Buying a SIM Card or eSIMs for Bali 2024

How to get a tourist SIM Card or ESim for Bali? Discover the best SIM card and ESIM options for Bali in 2023. Read our complete guide on costs, top providers, coverage, and how to activate your sim.

Buying a SIM Card

Buying a SIM Card for Bali

Thinking of visiting Bali and wondering how to stay connected while in Bali, Indonesia? This is our complete guide to buying a SIM card in Bali. From where to buy a Bali sim card, as of 2023 prices, my recommendation and a vlog about my arrival and experiences at Bali Airport, the best e-sim cards, the best 4G/5G network, a comparison of the best-prepaid sim cards, and international sim cards for traveling in Bali.


Table of Contents


Buying a SIM Card or eSIMs for Bali for Tourists in 2023

How to buy a sim card in Bali?

There are several options available when choosing a sim card as a tourist in Bali, with the most popular ones being Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat. It's essential to assess your needs and preferences when choosing a SIM card. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Network Coverage: Telkomsel is your best option if you visit remote Bali areas.

  2. Data Needs: If you require a lot of data, consider XL Axiata for its affordable packages.

  3. Call and SMS: If you need to make local calls or send texts, compare the call and SMS rates of the providers.

  4. Price: All three providers offer competitively priced SIM cards and packages, but it's always wise to check the current rates.

Here's a quick summary table for a comparison of the three providers:

Provider

Coverage

Data Packages

Call & SMS Rates

Price

Telkomsel

Excellent, even in remote areas

Competitive

Average

Average

XL Axiata

Good in urban areas

Affordable

Competitive

Average

Indosat

Good in urban areas

Competitive

Average

Competitive

>>> Visiting Bali for the first time, don't forget to register your phone. Read more on our guide about currency in Bali.

***BGB TIP***: If you’re an iPhone user & don't want to register your phone, get your eSIM via Airalo.com

How can you buy a SIM card in Bali?

Buying a SIM card in Bali as a tourist is very easy. You can purchase a SIM card in several places, including the airport, mini markets, local phone shops, and even some hotels. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Arrival at the Airport
    Upon landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, numerous kiosks sell SIM cards. It's the most convenient place to buy, but prices are usually higher than at local stores.

  • Step 2: Choose Your Provider
    You can choose between Telkomsel, XL Axiata, or Indosat. Consider your data usage, network coverage, and pricing needs to select the best one for you.

  • Step 3: Purchase and Registration
    Once you've chosen your provider, you can buy the SIM card. As per Government regulations, you must register your SIM card using a valid ID, such as your passport. Any vendor you choose will assist you with this.

  • Step 4: Insert the SIM Card
    After your purchase, you can insert the SIM card into your phone. Make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with the SIM card.

  • Step 5: Activation
    Lastly, follow the instructions given by the vendor to activate your SIM card. It's also advisable to download the apps from any provider to easily monitor your sim card expiry, data usage, or credits.

If you are staying more than 90 days in Bali, do not forget to register your phone's IMEI at the airport's immigration; here's our complete guide on how to register your phone's IMEI in Bali.

***BGB TIP***: If you’re an iPhone user & don't want to register your phone, get your eSIM via Airalo.com

Buying a simcard bali

Simcard Kiosk

Where are the best places to buy a SIM SIM in Bali?

There are several places where you can buy a SIM card in Bali, but some are better than others due to their reputation, authenticity of products, and customer service. Here are a few of the best places:

  1. Ngurah Rai International Airport

    Upon your arrival at the airport, you will find several stalls selling SIM cards. These stalls are trustworthy, and the staff can assist with setting up your SIM card.

  2. Official Telcom Provider Stores

    Companies like Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and IM3 have their official stores scattered around the island. Buying from these stores ensures you get a genuine product and assistance with setup and registration.

  3. Large Electronics Stores

    Stores like Gramedia or Matahari Department Store also sell SIM cards and offer a reliable service.

  4. Buy eSIM Online

    You can also purchase eSIM online before you travel via Airalo. And you can activate it instantly when you arrive in Bali.

Location

Pros

Cons

Ngurah Rai International Airport

Convenient assistance with setup

Might be more expensive

Official Provider Stores

Authentic product, professional service

May need to travel to find a store

Large Electronics Stores

Reliable service

Limited assistance with setup

Online

Convenient, can order before travel

Shipping time might be more expensive

***BGB TIP***: If you’re an iPhone user & don't want to register your phone, get your eSIM via Airalo.com

How much is a SIM card in Bali?

The cost of a SIM card in Bali can vary based on several factors, including the provider, the type of package (calls, text, data), and where you choose to buy the SIM card. However, here are some price estimates as of the article's date to provide a general idea.

