SIM-Only Family Plans vs Individual SIM-Only Plans: Which Plan is More Worth it?
“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” ~Nancy Pearcy
This quote came to mind when I saw that Circles.Life launched their new family plan.
In my opinion, this new offering option is proof that competition between companies is good for consumers as we get more products that are more price competitive and innovative.
But, how does Circles.Life’s new family plan compares to other sharing plans or simply opting for individual SIM-Only plans? How do you find the best sim-only plan for you?
Here’s what you need to know!
TL;DR: SIM-Only Family Plan vs Individual SIM-Only Plans
|Mobile Plan||Circles.Life Family|
|VIVIFI Share |
|Individual SIM-Only Plans
(4X MyRepublic Mobile Core**)
|Total Data (4G)||200GB||126GB*||200GB to unlimited at slower speeds|
|Monthly Price/Line||$18 ($70 total bill)||~$12 |
(~$48 total bill)
($68 total bill)
|Total Minutes | Total SMS||500 (outgoing & incoming) | 200||300 | 100||2000 | 2000|
|Eligibility to Share/Use||Anyone|
|Max Lines||6 Lines |
(as low as $15 per line)
|9 lines||No limit|
|Mobile Network||M1||Singtel||M1 + Starhub|
|Additional Fees||$10 monthly fee for each additional line (included in price calculation)||$5.45 monthly for each additional line (included in price calculation)||$5.35 SIM delivery fee (one-time)|
*The additional data offered by the VIVI Share Plan’s additional data is a limited time offer and is valid for the first twelve months of the plan. Thereafter, the plan will revert back to 40GB at $29.90 a month.
**The MyRepublic Mobile Core Plan’s price is a limited time offer.
Do note that the information is accurate at the time of publishing. Prices are subject to change without any notice.
Here are some of the assumptions we have made while putting together this comparison.
We will be using a typical family of four with four mobile phone lines for this comparison as according to the latest data from SingStat, the average household in Singapore has 3.22 persons in 2020.
As there is no single family with 0.22 persons, we have rounded the number up.
We have excluded the shared mobile plans from M1, Singtel and Starhub as they all involve paying for add-ons like fibre broadband and involve a legnthy contract. (E.g. M1 has Multi-Service Saver, Singtel has Singtel Circle, StarHub has additional subsidised mobile lines through its rewards programme).
Thus, it would not be an apples to oranges comparison of sim-only plans if we include the above-mentioned plans.
Circles.Life SIM-Only Family Plan Review
First up we have the newest challenger: Circles.Life’s SIM-Only Family Plan.
Do note that Circles.Life is using M1’s mobile network.
If you would like to know what people’s experience is like with Circles.Life, do check out the real-user reviews left by the friendly Seedly members to get a better idea of the quality of service and reception you will be getting!
The plan is simple.
Each month, the Circles.Life Family Plan offers:
- 200GB of 4G data
- 500 minutes of talk time
- 200 SMSes.
The allocated data, talk time and SMSes is the same regardless of how many lines you have on the plan and can be shared with a minimum of two lines and a maximum of six lines.
Aside from the limit on the number of lines, there are little to no restrictions on who can use these lines.
For example, the lines can be used by one person with multiple devices, shared between friends or strangers who are not related to you, and your family and relatives not staying with you.
Also, here is a cost breakdown of the plan and the average amount of data, talk time and SMSes each person will get.
|Number of Lines||Monthly Cost of Single Line||Data Per Line||Talktime | SMSes Per Line|
|2||$25 (total bill $50)||100GB||250 | 100|
|3||$20 (total bill $60)||66.7GB||167 | 67|
|4||$18 (total bill $70)||50GB||125 | 50|
|5||$16 (total bill $80)||40GB||100 | 40|
|6||$15 (total bill $90)||33.3GB||83 | 33|
Also, the lines will enjoy free incoming SMSes and Caller ID.
But, the incoming calls will be deducted from the call time balance.
What if You Exceed The Amount of Data For The Plan?
Your Data will be boosted by 200 MB only to keep you online when you are about to run out. You will be charged $2 for each 200MB Auto-Boost added to your plan.
