What are the best phone plan deals?

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Everyone wants to save a buck or two, and when it comes to mobile phone plans, it’s all about getting the best value for money possible. Luckily there has never been a better time to choose a new phone plan, with telcos large and small competing for your business with some great offers and often incredible promotional deals. Here, Canstar Blue explores the biggest and best phone deals currently available in Australia and what you will need to keep in mind.

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iPhone X Deals April 2018

We’ll go on to compare SIM-only plans shortly, but if you’ve landed on this page looking to bag a great deal on the new iPhone X, here is a quick glance at the cheapest deals currently on offer.

Phone Plan Deals April 2018

If you’re shopping around for a mobile phone deal, March is a good time to do it. You’ll soon realise that most of the time these deals come on a month to month basis with a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates off one of the three networks in Australia. They get a wholesale network and consequently have a bit of room to move on price. Expect deals like a few dollars off normal monthly rates, extra data, freebies, or all of the above. However, be aware that some deals come with a catch. Let’s see what the providers are doing. Hit the links below to jump to your favourite carrier:

ALDI Mobile Phone Deals

While you line up for your milk, bread and Special Buys, you might want to pop an ALDI Mobile SIM card in your trolley as well. Until the end of April customers stand to receive between 1GB and 4GB bonus data with their plan. This means that you could potentially get up to 20GB data for only $55, which is enough for some streaming, a lot of social media, cat videos and more. ALDI Mobile is a prepaid provider running off the Telstra network so you know you’re getting great coverage.

Belong Mobile Phone Deals

As a longstanding internet provider, Belong has expanded to offer mobile phone plans on the Telstra network. As a direct subsidiary of Telstra, Belong exists as a low-cost alternative to the big blue telco and offers some interesting postpaid mobile phone plans. For $30, for example, you can receive unlimited calls & texts plus 5GB data. Plus until the end of the month you can also receive a one-off data gift from 10GB up to 30GB on your first month. This applies only to the first month of your plan so if you wanted to trial watching Netflix on your commute, this may be a good time to seize that opportunity.

Boost Mobile Phone Deals

Boost Mobile is a long-time MVNO on the Telstra network and is the only MVNO to get access to the full Telstra network – not parts of it. Plans start at just $10, but 28 day plans start at $20. Boost has recently rejigged its plans to reflect the growing value stakes in the prepaid market. For $20 you can get 2.5GB data, while for $50 you can get a massive 20GB,  which is really quite hard to top.

Catch Connect Mobile Phone Deals

Catch Connect is a new provider on the block, offering prepaid plans on the Optus network. It already has some of the most competitive plans in the country, and until the end of May you can get hefty discounts on most plans. For example, the $15 plan with 2GB data on board plus unlimited calls & texts is reduced to just $5. The $25 plan is reduced to $15 and so on. This applies to the first recharge only and only for new customers.

Coles Mobile Phone Deals

Coles Mobile recently rejuvinated its plans with two out of its three plans coming on a 35 expiry period, instead of the usual 28. However if you’re willing to bulk buy you could save even more. Coles is offering a 365 day plan for $180 whereby you get 42GB data. This works out to be 3.5GB for only $15 a month, but you will have to pay upfront and ration out your 42GB pool over the course of the year – are you disciplined enough to do that?

Dodo Mobile Phone Deals

Dodo is probably already known as a cheap provider, but until the end of May it goes one step further to offer bonus data if you sign up for 12 months. For example, if you hop on the $19.90 plan, you’ll get a massive 6GB for the life of the plan. The $29.90 plan gets a massive 12GB, and the $39.90 plan gets 24GB. If you’re willing to sign up for a year, Dodo provides strong incentive to do so. Dodo operates on the Optus network, which provides peace of mind.

