Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards

December 2015: Check out the latest 2016 Best Prepaid SIM Cards

April 2015: Check out the latest 2015 HK Prepaid SIM Card comparison

Last week I blogged about an unlimited data plan for HK residents. Today’s post is about prepaid SIM cards for visitors and tourists.

All of Hong Kong’s mobile phone companies have prepaid SIM cards available for purchase at their stores, at 7-Eleven, or Circle K. If you are arriving at Hong Kong International Airport, there’s a 7-11 in the center of the arrivals terminal where you can purchase SIM cards as long as they’re in stock.

Before smartphones, it didn’t matter which company you chose as pricing was similar. However, if you need unlimited data, one2free has the best pricing.

Update March 11, 2014: Check out my latest review of the PCCW prepaid sim cards, which offers a 7 day tourist card as well.

Update November 2014: If you are looking to have this card in your hands before you arrive in HK, you can purchase it from our partners at Hong Kong SIM Card, and have it delivered to your address outside of HK.

one2free prepaid sim

You can purchase the one2free mobile broadband prepaid SIM card to make voice calls and use data, pricing details below:

one2free mobile prepaid SIM card Data Service

7.2 Mbps

30-Day Pass – 3GB Highspeed (over 3GB lower priority, unlimited data)

$148/ 30 Days

30-Day Pass – 5GB Highspeed (over 5GB lower priority, unlimited data)

$258/ 30 Days

Hourly Pass Unlimited Data

$8 / Hour

Day Pass Unlimited Data

$28 / Day

7-Day Pass Unlimited Data

$78 / 7 Days

The card comes with $100 loaded, and you can add money to the card. Easiest way is at the on2free store or online. Currently there’s a bonus for recharging.

Recharge(in a single transaction)
Extra Bonus Value
HK$300 or above

As you can see, if you are here for less than 14 days the $78/7 days unlimited data option is cheapest, while any stay over 14 days the $148 30 day pass is best.

Don’t worry about the bandwidth limitation, one2free says “Your priority to access the network will be lowered and your experience may be affected when the network is busy. one2free complies with OFTA’s Guidelines for the Implementation of Fair Usage Policy for the Provision of Mobile and Fixed Broadband Services and will not at any time cap your data access speed below 128kbps.”

Here’s other details:

Local Call$0.3/ min
Video CallIntra-network $1 / min
Inter-network $2 / min
Call Forward$0.3 / forwarded min
Caller ID DisplayFree
Call Waiting
Messaging Services
Local SMS$0.8 / SMS
International SMS
(sent from HK)
$3 / SMS
Mobile Service Licence and Administration FeeFree
Validity period of one2free
Mobile Broadband Prepaid SIM Card
180 days
Maximum stored-value limit$5,000

76 Responses

  1. Frank Doyle says:


    Do you know if this is for 3G or 4G networks?

    • Hi Frank, the prepaid cards are for 3G service. I don’t think there’s any that offer 4G yet. I don’t think there’s much difference in speed anyway, 4G networks in HK are just starting out and not as mature as in North America. Not sure how Europe’s 4G is.

  2. is_ac says:

    assuming I travel to HK and get this SIM, Then i will be travelling to other countries such as Taiwan or Korea. WIll i still be able to use this SIM by just paying extra $?

  3. Janet kallos says:

    Hi..thank you for this..il be using pocket wifi. How can i convert the 100 load to 7days unli data..tia

  4. Janet kallos says:

    Big help thanks again

  5. Nicholas Fong says:

    one2free SIM cards

    First, activate your one2free SIM, call hotline 179179 and go through the menu system, English is near the end, be patient; or use short cut: press *109# Send

    Second, subscribe to one of the following passes:
    dial #109# SEND and go through the “Easy Menu” system;
    or use short cuts:
    Hourly Pass, $8, to apply press *101*832*2#
    Daily Pass, $28, to apply press *101*832*3#
    7-Day Pass, $78, to apply press *101*832*4#

    If you SIM has sufficient fund and you need longer duration pass:
    30-day-pass, $38, 300 MB, to apply press *101*833*2#
    30-day-pass, $88, 1 GB to apply press *101*833*3#

    By the way, if you have a smart phone, during the time between the initial activation and the data pass purchase, the smart phone may connect to the data network to download emails, etc, hence you will be paying a tremendously expensive “Pay as you go” data rate during that period.

