Best-Rated Prepaid Phone Plan Providers

Canstar Blue’s annual review of prepaid phone plan providers compares Boost Mobile, ALDI Mobile, Woolworths Mobile, Kogan Mobile, TPG, Amaysim, Lebara, Catch Connect, Vodafone, Optus & Telstra based on value for money, customer service, network coverage, ease of recharge, sign up & activation, billing and overall customer satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | ALDI Mobile

ALDI Mobile has once again soared ahead of the big-name telcos to earn Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction award for prepaid mobile providers, scoring five-star reviews in the key areas of network coverage, value for money, ease of recharge and more.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

ALDI Mobile is our best-rated prepaid phone plan provider two years running

If you want maximum flexibility, control and value for money, a prepaid mobile phone plan could be the way to go. Once the ‘ugly duckling’ of mobile plans, many prepaid deals now provide awesome value for money without locking you into a contract. There’s also no chance of bill shock, as you’re paying in advance rather than being surprised by an end-of-month charge. Activating a new plan is incredibly easy, and you can switch service providers in no time at all if you find a better deal. All the big telcos offer prepaid plans; but as our customer ratings suggest, you could bag an even better bargain by comparing some of the smaller providers, too.

With so many prepaid providers competing for your business, finding the best deal for your needs and preferences can become a real challenge. That’s why we provide an annual review of prepaid mobile providers to see which are stacking up best on important factors like network coverage, ease of recharging, customer service, and value for money. The idea is to give you as much information as possible, so you can make the best-informed decision you can.

This year, Canstar Blue’s prepaid phone plans review sees Australia’s big three carriers – Vodafone, Optus and Telstra – fight it out against the smaller providers, namely Amaysim, Boost Mobile, ALDI Mobile, Kogan Mobile, TPG, Woolworths Mobile, Catch Connect and Lebara. So, which prepaid provider do Aussies rate best when it comes to coverage, service and value? Read on as we explore the best prepaid plans and deals around, and what you need to look for to ensure you’re getting the best plan for your money.

Best Prepaid Phone Plans

Here are the best providers for prepaid phone plans, as rated by customers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:

  1. ALDI Mobile
  2. Woolworths Mobile
  3. Amaysim
  4. Boost Mobile
  5. Catch Connect
  6. Lebara Mobile
  7. Optus
  8. Kogan Mobile
  9. TPG
  10. Vodafone
  11. Telstra

Beating out tough competition from telcos big and small, ALDI Mobile has again claimed the number-one spot as best-rated prepaid provider in our annual review. The supermarket brand was the best-reviewed telco in our 2020 ratings, and has repeated the feat this year with a five-star overall satisfaction score and top marks for value, coverage, ease of recharge, and sign up and activation. It seems Aussies are still loving ALDI’s simple, yet competitive prepaid range, which includes 30-day and long-life plan options.

Coming in at number two for the second year in a row is fellow supermarket provider Woolworths Mobile, with an overall score of four stars for satisfaction. Our 2019 prepaid winner, Amaysim, took home the bronze with a four-star overall satisfaction rating. At the other end of the spectrum, TPG, Vodafone and Telstra were ranked the lowest overall, each scoring three stars for customer satisfaction.

So, we know how prepaid brands compare on customer satisfaction, but what about value, price and features? Below is a guide to what these 11 prepaid providers have to offer, as well as tips on how to find the best plan for your needs and budget.

Prepaid Phone Plans Compared

When you’re comparing prepaid phone plans, price isn’t the only thing you need to consider. While you can easily pick up a cheap prepaid plan for $10 or less, some of these offers may have a shorter expiry period – such as seven days – which would require several recharges over a month. If you’re looking into prepaid plans for the long term, you might be better off with an expiry period of 28 or 30 days. Finding the best prepaid plan for you might be that balance between expiry period, price and inclusions, so consider what your needs are when comparing prepaid plans.

Below are selected published prepaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This selection of plans includes links to referral partners.

ALDI Mobile Prepaid Plans

Our 2021 winner is the often-overlooked ALDI Mobile, a supermarket brand that’s making waves in the prepaid space thanks to its flexible and value-packed plans. A Telstra network reseller, ALDI Mobile offers a range of prepaid options, the most popular being its 30-day mobile plans. All four ALDI prepaid plans run over 30 days, include unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, and begin at $15 per recharge for 3GB of data. These plans go up to $45 for 65GB, and ALDI Mobile also throws in bonus data offers for additional recharges from time to time.

If you’re a varying data user, or want to save your gigabytes for a rainy day, these plans also feature continuous data rollover: basically, recharge before expiry, and any unused gigabytes will roll over to the following recharge. ALDI Mobile also includes unlimited standard calls to 15 countries on plans of $25 or more, plus additional overseas call and text extras.