The initial cost for a prepaid SIM card from major providers, such as Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat, ranges from IDR 50,000 to IDR 80,000. This cost typically includes a small amount of initial credit. Now, let's move on to the price of data packages, which is often the most crucial factor for tourists. For example:

  1. Telkomsel

    Buying a sim card in Bali for tourists

    This is the price at the arrival international airport as of 2023

    These are the Telkomsel prepaid sim card deals for Bali at International Airport Arrival:

  • 25 GB data for 30 days = IDR 400,000 or $26 USD

  • 38 GB data for 30 days = IDR 450,000 or $30 USD

  • 55 GB data for 30 days = IDR 550,000 or $36 USD

  • 100 GB data for 30 days = IDR 850,000 or $56 USD

  • 200 GB data for 30 days = IDR 1,250,000 or $82 USD

    If you stay for less than a week and travel solo, you can check the Telkomsel Application. They offer a package with 8GB of data valid for 30 days for around IDR 30,000 or $2 USD. You can buy a SIM Card without mobile data for IDR 70,000 or $5 USD and buy it directly from their shop outside the airport.

    1. XL Axiata

    Buying a sim card in Bali for tourist

    This is the price at the arrival international airport as of 2023

    At the XL store in the arrival hall, they sell the following XL Bali tourist sim cards:

  • 18 GB data for 30 days = IDR 250,000 or $16 USD

  • 25 GB data for 30 days = IDR 350,000 or $23 USD

  • 44 GB data for 30 days = IDR 450,000 or $29 USD

  • 75 GB data for 30 days = IDR 550,000 or $35 USD

  • 120 GB data for 30 days = IDR 650,000 or $42 USD

    If you buy directly from their shop outside the airport, XL Axiata provides a package with 5GB of data for IDR 60,000, valid for one month.

    1. IM3

    Buying a SIM Card for Bali in 2023

    This is the price at the arrival international airport as of 2023

  • 18 GB data for 30 days = IDR 250,000 or $16 USD

  • 30 GB data for 30 days = IDR 350,000 or $23 USD

  • 45 GB data for 30 days = IDR 450,000 or $29 USD

  • 70 GB data for 30 days = IDR 550,000 or $35 USD

    If you buy directly from their shop outside the airport, IM3's package offers 5GB of data for approximately IDR 55,000, valid for one month.

Please note that these are approximate costs and can vary slightly based on the current exchange rate and ongoing promotions. Always confirm the prices before making a purchase. Besides the cost of the SIM card and data packages, consider the cost of topping up your SIM card. Top-up vouchers are usually available in denominations ranging from IDR 20,000 to IDR 100,000. When buying a SIM card at the airport, be aware that the prices may be higher due to convenience. You might find cheaper deals in local shops in the city.

>>> Visiting Bali for the first time, don't forget to register your phone. Read more on our guide about currency in Bali.

***BGB TIP***: If you’re an iPhone user & don't want to register your phone, get your eSIM via Airalo.com

How is the network coverage of SIM cards in Bali?

The network coverage of SIM cards in Bali largely depends on the provider. Bali is a well-connected island, and the major mobile network providers - Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat - offer good network coverage across popular areas. Let's delve into the specifics of each.

  1. Telkomsel - Known for having the best and most extensive coverage across Bali and the rest of Indonesia. Telkomsel provides reliable connectivity even in some remote parts of Bali. Telkomsel might be your best choice if your itinerary includes off-the-beaten-track destinations or if you want to ensure the most reliable coverage. Download their app to see your data usage and updated credits.

  2. XL Axiata - XL Axiata's network coverage is excellent in urban areas and popular tourist spots. In the more remote areas, the range might be less reliable. If you're sticking to the main tourist areas and cities, XL Axiata could be a good choice.

  3. IM3 - Their network coverage is robust in urban areas and central tourist locations. However, it may be less reliable in remote parts of Bali.

Below is a simple comparison table between the network coverage of each provider:

Provider

Coverage in Urban Areas

Coverage in Remote Areas

Telkomsel

Excellent

Excellent

XL Axiata

Excellent

Good

IM3 Indosat

Excellent

Good

Remember that network performance can be affected by weather conditions, the specific location within an area, and the time of day (peak times vs off-peak times).

Buying a sim card in Bali for tourist

How to buy a sim card in Bali?

How can I top up my Bali SIM card?

Keeping your Bali SIM card topped up is easy, and you can do it in several ways. Here are some of the most common methods:

  1. Mini Markets and Local Shops
    Convenience stores or "mini markets" like Alfamart, Indomaret, and Circle K are found almost everywhere in Bali. These stores sell top-up vouchers (or "pulsa") for all major providers. Local phone shops and kiosks also sell these vouchers. Tell the cashier your provider's name and the amount you want to top up, and they'll give you an electronic top-up, and you will instantly receive your mobile credit.

  2. Online Top-Up Services via GoPay, ShopeePay
    Several online platforms allow you to top up your SIM card directly from your phone. Websites like Tokopedia or Shopee and even the official apps of the providers will enable you to choose, or GoPay from the GoJek app can give your mobile top-up amount and pay with a credit card or other online payment methods.

  3. ATM/Bank Transfer
    Some ATMs in Bali offer the option to top up your phone credit. The process usually involves inserting your bank card, choosing the mobile top-up option, selecting your provider, and entering your phone number and the top-up amount. You can also do this via bank transfer with a local bank account.

