The best SIM-only mobile plans in Australia (July 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
Iinet
Mobile 40GB Plan
🔥First 6 months for
$15
/mth
Typical price
$29.99/mth
Data
40GB
Best cheap SIM-only plan
Kogan Mobile
Small Monthly Plan
🔥
200GB data bank
Typical price
$15/mth
Data
10GB
Best big-data SIM-only plan
Southern Phone
Large 5G SIM Plan
🔥First 6 months for
$29
/mth
Typical price
$34/mth
Data
80GB
Best epic-data SIM-only plan
AGL-logo
5G Large
🔥
Even cheaper for AGL energy users
Typical price
$50/mth
Data
160GB
Best 5G SIM-only plan
Moose Mobile
Moose 44.80 Promo
🔥First 6 months for
$44.80
/mth
Typical price
$54.80/mth
Data
200GB
Nathan Lawrence
Jul 02, 2024
Icon Time To Read11 min read

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 upwards of $55 for hundreds of gigabytes of data.

The only thing you need to use a SIM-only plan is an unlocked mobile phone, like 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 mobile phone and, except for Telstra Upfront SIM-only plans, is paid for at the end of every billing month. In Australia, SIM-only plans are typically no-contract offerings that include unlimited national talk and text. What you’re effectively paying 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/banking.

Best value SIM-only plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB 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.

Research 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 our best value SIM-only category.

iiNet returns to claim its crown, which was temporarily snagged by a Moose Mobile promotional plan. The iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan typically costs $29.99 per month, but new iiNet customers pay a reduced $15 monthly fee for the first six months. Either price covers 40GB of Vodafone 4G data. Outside of the initial promotional pricing, iiNet offers free express delivery for physical SIM cards alongside support for eSIM-compatible mobile phones. Alternatively, consider the cheaper typical pricing for the same data with the Kogan Mobile Medium Monthly Plan, or the Moose Mobile 20.80 Promo plan on the Optus 5G network.

Main plan details

  • Data: 40GB
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: PAYG
  • International roaming: PAYG
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $269.94

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 (at least not initially).

Best cheap SIM-only plan

Kogan Mobile Small Monthly Plan

How we chose the best SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 10GB of base data (capped at $25 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.

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 opting for less data. Choosing a SIM-only plan with 10GB is enough for basic monthly mobile data needs, plus it’s more manageable if your mobile phone tends to be connected to WiFi most of the time.

Now that the Moose Mobile 9.80 promo has expired, Kogan Mobile swoops in to take the top spot with its Small Monthly Plan. There may not be promotional pricing, but the $15 monthly fee is a competitive price for 10GB of Vodafone 4G data. This Kogan winner also comes with 200GB of data rollover to store unused megabytes between months, plus support for eSIM mobile phones. For cheap alternatives with more data, consider the Spintel $22 Mobile Plan or the iiNet Mobile 16GB Plan.

Main plan details

  • Data: 10GB
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 200GB
  • Cost for first 12 months: $180

How does this SIM-only mobile plan compare?

For other 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 (at least not initially).

Best big-data SIM-only plan

Southern Phone Large 5G SIM Plan

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.

For SIM-only data, 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 video on their daily commute. In this category, we consider SIM-only plans with up to 150GB of monthly data.

Southern Phone snags the top spot this month with its Large 5G SIM plan. If you’re new to Southern Phone, you’ll pay a $29 monthly fee for the first six months if you sign up by 12 August 2024. After that, this SIM-only plan typically costs $34 per month. Either way, you’ll get 80GB of Optus 5G data. While speeds are capped at 100Mbps, that’s fast enough for every smartphone use case (outside of ridiculously fast app and file downloads). The Southern Phone winner also comes with $50 of international call credit. For more data (at a bigger cost), consider the Moose Mobile 27.80 Promo plan or the Spintel $35 Mobile Plan.

Main plan details

  • Data: 80GB
  • Network: Optus 5G (100Mbps cap)
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: $50 credit
  • International roaming: None
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $378

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 (at least initially).

Best epic-data SIM-only plan

AGL 5G 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. Perhaps you stream so much video and download so many apps on the go that you need hundreds of gigabytes of data. Or maybe you hotspot for work or play. If that sounds familiar, this epic-data SIM-only 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.

AGL wins this month with its 5G Large plan that doesn’t need promotional pricing to be competitive. The epic-data winner costs $50 per month for 160GB of Optus 5G data, albeit capped at 100Mbps download speeds. In fairness, that’s still fast enough for every main smartphone task. It also comes with $50 of international call credit, plus eSIM support. If you’re an AGL energy customer, sign up by 12 August 2024 to get $30 monthly pricing for the first six months, then a $40 monthly fee thereafter. For epic-data alternatives, consider the Moose Mobile 44.80 Promo plan or the Mate Soul Mates 5G plan.

