Buying a SIM card at Kuala Lumpur Airport 2024: Travelers Guide

This article is intended for international travelers who will be arriving in Malaysia and buying a SIM card at Kuala Lumpur airport. Obtaining a local SIM card upon arrival can be tricky without understanding the registration process required.

guide to buy sim card at kuala lumpur airport

Readers will get to know where and how to easily purchase a prepaid SIM card at KUL Airport, including what documents are needed and the different options available to meet their connectivity needs.

I. Can I Buy a SIM Card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)?

Yes, buying a SIM card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) upon arrival can be a convenient option for tourists and travelers. You’ll have immediate access to mobile data, allowing you to navigate, stay connected with family and friends, and share your travel experiences without delay.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider. Airport kiosks often have a limited selection of plans and providers compared to what you’d find online, and prices tend to be higher. You might also encounter queues, especially during peak arrival times.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport?

kuala lumpur airport map
Kuala Lumpur airport map

You can buy a SIM card online before departure or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Here’s a guide to help you choose the most convenient method:

1. Buying online before departure and picking up at the airport

What to prepare:

  • Valid passport and travel documents
  • Order confirmation email
  • Unlocked phone compatible with Malaysian networks

Cost: Prices vary depending on the provider and plan, but generally slightly cheaper than buying at the airport.

Pros:

  • Pick up your SIM card upon arrival, avoiding airport queues.
  • Choose from various plans and providers online before your trip.
  • Activate your SIM card immediately and start using it as soon as you land.

Cons:

  • Plans may not be easily changeable after purchase.
  • You need to order and pay online before your arrival.

Guide to the pickup point:

  1. Choose a provider and plan: Browse options on websites like https://malaysiaesim.com/buy-esim/
  2. Buy online: Select your desired plan and complete the purchase.
  3. At the airport: Upon arrival, head to the designated pickup counter (usually at KLIA2 arrival hall).
  4. Show documents: Present your order confirmation, passport, and travel documents.
  5. Pick up your SIM card: Activate it and start enjoying your data!

2. Buying upon arrival

buy a sim card upon arrival to kuala lumpur
Buy a sim card upon arrival to Kuala Lumpur

Kiosks/Stands/Booths:

  • Celcom:
    • Location: Located at KLIA2 arrival hall, Level 2 (near Gate 11), Arrival Hall (Level 3) and Level 5 (near Gate 29).
    • Opening hour: 6:00 am – 12:00 am daily
    • Language: English
    • Price: RM25 – RM39
Celcom map store at Kuala Lumpur airport
Celcom map store at Kuala Lumpur airport (airports.malaysiaairports.com)
  • DiGi:
    • Location: Located at KLIA2 arrival hall, Level 2 (near Gate 8) and Level 5 (near Gate 28).
    • Opening hour: 24/7.
    • Language: English
    • Price: RM18 – RM39
DiGi map store at Kuala Lumpur
DiGi map store at Kuala Lumpur (airports.malaysiaairports.com)
  • Maxis:
    • Location: Located at KLIA2 arrival hall, Level 2 (near Gate 10) and Level 5 (near Gate 27).
    • Opening hour: 24/7.
    • Language: English
    • Price: RM23 – RM45
Maxis map store at Kuala Lumpur Airport
Maxis map store at Kuala Lumpur Airport (airports.malaysiaairports.com)

What to prepare:

  • Cash (preferred) or credit card: Not all kiosks accept cards.
  • Passport: Required for registration.
  • Unlocked phone: Ensure compatibility with Malaysian networks.

Pros:

  • Get connected right after arrival.
  • Choose a plan based on your needs on the spot.
  • Staff can help with activation and selection.

Cons:

  • Queues can be long, especially during peak hours.
  • Fewer plans and providers compared to online.
  • Prices might be slightly higher than online options.

Important Notes:

  • The price of SIM cards will vary over time, not remaining consistent for an extended period, so please check plans and prices before choosing a provider.
  • Check your phone's compatibility with Malaysian networks.
  • Have your passport and payment method ready.

Our recommendation: If you do not know which provider to choose, we recommend DiGi mobile operator for you.

III. Best Tourist Kuala Lumpur Airport SIM Card Price

Good to know: 1 USD = 4,78 MYR (Feb, 2024)

The most popular tourist SIM card plans at Changi Airport are provided by top three major mobile network operators: Celcom, DiGi and Maxis.

