Choosing The Right No Contract, SIM-Only Mobile Plan For You

With so many virtual telcos like Circles.Life and MyRepublic shaking up the industry, it’s no surprise the big three are joining the fray with equally competitive no contract, SIM-only plans.

And with that many plans to choose from, we’re definitely spoilt for choice here. Might even induce a headache or two. But at least it’s a good sort of problem to have.

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest, the most value or the most data, we’ve gone ahead and did the legwork for you.

What is a SIM-Only plan?

Much like a traditional mobile phone contract, a SIM-only plan offers a package of data, SMS, and talktime at a fixed cost every month. The biggest difference is that you’re not contractually tied down. There is no minimum contract period and you’re free to switch telcos and plans whenever you like with no penalty.

Why choose a SIM-Only plan over a 2-year fixed contract plan?

The biggest draw of SIM-Only plans is that you’re not tied down to any telco. If one day another telco offers a more attractive package, you’re free to jump ship without being penalised. Compared to contracts, SIM-Only plans offer more data at a better price point — which is relevant because who still uses SMS and make calls with the allocated talktime? It’s all done over data now.

With that said, if you like changing phones every now and then, then perhaps the traditional fixed contracts will suit you better. Committing to any two-year plan with any telco usually comes bundled with a free smartphone or one that’s discounted (depending on the plan). Once the contract’s up, you’re free to recontract and get yourself another brand new phone at the same time.

Plans under $10 or even free

TPG Circles.Life Zero1
Plan SIM-Only Flexi 1GB to unlimited
Price $0 $0 $9.90
Data Unlimited 1GB Unlimited
Talktime 20 30 200
SMS 20 10 200
Notes: •4G speed is capped at 2GB daily, thereafter it is “managed” (1Mbps)

•Free caller ID

•Unlimited calls to local mobiles

•Free caller ID •4G speed is capped at 1GB monthly, thereafter it is “managed” (1Mbps)

•Free caller ID

Unlimited data for the cost of… Nothing? Too good to be true? Well, not exactly. While it is true “unlimited” is exactly what it means, you’ll be getting “managed” network speed (1Mbps) after you use up a certain number of data. A 1Mbps network speed is probably just enough to get on Reddit or visit text-heavy sites only or watch YouTube in 240p, if that’s your thing.

Then of course, there are other costs to consider. For Circles.Life and Zero1, you’ll need to pay for a one-time registration fee ($50 and $10.70 respectively). For Circles.Life, considering the fact that you won’t be paying anything after that, it’s a good trade-off.

For TPG though, there’s no option to port your number and coverage is spotty. Your phone’s good as dead underground, only because there’s only outdoor coverage; they do have until 2021 to ensure there is underground coverage though. Still, the unlimited data (4G speeds capped at 2GB daily) is something to consider.

Recommendation: Zero1 seems to be the play here. Why? Only because TPG is on trial here and most likely their free unlimited data plan will not go on indefinitely. Plus, coverage is poor. With Circles.Life, incoming calls count as part of the 30mins they’re giving you. So if you’re not careful, you can chalk up quite a bit of excess cost.

Considering the talktime, SMS, and data, Zero1 offers the best compromise if you’re on a budget and if you don’t mind the constraints — take note that you have to be prudent about your data use too so you won’t hit the speed cap. With all things considered, perhaps it makes more sense to check out the next tier of plans because just by paying an extra bit more, you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck.

click here for tpg’s sim-only plan, here for’s flexi plan and here for zero1’s 1gb to unlimited plan.

Plans that have the most value

Circles.Life Singtel Grid Mobile Starhub M1
Plan Base Gomo SIM-Only Giga SIM-Only
Price $18 ($28 after first year) $20 $24.90 $25 $25
Data 20GB 20GB 20GB 25GB 30GB
Talktime 100 200 200 1,000 1,000
SMS 25 200 200 1,000 1,000
Add-ons •$6/GB, $4/100mins, $1/25sms •$10 for 10GB, 100min, 10 sms •$2/GB

•$1/GB for specific apps

•$5/GB roaming

• $10/GB and 100mins

•$50/150GB and 10,000mins

•$6/month for unlimited weekend data. (4G speed capped at 10GB, thereafter limited to 1Mbps)

Notes: • $18 only for 12 months

•Free caller ID

•Free caller ID •Free caller ID

•1GB M’sia Travelroam

•Free caller ID

•2-month rollover data


• Unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers

•3 months free caller ID, thereafter it’s $5.35/month

Price-wise, the cheapest plan goes to Circles.Life, but as usual their SMSes and talktime aren’t much, though they make up for it with their unlimited WhatsApp feature (zero-rated data for WhatsApp photo, video, text message, and voice calls). Also, the $18/month only lasts a year before reverting back to the default $28/month plan.

It’s also nice to see our big three telcos joining the fray with their own competitive no-SIM plans as well. Their offerings for data, talktime and price are as good, if not, sometimes even better than their digital counterparts. You’ll only find slight differences in their add-ons.

Recommendation: Except for Circles.Life, the rest of the plans are all extremely competitive data and price-wise but Starhub’s Giga would be our pick. At just an affordable $25/month, you’re getting a great data package and a good amount of talktime and SMSes. But what really caught our eye is the rollover data feature. How great is rolling over your unused data for up to 2 months?

click here for’s base plan, here for Singtel’s gomo, here for grid mobile’s sim-only, here for starhub’s giga, and here for m1.

Plans for the data-hungry user

Zero Mobile M1 MyRepublic
Plan ZERO Xs ZERO X SIM-Only + $50 add-on Ultimate 80 Xtra 85
Price $49.95 $59.95 $75 $80 $85
Data Unlimited Unlimited 180GB 80GB 30GB
Talktime 100 Unlimited 11,000 1000 1000
SMS 100 Unlimited 1,000 1000 1000
Add-ons • $10/GB and 100mins

•$50/150GB and 10,000mins

•$6/month for unlimited weekend data (4G speed capped at 10GB, thereafter limited to 1Mbps)

Notes: •Free Caller ID •Free Caller ID • Unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers

•3 months free caller ID, thereafter it’s $5.35/month

•2GB Roam Like Home

At first glance, Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan seems to make the most sense. For just under $60, you’ll get unlimited data, talktime, and SMS. What’s there not to like? But once again we’ve to ask, is unlimited really unlimited? According to their website, unlimited data is subjected to the fair usage policy. Which means, after you hit 45GB for the month, you may “temporarily experience controlled speeds during times of network congestion or where excessive usage is detected.” Unlimited? You decide.

Recommendation: If you take a closer look at M1’s $50 add-on for their SIM-only plan, you’ll realize that it’s the best plan for users that require a lot of data. Slap on the $50 add-on to the original plan and you’ll be paying $75 for a whopping 180GB, 11,000mins of talktime and 1,000 SMS. Easily beating MyRepublic’s Ultimate 80. (Note: M1 caps 4G speeds at 150GB and will impose a 1Mpbs speed limit thereafter until the start of the next bill cycle.)

click here for zero mobile’s zero xs/x plans, m1’s sim-only plan and here for myrepublic’s ultimate 80 & xtra 85.