Review of Woolworths Mobile phone plans

Woolworths is a giant of the Aussie grocery market, and now it’s also proving to be a big challenger to the status quo in the mobile phone plan landscape.  The beloved ‘Woolies’ relaunched its mobile phone business in June 2015, piggybacking on the Telstra 4G Network to provide unrivalled coverage across Australia. The supermarket’s previous arrangement with Optus ceased in 2013 and it took a two-year hiatus from providing phone services.

Now Woolworths Mobile is back in a big way. Competing at the low-cost end of the prepaid market and also providing handset phone plans, Woolworths Mobile now offers several competitively-priced deals to tempt you away from the bigger low-cost carriers and the likes of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

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What does Woolworths Mobile offer?

Woolworths Mobile is one of many mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and its phone and data plans sit towards the budget end of the spectrum. But the supermarket powerhouse certainly utilises the advantages of its huge corporate empire to make life easy for its mobile customers and provide solid value, whether you’re looking for a prepaid or postpaid plan, including new handsets. Let’s get a quick rundown of what Woolies has to offer below:

Price Features
Prepaid Plans

(30 day billing period)

$15 $250 standard international and national calls, unlimited texts, 400MB data
$30 Unlimited calls and texts, 3GB data, $100 international calls, data rollover up to 15GB
$45 Unlimited calls and texts, 6GB data, $200 international calls, data rollover up to 15GB
Postpaid Plans

(Monthly billing period)

$35 $1000 calls, unlimited texts, 1GB data
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 3GB data
$70 Unlimited calls and texts, 8GB data

Source: Woolworths Mobile

Woolworths Mobile Prepaid Plans

There are three prepaid plans to choose from – each of which requires you to purchase a $2 SIM card (one of the cheapest SIM fees out there, mind you) from your local Woolies, Big W, BWS, or Caltex Woolworths petrol station. The huge number of retail outlets you can buy from is a convenience which few other mobile providers can match – most competitors provide next-day SIM delivery at best. Chuck one in your trolley the next time you do the groceries and boom – new phone plan. Woolworths Mobile also lets you buy a SIM card from its online store for an additional $2 postage fee.

As for the prepaid plans, there are three to choose from – an online-only $15 Recharge, a $30 Recharge and a $45 Recharge, the latter two of which can also be bought as SIM starter packs in store. All three prepaid plans come with unlimited texts, meaning they would be perfect if you send lots of messages, while the $30 and $45 options also include unlimited calls. All three also bring unlimited calls to other Woolworths Mobile customers – the sort of feature that is pretty common, but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Chances are with Woolworths Mobile’s popularity your friends are on the provider’s plans as well. So, let’s just recap:

  • The entry-level $15 prepaid plan provides $250 of calls, unlimited texts and 250MB of data and it’s available for online purchase only. Calls are billed at 99c/minute plus a 40c flagfall.
  • The $30 plan gives you unlimited standard calls and texts, plus a decent 3GB of data and $100 of international calls.
  • The $45 plan gives you unlimited standard calls and texts, along with a hefty 8GB of data and $200 in international calls. This plan is definitely a good option for heavy data users who like to stay in touch with people, both in Australia and overseas.

The $30 and $45 plans’ international inclusions are generous. Countries are broken up into six zones – Zone 1 being the cheapest and Zone 6 being the dearest. Most western and western European countries are in Zone 1. This includes Canada, USA, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, and New Zealand among many others. Here’s a Zone cost breakdown:

Zone Cost Per Minute (or part thereof)
One $1.00
Two $2.50
Three $5.00
Four $7.50
Five $12.00
Six $15.00

Source: Woolworths Mobile

These are the basics, but also keep an eye out for bonus extras. Currently Woolies offers 2GB bonus data with the $45 recharge. Furthermore, if you use your Rewards Card upon purchasing, you’ll receive a further 10 per cent off. If you’re wondering what the Rewards Card is, it’s orange and is probably located somewhere in your wallet. Keep in mind that the $15 recharge is online only, which is why it’s not listed below:

If you’re after more data inclusions, there are several options available from Woolworths Mobile. A $5 add-on will secure you 250MB, followed by a 500MB boost for $8.50, or a 1GB add-on for $15.00. If you desire more international calls, then $9.99 will get you $200 worth.

Woolworths Mobile Postpaid Plans

Woolworths Mobile offers three handset plans, each of which comes on a 24 month contract and can be paired with your choice of a top Samsung or OPPO smartphone – although the repayments for your phone will cost extra. The total cost of a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S7 is from $59 a month, for example.

  • The Small plan starts at $35 per month and includes $1,000 of standard calls, unlimited texts and 2GB of data. You’ll also receive a $25 Woolworths gift card as a bonus
  • Starting from $50 per month, the Medium plan provides unlimited calls and texts along with 3GB of data and a $50 gift card.
  • Finally, the $70 per month Large plan provides unlimited calls and texts, 8GB of data and a $100 Woolies gift card.

