The best SIM only plans available in July 2020

Surprising no one, Circles.Life's 100GB is back from the dead, though this time its limited.
Best for Most

Our Rating

PlanCategoryDataMonthly cost
Circles.Life 100GBBest value100GB$28
Woolworths Mobile $40 SIM Best perks40GB$40
SpinTel $9.95 Mobile PlanBest on a budget1GB$9.95
Circles.Life 100GB Monthly PlanBest for big data100GB$28
CategoryDataMonthly cost
Best value100GB$28
Best perks40GB$40
Best on a budget1GB$9.95
Best for big data100GB$28
Recent Updates: 3 days ago
This July, we've revamped our best SIM-only picks to include more categories and providers. Somehow, Circles.Life manages to take the top spot again with its revived 100GB deal. The only difference with the new DATAMANIA deal is that it's limited to the first 6 months of use.
1 month ago
Circles.Life is back with two baller deals for both everyday and high-usage customers.
2 months ago
This May, it's gotta be Moose. Unless you're after buckets of data, in which case, circle back around for another 100GB deal from Circles.Life.
Less than 6 months
In April, Moose Mobile and Circles.Life are still in the top spots.

Welcome to our newly revamped best SIM Only plans page. This July, we’ve mixed things up to add more meaningful categories to help best match the right plans to your SIM Only needs. Whether you’re looking for a SIM Only plan with plenty of value, plenty of perks, budget-friendly pricing, or a mountain of data, we’ve got a category for that.

Our final three categories cover the most popular plan choices that our site visitors (just like you) have been engaging with, breaking down why they’re of interest. In terms of what makes a great SIM Only plan, we use unlimited talk and text as the basis, with a tendency towards no-contract offerings that mix the right price with a generous serving of data.

Best value SIM Only plan July 2020

Circles.Life 100GB Plan

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $28 per month
  • 100GB data
  • 3GB “bill shock” protection
  • Optus network
  • No contract

There’s no getting past this value. Even at the full asking price of $38 per month, it’s impossible to at least not consider Circles.Life’s 100GB Monthly Plan. The plan name is somewhat deceiving, because you’re really paying for 103GB of data, care of Circles.Life’s “bill shock” protection, which means the teclo will gift you 3GB of data if you manage to burn through that mountain of mobile data.

Outside of this, there’s not a lot of the way in perks, but from a pure dollars-to-data evaluation, it ticks the right boxes for data fiends. Punch in the DATAMANIA code at the checkout to score the 100GB Monthly Plan for $28 a month for the first six months, then $38 thereafter ($396 first-year cost).

Check out more best-value SIM Only plans below.

Best perks SIM Only plan July 2020

Woolworths Mobile $40 SIM Only

Woolworths Mobile $40 SIM Only at a glance:

  • $40 per month
  • 40GB data (22GB + 18GB bonus)
  • 10GB bonus data every quarter
  • 100GB data bank
  • Free 12-month Family Zone subscription
  • 10% off monthly shop
  • Telstra network
  • 12-month contract

Got an itch for perks? Woolworths Mobile has you scratched with a sizeable sum of meaningful perks. The basics of the telco’s $40 SIM Only plan are that it costs $40 for 40GB of data ($480 first-year cost), counted as 22GB core data and 18GB of bonus data.

Speaking of bonus data, while you are tied to a 12-month contract on this plan, you’ll also score a bonus 10GB every three months. Burn through it or save leftover data for your carried-forward data bank (up to 100GB).

Woolworths Mobile also throws in a 12-month subscription to Family Zone for one user and two devices, plus you get 10 percent off your Woolies shop on the second weekend of every month (up to $50).

You can see more best-perks SIM Only plans below.

Best on a budget SIM Only plan July 2020

SpinTel $9.95 Mobile Plan

SpinTel $9.95 Mobile Plan at a glance:

  • $9.95 per month
  • 1GB data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • $10 SIM activation fee waived
  • Optus network

Technically, this category is a battle between two plans. Pennytel’s Extra Small – 1GB plan is nearly identical to SpinTel’s $9.95 Mobile Plan in some key ways. They have the same unlimited talk and text, the same 1GB of data, and there’s no charge for the SIM card.

Pennytel arguably has the edge with the wider-spread Telstra network (vs SpinTel’s use of the Optus network), but loses out on the price front: $10.99 per month ($131.88 first-year cost). SpinTel’s monthly fee is consistent at $9.95 for a cheaper $119.40 first-year fee, which is why it beats the Pennytel plan on the all-important price front for this budget category.

There are more budget SIM Only plans below.

