Circles.Life Jetpac: Finally, a data roaming plan for me

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Circles Life's new Jetpac data roaming plan offers 20GB of roaming data for S$20, valid in 50 countries with no minimum subscription.

For the longest time, I’ve been wishing that we had something like Google Fi in Singapore- a mobile plan that lets you roam in multiple countries without having to buy individual SIM cards or subscribe to different add-on packages. 

And now we do. 

Back in early 2020, there were rumours that local MVNO Circles.Life (yes, the one with the creepy ads about Eunice Olsen) was looking to launch some sort of subscription travel product, possibly a miles card with up to 3 mpd and no FCY fees. 

As it turns out, they’ve gone for something much closer to their core competency: Jetpac, a global data roaming plan that might be just what I’ve been looking for. 

Circles.Life Jetpac

Circles.Life Jetpac

Jetpac is an eSIM subscription plan that offers data roaming, monthly hotel credits, lounge access during flight delays and travel insurance for one flat fee ranging from S$10 to S$30 per month.

 Insure PacPro PacLite Pac
Monthly Cost*S$30S$20S$10
Roaming Data7GB20GB (mo. 1)
5GB (after)
3GB
Max. Rollover Data12GB10GB6GB
Flight Delay Lounge Access
S$20 Monthly Expedia Credit 
AIG Insurance  
*A month is defined as 30 consecutive calendar days

Now, I’m not about to start using Circles.Life as my primary mobile plan in Singapore. They use M1’s network, which can’t beat Singtel for coverage. But that’s the beauty of Jetpac- you don’t need to be a Circles.Life subscriber to use it. Anyone can sign up for a plan, and it’s purely pay-as-you-go.

Data roaming is currently available in 50 countries worldwide, mostly in Asia Pacific and Europe. 

Click to enlarge map
🌐 Jetpac Supported Countries
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Myanmar
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Vietnam
Do note that Tiktok cannot be used via Jetpac in Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vatican City and Vietnam. I see this as an absolute win!

While this covers most destinations popular with Singaporeans, there are a few notable omissions:

  • All of Central and South America
  • Canada
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Maldives
  • Oman
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates

Jetpac’s pricing is certainly competitive, with the Pro Pac plan costing just S$1 per GB in the first month. And since there’s no minimum commitment, you could sign up and cancel as you please, thereby getting 20GB each time you join (as long as Circles.Life decides to offer this promotion). 

Isn’t this a loophole? Yes and no. Vulcan Post put this scenario across in an interview with the Circles team. 

While some users might try to exploit the Pro Pac plan by cancelling the subscription after the first month to continually get 20GB of data (since it reverts to 5GB for subsequent months), Ajay pointed out that they will “lose the stackable perks if they exit after just one month”.

“The principle of building this product is that it’s made for travelers and give value to them. But we also understand that even the most frequent travelers may travel once or twice every quarter [instead of on a monthly basis].

What this product allows you to do is that it [offers] convenience, and the value is just the sweetener. We give you value back so that you won’t feel like you’re cheated when you’re not traveling — all the value that you have paid for remains with you.”

Circles.Life cites the “stackable perks” as reasons for customers to stay subscribed, even in months where they don’t travel. But here’s the thing: I’m far from convinced these are worth maintaining your membership. 

Rollover data

I’m a big fan of the rollover data that Jetpac promises, but it’s capped at 10GB for the Pro Pac plan. Therefore, you have nothing to lose in terms of data by cancelling and returning in a future month with a fresh 20GB.

Monthly S$20 Expedia credit

Insure Pac and Pro Pac members receive a S$20 travel credit each month, which can either be accumulated or converted into an Expedia voucher redeemable at over 500,000 hotels in 140 countries.

Circles.Life’s Head of Marketing says that this makes the Pro Pac plan “literally free”.

It’s literally free because we’re giving you back S$20, which you can spend on hotel bookings

That strikes me as disingenuous, because Expedia may not always be the lowest-priced option, and if it isn’t, your savings are purely illusionary.

What’s more, Expedia vouchers typically cannot be used for hotels on the exclusion list, which features pretty much every hotel chain you can think of. I don’t know if the Expedia vouchers obtained through Circles.Life will follow the same exclusions, but if so, then I’d consider this benefit as close to worthless.

Lounge access during flight delays

Enjoy lounge access during flight delays

Just like the Expedia credits, Circles.Life’s Head of Marketing is again guilty of overplaying the extent of the lounge benefit. 

 And when you are traveling with your family or friends, you can get lounge access at all the key airports by simply showing your Jetpac.

