SIM-Only Mobile Phone Plans

If you’ve been locked into the two-year new-phone-and-plan cycle, you may not be familiar with SIM-only phone plans. An alternative to signing a standard 24-month phone contract, a SIM-only plan allows you to bring your own device to the provider and select a plan of your choice.

Instead of a new handset, you’ll simply receive a SIM card that’s connected to the telco’s network. Insert it into your unlocked phone, activate and set up your plan, and you’re good to go – without the long-term contracts and hassle of signing up for a new device.

Generally, a SIM-only plan will feature all or most of the inclusions and extras provided on your telco’s standard two-year plans. But because you’re not adding in the cost of buying a brand-new smartphone, you’ll pay less each month. Plus, you won’t be required to sign a lock-in contract unless, of course, you opt for a plan on a contract over 12-months for example.

You’ll also get to pick your own device: whether it’s brand new, pre-owned or a device handed down by a family member, you’re not limited to the range of new phones stocked by providers. Telcos use the promise of a new, shiny smartphone as a means of chaining customers to a network long-term, but if you skip the phone upgrade, you can enjoy more flexibility, choice and even some savings.

If you’re interested in signing up to a SIM-only phone plan, or you want to compare SIM-only plans currently on the market, read on to find out more.

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SIM-Only Plans – quick glance

Read on to find the best SIM-only plan for you. But if you’re in a hurry, you might like the looks of one of these plans from our database. The table shows a selection of SIM-only plan with unlimited talk & text and about 10GB of data. Use our comparison tool for even more deals. These are sponsored products.

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

Moose 24.80 SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $24.80 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $24.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Catch Connect Logo

11GB 30 Day Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $4.90 for first 30 days

min. cost $25 over 30 day billing period

11GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

UNLIMITED 30GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 10 countries

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

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

Green 35

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $35 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Why choose a SIM-Only plan?

SIM Only Plans

The obvious reason to jump to a SIM-only plan – also known as a bring-your-own (BYO) phone plan –  is the potential to save some money, even just short-term. Reasons you might be better off on a SIM-only plan include:

  • You love your current phone and don’t need to replace it
  • You’re looking to cut down on your monthly mobile costs
  • You’re waiting for an upcoming phone release and don’t want to upgrade or sign a new contract just yet
  • You like to swap between phones
  • You’re looking for a phone plan for your kid and already have a handset for them
  • Your mobile usage can vary month-to-month
  • You want more flexibility from your mobile plan.

Essentially, if you’re happy with your current phone and want to save on your mobile bill, SIM-only is worth looking into. What you’ll need to decide, besides how much data you’ll need, is if you want to go month-to-month or sign up on a 12-month plan, and if you’d prefer a postpaid or prepaid service.

You’ll also find that there are more telcos to choose from when going with a SIM-only plan. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are the smaller operators using the Telstra, Vodafone and Optus networks to provide services. Many of these smaller telcos tend to offer cheaper phone plans than the big three, although you typically won’t get the same perks such as data-free entertainment streaming or unlimited data.

Prepaid SIM-Only Plans

If you like to pay in advance, and don’t want the worry of potential overages, prepaid plans are your best bet. You’ll pay for a set number of inclusions or credit each billing period (usually 28, 30, or 35 days); once this is exceeded, you’ll need to manually recharge before you can call, text or use data. Some telcos do allow you to set up auto recharge for prepaid plans.

Prepaid mobile phone plans can be every bit as competitive as postpaid options, and brands such as Boost Mobile, Amaysim and Yomojo can offer great deals (as listed below). You’ll also find great value in supermarket mobile brands, such as ALDI Mobile. The below table includes links to referral partners.