It’s noted that SIM cards purchased at airports tend to be more expensive than those bought outside the airport or online. Each provider offers many data plans at different prices. Here is a data plan from DIGi that is very popular and widely used:

DiGi data plan
DiGi data plan

To give you an overview of the current data plans from major providers in Malaysia, please refer to the table below for more details.

OperatorPlan (Data + Calls)ValidityPrice (USD)Price (MYR)
Celcom7 Days – 12GB (2GB 4G + 10GB 3G)7 days$2.813.36
Celcom30 Days – 15GB (5GB 4G + 10GB 3G)30 days$8.339.64
Celcom30 Days – Unlimited data (3Mbps) + Calls30 days$8.339.64
Celcom30 Days – Unlimited data (6Mbps) + Calls + 5GB uncapped30 days$10.750.86
Digi7 Days – 9GB (2GB 4G + 7GB 3G)7 days$4.421.07
Digi15 Days – 25GB (10GB 4G + 15GB 3G)15 days$9.243.84
Digi30 Days – (15GB – 65GB)30 days$7.134.03
Digi30 Days – Unlimited data (3Mbps) + Calls30 days$8.339.64
Maxis7 Days – 10GB7 days$5.626.72
Maxis30 Days – 30GB30 days$7.134.03
Maxis30 Days – 100GB30 days$21.4101.72
  • Data speeds may vary depending on network coverage and congestion.
  • Some plans may have additional fees for calls or SMS.
  • Check the operator’s website for the latest information and promotions.
  • This table is based on information available on February 25, 2024, and may not be accurate in the future.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Registration Process

Tourists will need to show their passports as part of the registration process when buying a SIM card at Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Here are some other things you’ll need to have ready:

  • An unlocked phone
  • An accepted payment method (credit/debit card, cash)
  • A passport photo (may be required)
  • Your personal details to set up an account

Since the registration process can be a bit time-consuming, you might consider these simpler options:

  • Buy an international SIM card online before you depart. This way, you’ll land with a working phone number and data.
  • Opt for an eSIM. eSIMs are digital and don’t require any physical installation or passport registration. You can activate them instantly upon arrival.

V. Malaysia eSIM for Kuala Lumpur – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

gigago esim malaysia
eSIM Malaysia by Gigago

You can easily purchase an eSIM for Cambodia online, either before your arrival or while you’re already in Kuala Lumpur.

Strengths of Gigago eSIM
Strengths of Gigago eSIM

Gigago offers eSIM for most countries around the world with affordable prices and plans. For Malaysia, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB/ day for 5 days with $5.00

What is great about Gigago’s Malaysia eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $5.00$89.50 . Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in [country], there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. Where to Buy a SIM Card Outside Kuala Lumpur International Airport?

In addition to buying a SIM card at the airport, many places offer one. Here are some suggestions and tips for you:

Location:

  • Convenience Stores: 7-Eleven, Celcom X’Pax, Digi Kiosk, Maxis Shop, and TuneTalk all offer prepaid SIM cards. These are readily available in major cities and tourist areas.
  • Mobile Operator Stores: Official stores offer wider selections and assistance with activation.
  • Online: Pre-order online for convenient pick-up at designated locations (e.g., airports, convenience stores).

Tips:

  • Consider buying a local SIM card with higher data limits as roaming charges can be expensive.
  • Download maps and essential apps offline before your trip to avoid data usage upon arrival.
  • Ask locals for recommendations on the best deals and coverage

VII. FAQs

Are all providers offering eSIMs at Kuala Lumpur International Airport?

As of February 25, 2024, most major providers like Maxis, Celcom, Digi, and U Mobile offer eSIMs. However, double-check their websites or ask at kiosks for confirmation and compatibility details.

Are SIM card kiosks at KLIA open 24/7?

Most kiosks are open 24/7, but it’s best to check with individual providers for confirmation.

What is the average data usage per day for a typical tourist in Malaysia?

This depends heavily on your usage habits. Casual browsing and occasional social media use might require around 1-2GB per day while streaming videos and gaming could use several GBs.

VIII. Conclusion

We have just discussed the option of purchasing a SIM card at Kuala Lumpur Airport. While it’s convenient to buy one there, the cost is usually higher compared to other locations. 

Another idea is to consider an eSIM, which functions just like a regular SIM card but doesn’t require activation in person. With an eSIM, you can use your phone normally without any store visits. Ensure you set everything up before your trip to avoid travel hiccups.