CODE: FELIX10

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Travel SIMs & Roaming Packs

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | SIM Corner

SIM Corner took out top spot in Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings with an impressive five-star result across almost all categories, including overall satisfaction, and three stars for its app or website.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

How we rate Travel phone plan providers

Our travel phone plan provider ratings are based on customer satisfaction across multiple purchase factors. It’s like asking more than 1,000 Aussies what they think of their travel phone service!

Canstar Blue surveyed 1,194 Australians for their feedback on travel phone plan providers they’ve been used. Respondents had to have used a SIM card or roaming pack for overseas travel in the past three years, not including SIM cards for use in Australia or purchased overseas.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Survey respondents are asked to rate their satisfaction with their travel phone plan provider from zero to 10, with zero meaning extremely dissatisfied and 10 meaning extremely satisfied. Travel mobile plan provider satisfaction is rated on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a travel phone plan provider as an individual score, NOT the combined total of all criteria.
  • Value for money: the price paid for the travel or roaming pack was reasonable for the inclusions.
  • Sign-up and activation: the plan was easy to sign up to and activate.
  • Customer service: the provider was easy to get in touch with and offered good customer support.
  • Network coverage: there was good mobile network coverage and reception in the country/countries travelled in.
  • App or website: the provider offered an app or website that was easy to understand and use.
  • Ease of recharge: it was easy to recharge the travel phone plan when needed.

The winning brand is the brand that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating after scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.

  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and therefore win the award. If a clear leading brand still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

To qualify in the ratings results, providers must have received a minimum of 30 responses to be included. Therefore, not all travel phone plan providers are in this survey. Providers rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • SIM Corner
  • GoSim
  • Telstra
  • Vodafone
  • Woolworths Mobile
  • Australia Post TravelSIM
  • Optus

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customers ratings.

Best travel phone plan providers in Australia

  1. SIM Corner
  2. GoSim
  3. Telstra
  4. Vodafone
  5. Woolworths Mobile
  6. Australia Post TravelSIM
  7. Optus

1. SIM Corner

Ratings result

SIM Corner took out top spot with a near-perfect result, scoring five stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, sign up and activation, customer service, network coverage and ease of recharge. It scored its only three-star result for the app or website category.

Editor’s notes

SIM Corner is an Australian-owned and operated provider offering a range of prepaid travel SIM packs. Most plans require the purchase of a physical SIM card that’s shipped to you, however eSIM packs are also available. Travel packs include destinations in Europe, the US, Asia, the UK, South America, New Zealand and more, with different inclusions and expiry dates available.

2. GoSim

Ratings result

In second place was GoSim with four stars for overall satisfaction, along with value for money, app or website and ease of recharge. It scored three stars for sign-up and activation, customer service and network coverage.

Editor’s notes

GoSim offers a range of physical international SIM cards, including Europe, Asia and USA-specific packs, plus standard international SIM card and data-only SIM packs. You can also top up your plan if you need more data, call and SMS inclusions.

3. Telstra

Ratings result

Telstra took third place with four stars for overall satisfaction, sign-up and activation, customer service, network coverage and app or website. It scored five stars for ease of recharge and three stars for value for money.

Editor’s notes

Telstra offers its travel plans in the form of international roaming add-ons for existing Telstra customers. This means you’re able to keep your Telstra SIM in your phone (and still have access to your Australian phone number) and add on a Day Pass. Inclusions, prices and eligible destinations vary between the plans.

4. Vodafone

Ratings result

Taking out fourth spot was Vodafone, with four stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, sign-up and activation, and app or website. It scored five stars for ease of recharge and three stars for customer service and network coverage.

Editor’s notes

Vodafone’s $5-per-day roaming has been a stand out offer for several years now. Rather than offering a roaming SIM or add-on packs, Vodafone customers on eligible plans can pay $5 per day of roaming to access their phone plan’s inclusions while overseas. While access to some inclusions (such as unlimited capped-speed data) are excluded, it offers a convenient way to access your phone plan when travelling.

5. Woolworths MobileWoolworths Mobile logo

Ratings result

Woolworths Mobile was in fifth place with four stars for overall satisfaction, value for money and ease of recharge. It scored three stars for sign-up and activation, customer service and network coverage, and was the only provider to score five stars for the app or website category.

Editor’s notes

Like Telstra and Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile offers international roaming as an add-on to an existing phone plan. There are several roaming add-ons to choose from, with varying prices, inclusions and expiry periods, however it’s only available to use in select countries.

6. Australia Post TravelSIMaustralia post logo

Ratings result

Australia Post took out sixth place with three stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, sign-up and activation, customer service and network coverage. It scored five stars for ease of recharge and four stars for app or website.

