The mobile phone is pretty much an essential thing to have around these days, regardless whether you’re a senior who loves travelling or someone who’s just enjoying the relaxation of retirement at home. A mobile gives you a backup phone in case your home phone has an outage, a means of family and friends reaching you by text message, and can be an invaluable thing to have around whenever you’re out and about.
There are so many choices there in the mobile market these days it’s overwhelming, but if you’re a budget-conscious senior looking for a mobile plan that suits your lifestyle and budget, there are some real bargains to be found.
Perhaps surprisingly, there’s very little in the way of Senior Card discounts on mobile plans for Pensioners – even Telstra restricts their discounts to home phone services (where you can have things like line rental or bill fees waived). One of the only mobile providers to offer a specific Seniors Card discount is Vodafone, who offer 10% off any of their mobile plans, but thanks to all the competition in the market there’s a wealth of choice no matter what your needs are.
Let’s take a look at the different uses that seniors may have for a mobile phone service – and find the best deals for each one.
You just want to receive calls, not make them
If you’re wanting a mobile to keep around in case of emergencies, you’re not going to need to worry too much about the amount of included calls on a plan. But you’re also not going to want to be spending money every month paying for a service that mostly just sits there unused. That’s where Vodafone’s Prepaid 365 plans come in – and they’re almost unique in their combination of low price and long expiry. For $30 you can get the Prepaid 365 Starter Pack, which gives you $30 of credit that lasts for a full year. That’s right – if you’re just having that phone around for receiving calls – or even to make the occasional short call – you can keep that phone active for the equivalent of 58 cents per week! $40 and $50 versions of the same plan are available, too, if you feel like you’d want a bit more breathing room to make some calls.
But wait – there’s some competition arriving for that 365-day crown! amaysim offers a basic “As You Go” plan for $10 – credit that lasts a full year. And not to be beaten, Aldi Mobile offers a similar plan with 365-day expiry with a starting cost of only $5. Yep, less than 10 cents a week! Obviously on these low-cost plans you’d want to be someone who doesn’t intend to make calls at all – though you can top up with higher amounts if you think you’ll need to.
Special Offer: Get amaysim’s unlimited 1GB Plan for just $1!
Get unlimited talk and text + 1GB data on the Optus 4G Plus network for only $1/28 days. Use promo code 1FOR1 to receive $9 off — offer ends 31 March 2019.
You want to make lots of calls
Maybe you’ve decided to ditch the home phone, or maybe you’d just like to be able to sit outside enjoying life and be able to make phone calls whenever you want without being tied to the phone cord.
When it comes to prepaid plans with unlimited calls at great prices, much-respected company Vaya has long been the champion in the field – and for $16 per month you can get their Unlimited S plan, which offers unlimited calls to anywhere in Australia (including to other mobiles), unlimited text messages and free access to voicemail – all backed up by the reliable Optus 4G Plus network. Even better, if you pay for six months in advance, that monthly price drops to only $14. The plan comes with 1.5GB of data – more than enough for casual use like email and web browsing if you’re using a smartphone.
You want unlimited calls AND use lots of data
If you’ve embraced the smartphone to the point where, like millions, you do everything from web browsing to music and video streaming to photo uploading via your device, you’re probably looking for a plan with a nice large data allowance – but with unlimited calls as well, of course! Perhaps you also want to use your phone as a portable wireless modem for your computer, too. Competition in this field has really heated up in recent times, and one of the most eager competitors has been Optus Mobile, whose prepaid plans really kick into high-data mode when you look above the entry level. For $40 per month you can get 15GB of data – more than enough for most people – or for $50 you can have a whopping 30GB – both plans including a wealth of goodies like unlimited calls and text messages anywhere in Australia, a free Optus Sport subscription for live-streaming English Premier League football, data-free streaming of Netflix, Stan, and ABC iView, free use of the National Geographic app and more. You also get five hours of international calls included.
We’d say the $40 plan (which is a limited-time offer) is plenty for most people, especially with so much free video streaming included. But basically, if you want a mobile plan on a reliable network which you can use without worrying about limits, this is the plan of choice.
What About the Phone?
Here’s a tip: buy your phone outright. A wander into any of the mobile companies’ shops will reveal a huge range of phones you can buy to suit your budget – obviously smartphones are more of a price investment, but prepaid mobile phone plans are so good these days (and so much more flexible) that it’s far better to be in charge of your own phone and be able to take it where you want. And if you’re not going to be web browsing and video streaming, get a phone that’s just a phone – they’re incredibly cheap (even your local supermarket sells them) and reliable, and the battery on them can last for days before needing a charge.
One thing’s for sure – if you’re looking for great value in a mobile phone service, no matter what your intended usage or even your entertainment needs, there’s never been a better time for a Pensioner to grab a bargainthan now!