For many people, $50 per month sounds like a pretty good fit for a monthly spend on a mobile plan. It comes to under $12 per week, an amount easy to budget even on a modest income. And yet, you gain access to some sweet-spot plans when it comes to data allowance and extras. You will be able to make the most of your mobile phone without having to worry about your usage on a day to day basis.
There’s some incredible value available at the $50 price point; which is almost the threshold price before we head into monthly amounts that start to sound expensive. But thanks to the tight competition between providers in recent years in Australia, you’ll get a lot of “bang for your buck” at this level. Let’s take a look at the best mobile phone plans you’ll find under $50.
The network that sets the standard for everyone else. Telstra Mobile has an undeniable advantage on the current mobile market. The telco built the first mobile network in Australia and took the years since to expand it to an unprecedented scale. Now, it provides coverage to almost every inhabited corner of the country. It’s the network that makes Telstra so desirable – and traditionally, that’s meant you had to pay extra for the privilege of using it.
To an extent, you still do. At this price point, unlimited calls are not on offer – but there’s great value in Telstra’s sub-$50 plans. Their “M” plan at $50 per month on a 12-month contract gives you $1000 (about 16 hours) worth of calls per month. You also get unlimited text and MMS, as well as a base 5GB of fast 4G data. This is often augmented by offers of even more data, such as the bonus 3GB available until May 2017.
If you’re willing to forego in-store and call centre support you can take the price down to only $40 per month. This is called the Telstra Mx plan, available if you use online chat and self-service to manage your account.
Very much worth it and sweetening the deal are all the Telstra freebies. Clients get six months’ Apple Music subscription, a year’s subscription to the AFL and NRL Live apps, 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage, free movie rentals, access to Telstra Air hotspots, and more. If you want maximum reliability, fast data and HD voice calling for your current-gen smartphone, this is the plan to spend your 50 bucks on.
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As a third-party provider, Boost Mobile gives you access to the Telstra 4G network – albeit with slightly slower maximum data speeds. It also throws in unlimited calls, text and MMS, as well as calls and texts to 10 international countries for the price of your $50 bill. The data allowance is tasty, too. Clients get 7GB as a base monthly quota, with an extra 1GB every weekend to top you up for when you’re out and about being social.
Boost doesn’t require a contract, either. Despite being on the Telstra network and outdoing them for call and data inclusions, it’s a 28-day prepaid service that you can leave any time. You can change plans with any time you need to as well. Like Telstra itself, Boost offers data-free streaming of Apple Music. Though, in this case, you’ll have to pay for the subscription yourself!
The $50 price point is the top of the line for Optus-based amaysim. The telco’s Unlimited 9GB plan gives you everything the name suggests – unlimited calls, text and MMS in Australia, unlimited calls and text to 10 major countries, plus a hefty 9GB of data to play with during each 28-day period. This plan also adds 300 minutes (five hours) of international calls to a further 22 countries. It’s a great choice if you need to keep in touch with people overseas.
Spend $50 per month with Optus and you get so much data allowance you’ll have trouble using it. The plan, on a 12-month contract, starts you off with a whopping 12GB of data. Plus, it gives you an extra 3GB if you sign up online – a total of 15GB on a plan that naturally comes with unlimited talk and text. With Optus you can also stream music from popular providers data-free – Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora and more. Moreover, if you’re keen on English football, for an extra $15 per month you can get access to Optus Sport for live coverage on your phone or tablet. Optionally, you can also rent a Fetch TV box to watch the action in HD on your TV.
Not to be outdone, Vodafone matches Optus’s data allowance and call inclusions with their MyMix Red Data plan. Your $50 gets you 15GB data, along with the usual unlimited calls and text. If you want international calls, you can get 1300 international minutes to a selection of countries for the same price. However, the data allowance will drop to 13G instead – that’s the MyMix Red Global plan. Both plans are on a 12-month contract. If you’d prefer month-to-month, your $50 will buy you 8GB of data, all the unlimited, and a further 10% discount if you’re a registered student.
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Optus-owned Virgin Mobile matches Optus’s own offer (perhaps not surprisingly). Their $50 plan gives you 50GB of data, along with unlimited calls and text and $300 worth of general international calls. The same data-free streaming of music services offered on Optus applies here too. There is a bonus for Velocity frequent flyer members – 10% off the plan fee each month, and 1000 bonus Velocity points.
Choice and value
As you can see, at the $50 price point you’re playing with the big end of town without spending the big bucks. You’ll get more than enough data for your needs and, except for first-party Telstra plans, you’ll be able to call and text as long and as much as you like. The $50/month mobile service truly is the perfect balance of affordability and value.