Cheap Mobile Phone Plans Compared

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Have you ever thought you’re paying too much for the mobile phone service you receive? A lot of people question their phone plan’s value, but Canstar Blue research has found that only one in ten Aussies have switched providers over a 12 month period. This means many of you are likely overpaying for your calls, text and data each month.

To get the best deal, you’ll usually have to choose a SIM-Only plan (i.e. not bundled with a phone) from one of the many Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) that use the wholesale Telstra, Optus or Vodafone networks for cheap phone plans. These plans can come in either a prepaid or postpaid format.

Our industry research on the average cost of a mobile phone plan found that prepaid mobile users spend an average of $28 per month with their service, while postpaid users spend $43. Consider how this compares to your normal spending and see if any of the plans featured below might offer you better value. So, what are Australia’s cheapest phone plans? We’ll compare both prepaid plans and postpaid plans to help you save some cash.

Hit a link below to jump to some cheap offers, or keep scrolling for a selection of standout deals from our database:

Cheapest mobile phone plans — a quick summary

If you’re looking for some good deals, especially with more data, the following table shows a selection of plans with 20GB or more of data as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Top 5 cheap phone plans

Before we jump into comparing phone plans at different price points, here’s a list of some of the cheapest mobile phone plans from Canstar Blue’s database with unlimited calls across prepaid and postpaid:

Provider Plan Price Data
Dodo No Data Plan $5 N/A (3GB optional add on for $10 extra)
Tangerine 1GB Mobile SIM $9.90 1GB
Spintel $9.95 Mobile Plan $9.95 1GB
Amaysim Unlimited 2GB Prepaid $12 2GB
Southern Phone Small plan $12.99 2.5GB

Cheap mobile plans under $10

Looking to save some cash with a cheap phone plan to pair with the new budget smartphone that you’ve decided to buy outright? The good news is that there are some great prepaid and postpaid phone plans available for $10 or less. While you might think that $10 won’t get you much in terms of included value, you might be surprised. You can also pick up some great phone plans for kids and equally excellent phone plans for seniors around this price point.

When you’re comparing cheap phone plans for $10 or less, there are a few things you need to look out for:

  • What call inclusions does the plan have? Some of the cheapest phone plans might restrict your national call value, rather than offering unlimited calls — consider if this call value enough for you.
  • Is there enough data? Generally you can expect around 1GB of data at this price point, but is that enough for you? If you only use data for occasional web browsing, it might be enough.
  • How long is the plan’s billing cycle? Some of these plans will run on 5, 7 or 10-day billing cycles, meaning you’ll have to recharge a few times a month. This is fine for travellers or if you’re looking for a short-term, temporary plan, but it probably won’t be ideal if you want this plan long-term. You can still grab a plan at $10 or under that runs on a monthly billing cycle.

One of the more unique offerings under $10 is the No Data plan from Dodo, typically known for their NBN internet plans. This postpaid plan is $5 per month with unlimited standard national calls and SMS, but if you do want to add on some data, you can add on 3GB of data for and additional $10 per month, bringing the plan price up to $15.

If you’re looking into prepaid providers, you can find plans on a range of billing cycles from telcos including Amaysim, Yomojo, Lyca Mobile, Coles Mobile, and Boost Mobile. Both Telstra and Optus offer $10 prepaid plans, but these are on shorter expiry periods.

Prefer postpaid? You can pick up cheap plans for $10 or less on a range of billing cycles from telcos including Exetel and Moose Mobile.

Prepaid Plans Under $10

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $10 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Compare more cheap prepaid mobile plans using our comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Postpaid Plans Under $10

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $10 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Compare more cheap postpaid mobile plans using our comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Cheap mobile plans under $20

Have a bit more in the budget? Jumping up to plans for $20 or less can give you significantly more inclusions. You’ll also see a few more telcos in the mix if you’re looking in this price range, which gives you even more plans and providers to choose from.

At these price points, you can generally expect unlimited standard national calls and some will include international call inclusions too. As for your data, what the telcos offer really varies around this price range, with inclusions starting at 1GB and going up to around 8GB.

If you’re interested in prepaid phone plans for $20 or less, there are even more providers to choose from including ALDI Mobile, Catch Connect, Kogan, TPG, Woolworths Mobile and Lebara.

Likewise with postpaid, there are a wider range of telcos offering plans around this mark around $20 or less, including Southern Phone, Spintel, TeleChoice, Bendigo Telco, Vaya and Dodo.

Prepaid Plans Under $20

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $20 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by standard data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see a wider range of prepaid plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Postpaid Plans Under $20

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $20 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by standard data allowance, largest to smallest. Compare postpaid mobile plans from a wider range of providers using our comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Cheap mobile plans under $40

Moderate to heavy phone users can expect some good deals at the $20-$40 mark. While $40 per month might seem a bit steep, it can definitely be worth the price tag if you like lots of data and even entertainment extras included. This is also the price point where Vodafone and Optus start introducing SIM-only postpaid plans in addition to prepaid plans.

The data inclusions around these prices can really vary from telco to telco, with the average around 10GB, and you definitely see a bit more competition for data inclusions. Most telcos offer plans at these price points across both prepaid and postpaid, and you can expect many of the cheaper providers to offer the top-level plans around these price points.

