Supermarket phone plans: Prepaid and ready to go

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Not content with just selling you groceries, Australia’s big supermarkets and retailers are increasingly making their presence felt in the mobile phone market. Woolworths has Woolworths Mobile, Coles has Coles Mobile and ALDI has ALDI Mobile. Then there’s discount online retailer Kogan Mobile – not strictly a grocery store, but they do sell food, so let’s include them anyway. Who offers the best value plans and makes your weekly grocery shop go a little further? Read on as we review their respective offerings and to try to find you a better deal.

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Woolworths Mobile

You can get going with Woolworths Mobile at Woolworths supermarkets, Big W, or Woolworths Caltex petrol sites, with users able to purchase a $2 Prepaid SIM Pack or $30 Pre-paid Starter Pack, preloaded with credit. Woolworths Mobile uses the Telstra 4G network.

There are many postpaid contract plans where you have a choice of bundling a plan with one of several different handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 from an extra $18 per month. All bundled plans have unlimited calls and texts but varying amounts of data. There are also four prepaid plans, whereby you grab a SIM card in-store, load it up with credit and away you go. Most of these plans offer data rollover, which is a great feature.

Coles Mobile

Coles come into battle using the Optus 4G network, with its mobile plans available for purchase at all Coles supermarkets and Coles Express sites across Australia. Coles offers four prepaid plans, generally towards the lower-mid end of the market. Keep an eye out for recharge periods with Coles because they are different to most other carriers.

  • Two plans carry a 35-day expiry period, which is great for those who don’t quite use all their data over a 28 or 30 day period.
  • One plan carries a 10-day expiry period, making it a suitable option to ‘try before you buy’ or if you’re on a holiday and need a quick, fuss-free SIM card
  • Another plan comes with a 365-day expiry, and you pay $180 upfront, which comes with a 42GB data pool to use throughout the entire year.

Overall, Coles’ plans are concise, but strong and there is likely something to suit everyone. One plan – the $40 one – comes with 250 international minutes, while add-ons are also available and encompass additional data, extra international credit and more.

ALDI Mobile

Of the three supermarket chains, ALDI offers the widest range of options via its ALDI Mobile service, offering six mobile plans in total, using the Telstra 4G network – just like Woolies. The plans are broken up into two categories – Pay As You Go (PAYG) plans, and Value Packs. It’s important to note that the PAYG plans have a 365 day expiry period, which offers great flexibility for those not needing much use out of their device. The value packs have a 30 day expiry.

  • With PAYG, calls are 12c a minute, texts 12c each, data 5c per MB and international calls from 10c per minute.

ALDI’s Value Packs have a 30-day expiry period, start at $15 and all come with unlimited calls & texts. International minutes are included on plans $25 and above. With ALDI you can start by purchasing a SIM card in-store for $5, which comes with $5 credit. ALDI Mobile’s plans range is fairly comprehensive, so you should be able to find a plan that matches your specific needs.

Kogan Mobile

Online retailer Kogan has had a crack at mobile phone plans again, after a two-year hiatus. Now they operate on the Vodafone 4G network. So, between the four providers in this review, all three mobile networks in Australia are covered. If you have a particular preference to one, this will help make your mind up pretty quickly. If you live in a metro area with comprehensive coverage, let the plan inclusions be the point of difference.

At first glance, Kogan Mobile’s suite of plans can be overwhelming. There are 12 plans in total, but with different billing periods designed to get the consumer to commit to a longer period and ultimately save money in the long run. There are four tiers to the Kogan Mobile plan range – Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Each tier has three recharges available over 30 days, 90 days or 365 days. All offer unlimited calls and texts.

Once you break down Kogan’s tremendous list of offerings, you’ll realise they are in fact pretty simple. To get the best discounts, you’ll need to commit to 12 months, but this way you can effectively get over a month’s worth of phone plan for free in a lot of cases. Can you commit? You could save money if you do. This is how the basic monthly plans line up:

Which supermarket phone plans offer the best value?

You may have your preferred place to shop for groceries and everyday items, but another brand might have what you’re after in the prepaid mobile stakes. Brand loyalty likely does not matter as much here – it’s what the plans offer that counts. Let’s see what the four retail giants offer below.

Supermarket Phone Plans Under $20

For less than a basket of groceries, there are a few contenders in this bracket. All four retailers make an appearance here, but overall it’s Kogan that seems to offer the best bang for buck. However, Coles offers a very solid 1GB deal, but only over a 10 day expiry. If it’s a long recharge you want, then Kogan or ALDI Mobile might be the go here.

Supermarket Phone Plans Under $30

In this bracket, Woolworths especially ramps up its value, but all stores make an appearance once again. ALDI Mobile and Kogan both have compelling offers, but Coles Mobile is on another level with its 3GB for just $20 over 35 days. The extra long billing period makes it especially appealing for those who perhaps don’t quite use all their data in a traditional 28 or 30 day plan. No one offers bad value, for Coles will take some beating.

Supermarket Phone Plans Under $40

As we move into the midrange of the prepaid market, the grocery chains deliver more heat to the kitchen with increased data and more inclusions. Kogan takes the cake again with its massive 16GB, but all providers are in contention, though fall behind in the data department. Woolworth’s bundled plans also make an appearance, though for all-out value it’s arguably worth getting a SIM-only plan.

Supermarket Phone Plans Under $60

Moving into the big end of town and the data inclusions offered are phenomenal. The plan with the most data is the Kogan Large with its exceptional 23GB. The Coles plan offers a good compromise if you’d prefer a plan on the Optus network. ALDI also ramps up value here, making it a smorgasbord of great value across the supermarkets. When you’re looking at this much data, it’s probably worth taking other factors like network coverage in your area into account.

Prepaid Plans you can buy in-store

If you’re after a handy prepaid plan to chuck in your trolley while you do the shopping, a number of providers also stock prepaid SIM cards in-store for purchase. The ‘Big 3’ are probably most obviously available – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – but there are a few others that could make the cut as well. These SIM packs are most commonly found in Coles and Woolworths. Keep an eye out for providers like:

These providers may be worth a look into if looking for a competitive yet convenient prepaid option, which can be chucked in your trolley next to the bread and milk.

Who should you shop with?

It’s a hotly contested basket of brands, both on the shelves and in the mobile world. Out of the four, it seems Kogan Mobile took the top spot with the most value included for each of their prices. This was only made better by their 90 and 365 day plans. However, as they all operate on different networks, it might be worth picking the one you prefer. Further, is Kogan really a supermarket? You could argue no, and you’d probably be right. However, it’s fun comparing the online retail giant against its supermarket counterparts. The advantage for Coles, Woolworths and ALDI is you can simply pick up a SIM in-store.

The biggest take-home story from this report is that not choosing a plan based on your preference for a particular grocery store could save you some money. Comparing supermarket prepaid mobile plans with the whole range of plans out there could in fact save you even more. Overall it’s worth comparing every different plan you can before switching providers. Happy shopping!

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