The best SIM Only plans available in Australia (June 2022)

Hanging onto your phone and choosing a BYO plan is the best way to save money on your bill. Check out June’s best SIM Only mobile plans.

Best value SIM plan
Belong
Belong 100GB Mobile Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$45
/mo
Data per month
200GB
Typical monthly cost
$45
Network
Telstra 4G
Best cheap SIM plan
Moose Mobile
Moose 16.80 SIM Only Promo
4 out of 5 stars
4
First year from
$16.80
/mo
Data per month
25GB
Typical monthly cost
$23.80
Network
Optus 4G
Best big-data SIM plan
Vodaphone
Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
Fee for life of plan
$65
/mo
Data per month
Unlimited
Typical monthly cost
$85
Network
Vodafone 5G
Best SIM for perks
Woolsworth Mobile
Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$35
/mo
Data per month
42GB
Typical monthly cost
$35
Network
Telstra 4G
Most popular Telstra SIM
Belong
Belong 40GB Mobile Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$35
/mo
Data per month
80GB
Typical monthly cost
$35
Network
Telstra 4G
June 01, 2022
11 min read

So you’ve got a new iPhone 13 or Google Pixel 6 (or any other handset) and want the right SIM Only plan to pair it with. We’ve got you covered. SIM Only plans are a great way to get a lot of data for not a lot of money with some great perks. Prices start around $10 for a decent amount of data and stretch closer to $100 for hundreds of gigabytes or even unlimited data.

These days, SIM Only plans tend to not have contracts, so it’s even easier to shift between plans and/or providers when a better deal comes along. To offer a meaningful snapshot of the landscape of the SIM Only plans in our comparison engine, we break things down into focused categories.
There are a lot of familiar winners this month, with the only major category changes in the best value and best budget categories, with heaps of data from Belong for the former and competitive pricing from Southern Phone for the latter.

Scroll on for the full breakdown.

If you’re the kind of person who only wants the best deals, take a look at the table below for the most popular SIM Only deals in Australia this week.

Best value SIM Only plan

Belong 100GB Mobile Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great dollars-to-data value
Pro Bullet 100GB data
Pro Bullet 100GB bonus data
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Potential for excess data costs
Con Bullet Telstra wholesale network premium

If you want great value, you really should look at a Circles.Life plan as your basis of comparison. Why? Even when the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan is between regularly occurring promotions, it’s still the yardstick by which other big-data SIM Only plans are measured.

But things are different again this month, with Belong offering a too-good-to-ignore deal. You might think the Belong 100GB Mobile Plan has a name that says it all outside of the $45 monthly fee, but it’s got a lot more going on right now. For starters, new sign ups who get in by 30 June 2022 score 100GB of bonus data, which means 200GB of data to use for the first 12 months. Belong users can also gift unused data to other Belong customers or perpetually roll over unused data to the next month.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular big-data SIM Only plans with at least 70GB of data.

Best cheap SIM Only plan

Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM Only Promo

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great promo pricing
Pro Bullet 25GB data
Pro Bullet Optus network coverage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Typical pricing isn’t great
Con Bullet Potential for excess data costs
Con Bullet No real perks

For a stretch, Moose Mobile was out of the running for this category because it dropped its long-running promo pricing. But with the return of the promotional pricing, Moose Mobile is back to reclaim its crown. The Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM Only Promo plan offers an enticing $16.80 monthly fee for the first year.

After that first year, the price reverts to $23.80 a month, so definitely bookmark this page for 12 months from now if you’re keen to see the latest winner for this category. Whichever price you’re paying, you get 25GB of data on the Optus network.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans that don’t cost more than $20 per month (at least initially).

Best big-data SIM Only plan

Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great promo pricing
Pro Bullet Unlimited max-speed data
Pro Bullet 3 months of Amazon Music
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet 30GB max-speed hotspot
Con Bullet 2Mbps post-cap hotspot speeds
Con Bullet Vodafone 5G network footprint

We try not to pick a winner for this category that costs more than $70 a month. While hundreds of gigabytes looks great on paper, it really depends on how much of your max-speed allocation you use each month. Optus and Telstra have big-data plans typically priced over $100 per month, but Vodafone continues to offer a $20 discount for its $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan.

