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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What is a sim only phone plan?

In short, when you get a sim only plan, you’re only getting the sim - not a new phone on a contract. You bring your own device to the table and select the mobile phone plan that works for you. 

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.

What type of sim only plans can you get?

There are two types of sim only plans: prepaid and postpaid. The main difference comes down to when you pay. 

prepaid sim only plan allows you to pay in advance for your usage, so you know exactly how much you’re paying and what you’re getting from your plan. You’ll pay up-front for a set amount of talk, text, and data, which will last for a set amount of time - known as an expiry period. These expiry periods can be as short as a week, or as long as a year. 

One disadvantage of a prepaid plan is that once your data, for example, is gone, it’s gone. You may have to pay extra to get a top-up of mobile data, or even look for a new plan before your prepaid expiry period ends or renews. So, make sure you keep on top of your usage if you want to avoid paying extra. 

Postpaid sim only plans 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). 

Postpaid sim plans have the potential for inducing bill-shock if you’re not careful about going over your data limits or using non-standard roaming and international calls, which is a disadvantage if you’re not disciplined with your data use. 

What is a sim card?

A sim card, or Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, is a small chip that plugs into your mobile phone. A sim card contains information like your phone number, carrier, service rates, contacts, and call history. Sim cards are compatible with most mobile devices and can be inserted into any unlocked phone to access the network.  

What’s included in a sim only phone plan?

While you won’t get a phone included in your plan, you will typically get the following included at the very least:

  • Unlimited standard national voice calls

  • Unlimited standard national SMS and MMS

  • Unlimited calls to 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers

Some sim only plans also come with international calls included, but that depends on the carrier. Usually, there will also be data included in your sim only plan, but the amount will depend on the plan you choose. 

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

There are lots of good reasons to opt for a sim only plan, but it mostly comes down to how flexible you prefer to keep things. 

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

✓ Use your own phone

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

✓ Change your device any time

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

✓ 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

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 with competitive pricing and inclusions. 

Telstra

Telstra Upfront Mobile Plan Small

Telstra boasts Australia’s widest network coverage, reaching almost everyone in Australia, making it a great option for rural and regional Australians, as well as those who travel the country a lot. At the time of writing (1 July, 2022), the entry-level Telstra Upfront sim only plan includes: 

  • 40 GB of data

  • Unlimited standard national calls and texts 

  • Unlimited standard international SMS to all countries

  • 30 mins standard calls to overseas number from Australia

  • Access to the 3G/4G/4GX network 

  • No excess data charges (speed capped at 1.5 Mbps)

Optus

Optus Medium Choice Plus Plan

Optus is the second largest network provider in Australia, covering a similar portion of the country as Telstra. They’re also slightly cheaper than Telstra, meaning you might get better value for money. For example, Telstra’s entry-level sim only plan is the same price (as at 1 July, 2022) as Optus’ Medium Choice Plus Plan, which offers:

  • 80 GB of data

  • Access to the 5G network in selected areas

  • Unlimited standard national calls and texts 

  • Unlimited standard international calls and texts to selected destinations

  • No excess data charges (speed capped at 1.5 Mbps)

  • ‘Unlimited Data Day’ option ($5 for 24 hours of unlimited data)

The differences in value between the Telstra and Optus plans is exactly why you should always make sure you compare sim only plans before you make your final decision. 

Vodafone

Vodafone 200 GB Sim Only Super Plan

Vodafone is considered the more budget-friendly option and offers limited coverage compared with the likes of Telstra and Optus, particularly in regional areas. However, their comparably-priced sim only plans may be a very attractive option, given that for the same price (at the time of writing) as Telstra and Optus’ monthly plans you get: 

  • 200 GB of data

  • Unlimited standard national calls and texts

  • Unlimited standard international SMS

  • 1000 minutes of standard international calls to Zone 1 countries

  • 100 minutes of standard international calls to Zone 2 countries

  • No excess data charges (speed capped at 10 Mbps)

Amaysim

Amaysim Unlimited 80 GB

Amaysim sim only plans run on the Optus 4G Plus network, meaning that you get Optus-level coverage at a great price. At the time of writing, their Unlimited 80 GB plan offers similar inclusions to Optus’ 80 GB plan, but at a cheaper price. The plan includes:

  • 80 GB of data

  • The option to ‘data-bank’ unused data at end of expiry period

  • Additional 1 GB of data for $10 (if you run out)

  • Unlimited standard national calls and texts 

  • Unlimited standard international calls and texts to 42 countries (mobile and landline)

  • 28-day expiry period (renews 13 times per year)

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Jack Dona
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.

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