If you’re looking for options for the whole household, ALDI Mobile also offers several Family Plans for two, four, or six people, which include data plus unlimited talk and text to be shared between users over 30 days. Pay-as-you-go options are also available, ideal for low or occasional use customers, or anyone wanting a long expiry period.

ALDI Mobile achieved an outstanding score in our 2021 ratings, earning five stars in almost every category including value for money, network coverage, sign up, ease of recharge and for overall satisfaction.

Woolworths Mobile Prepaid Plans

In its second year in our ratings, Woolworths Mobile retains its second-place ranking thanks to its impressive range of low-price prepaid plans. Operating on Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, Woolworths Mobile offers five standard 30-day prepaid plans beginning at $20 for 12GB of data, up to  $40 for 42GB per recharge. All plans include unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, plus the option to roll over and bank up to 300GB of unused data.

Medium and Large 30-day plans also include unlimited standard calls and texts to 22 countries, and all plans give customers the option of saving up to $50 off a Woolworths supermarket shop each month. Woolworths Mobile also offers three longer expiry plans: a 180-day option with 15GB of data, and two 365-day plans with 100GB and 145GB.

Woolworths Mobile scored four stars for overall satisfaction in our 2021 ratings, and achieved five stars for value for money, billing, and sign up and activation.

Amaysim Prepaid Plans

Amaysim has streamlined its main suite of prepaid plans to offer five unlimited SIM-only options, plus a basic pay-as-you-go plan. Running on Optus’ 4G Plus nationwide network, Amaysim’s plans begin at just $12 for 2GB of data, plus unlimited talk and text to standard numbers within Australia.

Plans go up to $50 for a generous 80GB of data, and all unlimited plans feature a 28-day expiry. In addition to standard national talk & text, Amaysim’s $30 plan also includes unlimited standard calls to 28 selected countries (including the UK, USA, and China), with $40 and $50 plans including unlimited talk and text to 42 countries. There are also two long expiry plans on offer, over six and 12-month expiry periods.

Amaysim customers also get access to unlimited data banking, storing your unused data for later use, available on every plan.

Amaysim was rated four stars for overall satisfaction in this year’s rankings, and achieved five-star results for both customer service, and sign-up and activation.

Boost Mobile Prepaid Plans

A former Canstar Blue ratings winner, Boost Mobile remains one of Australia’s most popular prepaid options. Operating on Telstra’s network (and the only reseller to provide full Telstra network access), Boost Mobile’s suite of prepaid deals feature seven-day, 28-day, and 12-month expiries, although its 28-day range is a clear favourite.

Boost’s 28-day plans begin at $20 for 5GB of data, up to $70 for 65GB. Bonus data is also frequently available, and all plans include data rollover if you recharge before expiry. In addition to unlimited standard calls and SMS in Australia, you’ll also get unlimited standard international calls and texts to 20 countries, plus up to 300 standard international minutes to 30 destinations on selected plans. 

Boost Mobile was awarded four stars for overall satisfaction in our 2021 ratings, and received a five-star result for network coverage.

Catch Connect Prepaid Plans

A new entry in our prepaid ratings, Catch Connect is the mobile offshoot of online retailer Catch. Operating on the Optus network, Catch offers 30-day, 90-day and 365-day prepaid options, with prices beginning from $10 for 4GB every 30 days.

All plans include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia, and depending on your plan, up to 20GB of data each month. Customers can track their usage and manage their account and AutoRecharge settings via the Catch Connect app, making the brand an easy option for simple, no-fuss prepaid without expensive extras or add-ons. 

Catch Connect received four stars for overall satisfaction in its first year in our ratings, as well as four stars for value for money, network coverage, and sign up and activation.

Lebara Mobile Prepaid Plans

A Vodafone network reseller, Lebara offers a range of 30-day and long-term plans, with 30-day prices beginning at $14.90 for 9GB. Plans include not just unlimited standard calls & text to Australian numbers, but also international calling, with unlimited minutes to 64 countries available on its $69.90 XXLarge plan. 

In addition to excellent overseas talk extras, Lebara’s plans also feature both data banking and data gifting. The data banking allows you to stash away up to 200GB of unused data for later use, while gifting enables customers to send up to 10GB of unwanted data each month to other Lebara users. Add-ons, as extra data and international call credit, are also available, in addition to international roaming packs.

Lebara Mobile achieved four stars for overall satisfaction in this year’s prepaid ratings, with four stars for value for money, customer service, and ease of recharge. 

