SIMs & Mobile Phones: Santiago, Chile

The Pay as you Go SIM card from Three, in the UK, does not function in Chile.  That means I was back on the ‘find a SIM’ trail, which had started in Argentina!

I had done some online research and almost all of the visiting SIM hunters had come up against the need to have an RUT to register the SIM, which I believe is the social security number issued to all Chilean residents.  My natural inclination to cynicism meant I went to the local Mac affiliated store, thinking I might find out more information there.


First, I checked the prices for Apple Watches.  TWICE the price of the US.  So I held on to my pesos. But the enquiry opened the chance to talk SIM cards with an English-speaking sales assistant.  Very friendly at MacOnline!


Off I headed in search of the Wow! shop, which was on the ground floor of the Costanera Center, the biggest shopping centre in South America.

I like to try out restaurants at all price points. Check out one of the pricier options that I found in Santiago.

I was told it was easy to find because the front of the shop was bright purple.  I walked past it about 5 times.


Wow! There it is.


I had a few language issues in Wow! But I tried my best to explain in my broken Spanish what I was looking for.  However, Wow SIM cards were not sold by the Wow shop and they sent me to the PC Factory, home of all things technological.


They have a ticketing system (like most Chilean shops) meaning you should queue.  I worked out eventually that the system didn’t apply to Smartphones as people kept coming up to the guy!

I wanted to buy a Wow SIM card for two reasons: the MacOnline guy recommended that it would get you completely free 3G/4G internet access which is what I was after. Plus, the price of the card was the lowest on the market.  My new friend in the Smartphones department didn’t have any left in stock and didn’t recommend any of the other SIM providers that they had in stock (Claro, Virgin, Movistar, Entel).

The next cheapest to Wow was Entel and I didn’t fancy a trek across town to find a Wow SIM card, so I bought the Entel version.

I was sent by the Smartphones department to the ‘Cajas’ or cash desk and waited for a bit in line to pay for the card.  They then send you to Despacho, who give you the card (naturally after another line!).  But everyone in Chile is so nice, that it’s not a problem to wait for a few minutes!