Best Vietnam SIM Card for Tourists 2024: All You Need To Know

Best Vietnam SIM Card for Tourists 2024: All You Need To Know

If you are planning to visit Vietnam in 2024, you might be wondering how to stay connected and online during your trip. One of the best ways is to buy a Vietnam SIM card for tourists, which will allow you to use your phone with a local network and enjoy cheap data rates. But how do you choose the best SIM card for your needs, where do you buy it, and how do you use it? In this blog post, we will answer all these questions and more about the Vietnam SIM cards for tourists in 2024 .

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Written by Hiep Bui (Local Expert) Updated on 27-04-2024
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1. Why you should buy a Vietnam SIM Card?

While Vietnam offers widespread fast and free WiFi, having a Vietnamese SIM card is crucial for staying connected while traveling. Without it, accessing essential apps like Google Maps, ordering Grab rides, or contacting emergency services becomes challenging. Additionally, having a local SIM card facilitates communication with travel agencies for information, transportation arrangements, and handling itinerary changes. In short, staying connected via a Vietnamese SIM card is essential for a smooth journey in Vietnam.

vietnam sim card

But why pay $5 to $10 per day for limited service when you can get a local prepaid Vietnamese SIM card with 10 GB of data for just $5? By purchasing a local prepaid SIM card, you'll enjoy the fastest 4G network connection and ample data for a minimal cost.

Before buying a SIM card, make sure your phone is compatible with the frequencies used in Vietnam and is unlocked for use with a local SIM card. You can also check the offers from various mobile operators to find the best option for your needs.

carte sim vietnam
Is it possible to travel without an Internet connection?

2. What's the Cost of a Vietnam SIM Card in 2024?

The cost of a Vietnamese SIM card can vary depending on the plan and duration you choose. On average, the price of a SIM card is around a minimum of 6 dollars, which provides you with an initial credit for calls, texts, and data usage based on the plan you've selected.

However, if you opt for a plan with a longer duration or additional options, it can cost more. So, it's important to check the prices and terms of the plan before making a purchase to ensure it fits your budget and needs.

Do you know:

3. Which Mobile Plan to Choose for Vietnam?

Viettel, Mobiphone, Vinaphone, and Vietnamobile are the major mobile operators in Vietnam, but the two best networks are Viettel and Vinaphone.

They are roughly the same in terms of coverage and speed, but Viettel has an edge in rural areas. We suggest sticking to these two providers. Mobifone has uneven coverage in rural areas. 

les principaux opérateurs de téléphonie mobile au Vietnam
The main mobile operators in Vietnam

3.1 Prepaid Viettel SIM Card for Tourists

Viettel is the leading mobile operator in Vietnam, with approximately 40% of all subscribers using its network. This operator is owned and operated by the Ministry of Defense. Viettel offers regular plans as well as data plans specifically designed for tourists in Vietnam.

If you choose to use a standard Viettel SIM card, you'll need to purchase the SIM card, which costs around 50,000 to 60,000 VND (~ 2 to $2.5), and then subscribe to a data plan. On the other hand, if you buy a prepaid tourist SIM card, you only pay for the data plan, but you cannot top up this SIM card. The costs of different data plans are detailed below. These Viettel data plans are valid for 30 days.

Data Calls Prices
2 GB/ day 60 mins (national calls)

300,000 VND

(~$12,3)

7 GB/ day

100 mins (national calls)

or 13 mins (international calls)

350,000 VND

(~$14,3)

7 GB/ day

120 mins (national calls)

or 26 mins (international calls)

400,000 VND

(~$16,4)

The overage charges for exceeding data usage are 9.76 VND per 50 KB block.

Vietnam mobile sim card prices

Note: You can also buy a tourist SIM through Viettel website.

3.2 Vinaphone Tourist SIM:

  • Cost: 199,000 VND (about 8 dollars)
  • Inclusions:
    • 50 minutes of free international calls
    • 50 free minutes of calls within Vietnam
    • 50 free SMS messages
    • 1 GB of data per day for 15 days
  • Additional charges:
    • National calls: 1,580 VND per minute after 50 free minutes
    • National SMS: 250 VND per message after 50 free messages
    • Data overage: 75 VND per 50 KB

3.3 Mobiphone Prepaid SIM for Tourists:

  • For users needing more data, local calls, and SMS, Mobiphone offers a package with 6 GB of data, 60 minutes of local calls, 100 local SMS, and 30 minutes of international calls to certain countries for 250,000 VND (about 10.25 $). This package is valid for 30 days.
  • If you don't need local calls or SMS, Mobiphone provides a 10 GB data package for only 200,000 VND (about $9), also valid for 30 days.

Please note that prices and packages may change, so it's a good idea to check with the respective mobile operators for the most up-to-date information when you arrive in Vietnam.

You might want to know about: Vietnam Visa: Latest Procedures and News

4. Where to Buy a SIM Card in Vietnam in 2024?

At the Airport: The easiest place to buy a SIM card in Vietnam is at the airport. As soon as you exit the baggage claim area at one of Vietnam's international airports, you can find dozens of stands selling SIM cards.

Please note that availability and options may vary, so it's advisable to check with the specific airport you'll be arriving at for the most accurate information.

At Noi Bai Airport, counters selling SIM cards and phone cards are available in Halls A1 and A2, located on the 1st floor. At Tan Son Nhat Airport, the SIM card sales counter is located in Terminal 2, in the international arrivals hall, near exit C10.

les cartes SIM vendues à l''aéroport
SIM cards sold at the airport
  •  However, it is important to note that SIM cards sold at the airport can often be more expensive than those available at other stores outside the airport and please be careful since there are numerous scammers operating in these areas.
  • It's advisable to always purchase from the carrier's official store rather than from third-party vendors.
  • Mobile phone stores:

Major mobile operators in Vietnam, such as Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone, have stores throughout the country, including in shopping malls, major cities and tourist areas.

