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Best Mobile Phone Plans for August 2020

After the best mobile phone plan to meet your needs? We've analysed the market and chosen our top picks for you.

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Best Mobile Phone Plans - August 2020

  1. Best SIM only plan: Circles.Life 100GB for $28 Plan
  2. Best mobile plan for data: Circles.Life 100GB Plan
  3. Best prepaid plan: Optus Prepaid Epic Data $30
  4. Best cheap mobile plan: TPG $15 Plan
  5. Best iPhone plan: iPhone 11 64GB $50 Vodafone Plan
  6. Best Samsung plan: Galaxy S20 5G $49 Optus Plan
  7. Best long expiry mobile plan: Catch Connect 365 day prepaid plan
  8. Best mobile plan for international roaming: Vodafone Starter Pack $40

Curious to know how we picked this list?

Every month, our team of experts looks for the best mobile phone plans from hundreds of products in the market. We look at the most popular phone models based on user preference, and break down plan details and costs to find you the best value plans. Keep in mind that our "best" picks may not always be the best for you, and you're always welcome to use our mobile phone plans comparison table to find one that works for you.

We all use our mobile phones differently, which is why there's such an enormous amount of mobile plans out there. While there's no single plan that we can shout as being the "best" for everyone, we've divided our choices into multiple categories to help you find the best value mobile plans currently available. Whether you're budget-conscious, data-hungry or after a new phone, we've got you covered with our expert picks of the best mobile phone plans.

Best SIM only mobile plan

Why we like it: Circles.Life is a new player in Australia from Singapore, and their plans are absolutely jam-packed with value. It's safe to say that its 100GB plan is the best mobile plan on the market right now - you won't find any other providers coming close this insane data allowance at this price point! Since this is a limited time offer, make sure you grab the deal before Circles.Life decides to take it off the market.


Best mobile plan for data

Why we like it: This is a no brainer - we can't put any other plan here besides the same one that's topped our list for best SIM-only mobile plan. We could put a 50GB plan here but it'd cost more than the plan that Circles.Life is offering. So why not grab a plan that offers more data for a cheaper price?


Best prepaid mobile plan

Why we like it: Optus' plan is as its name suggests, giving you 'epic data'. It even rolls over your data if you recharge your plan before it expires. If you love streaming sport, you have the additional option of adding Optus Sport to your recharge for an additional $5.


Best cheap mobile plan

Why we like it: TPG's more well-known for their Internet plans, but they also provide some pretty competitive mobile deals. They're currently offering a lot of their plans with 6-month promos, which is pretty great value since you're not tied into a contract, so you can leave if you're not satisfied. We think their Large plan is the perfect cheap option, giving you plenty of data for a cheap $15/month.


Best iPhone plan

Why we like it: With so many iPhones to choose from, it's near impossible to pick the 'best' one. We've gone with the iPhone 11 64GB since it's the latest model with sufficient storage space. In our opinion, Vodafone's plan is a great choice coming out at under $100 a month (including handset repayment). You've also got "endless data" with Vodafone so once you hit your 60GB limit, you won't get charged extra, but your speed will get slowed down to 1.5 Mbps.


Best Samsung Galaxy plan

Why we like it: The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G model is a solid choice for those looking for a new phone, being one of the latest releases and one of only a handful of 5G capable phones available on the market. Optus has one of the better plans on the market for the Samsung S20. With 60GB of data each month, you'll have plenty to keep you busy, for a price tag that's just above $100 a month which includes your handset repayment.


Best long-expiry mobile plan

Why we like it: Catch Connect's long expiry plan is our top pick this month giving you 120GB and unlimited calls and texts for an entire year. Though you get all your data given to you up front, if you portion out your usage, you should have 10GB to use each month. There aren't any bells or whistles to this plan, so all you've got to do is buy it, activate it and away you go with no worries for a year!

Looking for more long-expiry mobile plans? Click here


Best mobile plan for international roaming

Why we like it: Thanks to its $5 a day global roaming inclusions, Vodafone has this category pretty much locked up, as no other provider offers anything near the same level of value. By paying $5 for every day you use your phone's service in eligible countries, you get to access your phone plan's regular inclusions. As a bonus, the $5-a-day fee is waived if you happen to be travelling to New Zealand as well.

Alternative pick: If you can do without the data but still want the freedom to call home, Vodafone's $30 Combo Plus plan has unlimited talk and text plus 10GB of data for just $30 per recharge.


What makes the best mobile plan?

There isn’t a single answer to this, because it depends entirely on what you’re looking for and your personal mobile habits. With that in mind, here’s what to consider when narrowing down the right mobile plan for you:

  • Cost. This can go anywhere from $15 to over $100 a month, depending on what you get. For a prepaid plan, consider how frequently you’ll need to recharge. Figure out your maximum monthly mobile budget and remember the cheapest plans aren’t always the best due to very limited inclusions.
  • Data inclusions. Not just how much data you have, but whether you get free streaming, international roaming or data rollover between months.
  • Network and coverage. Telstra’s, Vodafone’s and Optus’ 3G/4G networks may have variable coverage over where you live, work and travel. Certain devices might enjoy faster speeds with some 4G networks like Telstra’s.
  • Excess data and charges. What happens when you go over your data limit? Some providers like Telstra or Vodafone may just lower your connection speed to 1.5Mbps, while others will charge you an extra $10 or so for additional GB blocks.

Should I get a prepaid or postpaid plan?

