Compare SIM-only mobile phone plans

SIM-only plans offer a solution to make the most of the smartphone you already own.

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Our comparison table below can help you sort through available SIM-only mobile plans. We have pre-selected month-to-month SIM-only plans, but if you want to see 12 or 24 month SIM-only options, simply select "Filter results" and choose the "Contract" option. You can also use those filters to compare plans according to your data, budget and network preferences.

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What is a SIM-only mobile plan?

A SIM-only mobile phone plan provides call, text and data services via a small plastic SIM card you insert into your phone. SIM-only plans do not come with a bundled handset, so if you need a new phone you'll want to consider a contract plan instead.

SIM-only mobile phone plans operate on a post-paid basis, charging you at the end of every billing cycle based on your chosen plan and any excess calls or data you may have used. Most SIM-only plans bill on a monthly basis and include an allotment of calls, text and data that refreshes at the start of every billing cycle.

Pros

  • Month-to-month contracts give you the freedom to change plans without penalty
  • Often include international minutes for calling friends and family overseas
  • Frequent discounts and promotions to take advantage of

Cons

  • Excess usage can lead to bill shock
  • No phone inclusion - you'll need to BYO

What’s the difference between SIM-only and prepaid mobile plans?

On one level, there’s not much difference between a postpaid SIM only plan and a prepaid one. Both come with a SIM card you insert into your phone – either a regular, micro or nano SIM card depending on your device.

Where they differ is in how your usage is charged. With a prepaid plan you pay for your usage upfront and that’s all you’ll get unless you buy add-on packs to cover additional usage. Postpaid SIM-only packs, on the other hand, won’t "run out" of value but instead charge you on a fixed basis for additional usage. These days this is most pertinent in relation to data usage, as most SIM-only plans offer unlimited calls and texts within Australia as standard.

The other big difference between SIM plans and prepaid plans is in the level of value you’re offered at the same price tier. SIM-only plans typically come with more data or better call and text packages in exchange for the risk of excess usage charges. The value increases even further if you commit to a 12 or 24-month SIM-only contract.

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How should I compare SIM-only plans?

  • Monthly minimum cost: The monthly cost of a SIM-only plan is the minimum you’ll pay each month for your standard call, text and data inclusions. You do need to remember that any additional usage (such as roaming, overseas calls or excess data) will incur additional costs, but you’ll never spend less than the minimum, because the contract is structured that way.
  • Included data: Data is the key differentiator between mobile plans these days. If you spend a lot of time on Facebook or watching YouTube videos, you'll want to go for a plan with plenty of data, but you should also make sure you can easily buy data top-ups in case you find yourself needing more data one month. If you're not sure how much data you need, check out our mobile data usage calculator.
  • Network coverage: Plenty of telcos offer SIM-only plans, but they all user one of just three different mobile networks. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone provide the infrastructure for every mobile provider, so it’s worth checking both coverage and expected speeds for the telco you're looking to go with. While network coverage maps are general guides and aren't always 100% accurate, they're a good gauge of overall coverage that can help you decide which provider to choose. Our guide to the difference between 3G and 4G covers this in more detail.
  • International coverage: One of the key benefits of SIM-only contract plans is that they typically support global roaming across numerous countries around the world. If you travel regularly, it’s well worth looking at the relative costs for global roaming usage in your most common destinations, as that could help a given telco stand out against the competition. Even if you don’t travel, many SIM-only plans include an allotment of international minutes for calling friends and family overseas. It’s well worth checking if your destination of choice is on a reduced or even free call list with a given provider.
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11 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichaelSeptember 17, 2019

    I am interested in a sim only plan. I spent about 4 hours a day reading news and long form articles. Only reading, no videos or social media. How much GB will I need in a monthly plan?

    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiSeptember 18, 2019Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your message. Reading online doesnt take too much data compared to video calling, watching, net calling, sending pictures. Reading on articles is as low a requirement as net browsing. Somewhere between 2GB or 4GB would suffice but this will ultimately depend on your usage. What you can do is subscribe for the lowest data arrangement and see how it will reach you in numbered days and increase as you go along.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    johnAugust 14, 2019

    Does SIM apply to mobile phones & does a 4G SIM plan cover my 3G mobile?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 14, 2019Staff

      Hi John,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Yes. You can use a 4G SIM card in a 3G enabled phone, but you can not use 4G in it. To use 4G, You require a 4G enabled handset along with a 4G SIM. This is due to the reason that 3G phones work on WCDMA technology, which is different from LTE technology used for 4G connections.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    SamFebruary 27, 2019

    I am looking for a best sim only plan for Sri lanka calls. Belong mobile was best, but not anymore as they removed Sri Lanka calls from their add-on since last week. I don’t need big data plan (happy with even 2GB). Please advice.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMarch 1, 2019Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Sorry to hear that change with your current provider. Regarding your query on providers that offer international calls to Sri Lanka, you may consider Virgin, Lebara, Optus and Lycamobile. You may also check out this page to start comparing mobile plans with international calls.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Avatarfinder Customer Care
    MayDecember 20, 2018Staff

    Hi Sanjay,

    Thanks for reaching out.

    Basically, the mobile plans you can compare with cheap international calling (including India) are listed on this page. Local calls are usually unlimited, but for international calls, number minutes are generally capped. You can find that information in the description of the plans listed on the page. Once you’ve chosen your plan, you can go directly to the provider’s page and apply from there.

    Hope this has helped.

    Cheers,
    May

  5. Default Gravatar
    jeffDecember 8, 2018

    I cannot receive Optus bills as normal automatic email attachments. I have asked five different Optus shops to set it up for me and they all said that I would receive a link. Result – no link or anything else received.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You may log in to your online Optus account so you could opt in to receiving your bill via your email. If this does not work, calling the Optus customer support number would help so they could set it up directly for you. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  6. Default Gravatar
    tapioMarch 22, 2018

    Best mobile deal for international calls?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RonMarch 23, 2018Staff

      Hello Tapio,

      Good day! Appreciate you contacting finder regarding your inquiry.

      You have multiple options when it comes to mobile plans with international calling feature. Depending on your preference, you can check the following pages to look for the plan that’s right for you.

      1. https://www.finder.com.au/best-mobile-plans-international-calling
      2. https://www.finder.com.au/mobile-cheap-international-calls

      Kindly review the call rates per network provider and ensure that the country you are going to call is included on the supported country list.

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,
      Ron

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