The best SIM Only plans available in April 2021

Changes to five of our seven categories, with only the best cheap SIM Only plan and the popular pick on the Vodafone network unchanged.
  • Best value

    20GB Monthly Plan

    4 out of 5 overall
    50GB p/mth
    $22 p/mth
  • Best cheap SIM Only

    12.80 SIM Only Promo

    3.5 out of 5 overall
    6GB p/mth
    $12.80 p/mth
  • Best for big data

    Felix $35 Subscription

    3 out of 5 overall
    Endless data
    $35 p/mth
  • Most popular Telstra

    20GB Mobile Plan

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

    20GB Monthly Plan

    4 out of 5 overall
    50GB p/mth
    $22 p/mth
Recent Updates: 3 days ago
Circles.Life takes out the top spot for best value SIM Only plan and the most popular pick on the Optus network. Woolworths Mobile returns for best perks, Felix is our top pick for data lovers, and Belong takes out the most popular pick on the Telstra network.
1 month ago
Not a lost has changed in March, but Vodafone has extended its promotional pricing and bonus data, which keeps it at the top of the pack for some key categories.
2 months ago
Big changes to three of our four core categories care of a big discount and a stack of data from Vodafone’s big-hitting $120 SIM Only Ultra Plan, plus some budget-friendly love from the Moose 12.80 SIM Only Promo.
Less than 6 months
At the start of January, all categories remain the same except that Circles.Life’s 100GB Monthly Plan snatches the top spot for best-value SIM Only plan.
Less than 6 months
The Circles.Life 8GB Monthly Plan takes out the top spot for those who get in quick, while the 500GB of data in the $119 Optus One Plan has proven to be a popular pick for SIM Only users.
Less than 6 months
Vodafone is offering great value across its SIM Only plans this month, and we’ve seen changes to six of our seven categories, including two of the three popular picks on the Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone networks.
More than 6 months
In October, we’ve tweaked the best perks pick to be more budget friendly. Tangerine has a great option for those SIM Only-ing on a budget. And there have also been changes in the most popular picks for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone SIM Only plans.
More than 6 months
In September, there are mix-ups across four of our seven categories: a perkier offer from Woolworths Mobile, a budget pick from SpinTel, and popularity changes for Optus (Circles.Life) and Vodafone plans.
More than 6 months
Circles.Life continues to flex its dominance and popularity for SIM Only plans in August.
More than 6 months
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.
More than 6 months
Circles.Life is back with two baller deals for both everyday and high-usage customers.
More than 6 months
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.
More than a year
In April, Moose Mobile and Circles.Life are still in the top spots.

It’s almost a complete overhaul this month with five of our seven best SIM Only categories taken out by new victors. The deceptively named Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan takes out the top spot for best value SIM Only plan and, understandably, the most popular SIM Only plan on the Optus network.

Meanwhile, Woolworths Mobile returns with the best perks SIM Only plan for April, while the Felix Mobile $35 Subscription is our top pick for those craving lots of data. Finally, the start of the month saw the Belong 20GB Mobile Plan as the most popular pick by quite a margin on the Telstra network. Scroll on to see the best SIM Only plans to pair with old or new smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12.

Best value SIM Only plan

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $22 per month (12 months)
  • $28 per month normally
  • 50GB data
  • 3GB bill-shock protection
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

Circles.Life is back to snatch a couple of categories after being absent for the past few months. If you’re after great SIM Only value in Australia, the Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan has hidden value beyond its plan name. What normally costs $28 a month for 20GB of data, instead is now $22 a month for the first year for 50GB of data ($264 first-year cost).

That’s a great price for plenty of SIM Only data, but even if you manage to blitz through 50GB, Circles.Life throws in 3GB of data to avoid bill shock, effectively making the Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan a 53GB offering.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans in Australia with at least 20GB of monthly data.

Best perks SIM Only plan

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only at a glance:

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

It wasn’t so long ago that Woolworths Mobile used to be the incumbent of this best perks SIM Only category, but that changed in the last few months. Now 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 ($420 first-year cost).

The first main perk is Woolworths Mobile operates on the Telstra wholesale network, which has the next best coverage behind being a Telstra customer. 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 SIM Only plans with at least 35GB of data.

