The best SIM Only plans available in Australia in December 2022

Hanging onto your phone and choosing a BYO plan is the best way to save money on your bill. Check out June’s best SIM Only mobile plans.

Best value
Vodaphone
Vodafone $55 SIM Only Super Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price
$50
/mo
Data per month
250GB
Typical monthly cost
$55
Network
Vodafone 5G
Best cheap
Moose Mobile
Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM Only Promo
4 out of 5 stars
4
First 12 months from
$16.80
/mo
Data per month
25GB
Typical monthly cost
$23.80
Network
Optus 4G
Best big data
Vodaphone
Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
Fee for life of plan
$60
/mo
Data per month
Unlimited
Typical monthly cost
$85
Network
Vodafone 5G
Best perks
Woolsworth Mobile
Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$35
/mo
Data per month
84GB
Typical monthly cost
$35
Network
Telstra 4G
Most popular Telstra
Belong
Belong 20GB SIM Plan
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$25
/mo
Data per month
20GB
Typical monthly cost
$25
Network
Telstra 4G
November 15, 2022
10 min read

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So you’ve got the brand new iPhone 14 or Google Pixel 6 (or any other handset) and want the right SIM Only plan to pair it with. We’ve got you covered. SIM Only plans are a great way to get a lot of data for not a lot of money with some great perks. Prices start around $10 for a decent amount of data and stretch closer to $100 for hundreds of gigabytes or even unlimited data.

These days, SIM Only plans don’t usually have contracts, so it’s even easier to shift between plans and/or telcos when a better deal comes along. To offer a meaningful snapshot of the landscape of the SIM Only plans in our comparison engine, we break things down into focused categories. Last month was stuffed with major category changes. This month, the winners are more familiar, outside of Vodafone for the best-value category, plus some changes in the popular plans on the three major networks.

Scroll on for the full breakdown.

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If you’re the kind of person who only wants the best deals, take a look at the table below for the most popular SIM Only deals in Australia this week.

Best value SIM Only plan

Vodafone $55 SIM Only Super Plan

pro
Pros
pro Excellent dollar-to-data value
pro 250GB monthly data
pro Reduced monthly pricing
con
Cons
con Vodafone 5G network reach
con International calls aren’t unlimited
con Not much cheaper than unlimited data

It feels like it’s been a long time since the once-incumbent Circles.Life 100GB Monthly Plan took out this top spot. Not so long ago, it was the plan to beat. These days, outside of occasional promotions, its dollar-to-data value is beaten by others: like the Vodafone $55 SIM only Super Plan, for instance.

Vodafone keeps offering a $5 discount on the monthly price, which is yours as long as you stay connected to the plan. Combine the monthly pricing with 250GB of data, which can be used on the Vodafone 5G network, and that’s some killer value. This Vodafone plan also comes with an international call allowance, three months of Amazon Music, plus a reasonable 10Mbps speed throttle if you manage to burn through all 250GB of data.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular big-data SIM Only plans with at least 70GB of data.

Best cheap SIM Only plan

Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM Only Promo

pro
Pros
pro 12-month promo pricing
pro 25GB data
pro Great dollar-to-data value
con
Cons
con No real perks
con Potential excess data charges
con Optus 5G would be nice

Regardless of the winner of this category, it’s always worth checking in with the Circles.Life 30GB Monthly Plan. At the time of writing, the Circles.Life 30GB Monthly Plan was heavily discounted for the first six months with bonus data. Still, those deals are often short-lived, so we’ve stuck with Moose Mobile’s 16.80 SIM Only Promo for more predictable first-year value.

Normally priced at $23.80 per month, Moose has dropped the fee to $16.80 per month for the first year. Whichever price you pay, this Moose Mobile SIM Only plan comes with 25GB of data, which is great value for the Optus 4G network. There aren’t really any perks, though.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans that don’t cost more than $20 per month (at least initially).

Best big-data SIM Only plan

Vodafone $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan

pro
Pros
pro Great promo pricing
pro Unlimited Vodafone 5G data
pro 3 months of Amazon Music
con
Cons
con 30GB max-speed hotspot data
con 2Mbps post-hotspot cap speeds
con Vodafone 5G coverage

We pick winners for this category that don’t cost more than $70 a month. While hundreds of gigabytes looks great on paper, it really depends on how much of your max-speed allocation you use each month. Vodafone typically takes out this category with the $85 SIM Only Ultra+ Plan, which has unlimited 5G data, and it’s back again this month.

