13 cheapest SIM-only mobile plans in Singapore 2021 (<$20/month)

PHOTO: ST File
Gone are the days when you’d have to sign up with one of the big 3 telcos — Singtel, Starhub and M1 — just for mobile data.

With one of these cheap SIM-only data plans, you’d no longer have to commit for 2 years and be obligated to wait for re-contract discounts on your new handset. Just take the money you save on your SIM-only plan, and get yourself a new phone on Lazada.

With so many new players and virtual telcos like Circles.Life, TPG, redONE and so on joining the fray, mobile data plans are now a buyer’s market. Check out how the cheapest SIM-only mobile plans stack up.

13 cheapest SIM only plans under $20/month

SIM only plan Monthly fee Data / outgoing talktime / SMS
Circles Life $5 Plan $5 2GB / 50 min / 25 SMSes
redONE Amazing 8 $8 3GB / 300 min / 10 SMSes
VIVIFI Lite $8.80 3GB / 500 min / 20 SMSes
Zero 1 6u Plan $9.90 (for first 6 months, $13.90 thereafter) 6GB / 200 min / 200 SMSes
VIVIFI Plus $9.98 6GB / 350 min / 100 SMSes
TPG Singapore $10 50GB / 300 min / 30 SMSes
StarHub giga $10 6GB / 100 min / 100 SMSes
VIVIFI Plus $14.98 10GB / 350 min / 100 SMSes
Grid Mobile $17.90 20GB / 120 min / 50 SMSes
Circles Life Smart Start Plan $18 (port over) 20GB / 100 min / 25 SMSes
redONE Amazing18 $18 10GB / 500 min / 20 SMSes
Singtel GOMO $20 20GB / 200 min / 200 SMSes
M1  $20 (Safra promo) 40GB / 1,000 min / 1,000 SMSes

Circles Life SIM-only plans (from $5/month)

Circles Life’s $5 Plan is the absolute cheapest SIM-only plan on the market. You have to pay a one-time SIM card registration fee of $38 though.

You get 2GB of data, 50 minutes of talktime, 25 SMSes a month and free Caller ID. If you exceed your quota, you can purchase a “Boost” via the Circles.Life app.

Among the younger set, it seems like the more popular Circles plan is the Smart Start Plan ($18/month), which offers 20GB of data, 100 minutes talktime, and 25 SMSes.

Note that the $18/month rate is only applicable to people who port in from another telco. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the full price of $28 a month for a new number. A registration fee of $38 usually applies, but Circles often releases promo codes to waive it.

redONE SIM-only plans (from $8/month)

redONE is a Malaysian telco with some attractive SIM-only plans. Choose from 3 redONE plans:

  • redONE Amazing8 plan ($8/month) gives you 3GB of data, 300 minutes of talktime and 10 SMSes.
  • redONE Amazing18 plan ($18/month) offers 10GB, 500 minutes of talktime and 20 SMSes.
  • redONE Amazing28 plan ($28/month) has 20GB, 700 minutes of talktime and 30 SMSes.

Its main selling point is that the bundled mobile data can be used in Singapore and Malaysia — clearly the plans are aimed at Malaysians living here.

VIVIFI SIM-only plans (from $8.80/month)

VIVIFI is yet another virtual telco with 4 SIM-only plans to choose from:

  • VIVIFI Lite ($8.80/month) with 3GB, 500 minutes of talktime and 20 SMSes
  • VIVIFI Plus ($9.98/month) with 6GB, 350 minutes of talktime and 100 SMSes
  • VIVIFI Plus ($14.98/month) with 10GB, 350 minutes of talktime and 100 SMSes
  • VIVIFI Share ($29.90/month) with 40GB, 300 minutes of talktime and 100 SMSes

While the first 3 SIM-only plans are pretty self-explanatory, we actually like the more expensive VIVIFI Share Plan the most.

The key differentiating factor is that you can share your plan with up to 8 other users. When shared, individual users have to pay $5.35 and will get an additional 2GB each.

So for example, you, your husband and your child share a VIVIFI plan. You pay the base price of $29.90 and an additional $10.70 to add on 2 users. The total price comes up to $40.60, or $13.53 per person, and 3 of you get to share a total of 44 GB.

This arrangement may be suitable for couples with young children or elderly who don’t need that much more data. Although, you do have the flexibility to boost the data if you want, too.

Zero 1 SIM-only plans (from $9.90/month)

Zero 1 was the third virtual telco following Circles Life and Zero Mobile. Their gimmick is that all their plans have “unlimited” data. 

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Apparently, you get 4G speeds on the first GBs that you pay for. Thereafter, your data will be at “managed” speed (read: slow but supposedly “usable”). But at least you’re not forced to top up for extra data.

Zero 1’s 6u Plan ($9.90/month) offers 6GB of “premium data and thereafter at usable speeds” and 200 minutes of talktime, with free 200 SMSes and Caller ID. This is for new subscribers and valid for 6 months. The monthly fee goes back up to $13.90 from the 7th month onwards; a one-time registration fee of $10.70 applies. 

Need more data? Then look at the other new 30u Plan ($24.90/month) with 30GB “premium data and thereafter at usable speeds” and 450 minutes of talktime. It comes with free 450 SMSes and Caller ID. The one-time registration fee is waived for new subscribers for a limited time only.

TPG Singapore SIM-only plans (from $10/month)

TPG, the Australian telco that snagged the fourth telco licence in Singapore in 2016, is offering an incredible 50GB data at $10/month. 