Remember, these are just the prices of the plans – your new handset will increase what you pay every month.

Woolworths promises you absolutely zero bill shock, meaning that if you reach your credit limit, the provider will restrict your service rather than overcharge you. As for bonuses, there are some fresh prices for data and additional value – they are:

  • $10 for 1GB, $25 for 3GB, $35 for 5GB
  • $10 for 300 minutes and $15 for unlimited calls to 10 countries, as well as 300 minutes to selected international countries
  • $10 for $200 additional value for standard national calls

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How does Woolworths Mobile compare to other providers?

Woolworths Mobile is in quite a unique position in that it can sell the full range of its plans right out of its grocery stores, which makes for easy accessibility. In fact, you can even buy the SIM starter packs online when you order groceries. Chances are there’s a Woolies near you, or you shop there already so it’s easy if you’re in the market for a new phone plan. Let’s see how their plans stack up.

Woolies Prepaid Plans Compared

Woolworths Mobile has three prepaid plans, each staged at different points in the market.

Woolworths $15 Plan Compared

It’s a little hard to judge this plan compared to others, seeing as it’s online only, but it’s priced towards the cheaper end of the market and competes primarily with the two other grocery giants – Coles Mobile and ALDI Mobile – as well as Kogan Mobile and Yomojo. Woolies sits pretty well here, and it looks to be better value than both ALDI and Coles, as the Woolies plan has more value added than ALDI’s plan, and the Coles plan is only on a 10 day expiry. Kogan, however, offers supreme value for only $1.90 more.

Woolworths $30 Plan Compared

This is the first Woolies plan that you can buy instore, so the convenience factor is really present here. This plan competes with TPG, Kogan Mobile and Lebara for your dollars. These are some of the cheapest providers to offer 3GB of data with unlimited calls and texts. Woolworths holds its own, but you can’t go past Lebara who offer 5GB. All plans have bonuses – Woolworths has a 1GB bonus – so keep an eye out for these and their expiration dates.

Woolworths $45 Plan Compared

This is where you start to see some players offering serious data inclusions. Here Woolworths Mobile competes again with Coles and Amaysim – who offer an impressive 7GB – and OVO Mobile who offer a whopping 12GB data. This is where Woolworths Mobile seems to feel a little lacklustre with 6GB of data and a 2GB bonus. However, one thing to note is that Coles and Amaysim plans are both on 28 day billing periods, which means you are effectively charged 13 times a year instead of 12.

Woolies Postpaid Plans Compared

As we move into the business-end of town, the thought of bundling a great phone with your plan becomes appealing. Aside from that, how do the Woolies plans stack up?

Woolworths $35 Plan Compared

Woolworths might offer some great value in its grocery stores, but sadly its $35 postpaid plan falls behind. If you don’t need to bundle a phone with your plan, then Optus and Vodafone are cheaper and offer more data. Also thrown into the mix is TeleChoice, who simply blow everyone else out of the water with 7GB of data. Telechoice isn’t alone here, however. If you don’t need a new phone, then your world is opened up to a myriad of providers who all offer 5GB+ of data for the same price as Woolworths’ plan.

Woolworths $50 Plan Compared

As we move up into the more high-end plans, it’s again evident that Woolworths falls behind the major players. For $50, you can expect 9GB of data from both Vodafone and Optus – the former also has an additional 4GB bonus data. Woolies is also outdone by small rural player Southern Phone who offer 5GB. Woolworths does include a $50 e-gift voucher, but does that make up for its lacklustre data inclusions? Only you can decide.

Woolworths $70 Plan Compared

By far the most high-value plan in the Woolworths postpaid line-up, Woolworths competes with the gargantuan Telstra, along with Southern Phone and Virgin Mobile. Woolworths again falls behind Telstra and Southern Phone who both offer a huge 10GB of data. You can bundle a phone with Woolies here, while many other providers are BYO phone, but you’ll have to consider if that opportunity is really worth it. Woolworths also includes a $100 e-gift voucher to sweeten the deal, which may be enough to sway you over, but it pays to shop around – there are cheaper plans with 8GB data out there.

Should I put a Woolworths Mobile plan in my basket?

Woolworths has a concise array of both prepaid and postpaid mobile plans. We suspect you’ll be pleased with the value offered on prepaid terms, but unless you really need a bundled phone, then Woolies’ contract options may leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed.

Other providers – even Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – frequently offer more data for the same price or less. The catch is though, that these plans are frequently BYO device, whereas Woolworths does have a pretty impressive range of phones to choose from. The bonus offer of various Woolworths gift cards also sweetens the deal a bit, but is it enough to get you to convert? We suspect many people will be tempted but many others may find it worthwhile to hunt around for a better value plan.

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