Looking to buy a SIM card for your upcoming trip to Argentina? Getting a local Argentina SIM card for your phone is highly recommended to avoid expensive roaming charges and have easy mobile access during your travels.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying and using prepaid SIM cards in Argentina.

argentina sim cards detailed guide

I. Should I Buy a New Argentina SIM Card for My Trip?

Using a cell phone in Argentina
Using a cell phone in Argentina

Getting a new local SIM card makes sense for most travelers visiting Argentina for tourism or short business trips. Here are some key reasons why you should buy one:

  • Avoid High Roaming Charges: Roaming charges on your home SIM card can be expensive in Argentina. Local SIMs offer cheap voice calls and mobile data.
  • Better Network Coverage: Local SIMs provide wider coverage across Argentina compared to roaming on your home network. You’ll get better connectivity.
  • Language Barrier Convenience: Having an Argentina number and SIM makes it easy for local businesses, hotels, etc. to contact you. Useful in case you face language issues.
  • Stay Connected Affordably: Argentina SIM cards come with lots of data. You can stay connected with high-speed 4G data economically.
  • Prepaid Flexibility: Argentina SIMs are prepaid, so you only pay for what you use. No contracts. You can also recharge quickly online.

In short, getting a SIM card in Argentina makes your travels easier and more convenient. It also lets you stay connected with folks back home affordably.

II. Argentina SIM Card Types – Which is the Best for Tourists?

When buying a SIM card in Argentina, you’ll typically come across three types:

1. Prepaid SIM Card

This is the most common and popular option for tourists visiting Argentina. Prepaid SIMs provide complete flexibility and control over your mobile usage and spending. You pay upfront for data and calling balance which you can top up as required.

Prepaid SIMs in Argentina allow you to use mobile internet affordably across the country. The starter packs often come with generous data limits. Top-tier providers like Movistar, Claro, and Personal offer prepaid tourist SIMs.

2. Monthly Contract SIMs

Residents can get monthly contract SIMs from leading Argentine telcos with a 1 or 2-year service agreement. As a traveler, it’s best to avoid contract SIMs since they require address proof and registration complications.

Contract SIMs have become quite expensive too compared to the prepaid tourist SIM deals from the same telcos. They are meant only for locals who want subsidies on new smartphones.

3. Data-only SIMs

Some providers offer Argentina SIM cards meant only for mobile data – so no local calling facility. These data-only SIMs can be convenient for short-term travelers who just want mobile internet and plan to use VoIP services like WhatsApp for calling. But having some local talk time is recommended.

III. How Much Data Is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Argentina?

Argentina prepaid SIM cards are available with a wide variety of data allotments. Here are some recommendations on how much data you might need during your stay:

  • Light Usage (2GB): If you just plan to use maps sparingly, some social media, and a few emails, a 2GB data SIM is enough for a short 3-4 days stay.
  • Medium Usage (5GB): For a 1-2 week trip with daily map usage, social media, some videos/music, and Google searches, 5GB is a good amount.
  • Heavy Usage (10GB+): Avid Instagrammers, digital nomads, and streamers should opt for 10GB or higher data SIMs for longer 2 weeks plus travel.

Note that this suggested data usage is for a smartphone. If you plan to use a mobile hotspot on the SIM, your data consumption will be higher. Also, choose unlimited calling bundles since they are cheap.

IV. How Much Does An Argentina SIM Card Cost?

Argentina prepaid SIM cards are very affordable. Here are typical costs:

Argentina SIM Card

SIM Card Plan Data Provided Price in ARS (Approx. $USD)
Starter SIM pack 1GB ARS 600 (~$3.5)
SIM pack 5GB ARS 1200 (~$7)
SIM 10GB ARS 2000 (~$12)
Cost per additional GB N/A ARS 500 (~$3)
Local Calls per minute N/A ARS 6 (~$0.03)

So you can easily get a tourist SIM in Argentina for under $10 with adequate data and calling balance. Taxes are already included in the above prices. You can recharge online cheaply.

V. Argentina eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

Besides physical plastic SIMs, some providers also offer digital eSIMs in Argentina now. An eSIM or embedded SIM is a virtual SIM profile that is downloaded digitally to your phone. There is no physical card involved. eSIMs are programmable and you can switch between different provider profiles.

Advantages of eSIMs:

  • Don’t have to buy/swap physical SIMs
  • Remote provisioning. Can activate Argentina eSIM before arrival.
  • Easy to switch data plans or operators using phone settings only

Consider using an eSIM from argentinaesim.com offers affordable prepaid eSIM data plans for any traveling goals. Coverage is on the Claro network throughout Argentina and 14 other Latin American countries.

Simply buy the eSIM online, receive the activation QR code via email and scan to download instantly. No need to switch SIM cards for hassle free connectivity in Argentina.

Additional benefits of argentinaesim.com include 24/7 support via chat or email, instant delivery of the eSIM profile via email within 5 minutes of purchase, and the ability to use mobile hotspot/tethering.

