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 in the last 12 months. This means many of you are likely overpaying for your calls, text and data each month.

To get the best deal, you usually have to choose a SIM-Only plan (i.e. not bundled with a phone) from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that uses the wholesale Telstra, Optus or Vodafone networks to provide a cost-effective plan. These plans can come in either a prepaid or postpaid format. So, what are Australia’s cheapest phone plans? We’ll compare prepaid and postpaid plans to help you save some cash.

Our research 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.

Compare Cheap Mobile Phone Plans

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Cheap iPhone XS Plans

Apple’s latest iPhone upgrade landed in September 2018. If you’re interested, here are the cheapest published iPhone XS plans on offer from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus for the standard 64GB model. These costs do not include handset repayments. This table includes featured products from our referral partners:

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 2GB bonus data

min. cost $35 over one month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1,080 over 24 month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1416 over 24 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Here’s the cheapest way to get the 64GB iPhone XS from each major telco, including phone costs:

Telco Mobile Plan Monthly Handset Cost for iPhone XS Monthly Plan Cost Total Cost
Vodafone $35 Plan $45.25 $35 $2,889 over 36 months
Telstra Small Plan $40 $59 $2,376 over 24 months
Optus $45 My Plan Plus $40 $45 $2,160 over 24 months

Cheap Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Plans

If saving cash on your mobile costs is your biggest priority, the new Galaxy Note 9 may not be the right device for you. But if your heart is set on Samsung’s shiny new flagship phone, you can save hundreds annually by picking the right plan. Below are some of the current published deals available for the new Galaxy flagship in our database- you can find more through our comparison tool. Some are sponsored products, which include a link to the retailer’s website for further details.

The cheapest Telstra Note 9 plans

If you’re planning to buy the Note 9 on a 24-month Telstra plan, prices start from $122 per month on the Small plan with 3GB data ($59 plan price, plus a $63 monthly phone payment). However, if you plan on upgrading your phone after one or two years, you may prefer to lease your Note 9. This will save you a further $10 each month, but you’ll need to hand your device back after your 24-month contract ends, or when you plan to upgrade.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1416 over 24 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

The cheapest Vodafone Note 9 plans

Vodafone still offers the most affordable monthly Note 9 options, with total prices starting from $76.83 per month for your plan and phone ($35 Red plan, plus $41.63 phone payment over 36 months). Customers can currently score a $126 Loyalty Discount on selected Red plans, and if you’re replacing your old phone with the new Note 9, you can also claim a $200 trade-in credit when you trade your device in at any Vodafone store (in addition to the trade-in value of your old phone).

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 2GB bonus data

min. cost $35 over one month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

The cheapest Optus Note 9 plans

Like Telstra, Optus offers a range of standard 24-month plans for the Note 9, as well as leasing options. Optus’ smallest plan is its $45, 4GB My Plan Plus option, but the telco is currently offering a special limited-time plan deal for Note 9 buyers: 50GB of data, plus your Note 9, for $85 per month over two years. This actually works out to be better value than the entry-level 4GB plan, which also costs a total of $85 per month when you throw in the Note 9 ($45 plan, plus a $40 phone payment).

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1080 over 24 month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period

Cheap Phone Plans with 1GB Data

If you’re a low-level data user looking to save, 1GB plans are available for under $10 each month. This is ideal for someone wanting just enough data for casual social media use, or light web browsing on the bus journey home, but be careful: you won’t always get unlimited talk, so these plans suit users who prefer texting to calling.

Most of these plans are also offered on a prepaid, 30 or 28-day basis (although the below Southern Phone plan does require a 12-month contract). Overall, look for low-cost MVNOs if you’re hoping to save money on a small plan – there’s a lot of competition out there in the budget end of the market. Here is a selection of published plans from our database that include a link to the provider’s website for further details . These are sponsored products.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 9 SIM Only

  • Special Price Offer: $0.01 for first month
  • 200 minutes
  • Unlimited SMS & MMS

min. cost $0.10 over one month

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Hive Mobile

$9.80 SIM Plan

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $9.80 over one month

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

Kid’s Phone Plan

  • 200 minutes, unlimited texts
  • 50% off for the first 3 months with promo code: FESTIVE18 . Ends 31/01/19

min. cost $9.90 over 30 days

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

Mini

  • $500 calls, unlimited text

min. cost $9.95 over 30 days

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

ExeSim Super Saver

  • 300 minutes, unlimited texts

min. cost $9.99 over 30 days

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 12

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $144 over 12 months

1GBMax Data**/billing period $12Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap Phone Plans with 2GB Data

2GB is a significant step up in terms of data, as you’ll now likely have enough to get all the basics done, plus extra gigabytes for cat videos or memes. 2GB plans boost value not only in data, but also in talk and text, as you’ll likely enjoy unlimited calls, SMS and MMS at this price point.

A good value 2GB plan will cost you between $10-$20 per month, and may include extras such as unlimited international texting. Below are some published month-to-month and 12-month contract options from popular MVNOs taken from our database. These are sponsored products, which include a link to the provider’s website for further details.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 14 SIM Only

  • Special Price Offer: $0.01 for first month
  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $0.10 over one month

1.5GBMax Data**/billing period $14Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

Saver 4G

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Unlimited Overseas SMS

min. cost $179.88 over 12 months

2.5GBMax Data**/billing period $14.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

Unlimited 2GB Plan

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 50% off for the first 3 months with promo code: FESTIVE18 . Ends 31/01/19

min. cost $15.90 over 30 day plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap Phone Plans with 5GB Data

This is the business end of the mobile phone plan market, with some serious competition between the providers. Both Southern Phone and Moose Mobile offer good 5GB-and-up options for $25 each month or less, but you will need to commit to a full year with these providers. Otherwise, you can opt for a no-contract plan from the like of OVO Mobile or Amaysim, both of which also throw in international inclusions.

