We talk a lot about the benefits of using a local SIM when traveling to a new country, and travels to Jordan are no different. Going local instead of roaming will likely save you a lot of money, even if you’re a moderate user.
Prices are in Jordanian Dinar (JD), and at the time of writing, the exchange rate is approximately 1.00 JD=1.41 USD
If you’re flying into Amman, it’s a pretty simple process to take care of your mobile needs right in the airport. On the main floor by the exits is a Zain shop.
There might not be a lot of English happening, but it’s not too tricky to sort it out (and a bystander will probably come to assist in the typical, friendly Jordanian way). This way, you can check your e-mail while making your way to the city.
If you don’t pick your SIM up at the airport, you’re best to go to a dedicated Zain store or a general cellular store. Buying in Amman will give you the best chance of having some English support, so take care of it there if you can. SIM cards are available in all of the standard sizes and will set you back 5JD ($7USD).
You may need to provide your passport, and you will require an unlocked phone. If you don’t have an unlocked phone, you can also have your phone unlocked in many general mobile stores if you don’t mind losing your warranty.
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It’s worth checking out the Zain prepaid plans in advance online in case the pamphlets aren’t available in English. Currently you can get the Mish Tabee3i Turbo monthly plan for 9JD (~$12.60USD), which represents excellent value.
- 5000 in-network minutes
- 50 other local network minutes
- 5GB Mobile Internet
- 50 local SMS
For the 15JD plan, you’ll get:
- Unlimited in-network minutes
- 7GB Mobile Internet
- 50 local SMS
- Two passes to the airport lounge
Data Only Packages: Mobile data is good value in Jordan. Daily unlimited packages run 0.5JD ($0.70USD).
Monthly packages run:
- 300MB for 4JD
- 500MB for 6JD
- 1GB for 8JD
- 2GB for 15JD
International SMS: You can add packages for international SMS starting at 3.5JD for 50 messages.
If you don’t already own a cell phone or yours isn’t unlocked, a simple phone can be purchased for about 25JD or less.
Adding Zain credit can be done just about anywhere — look for stores showing the Zain sign and add any amount you want either electronically at the till, or via scratch cards.
A confirmation text message will be sent to you letting you know the credit has been added.
Coverage and Data Speeds
The network in Jordan is modern, with HSPA+ speeds in major areas. You can expect decent service just about anywhere in the country, and I had no issues other than when camping in Wadi Rum and during other canyon (mis)adventures.