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It includes 300 local call minutes, 30 local SMSes and 1GB of roaming data to selected countries. Too bad most of us still can’t travel anywhere. (Thanks, Covid-19 and your new horrid strains.)

Sounds like an amazing deal, but the downside is that TPG does not work with all devices. Check here for a list of compatible handsets.

If 50GB isn’t enough (seriously!?) you can also “upsize” to their $18/month 80GB SIM-only plan. This monster comes with 300 IDD minutes, 2GB roaming data to selected countries, free incoming calls, free Caller ID, 500 minutes local outgoing calls and 50 local SMSes.

If you/your parents are 60 years old and above, consider TPG’s Seniors Go Digital Plan at $5/month s till 31 July 2021. After this promo ends its run, the price will be $10.

Starhub giga SIM-only plans (from $10/month)

giga is Starhub’s entrant on the virtual telco scene, and it has 2 plans to choose from:

  • $10/month for 6GB of data, 100 minutes of talktime and 100 SMSes.
  • $25/month for 45GB of data, an insane 1,000 minutes of talktime and 1,000 SMSes.

The $25/month giga plan is on the expensive side — although that’s a crapload of data and talktime. (Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who’d need that much, except maybe for over-enthusiastic sales execs?)

So if you’re a modest phone user, the $10/month plan should be enough. giga plans all roll over unused data to the next month, which means you can theoretically get more GB than you paid for. On the other hand, it might prompt you to realise you’re paying for way too much data.

GridMobile SIM-only plans (from $17.90/month)

GridMobile now offers 2 SIM-only plans:

  • GridMobile 20GB plan ($17.90/month) with free incoming calls, 120 minutes of outgoing calls and 50 SMSes.
  • GridMobile 40GB plan ($24.90/month) with free incoming calls, 200 minutes of outgoing calls and 200 SMSes. Also comes with 1GB TravelRoam in Malaysia for new sign-ups, but that will only be worth considering when we get to travel again.

GridMobile’s $17.90/month plan is the cheapest 20GB plan on the market. A good option if your data usage exceeds 10GB (and your phone isn’t compatible with TPG).

You can also boost your plan with one-time or monthly add-ons for data/talktime, and earn gridPoints to offset your bills, get cash back, or spend at merchants like Grab and Shopee.

Singtel GOMO SIM-only plan ($20/month)

For the longest time, Singtel’s SIM-only plans used to be quite overpriced – think $20 for 5GB, for example. What’s more, most of them even required at least 12 months’ commitment. Pfft.

But they must have lost a significant chunk of business to players likes Circles Life, because they’ve launched a sub-brand, GOMO, to win back the hearts and minds of disloyal Singaporean millennials.

Fortunately for Singtel shareholders, GOMO is pretty awesome — $20/month to cover 20GB data, 200 minutes talktime and 200 SMSes. You can also download the GOMO app to check your data, talktime and SMS.

M1 SIM-only plan (from $20/month)

Shortly after Singtel GOMO and Starhub Giga, M1 joined in the fray with its own super-good value SIM-only plan, of course.

Props to M1, though, for not bothering to create a new microsite peppered with cringey “YAAAS”es and ~IG story~ references. Instead, they’ve simply updated their one SIM only offering which you can now customise to your needs.

It now costs $24.95/month for 30GB of data, plus 100 minutes of talktime and 100 SMSes.

Free add-ons include unlimited weekend data and extra 10GB for 12 months.

If you’re a new customer and a Safra member, you get a discount, so the plan costs only $20/month for 40GB of data, 1,000 minutes talktime, 1,000 SMSes, free incoming calls and unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers.

So, which is the best SIM-only plan in Singapore?

How do you know which plan to sign up for? Here’s a quick guide:

If you want the cheapest possible plan: Circles Life ($5/month) or giga ($10/month)

Looking for a SIM card for your child or a senior who doesn’t use much data? That Circles Life $5/month plan is the absolute cheapest you can go for a mobile data subscription in Singapore.

However, the 2GB of data is really not fantastic, nor is the SIM card registration fee of $38. The next runner up for lite users is giga, which costs only $10/month and gives you a decent 6GB to play with.

If you want LOTS of data: TPG SIM card ($10/month) or M1 ($20/month)

Does having a whole lot of data make you feel powerful? Want to feel like an invincible king of data? Turn to TPG for its mammoth 50GB data at $10/month. Plus you can “upsize” it to a crazier 80GB at $18.

If your phone isn’t compatible with TPG, other data-heavy options are M1 ($20/month for 40GB, if you’re a Safra member), or Starhub’s giga ($25/month for 45GB).

If you want an all-rounded plan without spending much: Circles Life ($18/month) or GOMO ($20/month)

For most millennials, a SIM-only plan around the 20GB mark would be just right. If you’re new to Circles Life, you can port over to their Smart Start Plan and get their plan for $18/month.

If you’re willing to pay $2 more a month, we still like Singtel’s GOMO as it’s more all-rounded than Circles Life. At $20 a month, it’s still terrific value and won’t make you feel like you’re sacrificing any part of your life just to save a few bucks. 

Bonus: Best credit cards for telco bills

If you really want to stretch your dollar, you can sign up for recurring telco bill payments on your credit card. There are a few credit cards that award you with rebates for it:

Maybank Family & Friends Card — up to 8 per cent cash back

PHOTO: MoneySmart

OCBC 365 Credit Card — 3 per cent cash back

PHOTO: MoneySmart

UOB One Card — up to 5 per cent cash back

PHOTO: MoneySmart

HSBC Advance Credit Card — up to 3.5 per cent cash back

PHOTO: MoneySmart

This article was first published in MoneySmart.