Cheapest Telstra SIM-only plans with the best coverage in Australia

Telstra Sim-only plans

Telstra, the biggest telco in Australia, cops a bit of flak for being one of the more expensive phone companies. On the flip side, its coverage reaches more Aussies (99.5%) than any other network. If you’re not happy with your current provider, Telstra SIM-only plans offer a good way to test the waters without a long-term commitment.

It’s also a decent option if you’re content with your current phone – simply order the SIM, install it to your device, and away you go. SIM-only plans like those offered by Telstra generally come with unlimited talk and text, so you only pay more if you need more data. The major telco also supports eSIM technology, which is a convenient method that eliminates the need for a physical card altogether.

Best of all, you don’t even need to choose Telstra to access its network. A cheaper alternative is to choose a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). This refers to companies that use another company’s infrastructure to provide you services. Belong – owned by Telstra – and Boost Mobile are MVNOs that operate on the Telstra network and sell phone plans at affordable prices.

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A helpful tip to consider is how much data you actually need each month. Research from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows that Australians use only an average of 12.8 GB of phone data monthly. Choosing a plan with less data is an easy way to save money. To save on your home internet too, check out the cheapest NBN plans.

Without further ado, here are some of the best Telstra SIM-only plans currently available. If you want a different network, our cheapest SIM plan guide has a full overview of every carrier.

Cheapest prepaid Telstra SIM-only plan

As it currently stands, $35 is the cheapest SIM-only plan through Telstra with at least a 28-day recharge cycle. With it comes unlimited calls and SMS in Australia, plus some included credit for international calls.

For $35, you get 35 GB of data for the first three recharges before it reverts to the standard 15 GB allocation. Importantly, this also gives you access to the 5G network. As long as you have a 5G-compatible phone, you can enjoy a faster and more reliable connection. At this tier, download speeds are capped at 150 Mbps, which is still reasonably fast for most use cases.

Cheapest postpaid Telstra SIM-only plan

An alternative is a Telstra Upfront SIM-only plan. It’s more expensive but automatically renews on a monthly basis (instead of a 28-day cycle) and includes more data. This particular offering starts at $62 per month, with 50 GB of data and a higher download speed cap of 250 Mbps.

Telstra uses the “Upfront” branding which is the company’s way of referring to postpaid plans. Even though it operates on a monthly billing cycle, there’s no lock-in contract involved. These plans are better for anyone who needs more data and higher download speeds. At the $72 tier and higher, download speeds are uncapped, although not many people need anything faster than 250Mbps.

Best MVNO using the Telstra network

There are plenty of MVNOs that use either part of or the entire Telstra network. Here, you have even more options to choose from, which is helpful if you’re on a tight budget. For a monthly SIM-only plan, there’s a $22 option from Numobile, bundled with 12 GB of data. The caveat is that it only uses parts of Telstra’s 3G and 4G network, so check that it covers your area first.

Tangerine offers another option worth checking out, providing the same data at the same price as Numobile. Alternatively, you can get $5 off each month for a year with More if you’re a CommBank customer. After the 12-month discount, it then becomes an ongoing 10% discount, taking the monthly price down to $21.60.

If you’re a data fiend on a budget, $29 for the Belong plan is decent value. Along with 25 GB of data, you also get 5G speeds of up to 150Mbps if it’s available in your area.

Prepaid SIM-only plans via Telstra MVNOs yield even more savings, suited to those who don’t need much data. Lycamobile, for example, costs just $15 on a 28-day cycle. If you want the full Telstra network at a more affordable price, Boost Mobile is worth a look.

In addition to Telstra, you can also compare the cheapest SIM plans from Optus and Vodafone to find the best deal for your needs.

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