TL;DR: You Should Definitely Switch To SIM ONLY Telco Plan
(Updated 30 August 2017 to reflect the New SIM ONLY plans launched by Starhub and M1)
It may be convenient to extend our telco plan every time it becomes available for a re-contract, but this simple hack can help save you money and gives you the freedom of choice for the next 2 years.
Most Singaporeans might be on a wrong mobile plan costing them hundreds every year. We found this out when we were debating on our Personal Finance facebook group where everyday Singaporeans just like us, shared one of their biggest fixed expense each month – Mobile phone bills.
The Best No-Contract SIM ONLY Plans:
- For 3GB: Singtel – Their plan is the most value for money at only $20 per month. (Note: No talk time)
- For >5GB: Starhub – Their 9GB plan wins at $44 per month with the additional DataJump.
- For 10GB – 15GB: Starhub – Their new SIM Only plans when coupled with their weekend unlimited data gives them a huge edge in this field at 15GB at $54 per month.
- For >25GB: Circles.Life – Still a market disruptor at 26GB at $48 per month with add-ons which are crazily cheap for heavy mobile data users.
The Best 12 Month Contract SIM ONLY Plans:
- For 5GB and 30GB: Singtel – For 5GB, they edge slightly ahead with a $20 per month plan with 150 mins talk time, 50 mins more than their competitor M1. Their 30GB plan is cheaper too!
- For unlimited GB: M1 – M1 just turned the tide for the 12 Months Contract SIM Only Plan with $98 per month for UNLIMITED data.
You can read more about the actual comparisons below. Subsequently, you can also learn about the strategy we recommend on how you can get a brand new phone at a cheaper price.
Further Reading: Detailed Illustration of SIM-Only Plans
Each telco provides a plan known as the SIM-only plan which costs much lower than most of their 2-year mobile plans. Finally, we have here, the hard facts behind how each telcos line-up against each other with their SIM-only plan.
Singtel vs M1 vs Circles vs Starhub (No Contract)
In the table below, we come out with the best SIM-only mobile plan with 3 assumptions:
(Information updated as of 30 August 2017)
- The monthly data package is our main priority, hence, mixed different add-ons for each telco to get the best bundle. By data, we refer to data connection not restricted to certain places (eg. Singtel wifi).
- The table below is for SIM Only with no contract mobile plans.
- We excluded comparing the SMS bundle as it is not a deciding factor, given the minimum usage of such function.
Singtel vs M1 (With 12 Months Contract)
Singtel and M1 came out with a SIM Only 12 months contract mobile plan in an attempt to lock in some customer loyalty, while Starhub and Circles.Life, do not have such plans available.
There is a split decision when it comes to the best deal for the 12-month contract, consumers should select based on their usage and lifestyle.
Re-Contracting = An Overpriced 2-year Phone Payment Scam
- It is the best and the only deal we know of.
- It is the first mobile plan we started with and it is rather convenient to just renew it.
- A 2-year mobile plan comes with a rather attractive discount on the latest mobile phones.
The harsh truth is that telecommunication companies (telco) are shaving dollars off your favourite mobile phones to make re-contracting attractive. The remaining cost of your “subsidised” mobile phone plus interest is distributed throughout the rest of your 2-year mobile plan, which you are stuck with.
In the face of new entrants such as Circles.Life and stiffer competition, the power has shifted to the consumer, you. The data plans prices were slashed drastically and you would be really be losing out if you re-contracted a new 2-year plan.
SIM-Only Plan + Carousell Phone Strategy
With data for a mobile plan being the main priority, we have a simple strategy. Simply get a SIM Only plan with the same amount of data followed by our preferred mobile phone on Carousell.
The cost of a typical Starhub 2-Year Plan with Samsung Galaxy S8:
The cost of a Starhub SIM-ONLY Plan with Samsung Galaxy S8 from Carousell:
Total savings over 2 years: $347.80
For a more extreme comparison, we do a comparison across telcos for high data bundle plans. Also, take note that we are not taking the amount of call time into consideration for our comparison.
The cost of a typical M1 2-Year Plan with iPhone 7 Plus 32GB:
The cost of a Circles.Life SIM-ONLY Plan with iPhone 7 Plus 32GB from Carousell:
Total savings over 2 years: $3,441.60
Conclusion – Switch To SIM ONLY
In conclusion, we hope that this simple hack has taught you how to save you a ton of money and you now know it is definitely worth marking down the date on your calendar, the moment your current 2 years end. Our whole team has jumped on and we have been spreading the word around.
Good things are definitely worth sharing, so please feel free to share this with your friends and family! If not you can always head over to our Personal Finance Facebook group to join in on more of such discussions.