Buying a SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) for Travelers: Best Plans + Updated Costs 2024

Learn how to buy a SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) by step as a tourist to Thailand and up-to-date prices. Also, explore whether or not you should buy an airport at Bangkok airport and what is the best alternative to get the Internet in Thailand.

sim card at Bangok suvarnabhumi airport

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)?

YES, but only if you need to get connected right away upon arrival in Thailand and don’t mind about the price, plan options and queuing. 

Though there are many options to get Internet access while traveling Bangkok Thailand like roaming with your home SIM card, pocket wifi, free wifi, prepaid International eSIM, getting a SIM card at Bangkok airport is still a traditional and fastest way for the average traveler to get data connection in Thailand.

However, it is worth noting that buying and using a SIM card at Bangkok airport does have pros and cons. Here are the major advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  • Get instant Internet access right after landing at the Bangkok airport
  • Have stable and fast Internet connection with the major Thailand mobile networks
  • Avoid high roaming charges
  • Avoid risking your private information when using free Wifi at the airport and in the city,
  • Avoid the complication of bringing a portable Wifi along
  • Have the support of staff when setting up the SIM
  • Avoid language barrier

Cons:

  • Expensive than buying a Thailand SIM Card outside the airport (in the city center)
  • Expensive than buying international tourist eSIM for Thailand
  • Have to queue at the airport’s SIM stores
  • Have to present passport or ID card
  • Less plan options to choose from

Our recommendation: 

  • We recommend you to buy a SIM card at Bangkok airport BKK upon arrival only if you need instant Internet access and don’t mind queuing to get a SIM card. If not, consider another alternative for better prices and plan options.
  • Choose a data-only SIM card which allows you to get Internet connection while still maintaining contacts with people at home via voice apps.
  • If your phone is supported with eSIM technology, consider using International tourist eSIM for Thailand to avoid waiting lines at SIM stores at the airport. All steps are done 100% online, just scan QR code to activate your plan.

II. How to buy a SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport? 

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is the largest airport in Thailand and also one of the largest airports in Southeast Asia. 

To buy a SIM card at BKK airport, you have 02 ways:

  • Buy online and pick up at Bangkok airport BKK
  • Buy directly from SIM shops at Bangkok airport BKK

1. Buy online before departure and pick up at BKK airport

This way depends on the delivery policy of each SIM provider.

The general process to buy Thai SIM card online and pick it up at Bangkok airport is:

  • Find a reputable Thailand SIM card provider and choose the best plan for your needs
  • Get a confirmation email and ticket after a few minutes of booking
  • When arriving in Bangkok airport, follow the guidelines of the SIM provider to reach the spot to pick up your prepaid SIM for Thailand.

What to prepare: your passport + voucher of the provider (if any) on site

How to buy SIM card for Thailand at BKK airport

2. Buy at Suvarnabhumi airport BKK upon arrival

Everywhere in the Bangkok airport BKK you can find SIM card stores from major Thailand mobile internet providers (DTAC, AIS, TrueMove H). 

You can find SIM card shops around the Immigration area, Baggage claim area, and arrival hall. 

As soon as you land at the airport and walk out the airplane, you will see signs to the Immigration area and there are SIM card shops. Walk further, you will see Baggage claim area and furthermore is the arrival hall, after Customs.

It is almost impossible to miss SIM stores once you arrive in Bangkok airport BKK. Signs of “Buy your SIM card for Thailand here” are everywhere. 

What to prepare: your passport or ID card, carrier-unlocked phone, cash/bank card (accepted by carrier)

III. How Much Does a SIM Card Cost at BKK Airport?

How much Thai SIM card cost at BKK airport

SIM card prices at BKK Airport vary depending on the provider and the specific plan you choose. However, most tourist SIM cards start from around 299 THB (approximately $9 USD) and include data and call credit.

Buying a SIM card for Thailand travel from AIS, TrueMove H and DTAC official stores or any other stores (including convenience stores) at BKK airport, you can avoid tourist/convenience tax.

IV. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Bangkok Airport (Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok – BKK)? 

You can buy SIM cards at SIM shops of Thai mobile internet providers, Klook stalls or convenience stores (like 7-Eleven store) which are scattered throughout BKK airport.
But, if you buy a SIM card for Thailand travel from AIS, TrueMove H and DTAC official stores in BKK airport, you can avoid tourist/convenience tax.

Here are the detailed locations of each:

1. DTAC stores

Map of Dtac sim card shops at BKK Bangkok airport
Map of Dtac sim card shops at BKK Bangkok airport

DTAC is one of the biggest network companies in Thailand. If you go to major cities in Thailand, DTAC is the best choice. 

The DTAC plans for tourists to Thailand are of DTAC Happy Tourist SIM line (speed up to 100 Mbps).

