SIM-Only Mobile Phone Plans

Compare a range of SIM-only phone plan offers through Savvy today.

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, updated on October 10th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with Econnex to bring you a range of mobile phone plans to help you compare them.

If you’re after a SIM card to accompany a mobile phone you already own, a SIM-only mobile phone plan may be just the fit for you. There are SIM-only mobile phone plans which offer the most basic services at a cheap price, or more expensive SIM-only options which can get you extensive data limits amongst other features. With so many options out there, you’ll be able to find the right one for you. Find out how to compare your options to get the best SIM-only mobile phone plan for your needs.

What are SIM-only mobile phone plans and how do they work?

SIM-only mobile phone plans are those which only provide you with a SIM card. They require you to have your own handset and you can choose from an array of SIM-only plans to accompany it. SIM-only plans come with calls, texts and data usage, but can also include an array of other features specific to each provider or plan.

SIM-only mobile phone plans are available with any larger premium or budget providers, affording you a wide variety of choices when deciding on the best plan for you. They’re also available as prepaid or post-paid plans which give you the flexibility to choose the right type of plan for you.

Unlike mobile phone plans, where you’re paying for a handset and a SIM card, a SIM-only mobile plan won’t lock you into a contract. This will afford you the freedom to continuously switch between SIM-only plans and get the best deal possible if you wish. The exception to this is if you’re locked in to a 12-month post-paid SIM-only contract.

As you’re not paying for the cost of a brand-new handset, your SIM-only plan will be much cheaper and could cost you as little as $10 per month depending on your choice of provider and plan. By bypassing an upgrade to a new phone and instead bringing your own phone to the deal, the best SIM-only plan can give you choice, the flexibility of no lock-in contracts and allow you to save money.

What types of SIM-only mobile phone plan can I choose from?

Prepaid plan

Prepaid plans require an upfront payment before you can use your SIM card’s services. Their expiry periods are usually monthly, at either 28 or 30 days. However, there are also short-expiry options of 7-10 days and long-expiry options of 90 days, 180 days, or 365 days. Each period, you pay for your plan’s set inclusions. Once you have reached the limits of your inclusions or your expiry period has ended, you will have to recharge your prepaid plan to renew your services. It’s important that you’re able to budget your phone’s services across your expiry period as once your limits are reached, you will have to recharge to continue using your phone.

Post-paid plan

Post-paid plans are available in monthly plans or 12-month contracts. They require payment at the end of your expiry period e.g., end of the month or after 12 months. Post-paid plans will allow excess usage of data or other features. However, depending on your provider and your plan, this excess usage may be charged to your monthly bill and the costs can add up quickly. You can get basic post-paid plans which offer unlimited calls and texts at a cheap price. Alternatively, there are more complex post-paid plans available which provide high data limits amongst other features.

What’s included in SIM-only mobile phone plans?

The features of your SIM-only mobile phone plan will depend on your provider and the type of plan you opt for.

These features could include but are not limited to:

Feature Feature explained...
Unlimited calls and texts
No matter if you choose a prepaid or post-paid plan, almost all SIM-only mobile phone plans will provide you with unlimited calls and texts between Australian numbers.
Although it’s possible to get cheap prepaid plans with no data, most SIM-only plans will provide you with a data allowance. This could be 1GB of data for your expiry period or as much as 500GB. Data is expensive and if you need a higher data limit, you’ll find it under the more costly SIM-only plans.
International roaming
Many SIM-only plans will provide you with an international roaming allowance to make calls and texts to overseas numbers or use data whilst overseas.
Data rollover
Data rollover is a handy feature that will allow any unused data from your previous month to rollover to your next month’s data allowance. Data rollover isn’t included by all providers or all plans. It’s also usually limited to prepaid plans and you’ll be required to recharge your plan prior to its expiry to have your data rolled over.
Bonus features
SIM-only mobile phone plans often contain bonus features. These bonus features are more prevalent in post-paid plans offered by larger premium providers. Bonus features can include entertainment streaming service subscriptions and data-free music or video streaming.