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

25GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $35.90 over 30 day expiry

25GBMax Data**/billing period $35.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

UNLIMITED 45GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 10 countries

min. cost $40 over 28 day expiry

45GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$40 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 25 countries, 200 mins & SMS to 30 countries, 200 MMS to 55 countries
  • Get 15GB bonus data on the first 3 recharges. First recharge by 02/09/19. Terms apply.

min. cost $40 over 28 day expiry

30GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$40 Combo Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 500 standard mins to Zone 1 countries, 100 standard mins to Zone 2
  • Special offer: 25GB bonus data on activation (offer expires 20/08/19)

min. cost $40 over 35 day expiry

20GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

12-Month SIM-Only Plans

Although many people opt for a SIM-only plan to avoid signing contracts, the biggest deals are usually reserved for customers on 12-month BYO postpaid phone plans. Telcos want you to stick around, so it makes sense that year-long plans come with the biggest value; if you’re not afraid to commit, it’s a great way to lock down a good price and score some great plan inclusions.

Vodafone SIM-only plans offer great incentives, but smaller brands such as Southern Phone and Moose Mobile are also worth checking out. Below are just some of the 12-month SIM-only plans, all of which include unlimited talk and text, and plenty of data each month. The below table includes links to referral partners.

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

Moose 25 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 32

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $384 over 12 month plan period

16GBMax Data**/billing period $32Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Month-to-Month SIM-Only Plans

Not ready to be locked into a single plan or provider? You can always sign up for a month-to-month SIM plan. Most telcos will offer no-contract plans, on either a prepaid or postpaid basis, for customers bringing their own devices, although they may come with slightly less data or inclusions than equivalent plans on a 12-month contract.

Plenty of MVNOs sell affordable, data-packed SIM-only plans with no lock-in contract (for example, Boost Mobile and Exetel), but you may also enjoy the extras offered by Telstra. The below table includes links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Boost Mobile

$20 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries

min. cost $20 over 28 day expiry

5GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

Extra Value 4G

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $300 international calls

min. cost $24.99 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $24.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 39 SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $300 international call credit

min. cost $39 over one month plan period

25GBMax Data**/billing period $39Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

UNLIMITED 60GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 10 countries
  • 300 min standard international calls to 22 countries

min. cost $50 over 28 day expiry

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap SIM-Only Plans

One incentive you might have for switching to a SIM-only plan is to find a cheap plan. You’ll find many of the smaller telcos will offer really basic plans for $10 or less. Many of these plans are specifically aimed at kids or other light phone users, such as seniors, therefore they won’t include much data and calls might be capped.

If you want more than 2GB of data and unlimited standard national calls, you can grab a plan with decent inclusions at under $20. These cheap plans are available from both prepaid and postpaid providers, so there are plenty of options to choose from. The following table includes plans from both prepaid and postpaid providers with links to referral partners.

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

Super Saver 4G

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $8.99 over one month plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $8.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 9.80 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $117.60 over 12 month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

Kid’s Phone Plan

  • 200 minutes standard national calls
  • Unlimited standard SMS

min. cost $9.90 over 30 day expiry

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

UNLIMITED 1GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $10 over 28 day expiry

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

3GB 30 Day Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $15 over 30 day expiry

3GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
TeleChoice Logo

LIVE 16 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited texts to any country

min. cost $192 over 12 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $16Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Unlimited data on SIM-Only plans

If you think going SIM-only means limits on your data, think again. Vodafone has three unlimited data postpaid options and the good news is they’re BYO-phone compatible.

Vodafone’s $45 SIM Only Plus Plan, $55 SIM Only Plus Plan and $65 SIM Only Plus Plan feature unlimited data, but there is a catch. Once you’ve gone through your high-speed data inclusion, your speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps. However each plan includes a hefty amount of high-speed 4G data: 30GB on the $45 option, 80GB on the $55 option and 120GB on the $65 plan.

All of these plans include unlimited standard national talk and text, plus international call allowances included each month. However, these plans are only offered on a 12-month contract, so you need to be prepared to stick around for a while.

Not to be outdone, Telstra now also includes unlimited data on all of its SIM Only postpaid plans, in the form of eliminating excess data charges. Like Vodafone, this unlimited data is capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps, but you’ll also get great full-speed data inclusions on all four plans. Plans start at $50 for the Small plan with 15GB of data, $60 gets you 60GB of data, $80 will get you a generous 100GB while the Extra Large plan is $1oo for 150GB of data.

Telstra’s postpaid plans also offer a range of extra perks including data-free streaming of Apple Music, data-free sports streaming (including the NRL and AFL) and free access to the Telstra Air WiFi data network.

