Phone Plans for Seniors & Pensioners

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If you’re an Australian senior or pensioner adjusting to a smaller income, or you’re simply looking to save yourself a few bucks, an easy way to free up some room in the budget is to take a fresh look at your mobile phone plan. Our research indicates that Aussies are paying well over $40 a month for their postpaid SIM-only deal, and over $70 if they are repaying a phone as well.

Chances are if you haven’t taken a look at your phone plan lately, you could be paying too much. Here we’ll take a look at some cheap prepaid, postpaid and phone on a plan deals that could be suitable for seniors and pensioners in Australia.

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What are my phone options if I’m a senior or pensioner?

With big data phone plans and big money contracts, it’s easy to think that seniors and pensioners are left out of the mobile phone plan equation in Australia. However, this isn’t necessarily so – there are many low cost options out there.

If you’re after a regular phone plan, unlimited calls and texts plus one gigabyte (1GB) of data is often available for less than $10 a month. Pay-as-you-go options can offer cheap rates with a 365-day expiry, making an ideal plan for light users who like the freedom to recharge when they please. You simply pay for what you use, as you use it — calls are usually charged per minute, texts per message sent, and data use is charged per kilobyte (KB) or megabyte (MB).

It pays to shop around to find the best deal for you, knowing that many SIM cards are available in Coles, Woolworths, 7-Eleven, ALDI, or even to buy online.

Mobile plans for seniors: things to look for

  • Flexibility: A plan with no lock-in contracts give you room to move around if you’re not happy. Look for month-to-month or prepaid options.
  • Inclusions you can use: Splurging on a larger plan may see you paying for extras you don’t need, such as overseas calling and roaming, or data-free music and video streaming on your phone. If you only need talk, text and a little data, skip the extras and save.
  • Prepaid: A prepaid plan is a great way to avoid surprise charges or unexpectedly high bills, as you pay for everything in advance. Once your month’s talk, text and data is used up, you’ll need to recharge your service by paying for another month — so there’s no worry that you’ll accidentally overspend. You can scroll down for more info on prepaid plans.
  • Postpaid: The great thing about a postpaid plan is that you don’t have to worry about recharging if you use up your included value. While you will get a bill to pay at the end of the month, postpaid plans are more affordable than ever, and the good news is that the unlimited calls and SMS are pretty standard across the cheapest plans. Scroll down to find out more about postpaid plans.
  • SIM-only/BYO: These plans mean you’re connecting your own phone to the service, rather than buying a new device as part of your plan. They’re a great option if you’re happy with your existing phone. Again, we’ve outlined some SIM-only options below.

Bring-your-own-phone plans for seniors and pensioners from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

If you prefer to stick with the big names you already know, and have your own phone that you’d like to keep using —or just want to purchase an affordable smartphone without being locked into a contract— you can sign up for a SIM-only plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. This means that you’ll get a SIM card to insert in your phone, which will connect you to the network and your plan.

Here are some of the cheaper options available from each provider, some of which may feature referral links to the retailer’s website. Keep in mind that you can get cheaper options by going with less well-known telcos, such as those listed further down this page.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $420 over 12 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$35 My Promo Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 300 standard international call minutes to 35 countries
  • Data-free Optus Sport, Nat Geo and music streaming

min. cost $420 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$49 Medium BYO Mobile Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 15GB + 15GB bonus data
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network

min. cost $588 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $49Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap prepaid mobile plans for seniors and pensioners

For less than $20 these days there are providers packing quite a lot in. 1GB of data can be found easily, while unlimited calls and texts come with some providers.

  • Yomojo is a small-name brand offering competitive month-to-month plans, starting from under $10 per month for 1GB of data. SIM cards are only available to buy online, and all plans run on Optus’ network.
  • Boost Mobile offers great value prepaid plans starting at $10. SIM cards can be ordered online, or bought in stores from selected retailers, including Woolworths, Coles, Target, Kmart, 7-Eleven and Telstra stores. Boost Mobile runs on the Telstra network.
  • OVO Mobile includes 1GB, $500 call value and unlimited texts for less than $10. OVO SIM cards are available in many 7-Eleven stores as well as online. OVO runs on the Optus network.
  • Amaysim offers unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB for just $10. Plans are over 28 days, and run on the Optus network. Amaysim SIM cards can be found in Coles, Woolworths, Australia Post and 7-Eleven stores. Amaysim also lets you choose your mobile number to something memorable for $0 or for $30 for some numbers.
  • Vodafone, Optus and Telstra also all offer prepaid, bring-your-own-phone plans, at varying price points.

No matter what you’re after or where you live, there is likely a competitive SIM card phone plan in the local Coles, Woolies, or 7-Eleven. This makes it easy to purchase and plans are easy to recharge. Unfortunately, it can be a hard task finding plans with just calls and texts (no data) these days, but with unlimited plans costing as little as $10 these days, having that extra bit of data could still come in handy. The following table includes links from referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

UNLIMITED 1GB

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $10 over 28 day expiry

1GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

2GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $15.90 over 30 day expiry

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $19.95 over 30 day billing period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $19.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$20 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries

min. cost $20 over 28 day expiry

5GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$30 Combo Plus Starter Pack

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

6GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $30

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS, plus $5 extra credit
  • 17GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $5 extra credit

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap postpaid phone plans for seniors and pensioners

If you prefer to pay a bill at the end of the month, rather than recharging and tracking your usage, postpaid phone plans are the way to go. The only thing to look out for is going over your data inclusions as you’ll most likely be charged for excess data use. However, some telcos don’t charge excess data, so they’ll either restrict or slow your data until the next billing period unless you purchase a data top up.

