For many people, their smartphone has become a convenient first point of contact with the internet, and as result data allowance have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. With this in mind, we asked ourselves a question: Do phone plan providers cater as well to prepaid customers as they do those on a contract? We’ve found a selection of data-heavy prepaid mobile phone plans to help you find the best bang for your buck.
Telstra prepaid plans
If you’re after bulk data from Telstra’s prepaid offerings, you’ve got to go with one of their Pre-Paid Plus plans. These prepaid plans have similar inclusions to a post-paid plan, but with a 28-day expiry rather than a lock-in contract. The three options include a minimum 3GB of data, unlimited texts, and the ability to roll over your unused data to the next month. If you’re more than a little data-hungry, it’s hard to go wrong with Telstra prepaid.
Once you use up your included data, you can top up with a Data Plus Pack; your choices are 1GB for $10, or 2.5GB for $20.
Optus prepaid plans
The big data plans from Optus are the six My Prepaid Ultimate plans, which bring unlimited mobile and landline calls, unlimited SMS and MMS and data-free music streaming from four of the major services. The first plan has a 7-day expiry, the second 14 days and the latter four plans last for 28 days.
|Talk||100 mins||200 mins||Unlimited|
Optus additionally offers data rollover of up to 15GB with its My Prepaid Ultimate plans – if you recharge before your credit expires having the remaining data added to the data balance of their new recharge.
Optus offers a couple of data add-ons with its My Prepaid Ultimate plans, with its $10 MyData add-on the largest, coming with 1.5GB and expiring within 14 days or on your next MyData purchase.
Vodafone prepaid plans
Vodafone offers a slightly bewildering array of prepaid services, but it’s the Combo recharges that give you by far the most data – and the best value for money. Every recharge comes with infinite standard calls and texts, and they include increasing amounts of bonus data when you recharge online (we’ve included these in the totals below).
The latter plans also include a selection of international minutes, with some including 1000 minutes to Vodafone’s ‘Super 1000’ countries. The company additionally offers several data add-ons, the largest of which gets you 2GB for $15 over 28 days.
|Expiry||7 days||10 days||28 days||28 days||28 days||28 days|
Virgin Mobile prepaid plans
Foremost among Virgin Mobile’s range of prepaid services are the Prepaid Plus plans. These offer big inclusions of credit and data at modest prices, the most expensive being the $99 Prepaid Plus plan which offers users 10GB of data and credit totalling $1,800.
Customers get unlimited Virgin to Virgin calls and texts, and the ability to rollover up to 12GB of data when you recharge before the 28-day expiry. Virgin Mobile additionally offers a 300MB prepaid data add-on priced at $10 per month with a 30 day expiry.
Amaysim prepaid plans
Amaysim offers a range of five plans, all with big data inclusions. The provider is unusual in that all of their plans are available with either monthly post-paid or prepaid payment options. They bring the same inclusions whichever way you go.
Its five offerings start with the Unlimited 1.5GB plan at $24.90 per recharge, extending all the way up to the $49.90 Unlimited 9GB plan. All of Amaysim’s plans offer unlimited standard talk and text, as well as unlimited international calls to 10 selected countries – some serious value if you have friends or family overseas. The top two plans also offer 300 minutes of standard calls to 21 more countries.
Amaysim’s Unlimited plans have a minimum term of 28 days. If you’re still after more data, Amaysim offers a number of data packs, with its 10GB data pack priced at $99.90 and having a 365-day expiry.
|Plan||Unlimited 1.5GB||Unlimited 3GB||Unlimited 7GB||Unlimited 7GB Plus||Unlimited 9GB|
TPG prepaid plans
TPG offers four different prepaid plans with 30-day expiry terms, with data inclusions ranging from 1.5GB on the ‘T4G A’ recharge up to 10GB for the T4G 3 plan. TPG includes $550 worth of call and text value on the first plan, whilst the rest get unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers. TPG bills data per KB to ensure you get the most from your plan, and you can add on an extra 1GB for $10 should you exceed your 30-day limit.
|Plan||T4G A||T4G 1||T4G 2||T4G 3|
ALDI Mobile prepaid plans
ALDI Mobile offers several cheap Value Packs with strong data and credit inclusions. Each plan includes unlimited SMS and a 30-day expiry, with data ranging from 500MB to 8GB – all able to be rolled over. The latter plans also offer a selection of international minutes.
|Calls||250 mins||750 mins||Unlimited|
Kogan Mobile prepaid plans
From cheap tech importer to online department store, Kogan’s evolution has continued with the release of several prepaid mobile plans. All of their prepaid plans have unlimited calls and texts, and the biggest plan brings up to 12GB of data; you can also choose from 30, 90 or 365 day expiries, with the longer options proving better long term value.
|Price (30 days)||$16.90||$29.90||$36.90||$49.90|
Yomojo prepaid plans
Yomojo is one of few providers that offers customisable mobile phone plans whereby customers can pick one of several options for calls, texts, data and international minutes, and combine those options into a custom plan – all the possible permutations are just too many to list here. However, the largest of the eight data pack options is 10GB, whilst the cheapest plans start from just $18 a month – available with either prepaid or post-paid billing. For a more traditional prepaid plan, you can purchase a Yomojo Unlimited service. These come with unlimited calls and texts, plus your choice of three data options and one of several international call packs.
Lebara prepaid plans
A retailer that became well known for their focus on international calls, Lebara has now expanded its line-up of value-packed 30 Day Plans for prepaid customers. With three of the four plans bringing unlimited calls and texts, as well as a whopping 50% discount on the three cheaper plans if you buy online, Lebara’s plans offer some great data-heavy value.
|Plan||Mini Mega Plan||Lebara National Plan||Lebara Mega Plan||Lebara Unlimited Plan|
Prepaid plans: Things to consider
As you will have noticed from the comparison above, the majority of prepaid plans with upwards of 1GB of data include unlimited talk and texts. This makes comparing plans super easy because it’s really just a matter of finding the best price versus data deal. However, there are still some things to be aware of to ensure you’re getting great value and don’t suffer any unfortunate surprises.
While prepaid plans don’t bring the type of bill shock that post-paid plans can result in, you need to be aware of expiry periods. There is little point in going data-heavy if there is an allowance left over at the end of the expiry period, because it may not be rolled over. Even the mobile carriers that do allow data rollover will only allow it for one month.
The word ‘month’ is also important here because, as you will have seen, not all prepaid plans come with a 30-day expiry. It’s becoming increasingly common that mobile provider offer their prepaid plans on 28-day terms, meaning you’ll potentially lose your unused data. This also means you’ll effectively be paying for a 13th billing period over the course of 12 months.
The key to finding the best prepaid plan is knowing exactly how much data you need for your chosen billing period, be it 28 or 30 days. In an ideal world, your plan inclusions would just about expire on the very last day, meaning nothing is lost and you get your full money’s worth. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you can make the most informed decision.