The best prepaid mobile plans in Australia (April 2024)

We round up the best everyday, cheap, big-data and long-expiry prepaid plans that offer the best monthly value.

Best value prepaid plan
TPG
TPG 45GB Mobile Plan
Starts at
$15
per month
Data
45GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
50% off for the first six months
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best cheap prepaid plan
TPG
TPG 12GB Mobile Plan
Starts at
$10
per month
Data
12GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
50% off for the first six months
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best big-data prepaid plan
TPG
TPG 60GB Mobile Plan
Starts at
$20
per month
Data
60GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
50% off for the first six months
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best 5G prepaid plan
Amaysim
Amaysim Unlimited 80GB Mobile
Starts at
$18
per month
Data
80GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
55% off for the first recharge
Network
Optus 5G
Best long-expiry prepaid plan
Everyday Mobile Logo
Everyday Mobile Prepaid $170 Long Expiry Recharge
Starts at
$170
per month
Data
125GB p/recharge
🔥Feature
10% off monthly Woolies shop
Network
Telstra 4G
Nathan Lawrence
Apr 05, 2024
Icon Time To Read15 min read

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Prepaid mobile plans are a great way to stay on top of your spending. Prepaid starter packs offer a cheap way to nab a prepaid SIM card and a discounted recharge, but most of the prepaid plans we track operate around a (roughly) monthly cycle. To save even more money, consider a long-expiry prepaid plan to cover either half a year or a full 12 months.

For the options in our database, prepaid plan prices start at around $10 per month. Expect to pay around $25 or more a month for a typically priced prepaid recharge with at least 30GB of base data or at least roughly $40 for double that data. Long-expiry prepaid plans start at around $90 but can cost up to $300+ for more data.

Scroll on for our best prepaid plan picks for April.

What is a prepaid plan?

In terms of payment, prepaid mobile plans are the opposite of postpaid (SIM-only) mobile plans: namely, you pay ahead of use rather than after. Prepaid plans don’t have a contract but they do typically include unlimited talk and text in Australia.

Buying a prepaid plan means you’re in control of how much you spend each month. What you’re paying for, then, is a mix of data and duration. Prepaid data starts at under 5GB per recharge but that stretches up to 100 times that amount for long-expiry plans. Most telcos offer monthly prepaid plans that are either recharged every month, every 30 days or every 28 days.

We factor in the differences between these various monthly prepaid plans when determining first-year value. All you need is a prepaid SIM card (or eSIM), and you can use a prepaid mobile plan with a new handset, like the iPhone 15 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, or a different mobile phone. Certain telcos offer network-locked prepaid mobile phones, which can be used with other mobile providers outside of the network owner but only if they operate on that same network.

Best value prepaid mobile plan

TPG 45GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We ranked prepaid mobile plans with at least 30GB of base data then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

If you use mobile data quite a bit each month, you’ll want at least 30GB of data. That’s the number we use as our minimum for this category because it’s an amount that allows for everyday app use as well as sporadic video streaming. Use your phone or telco companion app to track data usage each month to see if you can save money with a cheaper prepaid plan or need to up your budget for a plan with more data.

TPG wins once again this month and comfortably beats this category’s data minimum (and then some) with its 45GB Mobile Plan, which operates on an actual monthly recharge cycle. New customers pay $15 per month for the first six recharges before the plan reverts to its typical $30 monthly fee. Don’t expect much in the way of perks but TPG does offer eSIM prepaid plans these days. For alternatives, consider the TPG 60GB Mobile Plan for more data or the Felix 50GB Mobile Plan for no excess data fees.

Main plan details

  • Data: 45GB
  • Expiry: Monthly
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $270 (12 recharges)

How does this prepaid mobile plan compare?

For alternatives, consider the monthly prepaid plans below with at least 30GB of data that don’t cost more than $40 per recharge.

