Best SIM-only plans in Australia ({month} {year})

When it comes to mobile plans, we tend to think of those that come bundled with a handset. But if you’ve already got a phone you’re happy with, SIM-only plans are an excellent opportunity to save some money.

A SIM-only plan is any plan that doesn’t include a phone, and it’s often on a no lock-in contract where you simply pay month-to-month. There’s often a great deal of value to be found in these plans.

If you want to switch to SIM-only, you’ll find that the best-value plans aren’t available directly from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone, but rather come from resellers known as MVNOs. MVNOs are smaller telcos which resell access to the networks of the big three, and often at a much cheaper price.

If you’re looking for a SIM-only plan with 5G access though, you’ll find that only Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and more recently Spintel offer this capability. For the time being, you won’t get 5G from any of the other smaller telcos on the market.

To make choosing a plan for your needs easier, we’ve gone through each of Aussie the SIM-only providers and hand-picked the best deals, whether they’re big on data, low on cost, or a perfect middle-ground overall.

Noteworthy SIM-only deals for March 2022

We’ll get to our best SIM-only recommendations below, but first, we’re highlighting a number of ace deals on post-paid and pre-paid SIMs. Here are the current offers worth considering before choosing your provider:

Compare SIM-only plans

Best overall SIM-only plan

Moose Mobile | 25GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$16.80p/m (first 12 months, then AU$23.80p/m)

We’re recommending Moose Mobile as our best overall SIM-only plan because it has an epic discount over your first 12 months. You’ll initially pay just AU$16.80 for 25GB of data, and that welcome discount holds for one year. After that, it only bumps up to AU$23.80 each billing. This small telco launched in 2017, and it’s well-loved by its users – just check out Product Review. Moose Mobile secures its good coverage with the Optus 4G network.

Total minimum cost is AU$16.80

Best cheap SIM-only plan

Moose Mobile | 25GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$16.80p/m (first 12 months, then AU$23.80p/m)

Moose Mobile has been getting our attention of late for offering decent amounts of data at a reasonable price. This plan will set you up with 25GB of data for just AU$16.80 a month, and your bill won’t increase for an entire year. Even once the initial discount is over, your monthly bill will only increase to AU$23.80, or AU$7 more. Moose Mobile uses the Optus 4G network.

Total minimum cost is AU$16.80

Best SIM-only plan under AU$25

iiNet | 40GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$15p/m (first 6 months, then AU$29.99p/m)

If you’re looking for a cheap SIM-only plan, iiNet is currently offering its 40GB mobile plan for just AU$15 a month. That’s 50% off its usual price, and you’ll be paying this discounted rate for your first 6 months on the plan, after which it increases to AU$29.99 a month. iiNet uses the Vodafone 4G network, and you’ll get unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers.

Total minimum cost is AU$15

Best SIM-only plan under AU$40

Moose Mobile | 55GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$29.80p/m (first 12 months, then AU$34.80p/m)

You may not have heard of this small telco yet, but it’s well-reviewed and offers great-value plans geared towards SIM-only customers. This plan will get you 55GB of data for AU$29.80 a month, and that price holds for your first 12 months. Once that period is up, the plan bumps up to AU$34.80 a month, but that’s only an increase of AU$5. Moose Mobile uses the Optus 4G network, so you’re in good hands when it comes to coverage and speed.

Total minimum cost is AU$29.80

Best high data plan

Vodafone Ultra+ plan | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$65p/m

Vodafone recently launched this unlimited-data SIM-only plan, and it’ll give you the top available speeds no matter how much you’ve already downloaded. It launched at a cost of AU$85 a month, but Vodafone has since discounted the price down to just AU$65 a month. There’s no data cap on this plan, and no slowing speeds. You’ll also get unlimited calls and text in Australia and unlimited calls and text to countries in Zone 1. It includes 5G coverage if the Vodafone 5G network is available in your area.

Total minimum cost is AU$65

Best 5G SIM-only plan

Spintel | 80GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$40p/m (first 6 months, then AU$50p/m)

Spintel is the only telco outside of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone that offers 5G mobile coverage, and it’s got a generous amount of data to go along with it. For your first six months on this plan, you’ll pay AU$40 a month for 80GB of data, after which your bill will increase to AU$50 a month. Spintel is on the Optus 5G network – just be sure to check coverage in your area.

Total minimum cost is AU$40

Best SIM-only plan on the Telstra network

Woolworths Mobile | 20GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$20p/m (first 3 months, then AU$25p/m)

If you want a SIM-only plan on the Telstra network, Woolworths Mobile offers plenty of perks. This plan gets you 20GB of data for AU$20 a month, though that price only holds for your first three months, after which you’ll pay AU$25 a month ongoing. You’ll be able to rollover any unused gigs into a data bank, which will hold up to 300GB. Plus, the ability to get 10% off your grocery shop once a month is pretty sweet too... if you spend AU$200 on the latter, this plan is essentially free.