Instead of $85, pay $60 for the life of this Vodafone plan (down from $65). That discounted price nets you unlimited max-speed data on the Vodafone 5G network, curbed only by 30GB of max-speed hotspot data (2Mbps thereafter) and whether you have Vodafone 5G in your area. This Vodafone plan also includes a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, as well as international talk and text inclusions.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 100GB of data.

Best SIM Only plan for perks

Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only

pro
Pros
pro 10% off monthly Woolies shop
pro 84GB data
pro Unlimited calls to 22 countries
con
Cons
con No promo pricing
con Potential for excess data costs
con 5G would be nice

This category is often taken out by the Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only plan and this month is the case again. That’s still a great choice if you want to save money. In the past month, the Woolworth $45 SIM Only plan was the favourite option but this month, they decided to go back to the $35 SIM only plan.

That $35 monthly fee comes with 84GB of data on the Telstra wholesale network, which isn’t as widespread as the main Telstra network, but it is larger than the Optus and Vodafone networks. That network reach is the first perk. The other perks are unlimited talk and text with 22 selected countries. Additionally, Woolworths Mobile customers can bank data (up to 500GB) or share it with other eligible Woolworths Mobile customers. Our favourite perk, though, is a 10% monthly discount off a Woolies groceries shop.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 40GB of data.

Most popular Telstra network SIM Only plan

Belong 20GB SIM Plan

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Telstra network.

Recently, Belong has been the telco to beat for popular SIM Only plans on the Telstra network. This month, once again the Belong 20GB SIM Plan has a commanding popularity lead over other Belong plans (and everyone else). That $25 a month gets you 20GB of data. Use that data or store it in a data bank or gift it to a friend.

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

Most popular Optus network SIM Only plan

Moose $8.80 SIM Only Promo

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Optus network.

Circles.Life plans tend to dominate the popular pick of SIM Only plans on the Optus network, this month the Moose $8.80 Sim Only Promo plan took over the top spot. Circles.Life 30GB Monthly Plan used to have a great deal. The Moose mobile plan is discounted to $8.80 instead of the regular $14.80 for 12 months. You have plenty of time to enjoy the savings.

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

Most popular Vodafone network SIM Only plan

iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan

Please note the plan above and the ones below may change daily based on the most popular SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network.

For the last few months, iiNet has been the popular telco when it comes to finding SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network. At the start of this month, the iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan yet again has a huge lead. As the plan name says, this iiNet SIM Only plan comes with 40GB of data. You normally pay $29.99 a month, but new sign-ups pay a $15 monthly fee for the first six months. Bundle this plan with an iiNet internet plan to also score 80GB of bonus data each month. People with 5G handsets can also partake in a 5G network trial until 26 October 2022 (if the Vodafone 5G network is available in the areas you frequent).

Below is a daily updating snapshot of the popular SIM Only plans on the Vodafone network.

Best budget SIM Only plan

Moose Mobile 8.80 SIM Only Promo

pro
Pros
pro Great discounted pricing
pro 6GB data for $10
pro 12-month promotion
con
Cons
con Average ongoing pricing
con No real perks
con Possible excess data costs

This category has drifted between plans from Moose Mobile, Circles.Life and Southern Phone. This month, Moose Mobile ekes out a win again with a rejigged budget plan. The Moose 8.80 SIM Only Promo plan normally costs $14.80 per month, which isn’t a particularly flash price to pay for 6GB of data on the Optus 4G network.

But new sign-ups pay $8.80 per month for the first year, which is a great price to pay for 6GB of Optus 4G data. Outside of that, there aren’t any real perks; in fairness, that’s typical of budget plans. For cheap SIM Only alternatives, consider the Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 1GB of data that don’t cost more than $15 per month (at least initially).

Want a cheap phone for your cheap SIM Only plan?

Take a look at some of our top picks for the best budget smartphones you can buy in Australia.
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Display size
Refresh rate
5G
Rating
OPPO A74 5G
From
$399
6.5-inches90HzYes
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Nokia G21Nokia G21
From
$299
6.5-inches90HzNo
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Samsung A23 4GSamsung A23 4G
From
$399
6.6-inches90HzNo
4 out of 5 stars
4
Motorola Edge 20 FusionMotorola Edge 20 Fusion
From
$449
6.7-inches90HzYes
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Motorola Moto G62 5GMoto G62 5G
From
$399
6.56-inches120HzYes
4 out of 5 stars
4

What to look for in a SIM Only plan

While there are three main mobile networks in Australia, there are two parts to the largest one. In terms of coverage, Telstra’s network is the most expansive, followed by Optus and then Vodafone behind those. Telstra users get access to the full Telstra network, whereas MVNO telcos that operate on the Telstra network have access to the slightly smaller Telstra wholesale network. Check out how the mobile networks compare in terms of 4G coverage:

  • Telstra: 99.4% of the Australian population (up from 99.2%)
  • Telstra wholesale: 98.8% of the Australian population
  • Optus: 98.5% of the Australian population
  • Vodafone: 96% of the Australian population

It’s worth adding that these percentages are for 4G connectivity and don’t cover the currently rolling-out respective 5G networks, though you should expect the same ranking once all 5G networks are complete. While coverage is important, the cheapest SIM Only plans tend to operate in reverse order: the Vodafone network, then Optus, followed by Telstra.

