Buying a SIM Card in Jordan

In Get Connected by Dustin Main9 Comments

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

Companies


  • We recommend Zain for most travellers

The cell company of choice in Jordan is Zain as it has the best coverage and prepaid packages — other providers include Orange and Umniah.

How


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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Costs


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.

Topping Up


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.

 

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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.

Check out our guides to buying SIM cards in many other countries here.

All you need to know to buy a local SIM card for traveling in Jordan -- which provider to choose, where to buy, package options and more.
About the Author

Dustin Main

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Dustin just can't get enough travel or technology, but when he's not directly feeding one of those insatiable habits, you can probably find him at some far away ice cream shop taking pictures of empty cups. That, or on top of a mountain somewhere shooting photos and finding adventures to share on his website "A Skinny Escape".

Comments

  1. Thanks Dustin for this info – but I think you left off the most important part!

    What are the 3G speeds like?

    1. Author

      Unfortunately I don’t have all of the numbers for you because I smashed my phone before I had a chance to run the tests (see here https://toomanyadapters.com/travels-changed-smashed-smartphone/ ), but from experience I can tell you that the speeds were very reasonable, particularly in Amman.

      Outside of Amman, service was OK, but not great. Everyday smartphone work was fine (e-mail, social media) but tethering for laptop access outside of the major centers might be a little frustrating.

  2. I’m heading there in August 2017. I have TMobile, but this isn’t a covered country. When I get a new SIM from Zain, will I get a new phone number? How will I sign into my 2-step authentication required accounts?

    Thanks!

    Zach

    1. Hi Zach,

      This page suggested that you can roam with T-Mobile in Jordan, but it’s not free on their ONE / Simple Choice plans. That said, receiving texts is just deducted from your existing domestic text allowance, so probably won’t cost you anything. In that case, I’d suggest doing what I’ve been doing for the last few years — buying a local SIM card (with a new phone number) to keep you connected with data, local phone calls, etc, and just putting your usual SIM back in when you need to receive a text from your bank or other company using two-factor authentication. Just remember to turn off data roaming beforehand!

  3. I just clicked on the link you sent on Zain’s prepaid plans. The link appears to be broken. Did anyone had a chance to have a glimpse of the plans?

    1. The link still seems to work for me — it takes me to a page with what looks like an updated list of prepaid plans.

  4. I used Zain last time I was in Jordan and it works perfectly. The staff in the shop in the airport were very helpful. I am going back to Jordan next month and I’ll use Zain again.
    Thanks a lot for this:))

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