amaysim Mobile Plans Review: Great for kids and international calling

amaysim is a great option for all types of phone users. It isn't the cheapest, but amasyim plans are packed with value including lots of data and overseas calls.
amaysim mobile plans review
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Simple, easy to understand plan pricing
High data plan options for Netflix binges
Great low-cost plans for kids
Prepaid credit expires after 28 days

What you need to know about amaysim mobile before signing up. 

Amaysim first launched in Australia in 2010 and spearheaded the success of the tiny telco down under. Not that amaysim was the first mobile service reseller, but it was the first to bring mainstream awareness to the idea that you don’t have to be a customer of the major telcos to get a great service.

Key to the amaysim proposition is simplicity. Rather than having customers sign long, detailed contracts, all amaysim plans are month-to-month. You can control most aspects of your plan online, and the pricing is easy to understand. We take this simplicity for granted these days, but in 2010 it was ground-breaking.

A few quick facts about amaysim:

  • Its mobile service operates on the Optus 4G Plus network
  • All amaysim plans are prepaid
  • Most amaysim plans include unlimited international calls
  • amaysim also offer a Pay As You Go plan with 365 day credit expiry
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What in the world is an MVNO?

Businesses like amaysim are called ‘MVNO’. It stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator and means that rather than building their own mobile network (which costs billions of dollars) an MVNO buys access to an existing network and resells this to their customers.

amaysim piggybacks on the Optus 4G Plus mobile network, meaning that you will get coverage with amaysim anywhere you can get coverage with an Optus SIM card.

Amaysim UNLIMITED prepaid plans

Which amaysim prepaid phone plan is best?

Choosing an amaysim plan is pretty straight-forward. There are currently 6 ‘Unlimited’ plans to choose from and a Pay As You Go plan for anyone who needs a phone buy won’t use it often.

The Unlimited plans step up in logical leaps. As you pay a little more, you get more for your money. The best way to break this down is by figuring out how much you pay for 1GB of data. The cheapest plan option is $10 and comes with 1GB of data, so the cost is $10 per 1GB. At the other end of the plan range, you pay $60 for 60GB, so the cost is $1 per 1GB. It’s a big difference.

The question you need to ask yourself is: how much data do I actually need each month? It’s one thing to get the best bang for your buck, but you’re still blowing your money if you don’t use the inclusions. Here are our picks for the best plans for different types of phone users.

Best for Netflix bingeing: $40 UNLIMITED Plan

You might expect us to go straight to the big guns and suggest the $60 Unlimited plan, but no. The $60 plan has the best data-per-dollar ratio, but 60GB is a lot of data to use on a smartphone. Even if you connect your laptop to your phone’s WiFi Hotspot and share the data, it is still more than most people need.

The $40 Unlimited plan includes 20GB of data per month, which is a competitive rate, and is probably more in line with what people need. And if it’s not enough, you can always bump it up later.

Best plan for kids: $10 UNLIMITED Plan

We think amaysim has a strong plan range in general, but we love amaysim for kids. The $10 Unlimited plan includes unlimited calls and messages, so your kids can always stay in touch, even if they have run out of data watching YouTube videos. The 1GB of data isn’t much, and older kids will definitely want more, but it’s hard to argue with the $10 price point.

Best plan for calling overseas: $30 UNLIMITED Plan

If you have family and friends overseas, amaysim is a good option depending on which countries you plan to call. The $30 Unlimited plan is a great all round option, and better still if you want to call any of the following countries:

China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom, USA.

If you don’t see your destination country in the list above you might need to consider either a $50 or $60 plan option which, on top of unlimited calling minutes to the countries above, also offer 300 minutes to:

Austria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

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The problem with 28 day expiry

All amaysim UNLIMITED prepaid plans have 28 day expiry for the credit you buy with each recharge. At first glance this seems fair enough, but if you check the math you’ll notice that you actually need to recharge 13 times each year.

Keep this in mind when considering phone plans, and remember to factor in the extra month’s recharge for a fair comparison.

Are amaysim phone plans the cheapest?

amaysim phone plans are competitive, but not absolutely the cheapest. Since its launch in 2010, dozen of new MVNO businesses have launched in Australia, and we’ve seen a race to the bottom in terms of the price of phone plans. That’s bad news for the telcos, but great news for us as customers.

If you’re looking for the cheapest phone plans, take a look at carriers like Moose Mobile, OVO Mobile and Catch Connect. You’ll find examples of the cheapest phone plans below:

Where can I buy an amaysim SIM card?

The easiest way to get an amaysim SIM card is from the comfort of your couch, buy buying it online. After placing an order, amaysim will post out a SIM pack to you, which you’ll need to activate once it arrives.

Alternatively, you can buy amaysim SIM cards at grocery stores, convenience stores and from most service stations.

The amaysim website highlights the following stores:

  • Woolworth’s
  • Coles
  • 7Eleven
  • Australia Post
  • Big W

The amaysim site also has a store finder tool which lets you search for a place to buy a SIM card using your location.

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What's the difference between prepaid and postpaid phone plans?

The distinction is actually pretty simple. Essentially, you pay for prepaid credit before the start of the month, while you receive a bill for a postpaid plan at the end of the month.

The most important difference is in what happens when you reach your data limit. With a prepaid plan your data is cut off and you can’t access the web until you top up your account. With postpaid plans you will be charged a fee for using the extra data, usually costing $10 for an extra 1GB. If you like to be in control of how much you spend each month, then prepaid plans are a great choice.

Can I use my amaysim SIM for roaming when I travel overseas?

You can use your amaysim SIM overseas, but you really don’t want to. Even amaysim itself recommends that you buy a local SIM card when you reach your destination.

For an example of the rates you’ll pay, here are the costs when travelling in the UK. Making and receiving calls costs $1 per minute. Sending a text message will cost you $0.50 and mobile data costs $0.50 per MB. To put that into perspective, listening to a single song on Spotify could cost you $2 or $3, and watching one minute of a video on YouTube can cost over $5. If you are planning a trip, check out this guide to the cheapest ways to roam on WhistleOut.

If you need to use your amaysim SIM overseas, international roaming is available in 50 countries, including the places that we tend to visit most:

  • USA
  • UK
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Indonesia
  • China