Are you planning your trip to Malaysia and wondering what is the best way to stay connected when traveling to Malaysia? Don't get fooled by slow overseas data plans and don't let high data roaming charges ruin your trip. This is the ultimate guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Malaysia in 2024.

Find out everything you need to know about buying a sim card for tourists in Malaysia, where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per June 2024, the best e-sim cards for Malaysia, the best 4G/5G network, my recommendation, a vlog about my arrival in Kuala Lumpur and buying a local prepaid sim card, info about international sim cards and more.

Figuring out how to stay connected is one of the first things I do when planning my next trip. Being a full time nomadic travel blogger since 2012 I have been looking for the best ways to get connected for more than 10 years now. In the past I always used to buy a local prepaid sim card in every country  on arrival, nowadays I pretty much always use e-sim cards to stay connected.

Since I like to document all my travel tips and I am also trying to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: China, Hong KongSaudi Arabia, SingaporeThailand, BangkokIndonesia, BaliVietnam, PhilippinesUSA, Europe, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Paris, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Traveltomtom also wrote a specific guide for the best e-sim cards for traveling to Malaysia in 2024.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money!

Some links in this article about the best prepaid sim cards for traveling to Malaysia are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate links I earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!

Why buying a sim card for Malaysia?

Life can be pretty challenging these days without a working data connection on your mobile and so is traveling. Think about ordering a taxi through an app, getting directions from Google Maps or simply staying in touch with your loved ones back home. No need to tell you that traveling to Malaysia is much easier with a local prepaid sim card.

Traveltomtom recommends you to buy a prepaid sim card in Malaysia, because it is easy, cheap and takes only a couple minutes. It is the best way to save on high roaming costs. Also a reminder that public WiFi is often slow and unreliable and it is an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN is recommended.

Be aware: your phone needs to be UNLOCKED to make sure a local prepaid sim card from Malaysia is working in your phone. This also counts for international prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards for Malaysia.

My recommendation

Based on research and user experience Traveltomtom recommends a Digi prepaid sim card for traveling in Malaysia. For around $10 USD you can already get 30 GB data for 1 month.

You can also buy a lot of unlimited data prepaid sim cards in Malaysia, but they are all on limited data speed of mostly 6 Mbps and therefore not directly recommended.

Digi has truly high speed internet and no data speed cap and therefore Traveltomtom's first recommendation!

Of course does Traveltomtom also recommend e-sim cards and there are some amazing e-sim card deals you can directly order on the internet.

Keep in mind that on arrival in Malaysia, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport or in any phone store tourists can only buy physical prepaid sim cards. E-sim cards are not available for tourists in Malaysia, only on the internet.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia via either Nomad, SimOptions, Jetpac, Holafly or Airalo.

Check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Malaysia in 2024, including all FAQ's and everything else you need to know about using e-sim cards.

If you are on a trip to Asia and visiting several countries then check out travel sim cards with global coverage. In my comparison of the best international sim cards for travelers in 2024 you can find some great sim card deals for traveling around Asia.

These pre-activated international prepaid sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip. Especially when traveling to multiple countries on one trip these global travel sim cards with data are a great way to stay connected.

Best e-sim cards for Malaysia

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Malaysia in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a phone store and swapping physical sim cards and the best thing is you keep your sim card from home in your phone and thus your own phone number.

You order an e-sim card for Malaysia on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Malaysia e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Malaysia it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia.

For more detailed info about using e-sim cards and an answer to all FAQ check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia in 2024

There are multiple e-sim card providers reviewed and tested by Traveltomtom.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for malaysia

Airalo is a reliable and trusted e-sim provider. Airalo sells e-sim cards for pretty much every country in the world. Here are the e-sim card plans for Malaysia in 2024:

  • 1 GB for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB for 15 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days = $10.5 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 10 GB for 30 days = $25 USD
  • 20 GB for 30 days = $40 USD

Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Malaysia via Airalo.

The above e-sim cards of Sambungkan are data-only sim cards valid only in Malaysia. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of Digi and Maxis.

