What are the best mobile phone plan deals?

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Everyone wants to save a buck or two, and when it comes to mobile phone plans, it’s all about getting the best value for money possible. Luckily there has never been a better time to choose a new mobile phone plan, with telcos large and small competing for your business with some great offers and often incredible promotional deals.

Here at Canstar Blue, we explore some of the biggest and best mobile phone deals currently available in Australia — who’s offering what, when it expires and what you need to keep in mind so you can grab the best phone plan for your needs.

Best Mobile Phone Plans – July 2021

Best Mobile Phone Plans – at a glance

Looking for a quick comparison of some of the best phone plans and prices? Below is a selection of SIM-only phone plans to compare before we jump into what deals are on offer from a range of telcos.

Postpaid Plans Under $35

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $35 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Prepaid Plans Under $35

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $35 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Best Mobile Phone Plans – July 2021

If you’re shopping around for a mobile phone deal, now is a good time to do it. You’ll soon realise that most of the time these deals come on a month-to-month basis, with a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates off one of the three networks in Australia. They get a wholesale network and, consequently, have a bit of room to move on price; examples of MVNOs are Amaysim, Boost Mobile, Southern Phone, Moose Mobile and supermarket mobile brands such as Woolworths Mobile and ALDI. However, you’ll still find deals and offers available from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

Further below the page you’ll find more details on some of the best mobile plan deals available this month from some of Australia’s most-popular telcos. If you want a quick glance of a few of the offers currently available, these are the best mobile phone deals available in July 2021:

 

Telco Mobile Plan Included Data Deal
Vodafone $65 SIM-Only Super+ Plan 100GB + 10Mbps unlimited capped-speed data Get 200GB bonus fast-speed data (300GB in total)
Boost $30 Prepaid 20GB Get 17GB bonus data on first 3 recharges
Moose Mobile $15.80 M2M plan 6GB Save $6 off plan fees for first 12 months (was $15.80 per month, now $9.80)
Amaysim $30 Unlimited Mobile plan 30GB Only $10 for first renewal, then $30 ongoing + 50GB data for first 3 renewals, then 30GB ongoing
Southern Phone $10 Small plan 2.5GB Save $2.99 off your plan fees for as long as you stay with this plan (was $12.99, now $10 per month)

Last updated July 2021.

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iPhone 12 5G Phone Plan Deals

iPhone 12 phones in five colours
Source: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone upgrade landed in October 2020. If you’re interested, here are a selection of published iPhone 12 deals on offer from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.

iPhone 12 Plans

The following table shows a selection of 24-month 64GB Apple iPhone 12 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a wide range of telco providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

iPhone 12 Pro Plans

The following table shows a selection of 24-month 128GB Apple iPhone 12 Pro plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a wide range of telco providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Here’s the cheapest way to get the 64GB iPhone 12 from each major telco:

  • Vodafone $40 Lite Plan (10GB data): $77.47 per month ($40 plan + $37.47 phone payment). Total cost $1,349 over 36 months just for your phone; with the $40 plan added on, $2,789 over 36 months.
  • Optus Choice Small $45 Plan (20GB data): $82.46 per month ($45 plan + $37.46 phone payment). Total cost $1,348.56 over 36 months just for your phone; with the $45 plan added on, $2,968.56 over 36 months.
  • Telstra Small Plan (40GB data): $111.20 per month ($55 plan + $56.20 phone payment). Total cost $1,348.80 over 24 months just for your phone; with the $55 plan added on, $2,668.8 over 24 months.

