It seems like everyone wants to visit Australia at least one time in their lives, which I can fully understand. We have all heard so many stories of this vast country.
From their lovely cities, their (terrifying) wildlife, and the majestic nature, it is a destination that should be on everyone's travel list.
With a high quality of living and a high standard of higher education, Australia is also attractive for high-skilled workers and students who want to get their Bachelor's or Master's degrees.
When you finally get to visit Australia, you want to share your experiences and adventures with your friends and family. I mean, why not? If you live in Europe, Africa, or the Americas, it will take you a lot of time (and money) to even get to Australia, so it will be an experience you will never forget. As a result, you need a good way to stay connected to the internet.
Remember, Australia is the largest country in Oceania and the second-largest country in the Asia Pacific region, behind China. So trying to rely on WIFI will be a bad choice, especially because free WIFI is not so prevalent in Australia compared to North America and Europe.
Additionally, roaming with your provider in Australia can be pricey. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy an Australian SIM card when exploring the country so that they can enjoy local rates.
According to Speedtest's Global Index, Australia is in the top 10 countries with the fastest mobile data speeds. This may come to a surprise to many because the country is also known for having slow broadband internet speeds because of its isolated location. It cannot be found in the top 25 countries.
When I was in Australia, I reviewed around 20 SIM cards, from the main operators, Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, to many MVNOs, such as ALDImobile, Belong, Boost Mobile, Lebara Australia, and, of course, Amaysim. Let's see if Amaysim is any good.
Buying a SIM Card in Australia Series
This Amaysim review is part of my Australian SIM Card Reviews Series where I review 20 individual Australian SIM cards.
Because there are so many MVNOs in Australia, this review is also part of the following series:
- Australian SIM Comparison (Main Operators)
- Optus MVNO Series (Optus MVNO comparison & individual Optus MVNO reviews)
It is highly recommended to read the Main Operator comparison after this article, followed by the Optus MVNO comparison. With that said, let's get started.
Telecom Providers in Australia
Before I tell you more about Amaysim, you need to know about the operator situation in Australia. If you have read my Buying a SIM Card in Australia Guide, then you know what Australia has 3 telecom operators: Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone Australia (officially Vodafone Hutchison Australia).
All these operators, which I refer to as Main Operators but are officially called Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), have various Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) underneath them that operate as separate companies using the networks of the Main Operators.
Australia has more than 50 MVNOs, and around 20 of them offer prepaid services. The country provides a lot of choices in terms of operators and SIM cards.
What is the biggest difference between Main Operators and MVNOs? MVNOs are often cheaper than the Main Operators because they do not have to maintain the antennas and usually do not have physical stores, meaning that they do not have to incorporate rent costs into their pricing.
Moreover, if a Main Operator offers a particular perk, let’s see free international calls and SMS to a handful of countries, the MVNO may offer the same. Perhaps with more or fewer countries.
However, it is not all that rosy. Main Operators want to get as many customers for themselves, so they may put certain restrictions on MVNOs. For example, the Main Operator may allow MVNOs access to their wholesale network, which is slower than the main network and has worse coverage.
Often, you cannot notice the difference. However, it can still be a deal-breaker for someone looking for the fastest speeds or living in an area where the wholesale network does not cover the area while the main network does.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when deciding which SIM card to buy besides the price. There are even more factors to consider, but those are not too important to many travelers.
Now that you are aware of the telecom operator situation in Australia, it is time to introduce you to Amaysim.
Amaysim is an MVNO using the Optus network. Optus is the second-largest Australian operator with more than 7 million customers. Optus has more than 25 MVNOs using their network, where Amaysim is one of them.
Besides being an MVNO, Amaysim offers electricity and gas plans, but that is not relevant to most travelers.
Amaysim has a special place on this blog because they were the first operator I analyzed on this blog in terms of their international roaming plans. Many months after writing that article, it was time to take Amaysim to the test.
Let’s see if Amaysim will be a right choice for you or if you should avoid them.
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
Amaysim Video Review
Want to watch the Amaysim video review? You bet! Check out this video:
How do I Buy an Amaysim Prepaid SIM Card?
Amaysim SIM cards are sold in various supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Australia, such as 7-Eleven, Big W, Coles, and Woolworths. You can also find Amaysim SIM cards at the post office (Australia Post).
Amaysim SIM cards start at 2 AUD with no credit or perks all the way up to 50 AUD for their SIM-only mobile plans and 90 AUD for their data-only plans. It will, however, be a challenge to find the 70 AUD and 90 AUD starter packs in stores.