Jeenee Mobile Phone Deals

Jeenee Mobile is always in the running for having some of the more competitive SIM only plans, but for a limited time it goes one step further and offers a 10% discount if you purchase through WhistleOut. This means you could get up to 1.2GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts for under $9 a month. The most competitive plans usually come on a 12 month contract. So if you’re willing to sign up for 12 months, you could effectively set and forget your phone plan, knowing you’ve locked in a great deal.

Kogan Mobile Phone Deals

Kogan Mobile is by now known as a cut-price prepaid provider. It operates on the Vodafone network and has a raft of competitive plans. These competitive plans are then made even more competitive if you commit to 90 days or more upfront. For example, you can pay $99.90 for 16GB data per 30 days, which works out to be just $33.30. The savings get larger if you commit to a longer period, as you can see below.

Lebara Mobile Phone Deals

Lebara has some hot deals going around on its 30 day plans. Right now on most plans there are data bonuses to be found if you recharge online. For example, you can often get up to 15GB bonus data just for recharging or activating online. Until the end of April, customers also receive hefty discounts on the $29.90 plan, so you do have some time to think about switching.

LycaMobile Mobile Phone Deals

Chances are you’ve probably seen a LycaMobile SIM pack in your local Coles, Woolies or convenience store, but what you might not know is it also has a solid range of prepaid plans on offer. It also uses the Telstra network. On many plans, new customers can receive up to 70% off their first recharge, bringing the $40 plan down to just $12 for example.

SpinTel Mobile Phone Deals

SpinTel has been running this deal for a while now – on its cheapest plan ($9.95) you get 1GB of bonus data for the first six months. Ordinarily you’d get only 500MB, but with this deal you get 1.5GB for just $9.95 (plus a $10 upfront fee). You also get 200 minutes of calls and unlimited texts/MMS. If you’re after a plan under $10 this one could be for you, but keep in mind that after six months your data is reduced to a third. That said, if you don’t plan on sticking around for over six months then you can inevitably reap the best deal from this phone plan.

TeleChoice Mobile Phone Deals

TeleChoice has a pretty intriguing bonus offer going around at the moment. On its three top-end 12-month plans ($29, $38 and $48) you can get a bonus 3GB, 7GB or 9GB of data, bringing the totals to 6GB, 13GB and 18GB respectively. A massive 18GB for less than $50 a month? We like the sound of that. However, the main caveat with this is that you’ll be locked in for 12 months, while many of the other providers come on a month to month basis. Nevertheless, a 9GB bonus is a pretty big data boost in anyone’s books, and to have it for the life of your contract sounds pretty promising.

Think Mobile Phone Deals

You may not have heard of Think, but it has been plugging away for some time now in the background while providers like ALDI Mobile take all the spotlight. Think Mobile operates on the Vodafone network and until the end of April offers up to 20GB bonus data. This means that you could potentially get up to 40GB data for only $48. Other standout deals include 10GB for $30 and 20GB for $37. All come with unlimited calls & texts as standard, and Think Mobile boasts Australian customer support.

TPG Mobile Phone Deals

On four out of its five plans, TPG has discounted rates for the first six months of your prepaid phone plan. This means that for $10 a month for six months you can $550 call value and 1.5GB data instead of the usual $20-odd per month. This extends to all plans above this price, which means for example you can get unlimited calls & texts and 12GB data for less than $25. TPG runs on the Vodafone network but has announced it will start building its own network, so TPG is in for an exciting time ahead.

Virgin Mobile Phone Deals

As one of the biggest MVNOs in this list, Virgin Mobile offers a few varied bonuses to help sweeten the deal. A swathe of its SIM-only plans also provide huge amounts of bonus data, as well as international calls and roaming bonuses from time to time, so it always pays to keep your eyes open. These bonuses are generally reserved for plans above $50, but it’s not odd to see them on Virgin’s cheaper plans. You’ll also get unlimited calls and texts as well as data rollover, plus data-free music streaming on Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeartRadio from time to time. Until the end of the month, Virgin is also offering 20% off some of its 12 month SIM plans, meaning you can get over 20GB data for just $32 a month.