Main plan details

  • Data: 160GB
  • Network: Optus 5G (100Mbps cap)
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: $50 credit
  • International roaming: None
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $600

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

Moose 44.80 Promo

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. But 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, better yet, uncapped download speeds. Note that you don’t really need download speeds beyond 100Mbps for a mobile plan, but we do like SIM-only plans that let you tap into at least some of the speed potential of Australia’s 5G networks.

Moose Mobile is offering a deal that’s too good to ignore. The Moose 44.80 Promo plan normally costs $54.80 per month. But new Moose customers pay a discounted $44.80 monthly fee for the first six months. Either price includes 200GB of Optus 5G data with uncapped speeds. If you don’t burn through all of the data, there’s a 200GB data bank to carry over unused gigabytes. You also get $400 of credit for calls and texts to all international dialling destinations. For 5G alternatives, consider the Mate Soul Mates 5G plan or the Belong 100GB Mobile Plan.

Main plan details

  • Data: 200GB
  • Network: Optus 5G
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: $400 credit
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 200GB
  • Cost for first 12 months: $597.60

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 (at least initially).

Popular Telstra network SIM-only plan

Belong 25GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the popular SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Telstra network SIM-only mobile plans on 3 July 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 Belong 25GB Mobile Plan was still the most popular SIM-only plan on the Telstra network. For $29 a month ($30 from 30 July 2024) you get 25GB of max-speed data, with no excess data charges. Admittedly, post-25GB speeds are throttled to 1Mbps, which isn’t particularly fast. Within the data cap, though, expect max download speeds up to 150Mbps on the Telstra 5G network, plus you can store or gift unused gigabytes. The More 12GB Mobile SIM and the Tangerine 12GB Mobile SIM plan were also popular Telstra network SIM-only picks at the start of the month.

Main plan details

  • Data: 25GB
  • Network: Telstra 5G (150Mbps cap)
  • eSIM: No
  • International calls: No
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: Unlimited
  • Cost for first 12 months: $359

Other popular Telstra network SIM-only plans

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

Popular Optus network SIM-only plan

$52 Optus Choice Plus Plan

How we chose the popular SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Optus network SIM-only mobile plans on 3 July 2024.

The Optus mobile network is nipping at the hells of the coverage potential of the Telstra network, supporting a selection of telcos that deliver solid coverage options with competitive pricing. Consider the Optus network if you’re after widespread 4G coverage or faster 5G options.

At the start of the month, the $52 Optus Choice Plus Plan was the most popular pick. That $52 monthly fee comes with 50GB of Optus 5G data, which is capped at 1.5Mbps for the duration of your billing cycle if you go over the allowance. This popular Optus plan also comes with three months of Amazon Prime. The Dodo $10 Mobile Plan and the Moose 16.80 Promo plan were also popular Optus network SIM-only picks at the start of the month.

Main plan details

  • Data: 50GB
  • Network: Optus 5G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: None
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 200GB
  • Cost for first 12 months: $624

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 popular SIM-only mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Vodafone network SIM-only mobile plans on 3 July 2024.

While its 5G coverage 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), all of which use the same network.

At the start of the month, the iiNet Mobile 8GB Plan returned as the most popular SIM-only plan on the Vodafone network. New customers pay a $10 monthly fee for the first six months instead of the usual $19.99 monthly cost. Whether you’re paying promo or typical pricing, you get 8GB of monthly data on the Vodafone 4G network. The Vodafone $49 Small SIM Only Plan and the iiNet Mobile 55GB Plan were also popular Vodafone SIM-only plans at the start of the month.

Main plan details

  • Data: 8GB
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • eSIM: Yes
  • International calls: PAYG
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 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 texts in Australia, so you’re ultimately 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 three 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 potentially 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 to 20GB of data minimum 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 constantly need to top up or get stung with excess-data bills, upgrade to a plan with more gigabytes.

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 good, but it’s not as 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, too. If that’s you, pick a mobile provider with competitive ongoing pricing relative to your data needs. Alternatively, 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 plan inclusions. eSIM, for instance, is a great way to avoid having to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive. International talk and/or text is another consideration, as is straightforward international roaming via add-ons rather than pay-as-you-go (PAYG) credit or telcos that require a roaming prepayment. Whatever the plan perk, don’t pay more for a plan feature if you don’t intend on using it.

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 SIM-only 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 respective 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 any relevant 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 cheaper first-year costs. That said, 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 we favour most are eSIM convenience, international talk and text, as well as data banking/rollover. We also 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

What’s the difference between postpaid and prepaid?

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 ahead of use. Once a prepaid plan’s data is exhausted, you have to top up. Conversely, postpaid (SIM-only) plans may charge extra fees or cap your speeds for the rest of the billing cycle.

Do SIM-only plans need a credit check?

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.

Is unlimited really unlimited for SIM-only?

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 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 noticeably slowed until the next billing cycle.

Can I use a SIM-only plan for home internet?

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.

How much data do I need?

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 or smartphone to track monthly data use and switch to a plan with less or more data based on your data tracking.

When do you pay for a SIM-only plan?

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.

What happens if I go over my monthly data allowance?

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 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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