The best SIM-only mobile plans in Australia (March 2024)

We pick the best SIM-only mobile plans each month for all users: everyday, cheap, iPhone, big data and more.

Best value SIM-only plan
Southern Phone
Southern Phone Medium SIM-only Plan
🔥First 3 months for
$20
/mth
Typical price
$25/mth
Data
50GB
Best cheap SIM-only plan
Spintel
Spintel $22 Mobile Plan
🔥First 6 months for
$14
/mth
Typical price
$22/mth
Data
25GB
Best big-data SIM-only plan
Moose Mobile
Moose 28.80 SIM Only
🔥First 12 months for
$28.80
/mth
Typical price
$36.80/mth
Data
100GB
Best epic-data SIM-only plan
AGL-logo
AGL 4G Large
🔥 Bundle for
$15/mth discount
Typical price
$50/mth
Data
250GB
Best 5G SIM-only plan
Tangerine Telcom
Tangerine 150GB 5G Mobile Sim
Starts at
$58/mth
Typical price
$58/mth
Data
150GB
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 12, 2024
Icon Time To Read10 min read

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If you want a good mix of price, data and features, all wrapped up in a monthly payment, SIM-only mobile plans may be up your alley. Our comparison engine has SIM-only mobile plans from a starting promotional price of $10 a month for a little data, or you can pay up to around $70 for hundreds of gigabytes of data.

The only thing you need with a SIM-only plan is an unlocked mobile phone, be that an iPhone 15, Samsung Galaxy S24, a Google Pixel 8 or any other smartphone.

Scroll on for the best SIM-only plans this month, including picks for everyday use, big-data needs, cheap alternatives, and more.

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What is a SIM-only plan?

A SIM-only plan is one that’s sold without a phone and, except for Telstra Upfront SIM-only plans, is typically paid at the end of every month. In Australia, SIM-only plans are typically no-contract offerings that include unlimited national talk and text. What you’re really paying more or less for is the monthly data allowance.

Outside of data caps, SIM-only telcos typically compete on plan inclusions. Features start at a network level, with the main Telstra and Telstra wholesale networks being the most widespread, followed by Optus and Vodafone. Other perks may include access to 5G with varying speeds, international inclusions and data rollover.

Best value SIM-only plan

Southern Phone Medium SIM-only Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 30GB of base data (capped at $40 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

Data from the ACCC’s Internet activity report says that Australians are using around 16GB of data per month. This average data usage grows each year, which is why we use 30GB as a comfortable baseline to cover the recommended plans for this SIM-only category.

This month, Southern Phone is our favourite with its Medium SIM Only Plan. For $20 a month, you’ll get 50GB of data on the Optus 4G network. Better still, new sign-ups pay a $20 monthly fee for the first three months, improving the overall first-year value. This Southern Phone SIM-only plan also comes with $50 of international call credit. For alternatives, consider Moose Mobile’s 24.80 SIM Only plan (40GB), which includes Optus 5G, or Kogan Mobile’s Medium Monthly Plan (40GB) on the Vodafone 4G network.

Main plan details

  • Data: 50GB
  • Network: Optus 4G
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: $50 credit
  • International roaming: No
  • Data rollover: No
  • Cost over 12 months: $285

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

For more contenders, check out these popular SIM-only mobile plans with at least 30GB of data, which don’t cost more than $40 per month.

Best cheap SIM-only plan

Spintel $22 Mobile Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 10GB (capped at $25 per month) of base data then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

While the average monthly SIM-only data use is higher than 10GB in Australia, the best way to save money with a mobile plan is by opting for less data. Choosing a SIM-only plan with 10GB is enough for basic to moderate monthly mobile data needs, plus it’s more manageable if your mobile phone tends to be connected to WiFi most of the time.

Our favourite cheap SIM-only plan this month is the Spintel $22 Mobile Plan, which comes with 25GB of data on the Optus 4G network. New sign-ups pay a $22 monthly fee for the first six months before the plan reverts to its typical $22 monthly cost. For cheaper plans with lower data caps, consider the Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM Only plan (15GB) on the Optus 5G network or the Kogan Mobile Small Monthly Plan (10GB) on the Vodafone 4G network.