SimOptions

simoptions esim cards for malaysia

SimOptions is another reliable e-sim card provider that Traveltomtom has used multiple time and they sell the following Malaysia e-sim cards:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.90 USD
  • 3 GB data for 15 days = $12.90 USD
  • 6 GB data for 10 days = $17.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $59.90 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for traveling to Malaysia via SimOptions.

The SimOptions e-sim cards for Malaysia are more expensive than the Airalo e-sim cards. But there is another e-sim provider with amazing e-sim card deals for Malaysia.

Before ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia make sure that your phone is e-sim compatible and unlocked.

Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide including a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Malaysia and much more detailed info about ordering an e-sim card on the internet and an answer to FAQ about using e-sims when traveling abroad.

Another way to NOT swap physical sim cards is a portable WiFi device, but Traveltomtom is NOT a fan. Check out my article for the pros and cons of pocket WiFi’s.

Mobile internet operators in Malaysia

There are 6 mobile operators in Malaysia and they all offer prepaid sim cards for tourists: 

  • Digi
  • Maxis/Hotlink
  • Celcom
  • U mobile
  • Yes
  • Unifi/Bebas

On top of the above mobile internet providers there are also a couple MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) but they are too small to consider as a good prepaid sim card for Malaysia.

Prices for data plans differ slightly per provider but 4G/5G network coverage differs much more significantly. Below I show you the prices and the mobile internet network coverage maps in Malaysia, make a comparison of all the Malaysia sim cards and find you the best one.

Where to buy a sim card for Malaysia

Buying a sim card at Kuala Lumpur Airport

More time consuming but the easiest way to get connected when arriving in Malaysia is to buy a sim card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Even before passport control you can already buy a Malaysia sim card from either the Hotlink Maxis, Tune Talk or Digi shop. It is impossible to miss when walking up to immigration on your right hand side. When you walk out into the arrivals hall you will immediately stumble upon the prepaid sim card shops on your left hand side: U Mobile, Maxis Hotlink and Tune Talk. On the right hand side there is Bluecube. All prepaid sim card shops at Kuala Lumpur Airport are open 24 hours, but mind you that not all shops take credit card. Tune Talk and Bluecube only accept cash!

You can not buy an e-sim card at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, only physical prepaid sim cards.

If you are curious what it is like to arrive and buy a prepaid sim card at Kuala Lumpur Airport then watch my YouTube vlog above with my experiences.

If you arrive on one of the other major international airports in Malaysia then there are also kiosks that sell prepaid sim cards for tourists at: Langkawi, Kuching, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.

Phone stores

You can of course also buy a sim card for Malaysia in any random phone store around the country. Traveltomtom advices to buy a sim card from an official retail store of one of the mobile internet providers. To find the nearest one to you simply use Google Maps.

In an official mobile internet operator retail store you will get the best service, prices and they make sure that everything works properly before you leave the store and you are connected to the internet.

Online

Buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Malaysia is a little bit of a hassle after a long flight. If you buy a sim card for traveling in Malaysia on the internet you arrive prepared and as soon as the plane lands you are online.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible you can order a physical prepaid sim card for Malaysia via SimOptions. But if your phone is e-sim compatible then simply order an e-sim card for Malaysia on the internet.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia via either Nomad, SimOptions, Jetpac, Holafly or Airalo.

For more detailed info about using e-sim cards when traveling to Malaysia check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Malaysia in 2024.

Registration process

When buying a prepaid sim card in Malaysia you need to bring your passport. In the shop they will take a copy and register your new prepaid sim card on your name. You will also need to give your fingerprint. 

The purchased prepaid sim cards in Malaysia are activated within minutes. Traveltomtom advices to directly put the new sim card in your phone and see if it works before you leave the store. Also ask your provider how to check your balance and remaining data bundle.

If for some reason you do not wish to register with your passport then looking into ordering an e-sim card for Malaysia or order an international prepaid sim card for Malaysia. These forms of getting connected when traveling to Malaysia do NOT require identification.

Prices prepaid sim cards in Malaysia

All the below prices and info are up dated as per June 2024. Prices are in Malaysian Ringgit: 10 MYR = $2.1 USD and $1 USD = 4.7 MYR.

