Compare SIM only phone plans

Love your phone but not your mobile phone plan? With a SIM only plan you BYO phone and match a plan to your needs. Start your search by comparing SIM only plans and their data, text and call allowances below.

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Here’s a snapshot of some of the top SIM only phone plans deals currently available via our partner. You can compare more options and customise your results by clicking on the full results link in the table.

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June SIM only mobile phone plan snapshot

Phone plans are pretty straightforward when it comes to talk and text inclusions these days, but the amount of data that providers offer can differ greatly from plan to plan.

Of course, the higher the data limit, the higher the price tag (unless there’s a good deal, of course). 

While you might look at mid-range plans that come with 50GB of monthly data and think ‘Is that enough?’, it turns out that the average Aussie uses about 24GB of data per month, according to ACCC’s latest Internet Activity Report

It’s strange, then, that the bottom-shelf Telstra, Optus and Vodafone plans start at 50GB/month, and go all the way up to 500GB/month at the top-end (at the time of writing). 

Sure, the big three telcos tend to stuff more features into their plans, like discounted streaming service prices, but are you really getting bang for your buck from these guys?

The mid-range Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone SIM only plans come in at $59 to $65/month, and include data allowances of between 80 to 180GB/month. 

Unless you use a lot of mobile data in your day-to-day life, you probably don’t need that much. 

Let’s look at an example of a SIM only plan with 100GB of data per month. According to Netflix, you can watch about 4 hours of content per GB of data. So, to chew through 100 gigs, you’d have to watch 400 hours of Netflix. That’s over half a month of continuous binge-watching. 

What I’m getting at is, there are SIM only mobile plans with mobile data closer to the average usage figure for a far cheaper price, that might fit how you use your mobile phone better.

Let’s say you’re a light data user, who doesn’t stream movies and TV shows while off-WiFi, and uses less than 20GB of data per month. 

In that case, something like iiNet’s Mobile 16GB Plan is one to consider. With unlimited standard national talk and text and 16GB of data on the Vodafone 4G network, it’s a steal at $12.50/month for the first 6 months ($24.99/month thereafter. New iiNet customers only. T&Cs apply).

If you’re an above-average data user, compare TPG Mobile Phone Plans, which are 50% off for the first 6 months at the moment (T&Cs apply). TPG SIM only plans range anywhere from 12GB/month to 60GB/month for heavier data users. The half-price promo means you could get 60GB data for just $20/month for the first 6 months (T&Cs apply). 

The best part is, a lot of SIM only plans don’t come with a contract that locks you in. This means you can simply switch to the next mobile phone plan deal once the promo period ends and keep saving money. 

So, what are you waiting for? Compare SIM only plans right here!

What is a SIM only phone plan?

SIM only mobile plans don't come with a mobile phone. They typically include talk and text credit and a data allowance. 

What type of SIM only plans can you get?

There are two types of SIM only plans: prepaid and postpaid. The main difference, as you might have realised, comes down to when you pay. 

  • Prepaid SIMs let you pay in advance for your talk, text, and data inclusions. The main advantage of a prepaid SIM is that you know exactly what you're going to pay and how much credit you'll have to use. This also means that you'll need to keep on top of your usage habits, to avoid paying more for data top-ups later. 
  • Postpaid SIMs allow you to pay for your mobile usage after you’ve used it and will usually have expiry periods of 28 or 30 days. In other words, you’ll receive a phone bill for your usage at the end of the month. The bill includes your standard plan price, plus any additional charges you might have incurred (like if you went over your data limits, or used international roaming). 

What is a SIM card?

A SIM card is a small chip that you plug into your phone's SIM card slot that acts as a 'key' to connect your phone to your service provider's network. 

There are also eSIMs, which work in the same way as physical SIMs, only you 'download' it directly to your phone. 

What’s included in a SIM only phone plan?

SIM only plans typically come with unlimited talk and text to standard Australian phone numbers and a mobile data allowance. 

Some SIM only plans also come with international calls included, but that depends on the carrier. 

What are the pros and cons of a SIM only plan?

