Postpaid Phone Plans & Providers

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Canstar Blue’s annual review of postpaid SIM-only providers compares Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Southern Phone, Belong, Vaya, iiNet and Dodo based on value for money, customer service, network coverage, ease of sign up & activation, billing, plan flexibility and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Southern Phone

Southern Phone is the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2019 customer satisfaction award for SIM-only postpaid plan providers, scoring five-star reviews on billing, customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Southern Phone takes top spot for postpaid SIM plans

To find the best phone plan for your needs, you’ll first need to determine which type of phone plan you want. If you desire the perfect trade-off between flexibility and value, then a postpaid SIM-only phone plan may be the way to go. Provided you already own your own handset, you can pick from more than 20 different mobile carriers, all desperate for your business. Activating a new plan is as easy as ordering a SIM and porting over your old number if you want to keep it. But with so many service providers to choose from, picking the right plan for your needs represents a challenge.

Canstar Blue can offer a helping hand with our annual review of postpaid SIM-only providers and their plans. Each year, we survey thousands of mobile users across Australia to find out how they’re getting on with their phone plans, and ask them to rate their mobile service providers based on key factors, including the sign up and activation process, customer service, billing information, network coverage, plan flexibility, value for money and overall satisfaction. While the majority of postpaid SIM-only plans come on no-contract terms, these ratings also include feedback from customers on contracted SIM-only plans. These are not to be confused with mobile phone plans that include a new handset.

This year’s review sees the big guys – Vodafone, Optus and Telstra – pitted against smaller providers Southern Phone, Belong, Vaya, Dodo and iiNet. You might not have heard of all five lesser-known telcos, but this year’s results make a compelling case for taking a chance outside of the big three networks. So, what did we find this year?

Best-Rated Postpaid (SIM-Only) Plans

The eight telcos in Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of postpaid phone plans were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  1. Southern Phone
  2. Belong
  3. Vaya
  4. iiNet
  5. Dodo
  6. Vodafone
  7. Optus
  8. Telstra

Southern Phone makes its SIM-only postpaid ratings debut with an overall satisfaction score of five stars, seeing it take out the top spot for 2019. Another new entrant, Belong landed in second place with an overall score of four stars. It also achieved a five-star rating for its network coverage. Vaya rounds out the top three for 2019, scoring four stars for overall satisfaction.

It wasn’t a good year for the biggest three providers when it comes to their postpaid SIM-only plans, with Vodafone, Optus and Telstra holding up the rest. However, you shouldn’t be entirely put off by this result as customers of the big three providers tend to rank their service lower, but they can still offer a great deal.

Our annual review provides an insight into what customers think of these postpaid plan providers, but what exactly do they have to offer you right now? Read on as we compare plans from the eight providers in our review and provide a guide on what you should look for from a great postpaid plan.

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Postpaid Phone Plans Compared

Looking for a quick comparison of plans and prices? Below are selected published postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This selection of plans includes links to referral partners.

Southern Phone Postpaid Plans

You might not be familiar with Southern Phone, but the community-focused telco has been around since 2002. With a focus on supporting customers in regional and remote Australia, Southern Phone offers a comprehensive range of phone and broadband plans, including its great-value SIM-only postpaid options.

Operating on the Optus 3G and 4G networks, Southern Phone’s bring-your-own-phone plans are available on both 12-month and no-lock-in contracts, with prices beginning from just $9 per month for 1GB of data. With all plans priced at $60 per month or less, Southern Phone’s postpaid range makes for an affordable alternative to big-name providers, and all plans include unlimited standard talk and text to Australian numbers. If you’re looking for a SIM-only plan with good value data and no unwanted extras, these plans offer simplicity, easy sign-up, and no fuss.

Data options are available up to 80GB per month; this should be more than plenty for most Australian phone users, as well as serious streamers and downloaders. In addition, Southern Phone’s excellent ratings for customer service, plus its 30-day network guarantee, may be enough to for many value-conscious customers to give the telco a try.

