The best SIM Only plans available in June 2021

Cheap SIM Only plans and big-data offerings are all the rage this month.
  • Best value

    100GB Monthly Plan

    4 out of 5 overall
    100GB p/mth
    $30 p/mth
  • Best cheap SIM Only

    $14.95 Mobile Plan

    3.5 out of 5 overall
    4GB p/mth
    $9.95 p/mth (first 6mths)
  • Best for big data

    Extra Large Upfront

    4.5 out of 5 overall
    180GB p/mth
    $65 p/mth (first year)
  • Most popular Telstra

    20GB Mobile Plan

    4 out of 5 overall
    20GB p/mth
    $25 p/mth
  • Most popular Optus

    9.80 SIM Only Promo

    3.5 out of 5 overall
    6GB p/mth
    $9.80 p/mth (first year)
Recent Updates: 2 weeks ago
With Moose Mobile’s long-reining deal set to expire in the first week of June, there’s a new winner for the best cheap SIM Only plan, plus Telstra has a great deal for those seeking plenty of data.
1 month ago
While four of our seven categories have remained the same as April, Circles.Life has unbeatable dollars-to-data value in its 100GB Monthly Plan. For more data, the Vodafone $120 SIM Only Ultra Plan is hard to pass up, and the iiNet Mobile 8GB Plan is currently the most popular SIM Only pick on the Vodafone network.

So you’ve got a new iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21 and want a SIM Only plan to pair it with. We’ve got you covered. If you want great SIM Only perks and value, you can still reliably look to either Woolworths Mobile or Circles.Life to tick both those boxes.

For something more affordable, Spintel is our pick for June and Telstra has bragging rights to our pick of the best big-data SIM Only plan this month care of a great deal. While the most popular SIM Only plan on the Telstra network has remained the same at the start of the month, Moose Mobile takes out the top spot for the Optus network and a bigger-data iiNet plan is the most popular on the Vodafone network.

Best value SIM Only plan

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $30 initial monthly fee (12 months)
  • $38 per month normally
  • $360 first-year cost
  • 100GB data
  • 3GB bill-shock protection
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

In April, Circles.Life took out this category with its deceptively named 20GB Monthly Plan, which boasted (and still has) 33GB of bonus data. While that’s great value for the adjusted $20-per-month price for the first year, it’s still not as great on the dollars-to-data front as its heftier sibling: the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan.

This plan is normally priced at $38 a month, but you can get it for a $30 monthly fee if you use the ‘100GBOFFER’ promotional code during sign-up before 8pm on 14 June 2021. Even if you miss that promo pricing window, $38 a month is still incredible value for 100GB of data. If you burn through it all, Circles.Life throws in a bonus 3GB, too.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans in Australia that don’t cost more than $40 a month.

Best perks SIM Only plan

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only at a glance:

  • $35 per month
  • $420 first-year cost
  • 35GB data
  • International talk and text
  • 10% off groceries
  • Telstra network
  • Month-to-month plan

The perk-packed king returns and maintains its dominance for yet another monthly reign. Woolworths Mobile is back with its $35 SIM Only plan with a few tempting perks. That $35 plan price gets you 35GB of data, which is a great starting point.

The first main perk is Woolworths Mobile operates on the Telstra wholesale network, which has the next best coverage behind being a Telstra customer, ahead of both Optus and Vodafone’s networks. There’s also unlimited talk and text to 22 selected countries, plus you can take 10% off your Woolies shop once a month (up to $50).

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 35GB of data.

Best cheap SIM Only plan

Spintel $14.95 Mobile Plan

Spintel $14.95 Mobile Plan at a glance:

  • $9.95 initial monthly fee (6 months)
  • $14.95 per month (normally)
  • $149.40 first-year cost
  • 4GB data
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

We update our monthly picks as close as possible to the start of the month to find the cheapest SIM Only Plans. And because last month’s incumbent winner, Moose Mobile’s Moose 9.80 SIM Only Promo plan, is set to expire on 3 June, we’ve got another winner this month. In fairness, the Spintel $14.95 Mobile Plan has been mentioned as a contender for this category for a while now, and now it gets to nab the top spot.

That plan name is somewhat deceptive, because while $14.95 is the regular monthly fee, the first six months are charged at $9.95 apiece, which is a great price to pay for 4GB of data on the Optus network. Even if you’re paying the full monthly fee, it’s still a decent price.

Below is a daily updating list of popular cheap SIM Only plans with at least 1GB of data and a max cost of $20.

Best big-data SIM Only plan

Telstra $115 Extra Large Upfront SIM Plan

Telstra $115 Extra Large Upfront SIM Plan at a glance:

  • $65 initial monthly fee (12 months)
  • $115 per month (normally)
  • $780 first-year cost
  • 180GB data
  • 5G network access
  • Telstra network
  • Month-to-month plan

It’s not often that a Telstra Upfront plan takes out the top spot for any of these picks. That’s because Telstra plans usually have a premium price, they don’t have as much data as their Optus and Vodafone network counterparts, and they’re paid upfront instead of at the end of the month. But that changes this month with the competitively priced Telstra $115 Extra Large Upfront SIM Plan.