Find the best options for your trip below:

Plan that may interest you

Argentina eSIM 7 Days Plan
Argentina eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $6.00
Argentina eSIM 15 Days Plan
Argentina eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $11.50
Argentina eSIM 30 Days Plan
Argentina eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $15.50

VI. Where to Buy An Argentina SIM Card?

where to buy a sim card in argentina

You can easily buy a Argentina SIM card at these locations:

1. Airport Shops

All major international airports in Buenos Aires, Cordoba have dedicated SIM card shops that sell prepaid SIMs from various providers. Look for signs to the SIM card store. Prices are same as in the city.

Interested in buying SIM cards at Argentina airports upon arrival? Check out our guide: Buying a SIM card at Argentina Airports: The Definitive Guide

2. Local Mobile Stores

Head to any mobile phone store run by Movistar, Claro, Personal and you can buy their prepaid SIM packs. Carry your passport for registration. Stores are there in malls and high streets.

3. Online Orders

Some Argentina SIM vendors allow you to place an order in advance on their website and have the SIM delivered to your hotel. This is useful if you need it right upon arrival.

Buying online also allows you to order eSIMs in advance. But do compare online prices with local stores for best deals.

In short, you can easily procure a Argentina prepaid SIM either on-arrival or in advance online depending on your trip schedule.

VII. How to Use Argentina SIM Cards

Using your new Argentina SIM is easy. Follow these simple steps:

1. Unlock Your Phone

Your phone should be unlocked to work with foreign SIMs. Contact your home carrier in advance to unlock it.

2. Insert the SIM and Reboot

Once unlocked, simply insert the Argentina SIM in your phone’s SIM slot. Power off and on your phone.

3. Top up Balance

If it’s a prepaid SIM, remember to top up the initial recharge voucher that came in the SIM pack. Dial *888# to check data and call balance.

4. Configure APN Settings

For mobile data to work, you may need to manually enter the APN settings of your Argentine telco. Refer SIM pack or ask customer care for APN settings.

And you are done! You will now have a functioning Argentina phone number and can place inexpensive local calls & surf high-speed data.

Get more insights with our guide How to Install Argentina eSIM

VIII. Best Mobile Operators for Argentina SIM Cards

In Argentina, there are three main major operators offering prepaid tourist SIMs: Movistar, Claro, and Personal.

1. Movistar

Part of Telefonica, Movistar enjoys excellent coverage across Argentina. Their Hola SIM is a popular prepaid tourist SIM with generous data allotments. Excellent 4G speeds.

2. Claro

Claro is owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil group and second largest provider in Argentina. Their Prepago Internacional SIM comes in convenient data packs. Also has good nationwide 4G coverage. Reliable option.

3. Personal

Personal is another leading player with wide network reach. They offer flexible Aló País tourist SIMs with daily data pack options. Good option for heavy data users who prefer flexibility.

All the above operators have prepaid SIMs designed specifically for foreign tourists visiting Argentina. You cannot go wrong picking any of these top providers. Compare rates & coverage at your travel destination.

Not sure which Argentina mobile operator to choose for your trip? Check our guide Mobile Operators in Argentina: Which One is the Best? to get more details!

IX. Tips for Saving Data for Argentina SIM Card

Here are some tips to conserve mobile data when using your Argentina SIM card:

  • Disable auto-play and background refresh for apps like Facebook and Spotify. Avoid automatic video play.
  • Restrict background data for messaging apps if you aren’t expecting urgent messages.
  • Disable mobile data auto-sync for accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Gmail etc. Do it manually only when needed.
  • Limit streaming of high bandwidth content like YouTube, Netflix. Download offline content whenever possible.
  • Use WiFi instead of mobile data whenever you have access to wireless hotspots.
  • Turn on data saving mode in your phone settings to compress and reduce data consumption.
  • Switch your SIM to data-only network mode to avoid accidental calls eating into data balance.
  • Buy adequate data upfront for entire trip duration instead of small top-ups to avoid overpaying.

Following these tips will help you optimize usage and get the most out of your prepaid Argentina data SIM during the trip. Monitor your consumption via SMS notifications.


Do I need to show a passport or ID to buy a SIM in Argentina?

Yes, you need to show your original passport at the point of purchase for SIM registration and activation.

Can I use SIMs from other South American countries in Argentina?

Unfortunately no. You need an active SIM belonging to an Argentine mobile carrier to get service inside Argentina. Other country SIMs will not work.

How long is my Argentina SIM card valid for?

Prepaid SIMs in Argentina are usually valid for 120 days. If unused for this period, you may need to recharge to extend validity. Incoming calls will still work for up to a year though.

Can I use my Argentina SIM in other South American countries?

Sadly no. Argentine SIMs will only function within Argentina. For other countries you need to buy separate local SIMs.

How do I recharge my Argentina SIM?

You can recharge your SIM in Argentina by purchasing top up vouchers locally and entering codes. Alternatively, register your SIM for online recharge facility to instantly recharge via app or website.

XI. Final Words

We hope this detailed guide on getting a SIM card in Argentina was useful. A local Argentina prepaid SIM will keep you conveniently connected across the country without paying excessive roaming charges.

Top providers like Movistar and Claro offer great value data and calling packs. Pick an operator with wide 4G coverage in your travel area. Manage your data usage smartly.

With an Argentina SIM card, you can share your travel experiences seamlessly, use maps, and stay in touch with folks back home. Have a great trip and stay connected!