Best cheap prepaid mobile plan

TPG 12GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We ranked prepaid mobile plans with at least 10GB of base data (capped at $25 spend) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

Cheap doesn’t mean the cheapest. If you want the cheapest, it’s about $5 for five days as far as our database prepaid plans are concerned. But that’s not practical for ongoing everyday use. For this category, we’ve set 10GB as the minimum for an okay amount of data and $25 as the max typical recharge cost. Only people with light data usage each month should consider these kinds of prepaid plans.

TPG takes out the top spot again this month, albeit this time with its 12GB Monthly Plan. It costs $10 per month for the first six months before reverting to its typical $20 monthly pricing. Regardless of the price, you get 12GB of Vodafone 4G data to play with. If you want more data, consider last month’s winner, the TPG 25GB Mobile Plan, or for the Optus 4G network, go with the Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 10GB.

Additional details

  • Data: 12GB
  • Expiry: Monthly
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $180 (12 recharges)

How does this prepaid mobile plan compare?

For more data or just more options, consider one of the popular prepaid plans below with at least 10GB of data.

Best big-data prepaid mobile plan

TPG 60GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We ranked prepaid mobile plans with at least 60GB of base data then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

If you like to stream video, download apps and, generally, be free to regularly use mobile data while you’re out and about, this big-data category is for you. We use 60GB as the basis for selecting a monthly prepaid plan and like to keep costs under $55 per month for our category winners.

TPG is back again to take out another top spot, this time with its 60GB Mobile Plan. As the name suggests, you get 60GB of monthly data, which is offered on the Vodafone network. New sign-ups pay half price: $20 instead of the usual $40 recharge cost. This TPG prepaid plan also comes with a limited time 5G network trial for eligible Vodafone 5G areas. Alternatively, consider the Aldi Mobile $39 Mobile Plan for farther-reaching Telstra network coverage or limitless 20Mbps-capped data with the Felix Unlimited Mobile Plan.

Additional details

  • Data: 60GB
  • Expiry: Monthly
  • Network: Vodafone 4G (5G trial)
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $360 (12 recharges)

How does this prepaid mobile plan compare?

If you want more data or just more options, check out the popular prepaid plans below with at least 60GB of data.

How much prepaid data do I need?

Get the right amount of gigabytes

According to the ACCC’s Internet activity report, prepaid mobile services are downloading around 16GB of data per month. That’s an average, though, so if you use less data, start prepaid comparisons with a 10GB plan to save money. Alternatively, if you stream a lot of videos, look at plans with at least 60GB of prepaid data.

Best 5G prepaid mobile plan

Amaysim Unlimited 80GB Mobile

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We ranked 5G prepaid mobile plans (capped at $55) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

Like the big-data options above, we’ve capped typical recharge costs to $55 for this category. As you might expect, the other eligibility requirement is the plan needs to be on either the Telstra 5G, Optus 5G or Vodafone 5G network. Given the extra speed potential of 5G, we look for at least 60GB of data, ideally, with beyond-100Mbps downloads (though this is rare for the prepaid plans we track).

The winner this month is the Amaysim Unlimited 80GB Plan, which offers 80GB of data on the Optus 5G network. Download speeds are capped at 100Mbps but that’s plenty for mobile internet needs. New sign-ups pay $18 for the first recharge (just get in by 18 April 2024). Otherwise, it’s a $40 typical fee for a 28-day prepaid recharge, which also includes unlimited data banking and unlimited standard calls to 42 selected dialling destinations. Alternatively, consider these two Telstra 5G network alternatives: the cheaper Aldi Mobile $39 Mobile Plan or the Exetel ExeSim Ultra 5G Plan for more data.

Additional details

  • Data: 80GB
  • Expiry: 28 days
  • Network: Optus 5G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Unlimited to 42 destinations
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: Unlimited
  • Cost for first 12 months: $499.60 (13.04 recharges)

How does this prepaid mobile plan compare?

