Best No Contract, SIM Only Plans for Light, Moderate, and Heavy Data Users

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Best SIM Only, No Contract Mobile Plans in Singapore for Light, Medium, and Heavy Data Users | SingSaver

Source: Screengrab from StarHub’s “Hello Change” YouTube campaign.

Break free from lock-in contracts with the best SIM only plans in the market.

For years, you might have felt trapped by lock-in contracts offered by Singtel, StarHub, and M1, with no way to recontract for a cheaper plan without paying a hefty early termination penalty. 

How did they attract you to sign up with them? The main tactic these telcos use is to dangle the latest iPhone or Samsung smartphone at an attractive upfront “discount” – provided you sign up or recontract with them, locking you in again for another 24 months.

Obviously, it wasn’t really a discount – the cost of the smartphone is really just spread out over monthly instalments.  

But thanks to the entry of new players such as My Republic, Zero, Circles.Life, Zero.1 and TPG, a myriad of flexible smartphone plans at attractive rates are now available at no minimum lock-in period, meaning that consumers are now spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the most affordable and cost-efficient mobile plans for their needs.


What is a SIM only plan?

A SIM only plan offers a package of data, talk time, and SMSes at a fixed monthly cost. SIM only plans are postpaid plans, and function much like traditional mobile phone contracts. The main (and most important) difference, however, is that you are not locked into a minimum contract period, and you can switch telcos as and when you wish with no penalty.

Which is the best SIM only plan?

The best SIM only plan differs based on how much data you need. Check your previous telco bills or the data tracking app on your handset to see how much data you use on average each month. Also keep in mind how much talk time and SMS you use monthly before picking the most suitable SIM only plan for your needs.

Which is the cheapest mobile plan?

It’s hard to beat Circles.Life’s $0/month Flexi Plan if you’re looking at the absolute cheapest. The only way any telco can beat that is to offer a $0/month plan that offers more than 1GB of data, 30min talk time, and 10 SMS. Or if they actually pay you to use their service.

Is a SIM only plan better than a contract?

Not necessarily. The main advantage of a SIM only plan is that you are not locked into any telco for a minimum contract period. However, SIM only plans come with, well, the SIM card only. So if you are in need of a new handset, some telcos like StarHub offer extremely attractive discounts for 12- and 24-month contract plans. Do your research on handset prices before you commit to either SIM only or contract plans.


From “no contracts” to “SIM only plans”, the mobile plan war is now in full swing. GOMO’s most recent launch offering $20 for 20GB with no contract, no registration fee, and free delivery has only upped the ante.

So which SIM only, no contract only plans are best in the market right now? It all really depends on how much data juice you need. Decide if you are a light, moderate, or heavy data user and check our comparison price plans below:

Best SIM Only Plan for Light Data Users: Zero1

 

FOR LIGHT DATA USERS
Provider Data Price Talk Time SMS
Circles.Life 1GB $0 30 mins 10
Zero1 1GB + Unlimited $9.90 200 mins 200
Singtel 3GB + 3GB $20 None None
M1 3GB + 12GB
Free unlimited weekend data
$20 100 mins 100
My Republic^ 9GB + 3GB $25 200 mins 200
StarHub* 3GB + 10GB
Free unlimited weekend data
$25 100 mins $0.0535 per SMS

*Bonus fee data and unlimited weekend data is valid for a year after sign-up.
^Subscribe to My Republic’s broadband services and get a bonus of 3GB (making it a total of 12GB per month).

Zero1

Due to popular demand, Zero 1 is extending its promotion of $9.90/month for Unlimited data. The ‘1GB to Unlimited’ plan allows you to surf the first 1GB at a speed of 4G. Subsequently, it will be at a ‘managed’ network speed. Registration fee is $10.70 and it comes sans contract.

It’s a toss-up between Zero1 and Circles.Life for the best SIM only data plan for low data users. But for an affordable $9.90/month for Unlimited data, there’s no harm trying out Zero1 to see if their ‘managed’ speed network suits your needs.

Circles.Life

The main game-changer in the SIM only scene, Circles.Life has upped the ante by introducing an unbeatable plan, which literally costs nothing. The ‘Flexi Plan’ offers 1GB of data, 30 minutes of talk time, free caller ID, and free 10 SMS per calendar month – all at the low, low price of $0/month. If 1GB is not enough for you, customise your plan with the Circles.Life app where you can instantly purchase 1GB for $6 or 2GB for $10, as and when you need to with no minimum lock-in period. As a fully virtual telco, Circles.Life’s customer service is 100% online only and has a reputation for being responsive on its online chat.

There is a one-time registration fee of $38 (but sign up for their mailing list and get $34 off).

M1

Enjoy 15GB (inclusive of a bonus 12GB) and unlimited weekend data for only $20/month. All M1 SIM only plans offer unlimited calls to 3 M1 numbers (you have to nominate 3 numbers), and you can also take your data overseas with the M1 Data Passport from $10/mth.

All mySIM3 subscribers will enjoy a promotional waiver of the first month’s registration for Caller ID. This service is chargeable at $5.35/month from the second month onwards.