Main plan details

  • Data: 25GB
  • Network: Optus 4G
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: None
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: No
  • Cost over 12 months: $216

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

For more cheap SIM-only alternatives, consider these popular picks from our database, which have at least 10GB of data and don’t cost more than $25 per month.

Best big-data SIM-only plan

Moose Mobile 28.80 SIM Only

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 60GB of base data (capped at $55 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

30GB is more than enough for most SIM-only users. But if you’re craving more gigabytes, you don’t have to spend a whole lot more to get at least 60GB of monthly data. This big-data category is great for people who are heavy social media users and like to stream videos on their daily commute.

This month, Moose Mobile takes the top spot with its Moose 28.80 SIM Only plan. New sign-ups pay a very competitive $28.80 per month for the first year. After the first 12 months, the place price reverts to a $36.80 typical monthly fee. For that price you get 100GB of Optus 5G data, which is capped at 100Mbps download speeds, but you do get 200GB of data rollover. That’s plenty of speed to download, stream and play for hours on your mobile phone.

Main plan details

  • Data: 100GB
  • Network: Optus 5G (100Mbps)
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: Call credit
  • International roaming: PAYG + prepayment
  • Data rollover: 200GB
  • Cost over 12 months: $345.60

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

If you’re keen to check out more big-data contenders, have a look at this list of popular SIM-only plans with a minimum of 60GB of data that are capped at $55-per-month.

Best epic-data SIM-only plan

AGL 4G Large

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 150GB of base data then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

Okay, so maybe 60GB isn’t enough. Maybe you stream so much video and download so many apps on the go that you need hundreds of gigabytes of data. Or perhaps you hotspot for work or play. If that sounds familiar, this epic-data category is for you. These days, there are plenty of telcos offering 150GB+ SIM-only plans, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for them.

Our favourite this month is the AGL 4G Large plan, which comes with a chunky 250GB of data. Admittedly, that’s on the Optus 4G network, so don’t expect to get download speeds beyond 100Mbps, but 4G speeds are enough for any application on a mobile device. This AGL SIM-only plan costs $50 a month or its cheaper if you bundle it with AGL gas or electricity. For a big-data alternative, consider the Moose Mobile 44.80 SIM-only plan, which comes with 200GB of Optus 5G data (capped at 100Mbps).

Main plan details

  • Data: 250GB
  • Network: Optus 4G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: $300 credit
  • International roaming: No
  • Data rollover: No
  • Cost over 12 months: $537.60

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

There are plenty of other epic-data SIM-only plans in our database. These popular picks have at least 150GB of data.

Best 5G SIM-only plan

Tangerine 150GB 5G Mobile Sim

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked 5G SIM-only mobile plans with at least 60GB of base data (capped at $60 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

There was a time when 5G plans were relegated to the network owners. Not anymore. While 5G SIM-only plans are plentiful, a bunch of them come with restrictive download caps. For this category, we favour 5G SIM-only plans with either fast download caps (150Mbps+) or uncapped data.

With that in mind, our 5G SIM-only plan for this month is the Tangerine Telecom 150GB 5G Mobile SIM. That plan name has all the key info outside of the monthly price, which is $58. Get in by the end of February 2024 to nab two months for free. You’ll enjoy up to 250Mbps Telstra 5G download speeds for that 150GB of data, plus you can take advantage of unlimited calls to 15 selected dialling destinations. Alternatively, if you have Vodafone 5G in your area, consider the uncapped 5G speeds of the Vodafone $59 Medium SIM Only Plan (180GB) or the Belong 160GB Mobile Plan (160GB), which operates on the Telstra 5G network.

Main plan details

  • Data: 150GB
  • Network: Telstra 5G
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: Unlimited to 15 destinations
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 500GB
  • Cost over 12 months: $580

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

There are other 5G SIM-only plans to choose from. Here are the popular picks today from our comparison engine with at least 60GB of data that don’t cost more than $60 per month.