Luckily, you can also order your Amaysim SIM card online and get it delivered to an Australian address before you arrive in Australia. It can take up to a week before the SIM card will come, so be sure to order it at least 1 week in advance so that you do not have to wait on your SIM card when already in Australia.
As always, ask your ho(s)tel or Airbnb if they can keep your SIM card safe for you when you order your SIM card online. Otherwise, they may be wondering why they received an unsolicited Amaysim SIM card in their mailbox.
How do I Activate my Amaysim SIM card?
In Australia, you are required by law to show your passport when buying an Australian prepaid SIM card. However, most operators allow you to register your SIM card online. As Amaysim is an online MVNO, you can only activate your SIM card online.
The back of your Amaysim starter pack will inform you to go to their website, Amaysim.com.au/go, to activate your SIM card. You can also head to their homepage and scroll a bit down, as shown above, to see the activate SIM box. You will then see this screen.
Enter your SIM card number in the Your SIM number. Your SIM number is on the SIM card itself and on the SIM card holder.
Depending on the starter pack you bought, you can choose your plan or decide to Pay As You Go (getting a plan will, in almost all cases, save you more money in the long run compared to paying Pay As You Go prices). Click on the green Choose button.
Now it is time to select your phone number. Amaysim will give you a few suggestions. You can also somewhat decide your own phone number (Premium Number), but you will have to pay 30 AUD for that privilege. As I was only interested in data, I chose a random number and proceeded.
How you have to enter your personal details and create an Amaysim account.
Confirm whether your information is correct and select your payment method. Amaysim will not charge you. Instead, they want to confirm that you are indeed the person you say you are by crosslinking your card information with the details you provided to Amaysim. Select your payment method and click on Continue to Payment.
Here, you fill in your payment information. Do note foreign currency exchange with traditional debit and credit cards are expensive because banks use unfavorable currency exchange rates or take an insanely high commission, which is almost criminal. Let’s not talk about PayPal’s fees. That is why I use Transferwise for any non-Euro payments (because my main currency is the Euro).
TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Australian dollars for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment. I even use my Transferwise debit card when paying for things abroad (with Google Pay as well).
Click on complete order to conclude the activation process.
Congratulations! You have successfully activated your Amaysim SIM card. You will get an email confirmation, and you will log into My Amaysim now.
How and Where can I Top Up my Amaysim SIM card?
Amaysim recharge vouchers are sold in the same places where you can buy an Amaysim SIM card (7-Eleven, Australia Post, Big Q, Coles, and Woolworths). Additionally, you can also top-up online or with the Amaysim app.
Remember when you had to link your payment information when activating your Amaysim SIM card? Well, Amaysim will enable auto-recharge by default. You can turn it off on My Amaysim, which I would highly recommend you doing so.
Let Amaysim Auto-Recharge
This is the most convenient way of recharging. Once your plan expires (28 days), Amaysim will renew your plan and take the money from your card or PayPal account.
If you are not in Australia for such a long time, then you should disable auto-recharge as soon as you activate your Amaysim SIM card. First, log in to My Amaysim.
Click on Manage Plan.
When you have an active plan or have not disabled auto-recharge yet, you will see an option to disable auto-recharge. Unfortunately, I cannot show that to you right now.
The process is almost the same on the Amaysim app. Click on manage plan, and you will be able to find an option to disable it.
Finally, you can text Amaysim to disable auto-recharge. If you have an UNLIMITED plan, text STOP UNLIMITED to 568. For any of the data-only plans, text the name of your plan to the number.
Recharging Amaysim with a Voucher
Once you have bought your top-up voucher, you will have to text the Voucher Code to 568. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text 123456 to 568. After that, you will receive a text message from Amaysim on how to activate a plan from there (if wanted).
You can also use My Amaysim to apply the voucher. Log into My Amaysim, click on Recharge voucher under Plan. Enter your voucher number in the Enter your voucher number field and click on Continue.
Amaysim SMS Recharge
If you have linked a debit card, credit card, or PayPal, you can recharge by sending a text. To do so, text TOP with the amount you want to recharge to 568. For example, if you want to recharge 20 AUD, you would text TOP20 to 568.
What Packages does Amaysim Offer?
Amaysim has 5 UNLIMITED packs, which stands for unlimited talk & text to Australian numbers. They also come with a data allowance. From 30 AUD, you get unlimited calls and SMS to 19 countries. From 40 AUD, you get 300 international minutes to an additional 13 countries.
Before I highlight the packages, I would highly recommend checking the Amaysim website for any deals, in case you want to order your SIM card online, or go to either Big W, Coles, or Woolworths, as they often sell the 30 AUD and 40 AUD packages at a discount (for example, paying 10 AUD or 20 AUD for the 30 AUD plan or 40 AUD plan, respectively).
