Welcome to the Philippines! What an awesome place to be! However, it may seem a bit challenging to connect to the internet once you reach there if you dont have any clue on what to do.

Do not worry- this manual caters for you all. Buying a SIM card at Philippines airports-either in Manila or Cebu-does not have to be that mysterious for us. There is plenty of information about your carrier options at every stop as well as other useful activations and data package helpers. this information will make it easier for them when they go online.

sim card at philippines airports feature picture

I. Which Airport in Philippines Offers SIM Card for Tourists?

You will get happy to note that a couple of airports have made accessible with buying of the SIM cards just from their out stations when reaching into the Philippines. The following airports are known for offering SIM cards for tourists:

1. Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)

The main entry point for foreign visitors flying into the Philippines is the airport at Manila referred to as NAIA. A single outlet is comprised of four terminals with multiple choices for purchase of one or two SIMS cards.

 Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Source

2. Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA)

Located in Cebu city, Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest airport in the country and serves both domestic and international traffic. Afterwards, there are kiosks and sheds that sell SIM cards

Mactan Cebu Airport
Mactan Cebu Airport. Source

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Philippines Airports

1. Arrival Area Kiosks

Buy a SIM Card at Philippines Airports
Buy SIM Card at Philippines Airports
  • Price: $3-5 for 1-2GB data packages valid 3-5 days
  • Waiting time: minimal, available upon arrival
  • Opening hours: daily 5AM-12MN Vending machines are self-service devices that dispense a variety of products, typically snacks and drinks, upon payment. 

2. Retail Outlets

buying sim card at retails store at Philippines airport
Buy SIM Card at the retail store
  • Price: starter packages from $4. More options for data and devices
  • Waiting time: depends on crowd, usually under 15 minutes
  • Opening hours: daily 6AM-9PM

III. What to Prepare to Buy a SIM Card at Philippines Airports

  • Passport

You will need to present your passport for identification when buying a SIM card at Philippines airports. Make sure your passport is valid and has the proper entry/exit stamps for the Philippines.

  • Proof of onward travel

In addition to your passport, you may need to show proof that you are leaving the Philippines, like a return flight ticket or onward ticket to another country. This helps prove you will not overstay your visitor visa.

  • Money

SIM cards typically have a minimum purchase amount and some initial load credit. Be prepared to pay around PHP150-300 total for the SIM card and initial load. It’s best to have Philippine pesos as not all airport kiosks accept foreign credit cards.

  • Photos for registration

The Philippine government requires SIM card registration which involves taking a photo for verification purposes. Be prepared to have a recent photo on your device or bring printed photos that meet the size/format requirements.

  • Charger/device

Make sure your mobile device is fully charged so you can activate and set up the SIM card right away. You may also need the charger to stay connected while traveling within the country.


  • Have some basic questions ready like what data packages are available, expiration periods, or top up locations. Communications may be limited so preparing questions ahead can help streamline the process.
  • Research providers: Decide if you want a SIM from Smart, Globe or the other MVNO options in advance. This will help you know which provider's kiosk/counter to go to after arriving.

IV. Philippines eSIM – an Alternative to Airport SIM Card

Travellers to the Philippines, say goodbye to airport SIM cards! Philippinesesim.com by GIGAGO offers a better solution – Philippines eSIM plans. An eSIM is a digital SIM card embedded in your device, eliminating the need to insert a physical SIM. With eSIM, you can easily purchase a data plan online before your trip and activate it right from your phone settings.

Philippinesesim.com has various eSIM options for 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 and 30 days, with daily data allowances ranging from 1GB to 2GB. Plans start from as low as $9.50. Best of all, you enjoy local Philippine mobile rates while avoiding expensive airport SIM cards. Philippinesesim rides on the Globe network with reliable coverage nationwide.

Plan that may interest you

Philippines eSIM 10 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 10 Days Plan
From $11.00
Philippines eSIM 15 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $11.50
Philippines eSIM 30 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $12.00

Signing up is simple – just select your preferred plan, make payment and download the eSIM profile. You can use your data immediately without wasting time looking for elusive SIM booths at airports. Say goodbye to queues and uncertainty. Philippine eSIM is truly the hassle-free way to stay connected during your trip to the Philippines!

GiGaGo Partner & Enjoy your Benefit

Skip the Roaming Surprise with philippinesesim.com

V. FAQs about SIM Card at Philippines Airports

Can I get a SIM card at the airport when arriving in the Philippines?

Yes, both major networks Globe and Smart have SIM card booths or kiosks at major international airports like Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card there. Make sure to ask for the tourist SIM if available which may come with bonuses.

Do I need to register the SIM card at Philippines airports?

No, you do not need to register the SIM card right at the airport. The registration process requires an internet connection and uploading documents. Most SIM cards purchased at airports come pre-loaded with some credit and data that you can use first before registering later during your trip in the Philippines.

Which airport SIM cards have bonuses or promotions?

Smart partners with Cebu Pacific to offer free SIM cards to tourists flying to the Philippines from certain Asian countries. Globe also offers a Globe Traveler SIM for free in partnership with the tourism board. These SIM cards may come with initial data or call credits. Ask the airport kiosks about promo SIM cards.

Can foreigners register a SIM card purchased at the airport?

Yes, foreigners can register prepaid SIM cards in the Philippines. You will need a valid passport for ID. Proof of address can be your hotel booking or affidavit from a local contact. The process is mostly done online via the telecom provider’s app. Customer service may also assist registration.

Can I get pocket WiFi or a data SIM card at Philippines airports?

Yes, both Globe and Smart offer portable WiFi devices that can accommodate prepaid SIM cards. These may be available for purchase at major Philippine airport stores or kiosks. Be sure to ask about WiFi plans bundled with data SIMs.

Does SIM card at Philippines Airports work outside major cities too?

SIM cards purchased at airports will work nationwide but connectivity may vary depending on the network coverage. While LTE is available in major urban areas, only 3G or Edge may be available in rural provinces. Be sure to check network coverage for the areas you plan to visit.