The best mobile phone plans in Australia (January 2022)

Whether you’re after the cheapest phone plan, one with plenty of data or something that operates on the 5G network, we compare phone plans every month.

Best value phone plan
iPhone 13 on Vodafone $45 Lite+ Plan
4 out of 5 stars
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    From $101.20 p/mth (incl. handset)
Best value
Circles Life
Circles.Life 100GB Mobile Plan
4 out of 5 stars
First 6 months from
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    No contract
Best cheap plan
Dodo 20GB Mobile Plan
3 out of 5 stars
First 6 months from
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    $17 p/mth (first 6mths)
Best big data plan
Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan
4 out of 5 stars
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    Unlimited 5G data
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    $65 p/mth
Best cheap phone plan
Woolsworth Mobile
Galaxy A12 + Woolworths Mobile
4 out of 5 stars
Plan + handset from
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    10% off monthly grocery shop
Published on January 12, 2022
10 min read

If you’re in the market for a new phone, there are a couple of categories on this page that’ll be of interest, whether you’re after an iPhone 13—which you can easily sub out for a Samsung Galaxy S21 or other Android phone—or a more affordable alternative with a great plan.

For those who aren’t in the market for a handset, the rest of these categories are for you, split across SIM Only and Prepaid options. Whatever you’re after, from cheap through to data-stuffed, scroll on for the best mobile plans available in Australia this month.

Best value mobile phone plan: SIM Only

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $30 initial monthly fee (first 6 months)
  • $45 per month (normally)
  • $450 first-year cost
  • 100GB data
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

The yardstick plan by which all others are measured for this category is the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan. Ever since it arrived on the scene, this plan forced telcos to compete on lower monthly costs with plenty of data. While there is a heftier Circles.Life plan these days, the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan is once again our pick this month for the best mix of affordable monthly pricing and a big slice of data.

You can go with the Circles.Life 160GB Monthly Plan if you want the extra data, but whether you’re paying full price or promo price for the 100GB Monthly Plan, it’s still great SIM Only value. Get in by 1:00pm AEDT on 1 February 2022 with the ‘BONUS100’ promo code to pay a $30 initial monthly fee for the first six months (and $45 per month thereafter) as part of an extended promotional pricing offer.

Compare phone plans below from a daily updating list of popular SIM Only Plans that have at least 70GB of data.

Best value mobile phone plan: Postpaid

iPhone 13 128GB with Vodafone

For our best value Postpaid phone plan, we lead with the iPhone 13 128GB as the handset for our comparisons and plans with 10GB or more on 24-month handset repayment terms. These Postpaid plans can also be paired with other telco-offered iPhone or Android handsets.

Vodafone $45 Lite+ Plan at a glance:

  • $101.20 per month
  • $35 plan; $56.20 phone (iPhone 13 128GB)
  • 80GB data
  • 2Mbps speeds after full-speed cap
  • 5G network access
  • International calls
  • 3 months of Amazon Music
  • Vodafone network
  • Month-to-month plan

The new iPhone is here, which means we’ve updated this category to reflect the base model you can pay off today with a Postpaid phone plan. That’s the iPhone 13 which, refreshingly, starts with a 128GB model instead of the 64GB entry-level storage of yesteryear. For this category, we try to keep the combined monthly cost of a plan with 24-month handset repayment terms close to $100.

Last month, Optus took out the top spot but Vodafone is back with a cheaper overall plan this month. Pair an iPhone 13 128GB smartphone with the Vodafone $45 Lite+ Plan and you’ll pay $101.20 per month on 24-month handset repayment terms. You’ll get 30GB of base data and 50GB of bonus data, and if you burn through that, speeds are capped at 2Mbps. This Vodafone plan also comes with 100 minutes of calls to 36 selected countries and three months of Amazon Music (valued at $35.97).

For comparison, check out the daily updating list of popular iPhone 13 128GB plans below that come with at least 10GB of data.

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How we choose and compare phone plans
For our best mobile phone plan pick, we only use mobile plans that can be paired with a handset. That narrows down the number of eligible providers dramatically. We then weigh the included data, calls/text (standard national), international (roaming and international calling) and perks (Apple Music, Optus Sport + Fitness, etc.) against the monthly price to find the cheapest plans with the most inclusions. We use a small selection of premium handsets to compare these plans with, which change as new flagship handsets are released, though we tend to lean towards the latest iPhone handset as they are the most popular (plus, they also tend to be great smartphones). You can read more about how we rate mobile service providers.