Total minimum cost is AU$20

Not the right plan for you? Check out our full comparison of all Telstra mobile plans.

Best SIM-only plan on the Optus network

Moose Mobile | 25GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$16.80p/m (first 12 months, then AU$23.80p/m)

This plan from Moose Mobile has taken out a few categories this month, and it’s also our choice for the best plan available on the Optus network. When you first sign up, you’ll pay just AU$16.80 a month for 25GB of data, and that discount applies for your first 12 months on the plan, which is pretty unbeatable. This small telco is owned and operated in Queensland, with Australian-based support.

Total minimum cost is AU$16.80

Not what you’re looking for? See our full comparison of all Optus mobile plans.

Best SIM-only plan on the Vodafone network

iiNet | 40GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$15p/m (first 6 months, then AU$29.99p/m)

You’ll also find this plan from iiNet as our best SIM-only plan under AU$25. The plan is discounted by 50% for your first six months, so you’ll initially pay just AU$15 for 40GB of data. It then reverts back to its standard price of AU$29.99 each billing, which still makes it better value than any of Vodafone’s plans.

Total minimum cost is AU$15

Not what you want? We’ve also got a full comparison of all Vodafone mobile plans.

More SIM-only deals: plans under AU$40

More SIM-only deals: plans over AU$40

Should I go SIM-only?

If you a) want to save some money; b) don’t want to be tied into a lengthy contract; c) already own a perfectly fine phone; or d) all of the above, then going SIM-only is well worth considering. In fact, you’re probably in one of two situations if your thoughts are turning to a SIM-only mobile plan:

1. You’re coming to the end of your contract and your phone is still fighting fit (if not, then head to our best mobile phones deals page to see what plan you can grab alongside a phone). On a SIM-only plan, you’ll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can often stick to a rolling month-to-month arrangement so that if your circumstances change, you can change with them.

2. It’s time for a shiny new smartphone and you want to get the best value humanly possible. You’ll have to find a few hundred bucks (or thousand at this stage) upfront for the handset, but you’ll end up better off at the end of it all. Plus, if you’re a commitment-phobe, most SIM-only plans don’t require you to sign up for two years like you would with a normal contract.

What is an MVNO?

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a telco that does not own the network which it uses to provide mobile services to its customers. Many SIM-only providers are MVNOs, meaning they resell access to Telstra, Optus or Vodafone – usually at lower prices than the big three will offer themselves.

For this reason, you’ll find that we often recommend MVNOs for some of the best SIM-only plans in Australia. Some of the main MVNO brands are Amaysim (Optus), Belong (Telstra), Circles.Life (Optus) and Woolworths Mobile (Optus).

What SIM card size do I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It’s been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM (15 x 25mm) has genuinely been the staple in new phones.

Instead, any phone you’ve bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro (12 x 15mm) or nano (8.8 x 12.3mm) SIM – the iPhone 5 was Apple’s first mobile with a nano SIM, while Samsung began using the smallest size in its Galaxy S6.

Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer’s website to see what size you require. And if you’re simply not sure, most networks now send out a triple SIM, so you'll get one of each size.

What contract length should I get?

Unlike with a contract, there’s a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM-only plan will last. Two-year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm now being rolling one-month contracts for ultimate flexibility.

You can sometimes get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you could effectively hand-pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so.

How much data do I need?

Because you can change your plan up more regularly than on a normal, lengthier contract, it’s less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you’re considering a 12-month contract, or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we’ll help you find the data sweet spot.

Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you’ve been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you’re still unsure, check out our guidance:

0-5GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM-only plans could be a blessing or a curse. If you’re putting it in a rarely used phone that will scarcely be away from Wi-Fi then it makes total sense. But if you end up with one because your head’s turned by the incredible price, then you could end up paying more if you continually go over your allowance.

5-10GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 10GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to scroll away online away from the Wi-Fi.

10-20GB If you can’t leave the house without having a music streaming service like Spotify pouring into your ears, then it might be worth paying for some extra GBs of data.

20-40GB This is a significant amount of data and many networks now offer something in this range for a reasonably appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts and watching social media videos or the occasional movie or TV show is your thing, you should be covered.

40GB+ Only smartphone junkies that need regular (and hefty) data fixes need bother with this avalanche of GBs. You’ll be able to rinse Netflix, Spotify and online games without too much fear of topping out.

The SIM-only plans on this page are checked regularly, so make sure you visit often if you want to get the most up-to-date information on the plans that are currently available.

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