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 started with Woolworths Mobile at Woolworths supermarkets or online. Prepaid Starter Packs are available starting at $10 and going up to $50 for 30-day plans. There are five of these 30-day expiry plans available, all of which include unlimited standard national talk and text, data banking of up to 200GB of data, plus occasional offers of bonus data. You can also choose from two long-expiry prepaid plans — a $60 180-day plan with 12GB of data or a $150 365-day plan with 84GB of data.

Woolworths Mobile also offers postpaid contract plans, which give customers the choice of bundling a plan with one of several different, cool handsets (including the Samsung Galaxy S10). All bundled plans include unlimited calls and texts, but feature varying amounts of data. All plans run on the Telstra 4G network.

The table below shows all published Woolworths Mobile SIM-only postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.

Kogan Mobile

Online retailer Kogan has had a crack at mobile phone plans again, after a two-year hiatus. Kogan operates 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, this could help to make your mind up. But if you live in a metro area with comprehensive coverage, the plan inclusions themselves may 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.

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.

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 48GB 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.

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 or postpaid option, which can be chucked in your trolley next to the bread and milk.

The table below shows a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $60 or under, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.

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, Kogan Mobile seems to have the most value included for each of their prices, especially on the 90 and 365-day plans, however ALDI is also offering similar value at the comparable prices. As they all operate on different networks it is harder to make direct comparisons, so 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, and the advantage for Coles, Woolworths and ALDI is you can simply pick up a SIM in-store.

While we all like to save a bit of cash, the cheapest plan isn’t always the right plan for you. While Woolworths Mobile is marginally more expensive than ALDI and Kogan, Woolworths is perhaps the ‘biggest’ of these four providers and does offer the most choice with a range of SIM-only prepaid and postpaid plans. Plus, Woolies is the only supermarket telco to offer new phones on plans with the latest devices from both Samsung and OPPO available.

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

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