If you’ve been shopping for the best SIM-only plans and deals – called BYO phone plans – you might have wondered if there’s hidden “gotchas”.
It’s easy to pick a provider and SIM-only plan that looks good, have them send you a SIM (or maybe pick one up from a local store), put it in your phone and instantly be connected to the world. However, not all BYO plans are created equal.
You might see headline offers with unlimited calls and texts but your needs may not be covered under the plan. For example, if you love to call, text and send selfies to your friends via messing, you need a plan with free MMS messaging. Sometimes standard text messages are free and unlimited, but MMS (photo, video, and audio messages – the “MM” stands for “multimedia”) can be charged on a per-message basis at a rate much higher than a standard text. There are lots of choices – choose the best BYO mobile phone plan to suit you.
If you have friends or family overseas it can be expensive to stay in touch. A BYO mobile plan will give you unlimited calls – and, in some cases, texts and MMS – to multiple overseas destinations. Most of the time, with a BYO plan, you can reach the “top 10” most popular destinations. This includes countries like the USA, UK and New Zealand. This is brilliant if you’re away from home, or if you’re visiting Australia for work or a holiday.
There is one other major “gotcha” with BYO phone plans you need to be aware of. With a BYO plan, you need a phone that isn’t locked to a provider or network. That’s no drama if you bought your phone outright – an iPhone you bought from Apple, for example. As long as your phone isn’t locked, you can pop any SIM in and get on the air.
If your phone came as part of a contract or prepaid deal, call the original provider and ask if your phone’s locked before you sign up for a BYO plan. If it turns out to be locked, the original provider can unlock it. They may charge a small fee to do so, but once it’s done, you’re free to pick your provider.
So, with your phone good to go, let’s look at the best SIM-only deals at the moment.
Telstra boasts a massive mobile network that covers cities, the country, even the remotest parts of the highway that nobody else can. There’s a long-standing assumption that this network quality comes at a high price – but in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Telstra’s BYO plans have improved where you can now get connected with a huge data allowance and full access to the 4GX network – including the latest technologies such as VoLTE (HD voice calling) on current-generation smartphones – for a little more than what landline rental used to cost.
Our pick of the BYO plans is the $49 deal where you get unlimited calls and texts, as well as 15GB of data per month. There’s also 15GB bonus data included, giving you a total of 30GB. You also get 6 months’ free access to Apple Music (worth $72) and free access to Telstra’s other bonuses – like the AFL and NRL apps during footy season. It’s a brilliant deal – though you’ll have to agree to sign up for 12 months.
Telstra Mobile Offers
Higher-value BYO and phone plans now come with a free Foxtel Now Starter Pack! Get your Foxtel Now offer in selected mobile plans, which includes both the Pop and Lifestyle as the entry pack.
Last audited 16 September 2020
If contracts are your idea of too much commitment, Amaysim comes to the rescue. They have a collection of BYO mobile plans with no lock-in contracts. Running on the Optus 4G network, Amaysim gives you unlimited talk and text within Australia. You also get unlimited international calls to 10 countries on their $30+ plans. Add 10GB of data, and for $30 every 28 days, this is a damn good deal. If you need to call countries outside the “big ten”, you can step up to a 40GB data plan for $50/28 days with 300 mins international calls to 22 extra countries a month.
Amaysim Mobile Offers
amaysim recently upped their data inclusions on their top 3 plans. The $30 plan now buys you 10GB, $40 gives you 20GB, and the $50 plan delivers 40GB generous data.
With the Telstra 4G network powering their calls and text, and some clever rewards bonuses, Boost Mobile is great if you talk and text a lot in Australia – and spend your weekends checking Facebook and Instagram. The sweet-spot deal here is the $30 BYO phone plan with unlimited talk and text and 12GB of data – and with a bonus 11GB on first 5 recharges. That’s a tonne of data for $30. There’s no contract to agree to, so you can give Boost a try without being locked in.
Boost Mobile Offers
Get unlimited international minutes with Boost Mobile. The $30 prepaid plan comes with unlimited international calls to 10 countries while both the $40 and $50 mobile plans come with unlimited international calls to 15 countries, including Canada, USA, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, and Singapore. Boost’s largest $70 prepaid plan, on the other hand, comes with unlimited international calls to 20 countries. Plus, 11GB bonus data on your first 5 recharges with the $30+ plans.
Last audited 17 October 2017
Unique in the world of BYO mobile plans, Yomojo’s got a batch of really solid BYO phone plans based on the amount of data you need. We like the $29.90 plan with its 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. If you need more data, it’s hard to go past the $34.90 plan with an enormous 15GB to chomp through in a month. International calls and text are extra, so this one’s for you if you keep it local but need a tonne of data.
Yomojo Mobile Offers
Yomojo helps you keep the conversation going with unlimited talk and text to fuel your need for constant communication. The company’s unlimited plans give you most bang for your buck. Recently, they added a Kids Plan into their mobile lineup, including 1GB of data and 200 mins of calls for only $9.90/month. Yomojo also offers two 3G-only plans that pack massive amounts of data – 30GB for $59.90/month and 90GB for $89.90/month.
Last audited 17 October 2017