  • Hive Mobile has established its place in the market as a cheap provider running on the Optus network. Plans start at $9.80 for 1GB of data, but if you need a bit more data, you can get 10GB for $28.80. Excess data is charged in KB increments.
  • Moose Mobile has made a lot of noise when it comes to cheap postpaid phone plans. This small telco operating on the Optus network, is known for occasionally offering deals for its cheap phone plans for as little as 1c for the first month. Excess data is charged in KB increments.
  • Pennytel is small telco with postpaid phone plans starting at $10.00 for 1GB of data with unlimited standard national calls and SMS. If you want a little more data, you can get 2GB for $15.99. Pennytel doesn’t charge for excess data.
  • TeleChoice operates on the Telstra network and offers a range of postpaid phone plans on both a month-to-month basis and fixed-term contracts. This telco also sells phones through the online store and bricks and mortar retail stores. Excess data is charged in GB increments.
  • Exetel provides a range of plans running on the Optus network on a no lock-in (month-to-month) plan. Unlimited calls and SMS are on all plans and data inclusions start at 2GB and go up to 18GB. Excess data is charged in GB increments.
  • Southern Phone offers a range of plans on both the Telstra and Optus networks to provide great service and choice to regional Australia. Postpaid plans are available as month-to-month or 12-month contracts with extra data for 12-month contracts. Orange plans on the Telstra network charge excess data in MB increments and Green plans on the Optus network charge excess data in GB increments.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Hive Mobile

$9.80 SIM Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $9.80 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 14 SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls
  • Unlimited national and international SMS

min. cost $14 over one month plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $14Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Pennytel Mobile

2GB Small SIM-Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $15.99 over one month plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
TeleChoice Logo

LIVE 16 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited SMS to any country
  • 2GB data + 2GB bonus data

min. cost $192 over 12 month plan period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $16Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel Logo

Value 4G

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • $50 standard international calls

min. cost $19.99 over one month plan period

6GBMax Data**/billing period $19.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 22

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $264 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $22Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Cheap ‘long expiry’ mobile plans for seniors and pensioners

If you’re not a heavy user and don’t want to recharge every month, it can be tempting to hop onto a long-expiry plan, commonly labelled ‘pay as you go’ or ‘PAYG’ plans. These plans often don’t expire for 60 days or more, with some lasting an entire year. This enables you to add credit as you see fit, with cheap rates on offer.

  • Amaysim has a $10 starter pack that lasts 365 days: Calls are 15c/minute, texts 15c each, MMS 49c and data 15.4c/MB.
  • ALDI Mobile has a competitive plan that also lasts 365 days. $15 or $30 recharges are available. Calls are 12c/minute, texts 12c each, MMS 35c each and data is 5c/MB.
  • Optus has long expiry plans starting at just $10 and this plan lasts for 45 days. Plans can then last up to 365 days. Credit rollover applies up to $500 worth. Calls are 25c/minute, texts and MMS are 25c each, and data is 5c/MB.
  • Vodafone has plans running over 180 days and 365 days, with pay-as-you-go pricing for calls, texts and data: calls are 20c/minute, SMS is 20c/text, and data is 4c/megabyte.

All in all, the bigger players aren’t the only players in the long life game. Other providers such as ALDI Mobile and Amaysim also offer competitive rates. With some telcos you’ll have to watch out for hefty data charges — 15c/mb may not seem like much, but can certainly add up.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$40 Pay and Go Starter Pack 365

  • PAYG
  • 20c/min and 20c/SMS to standard national numbers
  • Data 4c per MB

min. cost $40 over 365 day expiry

PAYGMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

iPhone plans for seniors

While many seniors and pensioners will be looking for a cheap and cheerful prepaid option, you may be more interested in getting your hands on a shiny new smartphone, with the iPhone XS typically the hottest ticket in town. While you can buy the handset outright and take your pick of SIM-only deals, you can also sign up to a plan whereby you can pay off the cost over 12, 24 or 36 months. Generally the cheapest plans cost about $40, but device repayments are extra, and can make the total plan repayment every month cost in excess of $80!

Below are the some of the cheapest published plan options from each of the big three telcos, in price order and excluding handset payments. This table includes referral links.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $35 over one month plan period, plus any device repayments

2GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free

min. cost $1,080 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network

min. cost $1,416 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Seniors plans from Jeenee Mobile

Low-cost service Jeenee Mobile, which runs on the Optus network, offers four speciality plans designed for Australians 60 years and older, all of which are under $20 per month. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, and the following data inclusions:

  • $9.90 Plan: 1GB data per month on a casual plan, or 1.2GB on a 12-month contract
  • $14.90 Plan: 1.5GB data per month on a casual plan, or 2.5GB on a 12-month contract
  • $22 Plan: 8GB data per month on a casual plan, or 15GB on a 12-month contract

You can bring your own smartphone to these plans, or buy a new, lower-priced device directly from Jeenee. To qualify for specially-priced Seniors service, you’ll need a valid Seniors Card, Centrelink Age Pension card or Veteran Affairs card.

Seniors discounts

If you’re a Seniors card holder, you may be eligible for discounted rates on your mobile service. Several of Australia’s biggest mobile providers offer reduced fees for seniors, including:

  • Vodafone: Seniors card holders can claim a 10% discount on select Vodafone’s plans. Visit the website to find out which plans are currently eligible for a discount. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Telstra: Valid Centrelink and Veteran Affairs pension card holders can claim a discount on home phone services, but this hasn’t yet been extended to Telstra’s mobile plans.

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