That “$115” in the plan name is the regular price, but sign up by 05 July 2021 and you can drop that to $65 a month for the first year. That’s a great price to pay for 180GB of data, plus if you have a 5G handset, you can take advantage of the Telstra 5G network (where available). This Telstra SIM Only plan also includes 30 minutes of standard international calls to anywhere in the world, as well as unlimited standard SMS and MMS.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 50GB of data.

Most popular Telstra network SIM Only plan

Belong 20GB Mobile Plan

Belong 20GB Mobile Plan at a glance:

  • $25 per month
  • $300 first-year cost
  • 20GB data
  • Capped 64kbps after data cap
  • $10 for 5GB extra data
  • Telstra network
  • Month-to-month plan

In prior months, those seeking a SIM Only plan on the Telstra network have been drawn to the 180GB of data that’s part of the Telstra $115 Extra Large Upfront Mobile Plan (scroll up for more on this plan). For the start of this month, it’s swung to the other end of the spectrum with a cheaper SIM Only plan that still has a decent amount of data.

The Belong 20GB Mobile Plan costs $25 ($300 first-year cost), which is one of the cheapest SIM Only plans on the Telstra network. While you won’t have access to the Telstra 5G network with this Belong plan, you can pay an extra $10 per 5GB of data, or put up with 64kbps speeds if you go over the 20GB cap.

The top spot for most popular SIM Only Telstra plan may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 2 June 2021.

Check out a daily changing list of popular Telstra SIM Only plans below.

Most popular Optus network SIM Only plan

Moose 9.80 SIM Only Promo

Moose 9.80 SIM Only Promo at a glance:

  • $9.80 initial monthly fee (12 months)
  • $15.80 per month (normally)
  • $117.60 first-year cost
  • 6GB data
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

At the start of the month, Circles.Life has two of its three plans nipping at the heels of the top pick, which isn’t surprising given the data-loving telco has extended its promotional period once again. Get in by 8pm on 14 June 2021 for either the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan or 20GB Monthly Plan to score a $8 and $6 monthly discount, respectively. Plus, the 20GB Monthly Plan comes with 30GB of bonus data as part of this promo, too.

Still, the most popular Optus network pick this month comes from Moose Mobile’s Moose 9.80 SIM Only Promo plan, which costs $9.80 per month for the first year before reverting to a $15.80 monthly fee if you stick around (a tidy $117.60 first-year cost). Fingers crossed it gets extended again.

The top spot for most popular SIM Only Optus plan may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 2 June 2021.

You can see the popular Optus network SIM Only picks below.

Most popular Vodafone network SIM Only plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan at a glance:

  • $15 initial monthly fee (6 months)
  • $29.99 per month (normally)
  • $269.94 first-year cost
  • 40GB data
  • Vodafone network
  • Month-to-month plan

Last month, iiNet snagged the top SIM Only plan for the Vodafone network from the seemingly incumbent network owner. This month, iiNet is back again, albeit this time with a plan that’s more suited to data lovers. While the iiNet Mobile 8GB Plan has great six-month value at $10 a month for 8GB of data, the iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan is even better.

There’s a six-month discount here, too, so instead of paying the usual $29.99 monthly fee, you can pay $15 a month for the first half year. Whichever fee you’re paying, you get 40GB of Vodafone network data to use.

The top spot for most popular SIM Only Vodafone plan may change throughout the month based on demand, but this pick is accurate as of 2 June 2021.

Below is a daily updating snapshot of the popular SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network.

Choosing the best SIM Only plans for coverage

While there are three main mobile networks in Australia, there are two parts to the largest one. In terms of coverage, Telstra’s network is the biggest, followed by Optus and then Vodafone behind those. For Telstra, though, Telstra users get access to the full Telstra network, whereas MVNO telcos that operate on the Telstra network have access to the slightly smaller Telstra wholesale network.

This is how coverage looks in terms of the respective networks:

  • Telstra: 99.2% of the Australian population
  • Telstra wholesale: 98.8% of the Australian population
  • Optus: 98.5% of the Australian population
  • Vodafone: 96% of the Australian population

It’s worth adding that these percentages are for 4G connectivity and don’t cover the currently rolling-out respective 5G networks, though you should expect the same ranking once all 5G networks are complete. While coverage is important, the cheapest SIM Only plans tend to operate in reverse order: the Vodafone network, then Optus, followed by Telstra.

Below is a daily updating list of the most popular SIM Only plans that operate on the Telstra network.

How we choose the best SIM Only phone plans

There’s a surprising amount to consider before buying a tiny bit of plastic to put in your phone. As the mobile market becomes more competitive, the phone plans become more complex, with carriers adding in bits and pieces to catch your attention.

