Smiling woman using smartphone outdoors in cold weather

Circles.Life ices out Telstra with mobile plan price freeze

Energy bills, the weekly shop, and mortgages are on the rise — with phone plans prices the next utility set to spike in cost this financial year. But budget-friendly, SIM-only telco Circles.Life is bucking the trend, announcing that it is once again freezing plan prices for a full 18 months for new customers.

Switch to one of Circles.Life’s most popular plans before July 31, 2023, and your monthly price will be locked in all the way through 2024. The offer applies to Circles.Life’s $25 and $35 plans, each of which also come with a $5 per month ongoing discount as part of the price freeze.

Head of Conversation at Circles.Life, Jordan Kerr, said the move was designed to ease the financial pressures faced by households, particularly with telcos like Telstra increasing prices.

“We all know the cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on individuals and families, with rising interest rates, inflation, increasing prices of essential goods and services and stagnant wages,” he said.

“We’re committed to being there when our customers need us most and that’s why we’re announcing a guarantee of no price increases for the rest of 2023. We’re also offering a special deal for customers wanting to escape the yearly price rises other telcos have implemented and offering a price freeze if they switch to Circles until the end of 2024.”

How to lock in a cheap Circles.Life plan

The current $5 per month discounts in place for eligible plans mean customers will save up to $90 on the standard price by switching now and staying connected until the end of 2024. Price-locked plans all include unlimited standard national calls and texts to Australian numbers, plus data allowances from 30GB to 50GB each month. You’ll also get coverage on Optus’ 3G and 4G networks nationwide.

To secure an 18-month price freeze and $5 monthly discount, new customers will need to enter the promo code FREEZE30GB for the $25 plan, or FREEZE50GB for the $35 option. You’ll also need to activate your new SIM card within 30 days.

Circles.Life is also running a six-month price cut on its largest $45 plan, which is now $40 per month for six months. Normally featuring 100GB of data per month, this plan also comes with an additional 10GB of bonus data for your first three months — simply use the code FREEZE110 at checkout to claim these offers.

Customers should keep in mind that the price freeze only applies to the standard monthly cost, and that additional charges for international options, roaming or data add-ons still apply.

If 30GB+ of monthly data isn’t quite enough, Circles.Life has also confirmed it will eliminate all excess data charges on plans from August 2023. Instead of being hit with overage fees for exceeding your plan’s data allowance, you’ll be able to buy a one-off data add-on, or upgrade to a larger plan.

If you choose not to upgrade or purchase an add-on, you’ll simply be restricted to calls and texts for the remainder of your billing cycle (although you’ll still be able to access the internet and apps when connected to WiFi).

The following table shows selected published Circles.Life plans 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 comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products which may contain links to a referral partner.

How does Circles.Life’s price freeze compare to other telcos?

Circles.Life’s price freeze is well-timed: just this week, mobile plan prices from Telstra, Boost Mobile and Belong rose by up to $6 more per month. Most of these price changes were accompanied by increases in monthly data, and generally worked out to offer more gigabytes per dollar when compared to previous pricing.

Optus has also raised prices for existing customers who were still on cheaper, older legacy postpaid plans. Said customers will be moved to the telco’s current Optus Choice Plus SIM plans, which come with a $4 per month price increase, but include at least 10GB more data.

Fellow big three telco Vodafone most recently adjusted its mobile plan pricing in February, so is unlikely to make any moves soon.

Comparatively, Circles.Life’s locked-in pricing is highly competitive. Its 30GB plan is discounted to $20 per month, which is significantly cheaper than even entry-level postpaid plans from the ‘big three’ telcos. Telstra’s plans now begin at $62 per month for 50GB of data, while Optus’ start at $49 monthly for 30GB, and Vodafone offers 40GB for $45 per month.

Keep in mind that Circles.Life’s 50GB plan is also covered by the price freeze, meaning you’ll pay $30 per month for 18 months. Compared to Telstra’s 50GB plan, that’s a saving of $384 annually.

If you are looking to compare SIM-only prepaid and postpaid plans, we’ve compiled a range in the tables below.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Concerned about other household costs? See which energy providers have confirmed price rises for July 1.

Save on phones with Circles.Life and OzMobiles

Circles.Life is a SIM-only provider, so you’ll need to bring your own unlocked smartphone. However, if you are looking for a new device, the telco has recently partnered with OzMobiles to offer customers a $50 discount on refurbished phones.

OzMobiles sells a range of good and excellent-condition refurbished phones, including pre-owned and ex-demo models. Some of the devices available include the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 ranges, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 and Z Fold 4 series, as well as cheaper phones from Samsung, Google and OPPO.

Phones are priced at up to 40% cheaper than the recommended retail price, and come with a 12-month warranty and a battery life guarantee.

Tara Donnelly
Utilities Editor
Tara Donnelly is an internet and mobile expert - sectors she’s spent a decade covering - and also oversees energy and consumer technology content. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Canberra and has shared her expertise on national media including 9 News, 7 News, Sunrise and the ABC.

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