Hotlink - the best sim card to buy in Malaysia

How & Where To Buy A SIM Card In Malaysia (As A Foreigner)?

Spread the Word!

Purchasing a local SIM card is the most important thing that a traveler must do upon landing in a new country. This blog explains everything you need to know to buy a SIM card in Malaysia as a tourist: the documents needed, the best network providers, the cost, where to buy, and how to activate it. So, let’s get started.

Best SIM Cards In Malaysia

What Documents Do You Need?

To buy a SIM card in Malaysia, you only need a passport or a copy of your passport. You do not need to provide photographs or any other documents.

SIM Card Providers

There are several network operators in Malaysia. It includes,

  • CelcomDigi (yes, both companies merged in 2022)
  • Maxis / Hotlink (Hotlink is Maxi’s prepaid service)
  • U Mobile / Unifi Mobile / Unifi
  • Tune Talk
  • Yes

CelcomDigi, Maxis/ Hotlink, and U Mobile are the most popular. 

eSIM Cards

All of the above network providers offer eSIM cards. Companies like Nomad, Airalo, and SimOptions offer SIM cards before you arrive. While they are a pricier alternative, they come in handy if you plan to backpack through different countries.

How Much Does It Cost?

It is important to note that the plans might have to be purchased separately from the SIM cards or the eSIM. The SIM costs approximately RM 5 to RM 10.

FUP is called the Fair Use Policy. The speed will be reduced once you reach the specified speed mentioned in the plan. The high-speed internet mentioned below refers to 30 MBPS speed. 

The prices below are for your reference only and are subject to change. Please refer to the official website for the updated prices.

CompanyPlaceValidityPlan DescriptionCost
CellcomDigiAirport (before Immigration)7 DaysUnlimited internet (6 MBPS), unlimited local calls, 2 GB HotspotRM 30
30 Days30 GB high-speed internet, unlimited local calls, 3 GB HotspotRM 45
Unlimited internet (6 MBPS), unlimited local calls, 10 GB HotspotRM 50
HotlinkAirport (before Immigration)7 DaysUnlimited Social, FUP 20 GB (6 Mbps), unlimited local calls, No Hotspot RM 25
30 DaysUnlimited Social, FUP 100 GB (6 Mbps), unlimited local calls, Unlimited HotspotRM 55
Unlimited Social, FUP 100 GB (12 Mbps), unlimited local calls, Unlimited HotspotRM 65
Airport (after Immigration)7 DaysUnlimited internet (6 MBPS), unlimited local calls RM 23
30 Days40 GB high-speed internet, unlimited local callsRM 48
Unlimited FUP 100 GB 12 Mbps internet, Unlimited local callsRM 63
100 GB Ultra Fast 5G high-speed internet, unlimited local callsRM 74
Partner Stores7 Days (Unlimited Pass)Unlimited internet FUP 20 GB (6 MBPS), unlimited local calls, Unlimited hotspot, 5G high-speed unlimited internet from 8 PM to 8 AMRM 12
30 Days (Unlimited Pass)Unlimited internet FUP 100 GB(6 MBPS), unlimited local calls, Unlimited hotspot, 5G high-speed unlimited internet from 8 PM to 8 AMRM 40
Unlimited internet FUP 100 GB (12 MBPS), unlimited local calls, Unlimited hotspot, 5G high-speed unlimited internet from 8 PM to 8 AMRM 50
7 days (Fast Pass)10 GB + 10 GB 5G, unlimited hotspotRM 10
30 days (Fast Pass)20 GB + 20 GB 5G, unlimited hotspotRM 25
30 GB + 30 GB 5G, unlimited hotspotRM 35
Tune TalkAirport(before Immigration)7 Days15 GB high speed internetRM 30
30 Days35 GB high-speed internet,  unlimited local callsRM 45
Unlimited data (6 MBPS), unlimited local calls, 6 GB HotspotRM 50

Which One To Buy?

Hotlink is the best SIM card for foreigners. We used Hotlink for about 3 weeks while backpacking across the country from south to north. The Hotlink SIM card worked perfectly fine; we had no network connectivity or internet issues. We recommend Hotlink SIM cards for tourists traveling in Malaysia. CelcomDigi would be the second-best choice.