Optus Prepaid Plans

Optus offers a large selection of prepaid plans, including Epic Data, Epic Value, Daily Plus, and Optus Flex options. Most customers will opt for Epic Data plans, as plans of $30 and up feature unlimited standard talk and text in Australia and a 28-day expiry. 28-day recharges begin from $30 for 10GB of data, up to $40 for 20GB, with bonus data often available on your first three recharges.

All Epic Data Optus prepaid plans currently include an extra 10GB reserved exclusively for video streaming, available to use with Netflix, Stan, or ABC iView. Optus plans also feature up to 200GB of data rollover, plus unlimited standard international calls to 15 selected countries. If this isn’t enough, you’re also free to add on extras, such as Optus Sport, data roaming, and additional international talk. 

Optus scored three stars for overall satisfaction in our 2021 prepaid ratings, with four stars for customer service, network coverage and ease of recharge.

Kogan Mobile Prepaid Plans

Known for its online retail business, Kogan also operates in the mobile space – offering a range of prepaid plans over a variety of expiry periods, including 30 days and 365 days. 30-day plans are offered on a 12-month contract, but you’ll pay per month rather than for the full year in advance. Add-ons such as international calls and roaming and data top-ups are also available, making plans truly customisable.

Kogan’s 30-day plan prices begin at $25 for 45GB, up to $40 for 80GB. Signing up for a longer term and paying upfront does work out to be cheaper overall, but if you prefer to avoid year-long commitments you may prefer the simplicity of a 30-day recharge. All plans also include unlimited standard calls and texts within Australia, and operate on Vodafone’s 3G and 4G networks.

Kogan Mobile scored three stars for overall satisfaction in 2021, and also achieved four star scores in value for money, ease of recharge, sign up and activation and in billing.

TPG Prepaid Plans

Known mostly as an NBN, ADSL and cable broadband provider, TPG also offers a prepaid mobile plan range. Plans begin at $20 for 12GB of data and unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers, with options up to 60GB of data for $40 per month. TPG also offers a $5 or $10 per month discount on selected plans to customers who also have an active TPG broadband plan.

Customers can add international calls to 37 selected countries to their plan for an additional $5 per month. All plans use the Vodafone 3G and 4G networks, and new customers may be eligible for discounted rates for their first six months. TPG’s plans are also auto-renewing, so customers won’t need to manually recharge their plan each month.  

In TPG Mobile’s second year in Canstar Blue’s prepaid ratings, the telco scored three stars for overall satisfaction, with four-star results for customer service and value for money.

Vodafone Prepaid Plans

Vodafone has recently simplified its prepaid range, and now offers five standard Prepaid Plus starter packs, plus two long-expiry options. These plans include a $30 option with 15GB, $40 for 30GB, and $50 for 45GB, all over 28 days, plus six and 12-month options..

Vodafone’s prepaid plans regularly include bonus data, in addition to unlimited standard Australian talk and text, and the three 28-day plans include unlimited data capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps. Depending on your specific plan, you can also score unlimited international calls to selected countries each month. If you’re looking for a discount, Vodafone gives its customers the option to recharge as usual, or set up an auto-recharge and receive $5 off your plan price. 

Vodafone was awarded three stars for overall satisfaction in 2021, but received four stars for customer service, sign up and activation, and for ease of recharge.

Telstra Prepaid Plans

Telstra’s prepaid range offers something for everyone, with plenty of perks and extras included on most plans. Customers can select from Prepaid Mobile or Prepaid Casual plans: Prepaid Mobile prices begin at $10 for 2GB over seven days, up to $300 for 150GB with a 12-month expiry. 

All of Telstra’s Prepaid Mobile plans include unlimited standard calls and texts to Australian numbers. You’ll also be able to rollover unused data continuously, provided you recharge before your plan expiry. Telstra prepaid customers also receive standard international call inclusions on plans and recharges of $30 or more. 

Telstra scored three stars for overall satisfaction in our 2021 review of prepaid mobile plan providers, but was awarded four stars for both network coverage and ease of recharge.

What are the cheapest prepaid plans?

If you’re looking to save some money by picking up a cheap prepaid plan, there are a few things you’ll need to be wary of. Some of these super cheap plans might be on a short expiry period, such as seven days. If you’re looking for a plan to keep in the long run, recharging every week won’t be very cheap, so look for plans with 28 or 30-day expiry periods.

Plan inclusions

You’ll need to consider plan inclusions. While most plans now offer unlimited standard national calls and SMS by default, some plans might have limited call inclusions and often much smaller data amounts. Typically if you want more data on your plan, you’ll need to pay for it. The cheapest prepaid plans might only include 1GB-2GB of data for that whole 28 or 30-day expiry period, so unless you’re a very light phone user, you might need to increase your budget if you need more data.

