Which Is Better : Amaysim Or Virgin Mobile?

Comparing Virgin Mobile and Amaysim

Considering the two providers, Amaysim and Virgin Mobile is a sensible thing to do. For most people, finding a compromise between decent network coverage and the best possible pricing is the primary goal they have when they compare providers. Both Amaysim and Virgin mobileshould be on your shortlist.

When it comes to Virgin Mobile and Amaysim, the critical thing to understand is that they both use the same, full Optus network. They both use exactly the same network. Both have access to both 3G and 4G network capabilities.

Knowing that both Virgin Mobile Australia and Amaysim the Optus network allows you to focus on getting the best value inclusions when you’re comparing the two providers. From our perspective, there is a clear winner. We believe Amaysim offer some of the best value in the Australian market with their Unlimited Plans. Here’s why.



Amaysim are doing better than both Virgin and Optus

It’s hard to overstate just how well Amaysim are doing in Australia. In the first quarter of 2014, they connected as many people to their network as Optus – the 2nd biggest telco in Australia.

To be clear, that means they connected an awful lot more people than Virgin mobile did in the same period. Given the relative size of the two companies ( Virgin is much, much bigger than Amaysim – it makes up about 5% of the Australian subscriber base. Optus makes up around 25% of the Australian phone subscriber base ) this is an amazing feat.

The many reasons for Amaysim’s remarkable success

What’s the reason for Amaysim’s spectacular  success ? The company ( Amaysim ) and it’s plans have a number of great features which make it stand out even among other SIM only service providers. Here are just a few.

1 )  Amaysim use the Optus 3G + 4G network :
Optus’s coverage is great, particularly in metro areas. Having expansive coverage area is obviously of critical importance. Amaysim is powered by the Optus 3G network, which covers more than 97% of the Australian population. This means that customers can use their phones, tablets or devices in most places in Australia that people go to.

2 ) Amaysim is a SIM only service provider :
One critical reason for the success of Amaysim is that they are a SIM Only provider. SIM Only is the fastest growing proportion of the Australian phone market. With increasing demand for the latest phone at all times and a desire to stay flexible ( see below ) SIM Only providers make sense for more and more people. If you have a phone you love already, you’ll be able to keep it and put an Amaysim SIM card in it.

3 ) Amaysim offer no lock in contracts :
Another great feature is that Amaysim does not offer lock in contracts. When you sign up to a contract, which many service providers require you to do, you lose some of the power you usually have as a consumer. You lose the ability to vote with your feet and move to a competitor – at least for the duration of the contract. With Amaysim, your obligation is only on a month to month basis. That means that, as a customer of Amaysim, you can discontinue your use of the SIM card they give you simply by cancelling future automated payments.  As a result, Amaysim offer amazing flexibility. When you sign up to Amaysim, you’ll  get the best deal in market – until a new best deal in market comes out – and then you can move to that !

4 ) You can keep your phone number : 
Other attractive features of Amaysim’s plans include the fact you can keep your phone number  when signing with Amaysim. The process of moving from one service provider to another is called porting. It can be as quick as a few hours. It often takes a couple of days. The important thing is that  you can choose to keep your number when using any of Amaysim’s service plans.

5 ) Amaysim now have Nano SIMs :
Amaysim has made some operational changes based on some very vocal feedback received when the new iPhone 5 came out 2 years ago. They are now able to to cater to iPhone users or customers with Nano SIM devices – which include the new HTC One M8. Amaysim stock Nano SIMs.

6 ) Huge Data inclusion of 5GB per month :
The last and most popular characteristic of Amaysim is the unlimited package plan it offers. This plan has 5GB of data, unlimited calls and text to Australia numbers, unlimited social networking with sites like Facebook and Twitter, unlimited calls to 13 and 18 numbers, and unlimited voicemail for $44.90. International call rates are often as low as only six cents per minute. These are remarkable, unmatched inclusions and they make Amaysim stand out against Virgin Mobile.


What’s not so good about Amaysim

In order to be realistic, here are the characteristics of Amaysim’s plans that could seem unappealing to customers.

  • They’re relatively new to Australia :

So, there’s not much to worry about when signing an agreement with Amaysim !

Good Things About Virgin Mobile

Essentially, Virgin Mobile is just Optus. The pricing with Virgin is a bit better. But then it’s even better on Amaysim. And the network is exactly the same across all three companies.

Virgin present themselves as customer champions. The truth is Virgin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus. Staff working at Virgin are working under Optus contracts. Virgin’s entire phone company team work in the Optus offices in North Ryde, Sydney. I used to work there. I worked previously at Optus and my manager had also come direct from Optus before working at Virgin. Here are some things that set Virgin Mobile Australia apart in a comparison with Amaysim.

1.   Virgin Benefits :
Virgin Mobile has several unique and popular features built into their phone plans. Known as Virgin Benefits, all Virgin’s postpaid contract plans include a selection of additional features which will help keep your phone bill down. They include free voicemail retrieval, rollover voice credit, cash rewards for friend referrals, ad international calls being included in your cap. Finally, if you have friends and family on the Virgin network, it’s reassuring and useful to know that if you too take out a Virgin phone, you’ll get free Virgin to Virgin calls.

2.   Cheap entry point contracts :
Unlike some of its other competitors, Virgin Mobile has voice and data plans starting at $30 to $40 a month. If you want a phone and you’re struggling to find the cash to pay for it all in one go, it can be helpful to have a contract from a company like Virgin to split the cost of the hardware over 12 or 24 months.

Essentially, Virgin Mobile is just Optus. The pricing with Virgin is a bit better. But then it’s even better on Amaysim. And the network is exactly the same across all three companies.

What’s Not So Good About Virgin Mobile

Virgin perform poorly when you’re comparing BYO SIM only plans. Here are some examples.

  • $80 per month on the Virgin SIM Only plan will get you unlimited calls and SMS and 3GB of data.
  • Comparing that to Amaysim, however, as we’ve seen above, shows you can get the same headline inclusions for less than half that price.

Summary : Why Amaysim is better than Virgin Mobile Australia

Despite Virgin Mobile’s historically favorable customer satisfaction reviews, the simple facts are hard to ignore. In the critical area of SIM Only plans which is really the only place Amaysim can compete with Virgin ( SIM Only is all Amaysim offer ) :

  • Amaysim  are substantially cheaper for voice:
    $44.90 for unlimited SIM Only with Amaysim , versus $80.00 for the nearest comparable service from Virgin.
  • Amaysim are cheaper for data too:
    Virgin Mobile offers significantly less data in their plan. You’ll get 1.5 GB on their unlimited plan, in comparison to Amaysim’s huge 5GB.

Research released in July 2014 shows that 96% of customers on the Amaysim Unlimited plan would recommend it to their friends.



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See all SIM Only plans

If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )


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.