CODE: FELIX10

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Family of four using phones and tablets together

Can Telstra’s new bundle mobile plans actually save you money?

One month after giving its postpaid SIM plans a makeover (and price rise!), Telstra has unveiled a new suite of Bundle plans designed for families or multi-device users. The telco’s range includes both mobile and data-only Bundle plans, and both options are now available to add to selected Telstra SIM plans.

Customers on eligible Telstra postpaid mobile plans can add up to five new Bundle plans to their account, with prices beginning from an additional $47 per month for calls, texts and shared data. Citing the need to offer customers added convenience and affordability, Telstra is marketing the new plans as an option for parents looking for a kid-friendly phone plan, or users who need additional data for tablets or mobile hotspots.

Telstra Bundle mobile plans: how they work

To be eligible for Telstra’s new Bundle plans, you’ll need to be on either an Essential or Premium Upfront postpaid plans, or still on the telco’s legacy Medium, Large or Extra Large Upfront plans (which were phased out for new customers at the start of July 2022). You can then add one of two Bundle plan options to your account: a call, text and data Mobile Bundle for an extra $47 per month, or a Data Bundle for an additional $10 monthly.

Both plans include a monthly high-speed data allowance, but Telstra is allowing customers to pool and share data across all bundled plans. This is where the potential savings can come in for families who want to add children or partners to their Telstra account, as each Bundle plan is actually cheaper than a separate Telstra mobile or data plan.

Below is a quick overview of each Bundle plan. Keep in mind that all prices in this article are for SIM-only plans, and don’t include the costs of a new smartphone.

Plan Price per month Inclusions
Telstra Mobile Bundle Plan
  • $47 per month
  • 15GB fast data
  • 5G access
  • Unlimited standard national calls and texts in Australia
  • Unlimited calls and messages to standard international numbers
Telstra Data Bundle Plan
  • $10 per month
  • 10GB fast data
  • 5G access
  • Data only plan

Mobile Bundle plans include unlimited talk and text to Australian numbers, plus 15GB of full-speed data to use each month. You’ll also get unlimited speed-capped data, limited to 1.5Mbps, so there’s no excess data charges for use in Australia.

Data Bundle plans don’t include calls or texts, so are best suited for users who want extra gigabytes for tablet or mobile hotspot use. You’ll get 10GB of full-speed data, as well as the same unlimited 1.5Mbps data featured in Mobile plans.

Are Telstra bundles cheaper than separate plans?

For customers on Telstra’s current Upfront postpaid plans, you’ll need to be using either the $68 Essential plan, or $89 Premium plan to be eligible to add a Bundle option. So the minimum you’ll pay each month for a Bundle mobile plan with two SIMs is $115: $68 for your main plan, and $47 for the second Bundle service. If you just need more data, your minimum cost is $78 for your phone plan and Data Bundle.

If you’re on a two-person mobile Bundle, that $115 gets you a massive 195GB of fast data to share each month. For customers who add on five Bundle plans, you’ll pay a minimum of $303 per month for 255GB of data to share between six people or devices.

Without the bundle, you could buy two separate entry-level Basic Telstra mobile plans, which are priced a $58 per month each and include 40GB of fast data per SIM. This would set you back $116 per month in total, so similar to what you’ll pay for two Bundle plans, but you’ll get much less data: Bundle plans offer more than twice as many gigabytes, with 97GB per person available on the aforementioned two-person plan.

For a family of six, a Basic plan for each member works out to be $348 per month, more expensive than the $303 monthly price of a six-line Bundle plan. Bundling will also net you more data per person, with six Bundle plans breaking down to 42.5GB per user (compared to 40GB per Basic plan).

While it seems like bundling is a better deal if you’re on the cheaper Essential plan, you should do the math before signing up to a pricier option. If you’re looking to add a Bundle plan to Telstra’s more expensive $89 Premium Upfront plan, you’ll pay $136 per month for 315GB of data; if you’re splitting the bill, that’s $68 per person for 157.5GB of data each.