The first 25 Auto-Boosts are charged on a month-end basis, however, from the 26th Auto-Boost onward, you may be charged directly from the credit/debit card you have on file.
You can always deactivate Auto-Boost in Circles.Life: head over to Home > Profile > Settings > Boost > Use Auto-Boost and toggle left to turn off!
Circles.Life Family Plan Add-Ons
To avoid this situation, you can opt for add-ons like:
- 80B of data at 4G speeds that will rollover for $20
- Unlimited talk time for $10
- Various data-roaming add-ons when we finally can travel freely again.
This plan is also quite family-friendly as there is an option to pay an additional $5 each month for a line to impose parental controls (e.g. locking websites unsuitable for children).
If you compare it to the ViVIFI Share Plan and the four individual SIM-Only lines, the Circles.Life plan offers the second most value for money as data costs just $0.35 per GB.
Another perk of this plan is its flexibility as, unlike the individual SIM-Only plans, the data, talk time and SMSes can be shared freely between all the lines in the Circles.Life Family plan.
But, the plan lags behind the individual SIM-Only plans in terms of the talk time and SMSes provided.
Circles.Life Family Plan Promo Code
Although this article is not sponsored by any company, (check out our Seedly code of ethics for our sponsorship guidelines), Circles.Life has reached out to offer Seedly members three months of unlimited data if you are interested in signing up.
Simply use the promo code SeedlyFamily at checkout!
VIVIFI Share Plan Review
Alternatively, you might want to look at VIVIFI’s Share Plan.
Do note that VIVIFI is using Singtel (SGX: Z74)’s mobile network.
If you would like to know what people’s experience is like with VIVIFI, do check out the real-user reviews of sim-only plans left by the friendly Seedly members to get a better idea of the quality of service and reception you will be getting!
Here’s what you need to know about the VIVIFI Share Plan.
For a limited time only, VIVFI is offering the plan for $31.90 a month for the first 12 months after you sign up for the plan.
Each month, the base VIVIFI Plan offers:
- 120GB of 4G data
- 300 minutes of talk time
- 100 SMSes.
The allocated data, talk time and SMSes is the same regardless of how many lines you have on the plan and can be shared with a maximum of nine lines with your family members at the cost of $5.35 a month.
But, each additional mobile line will also add an additional 2GB to the allocated data for free.
All lines will also get to enjoy the following perks:
- Free Caller ID
- Free incoming calls
- Free incoming SMS
- No registration fees per user
- Free self-collection option for SIM cards (Can opt for delivery that costs $12).
If you find yourself running out of data, you can add boosters to the VIVIFI Share Plan.
- Booster 10GB (10GB @ $13.40)
- Booster 200 mins (200 mins @ $6.42)
- Booster 1000 mins (1000 mins @ $16.05)
- Booster 100 SMS (100 SMS @ $4.28).
However, do note that each booster can only be added to each individual mobile line and cannot be shared.
Also, take note of this clause for VIVIFI plans.
There is minimum period of only two bills cycles (i.e. wto issued bills from VIVIFI) for VIVIFI Mobile plans.
The first issued bill will be in the mid of the next month from the day your VIVIFI SIM card is activated. If you are signing up in the middle of the month, it will include the pro-rated charges for the month of sign up and a full charge for the following month. Your second issued bill will be around the mid of the next month after the first issued bill.
If VIVIFI mobile service does not meet your needs, you can terminate your VIVIFI Mobile plan after the minimum period. Termination of Mobile Plan is aligned with the calendar month.
In terms of value, the VIVIFI Share plan is not offering much for our family of four as it is the most expensive plan at $0.38 per GB.
But, if your family does not use much data, this is quite a viable option.
For example, if there are four lines, each line will get an average of 31.5GB of data, 75 minutes of talk time, and 25 SMSes for just $12 a month which in terms of absolute cost is the cheapest.
Individual SIM Only Plan (MyRepublic Mobile Core)
Last but not least we have the option of signing up for four individual SIM-Only plans for our family of four.
