Whenever a big new phone launches, telcos will try and woo you into a 24-month contract with glossy deals and big bonuses. However, buying your phone outright and signing up for a SIM-only plan can often save you money in the long run.
If you can't afford to drop $2000 upfront on a shiny new handset, you should still consider grabbing one of these plans. (Your old phone is probably just fine.)
The SIM-only market encompasses 12-month contracts, month-to-month plans, and prepaid. No matter which you prefer, there are awesome deals to be found. So, in no particular order, here are five of our favourite SIM-only plans available right now:
This Think Mobile plan offers some of the best data-for-dollar around: $48 per month gets you a sizeable 80GB. The plan is pretty barebones - the only other inclusions are unlimited talk and text - but that's not a huge trade-off when you get so much data. You will however need to sign a 12-month contract.
Think Mobile is powered by the Vodafone 4G network.
Optus might not be known for its prepaid plans, but they're solid options if you're a bit commitment-phobic. $30 per 28-day recharge gets you 10GB of data, and an extra 10GB of streaming data for Netflix, Stan, and ABC iview. If you're a new customer and sign-up before June 3, you'll get an extra 25GB of bonus data on your first three recharges, for a total of 35GB.
If you'd prefer something contract-free, Exetel's latest range includes an 18GB plan for $29.99 per month. Once again, this plan is a no-frills situation, but excellent bang-for-buck nonetheless. Especially given that it's commitment-free.
Exetel is powered by the Optus 4G network.
Vodafone's data inclusions aren't quite as high as what some other providers offer at the moment, but 40GB is still a pretty decent allowance. More importantly, this plan includes $5 per day global roaming, which is still easily the best telco travel solution around. This plan is normally $45 per month, but if you sign up before April 16, you'll pay $40 per month instead.
If you're after Telstra coverage without paying Telstra prices, Boost is one of the best options around. Unlike most other Telstra MVNOs, Boost has access to the entire Telstra network, rather than just select parts. It helps that Boost has pretty good plans too: $30 gets you a 28-day recharge with 20GB. If you sign up before May 13, you'll get a bonus 15GB on your first five recharges for a total of 35GB.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
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