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

X Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $108 over 12 month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $15 per month for your first 24 months, then $20 per month ongoing. Terms apply. Ends 31/07/20.

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $22 per month for your first 24 months, then $30 per month ongoing. Terms apply. Ends 31/07/20.

min. cost $264 over 12 month plan period

18GBMax Data**/billing period $22Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $30 per month for your first 24 months, then $40 per month ongoing. Terms apply. Ends 31/07/20.

min. cost $360 over 12 month plan period

35GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

X-Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls &
  • Special offer: $37 per month for your first 24 months, then $50 per month ongoing. Terms apply. Ends 31/07/20.

min. cost $444 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $37Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

XX-Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $45 per month for your first 24 months, then $60 per month ongoing. Terms apply. Ends 31/07/20.

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Belong Postpaid Plans

Another simple, drama-free SIM-only provider, Belong operates on Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, covering more than 97% of the population. Its postpaid plan suite offers just three basic plans: 1GB for $10 per month, 10GB for $25 per month, and 40GB for $40 per month. All plans are available on a monthly basis.

While Belong’s range is small, it’s affordably priced, with all plans including unlimited standard calls and texts in Australia. If you opt for the $40 plan, you’ll also get unlimited standard international calls and texts to selected countries – an option available on smaller plans for an additional $5 each month. All three plans also feature unlimited data banking, meaning you can save any unused gigabytes each month for future use.

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

Small 1GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Add international talk & text for $5 extra

min. cost $10 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Belong Logo

Regular 10GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Add international talk & text for $5 extra

min. cost $25 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Belong Logo

Large 40GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls and SMS

min. cost $40 over one month plan period

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Dodo Postpaid Plans

Another internet-focused telco with a side hustle in mobile, Dodo’s simple SIM-only plans are available on month-to-month terms. There is also a no-data plan available for a tiny $5 per month with optional data, international call and MMS add ons available.

Plans are priced from $5 per month for no data (but with an optional 2GB of data to add on for an additional monthly $10), and all feature unlimited national talk & text in Australia. The $20 plan includes 100 international minutes to 35 countries with the $30 plan including 200 minutes, although extras such as roaming aren’t included. In terms of coverage, all plans are powered by Optus 3G and 4G nationwide networks.

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

No-Data Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • Add on 2GB data for additional monthly $10

min. cost $5 over one month plan period

N/AMax Data**/billing period $5Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

$5 Plan + 2GB Data

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • Add on 2GB data for additional monthly $10

min. cost $15 over one month plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

6GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • 100 standard international minutes to 35 countries

min. cost $20 over one month plan period

6GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

12GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • 200 standard international minutes to 35 countries

min. cost $30 over one month plan period

12GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Postpaid Plans

The winner of our 2019 Canstar Blue Telco Award for SIM-Only Provider of the Year, Vodafone continues to offer value-packed postpaid plans to customers who are happy to bring their own phone. Offering solely month-to-month options with no lock-in contracts, Vodafone’s plans are available from $40 per month, and include unlimited standard national talk and text, plus great high-speed data inclusions.

All of Vodafone’s postpaid plans now feature unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps, in addition to your included high-speed data – a great way to prevent overage fees and bill shock. Selected plans also include international calling minutes, and customers on month-to-month plans can add data-free streaming and entertainment passes from an additional $5 per month.

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

$40 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 10GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $40 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$50 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 60GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $50 over first month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$60 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 100GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$80 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 150GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international calls to Zone 1 countries, 300 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $80 over first month

150GBMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vaya Postpaid Plans

Another Optus network reseller, Vaya offers a modest range of lower-priced, bring-your-own-device postpaid plans, with both monthly and six-month terms available. Prices begin at $16 for 2GB of data on a month-to-month plan, with data options available up to 50GB (or 60GB on a six-month term).