For popular 5G prepaid mobile plans, check out the alternatives below, all of which have 60GB of data and with recharge prices under $55 (at least initially).

Best long-expiry prepaid mobile plan

Everyday Mobile Prepaid $170 Long Expiry Recharge

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We ranked long-expiry prepaid mobile plans with at least 120GB of base data over one year (180 days minimum), then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.

Long-expiry prepaid mobile plans are a great choice for people who want the flexibility of storing data during quieter months and splurging during busier times. Basically, longer-duration prepaid plans are worth considering if your phone is almost always connected to WiFi and not regularly using mobile data. We look for long-expiry prepaid plans that average out to at least 10GB per month and prefer plans that comfortably cover a full year.

This month, the Everyday (Woolworths) Mobile Prepaid $170 Long Expiry Recharge takes the top spot. It’s a 365-day prepaid plan that comes with 125GB of data, which works out to just over 10GB of data per month. Download speeds may be capped at 100Mbps on the Telstra 4G network, but there is a 500GB data bank and 10% off a Woolies grocery shop each month. Alternatively, consider the Lebara Mobile Small Plan – 180 Days for more data on the Vodafone 4G network or the Kogan Mobile Small – 365 Day Flex Plan for cheaper first-year pricing.

Additional details

  • Data: 125GB
  • Expiry: 365 days
  • Network: Telstra 4G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: Add-on
  • Data rollover: 500GB
  • Cost for first 12 months: $170

How does this prepaid mobile plan compare?

For a look at other long-expiry prepaid plans, the list below includes popular picks with at least 120GB of data per recharge.

Popular Telstra network prepaid plans

Superloop SuperSim Save 4G Plan

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Telstra network prepaid mobile plans on 2 April 2024.

The Telstra network is the largest in Australia, so it’s understandable that prepaid users are interested in those coverage perks. Note that Telstra and Boost Mobile prepaid customers get access to the full Telstra network, but there are other mobile providers that operate on the Telstra wholesale network. This category is to show the most popular prepaid plan on the Telstra network at the start of the month.

At the start of the month, the Superloop SuperSim Save 4G plan was again the most popular pick for prepaid plans on the Telstra network. It costs $20 per 30-day recharge for 10GB of data, with download speeds capped at 100Mbps. On the perks front, this Superloop prepaid plan supports eSIM, has a 500GB data bank, and includes unlimited talk and text to 15 dialling destinations.

Main plan details

  • Data: 10GB
  • Expiry: 30 days
  • Network: Telstra 4G (100Mbps)
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Unlimited to 15 destinations
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: 500GB
  • Cost for first 12 months: $243.40 (12.17 recharges)

Other popular Telstra network prepaid plans

Check out other popular Telstra network prepaid plans.

Popular Optus network prepaid plans

Catch Connect 365 Day Plan – 120GB

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Optus network prepaid mobile plans on 2 April 2024.

The Optus mobile network is home to a range of mobile providers in Australia that typically offer a solid mix of value and features. Consider a prepaid plan on the Optus network if you live and operate in areas with good Optus coverage.

At the start of the month, the Catch Connect 365 Day Plan – 120GB is again the most popular pick. This Optus network plan normally costs $150 per year but was discounted to $119 at the time of writing. Get in by 9 April 2024 to nab the discounted pricing. Whichever price you pay, you get 120GB of data on the Optus 4G network.

Main plan details

  • Data: 120GB
  • Expiry: 365 days
  • Network: Optus 4G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $119

Other popular Optus network prepaid plans

For other popular Optus network alternatives, check out the prepaid plans below.

Popular Vodafone network prepaid plans

TPG 12GB Mobile Plan

How we chose the best prepaid mobile plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Vodafone network prepaid mobile plans on 2 April 2024.

If you’re after competitively priced prepaid plans, start looking at what’s on the Vodafone network. We track half a dozen mobile providers that operate on the Vodafone network, and some of those are among the cheapest available. While you shouldn’t expect too many features, Vodafone network prepaid plans tend to offer competitive pricing and a decent chunk of data.