If you’re looking for more information on the iPhone 12 and the other 5G iPhones, as well as details on plans and prices from the telcos, you can check out our guides on Telstra iPhone 12 series plans, Optus iPhone 12 series plans and Vodafone iPhone 12 series plans.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Phone Plan Deals

Samsung Galaxy S21 series phones in black, purple and pink
Source: Samsung

Eyeing up the Samsung Galaxy S21 series? Now could be the best time to score a deal on this popular device from either Telstra, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile or Optus.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Here’s the cheapest way to get the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S21 from each major telco:

  • Woolworths Mobile $25 Plan (20GB data): $61 per month ($25 plan + $36 phone payment). Total cost $1,296 over 36 months just for your phone, with the $25 plan added on, $2,196 over 36 months.
  • Vodafone $40 Lite Plan (10GB data): $74.69 per month ($40 plan + $34.69 phone payment). Total cost $1,248.84 over 36 months just for your phone; with the $40 plan added on, $2,688.84 over 36 months.
  • Optus Choice Small $39 Plan (20GB data): $79.68 per month ($45 plan + $34.68 phone payment). Total cost $1,248.48 over 36 months just for your phone; with the $45 plan added on, $2,868.48 over 36 months.
  • Telstra Small Plan (40GB data): $107 per month ($55 plan + $52 phone payment). Total cost $1,248 over 24 months just for your phone; with the $55 plan added on, $‭2,568 over 24 months.

You can find more Samsung Galaxy S21 series plans from Telstra, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile and Optus.

What is the best SIM-only mobile phone plan?

Infographic with four things to consider when choosing a phone plan
There is no straightforward answer to this question. What might look like a good mobile plan to one person, might not be the best mobile phone plan for another person. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important to consider what you need from your phone plan. In order to determine what mobile phone plan will be best for you, you’ll need to do some research to give you an idea on what is available from Aussie telcos. There are also several things you will need to consider, such as cost and inclusions, when looking for the best phone plan for your needs:

  • Plan type: Prepaid or postpaid, phone-on-a-plan or SIM-only, along with the contract length or billing period of the plan.
  • Cost: Plans can vary from under $10 to over $100 and these costs are often determined by the plan type and inclusions.
  • Inclusions: How much call, text and data is included on the plan, do you need international calls or roaming, along with other extras.
  • Network: Which network is the carrier with and will you get coverage where you live and work?

New copy here around the best SIM-Only mobile phone plans

Best Prepaid Mobile Phone Plans

If you like the security of paying for your plan in advance, and want to avoid the possibility of bill shock from excess usage fees, a prepaid phone plan may be right for you. Prepaid mobile plans allow you to pay for your calls, texts, data and extras in advance, meaning you won’t be given a monthly bill or any surprise charges – so they’re great for kids and teens, users on a budget, or anyone wanting a simple SIM-only plan with no lock-in contract.

Plans are offered over various expiry periods – you’ll find expiry terms from seven days up to a full year, depending on your provider. However, most prepaid telcos offer 28 or 30-day plans as standard, and include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia across all plans.

Popular prepaid providers include Boost Mobile, Amaysim, Lebara, Lycamobile, Felix, Yomojo and Kogan, as well as supermarket telcos Woolworths Mobile, Coles Mobile and ALDI Mobile. Major telcos Telstra, Vodafone and Optus also offer prepaid mobile phone plans, some of which include similar perks and extras as each provider’s postpaid SIM-only deals.

Best Postpaid Mobile Phone Plans

If you’d prefer to avoid running out of credit or messing around with recharges, going postpaid may be a better fit for your lifestyle. Postpaid plans require you to pay for your mobile usage at the end of each month, but this does mean you’ll need to keep an eye on your usage to avoid paying overages. However, these plans often feature perks you won’t find on a provider’s prepaid options, such as unlimited speed-capped data, international roaming, or data-free streaming.

Big names in postpaid include Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, as well as smaller providers such as Woolworths Mobile, Moose Mobile, Belong, Dodo, TeleChoice and Southern Phone. Several telcos also offer the option of bundling new phones with postpaid SIMs, either as part of a packaged phone-on-a-plan or on a separate device payment over 12, 24, or 36 months.

Best Cheap Mobile Phone Plans

If you’re looking for the cheapest of the cheap, you can find mobile phone plans beginning from as little as $5 per month for talk and text only, or just under $10 for 1GB of data. Low or occasional data users can expect to pay between $10-$20 per month for their plan, with options in this price bracket generally including around 1GB-5GB of data per month.