We consider all of the providers currently listed in the database of our phone plan search engine. The number of providers in our database does sometimes change, but we typically monitor over 20 providers at a time, including the biggest telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, ranging from the cheapest SIM Only plans to more expensive but data and/or perk-packed alternatives.

We start by comparing the cost of the essential components of the phone plans. How much will you pay for unlimited calls and SMS, and how much mobile data do you get each month? Do you need to sign a contract? Contracts are not a dealbreaker for us but you’d better get a pretty good deal in return.

Beyond the basics, we look for high-value bonus features. International phone calls and messages are a great example and, happily, we’re seeing more plans include calls overseas.

Phone plans may also include access to exclusive video or music services, and while some of these are quite cool, we know that these services aren’t for everyone, so we don’t tend to consider these features too highly in our comparisons.

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Coverage is essential

As we consider the best plans we treat mobile coverage evenly, but we’d recommend that you put coverage at the top of your list as you weigh up your options. For most people living in cities across Australia, there is little difference in the day-to-day performance of the networks. People living in regional areas need to research the network coverage in their areas.

To get you started we have coverage maps and a guide to coverage available to check out.

What is a SIM Only phone plan?

A SIM Only plan is a phone plan that covers your talk, text and data usage, but doesn’t come with a mobile phone included. For this reason, SIM Only plans are often referred to as ‘BYO phone’ plans.

As the same implies, a SIM Only plan comes with a SIM card that you need to put into your phone. Every mobile phone needs a SIM card that identifies your account on your carrier’s network, and every time you switch providers you need a new SIM card.

Most SIM Only plans are ‘month-to-month’ or ‘no-contract plans’, meaning that you don’t sign a contract and you can move your service to a different provider at any time without paying any termination fees.

That said, there are now a number of SIM Only phone plans that do have a contract, usually a 12-month contract. These plans tend to be among the best value plans available and are worth considering, even if it means locking yourself into a contract for a year.

A SIM Only plan is usually a Postpaid plan, meaning you pay for your usage at the end of the month. Your monthly payment may include additional charges if you use excess data, or make international calls that aren’t included in your plan.

Most Prepaid phone plans are also SIM Only, in that they don’t come with a phone included. However, there are key differences between Postpaid and Prepaid plans, so we often look at Prepaid plans separately to Postpaid SIM Only plans. As well as paying for your usage at the start of the month, Prepaid plans are always month-to-month and don’t include excess usage fees.

What’s the difference between Postpaid and Prepaid?

It can be hard to tell the difference between Postpaid and Prepaid plans when you’re comparing the terms and inclusions. In most ways Postpaid and Prepaid plans are identical these days.

The main difference is when you pay for the service, and as you’ve probably guessed, the key is the name. With a Prepaid phone plan, you pay upfront by recharging your account. If you don’t have any credit on the account, you won’t be able to use the account until you’ve topped up. With a Postpaid service, your carrier will send you a bill at the end of the month.

This becomes important when looking at excess data charges. If you have a Postpaid plan and you reach your data limit, you will be charged extra for the data you use after this point. With a Prepaid plan, the data is cut off and you are safe from the shock of a giant bill in the mail.

Also, a Postpaid plan is sort of like a line of credit, which means that the phone carriers will run a credit check before you sign up. If you have had trouble with credit in the past, then a Prepaid plan is a better option.

What is the best unlimited plan? Is unlimited really unlimited?

The word unlimited is thrown around a lot when talking about phone plans, so it is important to be clear about what part of the plan is unlimited, or not. Today, most phone plans include unlimited calls and messages in Australia, and a number of plans include unlimited calls and messages to overseas phone numbers too.

Telstra and Vodafone both offer plans that slow your internet connection once you reach your monthly data limit. Telstra plans drop to 1.5Mbps, which is fast enough for a bit of web browsing and streaming some music, but Vodafone recently upped the cap speed and separated it into tiers. Cheaper SIM Only plans are capped at 2Mbps, mid-range plans slow to 10Mbps, and the most expensive plan slows speeds to a very manageable 25Mbps. TPG recently started a new brand called Felix, which isn’t just pitched as a carbon-neutral service, its current single-plan offering has unlimited data, albeit capped at “up to” 5Mbps.

If you were hoping to find an unlimited data plan, it is important to figure out what you’re really looking for. On average, the Australian monthly mobile data usage was 9GB in June 2018 (according to the last release of the June 2018 ABS Internet Activity Survey), which suggested a trend of roughly 20 percent additional mobile data usage every six months. Today, this would mean the average Aussie is using around 20GB of data per month, so unlimited data isn’t particularly essential based on current usage patterns.

If you’re looking to use mobile data for the internet at home, then you should take a look at a Home Wireless Broadband plan. These plans use the mobile phone network, and come with a modem that is robust enough to connect a household’s worth of laptops, tablets and smart devices.