Popular Telstra network SIM-only plan

Belong 25GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Telstra network SIM-only mobile plans on 8 February 2024.

Telstra and Boost Mobile customers get access to the full Telstra mobile network. But there are also plenty of other telcos that operate on the slightly smaller but still expansive Telstra wholesale network. This category is designed to acknowledge the popularity of the Telstra network with SIM-only users.

At the start of the month, the Tangerine 12GB Mobile SIM was the most popular pick. It comes with 12GB of Telstra 4G data for $22 a month. Get in before the end of February to nab a $0 fee for the first two months. Tangerine sells eSIM-ready plans, so you don’t have to wait for a physical SIM card with the right mobile phone, plus there’s a 500GB data bank to store unused gigabytes.

Main plan details

  • Data: 12GB
  • Network: Telstra 4G (100Mbps)
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: No
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 500GB
  • Cost over 12 months: $220

Other popular Telstra network SIM-only plans

You’ll find other popular Telstra network SIM-only plans below.

Popular Optus network SIM-only plan

Dodo $10 Mobile Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Optus network SIM-only mobile plans on 8 February 2024.

The Optus mobile network is nipping at the Telstra network’s heels, supporting a selection of telcos that deliver good coverage options with competitive pricing. The Optus network is built for those after widespread 4G coverage or faster 5G options.

At the start of the month, the Dodo Mobile $10 Mobile Plan was the most popular SIM-only plan on the Optus network. It comes with 2GB of Optus 4G data and no excess data charges, albeit speeds are capped to a sluggish 256Kbps if you go over your monthly allocation. Still, that’s a great regular price for those with basic mobile data needs.

Main plan details

  • Data: 2GB
  • Network: Optus 4G
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: $5 add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: No
  • Cost over 12 months: $120

Other popular Optus network SIM-only plans

Check out more popular Optus network SIM-only plans from our database.

Popular Vodafone network SIM-only plan

iiNet Mobile 8GB Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Vodafone network SIM-only mobile plans on 8 February 2024.

While its 5G network isn’t as widespread, most Australians can happily access the Vodafone 4G network. And with that access comes some great comparative SIM-only savings, both from Vodafone SIM-only plans as well as Vodafone mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) who all use the same network.

At the start of the month, the iiNet Mobile 8GB Plan was the most popular SIM-only pick on the Vodafone network. Part of that appeal is likely because of the long-running iiNet six-month discount: $10 per month instead of the typical $19.99 monthly fee. Whether discounted or typical, that monthly price nets 8GB of Vodafone 4G data.

Main plan details

  • Data: 8GB
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: PAYG
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: No
  • Cost over 12 months: $179.94

Other popular Vodafone network SIM-only plans

For more popular Vodafone SIM-only plans, check out the list below.

Best mobile phone plans in Australia graphic for Reviews.org

The best mobile phone plans in Australia

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Have a gander at our mobile plan picks by clicking the link below.

What to look for in a SIM-only plan

All SIM-only mobile plans in our database come with unlimited calls and text in Australia, so you’re really dealing with data caps. The more you pay, the more data you get. But before you go too far down that rabbit hole, consider which mobile networks you have access to in the areas you frequent.

For most Australians, that’ll be all mobile networks, at least for 4G coverage. If you’ve had coverage issues in the past or travel a lot in Australia, particularly off the beaten track, a Telstra network plan is your best bet. For Aussies who frequent metro areas, you can also consider the generally cheaper Optus network plans and cheaper still Vodafone network options.

Use the interactive map below to get an idea of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone network coverage in the areas you visit most.

With the network out of the way, it’s time to think about data. Aim for around 15–20GB of data if you’re the average user. If you find you use less data each month, save money with a cheaper SIM-only plan. Alternatively, if you’re constantly needing to top up or getting stung with excess data bills, get a plan with more data.

Speaking of excess data, not every SIM-only telco charges for it these days but speeds may be capped to the point where doing more than just the online basics feels like a sluggish chore. To separate closely priced plans, we advise taking first-year costs into account. Six months of promotional pricing is great, but it’s not great if the typical price leaps to a point that nullifies the discount.