Generally, 5GB is a decent data allowance for average users, covering daily social media and internet browsing and even daily music streaming. It’s also at the high end of what most Australians would consider as ‘cheap’, mostly coming in at under $30 per month (depending on your telco). Here are selected published plans from our database with a link to the provider’s website. These are sponsored products.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Green 22

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $264 over 12 months

7GBMax Data**/billing period $22Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 25 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $300 over 12 months

5GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Special offer: 6GB + 4GB bonus data ongoing, buy before 31/01/19
  • 50 international minutes

min. cost $29.95 over 30 days

10GBMax Data**/billing period $29.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap Phone Plans with 10GB Data or More

By now we’re starting to talk big bucks, but these days you’ll certainly get value for money if you’re a data-heavy user. No longer do you have to pay over $50 a month if you want 10GB – the cheapest plans come in at well under $40, but you’ll usually have to sign up for 12 months to get the best deals.

If you’re happy with the Optus network, Southern Phone’s Green 35 plan includes a hefty 18GB for $35 each month. Newcomer Hive Mobile offers 10GB for an ultra-competitive $28.80 monthly, while Moose Mobile also give you 10GB for $20 per month. Customers wanting some international extras may be interested in Amaysim, which offers 15GB for $40 and throws in unlimited standard international calls to 10 countries. Here are some published plans from our database, which are sponsored and include a link to the provider’s website.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Hive Mobile

$28.80 SIM Plan

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $28.80 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $28.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 29 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $348 over 12 months

10GBMax Data**/billing period $29Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 35

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $420 over 12 months

18GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Pennytel Mobile

10GB Large SIM-Only

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $35.99 over monthly billing period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $35.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

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, here are the highlights:

  • TPG offers a $1 per month prepaid plan with PAYG call and text rates, plus 50MB of data. This plan runs on the Vodafone Network.
  • Telstra offers a ‘$5 for five days’ recharge that brings unlimited talk & text, plus 100MB of data over one day, billed every five days. Telstra obviously uses its own Telstra Network.

Both of these plans account for calls & texts differently. For example, with TPG a two-minute phone call costs 29.8c with 10c flagfall, and texts cost 9.9c each; with Telstra’s plan, standard national phone calls are unlimited.

Data charges are also something to consider on these plans. On TPG’s PAYG plan, all data over your included 50MB is charged at 10c per megabyte, which adds up to a massive $102 per gigabyte.

Telstra customers receive a daily data allowance, but any overages are charged at a rate of $1 per 100MB (a little over $10 per gigabyte).

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TPG Logo

T4G PAYG

  • PAYG
  • Data 10c per MB
  • $20 upfront cost

min. cost $21 over one month

50MBMax Data**/billing period $1Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Day2Day

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 100MB/day, Telstra Air Wi-Fi

min. cost $5 over 5 days

100MBMax Data**/billing period $5Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

You’ve probably realised that if you’re spending under $10, you probably don’t stand to receive much in return. These plans above, while cheap, may fail to meet the demands of modern day mobile phone use, where data, browsing and streaming are kings. For those desiring more data to play with, some arguably more exciting plans await your perusal below.

Other carriers that may be worth a look:

Cheap mobile plans: a quick summary

Telco Mobile Plan Included Data Monthly Cost Contract Term
Moose Mobile Moose 9 SIM Only 1GB $9 No contract
Hive Mobile  $9.80 SIM Plan 1GB $9.80 No contract
Southern Phone  Green 12 1GB $12 12 months
Yomojo Kids’ Phone Plan 1GB $9.90 No contract
OVO Mobile Mini 1GB $9.95 No contract
Exetel ExeSIM Super Saver 1GB $9.99 No contract
Moose Mobile Moose 14 SIM Only 1.5GB $14 No contract
Exetel Saver 4G 2.5GB $14.99 12 months
Yomojo Unlimited 2GB Plan 2GB $15.90 No contract
Southern Phone Green 22 7GB $22 12 months
Moose Mobile Moose 25 SIM Only – 12M 5GB $25 12 months
OVO Mobile Medium 10GB $29.95 No contract
Hive Mobile $28.80 SIM Plan 10GB $28.80 No contract
Moose Mobile Moose 29 SIM Only – 12M 10GB $29 12 months
Southern Phone Green 35 18GB $35 12 months
Pennytel 10GB Large SIM-Only 10GB $35.99 No contract
TPG T4G PAYG 50MB $1 No contract
Telstra Day2Day 100MB $5 No contract

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 put off many a discerning customer. At the most bargain-basement end of the spectrum, a lot of providers offer seemingly solid value, but plans commonly feature short billing periods – say 7 or 10 days – which means costs can quickly add up if you recharge three or four times to get a full month’s worth of service. Suddenly, that plan won’t be so cheap after all.

At these low prices, you may also be subject to call and texting caps, which can dissipate quickly if you’re used to dearer phone plans with unlimited calls and texts. You’ll also find some other providers have PAYG call, text and data rates that can also add up rapidly if you are not constantly on-track with your phone use.

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, and these come with 1GB data to boot. Value only seems to increase the more you spend, 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 like flexibility, and what else will be out there a few months down the line.

Either way, it’s best to compare a range of different providers with both postpaid and prepaid payment terms, because there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Whatever you do, make sure you take action if you suspect you’re paying more than you need to.

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