Mid-Range Sim-Only Plans ($15 – $30/Month)
|SIM Only Mobile Plan||Data||Price (Monthly)||Data Cost Per 1GB of Unthrottled Data||Talk Time (Minutes) | SMS||Remarks|
|MyRepublic Mobile Core||50GB to unlimited data at slower speeds||$17.00||$0.34||500 | 500||$5.35 SIM delivery fee|
|Grid Mobile||20GB||$17.90||$0.89||120 | 50||-|
|TPG (80GB)||80GB + 50GB*||$18||$0.22|
($0.14 promo price)
|500 | 50|
Unlimited Mobile to Mobile calls
|$10 SIM card delivery fee
Additional 50GB currently available till further notice
|Circles.Life Base Plan||20GB||$18||$0.90||100 | 25||-|
|redONE Amazing18||10GB||$18||$1.80||500 | 20||Data can be used in malaysia|
|giga!||40GB||$20||$0.45||300 | 300||Free rollover data at 4G speeds|
|GOMO||40GB||$20||$0.45||400 | 40||Get 50GB, 500 MINS & 500 SMS at $20 for your 1st month & $20 worth of add-on credits for new-signups and port-ins|
|CMLink||20GB||$20||$1.00||300 | 300||Option to use minutes to make overseas calls to 6 countries|
|Starhub||30GB + 10GB*||$20||$0.50||1000 | 1000*||$5 mobile plan discount for 12 months
Limited Offer: Additional 10GB + 1000 SMS + Free unlimited talktime for 12 months
|MyRepublic Mobile Pro||70GB to unlimited data at slower speeds||$24.00||$0.34||1000 | 1000||$5.35 SIM delivery fee|
|Grid Mobile||40GB + 10GB*||$24.90||$0.49||200 | 200||[FREE DATA] Additional 10GB for first 12 months for new sign-ups. Valid till 31 December 2021
[WAIVER] Free registration worth $37.45. Valid till 31 December 2021
|Zero1 30u||30GB to Unlimited Data*||$24.90||$0.83||450 | 450||[FREE SIM]
- SIM Card and Delivery Charges waived for a limited time only.
- Registration fee of $10.70 waived.
|M1||40GB||$19.95||$0.50||1,000 | 1000||Free caller ID for first 3 months
Free calls to 3 M1 numbers
Free unlimited weekend data, 1,000 mins & 1,000 SMS for 12 months
|Singtel 20GB||20GB||$25||$1.25||150 | 500||NO free Caller ID|
|redONE Amazing28||20GB||$28||$1.40||700 | 30||Data can be used in malaysia
$10 SIM card fee
We have chosen MyRepublic Mobile’s Core Plan for this comparison as it offers the most bang for the buck for this price range.
The data offered was also quite comparable to Circles.Life’s Family Plan. Not to mention that MyRepublic’s offering has many more total minutes of talk time and SMSes.
Also, do note that MyRepublic is leasing M1 and Starhub’s mobile networks which are still more reliable than TPG’s mobile network at the moment.
MyRepublic Mobile Core Plan
With this plan, MyRepublic is offering a limited time offer where each individual line is getting:
- 50GB Data + One-Time 10GB Bonus Data (for use within first three months for new number registration and port-ins from non-M1 numbers)
- 500 Minutes (Free Incoming)
- 500 SMS (Free Incoming)
- Free Caller ID
- No Contract
How slow? According to an interview with Hardware Zone, MyRepublic stated that:
after the 7GB of data is exhausted, users will see their data speeds throttled to between 384Kbps to 1.2Mbps until the data allowance refreshes the next billing cycle.
This is enough to surf the web, check emails or listen to stream your music at lower bit rates. But don’t expect a very good experience.
The number of SMSes and talk time is also a lot more than the sharing plans too.
The only downside I can see with taking this option is that the plan has less flexibility than the family sharing plans.
This is because the data, talk time and SMSes cannot be shared freely between the four individual MyRepublic Mobile Core lines.
Also, if you would like to know what people’s experience is like with MyRepublic Mobile, do check out the real-user reviews left by the friendly Seedly members to get a better idea of the quality of service and reception you will be getting!
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