VietnamMiscellaneousSIM Cards and Mobile Data Plan (3G/4G) in Vietnam

SIM Cards and Mobile Data Plan (3G/4G) in Vietnam

Staying connected in inexpensive in Vietnam. During your travel in Vietnam, it is convenient to have a SIM card with a mobile data plan, so that you can access Google Maps and navigate around the country or stay updated on social media. From our latest Vietnam travel guide and tips, please read this information carefully if you would like to get a SIM card for mobile phone usages.

How to Buy a SIM Card before Traveling to Vietnam

An international travel SIM card is the most convenient way to stay connected while traveling overseas. It can be easily purchased online and shipped to your door, giving you plenty of time to do research on a reliable brand, plan your budget, and staying free from scams. An international SIM card is also an optimal choice should you plan to travel outside Vietnam on your trip.

A quality travel SIM card brand should be valid from 10 – 30 days and have a sufficient data plan. 

The downside is that it is hard to manage the budget. You may be using too much of the data plan – completely unaware of the cost you will have to pay later and end up with a large bill after your travel 

Check out recommended travel SIM Cards (price, validity, data plans, etc.)

How to Buy a SIM Card in Vietnam

A Vietnamese SIM card can be found almost anywhere from street vendors, phone shops, credit kiosks, at the airport on arrival, and at travel agencies. Most other vendors cannot register the SIM card for you, so it’s best to buy from the official carrier stores. The most common networks are Viettel Mobile, MobiFone, Vinaphone, and Vietnamobile.

TIP: Before getting a SIM, make sure your phone is UNLOCKED and that it can be used abroad. If you can’t get your phone unlocked to use with a SIM card abroad, you could still get connected to WiFi at the hotels and cafes locally.

In Vietnam, there are 4 major network providers. You can search for their official carrier store’s closest location from their websites on where to buy a SIM card in Vietnam.

No contract is required. Bring your passport to register. The SIM is valid until your visa’s length of stay.

Four Major Networks in Vietnam

1. Viettel

viettel sim Viettel sim 4G

Tourist SIM:

$5 – $10 for the Sim, then buy credit to top up.

Recommended prepaid card to top up credit: Viettel

top up card viettel

Note: Tourist SIM does not include SMS texting, so you need to add a phone credit voucher to your account to pay for SMS messages. You can add credits by buying prepaid scratch cards with the amount like VND 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, etc.

To check account balance, dial *101#

To check remaining data capacity, dial *102#

Data packages: Monthly packages on 4G and 3G Network (Read more)

To activate 4G, change the setting of Mobile Networks Mode or Cellular Data to 4G or LTE.


2. Vinaphone

Vinaphone sim

Tourist SIM:

Prepaid VinaCard: VND 199,000 valid for 15 days

Recommended prepaid card to top up credit: VinaCard

top up card vinaphone 2

Data Packages:

Big Data (Monthly package on 3G/4G Network): Read more

SPEED (Monthly package on only 4G Network): Read more

To activate 4G service, send “4G ON” to 888.

3. MobiFone

mobifone sim

Tourist SIM:

Happy Tourist: VND 200,000 valid for 60 days

Recommended prepaid card to top up credit: MobiCard

top up card mobifone

Monthly packages on 3G Network: Read more

Data package on 4G Network: Read more

To activate data, send “CAIDAT DATA” to 999. After receiving their message, send “DATA ON” to 999.


4. Vietnamobile

vinamobile sim

Tourist SIM: Two  Read more

Tourist 100: VND 125,000 valid for 30 days

Tourist 200: VND 225,000 valid for 30 days with twice minutes of call

3G Network and mobile data: Read more

Vietnamobile 4G is currently available in 10 provinces in North Vietnam and on Android devices only (October 2018). To activate 4G service, change the setting of your Mobile Network Mode on your phone to LTE.

How to Use the Top Up Card

top up opaque covering

At the back of the card, you should find a box like the one marked by the red rectangle in the above picture. That is the part contents a series of numbers you need to input to top up your account. It should be properly covered with no sign of damage or scratch. You should also look for the expiry date of the top-up card (underline part in the picture).

After scratching the opaque covering to review the numbers, open the dial pad on your phone, input the following code *100*[Series of numbers beneath the covering]#, then hit the call button. You will usually receive a notification through SMS that states the top-up is successful and information on your account (the balance, expiry date, and balance of promotion accounts, etc.). You can also check the balance of your account by input the code *101#. A pop-up notification will appear on the screen with all the information on your account.

Top up your Credits using E-Wallets

Using E-Wallets is a more convenient way in the 4.0 era to top up your phone credit. Popular e-wallets in Vietnam are Momo, Grabpay by Moca (integrated into the ride-hailing service Grab), ZaloPay, ViettelPay, etc. Note that these apps can only work with local currency in VND.

Read more about Useful Apps for Traveling Vietnam

Conclusion on SIM Cards and Mobile Data Plan (3G/4G) in Vietnam

With the convenience of mobile phones and being connected to the internet and telecommunication services, traveling has become much easier than ever before. Just a call or a few online searches, everything is at the tips of your fingers. We hope that the above information about the SIM Cards and Mobile Data Plan in Vietnam would be useful for travelers.

Read more on How to buy a SIM card in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you have any related experience you’d like to share with our readers, please leave a comment below.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!



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