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 about choosing a simcard and some not so great choices, too!
Fortunately, I now have a good understanding of which the best sim card in Malaysia is, whether you’re looking for a Kuala Lumpur tourist sim card, a Digi tourist sim, or wondering which travel sim plans are available in Malaysia – and I’ll share everything you need to know in this post so that you can find the best sim card Malaysia for tourist option for your trip!
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 across SE Asia (see option 3!). It’s been fully updated for 2023.
So, if you’re wondering which sim card is best in Malaysia – let’s get started and find out!
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How To Buy The Best Malaysia Tourist Sim Card 2023
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 below.
But first, a bit of background information.
Best Travel Sim Malaysia
Mobile and data overage is generally very good in Malaysia on any prepaid sim card Malaysia plan. 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! It’s also important to have one of the Malaysian sim cards if you’re travelling Malaysia solo so that you have a way to contact people.
Also, these days I find many of my travel bookings are on my phone, like bus tickets and entry tickets, and I need to be able to access them without problems.
You will always need ID when picking up or purchasing a Malaysia travel 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. It’s such an easy process to buy a prepaid sim that this is what I recommend rather than using international roaming.
You can buy a prepaid sim card in Malaysia 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, then 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 whoever.
If you need more data or talk credit for your sim card prepaid, 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 about where to add credit to your Malaysia prepaid card.
As an alternative, you can also get an eSim before you leave home that will give you peace of mind that you will have data for your whole trip (including surrounding countries) and you’re all set to go.
When choosing the best sim card in Malaysia for you, take a minute to think about your needs – do you plan on making local calls and sending local texts, or do you really just want to use the internet/data?
Most people you need to deal with in Malaysia (like tour operators and taxi drivers) will have whatsapp which makes a Malaysian sim card with some call credit included unnecessary, but it can still come in handy. You can get around this by using a service like Skype so you can ring local numbers even if your phone plan just has data.
Option 1: Purchase The Best Sim Card For Tourist In Malaysia Before Leaving Home!
Your first choice for buying a Malaysia sim card tourist pack 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.
Even better, if your phone allows you to have an eSim, like most iPhones and many others, you can buy and activate your sim card without even needing to talk to anyone.
This is the cheapest and easiest option for getting a travel internet sim card.
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.
There are plenty of Malaysia sim card airport options, with many of the major airports in Malaysia offering card pick-up. It’s easiest in Kuala Lumpur at terminal 2, but there are other options too.
I personally recommend buying an eSim as the best option if your phone handles eSim for ultra ease.
You can do this via the following links. These sim cards are for Malaysia only.
- Kuala Lumpur airport Tune Talk (KLIA2 only)
- Kuala Lumpur airport Celecom (KLIA2 only)
- Kuala Lumpur airport Digi (KLIA2 only)
- eSim (up to 5GB)
- eSim (unlimited data)
- Airalo eSim, perfect for multiple countries and super easy set up.
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 in the case of the first two physical sim cards. For the eSims, you’ll get an email with an activation code so you can get started.
It is very easy to buy sim card online Malaysia using this method.
All of these choices of sim card in Malaysia for tourist are great value with good coverage.
There are usually two options for each provider and you can pick the best one for you depending on how long you are in Malaysia and how much data you need.
At the time of writing this guide, the price starts at RM23, so as you can see the Malaysia sim card price is very reasonable.
Comparison Of Malaysia Tourist Sim Card Options
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 to buy Malaysia sim card online and saves the hassle of trying to work things out on arrival after a long flight!
All providers have similar coverage and are good choices. Note that the Digi and Celecom options are currently only available in KLIA2, so only buy this option if you are flying into there (usually just AirAsia and other budget options). Tune Talk is available at both Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminals though as well as Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
These options are only for people who hold a foreign (so not Malaysian) passport. The sim card price Malaysia will depend on how much data and minutes you have included as well as how long the Sim card is valid for. For the plans mentioned below, click on the provider links and you’ll find additional options if you need a sim card for longer.