Editor’s notes

Although Australia Post offers a selection of SIM-only phone plans, it has one, separate international roaming plan. The simple roaming plan can be used in more than 90 countries and inclusions topped up as required.

7. Optusoptus-transparent-logo-compressed

Ratings result

Rounding out our ratings was Optus with three stars for overall satisfaction. It scored three stars in most other categories, but five stars for ease of recharge and four stars for app or website.

Editor’s notes

Optus offers a $5-per-day roaming add-on to eligible customers. Unlike Vodafone’s offering that allows access to existing domestic inclusions, Optus’ version comes with its own set of inclusions, which can be used in more than 100 destinations.

Other travel phone plan providers

Whether you’re looking for an international roaming add-on, or you want a separate SIM with a specific travel plan, there are plenty of providers offering a range of travel phone plans. While not all providers (or telcos offering international roaming on plans) are covered in our ratings, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a good-value travel plan to suit your needs. Some other travel phone plan providers include:

  • Cover-More Global SIM
  • Flexiroam
  • TravelSim
  • Tripsim (by Sydney Airport)
  • WorldSIM

Phone plans with roaming features

To give you an idea of the plans available with international roaming features, the table below lists a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of advertised cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

To give you an idea of the plans available with international roaming features, the table below lists a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of advertised cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Compare more products featured in our Most Satisfied Customers Awards

How to choose a good travel phone plan

Having access to our mobile phones and phone service overseas is an essential for many of us, for keeping in touch with friends and family back home, sharing our journey on social media, using maps and browsing great places to visit.

Of those we surveyed, 39% used their travel SIM more for data than calls and texts and 38% chose a travel SIM because roaming on their regular plan was too expensive. Although 39% said that they’d recommend their travel SIM to friends and family or other travellers, there are a few things to consider when choosing a travel phone plan.

Plan type

First up, you’ll need to decide what type of travel plan you’ll need — for light data users or if you’re with a telco that offers a good international roaming plan, you might prefer to just switch roaming on.

However, if roaming is too expensive, there are plenty of travel plans available so you don’t need to stress about finding a SIM card when you reach your destination. Some of these might include calls, texts and data allowance, while some might be data-only. If you choose a data-only plan, you may need to set up a messaging app that uses mobile data, such as Messenger or WhatsApp, so you can still make calls and send messages.

SIM card or eSIM?

Some plans might also be available with an eSIM. The advantage to using eSIM is that there’s no need to switch out your Australian SIM for a physical SIM card  so you’ll be able to get text messages to your Aussie number while travelling — very important for receiving verification codes from your bank and other services. You can also set up your eSIM before you hop on your flight. Keep in mind that eSIM is not available with every phone, so you’ll need to check if your mobile phone offers eSIM compatibility. Some phones might have dual-SIM capability so you’ll be able to have your Aussie SIM and a physical travel SIM in your phone at the same time.

Destinations available

The most popular travel destinations in Europe, Asia, Oceania and North and South America are covered by many travel phone plans, but it’s important to check the destinations a plan has included before signing up. Likewise, if you’re travelling to multiple destinations, you may prefer to find a travel phone plan that will cover all of those destinations on the one plan.

Inclusions, cost and plan length

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you’ll need to consider how long the travel plan is active. Some plans might have limited expiry periods, so you might need to recharge your plan when still travelling. If that’s the case, make sure you know how to recharge, have any required  app installed and your payment details already connected to the account (if possible).

Also consider what inclusions you need, such as how much data you’ll likely use each day, and how much the plan will cost. Travel phone plans are often expensive and data inclusions can be small so it’s a good idea to make use of secure WiFi networks when available. It’s also a good idea to download all your favourite movies, shows, music, podcasts and audiobooks before you travel so you’re not draining your data by streaming.

What are the best mobile phone plans for roaming?

All the big carriers offer roaming, and overseas-specific call rates. It’s worth keeping an eye out for Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, but note that Australia Post also offers a travel SIM card.

Roaming is generally the most convenient option, as your provider basically does all the legwork and you can keep using your number. There are several ways to go about it. Simply taking your existing phone plan overseas can easily see you rack up big bills if you use your phone in the same way that you would at home – you’ve no doubt heard the horror stories about Aussies returning home to phone bills in the thousands.

Beyond PAYG roaming, there are a few options to consider when taking your mobile phone overseas:

  • Roaming packs
  • A travel/global SIM card
  • A phone plan

Generally, this list can be considered in order from the most convenient to least convenient. Consequently, convenience can also mean extra costs. One thing is for sure – these options all beat using dodgy free Wi-Fi in a cafe that is both slow and a security risk.

Roaming Packs

You can purchase roaming packs from the major providers ahead of time. However, smaller carriers may charge differently, so it pays to check with your own provider first.