However, $68 is also the price of Telstra’s standard Essential plan with 180GB of data, so in this case going for two separate plans may actually be the better value option if you’re looking for the most data for your dollars. But if you’ve got a bigger family, four Bundle plans with a Premium main plan is priced at $277 per month for 360GB of data, or $55.40 per person for 72GB; so in this case, it’s a cheaper deal than five $58 Basic plans with 40GB of data per person.

To see the standalone postpaid plans available from Telstra, check out the table below.

The following table shows selected published Telstra SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Family plans compared: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and ALDI Mobile

While Telstra has positioned Bundle plans as a way to simplify plans for families, doing the math is certainly confusing. It seems that moving your family to a Telstra bundle could cut down your monthly mobile bill if you’re already all on separate Telstra plans, especially as you add more Bundle plans to your account.

However, Telstra isn’t the only option for families wanting a easy way to share data and consolidate their mobile service. If you’re in a four-person household, Optus’ Family Mobile Plan includes four SIMs with 320GB of shared data for $165 monthly (with the option to add up to four extra SIMs for $29 per SIM, per month).

The four-person Family plan breaks down to $41.25 per person per month, and if you split the shared data four ways, that’s 80GB each. Compare this to Optus standalone postpaid plans, which begin at $49 per month for 30GB of data, and it’s definitely the cheaper move.

Optus also allows you to share data from separate Optus Choice postpaid plans on the same account, so this is also an option if you’d like to pool your gigabytes for the whole family to use – just open a separate Optus plan for each family member. But if you’re not looking for a huge data inclusion for each user, the Family Plan will cost you less each month if you need a minimum of four SIMs.

The following table shows selected published Optus SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vodafone also allows data sharing on postpaid mobile plans, and while there’s no specific family plan options, you can claim a discount for bundling multiple services on the one account.  You can pool your monthly full-speed data allowance from Vodafone SIM-only and mobile broadband plans, with the exception of the telco’s unlimited data Ultra+ plan, and share gigabytes across up to 10 users.

Bundling two or more eligible Vodafone plans can also score you a discount: you’ll save 5% when you bundle two plans, 10% for three, 15% for four plans, and 20% off when you bundle five or more. So if you add five Vodafone Lite+ plans to your account, priced at $45 per month for 30GB of data each, you’ll pay $225 for a data pool of 150GB; factor in a 20% discount, and your price drops to $180.

The following table shows selected published Vodafone SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

If you’re looking for a prepaid option, ALDI Mobile also offers three Family Plans, each with a 30-day expiry. The $45 Plan includes 44GB of data for up to two services, the $80 plan features 88GB for four people, and the $110 plan comes with 132GB of data and up to six services. Each plan breaks down to 22GB of data per user, although the $110 plan offers the best price value at $18.30 per service (compared to $22.50 per person on the $45 plan).

The following table shows selected published ALDI Mobile SIM-only 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. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Are family and bundle mobile plans a good deal?

To sum it up, family and bundle plans can save you money and give you more value than opting for separate plans — but you’ll need to run the numbers first to see if what’s available works for you.

Depending on your home or family’s data and usage needs, you may also be better off mixing-and-matching plans from various providers to ensure you’re getting the most for your money. But if the convenience of bundling is important, we’ve provided some examples of how the family and shared data plans compare below.

The following table compares four-person bundle or shared data plans from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and ALDI Mobile in terms of total monthly cost and data, and cost and data per person.

Plan Total price and data per month Per person, per month
Telstra Essential Plan + 3 Bundle plans
  • $209 per month
  • 225GB of shared fast data
  • Unlimited shared speed-capped data
  • $52.25 per month
  • 56.25GB fast data per person
Optus Family Mobile Plan
  • $165 per month
  • 320GB of shared fast data
  • Unlimited shared speed-capped data
  • $41.25 per person
  • 80GB fast data per person
Vodafone SIM Only Lite+ Plan (4 plans)
  • $153 per month with 15% discount
  • 120GB of shared fast data
  • Unlimited shared speed-capped data
  • $38.25 per person
  • 30GB fast data per person
ALDI $80 Family Plan
  • $80 per month
  • 88GB shared data + data rollover
  • $20 per person
  • 22GB of data per person

 

Compare SIM-only phone plans

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 20GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

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