Virgin Mobile's phone and SIM-only plans offer a wide range of data and other high-value inclusions to make the most of your mobile dollar.
Virgin Mobile offers a range of postpaid contract plans, either with a mobile handset as part of the deal or on a SIM-only basis. While it used to offer prepaid SIM-only plans, it exited that market in 2017, although parent company Optus still offers prepaid deals if that's what you're after.
If you're confused as to the difference, a prepaid plan requires an upfront payment but has a maximum cap of whatever you pay upfront. A postpaid plan bills you at the end of each recharge cycle (typically a month) for usage, usually at a plan rate plus any additional use above your plan inclusions.
Virgin Mobile contract plans
Virgin Mobile in Australia is the lower-cost, youth-centric arm of Optus, and with that in mind, it tailors the inclusions and pricing of its contract mobile plans to suit that audience. It very much depends on the choice of handset as to whether you can get a phone on 24- or 12-month terms, but typically (excluding handset repayment costs) here's what you'll get on a Virgin Mobile 24-month plan:
- Virgin Mobile $40 Phone Plan : Unlimited calls and texts, 2GB of data
- Virgin Mobile $45 Phone Plan : Unlimited calls and texts, 1GB of data, $300 of international calls
- Virgin Mobile $55 Phone Plan : Unlimited calls and texts, 5GB of data
- Virgin Mobile $80 Phone Plan : Unlimited calls and texts, 11GB of data
- Virgin Mobile $100 Phone Plan : Unlimited calls and texts, 24GB of data
Those figures are the current base offerings, but Virgin Mobile is incredibly aggressive when it comes to offering up bonus deals at certain times or with select handset combinations, so it's well worth checking the most up-to-date offerings. As you can't score these plans without a phone, for the purposes of comparison, here's what you'll pay for a Samsung Galaxy S8+ on contract with Virgin Mobile:
Virgin Mobile also provides a smaller range of handsets that you can pay off over 12 months, but this is effectively an outright sale rather than a plan and contract bundle. Of course, you can pair those up with a 12-month or month-to-month SIM-only plan on the Virgin Mobile network.
Virgin Mobile SIM-only mobile plans
Virgin Mobile offers SIM-only plans for those who are happy with their existing handset or choose to buy a new device outright as well. As is typical, if you opt for a 12-month SIM-only postpaid plan, you'll see better data inclusions than if you only commit to a month-to-month rolling service.
For 12-month contracts, here's the typical pricing on Virgin Mobile's SIM-only plans:
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 12-month Plan $30: Unlimited calls and texts, 5GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 12-month Plan $40: Unlimited calls and texts, 10GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 12-month Plan $50: Unlimited calls and texts, 15GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 12-month Plan $60: Unlimited calls and texts, 18GB of data
Those are baseline prices, however, Virgin Mobile frequently offers bonus data or price discounts (and sometimes both, if you pick a plan at just the right time) for 12-month plans. Here are the current deals for Virgin Mobile's 12-month plans in full:
It's also possible to sign up with Virgin Mobile for a month-to-month SIM-only plan on postpaid terms. As with most providers, what you gain in contract flexibility, you lose in inclusions to an extent. Typically, Virgin Mobile's month-to-month plans run like so:
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 1-month Plan $30: Unlimited calls and texts, 2.5GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 1-month Plan $40: Unlimited calls and texts, 5GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 1-month Plan $50: Unlimited calls and texts, 9GB of data
- Virgin Mobile Sim-Only 1-month Plan $60: Unlimited calls and texts, 11GB of data
Deals are less frequent for these plans, but not unheard of. Here are the current details for Virgin Mobile's month-to-month plans:
How does Virgin Mobile compare?
As the child brand of parent Optus, Virgin Mobile has often played the role of the plucky value brand, offering either lower cost options or higher data plans for selected handset plans. As always, it pays to compare closely for a given phone at a point in time to sort out real value. For example, here's how Virgin Mobile compares against other carriers for the iPhone X 256GB:
With a focus on high-value plans, it's also often worth checking what Virgin Mobile charges for more moderate handsets. Here's how much you'd pay for a Samsung Galaxy S7 on Virgin Mobile compared to other carriers:
In the SIM-only space, Virgin Mobile's focus is significantly geared towards value, which means that it's frequently a good choice if you want a low-cost plan, especially if you're happy to commit to a 12-month plan. Here's what you'd get for a $50 per month spend on a 12-month plan compared to other carriers:
Why should you consider Virgin Mobile?
Virgin Mobile's value proposition is one that, for many carriers, typically wouldn't seem to lend itself to a lot of extra features, but in the postpaid space, it competes quite vigorously with a few key additions.
Unused data on plans is rolled over automatically to the next month under what Virgin Mobile calls its "FairData" system. You've only got that month to use your excess data, but it's better than seeing it expire.
One option that builds from that is Virgin Mobile's data gifting, which allows you to gift any quantity of data already on your plan to any other Virgin Mobile postpaid customer. It's a relatively seamless way to make the most of your data spend, whether you share it with your spouse or children or simply ask them to share with you!
Virgin Mobile sells a variety of international roaming packs for use in zoned destinations, with pricing starting at $30 for 500MB. While it's always worth weighing up your options in terms of roaming value, there's a simplicity to not having to swap SIMs that has some appeal.
Virgin Mobile's current deals allow for streaming music from Spotify, iHeartRadio and Google Play Music without incurring any additional data charges. You'll still need a subscription to those services (where relevant), but you won't burn through your data while you rock out. Currently, that deal is set to expire on 1 March 2018.