All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, and international calls are available from 2c per minute. The lack of bonus features and perks, such as included international calls, may be off-putting if you’re after a bells-and-whistles plan, but the great value data and unlimited talk and text keeps things simple. Month-to-month plans also auto-renew, but you’re free to cancel at any time without penalty.

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

Unlimited $24

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $144 over 6 month plan period

8GBMax Data**/billing period $24Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vaya Logo

Unlimited $36

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $216 over 6 month plan period

20GBMax Data**/billing period $36Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vaya Logo

Unlimited $44

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $264 over 6 month plan period

40GBMax Data**/billing period $44Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vaya Logo

Unlimited $56

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $336 over 6 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $56Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

iiNet Postpaid Plans

Known mostly for its competitive range of broadband and NBN plans, iiNet also offers a small selection of bring-your-own-phone plans. Prices begin at $15 per month for 1GB of data, up to $37.99 for 9GB.

Unlike most other providers in our 2019 ratings, iiNet doesn’t include unlimited national talk and text with all plans; its $15 and $19.99 options feature $550 of monthly call and text credit. This is something to be aware of if you’re considering iiNet, but the telco’s two highest-tier plans do feature some included international calling credit. All plans offer coverage on Optus’ 3G and 4G networks.

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

$15 Mobile Voice SIM Only

  • $550 call and SMS value
  • $10 upfront SIM cost (first month only)

min. cost $25 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

$19.99 Mobile Voice SIM Only

  • $550 call and SMS value
  • $10 upfront SIM cost (first month only)

min. cost $29.99 over one month plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $19.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

$24.99 Mobile Voice SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $10 upfront SIM cost (first month only)

min. cost $34.99 over one month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $24.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

$29.99 Mobile Voice SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $10 upfront SIM cost (first month only)

min. cost $39.99 over one month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $29.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

$37.99 Mobile Voice SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $10 upfront SIM cost (first month only)

min. cost $47.99 over one month plan period

9GBMax Data**/billing period $37.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Postpaid Plans

Ranking in eighth place in our 2019 review, Telstra recently re-designed its postpaid plans, cutting its range down to just four SIM-only options. Prices start at $50 per month for 15GB of data, up to $100 per month for a hefty 150GB.

Although Telstra isn’t the most affordable provider, its plans are undoubtedly feature-packed. Along with unlimited standard national talk and texts, all plans feature unlimited speed-capped (1.5Mbps) data in addition to your full-speed gigabytes, as well as data-free sports streaming and data-free Apple Music. You’ll also get free Telstra Air Wi-Fi and free access to Telstra’s new 5G network until June 2020.

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

Small Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • No excess data charges
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 5G network access included until 20 June, 2020

min. cost $50 over one month

15GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • No excess data charges
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 5G network access included until 20 June, 2020

min. cost $60 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • No excess data charges
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 5G network access included until 20 June, 2020

min. cost $80 over one month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Extra Large Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • No excess data charges
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 5G network access included until 20 June, 2020

min. cost $100 over one month

150GBMax Data**/billing period $100Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Postpaid Plans

Optus’ streamlined selection of SIM-only plans take the confusion out of picking a BYO deal: the telco now offers four month-to-month SIM plans. Options include $39 per month for 10GB of data, $49 for 60GB, and $59 for 100GB, and all SIM plans include unlimited standard talk and text in Australia.

Customers on plans of $39 or more also enjoy unlimited standard international talk and text to 35 countries, plus 2GB of overseas roaming data on the $59 plan and 4GB of roaming data on the $79 option. Entertainment extras are included on selected plans, such as data-free Optus Sport, and the option of a free Apple Music trial on 12-month plans.

