Vodafone vs Optus: Phone Plans Compared

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There are more than 30 phone plan providers out there, all begging for your money. However, they all piggyback off the three main networks in Australia – Vodafone, Optus and Telstra. There’s still merit in going with these big guys, too. Vodafone and Optus have historically played second fiddle to Telstra. But they seem to be catching up in terms of subscriber base and network coverage, thanks to their typically competitive phone plans that are often cheaper than those on offer from Telstra.

So, if you don’t want Telstra but still want one of the big guys, do you turn to Optus or Vodafone?

Vodafone vs Optus – where can you find the best deal?

Between the two telcos there’s around 50 phone plans, spread across four subcategories. Each telco provides handset phone plans, 12-month SIM-only and month-to-month deals, as well as the good old prepaid options. Let’s see just what the two have available.

Phones on a Plan Compared

To get the latest phone plans (such as a plan with the new iPhone XS),  you usually need to opt for one of the big providers. Both Vodafone and Optus provide fairly competitive handset phone plans. However, Vodafone’s offerings are a little different:

  • Vodafone gives you the option of a 12, 24 or 36-month contract. The difference is that the plan itself is month-to-month, but the handset repayment is locked into one of these three contracts.
  • The end result is the same amount of money spent, but over 36 months the monthly repayment is lower than on a 24 or 12-month contract.
  • Optus offers plans on 24-month contracts with the handset payments adjusted according to which plan you select — the more expensive the plan, the less you pay for your device.

As it stands, Vodafone tends to offer more data and international call extras, whereas Optus can offer more in the way of entertainment, such as Optus Sport.

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

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $35 over one month (plus handset costs)

5GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Plus

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

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $45 over one month (plus handset costs)

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$85 My Plan Plus

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

min. cost $2040 over 24 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$55 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 2000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $55 over one month (plus handset costs)

80GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$105 My Plan Plus

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

min. cost $2520 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $105Advertised Data^^/billing period

12 Month SIM-Only Plans Compared

This is arguably where the most competitive plans sit for both brands. By signing up for 12 months, your SIM-only deal gets supercharged. Expect things like bonus data, entertainment features and more with the two telcos.

  • Vodafone shines for its generous data inclusions and occasional offers of bonus data.
  • Vodafone is also the only one to offer ‘unlimited’ data plans.
  • Optus offers entertainment perks such as Optus Sport subscriptions and data-free streaming along with other deals like subscriptions to Apple Music.

Here it depends on what you’re after – data, or entertainment? This may help determine what provider is right for you.

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

5GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$39 My Plan Plus (12M SIM)

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $468 over 12 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $39Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$49 My Plan Plus (12M SIM)

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 400 minutes standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $588 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $49Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$55 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 2000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $660 over 12 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$59 My Plan Plus (12M SIM)

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 2GB global roaming data
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $708 over 12 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$65 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 120GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international calls to Zone 1 countries, 300 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

120GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$79 My Plan Plus (12M SIM)

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 4GB global roaming data
  • Special offer: Up to 12 months free Apple Music

min. cost $948 over 12 month plan period

120GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period

Month-to-Month SIM Only Plans Compared

Flexibility is king in this modern telco age, but only Vodafone provides no-contract SIM-only phone plans. Vodafone offers three plans, the $35 with 1GB of data, $45 with 5GB and the $55 plan with 15GB of data. If you’re after a flexible month-to-month SIM-only plan that’s cheap and has decent data inclusions for your money, you might have better luck comparing plans from other providers, which tend to offer bigger data allowances at smaller price points.

Prepaid Plans Compared

Good old prepaid: both Vodafone and Optus provide a large array of plans here. Both offer some form of ‘long life’ phone plans with expiry periods up to 365 days, some ‘all rounder’ plans, and some other low-cost/low-use plans.

  • Optus tends to shine with its ‘Epic Data’ and ‘Epic Value’ plan lines, with large amounts of data and 42-day expiry periods respectively.
  • Vodafone boasts 35-day expiries on many plans, meaning your plan can go farther on a recharge. Many also boast data bonuses for one recharge.

Once again, it depends on what you’re after. There’s no distinct winner here, but it does seem like Optus has a slightly larger range, and thus, arguably more to choose from.

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

Combo Plus $30

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $30 over 28 days

6GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Optus Logo

Epic Data $30

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 10GB data
  • 25GB bonus data on first 3 recharges
  • $5 extra credit

min. cost $30 over 28 days

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

Combo Plus $40

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $20 over 35 days

17GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Optus Logo

Epic Data $40

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 20GB data
  • 25GB bonus data on first 3 recharges
  • $10 extra credit

min. cost $40 over 28 days

20GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

Combo Plus $50

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $50 over 35 days

30GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Optus Logo

Epic Data $50

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 30GB data
  • 25GB bonus data on first 3 recharges
  • $15 extra credit

min. cost $50 over 28 days

30GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period

Who should I go with – Optus or Vodafone?

They are two giants of the telco world, with each offering a fairly mammoth amount of plans. However, the question remains with you, the consumer: what do you want? Each telco across all plan types has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Vodafone tends to offer more data, bonus data and international credit, not to mention access to $5 a day international roaming on eligible plans
  • Optus shines for its entertainment perks, while the data inclusions for the price is fairly generous on some plans

If you want a lot of data, Vodafone is an enticing prospect, especially with access to unlimited capped-speed data. However, if you want more of a ‘lifestyle’ product you can use to stream and do other stuff with, an Optus plan may be better for you.

All in all, both telcos have a large range of plans – there’s bound to be something out there for everyone…it all just depends on what you’re after.

Compare Phones on a Plan

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