Using your home-based network in Mexico can become very expensive. A must do tip for money saving is to switch to a local SIM card.
Getting a Mexican SIM Card is incredibly easy.
There are three phone service companies in Mexico:
Telcel is the most expensive but it is the biggest and has extensive coverage.
I would recommend using it
You get service nearly anywhere and you can top it up very easily and cheaply.
Movistar is probably the cheapest. If you’re just planning to stay in big cities like Mexico City or Guadalajara, then Movistar is ok. Also very easy to buy a SIM card and to top it up.
AT&T is okay. The coverage is sufficient, however, it is cheapest if you get yourself a full contract and pay in advance for one year. If you are staying in Mexico City for a long time, this may be your best and cheapest option - with a lack of some coverage issues.
Where to get the SIM
- Go to the nearest Oxxo and ask for a Telcel chip. Ask the person in the shop to help you to set it up.
- If you are arriving in the country at the Mexico City airport, go straight to the Telcel shop. (located on the first floor of Terminal 1).
After you buy it, the card has been activated. You’ll struggle to activate the Mexican SIM card on your own if you don’t speak much Spanish.
How to top up your SIM
Topping up a SIM Card in Mexico is even easier than purchasing one.
- The Spanish keyword for top-up is "recarga". They will ask you what company you use. Tell them (Telcal, Movistar, AT&T). Then they will ask you how much you want to top up, and for your phone number.