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

$39 Small Choice Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $39 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $39Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$49 Medium Choice Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • Special offer: Up to 6 months free Apple Music

min. cost $49 over one month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $49Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$59 Large Choice Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 2GB global roaming data
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $59 over one month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$79 Extra Large Choice Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 4GB global roaming data
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $79 over one month plan period

120GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Postpaid Phone Plans Explained

Set of color SIM cards isolated on white background

There are plenty of great SIM-only postpaid deals on offer if you’re ready to bring your own phone to the party. But it’s important to understand exactly how these plans work: unlike prepaid phone plans, going postpaid means you could be charged more than you were expecting to pay.

Postpaid phone plans require you to pay your bills at the end of each billing period. This means that if you exceed your plan’s data limitations along the way, you’ll be charged extra for doing so. Excess data is usually charged at $10 per gigabyte, but some providers charge more; others charge by the megabyte instead, which means costs can quickly add up if you’re not careful.

The main advantage of postpaid plans is that you’ll never be left unable to make a call, send a text message, or use mobile data to chat online. If your prepaid plan expires, you’ll need to spend extra money there and then to get your service back up and running. However, postpaid plans allow you to keep using your service, and simply settle the bill later.

The main disadvantage of postpaid phone plans is the potential to blow out your budget if you’re not careful. Make sure that you know exactly what you will need to pay for going over your plan’s inclusions, keep an eye on your data use, and make sure that exceeding your monthly allowance doesn’t become a habit. If it does, you would be better off upgrading your plan, rather than paying extra in excess charges.

The safety net of being able to make calls whenever you need to means that postpaid phone plans are probably a good idea for those who use their phone a lot. They may also be the preferred choice for parents looking for a phone plan for their child.

If keeping close tabs on your spending is important to you, then prepaid may be the wise alternative. But when it comes to ease of use and maximum bang for your buck, it’s hard to look past postpaid plans.

Compare Phones on a Plan

More about Postpaid Phone Plans

Our latest review of postpaid plans saw Southern Phone claim the title of best-rated provider, but some other telcos performed well in specific areas. Here’s what our 2019 customer survey revealed:

  • Best Overall: Southern Phone was the only provider to earn five stars for overall customer satisfaction, closely followed in the ratings by Belong and Vaya.
  • Best Value: Southern Phone was also rated best on value for money, with Belong and Vaya in second and third place respectively.
  • Best Customer Service: iiNet was deemed best for customer service, ahead of Southern Phone and Vaya.
  • Best Network Coverage: Belong was rated best for network coverage, with Telstra and Southern Phone in close pursuit.
  • Best for Billing: Vaya was rated best of the bunch for billing, with Southern Phone and Belong following close behind.
  • Best for Plan Flexibility: Belong was also ranked best for plan flexibility, followed by Southern Phone and Vaya.
  • Best for Sign-up & Activation: Vaya was deemed best for its easy sign-up & activation process, ahead of Belong in second and iiNet in third.
Telco Mobile Plan Included Data Monthly Cost Contract Term
Southern Phone Green 32 16GB $32 12 months
Southern Phone Green 40 30GB $40 12 months
Belong Regular 10GB $25 No contract
Belong Large 40GB $40 No contract
Vaya Unlimited $36 38GB $36 No contract
Vaya Unlimited $44 50GB $44 No contract
iiNet $29.99 Mobile SIM Only 4GB $29.99 No contract
iiNet $37.99 Mobile SIM Only 9GB $37.99 No contract
Dodo $20 SIM Only 6GB $20 No contract
Dodo $30 SIM Only 12GB $30 No contract
Vodafone $50 SIM Only Plus 60GB, plus unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps $50 No contract
Vodafone $60 SIM Only Plus 100GB, plus unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps $60 No contract
Optus $49 Medium Choice Plan 60GB $49 No contract
Optus $59 Large Choice Plan 100GB $59 No contract
Telstra Medium Plan 60GB, plus unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps $60 No contract
Telstra Large Plan 100GB, plus unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps $80 No contract

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 9,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who currently have an active SIM-only mobile phone account in their name and pay the bills – in this case, 2,424 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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