Cheap Mobile Plans

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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 looking to save and get a cheap mobile phone plan, there are plenty of options out there for you. Whether you’re after a cheap -only plan, or a cheap mobile phone and SIM plan, there are plenty of deals to suit your needs. Find out how to compare your options to get the best cheap mobile plan for you in this comprehensive guide.

How do I get a cheap mobile plan?

Cheap mobile plans in Australia are becoming more common and there is an array of options which could suit your needs. Finding the cheapest mobile phone plan to suit you is no different than searching for any other mobile plan. However, you will instead need to factor in your cheaper budget and try to get the best value possible.

The cheapest mobile plan is a SIM-only plan. However, to take advantage of these plans, you must bring your own phone to the deal. If you don’t own your own phone outright, you may have to instead opt for a mobile phone plan which bundles a new phone and SIM plan together. Mobile phone plans are more expensive as you’re paying for a new handset and the accompanying SIM card. However, if you’re after a new phone and SIM card, there are affordable options out there which could very well fit within your budget.

The cheapest mobile plans are usually offered by budget providers known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). MVNOs use the networks provided by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to give you affordable mobile plans. Reputable Australian MVNOs include Boost Mobile, amaysim, Dodo and Internode. Bear in mind, though, that most MVNOs do not offer new handsets as part of a mobile phone plan.

What are the cheapest and best SIM-only mobile plans?

With SIM-only plans, you have the option of choosing between prepaid, post-paid and pay-as-you-go plans; each option can be cheap and of value to you.

Cheap prepaid mobile plans

Prepaid plans are the most affordable SIM-only option and enable you to only use what you have paid for. They’re available in short-expiry periods of 7-10 days, monthly expiry periods of 28 or 30 days, and long-expiry periods of 3, 6, or 12 months. Once your prepaid plan’s limits are reached or your plan has expired, you will have to recharge to continue using your plan’s services.

Whether you’re looking to save on your mobile plan and make one payment for the year, or you’re just an irregular mobile phone user, the long-expiry prepaid plan could be the most cost-effective option for you. Long-expiry plans provide you with features and limits for the duration of your chosen expiry period. This usually includes an extensive data limit and can include a large international roaming allowance amongst other inclusions. . Long-expiry plans over a 12-month expiry period can cost anywhere from $120 to $300 per year depending on your plan’s features and limits.

Cheap post-paid plan

Although post-paid plans are more expensive, you may get more for what you paid than with a prepaid plan. Post-paid plans typically come with inclusions such as higher data limits and international roaming allowances. In addition, deals and discounts on post-paid plans are more common, which could save you money.

Different to prepaid plans, post-paid plans are billed at the end of every expiry period. If you’re able to keep to your post-paid plan’s set limits, it can be very cheap and affordable. However, some people run into issues when they exceed their plan’s limits, primarily data-related, and end up with a monthly bill which is far more than they had planned for. SIM-only post-paid plans can cost you anywhere from $10-$85. If you’re after a high data limit on a cheap post-paid plan, look at your options with budget providers as they will regularly come to the market with new offers that provide extensive data limits at cheap prices.

Pay-as-you-go plan

An alternative to both prepaid and post-paid plans is the less-common pay-as-you-go (PAYG) plan. PAYG plans are especially suitable to those who rarely use their mobile phones. You will purchase an amount of credit of your choosing upfront and be charged a specific rate as you make calls, texts or use data. Rates vary, so you should check with individual providers to see what they offer.

What are the cheapest and best phone and SIM mobile plans?

Although they’re more expensive, there are affordable mobile phone plan options out there if you’re in the market for a new phone in addition to SIM coverage.

One of the most desired mobile phone plans nowadays is an iPhone plan. However, depending on your choice of model, iPhones are usually the most expensive mobile phone on the market. A new model iPhone could cost you as much as $150 per month over 24 months on a mobile phone plan with a SIM card. A price way out of the market for someone seeking a cheap mobile plan. If you’re set on an iPhone, you could consider an older model iPhone to save money. You may be able to get an older model iPhone for as little as $60 per month over 24 months.

If you’re not an iPhone fanatic and are more so focused on getting a cheap mobile phone of any kind, the best option is to steer clear of iPhones altogether and instead opt for an Android phone. Android phones are made by a plethora of different companies and there are hundreds of options out there for you. You can get Android devices of all shapes, prices and functions to suit your situation. They can be as inexpensive and basic as network-branded phones from the likes of Telstra, Vodafone or Optus, or more expensive like handsets from Samsung. While a network-branded phone could cost you as little as $50 outright, more premium Android phone plans can fall anywhere from $40-$120 per month on a 24-month plan.