PrepaidPostpaid
Bills are paidAt the beginning of the monthAt the end of the month
Bill shockNeverWhen you go over your data or talk limits
ValueGenerally low in data per dollarCan be high, though watch out for early termination fees on contracts
BYO phone?YesYes with a SIM only plan, or included handsets are available on contracts
Data/credit rolloverSometimesRarely
Promotional dealsOftenOften
Best for
  • Infrequent or light mobile users
  • People whose usage changes month to month
  • Seniors and kids
  • Heavy mobile users
  • People who use their phone roughly the same amount each month
  • Anyone who wants a new phone with their plan

Is it better to buy a mobile outright or with a plan?

The first thing to know is that whether you buy your mobile upfront or on a plan, the actual cost you pay for the handset doesn’t change. The main difference is that you’ll be locked to a particular phone plan for the length of the contract and you’ll be paying the phone off over a period of time rather than all at once.

Generally, you’re better off buying the phone outright and picking a cost-efficient SIM only plan to go with it. However, if you can’t afford the handset outright or want the convenience of getting everything from a single provider, a contract could be the way to go. Just be aware that the plans available with handsets may not be the best mobile deal you can get.

Which is better: an MVNO or the actual provider?

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a third-party retailer that offers mobile plans on Telstra’s, Vodafone’s or Optus’s networks, rather than owning or building its own infrastructure. The biggest difference between an MVNO and one of the big three carriers is usually cost, but you can see our guide on MVNOs to find out more.

Pros

  • Cheaper plans. Because MVNOs don’t have to pay to build and maintain network infrastructure, they usually have cheaper plans on offer than a provider like Telstra, which has more overheads.
  • Flexibility. Almost all MVNOs provide phone plans on a month-to-month basis rather than a multi-month contract, meaning you can switch plans easily to get the best value or as your needs change.

Cons

  • Reduced coverage. Most MVNOs use the wholesale network of a particular carrier, which offers slightly less coverage overall – usually only relevant in certain regional areas.
  • Limited handset options. Few MVNOs have handsets on contracts. If you want a new phone with your plan, you’ll likely have to go with a major carrier.
  • Fewer extras. Lower costs mean fewer features. You probably won’t get as many plan extras like free streaming from an MVNO compared to a more expensive major carrier plan.

Frequently asked questions

Can I bring my existing number to a new phone plan?

When switching to a new plan, you should almost always have the option to bring your old number with you at checkout. Always check with your new carrier first and do not cancel your current plan before buying a new one or you could lose your number. Read our guide on mobile number porting for more in-depth instructions.

What are data only SIM plans?

A data only SIM plan is a form of mobile broadband where you purchase a certain amount of GBs but don't get access to mobile network communication features. This means that if you insert a data only SIM into your phone, you won't be able to make calls or send texts, but you will be able to browse the Internet.However, a data only SIM can be inserted into any SIM-enabled device, including some laptops, tablets and other devices. You can also plug them into certain wireless modems, which can then be used as hotspots to provide network access. Learn more on our mobile broadband page.

What if I want to change phones/plans before my contract has ended?

If you want to change your plan but stay with the same provider, many will allow you to switch between a limited set of plans freely. But if you want to change your provider or phone entirely before the contract is up, you'll usually have to pay out the remaining value of the handset and maybe extra cancellation fees.This is why choosing the right contract length is important: a 36-month plan will give you lower monthly costs on your handset, but you should ask whether you'll want the latest model in the next couple of years or whether your phone will even last that long. 12- and 24-month plans have higher monthly repayments, but offer greater flexibility if you decide you want a change.

How do plans without excess data charges work?

Both Telstra and Vodafone offer a wide range of plans that claim no excess charges, unlike other plans which will automatically charge you for extra data blocks when you go over your limit. These excess-free plans function by allowing you access to more data for free, but at a severely reduced speed of 1.5Mbps, which will restrict your ability to do more data-intensive activity like streaming and downloads.

Image: Shutterstock

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RoyAugust 7, 2019

    Optus have offered, on a 24 month plan, a new iPhone 7 with unlimited text and national calls together with 10GB of data discounted to $45.20 per month. Is this a good deal?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiAugust 8, 2019

      Hi Roy,

      Thanks for getting in touch! It’s helpful to know that when choosing a mobile plan, it should be one that fits your monthly budget and lifestyle. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    SamyMarch 14, 2018

    Hi,
    I would like to know which MVNO using full strength 4G network for voice and data. I heard that Boost is using Telstra’s full network and Virgin is using Optus. Is there any other MVNO using full strength network for both voice and data ??
    Cheers!
    Samy

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Samy,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      I may not be able to give you a specific answer, Sam. The network strength depends on different factors such as time and place.

      However, in terms of network coverage, the service an MVNO offers shouldn’t differ in any way at all from the service that you’d get from the underlying network provider at the same location. That makes sense because it’s the exact same network infrastructure. If there’s an outage or a reception problem with an MVNO, it’s a question of the underlying carrier’s network, not the MVNO.

      We also have a list of MVNOs on this page along with the networks they use. Please check and see if it answers your question.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    ZitaMarch 6, 2018

    I need a new mobile phone (keeping my existing mobile number) + prepaid monthly plan to receive incoming calls from work and reply back fast and easy … as my job based on how fast I receive the messages from work and can take the shift … so coverage is important … between Caboolture, the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island . Best/lowest price deals with fast and safe/reliable network even in rain/storm? Any suggestions? Thanks*

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Zita,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      In terms of speed when it comes to calls and messaging, all Australian telcos are largely using 3G networks. So we couldn’t single out who’s fast and who’s not. If you like to compare your prepaid monthly + phone plan, you can check your options here. From that page, you can click on “Build your own” option. You can also narrow down your options by navigating the panel of the page and customise your preferences. Please see image below:

      Mobile plan+phone

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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