TL;DR: You Should Definitely Switch To SIM ONLY
While it is convenient to go through the motion and extend our mobile plan every time it becomes available for a re-contract, this simple hack can help save you a ton of 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: M1 – Their plan is the most value for money at only $20 per month, including 150 mins talk time.
- For 6GB and 9GB: Starhub – Their plan win with the plus 3 which adds 3GB at $6 and DataJump that boost your data at $10 per month.
- For 20GB: Circles.Life – Their plan disrupts the market with their monthly $20 for 20GB add-on which is ranked crazily cheap for heavy mobile data users. Plus, additional permanent 500MB as rewards for every 6 months you stay with them.
The Best 12 Month Contract SIM ONLY Plans:
- For 6GB, 25GB: Singtel – It is very clear that Singtel is rather aggressive in winning the 12 month SIM ONLY contract game. M1, the other competitor for the 12-month contract game clearly losing out on this front.
You can choose to read more about the actual comparisons below, or learn about the strategy we recommend below regarding how you can get a brand new phone at a cheaper price.
Further Reading: Detailed Illustration of SIM-Only Plans
Here’s the thing, each telco actually provides a plan known as the SIM-only plan which costs much lower than most of their 2-year mobile plans. Here are 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:
- The monthly data package is our main priority. We 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. Starhub and Circles.Life, unfortunately, do not have such plans available.
This is the best deal for the 12 month contract (which we highly recommend!)
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. They then spread the remaining cost of your “subsidised” mobile phone plus interest throughout the rest of your 2-year mobile plan, where you have no choice but to stick to them.
In the face of new entrants such as Circles.Life and stiffer competition, the power has shifted to the consumer, you. The data plans have been 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
Assuming that the amount of data for a mobile plan is the main priority, we have a simple strategy: By getting 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. Do note again 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
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.
Feel free to share this with your friends and family! Good things are definitely worth sharing. If not you can head over to our Personal Finance Facebook group to join in on more of such discussions.