In addition, apart from mobile operators' stores, it is also possible to purchase prepaid SIM cards from small mobile phone shops on the streets of Vietnamese cities.

A mobile phone store in Vietnam

5. Does Vietnam have eSIM?

Yes, Vietnam does offer eSIMs. The virtual eSIM card offers numerous practical advantages over traditional SIM cards and can be activated directly on your mobile phone. However, it is only compatible with certain models of Android smartphones and the latest iPhones. Here is a list of eSIM-compatible devices.

There are two kinds of eSIM in the market, which are:

  • Data eSIM, and
  • Voice, SMS, and Data eSIM.

But DATA ESIM is currently preferred by a lot of travelers.

Vietnam eSIM

In Vietnam, you can find eSIM cards offered by Viettel, MobiFone, and Vinaphone, Vietnamobile or Gigago.

Gigago, a Vietnam eSIM provider catering to tourists, operates on the Vinaphone network. This eSIM can complement your existing SIM card, enabling you to simultaneously receive calls and texts on both your current number and the eSIM. Moreover, you have the flexibility to select which SIM to use for making calls. However, it's worth noting that Gigago with Vinaphone's coverage may not be as extensive as Viettel's eSIM.

Gigago eSIM
Gigago offers a lot of eSIM plans for tourists

For convenience, consider using Airalo; however, bear in mind that its prices are higher compared to other eSIM providers. Airalo specifically offers data-only services. If you plan to stay in a location for more than a few days, opting for a local SIM card is typically more cost-effective and reliable.

PROs CONs
  • Keep your primary SIM for calls - Your original SIM remains functional alongside the digital eSIM.

  • Skip queues and passport hassles - Receive an instant QR code via email for installation upon payment, no need to visit a physical store or show your passport.

  • Immediate connectivity upon arrival - Activate your eSIM upon landing in Vietnam for instant connectivity.

  • Save on roaming costs - Enjoy cost-effective rates with eSIM and seamless switching to the strongest local networks for continuous connectivity.

  • Maintain your WhatsApp continuity

  • Limited data sharing: While most data eSIMs typically don't support tethering/hotspots, Vietnam-visa’s eSIMs do offer this feature.
  • Compatibility check required: Ensure your phone is unlocked and among the supported devices.
  • No native phone number: Traditional data eSIMs usually lack phone call or SMS capabilities.
For communication, apps like WhatsApp, Viber, or Skype are recommended. However, Vietnam-visa’s eSIM provides a local phone number with varying functionalities based on the chosen plan.

6. How to Install a Vietnamese SIM Card?

If you wish to purchase a SIM card at the airport, the seller can insert it for you and assist you in selecting a suitable 4G plan based on your needs. They will also verify the card's validity. SIM cards are available in four formats: mini, micro, and nano.

Alternatively, you can easily adjust the card's size by cutting it to fit your requirements and then insert it into your phone. No activation code is required, and your SIM card will be activated immediately.

7. How to Check the Balance of Your Vietnamese SIM Card: Essential Codes

  • *101#: Check your credit balance
  • *100#: Check your SIM card number
  • *900#: Subscribe to mobile data plans
  • *147#: Activate or deactivate international calls
  • 191: Contact Viettel customer service
  • 198: Contact Vinaphone customer service
  • 9090: Contact Mobifone customer service

8. How to Top Up Your Phone Credit or Mobile Data?

  • Major convenience stores like VinMart, Circle K, FamilyMart, and 7-Eleven all sell top-up vouchers. You can ask the cashier to help you.
  • If you're using Viettel, use their Topup Airtime or MyViettel to top up.
  • Vietnamese e-wallets like MoMo or ZaloPay for convenient payments. Registering for MoMo is simple, allowing you to top up your credit easily or make many other payments using QR codes across Vietnam.

Here's how to use MoMo to top up your phone credit:

  • Step 1: Select Top-Up Card

use momo to top up

  • Step 2: Select 'Nạp Điện Thoại', which means 'Top Up Your Credit through Your Number'. 

Use MoMo to top up

  • Step 3: Follow the instructions! Hope this helps. 

use MoMo to top up your credit

9. Tips to get the most out of Vietnam SIM Card

  • Dial smart: Learn area codes (+84 country code) for Vietnam.
  • Data savvy: Track your data usage to avoid surprises. Set data limits on your phone and whenever you can, hop on free Wi-Fi hotspots to save on data.
  • Chat cheap: Use messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram) for international calls.
  • Stay connected everywhere: Verify network coverage before exploring remote areas. Different providers have varying coverage, so make sure yours offers service where you're going.
  • Promo hunt: Look for deals from Vietnamese mobile carriers.
  • Dual SIM: Use a dual SIM phone for easy switching (if available), keeping your personal and travel communications separate.
  • Save emergencies: Store local emergency contacts on your phone. This ensures you can quickly reach help if needed.

Vietnam travel tips

Our Final Words

For a hassle-free and uninterrupted connectivity experience, getting a Vietnamese SIM card is an excellent choice for foreign travelers. Not only will it keep you in touch with your loved ones and allow you to contact emergency services, but it will also provide you with easy access to all the important information for your journey.

If you want to streamline your trip and customize each step according to your preferences, we'd be delighted to assist you in creating a tailored itinerary. Feel free to get in touch with us!

Vietnam Tours

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