Here are the best cheap mobile plans in Australia

Circles.Life, iiNet and amaysim lead the charge in this month's round-up of the cheapest mobile plans available in Australia.

April 12, 2022
6 min read

The best thing about the advent of more telcos is the inevitable race to rock-bottom prices as they vie for consumer bucks and ongoing loyalty. These days, you can score a decent plan for under $20. And you only need to make a small increase to your budget to add big data and shiny perks.

In this guide, we take a closer look at the best-value SIM-Only plans (Prepaid and Postpaid), kicking off with those under $10 and stretching up to a max cost of $40.

Best cheap phone plan: $10 and below

Circles.Life
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great value pricing
Pro Bullet Loads of data
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Light on features
Con Bullet Archaic post-cap pricing

At this price point, plans generally come with around 1GB of data, which is not bad for only $10! So the fact that you get 5GB of data with Circles.Life's $10 monthly mobile plan is great value.

Not quite what you’re after? Here are the most popular mobile plans for $10 and under today.

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Best cheap mobile plan: $20 and below

iiNet
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fantastic first-year pricing
Pro Bullet Decent customer satisfaction
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No real plan features
Con Bullet Unpopular iiNet Support app

This price bracket is a tricky one, as most of the popular picks are technically only $20 or under for a promo period. Still, iiNet's deal on its 40GB Monthly Plan nets you a huge amount of monthly data for $15 per month

Once the promo runs out, however, things get a little dicey. After six months the price will revert back to $29.99 a month. All things considered, that's still a pretty decent deal. The plan runs on the Vodafone 4G network and includes all the usual unlimited call and text trimmings. 

If you want to check out your options, here are some more popular mobile plans at this price point.

Best cheap mobile plan: $40 and below

Circles.Life
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Great value pricing
Pro Bullet Loads of data
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Light on features
Con Bullet Archaic post-cap pricing

Even without its regular promo pricing of $30 per month for the first 6 months with the promo code BONUS100, there's simply no beating the dollar-for-data value offered by Circles.Life's 100GB plan. That's far more data than most Australians would ever need, so it's safe to say it will satisfy even the heaviest of data users. 

Want to see what else is out there? Take a look at the most popular plans below $40 per month for comparison.

Best cheap plan with 'unlimited' data

Felix Mobile
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Unlimited data, calls and text
Pro Bullet Carbon-neutral telco
Pro Bullet Plan pause flexibility
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Iffy value for roaming bolt-on
Con Bullet Endless data is speed capped

If a hundred gigs still won't suffice, there is one more option. While there are no truly 'unlimited' data plans in Australia, there are a decent handful that offer 'endless' or 'infinite' data, which means you can use as much data as you please, but it will be speed-capped.

The best option for most people is Felix Mobile's $35 subscription plan, which offers 'endless' data that's capped at 20Mbps. At that speed, you can do most things comfortably, from streaming HD video, updating apps, online shopping, scrolling through social media and video chatting with friends and family. Really, the only thing you'll struggle with is downloading large files, which may take a while.

Cheapest plan on Telstra 4G network

Pennytel Extra Small Mobile Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Solid coverage
Pro Bullet High customer satisfaction
Pro Bullet Seniors discounts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Plans are light on features
Con Bullet Expensive global roaming

If you're looking for the cheapest plan on the Telstra mobile network, you need look no further than Pennytel's Extra Small mobile plan. Priced at $9.98/month, this plan includes just 1GB of data. However, if you sign up before the end of April 2022, the cost of the first month will be waived outright.

If you have specific requirements that don't match up with what Boost are offering here, there are plenty of other MVNOs on the Telstra wholesale network that will connect you to the largest mobile network in Australia for a fraction of the cost. Here's an updated list of the cheapest mobile plans on the Telstra network.

Cheapest plan on Optus 4G network

Dodo $10 Mobile Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Competitively priced plans
Pro Bullet Decent data allowances
Pro Bullet Unlimited international text
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Very light on perks
Con Bullet Middling customer satisfaction
Con Bullet No usage-monitoring app

The cheapest way to jump onto the Optus network on short notice remains the carrier's own prepaid SIMs. However, if you're looking for coverage measured in weeks or months rather than days, you're better off going with something like Dodo Mobile's $10 mobile plan.

As part of promotion running until the end of June, this cheap mobile plan is even cheaper. $8/month gets you 2GB of data for the first six months plus unlimited national calls and texts.

After that, the monthly cost rises to $10/month. Fortunately, it's a no-contract plan, so you're free to shop around when that higher price kicks in.

If Optus works best in your area, and you're not interested in switching to Dodo, Telstra or Vodafone, there's a bunch of smaller providers that offer access to the Optus 4G network for lower monthly price (though Optus plans can be quite cheap).