Heavier users can also find a great plan for less than $30 per month, on both prepaid and postpaid terms. Look to brands such as Boost Mobile, Amaysim, Circles,Life, Moose Mobile and Dodo to find great deals and around 20GB of data for less than a dollar a day.

For a more comprehensive look at what’s on offer across all usage tiers, check out our guide to Australia’s cheapest mobile phone plans.

Best Mobile Phone Plans for Seniors

While seniors have a wide variety of needs, there’s plenty of mobile deals out there that can save retirees and older Aussies quite a few bucks on their phone or plan. If you’re mostly after a plan with plenty of talk and text time (and aren’t much of a data user), you can find unlimited call SIM-only plans for around $10 per month, and even forgo data completely with Dodo’s $5 no-data plan.

Of course, if you are a daily data user, you can find SIM-only and phone deals with plenty of gigabytes for as little as $20-$30 per month. Providers to keep an eye on include TeleChoice, Southern Phone, Woolworths Mobile, Moose Mobile, and Belong. Some bigger-name providers, such as Vodafone, may also offer seniors-exclusive discounts or plans.

Generally, you’ll want to consider the type of plan you’ll need (prepaid or postpaid), the data and inclusions you’ll use, the flexibility of your plan term, and your monthly budget. For a detailed guide on finding the best deal, read through our tips on finding the best phone plans for seniors.

Best Mobile Plan Plans for Kids

If you’re looking for a plan for a child or teen, you’ll want something affordable, flexible, and suitable for your child’s usage needs. While some providers offer kid-specific plans (for example, Dodo’s $5 no-data option), you’ll generally want to look at prepaid mobile deals and contract-free SIM plans on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

As unlimited talk and text is generally standard on most mobile plans, your main concerns are how much data your child will need, network coverage, and the plan’s expiry period. You’ll want a plan with enough data to cover how your child may use their phone, but you may also want to avoid any excess data usage charges by going prepaid (or opting for a plan with unlimited speed-capped data, such as what’s offered by Felix Mobile).

There’s a lot to consider when picking the best mobile plan for your child. For a more detailed look at what’s on offer, read our guide to the best phone plans for Aussie kids.

Which mobile phone provider has the best deal?

Expect deals like a few dollars off the normal monthly rates, extra data, freebies, or even all of the above. However, also be aware that some deals come with a catch. Hit the links below to compare plans from your favourite carrier:

AGL Mobile

ALDI Mobile

Amaysim

Belong

Bendigo Telco

Boost Mobile

Catch Connect

Circles Life

Coles Mobile

Dodo

Exetel

Felix

Gomo

GoTalk

HelloMobile

iiNet

iPrimus

Kogan

Lebara

Lycamobile

Moose Mobile

NuMobile

Optus

 

Pennytel

Southern Phone

Spintel

Tangerine

TeleChoice

Telstra

Think Mobile

TPG

Vaya

Vodafone

Woolworths Mobile

Yomojo

How to choose the best mobile phone plan deal

Choosing a great mobile phone deal is more than just choosing the cheapest price and how much data, calls and texts you want. As previously mentioned, when you choose your mobile plan, there are several things to consider — plan type, cost, inclusions and network. Let’s go into a bit more detail to help you choose the best mobile phone deal for your needs.

The type of mobile plan

The first thing to consider is what type of mobile plan you’re interested in. Do you only need a SIM card or would you like a new smartphone on a plan? If you want a new handset, this will limit your selection of telcos as only a small group of telcos offer new phones on a plan. If you already have a phone or are planning on buying your device outright, you’ll need to decide whether a prepaid or postpaid SIM-only plan is right for you.

Generally you can get similar call, text and data inclusions on both prepaid and postpaid, but there are pros and cons to both. For a more in-depth guide on SIM-only plans, you can check out our SIM-only plans guide. If you’re interested in a new phone, whether its a cheap smartphone or a premium device, check out our smartphone comparison, iPhone, Samsung or OPPO guides for more information on devices and phone plans.

