A SIM-only deal is a mobile phone plan that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but doesn't come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation means SIM-only deals can be much cheaper than general mobile phone deals which makes them ideal if you already have a handset or are eyeing up a SIM-free phone.
To make things easy for you, we've gone through and combed through all of Australia’s available SIM-only plans to picks the ones we think offer the most bang for your buck. Our choices start from $16 per month for a basic plan, but we've also looked at more expensive plans at $40 and $60, and there are some great options for power users who need loads of data.
- Discover our picks for the best outright mobile phones on the planet
Below, you'll find the very best SIM-only deals in Australia as of August 2017. Whether you’re after the cheapest plan possible, want to dig out the best-value big data SIM plan or just want an all-round great deal but don’t know how much to spend, you should find a recommendation here that suits your needs.
Best SIM-only deals for under $25 a month
Vaya | No contracts | 1GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $16 per month | Optus 4G Network
A deal that offers terrific value, Vaya's Unlimited S plan offers unlimited national calls and texts with 1GB of data for just $16 per month. Best of all, there are no contracts involved, so your minimum cost is the initial monthly payment. Also, if you purchase the plan before June 16, 2017, you get a free 5GB data-only SIM to use as you see fit.
Yomojo| No contracts | 2GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $19.90 per month | Optus 4G Network
For just a few dollars more than the last SIM only plan, you can get an extra gig of data from Yomojo. Like the Vaya plan, you get unlimited calls and texts within Australia and there are no lock in contracts. It also works off the Optus 4G network, though you won't get any bonus data for signing up immediately.
Amaysim | No contracts |1.5GB data | Unlimited international calls (select countries) | Unlimited texts (select countries)| $24.90 per month | Optus 4G Network
If you regularly call and text people from other countries, Amaysim's Unlimited 1.5GB plan might be the one for you. The plan offers unlimited international calls and texts (to select countries) for just $24.90 per month. Also, if you sign up before the end of June 2017, you'll get the first month for just $9.90.
Best SIM-only deals for under $40 a month
Amaysim | No contracts | 7GB data | Unlimited international calls (select countries) | Unlimited texts (select countries)| $39.90 per month | Optus 4G Network
Once again, Amaysim offers unlimited international calls and texts (to select countries), only this time, you'll get a rather hefty 7GB of data for just $39.90 per month. There are no contracts involved, though the plan will auto-renew every 28 days.
Vaya | No contracts | 10GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $36 per month | Optus 4G Network
With Vaya's Unlimited XL plan, you get a whopping 10GB of monthly data and unlimited national calls and texts for just $36 per month. While the plan doesn't offer unlimited international calls, you can add 200 minutes of overseas calls to 100 select countries for just $2 extra per month.
Optus | 12-month contract | 12GB data | $300 international calls (select countries) | Unlimited national texts | $40 per month | Optus 4G Network
Though this plan requires you to sign up to a 12-month contract, there's an awful lot of value included here for just $40 per month. You get 12GB of monthly data, as well as $300 worth of international calls to select countries. Technically this is a 10GB plan, though you get 2GB bonus data if you sign up before June 4, 2017.
Best SIM-only deals for under $60 a month
Amaysim | No contracts | 9GB data | Unlimited international calls (select countries) | Unlimited texts (select countries)| $49.90 per month | Optus 4G Network
Another good deal for people who crave international talk time, Amaysim's Unlimited 9GB offers unlimited international calls and texts (to select countries) and, you guessed it, 9GB of data for just $49.90 per month. Once again, there are no contracts, though the plan will auto-renew every 28 days.
Virgin Mobile | 12-month contract | 18GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $500 international calls and text |$60 per month | Optus 4G Network
Offering a huge amount of data at an appealing price, Virgin Mobile's $60 SIM only plan is great value for power users. You get a whopping 18GB of monthly data (which rolls over to the next month) and $500 worth of standard international calls and text.
Virgin Mobile | No contracts | 11GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $500 international calls and text |$60 per month | Optus 4G Network
Similar to the previous option, the difference with this $60 per month Virgin Mobile plan is that there's no contracts to sign. That said, there is a downside in that it only offers 11GB of data per month rather than 18GB. Still, if that sounds like more than enough data for you, then this is a great choice for people who hate contracts.
Should I go SIM-only?
If you a) want to save some money; b) don't want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c) both 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:
- You're coming to the end of your contract and your network is calling you a million times a day to get you to upgrade. Well if your phone is dying a death or you just fancy a change, head to our best mobile phones deal page to see what bargains are lurking, but otherwise going SIM only on your current phone is a no-brainer. You'll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can stick to a rolling 30 day contract so that if your circumstances change, you can get out of the arrangement tout suite.
- 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 up front for the handset (be sure to check our SIM free comparison chart) but box clever and you'll end up paying less over the next 24 months (see below). 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 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 simply 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 being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility. You can often 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 can 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 a normal, lengthier contract, it's less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you're thinking of grabbing a 12-monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we'll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you.
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:
- 0-1GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM only deals 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 you're quids in. 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.
- 2-3GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 2GB and 3GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to check the football scores and scroll Facebook away from the wi-fi without danger.
- 4-8GB 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.
- 10-16GB This is a significant amount of data and some networks offer it for a very appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts, watching social media videos, or all three is your thing - you should be covered.
- 20-30GB 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.
Do I need unlimited calls and texts?
Call it practicality, call it greediness, call it what you want - it's human nature to want 'unlimited' anything if offered. But you should think genuinely about whether you really need it in a world where the likes of WhatsApp and Skype let you call and text for free over wi-fi or 4G. If you decide that a few thousand monthly minutes and texts should do you, then you could shave off some cash from your bill.
The SIM-only deals 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 deals that are currently available!