Best mobile plan for perks

Mate + Amazon Echo and Tidal music subscription

Subscriptions for video streaming services seem to be the way to go when it comes to taking out this category. Not so long ago, Telstra secured this spot with a three-month Binge Standard giveaway. Later, it was Vodafone with a three-month Amazon Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited combo (the music part is back for now).

Now it’s a music-streaming service again, this time from Mate, albeit one focused on high-quality audio. If you sign up for the Better Mates, Great Mates, Best Mates Soul Mates or Elite Mates SIM Only plans, you nab up to 12 months of Tidal Premium music streaming subscription valued at $11.99 a month (and up to $143.88 in value if you stay for a year). Tidal was used to test the Razer Nommo Pro PC speakers in our recent review, and it’s certainly a great complement for other great speakers or headphones.

On top of this, these same Mate plans also come with a third-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker (valued at $59). This promotion was due to expire at the end of 2021, but it’s since been extended to 11:59pm on 28 February 2022. Just use the ‘ECHODOT’ promo code at sign-up to score one. You can also bundle a Mate mobile plan with a Mate NBN plan to save $10 a month on your internet bill.

Young and old woman setting up Echo Dot

Best cheap mobile plan (postpaid)

Galaxy A12 with Woolworths Mobile

For the best cheap Postpaid phone plan, we used to use the Samsung Galaxy A52 handset, but that’s harder to find these days. Instead, we’re now using the Samsung Galaxy A12 for comparisons, as it’s available from several providers and offers even greater value when bundled with an eligible phone plan. Postpaid plans are based on 24-month interest-free handset repayments.

Woolworths Mobile $25 Mobile Phone Plan at a glance:

  • $38.50 per month
  • $25 plan; $13.50 phone (Samsung Galaxy A12)
  • 20GB data
  • 300GB data bank
  • Data gifting
  • 10% off monthly Woolies shop
  • Telstra network
  • No contract

If you want to pay off a new handset and have a decent Postpaid plan to pair it with, have a gander at the Woolworths Mobile $25 Mobile Phone Plan with a budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy A12 handset. This no-contract plan costs $38.50 a month with 24-month handset repayment terms, plus it comes with 20GB of data (up from 18GB), which is a great amount for everyday users.

There are some neat perks, too. For starters, any unused data can be banked between months (300GB, up from 200GB) and you can get 10% off your Woolies shop once a month (up to $50 in savings). Plus, you can also gift data to eligible Woolworths Mobile customers.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Postpaid plans from a variety of providers in our comparison engine that come with a Samsung Galaxy A12.

Best cheap mobile plan: Postpaid

Dodo $20 Mobile Plan

Dodo $20 Mobile Plan at a glance:

  • $17 initial monthly fee (6 months)
  • $20 per month (normally)
  • $222 first-year cost
  • 20GB data
  • International calls
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

To help create more of a gap between our pick of the best cheap and cheapest mobile phone plans each month, we’ve upped the spend limit for this category from $15 a month to $20 or less. There are a lot of plans that compete around this pricepoint, particularly when it comes to limited-time promo pricing.

Dodo isn’t a telco that tends to score too many accolades in these categories, but it’s taken out the top spot this month with its $20 Mobile Plan. While it’s normally priced at $20 per month, new sign-ups pay a $17 monthly fee for the first six months. Whichever of those prices you’re paying, you get access to a respectable 20GB of data on the Optus network.

Compare phone plans below from a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans in Australia that don’t cost more than $20 a month.

Our cheapest mobile plan pick

Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $10 monthly fee
  • $120 first-year cost
  • 5GB data
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

Not so long ago, Moose Mobile had bragging rights to both of our budget-friendly categories, albeit with two different plans. Now that Moose Mobile’s cheapest SIM Only plan has price hiked by a few bucks a month, it’s playing a contender role behind Circles.Life’s 5GB Monthly Plan, the latter of which boasts better dollar-to-data value despite the Moose 12.80 SIM Only Promo plan having wee bit more data (6GB).

This is a very straightforward offering from Circles.Life: $10 a month gets you 5GB of data. That’s a good price to pay for 5GB, meant for those with lighter data needs. Keep an eye out for promo codes, though, because Circles.Life loves to throw out a limited-time deal, which may equate to bonus data or cheaper pricing (or both).

