International borders are now open and most of you would probably start planning for your post-pandemic trip overseas. When travelling, you’ll probably need to go online to stay in touch with your friends, using maps, order an ehailing ride, make payments and more.
Several telcos are now offering cheaper and more flexible data roaming passes these days. It could be cheaper to just roam on your Malaysian SIM than getting a new SIM card at the destination or renting a pocket WiFi/MiFi. Here’s the list of best data roaming plans from Malaysian telcos.
Over at Maxis, they are still offering the usual daily plans which now come with “unlimited’ data. In several major countries, Maxis offers 1 day “Unlimited” roaming for RM29/day. However, this comes with an FUP of 2GB per day and after that it gets throttled to 1Mbps, which is still pretty ok.
For other countries, it can be quite costly at RM38/day and all you’re getting is just 500MB per day.
However, there are a couple of interesting long term passes available. On Maxis Postpaid, there’s the 7 Day ASEAN Plus unlimited pass for RM49 which offers 2GB of high-speed data per day. Once you’ve hit that limit, it gets throttled to 1Mbps until it refreshes at midnight.
If you’re gonna be travelling overseas long term and to multiple countries, there’s the 30-day World unlimited pass for RM99. Like the other passes, this gives you high-speed data roaming up to 2GB per day and then it throttles to 1Mbps.
Interestingly, Hotlink is cheaper than Maxis postpaid for short-term roaming. In major countries such as Singapore, you can get 1GB of high-speed data for as low as RM10/day.
There’s also a 3-day Singapore Pass with 5GB of data for RM12. and 7-day Singapore pass with 10GB of data for RM20.
For multi-country roaming, Hotlink also offers ASEAN Pass with 3GB for 3 days for RM20. Meanwhile, the 7 Day ASEAN Pass with 5GB data costs RM30
On Hotlink Postpaid, there’s a monthly border roaming option. For RM15/month, you can get 15GB of data that you can use in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
If you prefer Prepaid, there’s Hotlink Pantas RM45/month. This plan offers 40GB of data that you can use in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, which is quite a steal.
If you need to travel for a few days, Celcom offers 3-days of data roaming for RM25. It comes with 4GB of high-speed data 30 minutes calls. However, that’s only available in select countries which include Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
In other countries, Celcom charges either RM7.99 for 1 day pass with 1GB or RM38 per day with 500MB of data.
For long term travellers with multi-country visits, Celcom offers a 7-day “unlimited” pass for RM58 or 30-day “unlimited” for RM98. Similar to Maxis, These 7 or 30 day pass comes with a daily “FUP” of 2GB and your speed will be throttled to 1Mbps until it refreshes at midnight.
Digi has also a couple of interesting roaming passes which cover single and multiple countries. For single country, they offer 1-day pass with 500MB of data and 10 minutes of voice calls for RM15 or 3-day with 2GB data and 30 min of calls for RM25. If you’re visiting Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, this 3-day pass comes with 4GB of data instead.
For long term and regional visits in either Asia, Europe, Middle east and the US, Digi offers a 14-day pass with 4GB data and 60 min of calls – RM75. This data is doubled to 8GB for Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. In other regions such as Europe, Middle East and the US, there’s a slightly cheaper 7-day option with 2GB data and 30 minutes of calls for RM50.
For global travellers and an even longer travel itinerary, Digi offers a 30-day multi-country pass with 30GB of data and 30 minutes of calls for RM95.
If you’re on an eligible Digi postpaid plan, you can choose Roam Like Home as your Freedom Add-on which costs RM35/month. This add-on provides 10GB of data roaming, 60 minutes of calls and 60 minutes of IDD calls in 10 countries. This includes Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Roam Like Home is available as a free option if you’re on a Digi Postpaid 90, 120, 150 and Family Unlimited Plan.
You can learn more over at Digi’s Roaming Page.
U Mobile Roaming
U Mobile currently has U Data Roaming Pass which cost RM10/day or RM36/day depending on the country. However, it comes with an FUP quota of up to 500MB per day. You can learn more including the list of supported countries here.
However, the best roaming offer is definitely U Postpaid 68 and 98. These two 5G-enabled plans offer free 15GB of global roaming data per month as well as free incoming calls when you’re travelling abroad.
If you’re looking for something different, Yoodo, an MVNO also has an interesting roaming add-on called Roam Like Home. Unlike other plans, Yoodo lets you use your Malaysian data overseas by purchasing the Roam Like Home Pass whether it is for 1 day, 3 days, 7 days or 15 days. So if you purchased 20GB for RM20, you can use that 20GB overseas. If you’re on an Yoodo unlimited plan, it comes with 2GB of data for roaming but you can get more by purchasing a data booster.
For countries in category A such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, it costs RM5 per day. In category B countries such as United Kingdom, France, Taiwan, it costs RM10/day. Meanwhile, countries in category C such as the USA, Australia, Spain and UAE, it costs RM20/day.
If you’re making a day trip and have loads of data, this could be a viable option. You can learn more on Yoodo’s roaming page.
Summary of Data Roaming Plans offered by Malaysian telcos
Which roaming pass to get?
If you’ve travelling overseas long term like for 5 days or doing multiple country stops, the monthly plans are the way to go. We’ve seen these offers from Celcom, Digi and Maxis, but do check the list of supported countries as not all telcos are the same. For Celcom and Maxis, the “unlimited” roaming pass has a daily FUP of 2GB but Digi just offers a one lump sum of 30GB for 30 days that you can use in multiple countries.
For short-term visits, it really depends on the country as some could be as cheap as RM5/day or RM10/day or some could cost as much as RM38/day. If you’re gonna spend more than RM50 on roaming, you might as well go for a longer weekly or monthly pass if it is available.
Otherwise, you can consider getting a local SIM. Take note that some countries such as China, the local telco may block access to certain sites such as Google, YouTube and Facebook. For these situations, you might be better off roaming instead, as your internet traffic via roaming is still rerouted back through Malaysia.
If you travel a lot on a monthly basis, why not get a plan with provided roaming data? On postpaid, there’s U Mobile and Digi which offers bundled roaming data. On Prepaid, there’s Hotlink’s Pantas 45 which allows you to use your data in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Depending on the telco, some even offer 5G access on roaming which includes Maxis.
Things to do to avoid bill shock while travelling
You’ve probably heard scary stories about users getting expensive charges when they roam overseas. Here are two things you must do before you leave the country.
Firstly, disable data roaming if you don’t plan on roaming in a particular country especially if you’re doing a stop-over or a transit during a long haul flight. For example, if you’re going to United Kingdom via Dubai or Doha, and you only want to roam in the UK, you should keep your data roaming setting off until you reach the United Kingdom.
If you’re planning to subscribe the cheaper daily, weekly or monthly passes, make sure these passes are activated before you turn data roaming on. Otherwise, you will be charged the more expensive daily rate.
Most telcos these days allow you to subscribe the roaming pass in advance so do check with your respective telco apps. Before signing up, do check and plan based on the countries your visiting and take note of the telco partner that will offer the roaming service. Take note that some roaming plans renew at midnight according to the local time of the destination’s capital city or Malaysian time, so do check with your provider.
The second thing you need to do is to disable voicemail before you travel overseas. You can probably do this in your telco app or call customer service.
Receiving incoming calls while overseas can be very very expensive. Even if you don’t answer the call, you will be charged expensive roaming fees if the incoming call goes into voice mail. So don’t let those spam calls ruin your holiday. Besides, who uses voice mail these days?
So there you have it, the best roaming options offered by telcos in Malaysia. What do you think? Would you just roam or would you rather get a SIM card upon arrival? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.