Cheapest plan on Vodafone 4G network

iiNet 8GB Mobile Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fantastic first-year pricing
Pro Bullet Decent customer satisfaction
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No real plan features
Con Bullet Unpopular iiNet Support app

For those looking to stay with or seek out the coverage of the Vodafone's 3G and 4G networks while saving as much money as possible, iiNet's 8GB Mobile Plan is a clear frontrunner.

Priced at $10/month for the first six months, this plan includes 8GB of mobile data. After that honeymoon period, the price does go up to $19.99/month. However, at that point, you are free to leave and jump ship to another cheap mobile plan.

Vodafone has a healthy mix of budget prepaid providers that use its network. If you're in a place with ample Vodafone coverage, and you're only interested in cutting back your monthly bills, check out the most popular plans on Vodafone's network.

Best cheap prepaid plan

Amaysim $30 Unlimited Plan

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Generous data promotions
Pro Bullet Good international call inclusions
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No perks or extras
Con Bullet Average customer satisfaction

If a postpaid mobile plan is out of the question and you're looking to maximise your data allowance, then Amaysim's $30 Unlimited Plan is a standout choice. Sighn up for this plan before the end of April and you'll pay just $10 rather than the usual $30. You'll also get an extra 20GB of mobile data each month for the first three months, bringing the total amount of monthly data to 50GB.

For a sense of how this compares to some of the other popular cheap prepaid plans out there, check out the widget below.

What to look for in a cheap mobile plan

If you're looking to cut down on monthly expenses, your phone bill can be a great place to start. Australia's mobile plan market extends far beyond the three big carriers - Telstra, Optus and Vodafone - and so long as you aren't locked into device repayments with another provider the process of switching between to a cheaper mobile plan is relatively painless.

Before you do pull the trigger on a new mobile provider, it's worth doing your research and considering a few key factors.

  • How much mobile data do you really need? As a rule, it's usually better and cheaper to have too much data than not enough. Knowledge is power when it comes to choosing the right mobile plan, so it may be worth using an app like My Data Manager to start tracking how much of your monthly data you use. Once you have a better idea of how much data you actually need, finding a plan that offers that amount at the lowest possible price becomes significantly easier.
  • Which network offers you the best coverage? While there's often overlap between Australia's big three carriers when it comes to coverage, that's little consolation to those who fall through the cracks. If you know that your local area has bad Optus coverage, that's a good reason to exclude cheap mobile plans from providers that rely on the same infrastructure. After all, the savings benefits of a good deal tend to erode pretty fast if you can't get a good signal.
  • How good or poor a customer support experience do you expect? The quality of a mobile provider's customer support isn't usually something that you think about until it's too late. For that reason, those looking at choosing between our picks for the best cheap mobile plans may want to use that variable as a point of difference between potential options. If two plans offer the same amount of data and coverage for a similar or identical monthly cost, a good (or bad) customer service reputation might be a good way to break the tie between them.
  • Are you willing to change providers to take advantage of short-term savings opportunities and other promotions? At any given moment, there usually dozens of great deals on mobile plans available to Australians. What's more, most of these tend to be contract-free. If you're willing to be diligent and check in to see which providers are running the best deals every few months, there's nothing stopping you from jumping between them to get the most out of your money.

How we choose the best cheap mobile plans

When it comes to cheap mobile plans, price is the most important variable. If you're a budget-conscious consumer looking at this page for guidance, we want our recommendations to best meet your needs. For that reason, we consider cheap plans to be anything less than $40/month.

Beyond price, the other big factors we consider are network coverage and monthly data per dollar. Given the overlap between Australia's major mobile networks, we typically privilege the latter when it comes to picking out the best cheap mobile plans. If you live in an area where you've got decent coverage from Optus, Vodafone and Telstra, we want to be able to point you towards the cheap mobile plan that offers the best bang for buck.

Finally, we also consider whether or not any decent deals are available for a given mobile plan and whether or not that provider includes any notable extras or suffers from any shortcomings. Our provider reviews and our sister site WhistleOut are valuable resources for us here.

Cheap mobile plan FAQs

Cheaper mobile plans are not directly penalised when it comes to coverage.

For example, customers of MVNOs like Mate will have the same level of coverage as Optus customers operating on the same network. 

However, more expensive mobile plans can some include 5G network coverage and, if you're looking at Telstra, a slightly larger network footprint. That's not a universal rule though, so it's usually worth doing your research and thinking about whether you really need 5G before signing up with a new provider.

The cheapest of the cheap mobile plans

In our top picks above, we've tried to highlight the cheapest plans that offer reasonable data and call inclusions. However, if you're simply after the cheapest prepaid and postpaid plans and recharges Australian telcos provide, take a look at the list below for some truly dirt-cheap mobile plans.

The 10 cheapest prepaid and postpaid mobile plans in Australia

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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