Best cheap SIM Only plan

Moose 12.80 SIM Only Promo

Moose 12.80 SIM Only Promo at a glance:

  • $12.80 per month (first year)
  • $15.80 per month (after first year)
  • 6GB data
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

There’s tough competition in this category, which is great to see. You could easily opt for the old incumbent winner, the Circles.Life 8GB Monthly Plan, which currently costs $14 a month for the first year and comes with 8GB of data. Alternatively, if you’re cool with switching telcos after six months, the Spintel $14.95 Mobile Plan still costs $9.95 for the first half year and comes with 4GB of data.

Still, the best first-year value comes from Moose Mobile’s Moose 12.80 SIM Only Promo plan, which costs $12.80 per month for the first year before reverting to a $15.80 monthly fee if you stick around ($153.60 first-year cost). That’s $4.20 cheaper than the first-year cost of that Spintel plan, plus it has more data (6GB).

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

Felix $35 Subscription

Felix $35 Subscription at a glance:

  • $35 per month
  • Endless data
  • Capped at 20Mbps
  • Vodafone network
  • Month-to-month plan

If you want a full-speed plan with plenty of data, go with the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan, which is technically a 103GB plan and it only costs $30 for the first year ($360 first-year cost). But if you just did some mental maths to determine whether 103GB is enough for you, go with our April winner. Felix Mobile’s Felix $35 Subscription comes with “endless” data, with the main catch being that speeds are capped at 20Mbps.

The other catch is it’s technically Prepaid, but given it’s an ongoing automatic subscription (much like Telstra’s Upfront plans), we’re slotting it in the SIM Only section. Initially, Felix Mobile launched with 5Mbps speeds, which is too slow to keep up with seamless browsing and HD streaming needs, but 20Mbps is the right speed to make the concept of endless data not feel overly throttled.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans in Australia with at least 100GB of data.

Most popular Telstra network SIM Only plan

Belong 20GB Mobile Plan

Belong 20GB Mobile Plan at a glance:

  • $25 per month
  • 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. For the start of April, 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. Unlike that pricier Telstra plan above, you won’t have access to the 5G network, but 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 8 April 2021.

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

Most popular Optus network SIM Only plan

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan

Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan at a glance:

  • $22 per month (12 months)
  • $28 per month normally
  • 50GB data
  • 3GB bill-shock protection
  • Optus network
  • Month-to-month plan

It’s no surprise to see Circles.Life rise to the top of the most popular plan picks on the Optus network again this month. If it’s not the Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan, then you can bet that the Circles.Life 20GB Monthly Plan is going to be on the short list of popular Optus network SIM Only picks. Ignore the “20GB” in the plan name, because the first 12 months come with 50GB of data, plus 3GB of “bill-shock protection”, effectively making this a 53GB plan.

Better still, this plan normally costs $28 a month, but Circles.Life is charging $22 a month for the first year if you use the ‘50NEWYEAR’ code at sign-up ($264 first-year cost). Just get in by 30 April 2021 to take advantage of the bonus data and reduced first-year pricing.

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 8 April 2021.

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

Most popular Vodafone network SIM Only plan

Vodafone $40 SIM Only Lite Plan

Vodafone $40 SIM Only Lite Plan at a glance:

  • $40 per month
  • $60 credit over 12 months ($35 per month)
  • 10GB data
  • 40GB bonus data
  • Capped 2Mbps speed after data cap
  • 5G access
  • Vodafone network
  • Month-to-month plan

You get a lot for not spending a lot with the Vodafone $40 SIM Only Lite Plan. That $40 a month is effectively $35 a month for the first 12 months care of $60 evenly split monthly credit ($420 first-year cost).

Get in by 29 April 2021 to nab the credit and, if you do, you’ll also net 40GB of bonus data for the life of the plan atop the usual 10GB allocation, which means 50GB to use on the Vodafone 5G network.

Even if you go over the 50GB allowance, your speeds are slowed to 2Mbps for the duration of the billing cycle, which means no excess data charges and still-useable mobile internet for browsing and some music streaming.

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 8 April 2021.

Have a look below to see this Vodafone plan compared to other popular SIM Only picks.

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.

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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.