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The best SIM Only plans available in Australia in March 2023
Hanging onto your phone and choosing a BYO plan is the best way to save money on your bill. Check out the best SIM Only mobile plans you can get right now.
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Whether you've bought a new phone like an iPhone 14 or Galaxy S23 outright or have an older phone you're ready to upgrade, SIM Only mobile plans are a great value way to get connected.
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 name implies, a SIM Only plan comes with a SIM card that you need to put into your phone (or an eSIM for newer devices).
In this guide, we'll look at the best value SIM Only plans, covering everything from more affordable cheap options to plans with ludicrous amounts of data.
- : TPG 45GB plan
- : Moose Mobile SIM Only Promo
- : Vodafone Large SIM Only Plan
- : Telstra Basic Upfront Plan
- : Belong 20GB SIM plan
Best value SIM Only plan
TPG 45GB Plan
TPG has one of the best value SIM Only plans on the market right now, where $15 will get you 45GB of data.
This goes up to $30 per month after your first six months, but the plan is still pretty competitive even at full price. Alternatively, the plan is contract-free, so you can always leave after the price goes up.
If you're an existing TPG internet customer, you'll pay a slightly cheaper rate of $25 per month when your initial discount runs out.
TPG is powered by the Vodafone 4G network.
For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans with at least 30GB of data.
Best cheap SIM Only plan
Moose Mobile SIM Only Promo
Normally priced at $23.80 per month, Moose is currently offering this plan for $16.80 per month for the first year. Your money gets you 25GB of data, in addition to the standard unlimited talk and text.
Moose Mobile is powered by the Optus 4G network.
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 Large SIM Only Plan
If you need oodles of data, it's worth taking at look at Vodafone's $65 Large Sim Only plan.
Vodafone is currently offering this plan for $65 per month. This plan comes with 300GB of data, includes unlimited talk and text in Australia, and unlimited international calls to Zone 1 countries (and 300 minutes to Zone 2 countries).
If you go over your 300GB allowance, you'll be capped to speeds of 2Mbps.
You'll also get Vodafone's $5 per day roaming, which could make this plan even more appealing to regular travellers.
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
Telstra Basic Upfront SIM Plan
If you're all about getting as many extras as you can with your phone plan, Telstra's Basic Upfront SIM Only plan is worth considering.
To start, you'll get 40GB of data for $58 per month, which while not the cheapest plan around, isn't unreasonable for Telstra.
While you might be paying more than with other telcos, being a Telstra customer gets you a whole lot of perks.
- Discounted movie tickets for Event Cinemas
- Two months of free access to Binge
- Three months of free access to Apple TV+
- Four months of free access to Spotify Premium
If you join Telstra Plus, you'll also earn points for every dollar spent on your bill, which can then be redeemed for a discount on various tech products.
Just note that this plan has its speeds capped to 250Mbps. That's still very fast, however - faster than most NBN plans.
Most popular Telstra network SIM Only plan
Belong 20GB SIM Plan
Recently, Belong has been the telco to beat for popular SIM Only plans on the Telstra network. Belong's 20GB SIM Only plan is the top pick, where you'll pay $25 per month.
If you go over your data allowance, you won't be charged any excess fees. Instead, you'll be able to continue using your service at slower speeds of 1Mbps.
Notably, this plan has 5G connectivity, but the speeds are capped to 100Mbps.
Check out a daily changing list of popular Telstra SIM Only plans below.
Most popular Optus network SIM Only plan
Circles.Life 5GB Monthly Plan
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 currently has the most popular plan on the Optus network, and it's easy to see why. You'll pay just $10 per month for a 10GB plan for your first year. That's $120 for a full year of mobile connectivity. To get this deal use the promo code WO10FOR10 before March 31.
After your first 12 months are up, your data allowance drops to 5GB. Since Circle's plans are all contract-free, you can always swap to another provider after your discount ends.
You can see the popular Optus network SIM Only picks below.
Most popular Vodafone network SIM Only plan
iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan
iiNet currently has the most popular plan on the Vodafone network. You'll get a 40GB allowance and pay $15 per month for your first and then $29.99 per month thereafter. If you're an iiNet internet customer, you'll get a bonus 80GB of data, taking you to a total of 120GB.
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
If you only need a little data, Moose Mobile is currently offering 6GB for $8.80 per month for the first year.
This price increases to $14.80 per month after the first year, but since the plan is contract-free, you're always free to leave and find a better deal.
Moose Mobile is powered by the Optus network.
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).
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 3G and 4G coverage:
- Telstra: 99.5% of the Australian population
- Telstra wholesale: 98.8% of the Australian population
- Optus: 98.5% of the Australian population
- Vodafone: 96% of the Australian population
It’s worth noting that these percentages are for 3G and 4G connectivity and don’t cover the currently rolling-out respective 5G networks. While coverage is important, the cheapest SIM Only plans tend to operate in reverse order: the Vodafone network, then Optus, followed by Telstra.
The other big important consideration is data. You should always right size your plan. There's no point paying for more data than you're using, but you also don't want to end up in a situation where you don't have enough.
The best mobile phone plans in Australia
Haven't found what you're looking for? Check out more of our mobile plan picks by clicking the link below!
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.
We regularly 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? Most SIM Only plans are contract-free these days. There are some cases where you may be asked to commit to a six-month or year-long contract, but these are very rare now.
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 $40 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. Finally, for our best perks picks, we look at the quantity and quality of extras that come with SIM Only plans in our database.
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.
Changing mobile plans is easy. Once you've compared SIM-only plans and picked your favourite, follow these three simple steps:
- Click "Go To Site" on your chosen plan and then place your order on the provider's website.
- Wait until your new SIM is delivered. You can skip this step by buying a SIM card in a store.
- Activate the new SIM card using the instructions included with it.
During setup you'll be given a choice to keep your existing number.
Your new SIM should typically be active within half an hour, but this can taken longer in some cases.
Most providers will also only transfer numbers during business hours, so be aware of that if you're trying to activate a new SIM on a weekend.
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 between Postpaid and Prepaid 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.
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. Some plans even include unlimited data, but these always tend to have caveats.
There's no one answer to this question, but for most, we'd recommend at least 20GB per month. If you're a more demanding user, you'll want a larger plan, however.
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.