Singtel

For $20/month, Singtel offers you 3GB of data for its base plan, plus you get a bonus of 3GB every month. Do note that his plan does not come with any contract, talk time, or SMS so it’s a pretty bare bones offer.

StarHub 

Say ‘hello’ to simplicity. StarHub is waiving all activation charges and contracts for their SIM only plans. Enjoy free Unlimited weekend data and 10GB every month for a year upon signing up. Plus, get a $120 bill rebate when you sign up online with promo code nocontract!

My Republic 

The SMART 35 plan is ideal for those who love to chat. 1,000 mins of talk time and 1,000 SMS. If you subscribe to My Republic’s broadband services, you can enjoy an additional bonus of 3GB (giving you a total of 12GB/month). You can also opt for data boosters or add-ons to suit your needs.


Best SIM Only Plan for Moderate Data Users: GOMO

 

FOR MODERATE DATA USERS
Provider Data Price Talk Time SMS
Circles.Life 20GB $18 100 mins 25 SMSes
GOMO# 20GB $20 200 mins 200 SMSes
Zero1 3GB + 12GB + Unlimited $29.99
My Republic 18GB + 8GB $35 1,000 mins 1000 SMSes
M1 10GB + 15GB
Free unlimited weekend data
$40 100 mins 100 SMSes
StarHub* 30GB + 10GB
Free unlimited weekend data
$50 300 mins $0.0535 per SMS

#Get a free GOMO Travel SIM worh $20 with every GOMO sign-up before 30 April 2019.
*Bonus fee data and unlimited weekend data is valid for a year after sign-up.
^Subscribe to My Republic’s broadband services and get a bonus of 8GB (making it a total of 26GB per month).

GOMO 

The newest entrant to the SIM only scene by Singtel offers an affordable package of $20/month for 20GB. It is slightly more expensive than Circles.Life, but you get an additional 100 mins of talk time and 175 SMSes at only $2 more per month – Circles.Life charges $0.05/SMS, so if you maximise your additional 175 SMSes, that’s already an $8.75 value.

Circles.Life

For moderate users of data, Circles.Life is offering a promotional rate of $18/month for 20GBThe best part is that you can easily and instantly customise your plan via the Circles.Life app. Pay $6 for an extra 1GB or $10 for an extra 2 GB of data as and when you need it with no minimum commitment period.

My Republic

Even though My Republic’s 18GB of data pales in comparison to what StarHub offers, you get a bonus of 8GB/month if you subscribe to its broadband services.

Zero1

Zero1’s ‘3GB to Unlimited’ plan allows you to surf the first 3GB at a speed of 4G but subsequently, it will be at a ‘managed’ network speed. As of now, the registration, SIM card and delivery charges are waived.


Cheapest SIM Only Plan for Heavy Data Users: Circles.Life

 

FOR HEAVY DATA USERS
Provider Data Price Talk Time SMS
Circles.Life Unlimited $38 As per base plan As per base plan
Zero Unlimited $59.95 Unlimited Unlimited
StarHub* 60GB + 10GB
Free unlimited weekend data
$80 500 mins $0.0535 per SMS
MyRepublic^ 30GB + 8GB (Bonus) $85 1,000 mins 1,000 SMSes
M1 Unlimited $98 Unlimited Unlimited

*Bonus fee data and unlimited weekend data is valid for a year after sign-up.
^Subscribe to My Republic’s broadband services and get a bonus of 8GB (making it a total of 38GB per month).

Circles.Life

Upsize your base plan by paying an additional $20/month for Unlimited data, with the first month free. If you combine it with their current promotional rate of $18/month for your base plan, that means an amazing bargain price of $38/month for Unlimited data!

The only case where this is not applicable is if you’re subscribed to their $0 Flexi Plan. The first 20GB will run at 4G+ speeds, after which the rest of your Unlimited data will be run at ‘managed’ network speeds – but that’s still an amazing deal by a long shot. 

M1

At $98/month, M1’s plan is the priciest, but it offers Unlimited data, talk time, and SMSes, making it the ideal plan for extremely heavy phone users.


Bottom line

With so many attractive plans to choose from now, the days of being locked into a contract are numbered. When choosing a SIM only plan, the “best” will depend very much on how heavy of a data user you are, whether you are looking to purchase a new handset, and whether you need talk time and SMS.

If you’re keen to switch from contract to SIM only, take note of when you can switch from your existing plan or telco without incurring any early termination penalty. Or, in the event that you do incur a penalty, calculate if what you’re saving by switching is enough to cover that amount. 

For example, if your early termination penalty is $200, and you’re 6 months away from the penalty-free period, your new SIM only plan should be at least $33.40 cheaper per month ($200 divided by 6) than your existing contract plan.

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By Zann Huang
A recipient of the Magnum Foundation Emergency Grant in 2014, my photos from the Middle East and Asia have also been published in Time Magazine and Le Monde etc. My written work ranges from travel, politics (Mid-East) to the environment and finance-related matters.