Save by switching to a cheap mobile plan during lockdown
Changing to a cheaper mobile plan could save you $100 over the next 3 months.
With the coronavirus pandemic confining many of us to our homes, chances are you're using your mobile phone data way less than usual and connecting to your home Internet much more. In those cases, switching to a lower-data plan is a great way to save money. An analysis by Finder suggests you could easily save $100 over the next 90 days by picking a leaner plan. Here's what to consider and our pick of plans to switch to.
How much data do you really need?
Given the current nationwide restrictions on social gatherings and non-essential travel, the main times you're likely to be out and about right now are when you're going out for some exercise or heading to the shops. This equates to 45 minutes of Spotify a few times a week while running (200MB per week), some light Internet browsing (200MB per week) and a couple of hours of social media (600MB per week). In total, that's less than 1GB a week.
Even if you're working an essential services job and you throw in a few extra GB for phone usage during breaks, your total monthly use is very likely under 5GB. If your plan offers more than that, switching down can make a big difference.
How much can you save by switching?
An analysis of Finder's database of mobile phone plans shows that plans with 5GB or less of data a month typically cost between $10 and $20 a month. If you're getting 20GB or more a month, you'll be paying at least $30 a month and often more. With lockdown measures continuing for the next 90 days at a minimum, any switch is likely to last for at least that long.
That means you could easily expect to save $100 over the next 3 months by jumping to a cheaper month-to-month plan. Choosing month-to-month is a sensible step as it means you can easily switch in the future when your needs change. A prepaid plan is also an option, though these often don't have such a large data allowance.
If you're locked into a contract, don't panic. Many providers let you switch to a lower data plan with them even while on contract, so it's worth getting in touch and asking.
Australians are relatively reluctant switchers. A recent Finder survey of over 8,000 Australians found that only 1 in 5 had switched any services in the last 6 months. With economic pressures rising, we'd expect that number to rise.
Our pick of cheap plans under 5GB
With that in mind, these are our top 5 current picks for cheap month-to-month plans costing $20 and under that give 4-6GB:
- amaysim 4G prepaid SIM only. 5GB for $20 with a 28-day expiry period.
- Moose promotional postpaid plan. 2.5GB for $14.80 monthly, with a bonus 3.5GB for the first 24 months.
- OVO 4G mobile prepaid MiniPlus. 4GB for $14.95 with a 30-day expiry period.
- Accord Mobile Small postpaid plan. 5GB for $15 monthly.
- SpinTel SIM only 4G postpaid plan. 5GB for $15.95 monthly.
Most cheaper plans come from MVNOs, which use infrastructure from the three network providers (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) but often have more competitive rates.
Check out the details on these plans and more in the table below.
For more great deals, you can check out our page on cheap mobile phone plans.