Where To Buy The SIM Card?

Digi Sim card in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur airport, KLIA

At The Airport

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), you can find the SIM card counters for Hotlink/ Maxis, Celcom, Digi, and Tune Talk. The airport’s shops are open 24/7, and a few outlets also accept card payments.

SIM cards at KLIA can be purchased in outlets near the restaurants just before immigration or after collecting your luggage. The price and plans of the SIM cards quoted differ before and after immigration. It is crazy to see the difference in price and plans at the same airport, but it is true.

In KLIA, you can also buy SIM cards at 7-Eleven near the exit. But after purchase, you may have to walk back inside the airport to connect to the Wi-Fi to download the mobile application and recharge online because they ran out of recharge cards when we asked. The staff at the 7-Eleven counter might not know how to activate the SIM card. You’ll have to do it yourself by registering through the mobile application. Just follow the steps given and you’re done.

Other international Airports like Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Penang International Airport, and Langkawi International Airports also have SIM card counters for travelers.

The SIM card prices quoted in the airport are higher in Malaysia than when buying from other places. If you want to connect to the internet immediately after landing in the new country, you can buy it at the airport.

Official Retail Stores

Official retail stores can be easily spotted in the cities. Numerous shops are spread across the country. Most of the staff speak English and will help you activate the SIM cards. Although the prices are comparatively cheaper than at airports, buying a SIM at a convenience store is still more expensive.

Convenience Stores

7-Eleven, AEON, Lotus, 99 Speedmart, KK Super Market, MyNews, Lazada, Shoppee, Boost, Touch N Go – all these stores sell SIM and recharge cards. The prices are comparatively cheaper when buying a SIM card at an airport or from the official stores.

Tourist Agencies/ Partner Shops/ Shopping Malls

How and where to buy SIM cards in Malaysia

Unlike in many other countries, purchasing from tourist agencies, partner shops, or shopping malls in Malaysia is the same as buying from official retail stores. Several shops are spread across the country. We purchased our SIM card in a partner shop and had no problems.

However, if the shopkeeper does not ask for your passport while activating your SIM, know they’re unreliable and politely move away.

You can find the official stores here – CelcomDigi, Maxis/ Hotlink, Tune Talk, Unifi, and Yes

How To Activate The SIM Card?

If you buy a SIM card at the convenience store, you have to activate it yourself. You pretty much only need to insert the SIM card on your mobile, and that is it. It is THAT easy and simple. If it is not working, you can try restarting your device. If you’re still facing any issues, follow the instructions given on the card or call customer support.

For the SIM cards bought at airports, official retail stores, or partner stores, the staff will help you with the activation process.

How To Recharge or Top Up?

The easiest way to recharge is to do it online from their official websites. You can also recharge or top up at convenience stores or partner shops. 

Self Service Numbers

The self-service numbers come in handy if you’re unable to check the details on the app or don’t have internet access. To check the balance and remaining data,

  • For CelcomDigi – dial *200# and call
  • For Maxis/ Hotlink – dial *100# and call
  • For U Mobile – dial *118*3*1*3# and call
  • For Tune Talk – dial *134# and call
  • For Yes – Type BAL<space><Yes mobile number> and send it to 018 330 1111.

How Is The Internet Speed? Is 5G Available In Malaysia?

Cellcard store in Malaysia - where to buy SIM cards

The internet is excellent in all the major cities in Malaysia. You can expect intermittent network coverage while hiking in the mountains or hills.

5G is available in Malaysia and the coverage keeps expanding every year.

Helpful Tips

  • Download your network provider’s designated mobile app to check your current plan’s details or to recharge online.
  • Generally, the telephone number of the purchased SIM cards in Malaysia starts with +60, followed by 10 digits.
  • The plug adapter of Type G is widely used in Malaysia for charging your device.

If you’ve found this blog helpful, please comment below. Also, if you have any queries concerning the SIM card in Malaysia, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We’ll do our best to answer them.

And if you’re looking for more detailed SIM card guides, travel tips, tricks, hacks, destination guides, etc., don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media—find us on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

You may also like

Leave a Comment