Best for big data SIM Only plan July 2020

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $28 per month
  • 100GB data
  • 3GB “bill shock” protection
  • Optus network
  • No contract

Strictly speaking, there are plans out there with more data, like the 500GB that’s part of the $119 Optus One Plan, the 180GB that’s part of Telstra’s $115 Extra Large SIM Plan, or even the 150GB that’s included in Vodafone’s $80 Red Plus SIM Only plan.

But even at $80, the cheapest of those three big-data SIM Only plans can’t possibly compete with the 103GB you get for $38 as part of Circles.Life’s 100GB Monthly Plan. That extra 3GB is part of Circles.Life’s “bill shock” protection if you burn through that 100GB cap. That’s the regular price, mind you, and currently you can slap on a DATAMANIA promo code during sign-up to nab $10 off for the first six months ($396 first-year cost).

Worst-case scenario: this no-contract plan means you can bail after the special pricing ends, in which case that $60 you saved can go towards one of those other plans from the big three.

For more big-data SIM Only plans, check out the list below.

Most popular SIM Only plan (Telstra) July 2020

Belong Regular 10GB Plan

Belong Regular 10GB Plan at a glance:

  • $25 per month
  • 10GB data
  • No extra data charges
  • Telstra network
  • No contract

It may have “Regular” in the title, but there’s one major abnormal feature about this SIM Only plan. Belong’s Regular 10GB Plan shuns the all-too-common trend of charging extra for mobile data – as if data is a scarce natural resource that has to be, ahem, “data mined” – and, instead, opts for shaped speeds. Granted, those speeds aren’t anything to write home about at 64Kbps, but it’s still a great way to avoid bill shock. If you really crave the extra data, you can always nab 2GB more for $10.

And there are other popular Telstra SIM Only plans below.

Most popular SIM Only plan (Optus) July 2020

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $18 per month (six months)
  • 20GB data
  • 3GB “bill shock” protection
  • Optus network
  • No contract

As long as Circles.Life continues to offer low prices with stacks of data, you should expect to see the SIM Only provider make regular appearances, not just in this category, but on this page. Circles.Life’s 100GB Monthly Plan has already appeared more than once, but it’s easy to see why the telco’s only other plan – the 20GB Monthly Plan – is so popular.

Even the regular asking price of $28 is a decent price for 20GB of data – more so considering this plan effectively has 23GB of data thanks to Circles.Life’s “bill shock” protection – but with the DATAMANIA promo code entered at sign-up, you can knock $10 off the asking price for six months ($276 first-year price).

Check out other popular Optus SIM Only plans below.

Most popular SIM Only plan (Vodafone) July 2020

Vodafone $60 Red Plus SIM Only

Vodafone $60 Red Plus SIM Only at a glance:

  • $60 per month
  • 100GB data
  • Capped 1.5Mbps speed after data cap
  • 12-month Amazon Prime subscription
  • International calls
  • $120 credit over 12 months
  • Bundle discounts
  • Vodafone network
  • No contract

With so many bullet points in our at-a-glance round-up, we get why people are regularly checking out Vodafone’s $60 Red Plus SIM Only plan. That $60 a month gets you 100GB of data ($720 first-year cost), and if you happen to edge over or blitz past it, speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps for the rest of the billing month.

You can save extra bucks by bundling eligible Vodafone plans under a single account, anywhere from five percent to 20 percent, plus this plan has unlimited calls to eligible Zone 1 countries and 200 minutes to selected Zone 2 dialling destinations. The big recently introduced perk, though, is the 12-month Amazon Prime subscription, which translates to a stack of perks, including free expediated national and international delivery on eligible items, Prime Video and Prime Music access, as well as Twitch Prime for the gamers and Prime Reading for the bookworms.

You can also see other popular Vodafone SIM Only plans below.

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.

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.

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 ‘monthly plans’ 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, 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 no-contract and don’t include excess usage fees.

Best SIM Only Plans

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.

But what most people want is a phone plan with unlimited data, and this sadly, doesn’t exist. There are no phone plans in Australia that have no data limits at all. Telstra and Vodafone both have plans that slow your connection when you reach your data limit, down from full speed to 1.5Mbps, or fast enough to do a bit of web browsing and stream some music.

If you were hoping to find an unlimited data plan, it is important to figure out what you’re really looking for. On average most Australians download about 8GB of data per month, so an unlimited phone plan would be overkill for most of us. If you’re looking for a protection from excess data charges, the plans from Vodafone and Telstra will give you this peace of mind, or you could choose a prepaid phone plan and remain completely in control of your monthly spend.

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.

  • Leave a Reply

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>