    Work around is to do the activation and data pass purchase in a WiFi connected location, hence your smart phone will not use any network data during that critical period.

    Another work around is to use a dumb phone (unlocked GSM phone capable of operating in 900 and 1800 MHz frequencies) to do the activation and purchase data pass. You may need a micro SIM to regular adapter if you choose this method.

    I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the above. Rates and plans change as the market evolves. The best and most current guide is inside the package itself with your SIM card.

    The above should give you some idea of what you will be facing once you are “on the ground”.

  6. Lake says:

    HI! Does it comes with nano sim card? Is it compatible with iPhone 5? (:

  7. Nelson says:

    How I check for my one2free balance? I cant seems to find any information at all on their website for this simple instruction.

  8. Ken says:

    I will bringing a smart phone and I am from Canada, can I buy a prepaid SIM card when I arrive in Hong Kong? Any restriction on the phone?

    • You can buy SIM from HKG airport at the Departure Level (if you don’t arrive too late or too early in the day). For voice use only, your phone must be GSM (not CDMA), unlocked, have 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands (Canada uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz for voice). If you want data, your phone needs to handle 2100 MHz 3G data (LTE bands are far too complex to match cross continents). If you have a WIND or Mobilicty smart phone, forget about data, they are not compatible outside North America even if they are unlocked. To check your phone spec and capability outside of Canada, go to http://www.gsmarena.com

      You can buy a PCCW Discover Hong Kong tourist SIM at the Tourism office Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Terminal. They come in 5-day or 8-day all you can eat passes (there is a data cap).

      If the airport retailers are closed, go in town, find any one2free shops, they are easy to find.
      For extreme optimization of which One2free SIM to choose, see my web link below.


      Nicholas Fong
      Vancouver Canada

    • You can also buy a SIM card on the arrivals level at 7-11, which is open 24 hours. Keep in mind they run out of SIM cards from time to time so you may not be able to purchase your first selection. If that’s the case then as Nicolas mentioned, you’ll have to stop by a mobile hone store, 7-11, or Circle K in the city.

  9. Ken says:

    Thanks Nicholas,

    I am using Rogers Iphone 5, and Rogers will unlock for me with charge.
    Do you think I can buy the one2three nano sim card from Hong Kong and do you think I can be able to use their Unlimited Data and local calling?

    Thanks again!

  10. Jenny says:

    Is there any difference between the one2free Mobile Broadband Prepaid Service for $100HKD, the One2Free Power Prepaid SIM, and the HK$78 or HK$48 Local Call?

    • They are all different in terms of local call rates, SMS/MMS rates. The information used to be on the one2free website under Prepaid SIM, but the information is mysteriously gone. Given that, the only option is go to a one2free shop and record the fine prints for all those different packages and create a big Excel spreadsheet to optimize which one is most suitable for your usage. If you don’t live in Hong Kong, the best packages for non-residence (aka tourists to HK) seem to be the $48 local calls or the $78 local calls which gives you adequate voice minutes (rate varies depends on peak and non-peak hours) and you can even buy a data-pass with it ($38, 30 day, 300 MB data).

  11. Kenny says:

    Hey there,
    Just a quick question on the mobile cap. I am currently in HK and use the prepaid sim. As there is no wifi anywhere near where I’m staying I’ve been heavily using the personal hotspot in order to use the net and as you can guess I’ve pretty much busted the 5gb relatively quickly (and I’ll be here another 10 or so days). Is there any way to be uncapped again? Perhaps a recharge? Or would I be better off just swapping to a new prepaid card as my $100 is nearly used up anyway?

