After significant testing, these are our picks of the phones to buy
Cheap Mobile Plans
Looking for a cheap mobile plan? We've got your back with these plans under $20.
Picking a cheap plan is no different to picking a high cost one, although you do have to hunt around to make the most of your meagre spend. Many plans with great inclusions at this budget are prepaid, meaning you'll never have to pay excess usage fees.
Whether you normally work from home or COVID-19 has pushed you into working from your house or apartment, now is the perfect time to invest in a cheap mobile plan. Since you'll largely be using your home Internet connection instead of being out and about with mobile data, you should consider plans with lower data amounts that could be the perfect fit to help you keep costs down.
Some mobile providers are even providing bonus data for their customers to take advantage of during this difficult time. Hit up our page on bonus data being offered by various providers to find out more.
Cheap mobile plans for working from home
The plans below are all under $10, with most of them having 1GB of data so you can still use it for quick browsing while you're out getting your essentials.
Compare cheap mobile plans for under $20 here
If you're looking for a cheap mobile plan to get you through every season, consider these plans under $20. While $20 might not seem like much, many providers offer great deals on data if you're a new customer.
How to choose a cheap mobile plan
Picking a cheap mobile plan is finding a balance between what you absolutely need and what you can go without. Here are the top things to consider when you're browsing through cheap mobile plans.
- Data. Data's the biggest contributor to cost for any mobile plan, so keeping it low can save you heaps. Just remember that if you're routinely going to break your limit, a cheap plan will end up being significantly more expensive and less worthwhile.
- Consider MVNOs. Purchasing a plan with a big carrier like Telstra or Optus brings some brand security and neat features, but they will never be the cheapest choice. Instead, consider going with an MVNO that uses their networks for a more affordable option.
- Extras. Cheap plans tend to pare down on the bonus features you get like free streaming or other goodies. These extras can be nice, but only if you're going to take advantage of them. Leave them out and save.
- Downgrade your contract. Even if you're locked into a long-term phone contract, you might be able to save. Most providers will let you switch between a specific set of plans without breaking your contract, allowing you to downgrade to a cheaper one.
- Watch billing periods. Some prepaid plans come with 28-day recharge periods, while others offer the full month. 28-day expiry periods will end up costing you at least an extra recharge fee per year.
- Talk minutes. The cheapest mobile plans (usually under $10) can limit how many minutes of calls you can make, even within Australia. If chatting is important to you, steer clear.
Are prepaid or postpaid plans better if I want a cheaper deal?
While neither type of plan is inherently cheaper, you'll always know what you're paying with a prepaid plan since your service gets cut off when you hit your limit. Here's a quick rundown of how they compare.
|Payment made||At the beginning of the month||At the end of the month|
|Plan value||Moderate||Usually better in terms of data per dollar|
|Excess data charges||Never||Can be quite excessive|
What other options are there for cheap mobile plans?
Some of the cheapest possible plans are expressly designed for people who rarely use their phones or who just don't use much data at all. Many providers have long-expiry plans where you purchase a certain amount of credit and then are charged for each call you make, text you send or bit of data that you use.
See our guide to browse through the best-value long-expiry mobile plans on offer.
- The best deals in Telstra’s Super Saver sale
- New iPhone SE 2020 Plans from Telstra, Optus & Vodafone
- Save by switching to a cheap mobile plan during lockdown
- Optus and Vodafone now offering the Google Pixel 4 at half price
- Telstra, Optus & more offer free data and calls for working from home: How much more do you get?
Latest mobile plan deals on Finder
Read why this is one of the best Samsung Galaxy phones yet
Ask an Expert