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 1GB of data that don’t cost more than $15 per month (at least initially).

Best mobile phone plan for big data

Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan

Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan at a glance:

  • $65 per month
  • $780 first-year cost
  • Unlimited data
  • 30GB max-speed hotspot
  • 5G access
  • International calls
  • 3 months of Amazon Music
  • Vodafone network
  • Month-to-month plan

This category was once dominated by the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan. While 100GB is still a hefty chunk of SIM Only data, that particular plan isn’t leading the pack anymore. Late last year, Vodafone introduced the $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan, which includes unlimited max-speed data on the Vodafone 5G network.

While $85 isn’t a bad price to pay for unlimited 5G data, it really depends on whether you’re in one of the specific metro areas with Vodafone 5G signal to truly experience the full value. Fast-forward to more recent times, though, and Vodafone has dropped the price to $65 a month for the foreseeable future. While you are limited to 30GB of max-speed hotspot data (capped at 2Mbps if you go over), this plan does come with unlimited calls to 36 dialling destinations and 300 minutes to another 54 countries.

Compare phone plans below from a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 100GB of data.

Most popular Telstra network phone plan

Boost Mobile $30 Prepaid

If coverage is your primary concern, you might be looking for the best deal on Telstra’s network (or wholesale network if we’re talking Telstra MVNOs). This section doesn’t get the same monthly treatment as the rest of our top picks, but our ‘most popular’ plan filter is still a good indication of the best trending deals and is updated every day.

At the start of the month, the Boost Mobile $30 Prepaid plan was ahead of competing plans from Belong and Telstra. The Boost Mobile $30 Prepaid plan needs to be recharged every 28 days, but it comes with 20GB of base data, 25GB of bonus data on the first three recharges (just get in by 31 January 2022), next-recharge data rollover, and an international call allowance.

The top spot for most popular Telstra network plans may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 11 January 2022.

Most popular Optus network phone plan

Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan

Those who have sufficient Optus coverage that don’t feel like spending a primo on Telstra can suss out the results below to find out which plans on the Optus network are trending right now. Optus tends to take out the top spot on its own network, but when it doesn’t, it’s a safe bet that Circles.Life will be somewhere near the top.

At the start of the month, the Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan was a nose in front of the Optus Prepaid Epic Data - $30 Recharge plan. If you want this Circles.Life plan, keep an eye out for a promo code from Circles.Life, like the recent double-data offer. Regardless of promotional data, $10 per month is a good price to pay for 5GB.

The top spot for most popular Optus network plans may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 11 January 2022.

Most popular Vodafone network phone plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan

There aren’t as many Vodafone MVNOs on the scene as there are for Optus and Telstra, but Australia’s third-largest mobile network has plans with great value and plenty of data. For example, have a look at the top trending plans below to score a great deal.

More than Telstra and Optus, the popular pick each month tends to bounce around a bit. Some months it’ll be TPG. Others it will be Vodafone. But this month sees the return of iiNet with its Mobile 40GB Plan. Normally priced at $29.99 per month, the first six months are charged at $15 apiece for new sign-ups for 40GB of data.

The top spot for most popular Vodafone network plans may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 11 January 2022.
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Compare phone plans: Postpaid vs SIM Only vs Prepaid

To compare phone plans, it’s worth understanding the three different types available, all of which should let you keep your number as you switch between providers.

Postpaid mobile plans range from cheap to expensive and bundle a monthly plan with a handset. This is a straightforward way to pay off a new smartphone without having to think about pairing a new handset with a SIM Only or Postpaid plan. Handsets tend to be offered as interest-free monthly repayment terms of either 24 months or 36 months.

SIM Only and Prepaid plans assume you already have a phone. Either you need an unlocked handset or you’ll have to stick with the carrier network that your phone is currently locked to. SIM Only plans are identical to Postpaid plans in terms of data and inclusions, minus the additional cost of handset repayments, which makes them cheaper overall.

Prepaid plans plans are paid in advance of a month, instead of afterwards like Postpaid and SIM Only plans. The duration of Prepaid plans varies from one day to a full year, but a month is typically broken down into 30 days, 28 days or, rarely, an actual month. Prepaid plans tend to have fewer bells and whistles than Postpaid and SIM Only plans but are a great way to stay in control of monthly costs.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

Looking for a prepaid plan?

Or cheaper still? Try long-expiry

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence

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