At the start of the month, the TPG 12GB Mobile Plan was again the most popular prepaid pick on the Vodafone network. It comes with 12GB of Vodafone 4G data for $20 a month, but new customers pay $10 per month for the first six months. TPG prepaid plans also support eSIM handsets, so you can get connected faster without having to wait for a physical SIM card.

Main plan details

  • Data: 12GB
  • Expiry: Monthly
  • Network: Vodafone 4G
  • SIM fees: None
  • International calls: Add-on
  • International roaming: PAYG credit
  • Data rollover: None
  • Cost for first 12 months: $180

Other popular Vodafone network prepaid plans

Check out other popular Vodafone prepaid plans below.

icon-expertise
How we choose the best prepaid plans
We track 70+ prepaid plans in our database, and we compare them each month to see which ones take out the top spots for our categories. Price is important but we also use dollar-to-data value to determine category winners alongside an in-depth comparison schema and our expert knowledge.

How long do prepaid plans last?

Prepaid expiry explained

Prepaid plans have different recharge cycles. On the shorter side, you may be able to buy a day or few and up to a week. Most prepaid plans that we track cover roughly a month: 28 days, 30 days or a full month. Note that monthly prepaid plans will only need 12 recharges for a full year but 30-day plans technically need 13 to cover all days and 28-day plans need a 14th recharge to keep you connected for a full 365 days.

Long-expiry prepaid plans start at around 90 days but then there’s a leap to around six months: 180 days or 186 days are available. Alternatively, you may be able to prepay a full year but note that these durations vary, too: 360 days, 365 days and 12 months are the year-long options.

What to look for in a prepaid plan

Here’s a complete guide to prepaid mobile plans

There are a few key things to consider when buying a prepaid plan. Some telcos may offer automatic recharging (they may be called “subscriptions”), sometimes with incentives to tick that auto-renewal box, like data rollover. While a convenient way to ensure you’re always connected, automatic recharges don’t provide the freedom of choosing when you pay.

Prepaid starter packs are a great starting point to nab a SIM card, sometimes at a lower promotional price and with bonus data. But those initial prices for prepaid starter packs and potentially a string of initial recharges aren’t indicative of the typical price you’ll pay in the long term.

We strongly recommend evaluating long-term prepaid plans in terms of typical pricing and included data. Alternatively, revisit this page whenever you’re curious to see what’s out there for our recommendations on the best prepaid plans. Thankfully, switching telcos is a relatively straightforward process.

Note that just because a prepaid plan says it lasts for a particular duration, it won’t do you much good if you burn through all of the allocated data. While you may still have access to calls and texts, you won’t be able to use any data-dependent apps (which is most of them) unless you’re connected to WiFi or until you recharge. If you find yourself short on data, consider a plan with more gigabytes for breathing space or a telco that offers data rollover or data banking.

While typical pricing and base data are the main factors, also consider the network on which your prepaid telco operates. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are the three mobile network owners in Australia but there are dozens of telcos who operate across those networks. They’re called mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and they generally offer cheaper prepaid plans than the network owners.

Still, there’s not much point in snagging a bargain if the network isn’t available in your area. Use the interactive map below for an idea of coverage in the areas you live and frequent. Finally, prepaid plans are typically cheaper than their SIM-only counterparts because they don’t have as many perks. That doesn’t mean prepaid plans are devoid of features; just keep an eye out for the ones that are practically relevant to your mobile needs instead of potentially paying extra for ‘nice to haves’.

What's the difference between prepaid and postpaid plans

The prepaid plans vs postpaid plans

In simplest terms, prepaid plans are paid ahead of use while postpaid (SIM-only) plans are paid at the end of a monthly billing cycle. Telstra is the only exception there: all of its plans are paid in advance of use. Prepaid plans are available in different recharge durations, but a month isn’t always a month in prepaid terms: it may be 28 days, 30 days or an actual month.