Locations:

Official stores:

  • Branch 1 : International Arrival Terminal, Exit Gate 7
  • Branch 2 : International Arrival Terminal, Exit Gate 9
  • Branch 3 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 19
  • Branch 4 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 10
  • Branch 5 : International Arrival hall , Baggage Claim No. 7

Partner stores:

  • Branch 1 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 18
  • Branch 2 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 16
  • Branch 3 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 8

Service Hours: 00:00 – 23:59 from Monday to Sunday

What to prepare: passport, carrier-unlocked, cash or card payment

Cost: from 249 THB to 1549 THB

Note that Truemove H and DTAC Thailand announced that they will merge into one company called True Corp in March 2023.

Dtac sim card stores at BKK airport
DTAC sim card store at BKK airport

Important Note: 

  • DTAC stall at BKK airport’s departure hall only sells travel SIM cards to be used abroad  – not in Thailand, so be aware of this.
  • There are some SIM card plans of DTAC that are only sold at airports, and you cannot find them in regular DTAC stores or from other resellers.

Pro Tip: If you buy online, you can buy it about 35% cheaper than at the airport

2. AIS stores

AIS store thai sim card bangkok bkk airport
AIS store selling Thai sim card at Bangkok BKK airport

If you plan to visit smaller towns in Thailand like Chiang Rai, go for AIS.

AIS, standing for Advanced Info Service, is the largest cellular operator in Thailand. However, due to the merger of DTAC and TrueMove H, AIS is no longer the largest mobile network operator in Thailand. 

You will find many AIS stores and booths at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. They are conveniently located in both the baggage claim area and the arrivals hall, so you won’t have any trouble finding them.

The whole process of buying AIS SIM card for Thailand at BKK airport takes a few minutes. No queue up.

What to prepare: cash only, passport/ID card, carrier-unlocked phone

Cost: 299 THB – 1699 THB

Note: 

  • With AIS, you can buy an unlimited data plan at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. This is an exclusive option for only BKK airport.  You cannot find this plan in other airports in Thailand. 
  • Prepare cash in advance if you want to buy AIS SIM card at BKK airport
  • The salesperson may take up your photo as part of the SIM card registration laws of Thailand.
  • Most ATMs in Thailand (including BKK airport) apply a standard fee of 220 THB for cash withdrawals using international cards. To avoid multiple charges, you should withdraw a sufficient amount of money upfront to cover your expenses throughout your trip.
  • AIS eSIM is not available at BKK airport, but you can buy it online

3. TrueMove H Stores

Map of True shop at BKK airport
Map of True shop at BKK airport

TrueMove H is the 2nd largest cellular network company in Thailand. In some locations, it has better performance than AIS.

TrueMove H has 02 SIM card lines for tourists: TrueMove H Thailand Tourist SIM (data + unlimited minutes for calls within the network) and TrueMove H Infinite SIM (unlimited data at max speeds (5G NR) + unlimited local minutes).

You can also find TrueMove H SIM card plans and prices respectively sold at BKK airport on its official websites. 

Locations: 

  • Booth at VISA On Arrival
  • International Arrivals Hall
    • Baggage Claim No.8
    • Baggage Claim No.11-12
    • Baggage Claim No.17
  • International Arrivals Terminal 2nd Floor (After Custom Declaration)
    • Exit B : Gate 4, Gate 5 (Flagship store), Gate 6
    • Exit C : Gate 10
  • International Departure Terminal 4th Floor
    • Row L- K
    • Gate 4

Opening hours: 00:00 – 23:59 from Monday to Sunday

Cost: from 299 THB to 999 THB

Note: Be aware about your flight’s arrival time and opening hours of SIM card shops in the BKK airport. Some SIM card shops do not open 24/24 so if you arrive out of their opening hours, you may not be able to buy a SIM for Thailand.

4. Convenience stores or Klook stalls

You can also buy a SIM card for Thailand travel at Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, and at Klook stall at Bangkok BKK airport.

For Klook stall, look at the map below to see its location:

map of Klook store at BKK airport
Map of Klook store at BKK airport
Klook store at BKK airport
Klook store at BKK airport

V. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – Registration Process

You need to prepare an unlocked phone, cash or card payment (varied by SIM provider), and passport when buying a Thailand SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. 

