Circles Life was the radical new player that changed the entire telco scene in Singapore in 2016. As a mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), it taps on M1’s network and offers a ton of data for a lower price with no contract needed.
Circles Life used to have a $0 flexi-plan, a 1GB plan that costs nothing and wooed many to join them.
The plan was discontinued last year, but how about the rest of Circles Life’s plans? Are they worth it?
Circles Life $5 Plan ($5 monthly)
Circles Life’s cheapest plan gives you 2 GB of data, 50 minutes of talktime and 25 SMSes for $5 a month. You can top up $10 for an extra 200 minutes of talktime and unlimited incoming calls but there’s no option to top up for unlimited data with this plan.
As with all Circles Life’s plans, it’s SIM only and requires no contract. If you are currently with another telco, your current number can be ported over at no extra charge.
Registration fee costs $18. If you choose a peak delivery timing for the SIM card, there’s an additional $2 delivery fee.
Unfortunately, if you are already on Circle Life’s base plan, which costs $28 per month, it’s not possible to downgrade to this $5 plan.
Circles Life Smart Start base plan ($28 monthly)
Circle Life’s Smart Start base plan gives you 20 GB of data, 100 minutes of talktime, 25 SMSes and free caller ID service for $28 a month.
For a limited time now, if you transfer your current number over from another telco, you get a $10 discount for one year, reducing the plan to $18 a month for the first year.
There are also several add-ons:
|Circles Life Smart Start add-ons|
|Unlimited calls||More talktime||+$8 (outgoing) / $2 (incoming) monthly|
|Travel roaming||Additional data package for overseas use||$5 to $12|
|Unlimited data||Unlimited data||+$20 monthly|
|Unlimited XP||Unlimited data, $20 monthly device credit and $3 monthly digital subscription cash back||+$30 monthly|
Announced in Feb 2020, the most interesting one is the Unlimited XP add-on that gives you unlimited 4G+ data, $20 monthly device credit and $3 monthly digital subscription cash back. The first one is straightforward enough, but the other 2 may be slightly confusing. Here’s how it works:
Part of the Unlimited XP add-on is a $20 monthly device credit. This means that every month, you will earn $20 worth of credits which you can use to pay for phones in future. These credits are capped at $240, which basically means you get $240 off your phone purchase after subscribing to this add-on for 1 year.
The digital subscription cashback is a cash rebate awarded to you when you sign up for other (umm, completely unrelated) services like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime. To prove your subscription, you will need to upload your subscription bill/invoice via the Circles Life app every month.
According to Circles Life, this benefit was rolled out because they noticed that most of their high-data users were constantly streaming stuff. It sounds cool, but it’s worth to consider if you honestly need these frills…
You can also get your registration fee waived with the current promo code SUPER38.
Circles Life Wanderlust plan (from $40 monthly) — discontinued
Earlier this year, Circles Life launched a $40 Wanderlust plan that bundled together local and travel data. It offered 20GB of data, 100 mins talktime, 25 SMSes and either 3GB of roaming data for countries in the “Super Roam” tier (14 APAC countries + USA).
Unfortunately, this was discontinued after a short few months. Travellers will have to go back to depending on the travel data roaming add-ons, which we will talk about in the next section.
Circles Life travel data roaming
Now, most people don’t travel like, every month. Generally, the Smart Start plan is the most suitable for most months, save for that June / December trip with your fam. If that’s the case, you can consider their data roaming add-ons. You can choose from 3 options:
|Circles Life travel roaming add-ons|
|Roaming option||Price||Countries covered|
|Roam Boost B||$5 for 1 GB||Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and USA|
|Roam Boost A||$8 for 1 GB||Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan|
|Super Roam||$12 for 3 GB||Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and USA|
Under Roam Boosts, there are 2 sets of plans. Set A includes Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and costs $5 for 1 GB. Set B includes Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Macau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and USA and costs $8 for 1 GB.