    • I’m sure you can recharge it, just find a one 2 free store and they should be able to help you. You’ll get a bonus on a recharge too. Then opt for the 7 day or daily data pass so you don’t have a limit on your usage.

  12. Frank says:

    Just wondering if I bought this card (the prepaid data plan) last summer in May2013 and the last time I used it was August 2013, am I still able to reactivate my sim card simply by top up the card? or I have to buy a new sim card?

    • Frank, you can’t reactivate an expired card to my knowledge, you’d have to get a new one as the number would’ve been recycled by now. If the card hasn’t expired, you can usually extend the validity another 6 mos when you recharge.

  13. ChaiWarrior says:

    So if Ive activated the 38$ monthly plan, why when I press my mobile widget does it not connect ?? Any ideas ?

  14. Kitty says:

    Hi, so let me see if I understand this right. If i want data and voice during my upcoming 3 weeks in HK – best is to get the package $148 for 30 days (which comes with 3G). How much is there for voice? $48? Last yr when I was in HK, the sales at one2free explained SO FAST that i didn’t understand at all… luckily i didn’t have to use much voice (and i think last yr it was only 1G) but I might need to use more voice this year so i’m trying to understand this! haha~

    Also, from viewing the one2free site, as long as my iphone 5s is unlocked in Canada, I should be able to use the nano-sim card that is offered with this package right?

    • Voice is almost always included in the prepaid phone cards in HK. They’ll usually charge a per minute charge for the voice usage, depends on which card you get and whether it’s off-peak or peak to figure what the costs are.

      An unlocked iPhone will work, or you can always unlock it in HK for probably around $200 HKD I assume.

  15. Poodle says:

    My friend passed me prepaid card which she used last week. I’m going to HK this weekend, can I reload the sim card and re-choose the $78/7days option?

    • Yes you can recharge (HK$50 minimum) your prepaid card either online or at any convenience store in HK. The drop dead date is 180 days after activation without any recharge.
      To check balance on your card, dial *101# or *109#.

      If you have sufficient fund, you can buy a 7-day data pass by dialing *101*832*4#

      I used one2free prepaid SIM 2 weeks ago in HK and it was great. Speedtest.net shows 7.5Mbps exactly as advertised. The air interface showed (DC)HSPA+ 42Mbps, but the download volume is obviously throttled. It is still 5X faster than typical North American DSL line.

  16. Mansi says:

    Can you please help me to select between the two – PCCW and one2free. I am too confused. Am traveling for India to HK for 4 days. Initially, I was preferring PCCW as I essentially want international calling and it offers 55 free minutes of it but only to FIXED LINE in India. I want to call mobile numbers back in India!

    And on the other hand, one2free doesn’t provide international calling at all.

    Please help!! I would be grateful 🙂 TIA

    • Not sure my previous reply was posted or lost.

      2 strategies to call India mobile (neither is free).

      (1) one2free and Skype. Not free, but cheaper than traditional legacy voice calls.

      (2) PCCW with unlimited local calls to a local access number in Hong Kong, e.g. 58080266, which is the local access number of http://www.indiald.com ,where you can connect to India for 25 cents per call on the pay per call plan.

  17. Janessa says:

    I bought a ‘$78 Local Call card’ today and was told by the K Circle staff to send a text message or call a number to activate the sim card. However, there’s no data at a despite it stating ‘unlimited local data usage ftom $8/hour’.

    Then, I realised there were steps to subscribe the ‘7 Day pass’ for the mobile broadband service and needed $78 to subscribe.

    However, when I dialled *109#, I found out my card balance was $72.60, which means it cost me HKD$5.40 just to send a text to a Sporean number. But the main problem is I have already sent he first text and am short of $5.40 to subscribe to the unlimited data plan forn7 days.

    So, now is there any way that I can get the unlimited data for the next 7 days? Do I need to go somewhere to top up the card? Where do you suggest?

