telcel customer service centers, or verified Telcel resale centers, and at some airports. You’ll also be able to top-up your SIM card at most of these locations. SIM cards from other companies can also be purchased at these sales points (except Telcel centers). 

Telcel SIM cards come in 4 and 8 GB sizes; this is the amount of data included with the card that you can use until it runs out. Once this happens, you’ll have to refill it at one of the sales points mentioned before or online on Telcel’s website. 

Telcel also offers prepaid cell phone plans in Mexico that you can purchase online or at the sales points; these plans range from $1 to $25 USD. These plans provide unlimited SMS and phone calls in Mexico. Also, it has options for the USA and Canada, data, and endless social media browsing depending on the plan you purchase. 

Before buying a local SIM Card in Mexico: 

  1. Check if your current phone carrier has free international phone service. 
  2. Make sure your phone is unlocked (If your phone is tied to a specific carrier or contract, it is considered locked).

Pro Tip: Download Whatsapp

Planning to be in Mexico for a long time? We recommend downloading WhatsApp on your phone. WhatsApp is the king of instant messaging in Mexico; therefore, it’ll be a great tool to communicate with everyone you meet on the road, and reach out to restaurants or entertainment centers.

It is the best means of contacting anyone, no matter the location or people using other service providers. It’s a free app for both Android and iPhone phones. Telcel often includes unlimited Whatsapp use with its prepaid plans. 

Final Words

We hope that this ultimate Mexico cell phone guide provides all the information you need. Thanks for reading! 

Travelling further south to Central America? Check out The Ultimate Central America Phone Guide here


Zahn is a travel junkie born and raised on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. Zahn spent two years in South Korea where she met Addison in 2018. She has visited 17 countries and is on a mission to literally work her way around the rest.

Write A Comment

Pin It