Woolworths Mobile Phone Deals

Woolworths Mobile is the only one of the supermarket phone plan providers to offer plans bundled with a new mobile phone, even including the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Generally speaking, Woolworths’ best deals are usually found with its postpaid, handset plans. As a long-running bonus offer, you stand to get two Woolworths Rewards points for every dollar spent. With rewards points, you can buy things like clothes, appliances and even flights. To get such a boost is a serious bonus and you can watch the points roll in every month. This ends at the end of June, so there’s a fair bit of time to think about switching. Woolies has also been known to constantly offer other deals, so it pays to keep an eye out.

The best deals with the big guys – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone

As the three network providers in Australia, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone offer some enticing bonuses, so let’s see what they have to tempt you in.

Optus Mobile Phone Deals

Optus offers many bonuses and extra deals to help entice you over. Data free music streaming seems to be a common feature across most of its plans, and some also frequently get a healthy dose of bonus data. Optus’ 12 month SIM-only plans also carry data bonuses for the life of the plan, and seem to be a longstanding deal. Another bonus commonly found on 24 month bundled plans is the deal of getting data free mobile TV streaming, which is a serious kicker if you’re always on the move but still want to catch up on your shows. Optus offers perhaps the widest variety of bonuses, so it pays to see if the plan you’re after offers any.

Telstra Mobile Phone Deals

Telstra also offers a wide variety of deals and bonuses to entice you over. On its cheapest contracted plans you can get things like 6-12 months of Apple Music membership as well as data-free music streaming on the service. Bonus data is also a common feature on some high-end plans. Telstra also has free Telstra Air data on a lot of its plans, meaning when you’re out and about you needn’t worry about having adequate data if near a Telstra Air hotspot. Perhaps the most exciting deal, however, is on phone plans $79 or above, you’ll get big data bonuses plus 12 month subscriptions to some Foxtel Now packages, which is a serious value add-on. Considering these packages are worth $10-$15 by themselves, these plans may be worth a look into if you’re looking for everything and the kitchen sink. Telstra is one of the more expensive providers in Australia, but its far-reaching network and range of bonuses may make the big blue telco worth a look into.

Vodafone Mobile Phone Deals

The big red V perhaps unsurprisingly has some enticing mobile phone deals. Most commonly found across its plans is bonus data – up to triple the amount of data. From time to time, Vodafone boosts data allowances – most commonly on its postpaid SIM-only plans. On these plans you can often go one of two paths – either get more international inclusions, or get a boost in data. These are labelled ‘Global’ and ‘Data’ plans respectively. A lot of plans get monthly discounts or bonus data, and the more you spend, the more bonuses you stand to receive. Out of the ‘Big 3’, Vodafone seems to be the most generous with its bonus data, but you’ll have to weigh up if that is worth switching.

What’s the deal with these mobile phone deals?

Choosing a mobile phone plan is more than just naming your price and how much data, calls and texts you want. If there are two identical plans that have caught your eye, then you’d probably be best going with the one that offers the most incentives.

  • These incentives come in the forms of extra data, periodical discounts and bonus stuff like TVs on the odd occasion. However, there’s usually a catch to get these deals
  • Often there are a few hoops to jump through, like buying online only, buying before a certain date, redeeming your offer within a certain period, and so on

While these deals may be great on paper, you might think twice if you have to do too much legwork. As for the big three providers:

  • Optus seems to offer the widest variety of bonuses across a broad spectrum of plans
  • Telstra and Vodafone seem to be a little lacklustre, but keep your eyes peeled for periodical deals

Overall the main message is that you probably shouldn’t choose a plan just based on what bonuses it offers. Often you’ll find these bonuses don’t last for very long and you’ll soon be back to ‘business as usual’. In any case, it pays to look at both the big three providers and a range of MVNOs to see what deals are out there and whether one tickles your fancy.

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