This is untrue. JetPac is not offering a lounge membership ala Priority Pass, where you can use a lounge every time you fly. Instead, they’re offering lounge access during flight delays, powered by SmartDelay (a product of Collinson Group, the owners of Priority Pass and LoungeKey). 

Customers are required to register their flight on the Circles.Life app prior to departure. If their flight is delayed by more than 60 minutes, they will receive an email with a QR code entitling them to lounge access. 

In the event of a flight delay, lounge access is extended to:

  • Lite Pac: 2 travellers (member + 1 companion)
  • Pro Pac: 6 travellers (member + 5 companions)

Each traveller must be registered on the Circles.Life app in order to receive the benefit. 

I’d consider this perk to be close to useless too, since it only activates during delays, and most people should be able to get a lounge membership with an entry-level credit card anyway. Even if yours doesn’t, Mastercard offers a similar benefit with their Flight Delay Pass.

It’s certainly not a good reason to hold on to your subscription during non-travel months!

Who would find Jetpac useful?

Despite the near useless Expedia and lounge delay perks, I personally plan to sign up for Jetpac because it’s a good match for my travel patterns.

Over the past few months, I’ve visited the following countries and spent the following on mobile data:

  • Japan: US$14 for 3GB (airalo)
  • Malaysia: S$6 for 1GB (gomo)
  • New Zealand: S$25.90 for 12GB (ICC)
  • Thailand: S$14 for 100GB (gomo)
  • Taiwan: US$14 for 3GB (airalo)
  • USA: US$11 for 3GB (airalo)
  • Vietnam: US$4.50 for 1GB (airalo)

Because my travels are closely-spaced, I’d probably do much better by getting a flat-fee S$20 for 20GB plan, instead of buying individual SIMs and eSIMs. That’s especially the case if you plan to country hop (airalo does offer regional plans, but when you do the math Jetpac still comes out on top).

I can think of only a few catches:

  • Jetpac is an eSIM only product; if your phone does not support eSIMs, then this whole thing is an academic exercise
  • Jetpac is a data-only product; SMS and voice calls are currently not supported. If you require a local number, then you’ll need to get a local SIM
  • S$20 for 20GB is a launch promotion that runs for an unspecified period of time. The regular rate of S$20 for 5GB is still a good deal, though it could be more marginal when compared to other plans

I don’t think Jetpac will necessarily be the cheapest option if you really dig into the full range of options available for a given country, but the convenience it offers is very attractive to me.

Conclusion

Circles.Life’s new Jetpac plan offers data roaming in 50 countries for a flat fee, with rollover data and no minimum commitments. 

I’m certainly keen to try it out on my next cluster of trips, although I wouldn’t bother keeping my subscription during non-travel periods. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Adam

Also just to point out, you can get lounge access with flight delays with any Mastercard so that perk isn’t useful at all https://flightdelaypass.mastercard.com/

Lion Den

According to Mastercard Flight delay pass FAQ, it depends on whether the airline reports the delay to the flight stats which Mastercard tracks. If airline play tricks or delay report or dont report the delay, then Mastercard can’t give lounge pass.

Lion Den
  • Japan: US$14 for 3GB (airalo)
  • Taiwan: US$14 for 3GB (airalo)
  • USA: US$11 for 3GB (airalo)

Interesting to see that for the same data volume, USA’s cheaper than Asian ones.

Jason

but there is this beauty, even better… never tried Singtel roaming from the day I found this…
https://global.cmlink.com/

jason

does this work well?

Jason

i used in Europe, US, Australia and frequently to Malaysia, works very well. just log on to your account and buy a new package before trip.

Jasco

a much better deal!

Falco

How is this better?? Looks way more expensive if you travel more than just a few days.

Ortloc

Should have started with the caveat that it works only on phones with eSIM option. This plan will also be next to useless to those already using eSIM for their primary line.

Abc

Phone can’t do dual sim with 2 esims?

Ortloc

AFAIK, only the iPhone 14 sold in the US are dual eSIMs.

Bruno

iPhone 13 and later support dual eSIM.

Only US difference is that they don’t have a physical sim slot anymore from the 14, which leaves dual esim thus the only option.

Bob

Should have read this before signing up. Already have esim and older iPhone. Just wasted $10 . @aaron maybe put this right at the start of the article.

Amos

Assuming one can use either the eSIM or physical SIM card:

Just checked CM Link for South Korea, and it’s USD37 for 10 days of [email protected] 2GB per day. Airalo was no better either. An LG+U local sim collected at Incheon would be SGD35 for 10 days of data @ 3GB/day. So for S.Korea, I think the current JetPac plan is fantastic value.