Outside of coverage and cost, the other big important consideration is data. While a few gigabytes might be enough for a casual user, there are reasonably priced SIM Only plans that come with 100GB or more. The final consideration is plan perks, which can help add great ongoing value to a SIM Only plan.

How we choose the best SIM Only 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.

At the start of the month, we consider all of the SIM Only telcos currently listed in the database of our phone plan search engine. The number of telcos in our database does sometimes change, but we typically monitor more than 20 telcos at a time, including the biggest telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, ranging from the cheapest SIM Only plans to more expensive but data and/or perk-packed alternatives.

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 they are a rarity these days, so 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 SIM Only 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.

As for specific categories, we cap our best-value picks at $50 a month, and it’s a similar story for the best cheap and best cheapest SIM Only plans, capped at $20 and $15, respectively (though a cheaper monthly fee is even better). We also limit our big-data picks to plans that cost less than $70, as certain SIM Only plans have typical pricing above $80 a month, which we think is a high cost to pay compared to competing big-data SIM Only plans. Finally, for our best-perks picks, we look at the quantity and quality of extras that come with SIM Only plans in our database.

Bullhorn
Coverage is essential
As we consider the best SIM Only 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 Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks. People living in regional areas need to research the network coverage in their areas.

SIM Only FAQs

A SIM Only plan is a phone plan that covers your talk, text and data usage, but doesn’t come with a mobile phone (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 (or an eSIM for newer devices).

Every mobile phone needs a SIM card or eSIM that identifies your account on your carrier’s network. Whenever you switch telcos, you need a new SIM card or eSIM.

Most SIM Only plans are ‘month-to-month’ or ‘no-contract plans’, meaning you don’t sign a contract and you can move your service to a different telco at any time without paying any termination fees. Contracts are a rarity these days among SIM Only telcos.

Except for Telstra Upfront, SIM Only plans are paid for 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.

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 (except for Telstra Upfront plans, which are paid ahead of usage).

If you have a Postpaid plan and you reach your data limit, you may be charged extra for the data you use after this point. Some telcos like Telstra, Vodafone and Optus cap speeds once you exceed your max-speed monthly data quota. With a Prepaid plan, the data is cut off and you are safe from the shock of a giant bill in the mail.

Because a Postpaid plan is sort of like a line of credit, it means that telcos 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.

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 several plans include unlimited calls and messages to overseas phone numbers, too. Data may not be unlimited.

Telstra, Vodafone and Optus offer plans that slow your internet connection once you reach your monthly data limit. Telstra and Optus plans drop to 1.5Mbps, which is fast enough for a bit of web browsing and streaming some music, but Vodafone has upped its cap speed and separated it into tiers based on how much you pay. Cheaper Vodafone SIM Only plans are capped at 2Mbps while more expensive plans slow to 10Mbps. TPG started a new brand called Felix Mobile, which isn’t just pitched as a carbon-neutral service, its current single-plan offering has unlimited data, albeit capped at “up to” 20Mbps.

If you were hoping to find an unlimited data phone plan, that finally exists in Australia care of the Vodafone $85 Ultra+ Plan. This Vodafone SIM Only plan offers unlimited max-speed data, with the only caveat being that hotspot max-speed data is restricted to 30GB (capped at 2Mbps thereafter).

On average, the Australian monthly SIM Only mobile data usage was 11.8GB in June 2021 (according to the ACCC’s Communications market report 2020–2021), which continues to suggest a trend of roughly 20% additional mobile data usage every six months. Using this logic, the average Aussie is using just under 17GB of data per month nowadays, so unlimited data isn’t particularly essential based on current usage patterns. It’s worth noting that the median data allowance for SIM Only plans according to that same report is 35GB.

If you’re looking to use mobile data for the internet at home, then you should look at a Home Wireless Broadband plan. These plans use the mobile phone network, plus they come with a modem that is robust enough to connect a household’s worth of laptops, tablets and smart devices.

More popular SIM only deals

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Take a look at the list below for a more comprehensive list of some of the best SIM Only deals available in Australia this week.

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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