After a year living in Malaysia and multiple trips a year here, I feel that I know all about buying a Malaysia tourist sim card. I have made some great choices and some not so great choices!
In this article, I’ll tell you exactly what to do to get the perfect Malaysia prepaid sim card for tourist. I also give you a cost effective way to avoid a sim card all together while still having unlimited wifi (see option 3!).
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Table of Contents
How To Buy The Best Malaysia Tourist Sim Card 2019
Thankfully, getting a travel sim card Malaysia is very easy. You just need ID and some ringgit (and sometimes not even the latter if you purchase from home!). I describe the best (and easiest ways) to get a traveller sim Malaysia.
But first, a bit of background information.
Best Travel Sim Malaysia
Coverage is generally very good in Malaysia. We never had a problem.
I always like having a Malaysia data sim card for tourist so I know I always have maps, Google and internet access for work and email. In fact, my sim card data access is often better than hotel wifi!
You will always need ID when picking up or purchasing a sim card as it’s legally required. Your passport is perfect for this.
I highly recommend you get a prepaid plan. These require minimal effort and are very good value. As a tourist, they are also basically your only choice.
You can, of course, use your sim card from home if you have a phone carrier that allows this or from a neighbouring country. However, this is likely to be much much much more expensive than buying a Malaysia prepaid sim card for tourist 2019. It’s such an easy process to buy a prepaid sim that this is what I recommend.
You can buy these as soon as you arrive in most international airports to make it extra easy or use a service on Klook to pick up your sim card on arrival which makes it even easier.
Otherwise, many shopping malls and bus stations have a chance to purchase the best tourist sim card Malaysia as well. I promise that you won’t find it hard to find somewhere to buy one!
If you are very particular about what service you get and exactly what it covers, I recommend purchasing from the company direct (often they will have kiosks at arrival airports) so you can ask any questions. Otherwise, you can buy them from wherever.
If you need more data or talk, it’s also very easy to purchase top ups from many places or online. Usually, you can do this at any 7-Eleven or one of hundreds of other places. You can ask when picking up your sim card.
As an alternative, you can also get a device before you leave home that will give you unlimited data and peace of mind that you will have internet for your whole trip (including surrounding countries).
Option 1: Purchase The Best Sim Card For Tourist In Malaysia Before Leaving Home!
Your first choice is to purchase your sim card online before leaving home. This has the benefit of making it very easy to pick-up your prepaid sim on arrival so you are all set to go.
This is the cheapest and easiest option.
This is especially beneficial if you want to make sure you have a sim card to go as soon as you arrive and want things as easy as possible. It works best for people who want data more than a sim card to make calls
In each airport, you are given clear instructions for how to pick up the sim and it is very easy.
You can do this via the following links. Pick the one that is your arrival airport:
- Kuala Lumpur airport (either KLIA or KLIA2)
- Penang airport
- Langkawi airport
- Johor Bahru airport
- Kota Kinabalu airport
If you click on the links above, you will get the latest deals as well as photos and instructions so you can be completely clear on where to pick it up. It is very easy.
All of these choices of sim card in Malaysia for tourist give you the Tune Talk Traveller SIM. This is a great value sim card and has good coverage.
You can pick from two options – either the lite or power plan. The lite plan is about half the price of the power plan and lasts for half as long (7 days versus 14 days) and has less data.
At publishing, the price starts at MYR23.
Other Options For A Malaysia Tourist Sim Card
The following table gives you all the options for pre-purcashing a Malaysia sim card for tourist. Simply click on the option that best suits you, buy and follow the instructions to pick it up. It’s really easy!
All providers have similar coverage and are good choices. Note that the Celecom option is only available in KLIA2, so only buy this option if you are flying into there (usually just AirAsia). These options are only for people who hold a foreign (so not Malaysian) passport.
|Provider||Airports||Price||Data||Calls & SMS||Validity|
|Tune Talk||Kuala Lumpur/Langkawi/Penang/Johor Bahru/Kota Kinabalu||RM23||15GB||None||7 days|
|Tune Talk||Kuala Lumpur/Langkawi/Penang/Johor Bahru/Kota Kinabalu||RM45||20GB||None||14 days|
|Digi||Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu||RM19||9GB***||Local calls and some international||7 days|
|Digi||Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu||RM39||25GB****||Local calls and some international||15 days|
* 2GB are at 4G speeds, 10GB at 3G
** 5GB are at 4G speeds, 10GB at 3G
*** 2GB are at 4G speeds, 7GB at 3G
**** 10GB are at 4G speeds, 15GB at 3G
Note: The above table is correct at time of publishing. However, things do change so double check the price and allowances before purchase. Some airports outside Kuala Lumpur don’t have sim cards available at all hours so check it is open at your arrival time.
If you decide to buy a Digi sim card, keep reading for exact instructions (and photos) for where you can find Digi at KLIA and KLIA2!
Option 2: Buy A Digi Travel Sim Card Malaysia On Arrival
It’s also very easy to buy a sim card when you get there – it just takes longer and usually costs more.
Digi is the third largest sim provider in Malaysia and our personal favourite. We are big fans of a Digi traveller sim card.
They offer great plans and prices, are easy to buy and top up (starting at MYR5) and have great coverage and data speed.
All sim sizes are available.
Note that they do offer multiple plans which can be confusing especially as you need to make sure you buy the right one when you first sign up or you can end up wasting money by swapping plans.
And it is cheaper to pre-buy your sim card here for Kuala Lumpur or you can buy one for Kota Kinabalu Airport here.
So think about how long you want the sim card to work for, how much data you want and whether calls are important too. The good part is that top ups are very cheap so it will all work out if you make a mistake.
Picking up a Digi sim card for tourist is very easy on arrival in the country with kiosks in many major airports. We usually fly into KLIA2 and you can find Digi as soon as you exit customs. Just walk straight ahead on the left side of the exit. Look for a big yellow sign!
At KLIA, you can find Digi, Tune Talk and some other providers just to the left as you exit customs. The following video shows you where.
The current Digi prepaid sim plans are…
|Plan||Price||Data||Calls & SMS||Validity|
|LIVE||MYR8||300MB||MYR5 credit with 30 sen/minute calls and 20 sen SMS||7 days|
|Number 1 Traveller Sim||MYR40||10GB + 15GB social media||30 min local calls and 30 min IDD||15 days|
|Number 1 Traveller Sim||MYR20||2GB + 7GB social media||10 min local calls and 10 min IDD||7 days|
Option 3: Take A Wifi Smartspot For Zero Hassle
If you want a very easy solution where you are all set up before you leave home and have wifi that will also work in other countries you visit, consider a Skyroam smartspot.
With this tiny device, you can connect up to 5 devices to wifi (or there is a 10 device option for more).
You can use it in not just Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand but over 100 countries so you don’t need to buy a different sim in every country. You also don’t have to worry about it running out of data as it’s unlimited.
It’s tiny and easy to transport with the bonus of being a power bank so you can use it to charge your devices as well!
You can either hire or buy the device. For a vacation, hiring is the best way to go. You pay a daily rate for the length of your trip, they send it to you and you are all set to go. Afterwards, you send it back.
If you don’t want any downtime or are serious about having data when you travel, this is the best solution.
Special deal for Dive Into Malaysia readers – use the coupon code MALAYSIA for 10% off at Skyroam!
Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!
We hope this helps you find a Malaysia tourist data sim card. Let us know if you have any questions in our Facebook group. You can also find more guides to arriving at KL International Airport here including how to get into KL, how to get between the terminals and lounge and transit hotel options.
Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.