Getting a SIM card in New Zealand is not a costly affair. Unlike most things, these cards are one of those inexpensive commodities. If you are a tourist, getting a local SIM card and avoiding international roaming charges is highly recommended. If we talk about the local SIM card providers, there are three main mobile network operators and two MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) in New Zealand. You can buy local SIM cards in New Zealand, with a price range varying from 1 NZD (0.70 USD) to 5 NZD (3.40 USD). Without further delay, let’s look into the best SIM cards in New Zealand.
Spark is the largest and the oldest mobile network in the country. It uses 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR frequencies. It provides great coverage throughout the country, however it lags in many areas compared to its competitors. Though it is the largest and the oldest, it still doesn’t have the best 4G coverage experience.
Spark’s SIM card is among the most expensive in New Zealand, costing its users 5 NZD. You can also get its eSIM (embedded-SIM) for the same price. For visitors and tourists, Spark offers a tourist SIM card which includes data, social media data, international and local calling minutes, and SMS for up to 3 months. However, remember that the tourist SIM cannot be renewed once it has expired.
Vodafone New Zealand is the second-largest telecom company in the country. It is the closest and the strongest competitor to Spark in terms of the number of subscribers and has many times overtaken Spark in this regard. Although Vodafone is a famous brand, in New Zealand it is no longer run by Vodafone but as a local investment company.
Like Spark, Vodafone also operates on 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR frequencies. Its network coverage is good, but the 4G coverage is perhaps the worst in the country. A Vodafone SIM card is available for 5 NZD everywhere easily including Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown airports. At affordable prices, it offers data plans, add-ons, combos, etc. to both its prepaid and postpaid users. Some plans also come with a data rollover feature.
2degrees is the smallest mobile network operator in the country. But its market size doesn’t reflect its performance. It is one of the best service providers in the country in many aspects. The carrier operates only on 3G, and 4G/LTE frequencies. With a great network coverage throughout the country, it has the best 4G connectivity as well. A 2degrees SIM card is also available for 5 NZD at any of their outlets, grocery stores, and electronic stores.
But with this 5 NZD SIM card, you get 5 international calling minutes to several countries like Australia, Ireland, Tonga, Samoa, UK, USA, China, Fiji, Canada, and India. You may need to call on 200 to activate the SIM card, which is a toll-free number for their users. For short-term visitors and tourists, 2degrees provides a tourist SIM card, which can be home delivered in or out of New Zealand.
Skinny Mobile is usually referred to as just Skinny. It is an MVNO of Spark New Zealand and is directly owned by it. Being an MVNO of Spark, it operates on the same frequencies as Spark does. Its SIM card is cheaply available for only 2 NZD. The carrier provides tourist SIM cards as well, which provide local data and New Zealand and Australia calling minutes. You also get international calling minutes to 24 countries, and Australia and New Zealand SMS for up to 60 days. It offers lucrative daily, weekly, and monthly plans for data, combo, and add-ons. Skinny Mobile SIM cards get deactivated if there is no top-up and no activity for 12 months.
Warehouse Mobile is a mobile brand of The Warehouse, and it is a 2degrees MVNO. Its SIM card is the cheapest in the country—available for just 1 NZD along with 5 NZD credit. You can also buy a 16 NZD Warehouse Mobile SIM card with as much credit in it. To activate the SIM card, call on 800 (toll-free). It is a preferred choice for inexpensive data and combo plans with long validity. Hence, it is considered a pocket-friendly SIM card with great 4G 2degrees network coverage. It is a cheaper version of the main provider, so it provides great value for money.
To your surprise, the largest mobile operator may not be the best for everyone in the case of New Zealand. Our verdict for the most well-rounded mobile network carrier in New Zealand is 2degrees. For some, it’s the top carrier on almost every parameter. For high-speed 5G internet, Vodafone New Zealand is the best choice. If you want a budget-friendly SIM card, Warehouse Mobile is the perfect pick. For more details, visit their official websites.