This Vodafone plan foregoes the need to count gigabytes as it comes with unlimited max-speed data, which has the potential to be particularly speedy if you’re in a Vodafone 5G area. That $65 monthly fee is for the life of the plan, too (just get in before the offer is withdrawn). This Vodafone plan also includes 30GB of max-speed hotspot data (capped at 2Mbps thereafter) and three months of Amazon Music.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 100GB of data.

Best SIM Only plan for perks

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 10% off monthly Woolies shop
Pro Bullet 42GB data
Pro Bullet Unlimited calls to 22 countries
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No promo pricing
Con Bullet Dollar-to-data value isn’t great
Con Bullet Potential for excess data costs

Woolworths Mobile is back yet again with its $35 SIM Only plan, which includes a few tempting perks. That $35 monthly fee nets you 42GB of data (up from 35GB and, more recently, 40GB), which is a great starting point. Any data you don’t use can be stored in a 500GB data bank (up from 300GB).

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 40GB of data.

Most popular Telstra network SIM Only plan

Belong 40GB Mobile Plan

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Telstra network.

The Belong 20GB Mobile Plan tends to be the most popular pick on the Telstra network for SIM Only plans, but it’s lost out at the start of this month to another Belong plan. Sign up for the Belong 40GB Mobile Plan before the end of June and you’ll score 40GB of bonus data each month on top of the 40GB base data for the first year. Belong users can also gift unused data to other Belong customers or roll over unused data to the next month.

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

Most popular Optus network SIM Only plan

Southern Phone Small Plus SIM Only Plan

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Optus network.

Circles.Life plans tend to dominate the popular pick of SIM Only plans on the Optus network, but that’s changed again at the start of this month. The Southern Phone Small Plus SIM Only Plan is likely the top popularity pick currently because of a six-month pricing promotion (which expires 31 July 2022). Instead of the $15 typical monthly fee for 10GB of data, it’s $10 a month for the first six months.

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

Most popular Vodafone network SIM Only plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network.

For the last few months, iiNet has been the popular telco when it comes to finding SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network. At the start of this month, the iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan yet again has a commanding lead.

As the plan name says, this iiNet SIM Only plan comes with 40GB of data. The price isn’t in the plan name, though, and while you’ll normally pay $29.99 a month, new sign-ups pay a $15 monthly fee for the first six months. Bundle this plan with an iiNet internet plan to also score 80GB of bonus data each month.

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

Best budget SIM Only plan

Southern Phone Small Plus SIM Only

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great promotional pricing
Pro Bullet Solid ongoing pricing
Pro Bullet 10GB data
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet $10 per 1GB excess data
Con Bullet No real features

This category used to be a toss-up between the Moose Mobile 12.80 SIM Only Promo plan and the Circles.Life 5GB Monthly plan, but that’s not the case this month. That’s because Southern Phone has lowered the price of one of its plans to offer great value.

The Southern Phone Small Plus SIM Only Plan normally costs $15 a month for its 10GB of data. But get in by 31 July 2022 to score a $5 monthly discount for the first six months. For context, that $10-per-month initial pricing is the same as the typical pricing for the Southern Phone Small SIM Only Plan, which only comes with 2GB of data.

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).

Want a cheap phone for your cheap SIM Only plan?

Take a look at some of our top picks for the best budget smartphones you can buy in Australia.
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Display size
Refresh rate
5G
Rating
OPPO A74 5G
From
$399
6.5-inches90HzYes
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Nokia G21Nokia G21
From
$299
6.5-inches90HzNo
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Samsung A23 4GSamsung A23 4G
From
$399
6.6-inches90HzNo
4 out of 5 stars
4
Motorola Edge 20 FusionMotorola Edge 20 Fusion
From
$449
6.7-inches90HzYes
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
RealMe 7 5GRealme 7 5G
From
$449
6.5-inches120HzYes
4 out of 5 stars
4

What to look for in a SIM Only plan

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 most expansive, 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. Check out how the mobile networks compare in terms of 4G coverage:

  • Telstra: 99.4% of the Australian population (up from 99.2%)
  • 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.