The data suggests that most people tend to stick with their telcos, though, so if that’s you, pick someone with competitive ongoing price relative to your data needs. If you find your monthly data usage fluctuates, go for a telco with data banking, so those quieter months can help support heavier months with stored gigabytes.

To help further separate contenders from your chosen telco, consider inclusions. eSIM, for instance, is a great way to avoid having to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive. International talk and text is another consideration, as is straightforward international roaming via add-ons rather than pay-as-you-go (PAYG) credit.

How to switch SIM-only plans

Changing SIM-only plans is straightforward. Once you’ve chosen the plan that’s best for you, follow these steps:

  1. Click the ‘Go to Site’ button next to the plan you want. Alternatively, if a link is not supplied, visit the telco’s site.
  2. On the telco’s site, confirm your SIM-only mobile plan selection and follow the prompts. You’ll likely have to create an account, provide personal details and may need to verify your identity.
  3. During plan sign-up, specify whether you’d like to transfer your number or get a new one. Also choose between eSIM or physical SIM card options (where available).

The benefit of eSIM is not having to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive by mail to start using your new plan. SIM activation should take around half an hour but it may take longer. Just remember to not remove your old physical SIM card for your current plan before the new one is ready to go.

icon-expertise

How we choose the best SIM-only plans

Every month, we re-evaluate the dozens of plans in our comparison engine relative to the categories outlined above. At the top level, plans are separated into relevant data, cost and/or network-type brackets, then we break down the first-year dollar-to-data value. Our dollar-to-data values are determined based on average monthly pricing, which factors in plan promo pricing.

Max plan cost caps for relevant categories help stop pricier plans with loads of data from automatically rising to the top, and we lean towards the ones with the cheapest first-year value. That said, the cheapest isn’t always the best per category, which is where we consider the network, whether it’s 4G or 5G, maximum plan speeds and relevant inclusions.

The perks that rise to the top for us are eSIM convenience, international talk and text, as well as data banking. We use an in-depth SIM-only schema with dozens of fields to separate contenders from winners based on price, data, features, support pathways and reported customer satisfaction.

SIM-only plans frequently asked questions

The big difference between postpaid and prepaid is when you pay: prepaid is upfront and postpaid is after the fact. The only exception is Telstra Upfront SIM-only plans, which are also paid upfront. Once a prepaid plan’s data is exhausted, you have to top up. Conversely, postpaid plans may charge extra fees or cap your speeds for the rest of the billing cycle.
Generally, SIM-only telcos will run a credit check during sign-up to ensure that you’re able to pay the mobile bill at the end of the month. If there are any credit-check issues, consider a prepaid plan instead.
Unlimited really is unlimited for SIM-only plans in terms of national calls and text. Data isn’t unlimited. Almost every SIM-only plan we track has a fixed max-speed data limit. Once a SIM-only plan’s max-speed data is exhausted, you’ll either be automatically charged for more data, use up stored gigabytes from your data bank or have speeds capped to a noticeably slower speed until the next billing cycle.
No, you shouldn’t use a SIM-only plan in lieu of home internet. NBN is the best choice for reliable home internet in Australia, generally with unlimited data, otherwise consider a 4G or 5G home internet plan.
According to the ACCC, you need at least 16GB of data on average per month. We recommend 10GB for light use, 30GB+ for everyday use and 60GB+ for heavier users. If you want a more specific answer, use your telco’s companion app to track monthly data use and switch to a plan with less or more data based on your data tracking.
Almost every SIM-only plan is paid for at the end of a billing month. Expect to receive a mobile bill on roughly the same day each month for a SIM-only plan. The main exception is Telstra Upfront plans, which are billed in advance of a month.
A few different things can happen if you go over your monthly data allowance. Some telcos automatically charge extra, either by megabyte, gigabyte or with a data bundle. Others have data banks that will be used to support extra data needs, if you have enough stored. Others still slow plan speeds significantly for the rest of the billing cycle.
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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