I’ll be testing it out in a week while in Seoul. Will let you guys know how it goes.

Last edited 2 months ago by Amos
Jason

you can opt to buy a 500MB or 1GB high-speed data plan since you will also have wifi access at hotels etc.

Amos

I’m there for 10 days. The 500MB/day plan with CM is USD17 for 10 days. The math just doesn’t work out.

Last edited 2 months ago by Amos
Anonymous

Have you considered using Simba (used to be known as TPG)? For $10 a month, it’s 100GB of local data, which is more than useful as a second line for use in a LTE enabled laptop/tablet (or a mobile Wifi if your devices are Wifi-only). On top of that, there is 1GB free roaming for 50+ countries which include most of the usual suspects. Past that, it’s 4c/10MB. If you don’t need that much local data, there is also the business plan ($5 for 3 months, $8 after) or the Senior plan ($5 per month, assuming you know someone above… Read more »

Joe

I have the Simba Super Roam, $25 for 100GB local and 10GB roaming. It also has voip and SMS as part of the package. Data rates if you go over the 10GB roaming allowance are very cheap as well.

Amos

I was on Simba for about 2 months to test things out, and I wasn’t getting a great experience with regards to internet speed. Didn’t get to try out the roaming services provided, but the general feedback from users is that roaming is a hit or miss situation. Works for some, doesn’t work for others. Nobody knows why.

I also understand that the Simba plans don’t work on all phones, and there are quite a few phones that require the Simba app to even make regular calls.

Alvin Koh

Since this does not support SMS, does to mean that I will not be able to receive OTP when the bank sends this?

Alvin Koh

Thank you. Will try on my iPhone and update if possible

Amos

https://support.apple.com/en-sg/HT209044

If I understand this correctly, the iPhone will work with a physical sim and eSIM running simultaneously. Meaning you can still get OTPs via your Singapore number (incoming SMS are free worldwide), and run on the eSIM for data doing whatever you need.

chk

Wonder if the attractive pricing is sustainable

Amos

$20 for 20GB is just a launch special.

Nigel

Does the 1 month start on the day you register? Or can I set a later date (first day of travel)

Michael

Do you have to live in singapore to use this service and/or have a Singapore bank account ?

Anon

For Japan, you can use mobal as a foreigner.

Can even keep the line for 1.5k yen/mth.

has voice, sms and data

Henry

Does the jetpac work in Singapore? Signed up for jetpac and activated it but there’s no reception in Singapore. So I wasn’t sure if there’s no data for Singapore or did not do something correctly.

Jonathan Goh

There seems to be no data reception within Singapore. It worked ok (but a bit slow) when i was in JB over the weekend.

Zachs

any idea if it’s 5G also? or purely 4G/LTE?

EKEkek

Stay away this Jetpac Pro. I purchased the 20Gb for sgd20. End up in my apps I am only getting 10gb, wrote to them and trying to fix the missing 10gb matters for more than 5 days still cannot resolved. And when I arrived in Istanbul, Japan when I traveled back to back. Their Esim do not have any connections.. other esim I bought from Shopee works perfectly. Now I raised another 2 more emails they stopped replying to me. Stay away from circlelife jetpac pro.

ACDC

I used it for 10days in HK with no prob. But the balance in my account didn’t reflect any usage – still 20gb.

I was worried that I had unknowingly used data roaming on my other sims but that is not possible as they don’t have data enabled.

CS mention I still have 20gb to go.

Weird

NZHols

Likewise, my number couldn’t be registered at all into their system; I’ve been waiting for ‘activation’ whenever I tried to log into their Circles app. I ended up being able to use 5 GB despite their promise of 20 GB for the first month.

Ski

Saw that it was attractive since it’s $10 a month for 3G and since I travel to multi destinations, I don’t mind subscribing. Purchased the $10 a mth package, and downloaded the app. The app is useless I can’t track my usage. Went to Japan and it worked well. But somehow I felt my battery was draining super fast , but maybe I was using my phone too often. As I said, the app is useless as I am a non circles user except for this data. I can’t access my subscription to make changes to payment or track my… Read more »

Amos

So after using this in S.Korea for 10 days, I still think getting a local SIM is still better there.

The JetPac reception was slow and spotty on 4G. Some outdoor areas only had 3G service, which was crawling at best. If you’re doing messaging and navigation, there are times when you’re barely making it in terms of usability.

So based on my experience over 10 days comparing the experience my wife had with her LG+ service in S.Korea, I’d rather pay SGD35 for something blazing fast and equally seamless 100% of the time.

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