Prepaid plans for kids

Cheap prepaid phone plans are great options for kids, especially for their first mobile phone. The great thing about prepaid is that as a parent, you don’t need to worry about bill shock, and your child can be more responsible about monitoring their data usage — once they run out, they’ll need to wait until the next recharge for more data. Cheap prepaid plans are also great phone plans for seniors who prefer to not get a bill, and are happy with the easy setup and smaller inclusions.

Compare cheap prepaid plans

If you’re looking for a cheap prepaid plan, the following table shows a selection of published prepaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database for $20 or less, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This selection of plans includes links to referral partners.

Is a prepaid mobile plan right for me?

If you’re a bit uncertain about prepaid plans, hopefully this guide has cleared up any questions or concerns you might have had about prepaid. These days, there is very little difference in value for money between prepaid mobile plans and the postpaid plans where you’re billed each month.

There are cheap plans available, plans with large data inclusions, and sometimes plans that tick both boxes! Whatever your needs are, there are plenty of prepaid options out there to choose from. Once you have a clear idea of what kind of plan you’re looking for, it helps to compare prepaid plans from a range of different providers to help you find the best mobile plan to suit your needs.

About the author of this page

Tara Donnelly

This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Telco Editor, Tara Donnelly. Having spent years writing for and editing telco comparison websites, she’s an expert in all things phone & internet, including phone plans and how to find the best deal for your family. She loves to highlight the next best phone deals, while also flagging the things you need to be aware of. Tara also acts as a spokesperson for Canstar Blue.

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Frequently asked questions

A prepaid phone plan is essentially one that you pay for in advance, rather than receiving a bill at the end of each month. Prepaid plans are typically available as SIM-only plans, where you will receive a SIM card and phone number (you can also keep and use your current number if you don’t need new digits).

Most prepaid SIMs are pre-loaded with a certain amount of inclusions (calls, SMS and mobile data), so you just need to insert the card into your phone, activate and go. You can also buy a prepaid SIM card on its own with no call, text or data inclusions, and then choose your preferred prepaid plan later when activating.

Prepaid plans are usually offer on a 28 or 30-day expiry period, but this can vary across providers. You can choose to recharge your plan yourself after each expiry period, or set up an auto-renewal payment through your bank account, debit or credit account.

In our latest review of prepaid phone plans, ALDI Mobile was rated best for overall customer satisfaction, but it wasn’t the only telco to perform well in specific areas. This is what our latest customer survey found:  

  • Best Overall: ALDI Mobile earned the only five-star review for overall satisfaction, with Woolworths Mobile and Amaysim a close second and third respectively.
  • Best Value: ALDI Mobile was rated best on value for money, again followed closely by Woolworths Mobile.
  • Best Network Coverage: ALDI Mobile and Boost Mobile were ranked best for network coverage, both of which operate on the Telstra mobile network.
  • Best Customer Service: Amaysim was deemed to have the best customer service.
  • Best for Easy Recharging: ALDI Mobile was rated best for ease of recharge.
  • Best for Sign-up & Activation: ALDI Mobile additionally took the title for best sign-up & activation process, ahead of Woolworths Mobile and Amaysim.
  • Best for Billing: Woolworths Mobile was rated best for billing, followed by ALDI Mobile and Amaysim.

A prepaid plan is paid for advance, comes with a set number of inclusions, and needs to be recharged after every expiry (or set to auto-recharge). Some plans have similar inclusions and allowances to postpaid, and others must be recharged with credit in dollars, from which call minutes, texts and data is deducted.

A postpaid plan requires customers to pay for their talk, text and data after use, and is usually offered a monthly basis. Postpaid users typically receive a bill at the end of each month, with a due date that plan fees must paid by. These plans can be offered both as SIM-only or bundled with a new smartphone, and often feature more inclusions than equivalent prepaid plans. Customers on postpaid plans may be charged for extras that aren’t included in their monthly plan price, including data overages or premium calls, so should keep an eye on their usage to avoid bill shock.

You’re free to port or transfer your current number to a new prepaid plan, even if you’re using a new SIM card. You’ll be asked during the sign-up or activation process if you’d like to keep your existing phone number – simply select ‘yes’ and follow the instructions provided by your new prepaid telco.

More information about prepaid mobile plans

Canstar Blue surveyed 12,316 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who currently have an active prepaid mobile phone in their name and pay the bills – in this case, 3,574 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Here are past winners of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers – Prepaid Phone Plans ratings:

  • 2020: ALDI Mobile
  • 2019: Amaysim
  • 2018: Boost Mobile
  • 2017: ALDI Mobile
  • 2016: ALDI Mobile

 

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