Outside of coverage and cost, the other big important consideration is data. While a few gigabytes might be enough for a casual user, there are reasonably priced SIM Only plans that come with 100GB or more. The final consideration is plan perks, which can help add great ongoing value to a SIM Only plan.

How we choose the best SIM Only 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 SIM Only 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 more than 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 they are a rarity these days, so 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 SIM Only 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.

As for specific categories, we cap our best-value picks at $50 a month, and it’s a similar capped story for the best cheap and best cheapest SIM Only plans, capped at $20 and $15, respectively (though a cheaper monthly fee is even better). We also limit our big-data picks to plans that cost less than $70, as certain SIM Only plans have typical pricing above $100 a month, which we think is a high cost to pay compared to competing big-data SIM Only plans. Finally, for our best-perks picks, we look at the quantity and quality of extras that come with SIM Only plans in our database.

Bullhorn
Coverage is essential
As we consider the best SIM Only 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 Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks. People living in regional areas need to research the network coverage in their areas.

SIM Only FAQs

A SIM Only plan is a phone plan that covers your talk, text and data usage, but doesn’t come with a mobile phone. 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 (or an eSIM for newer devices). Every mobile phone needs a SIM card or eSIM that identifies your account on your carrier’s network, and every time you switch providers you need a new SIM card or eSIM. Most SIM Only plans are ‘month-to-month’ or ‘no-contract plans’, meaning 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 some SIM Only phone plans that do have a contract, usually for 12 months. 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. Except for Telstra Upfront, SIM Only plans are paid for 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.
It can be hard to tell the difference between Postpaid and Prepaid plans when you’re comparing the terms and inclusions. In many respects, Postpaid and Prepaid plans have similar offerings 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 (except for Telstra Upfront plans, which are paid ahead of usage). This becomes important when looking at excess data charges. If you have a Postpaid plan and you reach your data limit, you may be charged extra for the data you use after this point. Some providers like Telstra, Vodafone and Optus cap speeds once you exceed your max-speed monthly data quota. 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.

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 several plans include unlimited calls and messages to overseas phone numbers, too.

Telstra, Vodafone and Optus offer plans that slow your internet connection once you reach your monthly data limit. Telstra and Optus plans drop to 1.5Mbps, which is fast enough for a bit of web browsing and streaming some music, but Vodafone has upped its cap speed and separated it into tiers based on how much you pay. Cheaper SIM Only plans are capped at 2Mbps, mid-range plans slow to 10Mbps, and the most expensive data-capped plan slows speeds to a very manageable 25Mbps. TPG started a new brand called Felix Mobile, which isn’t just pitched as a carbon-neutral service, its current single-plan offering has unlimited data, albeit capped at “up to” 20Mbps.

If you were hoping to find an unlimited data phone plan, that finally exists in Australia care of the Vodafone $85 Ultra+ Plan. This Vodafone SIM Only plan offers unlimited max-speed data, with the only caveat being that hotspot max-speed data is restricted to 30GB (capped at 2Mbps thereafter).

That typical monthly fee is quite steep for unlimited data, so it’s important to figure out what you’re really looking for from your plan data. On average, the Australian monthly SIM Only mobile data usage was 11.8GB in June 2021 (according to the ACCC’s Communications market report 2020–2021), which continues to suggest a trend of roughly 20% additional mobile data usage every six months. Using this logic, the average Aussie is using just under 17GB of data per month nowadays, so unlimited data isn’t particularly essential based on current usage patterns. It’s worth noting that the median data allowance for SIM Only plans according to that same report is 35GB.

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

More popular SIM only deals

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Take a look at the list below for a more comprehensive list of some of the best SIM Only deals available in Australia this week.

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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