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Optus vs Amaysim: Where to find the best phone plan?

Whether you’re about to finish your current phone contract, or just looking for a bit of extra value, looking into a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) could yield some enticing results. One such telco provider is Amaysim – in fact it’s one of the more popular ‘piggybacking’ phone carriers in Australia and operates on the Optus 4G network, and in fact is set to be acquired by Optus in 2021.

This then raises the question, who offers the best value: Amaysim, or its owner Optus? If you’re considering a switch, or looking for the best value you can find, join us for this review of phone plans from Optus and one of the biggest ‘little’ providers that uses its network, Amaysim.

Amaysim vs Optus: A quick glance

Optus is the second largest telco in the country, with its network covering 98.5% of the population (just shy of the 99% Telstra covers). Much like it’s biggest rival, Optus offers plans across prepaid, SIM-only postpaid, and plans bundled with a new phone, many including some enticing entertainment extras. If you’re after a new device or a postpaid SIM-only plan, Optus will be your stand out in this comparison.

Amaysim is one of the leading MVNOs and has won several of Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction awards for its straightforward plans. Previously, Amaysim had offered postpaid phone plans; however, the telco shifted its focus to offer only prepaid SIM-only phone plans packed with data at reasonable price points. Amaysim also offers unlimited data banking on every plan, storing your unused data for when you need it later.

Both telcos have vastly different offerings, even when comparing prepaid plans. While Amaysim manages to pack in some generous data for your money, Optus has more options, plus a range of the latest phones from the biggest manufacturers, including Apple and Samsung.

The best phone plans from Amaysim and Optus

When comparing these two telcos, it’s a bit hard to do a direct comparison unless you’re looking at prepaid plans. However, if your preference is a postpaid plan, you still shouldn’t totally discount Amaysim’s prepaid plans. Prepaid phone plans aren’t quite what they used to be, and often you’ll find prepaid plans come with just as much included value as postpaid counterparts.

To give a better picture of the included value for money, let’s take a look at how both telco’s prepaid plans compare. Below is a selection of Optus and Amaysim’s prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database listed in order of cost, with the lowest price first and then by data allowance highest to lowest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Amaysim phone plans

While Amaysim previously offered a selection of postpaid phone plans, it now only offers SIM-only prepaid deals. These run on a seven-day, 28-day or 12-month expiry period, with 5G network access included on some 28-day plans and unlimited data banking available on all plans. All plans are offered as no lock-in contracts with access to automatic recharging, so you won’t need to worry about remembering to top up your credit. You can buy a SIM online, or pick one up from a range of retailers including Coles, Woolworths and Australia Post.

All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, while the top three plans include unlimited standard international calls to either 28 select countries or 42 select countries, depending on the plan. Amaysim also offers a selection of phones, including iPhones, Samsung, Google and OPPO phones that are available to buy outright, although you will be required to bundle your phone with an Amaysim plan.

The following table shows all published Amaysim prepaid 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 with links to a referral partner.

Optus phone plans

Optus is a full-service provider, offering a range of postpaid and prepaid plans, including plans bundled with a new smartphone. While many of these plans tend to be more expensive than what is on offer from smaller providers, Optus does include several entertainment extras, such as Optus Sport, which covers many of the big European Football competitions and championships. If you’re looking for a new phone, you’ll find the latest models from manufacturers including Apple, Samsung and Google.

When it comes to SIM-only, you can choose between a small selection of month-to-month plans, or you can choose to build your own. These plans are also able to be bundled with a new phone, with the option of 12, 24 or 36-month device payment periods.

All Optus postpaid plans include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia, a monthly full-speed data allowance, and additional ‘endless’ data capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps. International call inclusions are available on select plans.

The following table includes all published Optus postpaid 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.

Optus prepaid plans

As for prepaid, Optus offers a simple selection of its ‘Flex’ plans. You can choose your Flex plan over a seven day, 28 day, 186 day or 365 day expiry period. All plans include 4G and 5G network access, along with up to 200GB of data rollover, along with a range of optional add ons such as an Unlimited Data Day add on, international roaming add ons and Optus sport.

The following table shows a selection of Optus Flex Plus prepaid 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.

Optus vs Amaysim — the final word

When you’re looking for a new plan, it’s important to think about what your needs really are. Considering all your priorities — whether it’s a new phone, lots of data or international calls — will help you with your phone plan comparison.

As for Optus and Amaysim, the value between these two telcos could come down to whether you’d prefer prepaid or postpaid. If you’re looking for a new phone on a contract or a SIM-only postpaid plan, Optus is your choice between these two; however there are many other telcos also offering postpaid deals and plans bundled with a new device, so it’s worth comparing to see who has the right plan for you.

If you’d prefer a prepaid plan, or you’re not really fussed on choosing prepaid or postpaid, both telcos have their positives and negatives.

  • Amaysim offers good value for money, and offers unlimited data banking access to international call value on some plans. However, plans run on a 28-day expiry period, meaning that you’ll need to recharge a minimum of 13 times per year. There are other similar prepaid providers with monthly or 30-day expiry periods, so it’s worth comparing these providers to get a picture of what’s on offer from other telcos.
  • With Optus, you’ll definitely have more choice, with some very competitive plans bundled with a new smartphone. While Optus doesn’t have many plans at the cheaper end of the spectrum, you’ll still find some decent value, especially at the higher level. These plans also include ‘endless data’ at slowed speeds of 1.5Mbps, so there’s no excess data charges in Australia.

One thing that does help Optus to stand out in this comparison is the entertainment extras included on some plans. If you’re big on your sports, particularly European football, having cheaper access to Optus Sport is going to be a big draw. Optus at times has struck partnerships with other entertainment brands, so keep an eye out to see what else is on offer.

If these included entertainment extras sound like something you would actually use, Optus could have the right options for you. However, these sorts of extras should only come into your consideration if you know you’ll actually use them, and if the plans have the right value at your preferred price point. If you’re after a simple, straightforward plan at a decent price with generous data, you might find Amaysim better suits your needs.

Whichever provider out of these two holds the best plan options for you, there are still many other Aussie telcos out there that also have pros and cons. It’s worth comparing phone plans from all telcos to see what is available to help you decide which phone plan is right for you.

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Emma Bradstock
Telco Specialist
Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for over five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has over a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.

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