Telcel SIM Card: price, how to get and activate

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A Telcel SIM card, Chip SIM card is a product that will let you enjoy cellular services in the Mexico! Before purchasing, you must keep in mind factors such as cellphone compatibility, plans, prices, and how to activate or reload it.

In this post, we will show you how you can get one, the stores that offer this chip, prices, and similar alternatives with which you can connect to the internet and make calls in Mexico.

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What is Telcel?

Telcel is a Mexican cellular operator owned by América Móvil, a company that owns other well-known brands in Latin America, such as Claro.

Telcel stands out for its good network coverage, outperforming its competitors such as AT&T Mexico and Movistar Mexico.

sim card telcel
A Telcel chip in its different sizes: chip, microchip, and nanochip.

Where can you buy a Telcel chip?

There are different places and websites where you can purchase a Telcel chip, from the traditional branch or official store to third-party websites.

Buy Telcel SIM Card online:

Currently, there is no option to purchase a Telcel chip from the official site. For those who do not want to leave home, they have the possibility of buying a prepaid SIM card for Mexico from other stores such as Holafly eSIM, Holafly SIM cards, Amazon, and Mercadolibre in Latin America.

When choosing one of the options previously mentioned, it is common that you will have to wait a few days to receive the package. If you are leaving soon and want to get an immediate connection when you arrive in Mexico, Holafly’s eSIM Mexico is your best option, thanks to the fact that this chip is digital and does not require installing a chip physically.

Get a Chip at a Telcel Shop

This is only a one-time option, you will have to go to a Telcel store or commercial establishment to get information and buy your chip. These customer service spots will ask for documentation such as your passport or identification number.

Something important to keep in mind about these places is their available hours. They are usually open from 9:00 or 10:00 AM until 6:00 or 7:00 AM. Also, keep in mind holidays or non-business days in Mexico.

Buy Telcel Chip at Oxxo

Another place known for offering a variety of products is Oxxo; a popular chain store in Mexico where you can purchase a Telcel Chip. In these conveniences stores, you’ll first have to ask where the closes store is and then pay at the register.

Getting a Telcel SIM Card at a Mexican airport:

For those who travel and need a Telcel chip, they can also get them at the airports. There are commercial stores that operate for Telcel.

As for the official Telcel stores, the points of sale inside the airports also have the same hours, i.e., they open from 9:00 or 10:00 AM to 6:00 or 7:00 PM. Therefore, if you arrive in Mexico in the early morning and need internet upon arrival to request a cab, communicate with your hotel or notify your relatives, it is best to purchase a chip before traveling or get a virtual SIM card with cellular data included for Mexico.

How much does the Telcel SIM card cost?

For some people, the price is the least of their worries and what they’re looking for is a solution and quality service, for others it is a decisive factor before making the purchase. Whichever the case, if you belong to one group or the other, we’re going to tell you the price of a Telcel chip.

The official price of a Telcel chip is 79 Mexican pesos, about 4 dollars or 3.5 euros. This cost is only for the chip without available balance and without activation. Although after activation it usually includes a welcome bonus.

However, the price will vary depending on where you buy it. It may cost you more at airports and resale stores. The price is lower at official sites, although they tend to be slower to provide customer service.

How to activate the Telcel chip?

Telcel has different activation methods for your prepaid chip. You can choose the one that best suits you, depending on where you got it from and where you’re located. We explain further below.

Activating in a store

When purchasing at an official store and if you need same-day SIM activation, you can ask for help once you begin the activation process. The customer service agents will deliver your chip ready to use.

Activating chip via a call

To activate the chip over the phone, you will need to have two telephones available. With one phone, you dial and call 800-7105687 and follow the instructions for activating a prepaid chip. The other phone should be the phone where you’re going to use the SIM card.

Sending SMS to activate chip

Another way you have at hand to activate a Telcel chip is by using text messages. To achieve this, you must insert the SIM in your cellphone, turn it on and send a text message to the code 4848, in the message write the word ALTA and follow the instructions given in response.

Activating through the SimpleMobile web site

Go to the SimpleMobile website and select the Activate option, enter the ICCID of your chip and follow the instructions on the screen.

How to top up minutes, mobile data and calls?

You have different alternatives to add credit to your Tecel chip, you can top it up from their official reload site or external websites. You can also go to their customer service spots, in shopping malls such as Oxxo and neighborhood stores.

All-inclusive packages:

These packages include data, unlimited calls, and SMS.

Amount of dataPriceDays
2GB$ 150 MXN26 days
100 MB$ 20 MXN1 día
120 MB$ 30 MXN3 days
400 MB$ 50 MXN7 days
500 MB$ 80 MXN13 days
1.3GB$ 100 MXN15 days
3 GB$ 200 MXN30 days
4 GB$ 300 MXN30 days
6 GB$ 500 MXN30 days
All-inclusive Telcel SIM plans and rates.

Packages with data: 

These packages include data and social networks.

Amount of dataPriceDays
1.6 GB$ 100 MXN15 days
3.5 GB$ 200 MXN30 days
5 GB$ 300 MXN30 days
8 GB$ 500 MXN30 days
Telcel SIM plans and rates for cellular data.

Compatibility of the Telcel SIM card with your cellphone

Before purchasing a Telcel SIM card you should make sure that your phone will work on their network. Whether you are traveling abroad or you are planning to purchase a cellphone that you got from another country like the US, for example.

Chip sizes: Normal, Micro and NanoSIM

A Telcel SIM card comes in 3 sizes. Normal size (common in older cellphones), MicroSIM generally compatible with recent cellphones. NanoSIM which are generally most compatible with high-end and most recent cellphones.

The size of the chip can be chosen by extracting the correct size from the card. This is usually die-cut, and you just need to press to cut it out to the size you need.

Telcel network frequencies

This is crucial. If your smartphone, or cellphone is incompatible with Telcel’s network frequencies, you will not have coverage, and therefore you will not be able to enjoy cellular service in Mexico.

Type of networkNetwork frequencies
2G1700/2100 AWS 1, 2600, 1700/2100
3G1900, 850
Telcel network frequencies

How is Telcel’s cellular network coverage in Mexico?

Telcel stands out for having the best network coverage in Mexico. However, in general, if you travel to areas far from the cities, the signal quality is low. In Mexico, in some areas, you will not be able to get cellular network coverage, and it is something you should know before traveling, so your last resort can be free WiFi hotspots at restaurants, hotels, cafés, etc.

Areas with good coverage:

Places in Mexico where you can get good network coverage are Mexico City, Guanajuato, Monterrey, Veracruz, Merida, and Tabasco.

Areas with weak or no coverage:

Recognized and possibly tourist sites where network coverage in some areas may be weak, unstable, or non-existent are: Los Cabos, Xul-Ha, Campeche, Holbox, Tulum, and Chiapas.

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