7 Tips To Choose the Right SIM Only Or BYO Phone Plan In Australia

7 Tips To Choose the Right SIM Only Or BYO Phone Plan In Australia

More than 30% of Australians are choosing SIM Only or BYO Phone Plans these days. The benefits are clear. You get to buy your own phone outright and upgrade it whenever you want to. You get smashing deals on price plans and inclusions. You can keep your phone number when you make the change and you’ll get some nice little value adds, whichever network / phone company you choose. If you’re finding the choice difficult, here are 7 Tips To Choose the Right SIM Only Or BYO Phone Plan In Australia.

1. Choose Whether You Want A Month To Month or Contract Plan

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to pay monthly, in arrears for your SIM Only / BYO service, that’s Month To Month or whether you’re ready to take out a contract.

Virgin Mobile and Vodafone Australia only offer Month to Month plans for SIM Only plans. Optus offer Month to Month at price points less than $60 and a $60 Plan with a 12 month contract. Telstra offer both Month to Month and Contract plans, both at price points starting with $50 per month.

If you sign up to a contract, you’ll get better rates and inclusions than you would with the same phone company on a Month to Month plan. But Virgin Mobile and Vodafone Australia offer much better pricing and inclusions than the other for their SIM Only Plans – all without the hassle and potentially expensive early termination fees that you’ll have to commit to in a contract.

2. Consider Your Usage Voice And Data Usage

This probably isn’t your first rodeo ! You’ll have had a mobile phone for a while and you’ll know what you need to spend. Consider how well your previous monthly spend has gone for you and rationally move up or down the $10 tiers that the phone companies have. If you were on a $49 plan but weren’t using all of it, you might like to try a $39 a month plan and see if that does you OK.

One of the best features of SIM Only plans is that, since there’s no pesky device in the middle messing with the maths, you can move up or down a tier, any month you like, with no penalty. So long as you’re measuring your usage and ensuring that you don’t go out of your cap entitlements for either voice or data, it makes sense to go on a lower plan and move up if you need to.

Possibly the best deal in market is the AmaySIM $44.90 Unlimited plan with 5GB of data. This is a Month To Month plan so no commitment beyond the end of the month you’re in. And it pretty much literally is unlimited.

3. Phone Company Benefits

Don’t just look at the headline pricing from the phone companies. Vodafone is always throwing in goodies to get new customers across the line. You’ll see Specials in their online store like 3 months free, free accessories or extra data for the life of the contract. You can always take advantage of their Vodafone Network Guarantee if you feel like you’re taking  a risk with their network. ( You can read about the Vodafone Network Guarantee in this WhatPhone article. )

Virgin Mobile have a suite of benefit to their plans that the other phone companies should be jealous of. Free voicemail can save most users $30 a month. Rollover unused Credit and Data ( it’s yours ! If you haven’t used it, it SHOULD rollover ! ) and included international calls really set Virgin Mobile apart from the competition plan wise.

Optus offer Frequent Flyer points. Even Telstra have their ‘Thanks’ programme which provides simple benefits to their customers based on how long they’ve been with Telstra.

4. Network

The Network Gap between Telstra and the rest is probably nowhere near what you think it is. In a recent survey, JD Powers, an independent research company said the gap between Vodafone Australia and Telstra was only 7%. You can read it for yourself, here.

Complaints about all the phone companies to the TIO, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman are down across the board this year, indicating that the multi billion dollar investments they’ve made in their networks are paying off. To you, that means shop around and consider networks other than Telstra !

That said, it’s fair to say that Telstra’s 4G network is a long way ahead even second place Optus. If you use your new 4G phone a lot outside the major Australian cities, you should probably consider Telstra.

5. Customer Service & 6. Customer Satisfaction

Everyone wants to buy it cheap but when it goes wrong, they want it fixed fast.

7. Buy Online

Finally, as always, the advice is to buy online. Selling things online is much, much cheaper for the phone companies. In their retail outlets they have to pay hundreds of dollars per phone in staff, rent and commissions. If you buy online, you’ll get some of that cost saving played back to you as an incentive for buying through such a low cost channel.

There you have it. 7 Tips To Choose the Right SIM Only Or BYO Phone Plan In Australia. Good luck making the decision on which SIM Only or BYO plan is right for you.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.