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 soon-to-be 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.

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, Huawei 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. Medium and higher plans feature unlimited standard international talk and text to 35 selected countries.

One advantage Optus currently has over Amaysim is its 5G network, which is available to customers on postpaid plans with 5G-capable devices. Although Amaysim doesn’t have access to Optus 5G yet, Optus has opened up the network to its MVNO partners – so it’s likely Amaysim customers will receive 5G coverage sooner rather than later.

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 four different types of prepaid plans — two are offered as pay-as-you-go plans, and the other two include a set call, SMS and data allowance. The Epic Data plans are perhaps the most generous prepaid plans from Optus, with fairly large data inclusions (plus bonus data), and an additional amount of data specifically for streaming video apps such as Netflix, with most plans running on a 28-day expiry period.

The Epic Value plans include less data, but most plans run on a six-week expiry period, with the exception of the $180 365-day plan. If you’d prefer the pay-as-you-go plans, the Daily Plus plans take $2 from your credit each day to go towards talk, text and data. The Long Expiry plans simply take your usage out of your credit, operating as a more traditional PAYG plan.

While Optus plans might be more expensive than what’s on offer from the smaller telcos, you’ll find plenty of extras included on select plans, such as data-free streaming. Select plans also include international talk and text extras, so while the plans can be more expensive, Optus does pack in some extra value.

The following table shows a selection of Optus Epic Data and Epic Value 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.

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 28-day expiry period, which does mean you’ll be recharging a minimum of 13 times per year (provided you don’t use up your included value before your expiry, which would require you to recharge before your 28-day expiry).

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.

Plans start at $12 for 2GB of data, and go up to $50 for a huge 80GB of data. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, while the top three plans include unlimited standard international calls to either 28 select countries (on the $30 plan) or 42 select countries ($40 and $50 plans). There is also a super-simple, pay-as-you-go plan on offer, with some reasonably cheap call and SMS rates and credit lasting 365 days.

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 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, starting at a cheap $12 with 2GB of data, going up to 80GB of data for $50, with all plans on no lock-in contracts. Also, you’ll have access to some international call value, which is handy if you have friends and family in any of the select countries. 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 — $65 per month on a postpaid plan can get you 200GB data per month, and $85 can get you 240GB. 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 free 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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