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Jesse McLaughlan

Travelled to 14 countries / regions

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Traveled to Manila in May 2019

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Asia > Philippines > Manila > Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport > Useful Info
Submitted on Sep 23, 2019 Useful Info

How to get a SIM card at Manila's International Airport

  • Getting a SIM card at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is pretty easy
  • There are 4 terminals at the airport, with terminal 1-3 being the international terminals and 4 being the domestic terminal. You can get SIM cards at any of the 4 terminals
  • You will find booths selling SIM cards from the two major telecom companies in the Philippines: Globe and Smart
  • Before you get a SIM card: make sure your phone is unlocked. You will need to talk to your own telecom provider (in my case I had to talk to Telstra which is my telecom provider in Sydney) to double check
  • Where to find the booths:
  • In some terminals the booths are located before the customs and other terminals the booths are located after the customs. To be safe make sure to look for these booths as soon as you get to the baggage pick up
  • Globe has booths in all four terminals, and they're open 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • Smart has booths in terminal 1, 3 and 4. They're usually open between 5am and 11pm
  • Look for booths with logos of the two telecom companies: User submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International AirportUser submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • The booths look slightly different between each of the terminals, but here's an example of what they look like:User submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International AirportUser submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport


  • Prices:
  • For Globe, with your passport you will get the SIM card itself for free or very low price (40PHP or 75 cents USD). This will come with some token amounts of data you can use, like 40MBs. Then, you will also need to buy credits to load up. There are lots of options and the options change all the time. When I went I got 3GB for 500PHP ($10USD). Currently Globe's website indicates that the price is 350PHP ($6.7USD) for 4GB, and 700PHP ($13.5 USD) for 8GB of data
  • For Smart, you buy what they call "all-in-one" packages, which basically means you pay once for both the SIM card itself and any data packages. Looking at Smart's website, the prices are actually very similar to Globe. You can get 4GB for 349PHP ($6.7USD), 8GB for 699PHP ($13.5USD), and 12GB for 999PHP ($19.1USD)
  • Again, treat these prices as references. Actual prices vary every other week for things like this because telecom companies have promotions all the time
  • Also, payment for the SIM cards is cash pesos only. So do covert some money before you go buy the SIM cards


  • Globe vs Smart:
  • Most people, including myself, go with Globe because their booths are more conveniently located and available in more terminals
  • Prices and options are pretty much the same between the two companies so it's not a key driver of which one to go with
  • In terms of coverage, in the metro Manila area you won't find any differences between Globe and Smart. Outside of Manila Globe has slightly better 4G+ coverages, meaning you get slightly faster speeds than Smart in places like Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan
  • Globe coverage map:User submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • Smart coverage map:User submitted photo of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • Coverage map source: https://www.nperf.com/en/