    Hope you can help 🙂 Thanks.

    • Morten says:

      Hi Janessa,
      You need to top up as you say in order to get the 7 Day pass.
      Online you can should be able to do it at http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepaid_sim/recharge_method/recharge_method.jsp
      Minimum is 50HKD.
      Otherwise you can buy top up vouchers in a store. In my experience 100HKD is the minimum in convenience stores like CircleK and 7-Eleven.
      In the phone company stores, eg 1O1O Centre or csl Shop you might be able to buy the 50HKD vouchers.

    • You have two options: add HK$50 from any convenience store. Then you can purchase $78 7-day pass. The other option is to purchase a 30-day 300 MB data pass by dialing *101*833*2# and be careful (stingy) about the amount of data you use.

      • Janessa says:

        Thank you Nicholas for your quick reply.

        I think the better option now is to top up the minimum $50 since 300mb is not worth the $38.

        So if I too up $50, and buy the $78/7days unlimited plan, I would beliefs with $72.60 for calling and texting. Do you know how much is the rate per min or sec if I call back a Singaporean number?

        • Nicholas Fong says:


          Different one2free SIM card has different IDD rates. My guess is you are probably looking at HK$6.8/min or HK$4.6/min off peak hours: 9:00pm to 8:00am from Monday to Friday; the whole day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Your SIM card may have different rates. Rates are rounded up to the nearest minute. Even the definition of “off peak” hours can vary with the type of SIM card you use.

          Another way is to use Skype to call Singapore, Skype rate varies with the country you register in. I registered Skype in Canada, for me to call Singapore is HK$0.18 per minute using Skype Pay as you Go Skype Credit. You also consume some data while Skype calling, at roughly 1.5 MB/min.

          Note that one2free 7-day unlimited data is not truly unlimited, you get may be 2 or 3 GB at the max speed (7.2 Mbps) and then you are throttled down to a much slow speed.

        • Nicholas Fong says:

          Perhaps this is newer information: one2free Peak Hours: 12:00PM to 8:59PM

  18. Rebekka says:

    Hey I have a question,

    when I arrived at the airport in Hong Kong I got a prepaid card from the various shops in the airport. I’m here since two weeks and I will stay another four weeks. I think I made mistake by just buying a simcard, now I got power 3g, it provides a good access to the internet, but is very expensive and also the costs for sms and calls are high. What do you think I should do now. Get a new simcard or just pay the high costs, because I will stay just another four weeks.
    It would be super kind if you could help me.


    • I would buy another SIM, one2free $48 Local Call and immediately top it up with a $50. Then buy a 30-day 1GB data pass for $88, [dial *101*833*3#]. Install and use Skype to make voice calls. In Hong Kong, everyone uses WhatsApp instead of SMS.

  19. toothpick says:


    I will be going to HK for only two days for a stopover and I am a heavy data user.

    Which sim card would you recommend?


    • Try a PCCW-HKT Tourist SIM $96 (5GB data) or $118 version (5GB data).

      Make sure your device is unlocked and has 2100 MHz on 3G/UMTS/HSPA+

      If your device is 4G/LTE capable, make sure it has 2600 MHz (band 7) and/or 1800 MHz (band 3).

      After you exceed 5GB, I think PCCW throttles down or do a hard stop, not sure.


      PCCW-CSL-one2free SIM card is for lower data usage, e.g. 1GB, and then throttle down to roughly 128 Kbps after that, still unlimited data, but painfully slow once the quota is reached. Email and WhatsApp are still fine because they are not too fuzzy about data speed.


  20. Jochen says:

    I bought the one2free card, as usual and chose the 7 day option for a short stay. Turns out they have enabled 4g now!

  21. Calvin says:

    Hello! so for the “7-Day Pass Unlimited Data $78 / 7 Days” it means that I can have data with no cap for 7 days? And I can share it with my other devices? Is that right? 🙂

    • Calvin says:

      And btw, can I use this on my LTE enabled iPad?