With that said, let’s see what the packages include. All plans are valid for 28 days.
- 10 AUD: 1 GB and unlimited local calls and SMS
- 20 AUD: 5 GB and unlimited local calls and SMS
- 30 AUD: 30 GB, unl. local calls/SMS, and unlimited international calls 19 countries, and unlimited international SMS to 32 countries
- 40 AUD: 45 GB, unl. local calls/SMS, unl. international calls to 19 countries, unlimited SMS to 32 countries, and 300 minutes to 13 countries
- 50 AUD: 60 GB, unl. local calls/SMS, unl. international calls to 19 countries, unlimited SMS to 32 countries, and 300 minutes to 13 countries
The 19 countries for unlimited international calls are (30 AUD or more):
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
The 32 countries for unlimited international SMS are (30 AUD or more):
- Hong Kong
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Finally, we have 13 countries with 300 international minutes (40 AUD or more):
- The Netherlands
- The Philippines
- South Africa
We should not forget about the data-only plans! Amaysim has 6 different data-only plans. Like the UNLIMITED plans, these plans expire in 28 days as well:
- 15 AUD: 2 GB
- 25 AUD: 5 GB
- 45 AUD: 20 GB
- 60 AUD: 50 GB
- 70 AUD: 100 GB
- 90 AUD: 150 GB
How do I Activate an Amaysim Plan?
You can activate an Amaysim plan when you are activating your SIM card, as per the steps shown at how to activate your Amaysim SIM card.
If you want to change plans, you have to go My Amaysim (do not try and buy a plan from the homepage, as those steps are only for those who want to buy a new Amaysim SIM card). There, you click on Manage plan and click on Change plan.
Select your preferred plan from the drop-down menu and click on Next.
See if everything is correct and click on Confirm Order.
You have successfully changed your Amaysim plan!
You can also do this on the Amaysim app. Open the app and tap on Manage your plan.
There, you can a list of Amaysim’s plans. Tap the one you want.
Press choose this plan.
There you go!
What Speeds Will I Get with Amaysim in Australia?
It is important to know what type of speeds you will get when going with a particular operator, especially an MVNO. I stayed mainly in Melbourne when I was in Australia, but I assume the speeds will be around the same when visiting the other big Australian cities.
Normally, I like to do 3 speed tests besides the speed test I do in my video reviews. Unfortunately, I was out of data to do my regular 3 speed tests, so I have 2 for you: one at my partner’s apartment and one in South Melbourne.
Those are some incredible speeds you get with Amaysim. I already had high expectations for the Optus network, and my expectations were exceeded. Sure, Telstra may have faster speeds, but it is not a norm to have such high speeds, especially compared to around the world.
Still, these speeds with Amaysim will put Amaysim in the top 15% in terms of speed – perhaps even higher.
As a result, you can expect fast speeds with Amaysim.
Do I Recommend Amaysim to Travelers Visiting Australia?
I recommend Amaysim to those visiting Australia. It is easy to find an Amaysim SIM card, and activating it is a quick and easy process.
I also like the fact that the cheapest package, the 10 AUD one, comes with 1.5 GB instead of the usual 1 GB (yet I did not have enough data to conduct 3 speed tests, ha). The packages Amaysim offers are well priced compared to the perks you get and the quality of service.
One thing I love of many Australian Main Operators and MVNOs is that a lot of plans come with unlimited or more than 100 minutes for international calls. It would be lovely if more operators around the world would offer such a perk.
Either way, I had a pleasant experience with Amaysim, and I believe you will have to.
As a result, you should definitely consider Amaysim when visiting Australia, and they deserve their 5-star rating.
Reminder: Australian SIM Card Review Series
Remember, this Amaysim review is part of my Australian SIM Card Reviews series. Be sure to read the Australian Main Operator Comparison (the one mentioned above) and the Optus MVNO Comparison articles too!
Best International SIM Cards for Australia
Even though buying local SIM cards is often the cheapest way to stay connected while abroad, some travelers prefer to buy international SIM cards so that they do not have to pay expensive roaming bills while being reachable on one phone number.
There are many international SIM cards out there covering Australia, but there are a few 4 I would recommend for Australia.
Surfroam is my to-go international SIM card that acts as a bridge between me arriving in a new destination and before buying a local SIM card. Often, airport WIFI is slow (like at Melbourne Airport), and the SIM cards offered at the airports are overpriced or the more expensive ones.
Surfroam is a data-only SIM card. You get a UK number (+44) and can receive SMS, but you cannot call or text. The SIM card will not expire as long as you top up once a year. The Surfroam SIM card is free, but you have to top-up at least €15 (or €20 for the eSIM variant) upon purchase, which is already incorporated into the buying price.
