Update November 8, 2017: 2017 Top HK SIM Card Guide
December 2015: Check out the latest 2016 Best Prepaid SIM Cards
April 2015: Check out the latest 2015 HK Prepaid SIM Card comparison
Decided to take a trip out to Hong Kong Airport and help all of you visitors to Hong Kong, and see which prepaid SIM cards are actually available for sale there. The easiest place to buy SIM cards is in the arrivals hall of Terminal 1. In the smack middle next to HSBC is a Seven Eleven 7-11 where they carry SIM cards you can pop into your unlocked phone. The cards are available behind the cashier so you’ll need to wait in line and ask the cashier to pull it out.
Otherwise, there’s also a Circle K and 7-11 in Terminal 2 where you can find prepaid SIM cards. Terminal 2 is about a 5 minute walk from arrivals, just go towards the Airport Express and walk under the tracks to the other side.
On the day I went to the airport 7-11 there were these four prepaid SIM cards shown below, only PCCW and China Mobile brands:
The two left ones are available in micro and nano-SIM size, while the two right ones were only available in micro-SIM size. Most people are probably more concerned with data rather than actual calling these days, so I’ll highlight the data access charges for each card and you can read my recommendation below.
Don’t get unlimited wifi mixed up with unlimited mobile data. Yea, it’s unlimited wifi, but keep in mind you have to be at a wifi point and at a standstill. On the plus side, there are many PCCW wifi points scattered throughout Hong Kong.
Top Left (micro & nano): $80 China Mobile 4G/3G Data & Voice Prepaid SIM Card
$78 useable value, valid for $180 days
| 4G/3G Local Data Package|
Bottom Left (micro & nano): $98 csl All in One rechargeable SIM card
Tidbit: CSL is sold to HK Telecom a subsidiary of PCCW, so PCCW and CSL will eventually merge into one brand I suspect.Top Right
1-Day-Pass $18 / 1.2GB~
3-Day-Pass $38 / 2GB~
7-Day-Pass $68 / 3GB~
Top Right (micro-SIM only): $60 China Mobile IDD Talk Stored Value SIM Card
Data is only 2G speed here, but good if you only want basic data to check e-mails, instant messaging, etc.
|Mobile Data Service|
Bottom Right (micro-SIM only): $69 csl Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM card
5 / 8 day pass2
First 5 days service
Local voice call
It’s a bit of a toss up on which card is the best. It really depends on how long you will be in Hong Kong and how fast and how much data you’ll be using. For myself, I usually want a decent amount of data but it doesn’t have to be that fast, as long as I can load maps, e-mails, access whatsapp, etc.
Recommendation for Nano-SIM Card users:
Pick the first two China Mobile or csl card based on your length of stay. If you need data for a consecutive 5 days, pick China Mobile since they have a 5 day plan. Otherwise go with csl with the 1, 3, and 7 day plans.
Recommendation for Micro-SIM card users:
If you are in HK more than 5 days, don’t even consider the Discover Hong Kong tourist card since that’ll expire within 5 days. But if you are here for about 4/5 days it could be good with all of the unlimited local calling, wifi, and 1.5 GB of data. Just keep in mind that usable value on the card is only $25 so you will only get about 55 minutes of IDD calling.
Otherwise I’d probably pick the $98 csl all in one rechargable card since I can select which data pass I want.
Update November 2014: If you are looking to have this card in your hands before you arrive in HK, or afraid the card might be out of stock, you can purchase it from our partners at Hong Kong SIM Card, and have it delivered to your address outside of HK.