Please remember that the top-up process might vary slightly between providers, so it's always best to ask for instructions when you buy your SIM card or check the provider's official website. Here's a quick comparison of the options:

Top-Up Method

Pros

Cons

Mini Markets

Convenient, widespread

Requires cash, manual entry of top-up code

ATM

Can top-up large amounts

Not available at all ATMs, the interface might be in Indonesian

Online

Convenient, no need for cash

Requires internet connection; card payments might not work with all foreign cards.

Provider's App

Convenient, can top-up and manage accounts in one place

Requires internet connection; card payments might not work with all foreign cards

Is it better to use an international SIM card in Bali?

Whether it's better to use an international SIM card in Bali depends on several factors, including the duration of your stay, the rates offered by your home network provider, and your data requirements.

  1. International SIM Cards: These cards offer the convenience of being accessible from multiple countries. They can be a good choice if you travel to multiple countries on a single trip or want to have everything set up before you leave home. However, international SIM cards often have higher rates than local SIM cards, especially for data usage. If you plan to use data-intensive services like navigation, video streaming, or VoIP calls, an international SIM card might not be the most cost-effective choice.

  2. Local SIM Cards: On the other hand, local SIM cards in Bali are inexpensive and offer generous data packages. They are a better choice for tourists who plan to stay in the country for an extended period and need reliable and affordable internet access. However, you must purchase or order these SIM cards online upon arrival. They also require registration using a valid ID, which might be slightly inconvenient for some.

Here's a simple comparison table:

International SIM Card

Local SIM Card

Cost

Higher cost per call, text, and data

Lower price per call, text, and data

Convenience

Can be used in multiple countries; there is no need to change SIM when traveling.

Needs to be bought upon arrival or ordered in advance

Ideal for

Short stays: traveling to multiple countries

Longer stays; high data usage


Is my phone compatible with a SIM card in Bali?

Your phone's compatibility with a Bali SIM card depends on a couple of critical factors: whether your phone is unlocked and the network band your phone supports.

  1. Unlocked Phones: It might be locked if your phone is tied to a specific network provider — often the case when you buy it as part of a contract. This means you can't use a SIM card from another provider on your phone. To use a Bali SIM card, your phone must be unlocked. If you're unsure if your phone is unlocked, check with your home network provider.

  2. Network Bands: Cellphones work on various frequency bands, also known as network bands. Different countries and network providers use other bands. Bali's network providers primarily operate on GSM 900, GSM 1800, 3G (2100 MHz), and 4G (900 MHz, 1800 MHz). Ensure your phone supports these bands for optimal connectivity. This information can usually be found in your phone's technical specifications.

Another factor to consider is the size of the SIM card. Most Bali providers offer a 3-in-1 SIM card, which includes standard, micro, and nano sizes, compatible with most phones.

***BGB TIP***: If you’re an iPhone user & don't want to register your phone, get your eSIM via Airalo.com

How can I check my data balance on my Bali SIM card?

Checking the data balance on your Bali SIM card is a straightforward process. Here's how you can do it for the three major network providers in Bali:

  1. Telkomsel: Dial *888# and press call. A menu will appear on your screen. Choose the option for 'check balance'. You'll receive an SMS detailing your remaining balance. Alternatively, you can download the MyTelkomsel app to check your balance and manage your account.

  2. XL Axiata: Dial *123# and press call. Follow the instructions to check your balance. You can also use the XL Axiata app for balance checks and other account management tasks.

  3. Indosat: Dial *123# and press call. Follow the prompts to check your balance. Indosat also has the myIM3 app that allows you to manage your account and check your credit.

Remember, these USSD codes (*888#, *123#, etc.) are free and won't consume your balance. It's also important to note that each time you use data, make a call, or send an SMS, most providers will send you an SMS with your remaining balance. This provides a handy way to keep track of your usage without manually checking your credit.

How do I buy the Bali eSIM?

Buying Bali eSIM is easy, whether you want to get directly at the Airport or buy ahead of time. There are multiple ways you can buy Bali eSIM.

1.  Buy Bali eSIM at the Airport

Buying a sim card in Bali for tourist

Bali ESim

You can get an eSIM when you arrive at the Airport in Bali and look for the booth of Smartfren. You can get an eSIM for IDR 450,000 or $30 USD, including a 60GB data plan for 30 days. Interestingly, if you browse their website, you might see deals offering better value. Unlike getting a sim card when you purchase an eSIM, you don't need to register your phone's IMEI; with Smartfren, you're ready to browse as soon as you get your eSIM. And if you need additional top-ups or credits, you can easily do so online through their website or app.  

2. Buy Bali eSIM Online

If you prefer getting an eSIM before arriving in Bali, you can also get an eSIM via Airalo, which offers online eSIM options. This platform provides various plans catering to different data needs while you're in Bali.

In summary, staying connected in Bali is easy and convenient; you get physical SIM cards or Bali eSIM options tailored to suit various needs. Whether you buy upon arrival or prefer to arrange everything online, let us know which option you choose during your stay in Bali.

If you think we missed any additional information, send us a message, and we would be happy to update this article.

>>>> First time in Bali, read our guide to currency in Bali, Indonesia. Need a driver? You can pre-book your private car service before arriving in Bali.


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