Reasons to Avoid Using Amaysim Plans Abroad over Other Telco SIM-only Plans

In a recent post that I wrote regarding international data charges for tablet users, something significant that my research uncovered was the extortionate rates being charged by Amaysim. To reiterate, I found that consuming 1GB of data while abroad with them would cost you a staggering $23,000!

This got me thinking about what other Australian telco's were charging by comparison. Seasoned travellers often try to get the cheapest data rates by picking up a local SIM from the country they're visiting, allowing them to pay local data usage rates when not in a wifi zone. However, hunting around for a shop selling SIM cards in unfamiliar surroundings, not to mention potentially doing so in a foreign language too, can often be a major hassle. As such I've decided to look at what the other domestic telco's in Australia are charging for international data packs on on their SIM-only plans.


To be fair, Amaysim do try and give you a rough outline of what their data usage might cost while you're overseas. To give you an example, Amaysim state on their website that “Downloading a 5 minute song to your mobile may cost over $100.” Another one of their Tips & Tricks is: “Data roaming at 23.667c per 10KB is more than $20 per MB.”

So in their defence, at least it would  appear as if they're attempting to provide clear information on their website about what they will charge you if you do use their data roaming services abroad. However, I believe many customers who have been stung by the company have only discovered this valuable information after their hefty phone bill knocked them off their feet first.

Large Phone Bills give you a huge shock

In term's of Amaysim's competitiveness within Australia, there's no doubt they're probably one of the best Optus network resellers in relation to value for money. If you are looking for unlimited calls and texts plus 5GB of data then Amaysim comes out on top at just $44.90 per month, which is generous. However, if you're thinking of going overseas and using data then forget about Amaysim.


Mobile Phone Tanning on a Deck chair

As mentioned in the opener, if you plan to use plenty of data whilst you’re away and don’t want to have to rely on wifi access for your entire journey, then generally the most financially viable solution is to pick up a local PAYG SIM from companies like Lycamobile, Lebara or Vodafone when you arrive at your destination. Topping up a local SIM means you will only have to pay local rates and when you leave you can simply throw the SIM away or keep it for your next trip.

While buying a local SIM is generally considered to be very economical, it can also be very time consuming, especially as some foreign countries require you to register your passport with the telco before getting a PAYG SIM card. If this all sounds like too much hassle, then your best bet is to opt for one of the other domestic PAYG SIM card plans available. As long as you are aware of the charges these companies provide, you can make a far more educated decision about which domestic SIM to buy. To save yourself the stress, I’ve done the hard work for you in the table below (bearing in mind that Amaysim charge 23.667c per 10 KB, or $23 per MB):


Network Provider

Cost per MB

Tesltra* $3 per MB or Data Pack options


Optus $1 or 0.50c per MB country dependent


TPG** $1 or 0.50c per MB country dependent


Yatango $1 or 0.50c per MB country dependent


Virgin Mobile*** Up to $30.46 per MB country dependent


Vodafone Australia $1 per MB or $5 per day in selected countries


Telechoice $4.29 per MB all countries


* Telstra offer four different data packs when travelling abroad that you can add to your SIM card before you travel. You just need to check the pack is available in your intended country of destination.

** TPG charge roughly the same prices as Optus, however they do charge up to $15.50 per MB if you travel to countries within their ‘Other’ category.

*** Virgin Mobile Australia have a mixed bag of prices and don’t state a base price per MB either. Rather they just give a rough example of 10 countries which is very misleading and un-informative. Phenomenally, they charge $30.46 per MB if you travel to the UK. That’s roughly $30,000 for one measly GB of data.


Sitting on the beach making a phone callWhat strikes me from the table above is how Virgin, a company founded in the United Kingdom can charge $30 per MB for any Australian who travels there and uses their Virgin Australia SIM card for data roaming. The mind boggles.

Your final option could be to buy a specific international SIM from Australia before travelling which would again save you time and ultimately provide the best possible overseas prices (besides of course finding a local SIM when you arrive). The following table is a breakdown of the best international specific options you could consider buying:

Network Provider

Cost per MB

Woolworths Global Roaming* 0.45c or $11.81 per MB country dependent
Go-Sim 0.35c up to $30 per MB country dependent
Travelsim 0.35c up to $49.50 per MB

*Woolworths charge on 25KB rounding

**Go-Sim charge at 1MB rounding.


The Inter-connected world that we Live in

Besides the more favourable rates from these travelling specific SIMs, there isn’t too much difference between those and the international data packs listed in the first table. Vodafone have an enticing offering though that lets you spend $5 per day while abroad and retain access to your data and minutes from back home, which on shorter trips can prove far more economical than other options.

At the end of the day though, as far as I'm concerned they are all extortionately expensive per MB when you compare the relative cost of the data we use at home. In an ever more connected world, it’s a shame to still see that telecoms companies are controlling the markets to satisfy their own greed in this way. Value is important and I simply cant see the value in these over inflated prices.

TOPICS:   Mobile Phones

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