Who’s the provider offering 200GB for under $30/month?
Is there a catch?
As with any mobile plan, there are terms and conditions to be aware of, but this is a reasonably clean deal by telco standards. The 200GB offer is a Finder exclusive deal. You can sign up for the plan with just 100GB per month (still pretty good, but why settle for less?) but if you do so through Finder, you'll get double data for the life of the offer.
It's only open to new customers of Circles.Life – like most promotional offers it's designed to grab customers over to their telco offerings – and the promotional pricing and data apply for the first 6 months of the plan, at which point it reverts to $38 per month with 100GB of included data.
There's also a small pricing catch to be aware of if you're on a very tight budget. The plan includes $10/off per month for that 6 month period, which is great, but the set-up process involves paying for (effectively) two months access at the start. So you do get 2 x $10 discount in your first bill, but it's for your sign-up month and the following month included. The sign-up month cost is also pro-rataed against the length of time in the month, however.
For that first sign-up period, you get a pro-rated amount of data, between 80GB-100GB depending on the length of the month term to go; the 20GB is actually the baseline data for that plan, but you get 80GB on a pro-rata basis for that first month. Naturally every other month you'll get your full 200GB allocation to use as you see fit.
If you do manage to burn through that data, you get a 3GB boost once per month (in the form of a feature called "bill shock protection") at no extra cost, but after that, 3GB boosts apply at $6 per boost. International calls, SMS and MMS are not included, and roaming charges apply, although for most Australians that's not much of a consideration right now anyway.
How does this deal compare?
Very favourably across most metrics people will care about. You can check the table at the bottom of this story if you do have a favoured brand or approach, but from a pure data standpoint, there's not too much to touch this offer right now. The next closest full-speed data plan for a SIM-only plan would be Telstra's SIM-only XL, which comes with 180GB of data per month, but that's a plan that costs some $115 per month. One and a half months into that plan, you would have spent more than you'll spend on 6 months of the Circles.Life deal, by way of comparison.
Putting our number crunching hats on, we grabbed the data for SIM-only month to month plans, excluding long expiry plans where the data sums are quite different, to see where the averages currently lie.
Across all the plans we're tracking, the average data inclusion is 36.03GB/month, averaging out at $50.32/month for access. The Circles.Life deal isn't only better in terms of pure data inclusion, but is also priced at nearly half the average cost!
What do I not get with this deal?
The value proposition for Circles.Life is just for basic mobile service provision and nothing else, and that does mean that there are a few gaps in the offer, but they may not mean that much to you just yet.
Optus hasn't yet opened its 5G network up for its MVNO partners, including Circles.Life, so that 200GB of data is only good at 4G speeds. You'd need to be in a 5G coverage area anyway with a 5G-capable phone for that to be a concern.
While the 3GB boost is a nice bonus you don't see from other MVNOs, it's not quite the effectively "unlimited" data you can get from either Telstra or Vodafone on a range of their postpaid plans. The catch there is that with those plans, once your data quota is exhausted, you're limited to a 1.5Mpbs data connection until your next billing month, which is only just going to be good enough for tasks like data streaming in Standard Definition at the best of times.
Speaking of streaming, there's also no bundled goodies like streaming subscription offers through Circles.Life, although that's a super-common approach for most MVNOs who instead focus on basic value.
Some MVNOs do include a level of international calling with their plans, but that's also not part of the Circles.Life offer.
You can compare the Circles.Life offer with other SIM-only plans in the table below: