There used to be some stigma with cheap prepaid mobile phones and plans. They were the option people took when they couldn’t get onto a “real” plan – a long-term contract with the need for a credit check and commitment. Prepaid plans have always been convenient, but they often were far more expensive in terms of calls, text and services than a contract (postpaid) plan on the same network.
All that’s changed. Prepaid mobile plans offer some of the best value. They also give you flexibility in a rapidly-changing mobile market, where today’s best mobile plan could easily be next month’s worst! With a prepaid plan, you have the power to change providers, swap plans whenever it suits, or buy a mobile phone to meet your budget (one that’s yours to keep or later sell, if you like).
What types of prepaid phone plans are there?
Prepaid used to be all about “choose your recharge amount and deal with the high call and text costs”. Today’s prepaid plans give you value for money, with many offering unlimited calls and text messaging as baseline. There are some people who rarely use their mobile phone – they have it in case of emergency, or to receive calls. For those people, spending money every 30 days to recharge their prepaid service would be wasted money. For them, the best prepaid plans could be the ones others scoff at – low call and data allowance, but a long expiry time.
If you spend most of your time on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media, it’s all about the data. Most providers offer prepaid plans that hone in on raw data allowance. Lucky for you, this usually comes with unlimited calls and texts as baseline. The monthly recharge cost will depend on the volume of data you get.
Let’s look at some typical users and how they’d find the best prepaid plans.
Data devotee – photos, Facebook, YouTube and Chat
Possibly the fastest growing group of mobile phone users, the heavy data user is always linked to their phone – not just for calls and texts, but for the connectivity that fast mobile broadband brings. They’re likely to chew through a ton of data, as they check out YouTube videos, scroll on Facebook, post photos from the weekend, catch up on the news on iView, or binge-watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
For the data-hungry prepaid user, there’s plenty of options that won’t break the bank. Coming out near the top is Yomojo with prepaid data plans offering a 10GB for $29.90/month. They also have a budget-friendly (yet still generous) prepaid plan with 2GB for $15.90/month. With the Optus 4G Plus network powering the data, and unlimited calls and text on all plans, it’s hard to beat for heavy users whose phone is a big part of their social life.
Yomojo 2019 Offers
Yomojo helps you keep the conversation going with the company’s unlimited plans give you the most bang for your buck. If you spend most of your time glued to your smartphone, unlimited options pack greater value. Yomojo also offers a 3G-only plan that packs a massive amount of data — 90GB for $89.90/month. And if you bundle up to six mobile plans, you even get a 15% monthly discount, which makes it perfect for families.
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The browser – Facebook, Twitter, Email and Apps
There are many people who don’t feel the need to constantly check their phone. They don’t need the latest updates, instead, they occasionally pull out their phone for calls and texts, a quick check of social media and email, or to look up something. They do all their heavy data usage – Netflix, game downloading etc – at home where there’s unlimited broadband and Wi-Fi. For them, the mobile phone is an occasional tool rather than a constantly-present accessory.
For ‘the browser’, their phone is a phone – it makes calls and keeps them in touch with friends – even friends overseas. OVO’s prepaid offerings cater to this mid-range usage brilliantly. They offer unlimited calls and texts from $14.95/30days, which also includes unlimited data-free live streaming on OVOPlay. Best part is how OVO now offers twice the amount of data across all of their mobile plans, which means that you get more data for much less. You can go for the MiniPlus plan, which at only $14.95/30 days, gives you 4GB data. If you still need more, the Small plan can give you the data that you need with 8GB for only $19.95/30days.
OVO Mobile 2019 Offers
OVO just levelled up their game with their FansFirst Promise. This means heaps of national and international calling, messaging, plus double the amount of data — and all without any lock-in contract whatsoever. For as low as $9.95/30days, you can already get 2GB worth of data — same goes across all prepaid plans, even the Extra Large plan that gives you a whopping 80GB data for only $49.95/30days.
The “Only in case I need it” user
Sounds strange, but there are still people who only have a mobile phone to use as a last resort – when they urgently need to contact someone (or be contacted) or for an emergency (like the car breaking down). For this user, “social” means physically meeting their friends, sharing gossip over lunch, watching a movie at the cinema and turning on the TV rather than digging through all the amateur content on YouTube. They might use their phone to check emails when they’re out but that’s about the extent of it. They rarely make calls or text. They’d rather not pay a monthly fee because they just don’t use their phone enough for it to be worth it.
That’s where long-life prepaid plans – like those offered by Telstra – come in handy. With recharges starting at $20 and extending out to $100, these plans can keep your phone on air for as long as a year between recharge. To extend that far, you’d need to pick the $70 recharge at a minimum so it’s far better value for the true super-occasional user to pick the $30 recharge that lasts a full 6 months, bringing the minimum annual cost down to only $60. These are more “traditional” prepaid plans where calls, texts, and data are all charged. They can be perfect for someone who just needs to have a phone for when they need it.
Telstra Mobile 2019 Offers
For included unlimited calls and texts with generous data allowance, Telstra offers Prepaid Max. These prepaid plans include up to $100 extra credit and bonus data of up to 17GB. They all include unlimited national talk and text, as well as unlimited international talk and text to 20 countries. The highest-value $300 prepaid plan has a 12-month expiry, which is a great value considering that puts your monthly cost to just $25.
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How do I find the best prepaid mobile plan for me?
The good news is, since there’s no contract, there’s no risk of getting locked into a plan you don’t like. It’s still better to be informed though – that’s where our mobile comparison page can help. Hit “search” and we’ll show you prepaid plans to match what you need. It’s easy, you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself.
You might pick a prepaid plan, then discover it doesn’t suit your usage, but fear not – you can swap to a different one any time. That’s the killer benefit of prepaid that no other type of phone plan can match. Prepaid plans are no longer the only option for those who can’t get or don’t want a contract. These days, prepaid mobile plans are the smart way to go.