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

$45 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 30GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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
Vodafone Logo

$55 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 2000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $660 over 12 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised 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
Vodafone Logo

$65 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 120GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international calls to Zone 1 countries, 300 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

120GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised 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

Unlocking your phone

Before you take your phone to a SIM-only plan, you’ll need to make sure that it’s unlocked from its original network. If you bought your device on a postpaid plan, it’s probably already unlocked, but there are exceptions. Fortunately, unlocking a device from a specific telco’s network is easier than ever; you can usually do it yourself online, provided you have your phone’s IMEI number.

To find this number, simply dial *#06# from your mobile phone. Once you’ve got this number ready, head to the website of the telco that you bought the phone from originally, or call its customer service centre. Be aware that while it’s normally free to unlock your phone, you may be asked to pay a fee for prepaid phones if you service is still relatively new.

If you have a phone from a postpaid plan with Vodafone, Telstra or Optus, you’ll generally have an unlocked phone, but it’s best to double check with the telco before you go switching SIM cards.

If you bought your device at full price directly from the manufacturer, or from a retailer such as JB HiFi, great news: your phone is unlocked out-of-the-box, and free to take to your choice of provider and plan.

 

Which SIM-Only plan is best for me?

So you’ve reviewed an array of SIM-only phone plans in a variety of price brackets, and now you’re ready to make a change. Before you switch, there’s still a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself to make sure you’re choosing the best SIM-only plan for your needs.

  • Which phone network do I prefer? There are three phone networks in Australia – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Smaller service providers use one or more of these networks to deliver their services. If you’re in a regional area, you might only have one or two choices of networks with coverage.
  • What inclusions do I need? There is little point paying for unlimited calls and texts if you’re not going to make the most of them. Likewise, give serious thought to how much data you actually need as data inclusions is usually what brings the price up.
  • What is my budget? If you’re bound by a budget like most of us, compare plans in a particular price segment, and search for the best value you can get for your money.

At the end of the day, a SIM-only plan is a great choice if you want the freedom to choose your phone, or you’re after more variety in plan offerings – the choice of which plan, however, is completely up to you!

Canstar Blue’s Customer Ratings

Featured SIM-Only Plans on this Page

No contra

Telco Mobile Plan Included Data Monthly Cost Contract Term
Yomojo 25GB Plan 25GB $35.90 No contract
Amaysim UNLIMITED 45GB 45GB $40 No contract
Boost Mobile $40 Prepaid 30GB $40 No contract
Vodafone $40 Combo Plus 17GB $40 No contract
Moose Mobile Moose 25 SIM Only 12M 15GB $25 12 months
Southern Phone Green 32 16GB $32 12 months
Vodafone $45 Red SIM Only 30GB $45 12 months
Telstra Small Plan 15GB + unlimited 1.5Mbps data $50 No contract
Boost Mobile $20 Prepaid 5GB $20 No contract
Exetel Extra Value 4G 10GB $24.99 No contract
Moose Mobile Moose 39 SIM Only 25GB $39 No contract
Amaysim UNLIMITED 60GB 60GB $50 No contract
Exetel Super Saver 4G 2GB $8.99 No contract
Yomojo Kid’s Phone Plan 1GB $9.90 No contract
Amaysim UNLIMITED 1GB 1GB $10 No contract
Catch Connect 3GB 30 Day Plan 3GB $15 No contract
TeleChoice LIVE 16 (12M) 3GB $16 12 months
Vodafone $45 SIM Only Plus Plan Unlimited (capped at 1.5Mbps after 30GB) $45 12 months
Vodafone $55 SIM Only Plus Plan Unlimited (capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB) $55 12 months
Telstra $60 Medium Plan 60GB + unlimited 1.5Mbps data $60 No contract
Vodafone $65 SIM Only Plus Plan Unlimited (capped at 1.5Mbps after 120GB) $65 12 months
Telstra $80 Large Plan 100GB + unlimited 1.5Mbps data $80 No contract
Telstra $100 Extra Large Plan 150GB + unlimited 1.5Mbps data $100 No contract
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