Unfortunately there are still no e-sim cards available for tourists. When buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Malaysia you can only get a physical prepaid sim card.

Maxis - Hotlink

maxis hotlink sim card malaysia

Although Maxis is one of the biggest mobile internet providers in Malaysia, their prepaid service is called Hotlink. They offer the following Malaysia prepaid sim card deals:

  • 10 GB data + 2 RM credit for 365 days = 25 RM - $6 USD
  • Unlimited data (3Mbps) + calls for 1 month = 40 RM - $9.5 USD
  • Unlimited data (6Mbps) + calls for 1 month = 50 RM - $12 USD

For more info check the Hotlink website.

Hotlink also offers a tourist sim card which is valid for only 15 days and service will be terminated after the 15 days. It costs 99 RM ($22 USD) and comes with 8 GB data + 10 GB Facebook and 60 minutes calling time (Malaysia, India & China). Check out more info about the Hotlink Tourist Sim Card in this link. Hotlink does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

Digi

digi sim card malaysia

The Digi prepaid sim cards are free when you buy one of the following packages that are valid for 30 days and do not have any speed caps:

  • 3 GB data + Unlimited Social Media = 15 RM - $3.6 USD
  • 15 GB data = 30 RM - $7.1 USD
  • 30 GB data + calls = 35 RM - $8.3 USD
  • 40 GB data + calls = 45 RM- $9.5 USD

Check out the latest Digi prepaid sim card deals for Malaysia on their website. Digi does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

Celcom

celcom sim card malaysia

A Celcom sim card costs 10 RM ($2.4) and comes with 10 GB Facebook, 1 GB data + 6 RM credit. You can opt on top of that for one of the following data packages:

  • Unlimited data (3Mbps) + calls for 7 days = 12 RM - $2.8 USD
  • Unlimited data (6Mbps) + calls for 7 days = 15 RM - $3.6 USD
  • Unlimited data (3Mbps) + calls for 30 days = 35 RM - $8.3 USD
  • Unlimited data (6Mbps) + calls + 5 GB uncapped data for 30 days = 45 RM - $10.7 USD

See all the prepaid Celcom data packages in the link. Celcom does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

U mobile

u mobile sim card malaysia

At U Mobile they offer 3 different prepaid sim card deals for Malaysia:

  • Unlimited data (3Mbps) + calls for 7 days = 12 RM - $2.8 USD
  • Unlimited data (6Mbps) for 30 days = 30 RM - $7.1 USD
  • Unlimited data (6Mbps) + calls for 30 days = 35 RM - $8.3 USD

Click here for all the U Mobile prepaid sim card deals. U Mobile does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

Yes

yes sim card malaysia

Yes was called Yes 4G, but with the new 5G era coming soon, it is simply Yes Malaysia now. Yes is a fairly new mobile internet provider and their network is much smaller than other providers. However, they offer 3 good prepaid sim card deals:

  • 10 GB data for 30 days = 15 RM - $3.6 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = 20 RM - $4.7 USD
  • Unlimited data for 30 days = 30 RM - $7.1 USD

These plans do not come with any calling minutes. For more info check the Yes Malaysia website. Yes does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

Unifi - Bebas

unifi bebas sim card malaysia

Another small mobile internet provider is Unifi. Their prepaid data deals are called Bebas and they offer Unlimited data packages:

  • Unlimited data for 7 days = 12 RM - $2.8 USD
  • Unlimited data for 1 month = 35 RM - $8.3 USD

For more info check the Unifi/Bebas website click on the link to check out their website. Unifi/Bebas does only provide physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are not available for tourists.

Best 4G/5G network in Malaysia

Sim card prices are important to determining the best Malaysia sim card, but so is the network coverage. Imagine traveling on long bus rides or staying in the beautiful Perhentian Islands and having no phone signal. Therefore I compared the Malaysia 4G/5G coverage maps from all mobile internet providers in Malaysia for you.

Is there 5G in Malaysia?

Surprisingly 5G in Malaysia is not as developed as you had wished. Nearby countries Thailand and Singapore offer some of the best 5G coverage in the world, but Malaysia is far behind. As of 2024 there are lots of tourist destinations in Malaysia with a 5G signal, but not everywhere and definitely not with every sim card.

