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I no longer live in Singapore; however, I occasionally use some services (mostly banking) that require a Singaporean number for text message verification. What's the cheapest way I can retain a Singaporean number valid for this?

For time being I've kept my regular Singtel SIM, but even the cheapest postpaid plan is >$20/month. I'd prefer to avoid prepaid numbers, because I'm leery about them running out of credit/validity and not being able to renew while overseas, but I'm open to suggestions.

  • Which bank? Banking services would be able to accept foreign numbers too wouldn't they? – Pacerier Dec 30 '15 at 17:36
  • Some do, some don't. The biggest issue is the government SingPass, which requires a local number. – jpatokal Dec 30 '15 at 21:30
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I think an option for you might be a SIM-only plan. Normal postpaid plans in Singapore are unnecessarily expensive, because they need to finance your free phone upgrade every year or so. Unfortunately, there's not that many options for plans without phone. Here's what I found:

  • Starhub has a new SIM-only 4G plan which apparently starts at S$13.95 a month.
  • Singtel has a configurable SIM-only plan, which starts at $S20, maybe that's the one you already have.

I haven't actually used any of those, so I'm not entirely sure whether there are any hidden costs.

If you are considering prepaid, all the providers allow you to top up online with a credit card, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. However, they have this funny thing where your credit comes with a validity date. For instance if you buy a S$10 M1 top-up, it will be valid for 120 days, (See on this page under FAQ) which would be significantly cheaper than the cheapest price plan with the downside that you'd have to remember to buy credit every 3 months.

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    I ended up getting the Starhub plan. There's a $40-or-so SIM free to get set up, but from then on it's just the $14/mo indefinitely. – jpatokal Nov 27 '15 at 4:30
  • @jpatokal, Actually $14/month is quite steep, considering you'd only use two or three smses a month. There's someone claiming that it can be done with just $30/year. – Pacerier Dec 30 '15 at 19:13

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