The cost of a mobile plan

Everyone likes to save a bit of money, but the cheapest phone plan isn’t always the ‘best’ phone plan. While a phone plan for $10 or less might sound great, these plans generally have very limited inclusions, especially data, with around 1GB-2GB of data as standard. Cheap prepaid plans might also run on a short expiry period of seven or 10 days, requiring you to recharge three to four times per month. If you’re a big data user, the inclusions on these cheaper plans might not be enough data for you — you could find yourself paying excess data charges, which are generally around $10 for 1GB of extra data. Think about your monthly budget and what you can afford to spend on your mobile plan as a starting point.

The inclusions on a mobile plan

The inclusions on a phone plan can often determine the cost of the plan. When looking at call, SMS, data and other inclusions, such as international calls and entertainment extras, you need to be realistic with what you will actually use. If you’re a very light phone user and sign up to a mobile plan with 10GB of data, you might find you use less than half of your data allowance, so you could be better off on a plan with 5GB or less. If you’re a heavier data user, these days many plans include very generous data inclusions with some mobile plans even offering over 100GB.

Some providers include unlimited data at capped speeds, so you won’t get charged for excess data usage. Phone plans might also include entertainment extras like data-free sports streaming and free subscriptions, or other extras like data pooling, international calls, global roaming inclusions or bonus data. If you’re on a tight budget but you’re looking at plans with 10GB or more, the good news is that these mobile plans can cost around $20-$30 and are generally quite affordable for most Aussies.

The mobile plan network

Another important factor to consider is which mobile network you’ll be on. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all operate mobile networks in Australia, but many of the smaller telcos, known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), run on parts of these networks. If you’re in a regional or remote part of Australia, you might find you’ll only have coverage from one or two networks and in most cases, the MVNOs won’t always have access to the full network coverage that the network operator does. Once you’ve found a mobile plan you’re interested in, check that telco’s website to find out if you will have coverage in your area, including where you work and any place you travel to regularly.

The extras and deals on a mobile plan

Once you’ve compared phone plans from several providers, if there are a couple virtually identical plans that have caught your eye, then you might be better off going with the one that offers the most incentives like bonus data, data banking or entertainment extras. However, there’s usually a catch to get these deals, like buying online only, buying before a certain date, redeeming your offer within a certain period, and so on.

While these deals may be great on paper, you might think twice if you have to do too much legwork. As for the big three providers, while they are generally the most expensive phone plans on the market, they do pack in value for money:

  • Telstra has the data-free Apple music and Kayo Sports streaming options with access to some of the most popular competitions in the country, along with the Telstra Air WiFi network and free entertainment subscriptions.
  • Vodafone seems to be the most generous with bonus data and its plans with unlimited capped data are at reasonable price points, plus you’ll have access to its $5 international roaming.
  • Optus has a good balance between data inclusions and price, while offering data-free streaming of sports on most plans and unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps.

Overall, the main message is that you probably shouldn’t choose a phone plan just based on what bonuses it offers. You might find these bonuses don’t last for very long or might require you to hop on a more expensive plan than you had intended. In any case, it pays to look at both the big three providers and a range of MVNOs to see what deals are out there and whether a certain provider really suits what you’re looking for.

How to compare deals on mobile phone plans

When you’ve considered the above points and have a clear idea of a budget, phone plan type, inclusions you want and network you’d prefer, you can use these preferences as a guide to comparing phone plans. Our comparison tool at the top of this page makes comparing phone plans quick and easy, plus, it’s free to use. Simply choose your phone plan type (prepaid, postpaid or phone on a plan), and then you can apply filters such as price, call, SMS and data inclusions or by device if you’re looking at phone on a plan.

When you compare mobile phone plans from a range of providers, you’ll have a clear idea of what plans are out there and what kind of value you can get for your money, to help you find the best mobile phone plan for your needs.

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