The best SIM only plans available in March 2020

Moose Mobile takes the top spot with Circles.Life still running hot on its heels.
Recent Updates: 3 weeks ago
In March, Moose Mobile takes the top spot. Circles.Life still wins in our big data category though.
2 months ago
In February, Circles.Life takes the crown for Best Overall and Best Big Data SIM Only plan for the fourth month running. These plans just can't be beat.
3 months ago
In January, Circles.Life continues its three-month reign as our top pick for both everyday use and big data. Hurry though, Circles.Life's promo ends on 10 January 2020.
Less than 6 months
In December, Circles.Life continues its reign in the top two spots with the return of its 20GB Monthly Plan promotion.
Less than 6 months
In November, there's a new Optus MVNO on the Australian market and it's kicking this off with some seriously competitive SIM only plans. Circles.Life's 20GB and 40GB will have you singing Hakuna Matata all the way to the bank.
Less than 6 months
In October, Jeenee Mobile has weaved its magic again, keeping the top pick for everyday use and taken the top spot for big data too.
More than 6 months
In September, Belong has moved from the Best Overall SIM-Only provider to Best Big Data, replacing Optus. Taking the top spot for Best Overall SIM-Only provider is the Optus-powered Jeenee Mobile and its Pennywise plan.

You’ll see a whole lot of green on St Patrick’s Day in March, but there’s no need to be green with envy if you tap into these great SIM Only monthly winners.

If you’re after something for everyday use, Circles.Life’s category reign has finally been brought to an end by Moose Mobile’s Moose 19.80 SIM Only Promo plan, which has a generous 15GB of data. While Circles.Life has lost the top spot, its 20GB Monthly Plan ain’t as cheap, but it’s stuffed with plenty of data. Alternatively, Vaya’s Unlimited M and MATE’s better mates SIM Only plans are also worth a look.

20GB of data still not enough? Have a gander at Circles.Life’s still-dominant 40GB Monthly Plan, or step it up to the 60GB Monthly Plan for even more monthly data. Alternatively, Belong returns as a worthy heavy-usage contender for big data users with its Large 40GB Plan.

Best SIM Only plan for everyday use March 2020

Circles.Life has consistently ruled both of our SIM Only categories since the telco landed in Australia late last year. But that march is finally at an end now that Moose Mobile has introduced a promotional plan with great value.

That plan is the Moose 19.80 SIM Only Promo plan, where the “19.80” part refers to the $19.80 price point. With a first-year cost of $237.60, this makes Moose’s plan one of the cheapest everyday SIM Only options that comes with at least 10GB of data. Except Moose kicks that data limit up to 15GB as part of a limited-time promotion that’s absolutely worth jumping on sooner rather than later because who knows how long “limited time” actually is.

Outside of the data and standard unlimited phone inclusions – national calls, text and voicemail – you’re paying for an Optus 4G Plus mobile network MVNO with no contract, so you can duck out if a better deal comes along in the future.

If you’re a fan of Optus mobile network MVNOs, you can also take a look at these Circles.Life and Vaya plans. What Circles.Life’s 20GB Monthly Plan loses out in terms of affordability at $28 per month – albeit with an $18 price for the first three months (just use the ‘10FOR3’ promo code) – it makes up for with 20GB of data ($306 first-year cost with the promo).

Vaya’s Unlimited M plan is cheaper than Circles.Life’s contender and a bit more expensive than Moose’s offering at $24 per month ($288 first-year cost), but you get 18GB of data. If a Telstra network MVNO is more your speed, MATE’s better mates plan is reasonably priced at $25 ($300 first-year cost), and its included 15GB of data is complemented by up to 50GB of data banking, plus unlimited calls to 15 selected countries.

Best SIM Only plan with Big Data March 2020

Circles.Life may have been bunted out of the everyday-use winning slot by Moose Mobile, but it’s now enjoying its fifth consecutive win for high-usage scenarios with the 40GB Monthly Plan. There’s a tweaked ‘DOUBLEDATA’ promo running until 30 April wherein this Circles.Life plan costs $28 for the first six months, then reverts to 20GB thereafter ($336 first-year cost). There’s no contract, though, so you can shuffle on to another SIM Only plan when that rolls around.

You can use the same ‘DOUBLEDATA’ promo code for the 60GB Monthly Plan for a stack of monthly data, albeit that applies for the first six months before reverting to 40GB per month thereafter ($456 first-year cost). As with the 40GB Monthly Plan, six months is a long time for another special to come along, and because there’s no contract, you should absolutely check back here every month for the latest deals.

Circles.Life operates on the Optus mobile network, so if you’d prefer the connectivity perks of a telco that operates on the Telstra mobile network, consider Belong’s Large 40GB Plan. You’re effectively paying $1 per gigabyte, with a $40 monthly cost on a no-contract plan ($480 first-year cost), which also includes unlimited talk and text to selected countries.

A few SIM Only options to consider:

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 are SIM Only phone plans?

BYO SIM CARDS

As the name implies, a SIM Only plan is a phone plan that only comes with the SIM card 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.

In the phone industry, ‘SIM Only’ has become shorthand for a plan that doesn’t include a new phone on a multi-year contract. 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.

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.