Generally speaking, SIM-only plans may have more data and tend to have more perks than prepaid plans. A lack of any contracts is near universal across prepaid and postpaid plans these days.

What’s not common is to find prepaid plans that are sold alongside mobile phones. You’ll want to own a mobile phone first or pay for a telco-offered prepaid handset to use a prepaid plan. While postpaid plans can be SIM-only—that is, bring your own (BYO) mobile—certain telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone bundle SIM-only plans with a new handset, either bought outright or paid off over 24 or 36 months.

One of the bigger differences between prepaid and postpaid mobile plans is how data is handled. On a prepaid plan, if you use up all of your data, you effectively have to buy another recharge to get back online. For postpaid plans, your data speeds may be capped until the next billing month, you may be automatically charged for surplus data or you may have the option to pay for data in blocks.

Icon Quote  Dark
Expert Advice
“Choosing a prepaid or postpaid phone plan really comes down to whether you want to pay for your service upfront and reap the benefits of a usually cheaper plan or pay for your phone plan afterwards and typically enjoy some extra perks.”
Kate Reynolds
Kate Reynolds
Digital Content Editor
Play Video

How to change prepaid plans

Switching it up

Changing prepaid plans depends on whether you want to shift to a different recharge with your current telco or shift entirely. If you’re happy with your current prepaid telco, use their companion app, website portal or call them to ask for assistance in shifting prepaid plans.

But if you want to shift from one telco to another and keep the same number, do it before your current prepaid recharge expires. Find the new plan you want, select the option to port or transfer your old number across, then complete sign-up and start using your new plan once the SIM card arrives (or just use eSIM if your phone and telco support it).

Are prepaid mobile phones locked?

The only disclaimer to shifting prepaid telcos is if you’re using a mobile phone that’s locked to the network of your current telco. These days, that’s typically restricted to prepaid mobile phones—a dead giveaway is they have the telco logo whenever you restart the phone—but there are steps for unlocking Telstra, Optus and Vodafone handsets. There may be a fee to unlock a mobile phone that’s currently tied to a particular network.

Which telcos offer prepaid mobile plans in Australia?

At the time of writing, there were 17 Australian providers in our database that sell prepaid mobile plans.

Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card in Australia?

Prepaid SIM cards are purchasable at major retailers, including Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks and Kmart. Certain telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone sell SIM cards from their retail stores, too. But the most convenient way to nab a SIM card is to order directly from a telco, though you will have to wait for the SIM card to arrive before you can use it in your phone.

These days, there’s another way. If you have a recent eSIM-capable mobile phone, you can select eSIM instead of a physical SIM card during sign-up to get connected sooner. Here’s a list of the prepaid telcos in our comparison engine that offer eSIM:

  • Telstra
  • Optus
  • Vodafone
  • Everyday Mobile
  • Kogan Mobile
  • Amaysim
  • Felix Mobile
  • Lebara Mobile
  • Superloop
  • TPG
  • Exetel
  • Boost Mobile

Is it cheaper to have a prepaid phone plan or postpaid?

Generally, prepaid phone plans are built to be cheaper than postpaid (SIM-only) mobile plans. The cheapest prepaid plan in our database is $5 whereas the cheapest SIM-only is $10. In fairness, that $5 prepaid plan is for five days while the $10 SIM-only plan is for a full month, so cheaper doesn’t always mean better value. Expect to pay more for postpaid plans but you’ll also usually get more data and features for that investment.

Here’s a look at popular prepaid plans in our database that don’t cost more than $20 (at least not initially).

What’s the difference between postpaid and prepaid phone plans?

The difference is more than just when you pay.

Still looking for a new prepaid mobile plan?

Want more prepaid options? The prepaid plans below are the most popular picks from our comparison engine today across Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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