Save up to two-thirds off your mobile bill with a SIM-only plan

If you've paid off your phone but you're still on a contract plan, it's time to switch.

Key takeaways

  • You can get the same data for a third of the monthly cost on a SIM-only plan compared to many contract plans.
  • Alternatively, you can get more than six times as much data for the same price on a SIM-only plan compared to similarly-priced contract plans.

What's the difference between a contract plan and a SIM-only plan?

Mobile data usage tool

It can be hard to know which mobile data plan to choose. We've designed a simple data usage tool designed to estimate how much data you'll need on average each month.

Phone bills are an inescapable part of modern life, so it's important to make sure you're always getting the best deal possible. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to pay off your handset as quickly as possible and make the switch from your regular contract plan to a SIM-only plan. Most contract plans tend to be relatively light on value since the handset is the big draw, and once the handset is out of the picture, they rarely hold up when compared to other standalone plans on the market.

The potential savings from switching to a SIM-only plan can be staggering. Let's say you just finished paying off the 64GB iPhone 8 on a 24-month Telstra Go Mobile Plus 3GB plan. Even though your monthly bill will drop from $89 to $59 thanks to the lack of ongoing handset fees, that's a pretty poor deal compared to what you could be getting from a SIM-only plan.

For instance, Moose Mobile offers a month-to-month SIM-only plan that gets you a hefty 18GB of data along with $300 of international credit for just $39 a month. That's 6 times the data you get with Telstra's plan for $20 less per month. Or you could save even more by going with Catch Connect's $35 plan and still score a sizeable 17GB of data every 30 days.

Moose Mobile and Catch Connect are hardly your only options, either. As you can see in the table above, there are plenty of SIM-only plans in the $30 to $50 price range that get you far more data than the 3GB Telstra Go Mobile Plus plan.

That said, Telstra's 3GB plan is hardly the only case where switching to a SIM-only plan can save you a bundle. In the table below, we've compared the equivalent monthly costs of Optus, Telstra and Vodafone contract plans with similar SIM-only plans, and the results show that you can save as much as two-thirds off your bill simply by switching to SIM-only.

Contract plans vs SIM-only plans: Price comparison

Disclaimer: Table last updated 7 December 2018

Monthly dataKogan Mobile (SIM-only)Catch Connect (SIM-only)Yomojo (SIM-only)Spintel (SIM-only)Moose Mobile (SIM-only)Vodafone Red Plus (contract)Optus My Plan Plus (contract)Telstra Go Mobile Plus (contract)
2GB$11.27 $10 $15.90$9.95$15.83 $35$45$39.33
10GB$23 $20.59 $23.27 $19.97 $25$30 $65$79
30GB$37.43 $46.78 ---$45 $85 for 25GB$99

If, on the other hand, you're happy to continue paying your current monthly rate but want to get more bang for your buck, there are plenty of SIM-only plans for that, too. Rather than paying more than $60 for 10GB of data with Optus or Telstra, you could score 30GB or more with the following SIM-only plans:

High-value SIM-only plans

Are there any downsides to switching to SIM-only?

Change can be intimidating, but making the jump from a contract plan to a SIM-only plan is relatively painless. Provided you've reached the end of your contract and paid off your handset, all you have to do is notify your current telco that you want to cancel your plan then sign up for your SIM-only plan of choice. Because you've completed your contract, you won't have to pay any exit fees, and you won't even need to memorise a new mobile number as most SIM-only telcos let you transfer your existing number across at no extra charge.

Best of all, most SIM-only plans operate on a month-to-month basis, meaning you can cancel your service at any time for any reason without penalty. This is especially handy if you're looking to save as much money as possible, as it gives you the freedom to switch between different SIM-only telcos and take advantage of their regular promotional offers.

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