|Provider||Airports||Price||Data||Calls & SMS||Validity|
|Tune Talk||Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 1 or 2, Kota Kinabalu, Penang||RM23||15GB*||Some local and international calls and SMS||7 days|
|Tune Talk||KLIA 1 or 2, Kota Kinabalu, Penang||RM45||20GB**||Some local and international calls and SMS||14 days|
|Celecom||KLIA2||RM30||Unlimited***||Local calls included||7 days|
|Celecom||KLIA2||RM55||Unlimited****||Local calls included||30 days|
|Digi||KLIA2||RM35||30GB||Unlimited plus some international calls||30 days|
|eSim||Everywhere||RM31.55||2.5GB||Not included||5 days|
|eSim||Everywhere||RM50.65||5GB||Not included||10 days|
|eSim||Everywhere||RM47.59||Unlimited*****||Not included||14 days|
|eSim||Everywhere||RM29.15||Unlimited******||Not included||10 days|
|Airalo eSim||Everywhere and works in multiple countries||RM21*******||1GB||Not included||7 days+|
* 5GB at high speeds, 10GB at 64 kbps
** 10GB at high speeds, 10GB at 64 kbps
*** Up to 20GB at 3Mbps then 512 kbps
**** Up to 60GB at 6Mbps then 512 kbps
***** 15GB at high speeds, unlimited at 128 kbps
****** 500MB a day at high speeds then unlimited at 384 kbps
******* This is the starting price. There are many options
Note: The above table is correct at time of publishing and should give you an indication of the best prepaid plan Malaysia prices. However, things do change so double check the price and allowances before purchase. Also check that the collection point is open at your arrival time.
Option 2: Buy A Digi Travel Sim Card Malaysia On Arrival
Another way to buy a Digi sim card Malaysia is in person once you arrive in Malaysia. 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 for their Malaysia travel sim options, they are easy to buy and top up and have great coverage and data speed. Their Malaysia sim card rates are some of the best around.
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.
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 some sim providers just before you hit the baggage claim. See photo below.
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. Note that this was taken before the pandemic. If you have been to KLIA recently, it would be great to find out if it’s still in the same spot.
If you’re looking for the best prepaid plan Malaysia offers for tourist sims, the current Digi prepaid sim plans are…
|Plan||Price||Data||Calls & SMS||Validity|
|Next 15||RM15||6GB||None||30 days|
|Next 35||RM35||30GB||Local calls||30 days|
|RDY||RM68||50GB||Local calls||30 days|
Option 3: Buy A Regional Sim Card Before You Leave
Travelling to other countries in the region during your trip?
A sim card that works in these countries too can be the best way to go. They cost a little more but will make life easier.
There are two options you can easily buy online before you go. One is an eSim (so make sure your phone works with this before purchase). This is ultra easy as you can set it up without having to visit a physical collection point. It works in basically all of SE asia.
There is also an eSim which is just for Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The table below shows the price for 7 days, but they also have prices for 5 and 10 days here.
Finally, there is an eSim you can buy from Airalo that basically works everywhere. I bought one for my recent trip and was able to use it in Malaysia, Thailand, Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Dubai and Cyprus! Everywhere I went on the trip.
There is also a physical sim which works in 11 countries which includes most of SE Asia, Macau, Hong Kong and Australia. You can collect this from KLIA2.
Here are your options. They are both data only.
|Tune Talk||Physical sim from KLIA 1 and 2, Penang or Kota Kinabalu||11 countries||RM28||4GB||7 days|
|eSim||eSim||most of SE Asia||RM102.39||Unlimited*||15 days|
|eSim||eSim||most of SE Asia||RM119.55||Unlimited**||30 days|
|eSim||eSim||Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand||RM26.45||Unlimed***||7 days|
|Airalo eSim||eSim||Many countries in Asia||RM24.50||1GB+||7 days+|
|Airalo eSim||eSim||Most countries in the world||RM43||1GB+||7 days+|
* Up to 15GB at high speeds then 128 kbps
** Up to 20GB at high speeds then 128 kbps
*** Up to 20GB at high speeds then 384 kbps
Option 4: Have A Sim Card Delivered Before You Leave
If you like the idea of already having your sim card set to go before you leave home but want a physical sim, there are options to buy one and have it delivered to your home before you go.
You can find options for the following countries below:
|Country||Sim card options|
|China, Taiwan, Hong Kong Macau||Click here|
|Jakarta Airport||Click here|
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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.
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!