Travel and Global SIM Cards

These exist in prepaid form, which makes them easy to insert into your unlocked phone and only pay for what you need! There are several private operators that provide travel SIM cards:

Phone plan from the country you’re visiting

It’s hard enough having to wrap your head around the huge range of providers in Australia alone, but going overseas can make your head spin with all the phone plans on offer when you’re travelling. Not to mention any language barriers, and it can be quite daunting trying to decipher what the SIM pack is saying in a language you don’t understand. Buying a native prepaid phone plan in the country you’re visiting can require some footwork, but the work can pay off as you’ll often be able to get more value for your money.

Prepaid plans are the way to go, as with postpaid plans you’ll most likely need to supply an address, ID check and a local credit card. With prepaid, you can recharge with minimal fuss and enjoy straight away.

New Zealand

This is an easy one. Simply compare prepaid phone providers using our sister site – Canstar Blue NZ. New Zealand has markedly less providers than Australia, but you will be afforded similar value.

USA

There are five massive mobile networks in the United States: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Verizon is the largest in terms of subscriber base, but all offer strong plans. Just like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone do in Australia, all five operate physical stores and popping in to one of these stores is a good way to get yourself a prepaid phone plan.

  • Keep in mind that 7/11 stores also stock a range of prepaid plans that may prove to be pretty solid value.
  • Keep up with the US lingo: ‘wireless’ and ‘cellular’ are synonymous with ‘mobile’.

As you’d expect, these five providers are a little more expensive than the USA’s raft of Mobile Virtual Network Operators, but some US MVNOs are pretty obscure and you’ll really need to do your homework here, as they often aren’t found in-store.

One thing to be aware of: US networks Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular all operate on CDMA technology, which means your Australian smartphone may not be compatible with their service. If you’re planning to stick a US SIM card in your device, you may need to check with your intended carrier first to ensure you’ll be able to access talk, text and data.

Canada

Like the USA, there are five network operators in Canada: Rogers, Telus, BCE and Shaw. Much of what you can get on a mobile phone plan in Canada is province dependent; one network might operate only in Alberta, but not in British Columbia for example.

Going with any of the bigger telcos will be a safe bet though, with an expansive network of stores across most provinces. You can expect plans with 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text for no less than CAD $40 with the big providers. Anything over 10GB could easily cost over CAD $100 — Canada is considered to have some of the most expensive phone plans around.

Prepaid plans are generally much dearer than what’s available in Australia, but there are some cheaper MVNOs available in various department stores, and prepaid SIM cards are often available in convenience stores as well.

UK & Europe

There are four network operators in Great Britain – EE, O2, Vodafone and 3. There is also a huge array of MVNOs, some with funny names like ‘giffgaff’. While undoubtedly these MVNOs may provide solid value, the ‘Big 4’ provide reliability and convenience.

Most of the providers offer pretty solid value, and you can expect upwards of 10GB of data with 1000 minutes & 1000 texts for £20 a month or thereabouts. But keep in mind that the AUD to GBP exchange rate could make it sound cheaper than it is!

It should be noted that most UK plans also operate in most continental European countries as normal with no roaming charges. Though not all your data allowance may be used overseas; for example, you may only find you can use 8GB out of a 10GB phone plan. Nevertheless, it’s still a very handy inclusion.

Being that many flights from Australia to Europe land in the UK, it’s very easy to pick up a UK prepaid SIM and continue on to continental Europe. Each of the four carriers have a range of store locations spanning most of the UK and you’ll likely be able to pop into one and walk out with a prepaid plan any time.

Prepaid plans in other countries

As for other countries, it starts to get a little trickier. The safest bet is selecting a roaming option, but if you’re willing to do the homework and legwork yourself, then you should be able to nab a very cost-effective deal. Sticking to major providers is also a safe bet in terms of reliability and convenience. MVNOs – while often providing more value for your money – can be hard to find without retail stores and you’ll might need to order online first, which can extend the time you spend waiting for mobile phone coverage instead of enjoying your holiday.

About our telco experts


Emma Bradstock: Senior Telco Specialist

Emma-Circle

Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for the last 4 years, with a dedication to providing Aussies with all the information they need to make better purchasing decisions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.

Meet the Editorial Team

Samantha Howse: Consumer Research Specialist

Sam Howse Research Specialist

Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.

Meet the Research Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 12,200 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 have used a SIM Card or roaming pack for overseas travel in the last 2 years (not including for use in Australia or SIM cards purchased overseas)– in this case, 1,194 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.

Here are past winners of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers – Travel phone plan ratings:

  • 2022: Vodafone
  • 2021: Telstra
  • 2019: SIM Corner

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