The advantages of SIM only plans include: 

✓ Use your own phone

✓ Change your device any time

✓ Potential for lower monthly costs (not paying for new phone)

✓ Freedom to swap SIM between unlocked phones

✓ Often you won’t be locked-in to a contract

✓ Flexibility to change plans and providers if there’s a better deal 

✓ Shop around for a cheaper phone if you don’t need the latest tech

✓ No credit check on SIM only plans without contracts.

The disadvantages of SIM only plans include:

X You must be able to afford a phone outright, which is a higher upfront expense 

X You won’t have the support of the telco if something goes wrong with your phone (e.g. faulty hardware) and will have to contact the place you bought it from yourself.

Which telco providers offer SIM only phone plans?

Most of Australia’s major telco providers offer SIM only phone plans. These include TelstraOptus, and Vodafone. But, there are a whole host of smaller providers out there (known as MVNOs) with competitive pricing and inclusions. 

So, when it comes time to compare mobile phone plans, make sure you compare the price with what the plan actually includes (e.g. data, and talk and text benefits) across a few different carriers. 

What's the best SIM only mobile phone plan?

While the best mobile phone plans for you will differ depending on your needs, the 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Mobile Phone Plans revealed some of the best value plans on the market. Winners include: 

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Jack Dona
RG146
Money writer

As a Mozo money writer, Jack’s goal is to cut through the jargon and give people the knowledge they need to make better informed financial decisions. With a background in communications and journalism, he brings his creative flair for language to make the world of insurance and money management fun, as well as educational.

FAQs

Do I get to keep my phone number if I switch to a SIM only plan?

Yes, you always have the option to carry your existing phone number over when you’re signing up for a new mobile plan. So, don’t fret about having to memorise a new one, or do the rounds on socials to get your new number to your friends. 

The process of transferring your number to a new SIM is known as ‘porting’ your number. You can only port your number over to a new SIM whilst your existing mobile service is still active. Your new telco provider will handle the whole process for you so all you really need to do is wait. 

Can I get unlimited data on a SIM only plan?

Several telcos offer unlimited data on their SIM only plans. However, purchasing a plan with unlimited data will likely come at a higher cost, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the budget-conscious among us. 

But it’s also worth noting that some plans with data limits will offer no excess fees if you go over your data for the specified expiry period. In fact, they’ll automatically roll you over to a sort of unlimited data plan, only your data will likely be capped at quite a slow speed. The speed cap is likely to be in the ballpark of 1.5 Mbps, which isn’t conducive to streaming HD video or downloading large files. 

Do I sign a contract for a SIM only plan? 

SIM only plans are less likely to require a contract, making for more flexibility if you need to change plans due to changing needs, tighter budgeting, or if you’ve found a better deal. So, chances are you won’t need to sign a contract that locks you in for a certain period of time. 

How do I activate a new SIM?

Activating your SIM will be different depending on the carrier. Usually, your SIM card welcome package will contain instructions and website addresses which you’ll need to go through to activate your SIM. The general process is as follows:

  1. Insert the new SIM into your phone and turn on your device

  2. Locate the activation key provided in the SIM card welcome package

  3. Use your wifi connection (either on your phone or on a computer) to head to the telco’s website 

  4. Use the activation key to activate your SIM through the carrier’s website 

  5. Wait for the activation process to complete and receive a confirmation email or text 

Can you get a 5G SIM only plan?

Some mobile phone service providers are rolling-out 5G data access on their SIM only plans. However, it is not as widely available as 4G yet. To find out which carriers are offering 5G SIM only plans, compare mobile plans with Mozo.

Why get a SIM only phone plan? 

Sim only plans are also known as bring-your-own (BYO) phone plans and there are plenty of reasons to consider one, like: 

  • If you can afford to buy a phone outright

  • You like your existing phone and want to keep it

  • Your phone is ‘unlocked’ from a specific telco provider, or you’re willing to get it unlocked

  • You’re looking to cut-down on monthly phone-bill costs

  • You’re waiting on a new phone release so you can upgrade

  • You don’t want to be locked into a contract (however, some SIM only plans do have contracts) 

  • You want the freedom to switch to a cheaper mobile phone plan provider when a new deal comes up

  • You want to be able to upgrade your phone whenever you like.

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