How do I compare cheap mobile plans?

Pros and cons of cheap mobile plans

PROS

Save you money

The main benefit of the cheapest mobile plan is the obvious savings that you can experience in contrast to more expensive options.

Flexible expiry periods

Cheap prepaid mobile plans are the cheapest mobile plan option, and they provide great flexibility with no lock-in contracts. During or after your prepaid plan’s expiry period, you can shop around to get the best deal for you.

Options galore

As competition amongst mobile phone plan providers increases, as does the amount of cheap mobile plans on offer. No matter your situation or your needs, there should be a cheap mobile plan for you.

CONS

Usually, lesser features offered

While cheap mobile plans can still offer great value, they usually consist of lesser features. If you’re after a cheap mobile plan with unlimited everything, your options will be limited if at all.

Inferior coverage

Budget providers have the cheapest mobile plans, but they can also provide weaker coverage than major providers.

Smaller budget providers can lack in customer service

If you opt for a cheap mobile plan with a budget provider, you’ll learn that they tend to lack the same quality customer service offered by major providers. If you have issues with your mobile plan’s service, you may experience delays or issues with getting your concerns tended to.

Top tips for getting the best cheap mobile plan

Don’t choose a plan with unnecessary features

While many features might look appealing on paper, you may not need them. Before purchasing a mobile plan, consider all its features and their worth when deciding on whether its price is worth it.

Break down your costs on a per month basis

If you opt for a plan with a short billing period (7-10 days), your mobile plan will undoubtedly appear to be very cheap. However, you must consider the costs of these periods on a monthly basis, as you will be paying for 3-4 billing periods per month. Only then can you truly compare the cost effectiveness of a short billing period compared to your other options.

Don’t neglect data limits in favour of a cheap mobile plan

If you’re a high data user, the data limits offered by cheap mobile plan’s might not fit your needs. Choosing a low data cap could result in you exceeding your limits and incurring excess charges on your monthly bill or having to renew your prepaid plan before its expiry. This could leave you further out of pocket and negating the benefit of what was once a cheap mobile plan.

Consider a prepaid plan if you already have a phone

Prepaid plans are great for affordability and flexibility. If you’re not a regular phone user, a prepaid plan can suit your limited needs at a cheap price. Prepaid plans will also allow you to shop around at the end of every expiry period and get the best deal for you.

Frequently asked questions about cheap mobile plans

Who are cheap mobile plans best suited to?

Cheap mobile plans can be of benefit to anyone who is simply looking to save money or looking to not spend more than they need to for their mobile plan. No matter your needs, there are plenty of cheap mobile plans in Australia to suit you.

What is the cheapest unlimited mobile data plan?

To get the cheapest unlimited mobile data plan, ensure you choose a plan without unnecessary features. If unlimited data is all you’re looking for in your plan, choose a plan without features like international roaming, data rollover or any bonus features which run up the cost of your plan. Although it’s difficult to get a cheap mobile plan with unlimited everything, you can keep an eye out for discounts as providers will often offer reduced costs in order to gain your business.

Are cheap mobile plans bad value?

No – cheap mobile plans don’t necessarily mean your plan will provide poor value. As mobile plan providers fight for your service, cheap mobile plans with impressive inclusions are becoming more common. Even though they’re less common, they can still contain unlimited calls and texts, as well as data and international roaming allowances to add value to your plan.

Which cheap mobile plan offers the best coverage?

If you’re after a cheap mobile plan with good coverage, you should opt for a plan with an MVNO that uses the Telstra network. ALDI Mobile, Belong, TeleChoice and Woolworths Mobile are some of the reputable MVNOs that use the Telstra network.

What’s the best option if I want a cheap mobile plan for a short period?

There are short-expiry prepaid plans which last 7-10 days. Short-expiry prepaid plans are perfect for a holiday or if you’re looking to try out a certain provider or network. You can find them from just $10 a month upwards.

How do MVNOs get access to the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone networks?

MVNOs buy any unused network capacity at wholesale prices from Australia’s three major network providers.

Where should I look to compare Australia’s cheapest mobile plans?

You should compare Australia’s cheapest mobile plans to find the best fit for you. You can do this online with Savvy to help you compare cheap mobile plans at a range of costs and with an array of providers.

Disclaimer:

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.