      • Nicholas Fong says:

        Calvin: There is no hard cap, but there is a soft data cap (per HK Government fair user policy) is after you reached 2 or 3 GB, they throttle your data rate from 42 Mbps to 128-kbps or something very slow like that. After your 2 or 3 GB is reached, you can do email and other low bandwidth activities, high bandwidth activities such as streaming video or video Skype is too painful to use.

        PCCW and one2free use LTE (Band 3) 1800 MHz and LTE (Band 7) 2600 MHz, if your iPad has that frequency bands (one, or both), then you are good. There are different iPad models, check with Google, Apple.com and gsmarena.com to find out. If not, you can still use 3G 2100 MHz at 21 Mbps or 42 Mbps.

        Last but not least, your device must be unlocked to be able to use any SIM card other than your home carrier’s SIM card.

    • Nicholas Fong says:

      You can use your iPad and turn on the “personal hotspot” feature to share with your other devices, unless your iPad has trojan/modified os to prevent you from doing it.

  22. Nicholas Fong says:

    Cavin. It is soft cap. If over 5GB, “lower priority” (meaning slower speed), unlimited data (at slower speed)

  23. Calvin says:

    Last question 🙂 How much does the actual sim card cost? I think I’m set on buying this one for my trip 🙂

  24. Nicholas Fong says:

    Calvin: suggestion click on the Hong Kong SIM Card link on this page to buy from them, a sponsor of this blog. Also a suggestion, buy a one2free local call SIM card ($78) and then top it with $200 for a total of $278, then buy the 30-day 5G data pass for $258, with $20 left for PSTN calls.

  25. Nicholas Fong says:

    Calvin: the 30-day 5GB may be a hard cap. Check with the folks that sell these SIM card. If that is the case, 5GB is still a lot of data, check usage by dialing *101# or *109# while you are in Hong Kong to make sure you don’t hit a brick wall.

  26. Mich says:


    My situation is, I will travel to hk for 30 days next month. I have a iPhone 6 that use nano sim and it will be used for data only. I have a laptop but only requires internet rarely for emergency (downloading and printing pdf forms).

    Ideally, I am hoping there is a prepaid sim card that allows tethering or setting up personal hotspot so I can share the internet/data from mobile to laptop.

    If not, my options seems to be
    1) the cheapest one2free cheapest $48 sim for the $88/1GB 30 day
    2) $148 one2free Mobile Broadband Prepaid SIM Card and one2free Mobile Broadband Starter Pack

    Any other suggestion?

    My other question, does any know if Option 2 $148 include the USB modem or is there another HK$xxx for the USB modem.

    Thank you.

  27. alex says:

    Help! I arrived in hk yesterday and purchased the one2free power prepaid for $180. I activated it for two $78/7 days data pass so I still have $24 left for calls. My question is how do I check how much data I have used? I think my biggest data usage would be a video call via wechat or whatsapp. My understanding is that the plan I have will be a soft cap plan. I just want to see how close I am to the cap when I do video calls.

    • Nicholas Fong says:

      Alex, I am not sure how to check data usage. Try *101# or *109#.
      My rough estimate of video call is 5 to 8 MB data per minute.

  28. To know how to check balance, HKT Customer Service, internet packages or Prepaid card top up you can see at http://cellularhowto.com/hong-kong/csl-limited webpage.

  29. Jean says:

    Q: once I buy a prepaid plan, can I change it while keeping the same sim card/ given telephone number? And, does the sim expiration date (in 6mos) means I won’t be able to use it beyond such expiration date even if I continuously re-charge it?
    …I’m planning to stay in HK just over 7 months (unsure if more at this time), and would like to keep my same HK cell phone number throughout my stay. bought a One2free peepaid SIM card – not sure of it’s name, but it is a 7 day “unlimited” data plan with voice features for HK$100 per week. Added the voicemail feature for $5 per month. Is this the most cost effective one2free prepaid plan you would recommend for me? PS: mostly using apps, Skype Interface and few voice minutes to make and receive local HK calls. Any advice on the above will be much appreciated 🙂

  30. TelCan provides you the guaranteed lowest and elevated voice quality calling cards. It charges you $0.016/min as low as possible. TelCan rates are all based on one minute billing increment. It offers you the various denominations calling plans that suits to individual need and budget. We offer you 125mins as low as in $2, 313mins in $5, 625mins in $10,938mins in $15, and 1250 in $20. These are the most cost effective plans which we provide you to accomplish your needs.

