Best SIM only plans for January 2021

Kick off the new year with a fresh mobile plan. We've compared over 190 plans to find the best SIM-only plans for this month.

Updated . What changed?

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Best SIM only plans for January 2021

Why trust our picks?

191

Mobile plans compared

29

Mobile providers

4

Expert picks

Our tech expert Alex Kidman spends time each month going through the hundreds of plans available in our Mobile Plan Finder™ to find the best deals in the market each month. With over 20 years of experience writing for a multitude of tech websites, you can trust that he knows what he's talking about.

Keep in mind: Our best picks might not always be the best for you. Always compare your options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

How did we choose the best SIM only plans?

Every month, we look at all the SIM only mobile plans available in our Mobile Plan Finder™ and find ones that we think are best suited for you across a number of categories. None of these best picks are sponsored, which means we also take into account mobile providers and plans we aren't partnered with. We level the playing field and make sure our choices for the best plans are done so without any bias.

We take these factors into account when choosing our monthly winners:

  • Price per month (and whether promotional pricing is involved)
  • Monthly data allowance (and if these are reliant on limited-time bonus data offers)
  • Plan length
  • Other notable features such as data banking, network coverage and international inclusions

Best value SIM only plan (+ 3 alternatives)

Circles.Life 100GB for $38 SIM-only Plan

SIM-only - Postpaid

Circles.life continues to impress with lots of data for very little money. 100GB of mobile 4G data is great at this price, and it's even better value for new customers who can score this deal running through all of 2021.

That means if you sign up before January 22, instead of its original plan price of $38/month, you'll pay $30/month for your first year on the plan. Not a bad way to kick off the year.

  • 100GB per month
  • Unlimited calls & texts
    Optus network
  • $30 per month
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Why we chose it:

  • 100GB of data is superb at this price
  • 3GB of bill shock protection means it's really 103GB in total
  • 12 month discount for new customers

In the SIM-only space, Circles.life dominated through 2020 in terms of value. It's a distinction the telco isn't going to give up either, starting off 2021 with a tasty deal for 103GB of data – 100GB plus its 3GB "bill shock" buffer – at just $30 per month. To further sweeten the deal, it's not just a 1 month affair, with the same pricing available for 12 months if you sign up before 18 January 2021.

Best cheap SIM only plan (+ 3 alternatives)

SpinTel SIM-only 4G Mobile 20GB $24.95 1 Month

SIM-only - Postpaid

In the under $20 space, it's hard to score a great deal. SpinTel's plan price cut for 6 months gives it a clear data advantage with 20GB of data to use each month. That means instead of $24.95, you'll only pay $19.95 for the first 6 months if you're a new customer. The plan will go back to its original pricing from your 7th month onwards though.

For a limited time, the $10 activation fee is also waived so you'll save a bit from that too.

  • 20GB per month
  • Unlimited calls & texts
    Optus network
  • $19.95 per month
Learn more

Why we chose it:

  • 20GB of data
  • Includes 5G access
  • 6 month discount

If your budget is seriously constrained each month, it can be tough to score a particularly good deal. SpinTel's deal wouldn't typically fit into our under-$20 cheap category, but for the first half of 2021 it can, thanks to a $5 price cut for new customers. That brings with it 20GB of data, which is a reasonable amount for the money, although you'd probably want to look at switching around (or at least just checking new deals) once June rolls around.

Best big data SIM only plan (+ 3 alternatives)

Circles.Life 100GB for $38 SIM-only Plan

SIM-only - Postpaid

If you want big data, Circles.Life is the telco to switch to with huge inclusions on extremely affordable plans.

If you're a new Circles.life customer, you get 100GB of data on the Optus 4G network for just $30/month for a full year, after which it reverts to $38/month. It's actually more like 103GB, though, thanks to Circles.life's generous 3GB 'bill shock' bonus data.

  • 100GB per month
  • Unlimited calls & texts
    Optus network
  • $30 per month
Go to site

Why we chose it:

  • 100GB of data at a great price
  • 3GB of bill shock bonus data on top
  • A full year's discount for new customers

It's a sign of just how good Circles.Life's plans are that it can take best value and best big data plan month after month with the exact same plan. Start your new year off with some great bang for your buck by snatching up this plan before January 18.

Best SIM plan for international calls (+ 3 alternatives)

Vodafone SIM-only Super+ 100GB $65 1 Month

SIM-only - Postpaid

If you need to call as well as use your mobile at home, Vodafone's premium Super+ deal can't be ignored, with immense call inclusions matched by its data quota. You get unlimited calls to 20 popular destinations, as well as 200 calling minutes to a further 54 countries worldwide, covering just about every destination you might call.

  • 200GB per month
  • Unlimited calls & texts
    Vodafone network
  • $55 per month
Learn more

Why we chose it:

  • Unlimited calls to Zone 1 countries
  • 200 more minutes to Zone 2
  • 200GB of data plus endless data at 10Mbps
  • 5G access included

Vodafone's status as an international brand is evident in the value it can bring to its international calling inclusions, and that's most apparent on its highest tier Super+ plan. If its included calls aren't enough for you or don't cover the countries you're calling to, its 200GB of 5G-capable data and endless data at 10Mbps after that gives you endless scope for video calling or VoIP chat too.

How to find the right plan

If you're happy with your handset, a SIM only plan can save you a lot of money, as long as you compare the right details to ensure the best possible value. Here's what you should consider:

Calls and texts on your network

You can get unlimited standard local and national calls and texts for very little money these days, so if you're just a chatter and texter, don't pay more than you have to.

MVNOs are fighting over data

Make sure you get a plan with enough data to avoid paying extra charges.

5G isn't cheap (yet)

If you're keen on the next big thing in mobile, and are in the right spot, you've only got a few options.

Don't be afraid to switch!

SIM only plans are only getting better value over time, and switching is a quick process.

Do I need any international inclusions?

Consider whether you need a plan with international calls and text included.

Frequently asked questions about SIM only plans

Which SIM only plan is best?

This depends on your mobile needs, but this month, we've named Circles.Life's 200GB plan as our best overall value pick.

Can I keep my old phone number with a SIM only plan?

Yes! All mobile providers are legally required to port your current number over to your new service. To find out how to do this, see our guide to number porting.

Is SIM only cheaper than a phone plan?

SIM only plans aren't inherently cheaper, since you'll be paying about the same for your phone whether you buy it outright or on a contract. The main benefit comes from finding a competitive monthly plan, rather than being locked into an expensive one.

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