Prepaid Plans Under $40

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $40 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by standard data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to see a wider range of plans from other providers our phone plan comparison tool can help. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Postpaid Plans Under $40

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $40 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by standard data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to see a wider range of plans from other providers our phone plan comparison tool can help. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Cheap mobile plans under $80

You might think that $80 isn’t cheap, but it depends on what you’re looking for in a phone plan. Generally at these price points, you’re looking at phone plans with huge data allowances. These plans are ideal for people who use their phone a lot, especially for video streaming.

Considering that one hour of standard definition Netflix streaming uses around 1GB of your data, its clear why there is a market for big data plans, especially if you like to stream video on your daily commute. Some telcos, namely Telstra and Optus, offer some pretty generous extras such as data-free music and sports streaming and these plans tend to be priced a bit higher than the MVNO competitors. You can also score unlimited data from $40 with Vodafone, $39 with Optus and $55 with Telstra, but your data speed is capped after you use up your included allowance of high-speed data each month.

So, just how much data can you get for $80? The good news is that you can pick up either prepaid or postpaid phone plans with big chunks of data for under $80. Some telcos will offer these generous plans with 3G data only, but for our comparison, we’re taking a look at plans with access to 4G networks.

Prepaid Plans Under $80

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $80 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of prepaid plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Postpaid Plans Under $80

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $80 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile plan comparison tool to compare from a larger range of postpaid plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Cheap iPhone 12 Pro Plans

Apple’s iPhone 12 5G range landed in October and November of 2020. The following table lists a selection of published 24-month plans for the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This table includes products with links to a referral partner.

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest way to get your hands on the iPhone 12 Pro, you might have to make some compromises. Two of the three big telcos offer options for your plan length, with cheaper prices generally on a 36-month plan compared to the 24 or 12-month options. Optus offers its plans on 12, 24 and 36-month contracts, as does Vodafone, but Telstra offers 12 and 24-month payment plans. Keep in mind, with these longer plans you will be paying the same amount for your device as on the 12 or 24-month contracts.

Here’s the cheapest way to get the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro from each major telco, including phone costs:

Telco Mobile Plan Monthly Handset Cost for iPhone 12 Pro Total Monthly Plan Cost Total Cost
Vodafone $40 Lite Plan $47.19 $87.19 $3,138.84 over 36 months
Optus $45 Small Choice Plan $47.18 $92.18 $3,318.48 over 36 months
Telstra $55 Small Plan $70.79 $125.79 $3,018.96 over 24 months
Prices correct as of June 2021.

Cheap Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Plans

If Samsung is more your thing, the 2021 range of Samsung Galaxy devices will give you plenty of choice. All three of the Samsung Galaxy S21 devices are 5G-capable, and available from telcos including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone. If you’re still wondering if you should upgrade to the latest model, check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

The following table lists a selection of published 24-month plans for the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S21 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to more that just Samsung plans, use our comparison tool to compare mobile plans from a range of providers. This table includes products with links to a referral partner.

Like with the iPhone 12 Pro, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy S21 at a cheaper price than listed above, but there are compromises. If you’re considering Vodafone or Optus, device repayments can be split over 12, 24 or 36 months, Woolworths Mobile offers 24 or 36 months, and Telstra plans are 12 and 24-month. Opting for the 36 months will give you a cheaper monthly price, but you will pay the same overall.

Here’s the cheapest way to get the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S21, including phone costs:

Telco Mobile Plan Monthly Handset Cost for Galaxy S21 Total Monthly Plan Cost Total Cost
Woolworths Mobile $25 Plan $36 $61 $2,196 over 36 months
Vodafone $40 Lite Plan $34.69 $74.69 $2,688.84 over 36 months
Optus $45 Small Choice Plan $34.68 $79.68 $2,868.48 over 36 months
Telstra $55 Small Plan $52 $107 $2,568 over 24 months
Prices correct as of April 2021

Cheap pay-as-you-go plans

There are a number of prepaid providers offering cheap phone plans for under $10 per month, or with very short expiry periods of just 7-10 days. However, the first lesson to learn here is that cheapest does not mean best, because these cheap plans come with minimal inclusions, sometimes with no data. They are often simple pay-as-you-go (PAYG) plans, where you get the dollar value that you pay for. You will likely require more than these plans can offer, but if your usage requirements are modest, there are some cheap options.

Are cheap phone plans a good move?

phone and money

Cheap mobile phone plans may seem tempting, but some of them come with some limitations that could be a put off many customers. While there are some great options for $10 or less, some of these plans will have a shorter billing period, such as 7 days, so while it seems cheap, you might be paying that amount three or four times each month for your plan and suddenly, that plan isn’t so cheap.

At these low prices, you may also be subject to call and texting caps, which use up quickly if you’re big on chatting, especially if you’re used to unlimited call and SMS inclusions. If you use data fairly regularly, you’ll also want to ensure your cheap phone plan has enough data, otherwise you could be paying for excess data or recharging your prepaid plan more often than you should. After all, what’s the point in a cheap plan if it doesn’t have the right data amount for you?

The good news is, you can get a full 30-day or monthly phone plan with unlimited calls and texts for as little as $10 these days, which generally come with 1GB data too. But of course, the more you spend, the more value you’ll get on your phone plan with 10GB plans coming in at under $40. A common theme appearing is that providers offer data bonuses if you’re willing to sign up for 12 months. While these deals look great on paper, you will have to consider whether you prefer flexibility and what else might be out there a few months down the track.

Either way, it’s best to compare mobile phone plans from a range of providers with both postpaid and prepaid payment terms, because there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer. If you’re looking for a cheap plan, set a budget and be realistic about what you want and need.

Compare Mobile Phone Plans

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