  31. Anne says:

    I’m leaving for HK this afternoon. Staying there for 5 days – with a daytrip in Macau as well. I have an openline mobile or pocket wifi, which I’m going to bring along. Basically, I just need a prepaid sim card which will allow me to have internet or data access during my stay in HK AND Macau. Will the one2free power prepaid sim card do that for me? Is it still available since links don’t work for me. It directs me to the CSL page and I can’t seem to locate the power prepaid sim card there. Hope you can help me out. Thank you.

  32. Francis says:

    I bought the one2 free SIM card in March 2015 while I was in Hong Kong . Upon departure , the card still has a remaining balance of 20.00 HKD approx. Can I use this SIM card during my visit in Oct 2015..
    How long the card will last for ???

  33. Nicholas Fong says:

    Francis, if your SIM has been inactive for more than 180 days, it is probably inactive (dead) by now, depends on whether you hit the 180 days or not, you can top up remotely on the website to keep it alive if you remember exactly your phone number. I did that with my SIM last year, but I can’t remember exactly what my number was, and I probably top up someone else SIM card !

    one2free is now CSL. The new owner CSL completely fixed the broken one2free website, now you can go to CSL website to choose SIM card based on facts with less guess work:

    Local Prepaid:
    Short term Visitors:

    e.g, if your visit duration is 7 days, you can choose either the Discover HK Tourist Card for $118 5GB data unlimited local voice, or $78 Local Call SIM then buy $68 7-day 3GB data and $10 left for some local voice minutes.

    Both plans include unlimited csl Wi-Fi, full details on the website.

    I live in Canada, now I can even buy the Discover HK Tourist SIM Card from local electronics store (NCIX.com), I can be connected while the plane’s landing-gears touch down and do WhatsApp while the plane is finding its gate.

  34. Joanna says:

    There’s a lot of choices for the prepaid SIM in HK & I can’t figure out which is the best for me.

    In HK for 3 weeks (22 days), mainly staying HK but might head to the mainland & Macau.
    Talk/text/IDD & maybe some data.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  35. ry says:

    hi, if i’m travelling to Hong Kong and would like to get a nano sim for my iphone 6plus, would u recommend the one2free sim card or Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card? I’m looking for one with unlimited data.

  36. madeth says:

    May I know how to share a load using one2free Sim car to another network

    • Nicholas Fong says:

      Not sure what you mean by “to another network”. You can use one2free on an iPhone or Android to WiFi tether (i.e. hotspot) to your other devices such as your laptop, friend’s smart phone, etc.

  37. Naomi says:

    I bought one 7 days type but I can’t find the number of my phone , Where you put it?! I can’t believe this is complicated

  1. March 11, 2014

    […] PCCW is the largest telecom company in Hong Kong, in fact they just bought Telstra’s CSL, subject to government approval. PCCW prepaid SIM cards are available virtually everywhere. 7-11 (including at the airport,) PCCW shops, Circle K, Suning, Aeon, UNY, and VnGO. For a review of one2free SIM card, visit this page. […]

  2. February 12, 2016

    […] Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards: … – December 2015: Check out the latest 2016 Best Prepaid SIM Cards. April 2015: Check out the latest 2015 HK Prepaid SIM Card comparison. Last week I blogged … […]

  3. August 23, 2016

    […] Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards: … – They do sell a nano sim card for $98. … Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards: … … Applying for a China mainland visa in Hong Kong . […]

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