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Here are the best cheap mobile phone plans in Australia (January 2023)
TPG, iiNet, and Numobile lead the charge in this month's round-up of the cheapest mobile plans available in Australia.
If you are in the market for a cheap mobile phone plan, there are plenty of low-cost options for you. 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.
Whatever your needs, you can score a decent plan for under $20 with ample monthly data. And you only need to make a small increase to your budget to if you want more gigabytes 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 $4, including cheap unlimited plans and plans on all three networks.
- : TPG 12GB Mobile Plan
- : iiNet 40GB Monthly Plan
- : Numobile $30 Sim Plan
- : felix $35 subscription
- : Amaysim $30 32GB plan
- : Lycamobile Unlimited 12 plan
- : Moose $8.80 Promo Plan
- : iiNet Mobile 8GB Promo
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Best cheap phone plan: $10 and below
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 12GB of data with this plan from TPG makes it great value.
Note that this pricing only lasts for the six months, after which you'll pay $20 per month. The plan is contract-free, so you can always swap provider before you fee goes up.
TPG's mobile plans are powered by the Vodafone 4G network.
Not quite what you’re after? Here are the most popular mobile plans for $10 and under today.
Best cheap mobile plan: $20 and below
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
With $30 per month that includes 64GB (32GB plan + 32GB bonus) of data for the first six months, the Numobile $30 SIM plan offers great dollar-for-data value. Just note this offer only runs until the end of January.
You can bank any unused data and roll it over for another month.
Numobile is powered by the Telstra network.
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
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.
Felix Mobile is powered by the Vodafone network.
Best cheap prepaid plan
Amaysim $30 Unlimited Plan
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. Sign up for this plan before the end of January 2023 and you'll pay $10 rather than the usual $30 for the first month plus you'll get a bonus 38GB of data.
While the amaysim $30 Unlimited plan does revert to the usual 32GB per month after that initial 28-day recharge, the data banking here means you'll have plenty of time to use up the additional gigabytes on your own time. The plan also includes unlimited calls and texts, unlimited international calls and texts to 42 countries.
For a sense of how this compares to some of the other popular cheap prepaid plans out there, check out the widget below.
Cheap plan on Telstra 4G network
Lycamobile Unlimited 12
If you're looking for one of the cheapest plan on the Telstra mobile network, you need look no further than the Lycamobile Unlimited 12 prepaid mobile plan. Priced at $12 per 28-day renewal, this plan is a single cent more expensive than PennyTel's Extra Small plan but includes double the data.
If you have specific requirements that don't match up with what Lycamobile 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.
Cheap plan on Optus 4G network
Moose $8.80 Promo Plan
The cheapest way to jump onto the Optus network on short notice remains the carrier's own $1 per day 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 Moose Mobile's $8.80 mobile plan.
$8.80 per month gets you 6GB of data for the first twelve months plus unlimited national calls and texts. After that year, the monthly rises to $14.80 per month. Fortunately, it's a no-contract plan, so you're free to shop around when that higher price eventually kicks in and save money in the meantime.
If Optus works best in your area, and you're not interested in switching to Moose, 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).
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Cheap plan on Vodafone 4G network
iiNet 8GB Mobile Plan
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 per 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 per 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.
Cheap data-only plan
Belong 20GB Data SIM Only
If you're looking for a cheap data SIM to stick in an iPad, Android tablet, or portable hotspot, our current top pick comes from Telstra's budget brand Belong. You'll pay just $15 per month for a 20GB SIM, which is hard to beat. This plan even has 5G!
The only catch is that your speeds are limited to 100Mbps.
Here are a few other cheap data-only plans:
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. This list comes from the database of providers tracked by our sister website WhistleOut.
The 10 cheapest mobile plans in Australia
|Moose 8.80 SIM Only Promo||$8.80||$14.80 after first 12 months||6GB||Optus 4G|
|12GB Mobile Plan||$10||$20 after first 6 months||12GB||Vodafone 4G|
|5GB Monthly Plan||$10||5GB after first 6 months||5GB||Optus 4G|
|Mobile 8GB Plan||$10||$19.99 after first 6 months||8GB||Vodafone 4G|
|Small 8GB Plan||$10||$19.99 after first 6 months||8GB||Vodafone 4G|
|30 Day Plan - 4GB||$10||$10 ongoing||4GB||Optus 4G|
|Small SIM Only plan||$5||$10 after first 3 months||2GB||Optus 4G|
|$10 Mobile Plan||$10||$10 ongoing||2GB||Optus 4G|
|Extra Small 1GB||$11.99||$11.99 ongoing||1GB||Telstra 4G|
|$20 Mobile Plan||$12||$20 after first 6 months||17GB||Optus 4G|
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 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.
What kind of 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.
What do you miss out on with a cheap mobile plan?
Cheaper mobile plans tend to be light on extras. You don't get value adds like discounted movie tickets or access to streaming services.
In most cases, you're literally paying for talk, text, and data. It also goes without saying, cheaper plans tend to have a smaller data allowance than more expensive plans, but this isn't really an issue if you right-size to your needs.
Most cheap mobile plans currently don't have 5G access.
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 (like international calls) or suffers from any shortcomings. Our provider reviews and our sister site WhistleOut are valuable resources for us here.
Cheap mobile plan FAQs
Fewer and fewer providers in Australia actually charge you for the SIM card itself. At most, you can expect to pay $1 to $10 for a prepaid SIM card but that typically includes a small amount of calls, text and data as well.
On the other hand, no provider in Australia charges an upfront cost for a postpaid SIM card. You simply sign up to a month-to-month plan and the SIM card will be delivered to your door in a matter of days. After that, you’ll recieve your first bill one month after you’ve signed up but you won’t pay anything for the SIM card itself.
Cheaper mobile plans are not directly penalised when it comes to coverage.
For example, customers of MVNOs like Amaysim 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.
If you want unlimited talk, text, and data for a cheap price, you've got one main option: Felix Mobile. Felix Mobile has a single plan with all of the above for $35 per month.
There is one catch, however. Speeds are capped to 20Mbps. 20Mbps is still fast enough for most online activities, including streaming video, but it may be a bit slow when you're downloading apps.
Long-expiry mobile plans can work out to be cheaper in the long run compared to a month-to-month plan, but you'll need to pay a lot more upfront. The upshot is you can take care of your mobile bill in one single payment.
Once you've picked which provider you want to swap to, the process is simple. You'll order your SIM online and then activate it when it arrives. As part of this process, you'll be asked if you want to keep your phone number. You can always keep your number when changing providers.
Activating your SIM should typically happen in a matter of minutes. Your old SIM will keep working until the new SIM is active.
Once your new SIM is up and running, cancel your plan with your old provider.
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