Reduce your phone bill by buying a local SIM card.
The Cayman Islands are popular with tourists wanting to explore the Caribbean. Using your phone there can become quite expensive, so to keep costs down, why not switch to a local SIM card so that you can take advantage of better plans, deals and tariffs? The Cayman Islands have several prepaid SIM card deals for travelers. You can buy 1GB of data from the leading telco provider for as little as KYD10 (AUD$16). Whether you’re planning a quick break or just pure relaxation, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com.au.
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The English-speaking islands are British territory and have two main phone operators: Flow and Digicel Cayman. Both operators have been tried, tested and trusted by both locals and international travelers. According to the local guide, Cayman Resident, Cayman’s sophisticated tourism and financial industries have ensured that telecommunications are as advanced as those you would find in any developed country.
The Cayman Islands offer 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services. Prepaid SIM cards are available from the official store and selected outlets. There are several plans available that include data and reasonably-priced international calls and they certainly work out to be cheaper than using the phone you brought from home. Residents are very tech savvy and use both iOS and Android operating systems on the latest 4G/LTE platform, which means fast Internet speeds and good coverage. Apps enable customers to view and pay their bills, top up credit and upload plans to their phones. Below, we have listed the two providers available in the Cayman Islands and the best deals they offer.
Flow has the majority market share in the Cayman Islands and offers some great deals and a secure network coverage. This operator offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card for KYD8.99 at official stores or approved resellers. This includes KYD5 credit. To use the 4G/LTE platform you will need a 4G SIM card, which are now given out with prepaid plans. Alternatively, you can exchange a 3G SIM for the 4G version if you are an existing customer.
Credit vouchers can be purchased at more than 100 stores on the islands or by purchasing credit through Flow’s international top-up website using a credit card or PayPal. If you spend more than KYD10 within one month, you will receive 50MB of data as a bonus.
Data packs can also be purchased and added to any prepaid SIM card:
|KYD2||200MB||Valid for 1 day||*146*50# to activate|
|KYD10||1GB||Valid for 7 days||*146*507# to activate|
|KYD16||2GB||Valid for 7 days||*146*1007# to activate|
|KYD20||2GB||Valid for 14 days||*146*1014# to activate|
|KYD25||2GB||Valid for 30 days||*146*1000# to activate|
|KYD45||10GB||Valid for 30 days||*146*5000# to activate|
All plans auto-renew, so you must dial *787# to cancel. The overuse rate is charged at KYD0.13 per MB.
Flow also offers some great international roaming rates, so if you plan to travel around the Caribbean with your Flow SIM card, you will be charged at a lower rate than with your regular phone and SIM. Roaming rates are charged at KYD0.11 per MB without any sign up necessary.
Digicel has the lowest prices of the two providers and offers good network coverage. According to its official website, it claims to have 99% coverage across the islands. 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services are offered and there are also some great plans, packs and deals to choose from. Promotions change from time to time, so make sure you check out the latest deals on offer. SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers and they come in standard, nano or micro sizes.
Dial *122# to activate and dial *120# to check your balance. Credit can be purchased in stores or online by using your credit card.
The standard default data rate is charged at KYD0.19 per MB. The following data packs are offered as add-ons:
|KYD2||500MB||Valid for 1 day||*135*500# to activate|
|KYD5||2.5GB||Valid for 3 days||*135*501# to activate|
|KYD10||5GB||Valid for 7 days||*135*502# to activate|
|KYD25||10GB||Valid for 30 days||*135*504# to activate|
|KYD30||20GB||Valid for 30 days||*135*506# to activate|
|KYD50||50GB||Valid for 30 days||*135*507# to activate|
Unused data will rollover once you purchase a new plan.
Digicel also provides its customers with roaming bundles, valid on all Digicel networks in the Caribbean, Panama, US and Canada:
100MB + 25 minutes for 3 days: KYD8
250MB + 50 minutes for 7 days: KYD15
750MB + 150 minutes for 30 days: KYD45
Some top tips from finder.com.au staff
- Locals call a SIM card a “card” or a “SIM”.
- Ask the retailer to help set up your SIM card for you. They are official sellers and should be happy to help.
- Try and get to the store early to beat the crowds.
TripAdvisor is well known for its reviews and for booking hotels, flights and holidays, but it also offers many user comments that can help guide you through the process of choosing and buying SIM cards that have been tried and tested in the Cayman Islands. Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
- “You can purchase a SIM card from the local service providers Flow (formerly LIME) and Digicel. I picked up a Digicel SIM card at the small shop by the airport. I topped it up online for data and local calls and it worked great!”
- “There is a Flow store in Galleria Plaza on the beach strip (that's the strip mall with the blue roof near Burger King) and a smaller Flow outlet in Centennial Towers at the four-way stop in West Bay.”
- “Some condos actually provide a local phone as part of the service. Or, if you have Wi-Fi, just use any one of a number of apps such as Skype to call numbers at a fraction of the cost.”
Both operators require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM-compatible international phone. To double check that you have this option, or whether it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you leave.
- Prepaid credit available when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your current phone
- No phone devices offered with SIM card packages
- SIMs can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
Your phone is your lifeline, especially when travelling around the Caribbean. Make sure you keep it safe and always make a note of where it is. The importance of having a direct link to family and friends via your phone can never be underestimated. If you do lose your phone, retrace your steps and ask around. If you still have no luck, then cancel any plans or payment methods associated with the phone, report it missing and make a note of the crime number so that you can claim it on insurance. Finally, find a cheap replacement to keep in touch with friends and family and don’t let this one out of your sight!