Depending on where you are, you pay a minimum of €0.01 per MB (or slightly more than €10 per GB), which is cheaper than data packages in various countries around the world.
In Australia, you will pay €0.01 per MB when using your Surfroam SIM card on the Optus network.
Surfroam has agreements with operators in more than 200 destinations around the world, including Australia, which means that it will always have your back.
TrueMove H Smart SIM Cards
TrueMove H is a Thai operator that is known for offering attractive international roaming packages for in the Asia Pacific region and for affordable international SIM cards, like their Smart SIM cards. These SIM cards come with a Thai number (+66) and in 2 variants:
|SIM Card||Price||Data||Calls||SMS||Coverage||Credit Validity|
|TrueMove H Smart Light||$20||10 GB||None||None||20 destinations||10 days|
|TrueMove H Smart Traveler +||$40||6 GB||None||None||55 destinations||15 days|
Besides not being able to call and text with these SIM cards, you also cannot receive calls or SMS. Additionally, once the SIM card has been activated (when you put it in your device), the SIM card will expire once the credit validity hits, meaning that you cannot top-up your TrueMove H SIM card.
You can use your Smart SIM cards in the following 60 destinations:
|Destination||TrueMove H Smart Light||TrueMove H Smart Traveler|
3 Smart SIM Cards
3 Hutchison is an international telecom operator active in various countries in Europe and Asia. The 3 Smart SIM cards are issued by 3 UK and come with a UK number (+44). They come in 4 variants:
|SIM Card||Price||Data||Calls||SMS||Credit Validity|
|3 Smart Silver||$30||10 GB||None||None||30 days|
|3 Smart Gold||$40||12 GB||None||None||30 days|
|3 Smart Platinum||$60||12 GB||None||None||1 year|
|3 Smart Platinum X||$80||24 GB||None||None||2 years|
You cannot call and text with any of the 3 Smart SIM cards. You can, however, receive calls and SMS for free if you are in an eligible destination (shown below).
All 3 Smart SIM cards can, besides Australia, be used in the following 22 destinations:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Sri Lanka
- United States
- US Virgin Islands
Recharging these SIM cards is only possible with cards registered to a UK address our 3 UK top-up vouchers.
AIS Smart SIM Cards
For Australia, they only have 1 SIM card, called AIS Smart Traveler, which costs $20, comes with 6 GB, and is valid for 10 days. You cannot call or text with this SIM card, nor can you receive calls and SMS.
Besides Australia, the AIS Smart Traveler SIM card can be used in the following 24 destinations:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
Best Mobile Hotspots for Australia
Mobile hotspots, also known as Pocket WIFI, are useful for those traveling to Australia as a group or family. Buying data packages for everyone can add up quickly, which is why mobile hotspots can be a good alternative.
Just like international SIM cards, many companies are offering mobile hotspots, but there are 3 companies I would recommend for Australia.
Travelwifi also allows you to buy add-ons, such as calling and texting internationally or use in-flight WIFI.
Travelwifi has several tiers for Australia:
- World Adventure: $9/day – 1 GB per day
- World Escape: $12/day – 2 GB per day
- World Voyage: $13/day – 3 GB per day
Want to use Teppy throughout Oceania, which includes Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, and Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)? Then the following applies:
- World Voyage: $9/day: 1 GB per day
- World Escape: $12/day: 2 GB per day
- World Voyage: $13/day: 3 GB per day
You can also buy Teppy for $150 (in red, blue, or green) and buy country or global passes when traveling.
Skyroam is a popular portable hotspot because they rent their Skyroam hotspot with unlimited data from $6 a day, and up to 10 devices can be connected to the hotspot. It works in more than 130 countries.
In Australia, you will pay $9 per day for unlimited high-speed data if you rent it, which is incredible.
Both devices offer fast and secure WIFI speeds and allow you to connect to 10 devices. The Solis X also has a remote camera, speaker, microphone, Bluetooth, and a Smart Assistant. Neat.
Vision Global Wifi
Vision Global hotspots cover more than 130 destinations around the world – Australia included. Their service comes in 3 variants:
- Unlimited 4G Basic: $6/day – 500 MB high-speed data per day, then unlimited normal speed
- Unlimited 4G Advanced: $8.80/day – 1 GB high-speed data per day, then unlimited normal speed
- Unlimited 4G Max: $16/day – Unlimited high-speed data every day
The prices drop if you plan on using a Vision Global device for more than two weeks.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Australia
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Australia. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Australia drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Australia
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Australia. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in an Australian hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Australia
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Australia, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Australian Dollars for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!