VI. Best Tourist Bangkok Airport SIM Cards Options and Price

Below we introduce some SIM card options for Thailand travel by mobile internet provider and price accordingly:

1. DTAC Thailand SIM plans at BKK airport (Happy Tourist SIM)

DTAC happy tourist sim at BKK airport
DTAC happy tourist sim at BKK airport

Here are DTAC tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 8-days Unlimited Internet: 15 GB data at max speed, calls to DTAC numbers, 100 Baht calls to all networks =  299 Baht (USD 8.32)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 10-days Unlimited Internet: 50 GB data at max speed, 100 mins calls to all networks = 349 Baht (USD 9.70)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 15-days Unlimited Internet: 30 GB data at max speed = 599 Baht (USD 16.68)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM Pay-As-You-Go: 1 GB data for 24 hours, calls to DTAC numbers for 1 day = 49 Baht (USD 1.36)

2. AIS Thailand SIM plans at BKK airport

AIS sim tourist at BKK airport
AIS sim plans for tourists at BKK airport

Here are AIS tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • 8-day package: 10 GB data at max speed, unlimited social data, 100 Baht credit = 299 THB
  • 8-day package: unlimited data, unlimited social data, 100 Baht credit = 499 THB
  • 15-day package: unlimited data at 4 Mbps, unlimited social data, 50 Baht credit = 699 THB
  • 30-day package: unlimited data at 10 Mbps, unlimited social data, 50 Baht credit = 999 THB
  • 15-day package: 100GB, unlimited social data, 200 Baht credit = 1399 THB
  • 30-day package: unlimited data, unlimited social data, 50 Baht credit = 1699 THB

Notes:  

  • For 8-day package at 499 THB, at other airports, like Bangkok-Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), you only get 25 GB instead of unlimited data – this is exclusive at BKK airport.
  • Social data for using Facebook, Instagram, Line, TikTok, Twitter & YouTube

3. TrueMove H SIM plans at BKK airport

True move Thai tourist sim at BKK airport
True move Thai tourist sim plans at BKK airport

Here are TrueMove H tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • 8 Days 299 THB ($8 USD)
  • 10 Days 349 THB ($10 USD)
  • 15 Days 599 THB ($16 USD)

All three plans above offer Unlimited 5G Internet + Unlimited 14 social apps (no data charges) + 100 THB calling credit for international calls + Unlimited calls among TrueMove H numbers + Unlimited WiFi

Note: Prices and plan features are subject to change over time. Contact the provider for updated information.

VII. Thailand eSIM for Bangkok – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Thailand Gigago eSIM - alternative to SIM card at BKK airport
Thailand Gigago eSIM – alternative to SIM card at BKK airport

If you have a phone which supports eSIM, it is recommended to use eSIM for Thailand instead of SIM card for better convenience and value for money. 

As a specific recommendation, we suggest Gigago as an eSIM provider for your Thailand eSIM.

Getting a prepaid eSIM from a provider like Gigago has several advantages over other options when traveling to Thailand:

  • Convenience: Purchase and activate eSIM online before your trip and activate it instantly upon arrival, avoiding the hassle of physical SIM cards.
  • Flexibility: Use the same eSIM number across multiple devices without needing physical SIM swaps.
  • Speed and coverage: Enjoy the speed and coverage of major Thailand networks without limitations of pocket WiFi or free public WiFi.
  • Cost-saving: Avoid high roaming costs while retaining your home number through internet calling apps.
  • Choice of plans: Choose data-only or bundled data with call credits for short or long trips.

Gigago offers flexible eSIM plans with both data and call credits, including options from an 8-day plan with 15GB of data for $8.90 to a 30-day unlimited data plan for $34.90.

For more details and installation guide, check Gigago Thailand eSIM.

VIII. Where to Buy a SIM card Outside Bangkok BKK Airport?

Buying SIM cards at BKK airport is quick and easy but more expensive than in the city center

To buy a SIM card in Bangkok city center, you can go to the official stores of major Thai mobile internet providers like AIS, DTAC and TrueMove H stores. Alternatively, you can also buy SIM cards for tourists at 7-Eleven stores, gas stations, phone stores, etc.

For official stores of MNO in Thailand, you can find them at major shopping malls like CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, etc. and tourist areas like Khaosan Road, Sukhumvit Road, etc.

Price: Starting from 299 THB for a tourist SIM card with 15GB data and 100 THB call credit.

Other options to buy Thai SIM cards in Bangkok city are at TOT shops and MyByCAT. These can be found at major shopping malls and tourist areas as well. 

Note: the prices may vary depending on the specific plan and promotions offered at the time of purchase. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and features from different providers before making a decision.

IX. FAQs

Where can I buy a SIM card at BKK Airport?

SIM cards can be purchased at various locations within BKK Airport, including AIS, TrueMove H, DTAC, 7-Eleven and MyByCAT shops. These shops are typically located in the arrivals area of each terminal.

What documents do I need to buy a SIM card at BKK Airport?

To purchase a SIM card at BKK Airport, you will need to present your passport and a completed arrival card. Some vendors may also require you to provide a copy of your visa or your photo as part of SIM card registration process.

How do I activate my SIM card when buying a SIM card at Bangkok airport?

Once you have purchased your SIM card, you can activate it by following the instructions provided by the vendor. This usually involves inserting the SIM card into your phone and following the on-screen prompts.