Along with the new Unlimited XP, Circles Life introduced one more option for travel roaming — Super Roam. At $12 for 3 GB, this is the most premium of the 3 which covers the most countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and USA).
All are valid for 7 days once purchased and can be used interchangeably with any of the countries within the set. For example, if you used half of the data in Hong Kong, you can continue using the other half in Taiwan as long as it is within 7 days.
Of course, like all telcos, Circles Life also offers a pay-as-you-go rate (which differs depending on the country) but that’s more expensive. If you exceed the data in your travel roaming plan, you will also be charged via the pay-as-you-go rate.
Circles Life’s roaming is available in 37 destinations which is less than half of the destinations offered by the 3 big telcos – Singtel, Starhub and M1.
Circles Life promo codes 2020
Circles Life used to have more roadshows that offered additional treats including unlimited data for 1 month, free registration fees and getting your SIM card for sign-ups on the spot.
Since the roadshow updates have been removed from the site, I assume they don’t have those anymore. However, don’t despair: there are other ways to score discounts.
|Circles Life promotions|
|Sign-up promo||Registration fee waiver with promo code SUPER38|
|Friend referral promo||Registration fee waiver + 3 months of unlimited data (Promo code unique to existing Circles Life customers)|
Firstly, when signing up for the Smart Start base plan, make sure you use the SUPER38 promo code to get your registration fees waived ($38).
If you have a friend who’s on Circles Life (or are able to find a “friend” via online forums), even better. You can ask them for a referral code to get the same $38 registration fee waived, plus free unlimited data for 3 months.
Best credit cards to use for Circles Life subscriptions
One way to get “discounts” off your phone bill is to set up a recurring bill payment with your credit card. There are a few credit cards in Singapore that offer cash rebates for recurring telco bills:
Maybank Family & Friends Card — 5% or 8% cash back
OCBC365 Credit Card — 3% cash back
UOB Delight Card — 3% cash back
Pros of Circles Life plans
Circles Life’s plans do not require a contract and offer a high amount of data per dollar. Their base plan is the cheapest in the market at $18 per month for 20 GB of data if you port over your number and while promotion lasts.
If that’s still insufficient, you can top up $20 for a whole month of unlimited high-speed data. $48 per month is comparable to Zero Mobile, which is a lesser known MVNO that taps on Singtel’s network to offer an Unlimited XS plan for $49.95 per month.
For Circles Life, the whole process from registration to transferring your number over and SIM delivery is relatively simple and quick. Transferring your number over is also free.
The Circle Life app is very user-friendly. It helps to track usage, allows you to conveniently buy extra data, talktime or roaming packages as and when you need and also offers help through their chat service. Customers who have used Circles Life gave feedback that their customer service is prompt and efficient.
Cons of Circles Life plans
Sadly, Circle Life’s $0 Flexi plan which was perfect for people who don’t need as much data and talktime has been discontinued. But for those who signed up for it before 5th September 2019, you get to keep the plan forever!
Circle Life’s plans also do not include free incoming calls unless you top up $2 for it. If you don’t, take note that the amount of talktime given includes incoming calls. You can also top up $8 for unlimited outgoing calls.
According to feedback on forums, it seems that Circles Life’s network is not the best with some mentioning that coverage in the train tunnels and rural areas of Singapore being poor. There were also some complaints about the roaming coverage and the speed of internet while overseas.
Circles Life app
The Circles Life app is not just for tracking your usage and topping up data and talktime. It also has fun stuff like games and polls on the app that allows you to earn extra data.
In fact, it is no longer just a telco app. Circles Life have rebranded it as an app for everyone, including non-Circles Life customers, with useful lifestyle features.
You can now view show times and book shows from all cinemas in Singapore, including arty farty ones like The Projector and FilmGarde Cineplex. You can find out the latest movies, read movie synopsis and watch trailers on the app too.
There are also weekly giveaways where you get to win free movie tickets and invites to exclusive events.
User of Circles Life? Share your thoughts on it with us below!