These features could include but are not limited to:

Pros and cons of SIM-only mobile phone plans


Flexibility of no lock-in contracts.

Monthly prepaid or post-paid plans provide the ultimate flexibility and allow you to shop around and choose the best SIM-only plan at the end of every expiry period.

Considerably cheaper than a mobile phone and SIM card plan.

By providing your own mobile phone, your plan will far cheaper. You may be able to get SIM-only plans as cheap as $10 per month whereas phone and SIM plans could cost you as much as $150 per month.


If you purchase a post-paid plan, you may end up paying more than you bargained for.

Post-paid plans will allow you to use in excess of your plan’s set limits but often at a cost. If you go over your data limit, your provider may charge you as much as $10 for each 1GB of data used in excess of your limit.

May not have access to the 5G network.

Access to the 5G network is usually only available to new mobile phones which you can get through a phone and SIM card plan. A mobile phone of your own that isn’t relatively new, may not have access to the 5G network and its faster browsing and download speeds.

Some post-paid SIM-only contracts may require credit checks.

If you’re opting for an expensive 12-month SIM-only contract on a post-paid plan, your provider may run a credit check. This is more common with phone and SIM plans, but the more expensive your 12-month SIM-only post-paid plan, the more likely it is that a credit check will apply.

Top tips for getting a cheap SIM-only mobile phone plan

Choose a prepaid plan

Prepaid plans will allow you to pay for your services upfront and you will only use what you pay for. This will prevent you from exceeding your limits (such as data usage) and ensure that you avoid any surprise charges on your bill at the end of the expiry period.

Avoid unnecessary features

SIM-only mobile phone plans will often include features which you don’t need. These features such as international roaming, data-free music or video streaming or bonus features could run up the cost of your plan. Simply choose a SIM-only plan which only contains the features that matter to you the most.

Purchase a plan with as little data as possible

Data is one of the biggest contributors to the cost of your SIM-only plan. To limit the cost of your plan, you can opt for a low data limit and make the most of Wi-Fi at home or when out in public as it’s often available in public places. In addition, you should try to get a plan which offers data rollover. This may enable you to choose a cheaper plan with a lower data allowance as whatever data is unused will rollover to your next month’s data limit

Frequently asked questions about SIM-only mobile phone plans

Is a prepaid or post-paid SIM-only mobile phone plan better?

The best sim-only option will depend on your individual needs such as your budget and phone usage. Prepaid plans are more affordable and may better suit irregular phone users. Post-paid plans tend to be more expensive but offer better features and often better usage limits.

What’s the highest data limit I can get on a SIM-only mobile phone plan?

The highest data limit available on a SIM-only mobile phone plan is an unlimited data mobile phone plan. These plans with endless data will provide you a full speed data limit; once this data limit is reached, your data usage will continue but at a capped speed to slow your browsing and downloading speeds.

How will I know my SIM-only mobile phone plan’s data limits have been reached?

If you’re on a prepaid plan, you will reach your data limit and your phone’s browsing or downloading will cease. If you’re on a post-paid plan, you will get a message alerting you that you have nearly reached your data limit.

What happens if I use less than my SIM-only mobile phone plan’s set limits for the expiry period?

If you have unused value from your SIM-only plan, it will expire at the end of the month. However, if you opt for a plan with a data rollover feature, any unused data can roll through to the next month’s data allowance.

If I take out a new SIM-only mobile phone plan, can I still keep my old number?

Yes. It’s a common misconception that you must get a new mobile phone number when you change SIM cards. However, all mobile providers are legally required to allow you to transfer your old number to your new SIM card.

Can I get access to the 5G network with a SIM-only mobile phone plan?

To get access to the 5G network you must purchase a 5G-capable SIM card. In addition, you will have to own a 5G-capable phone. From there, you’


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of mobile phone plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys a mobile phone plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing a mobile phone plan. For further information on the variety of mobile phone plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.