Celcom 4G/5G coverage map

celcom 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024

DiGi 4G/5G coverage map

digi 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024 

Maxis 4G/5G coverage map

maxis 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024

U Mobile 4G/5G coverage map

u mobile 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024

Unifi 4G/5G coverage map

unifi 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024 

Yes 4G/5G coverage map

yes 4g 5g network coverage map malaysia 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Malaysia in 2024.

Traveltomtom comes to the simple conclusion that Yes, Unifi and U Mobile have a lot to catch up when comparing their 4G/5G network strength with Maxis, DiGi and Celcom. Especially when you decide to travel to Borneo it is not recommended to buy a sim card from either Yes, Unifi or U Mobile as their 4G/5G network coverage in Borneo is very limited.

Overall Celcom has the strongest network coverage and therefore Celcom has the best 4G/5G network in Malaysia in 2024. When looking for the best sim card for traveling to Borneo you should either buy a Celcom or a Maxis/Hotlink prepaid sim card.

Tips for how to get around Malaysia

Let me help you find the best bus, boat, train and flight tickets when traveling in Malaysia. Check out the search engine for public transport and be amazed what they find. Try it below yourself.

Powered by 12Go system

At 12Go Asia you will get all the modes of transportations all in one overview.

Bus, boat, ferry, train and flights are all displayed together with travel time, prices, available seats, etc. and the best thing is that you can directly book your ticket online and instantly get a confirmation on your phone.

Best prepaid sim card in Malaysia in 2024

As you have seen prices for data sim cards in Malaysia are very affordable and for $10 USD you can already get unlimited data for the whole month. But be aware that you can buy data packages with different internet speed. Unlimited internet obviously sounds the best, but max data speed is 6 Mbps for example with Celcom, Maxis/Hotlink.

Personally, I would always choose that sim card that does not have a speed cap.

At first it seems like the Celcom, Maxis/Hotlink and the U Mobile prepaid sim cards are great deals with unlimited internet for around $10 - $12 USD but the max speed of 6 Mbps puts me a little off.

Therefore Traveltomtom rates Digi as the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Malaysia as they have no speed caps and truly high speed internet. They also have an amazing deal of 30 GB data for just $8 USD and the Digi 4G/5G network in Malaysia is very extensive.

Traveltomtom does not recommend a Unifi or Yes prepaid sim card for traveling in Malaysia because of their weaker mobile network.

Since prices for prepaid sim cards for tourists are so low there is no point in comparing e-sim cards for Malaysia with local prepaid sim cards.

The e-sim cards for Malaysia that you can order on the internet have the advantage that you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks. Which means when the plane lands you are already online. No more visiting a sim card shop and installing a physical prepaid sim card.

Traveltomtom in general recommends ordering an e-sim card for traveling abroad via either SimOptions or Airalo.

Read more about e-sim cards in my guide with everything you need to know about e-sim cards for traveling to Malaysia in 2024.

Buy a prepaid sim card for Malaysia online

orange holiday world international prepaid sim card for malaysia

If your phone is not e-sim compatible you do not have to wait until you arrive in Malaysia to buy a prepaid sim card. You can already order an international prepaid sim card on the internet and arrive in Malaysia prepared.

Arrive prepared in Malaysia with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Malaysia, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Malaysia:

  • 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD

Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for Malaysia via SimOptions.

The above international prepaid sim card will be delivered as a physical sim card to your home address and is automatically activated from its first use. It is like plug and play, no need to update settings or anything like that.

A last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks and have data on your phone as soon as the plane lands.

For more detailed info about using e-sim cards when traveling to Malaysia check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Malaysia in 2024.

I am sure some of the above tips for buying a sim card for tourists in Malaysia were helpful for your upcoming trip. If you still have questions please let me know in the comments below, I am more than happy to help you out, also with other Malaysia travel related questions.

Want to be fuelled by wanderlust with uncountable travel tips then check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my road to visit every country in the world. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.

Enjoy your trip to Malaysia!