The best Prepaid mobile plans in Australia (January 2023)

Looking for the cheapest and best Prepaid plans to get you out of trouble? Read on for our top picks for Prepaid phone plans.

Best value
TPG
TPG 60GB Mobile Plan
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$20
per recharge
Data per recharge
60GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
50% off for the first six months
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best cheap
Catch Connect
Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 18GB
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$15
per recharge
Data
18GB p/recharge
Expiry
30 days
Network
Optus 4G
Best long-expiry
Kogan Mobile
Kogan Mobile Extra Large - 365 Day Flex Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
🔥 Deal: Save 45%
$300
per recharge
Data
500GB p/recharge
🔥Deal
Discounted down from $529.90
Network
Vodafone 3G/4G
Best under $10
Catch Connect
Catch Connect 30 Day 4G Prepaid Plan
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$10
per recharge
Data
4GB p/recharge
Expiry
30 days
Network
Optus 4G
Best 5G
Aldi Mobile
ALDI Mobile $55 Mobile Plan
5 out of 5 stars
5
Starts at
$55
per recharge
Data
60GB p/recharge
Expiry
30 days
Network
Telstra 5G
January 09, 2023
9 min read

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It’s great to see telcos competing in the Prepaid space nowadays because it means you can pair a handset—iPhone 14, Google Pixel 7 or whatever other available phone you fancy—with a great value plan.

Buying a Prepaid plan means you’re in control of how much you spend each month. There’s no contract, and the bill comes upfront, so you don’t have to worry about potential bill shock at the end of the month. Prices start at around $10 and stretch up to hundreds of dollars for long-expiry Prepaid plans.

As always, all of our returning winners have been vetted to ensure they’re the best picks at the start of the month.

Best value Prepaid plan

TPG 60GB Mobile Plan

pro
Pros
pro Great promo pricing
pro 60GB data
pro 5G trial available
con
Cons
con International calls cost extra
con Vodafone 5G network reach
con Regular pricing is only okay

The competition in this category gets tighter each month, but while Prepaid mobile plans that cost more tend to offer more data, we cap costs at $50 and stick to Prepaid monthly plans (28 days, 30 days or an actual month). TPG’s recent plan refreshes have seriously shaken things up, and we particularly like that the telco offers actual monthly Prepaid plans instead of 28-day or 30-day alternatives.

If you want to save money, go with last month’s winner: the TPG 45GB Mobile Plan. It has identical first-year dollar-to-data value albeit at a cheaper monthly price. Admittedly, that cheaper price comes with less data. That’s why we’ve gone with the TPG 60GB Mobile Plan this month. New customers get six months of promo pricing before the plan reverts to a reasonable monthly cost.

Here’s our prepaid mobile plans comparison, with a daily updating list of popular Prepaid mobile plans with at least 60GB of data.

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Best cheap Prepaid plan

Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 18GB

pro
Pros
pro Great typical pricing
pro 18GB data
pro Optus 4G Plus network
con
Cons
con Average overall dollar-to-data value
con No real perks

In the interest of fairness, we keep this category maxed out at $20 a month and exclude promo pricing. Those parameters have seen both Woolworths Mobile and Coles Mobile come away with the crown in the past. This time around, we’ve gone back to a recent favourite.

The Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 18GB is a great Prepaid pick for those looking to save money. It says basically all you need to know in the plan name, too, except for the $15 recharge fee you pay every 30 days. That’s a good price to pay for 18GB of data on the Optus network, though you shouldn’t expect any perks with this plan.

Below is a daily updated list of popular Prepaid mobile plans that don’t cost more than $20 per recharge.

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Prepaid recharge durations
TPG and Felix Mobile offer an actual month for their Prepaid plans, which means it’s the same day every recharge whether the month has 28, 30 or 31 days. Telcos like Amaysim treat a month as 28 days, while others like Aldi Mobile offer 30-day recharge periods. From here, there’s a massive jump to six months, like those Prepaid mobile plans offered by Amaysim, Boost Mobile and Woolworths Mobile. For even longer recharge periods, there’s a split between the 365-day options offered by Woolworths Mobile and Optus or the one-year offerings from telcos like Amaysim. If you’re interested in reading about more Prepaid mobile plans that expire after 90, 180 or even 365 days, see our guide to the best Prepaid long-expiry plans.

Best long-expiry Prepaid plan

Kogan Mobile Extra Large - 365 Day Flex plan

pro
Pros
pro 500GB of data
pro International call inclusions
con
Cons
con Vodafone network reach
con Monthly plans offer better overall value

The last time we updated this page, Kogan lost the top slot for long-expiry prepaid plans to Lebara's $300 Large Plan. However, the tables have since turned and put the Kogan Mobile Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan back on top.

Kogan has won the top spot back by knocking a whopping $229.90 off the usual price of this plan. Rather than pay $529 for 500GB of data, you're paying $300. Although the dollars-to-data ratio here is definitely the draw-card, this winning plan also comes with some great international talk and text inclusions.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular long-expiry Prepaid mobile plans.

365 long-expiry prepaid

The best 365-day and long-expiry prepaid plans in Australia

Get Nan on the blower, we’ve rounded up the best long-expiry prepaid plans for low-usage customers.

Best Prepaid plan under $10

Catch Connect 30 Day 4GB Prepaid Plan

pro
Pros
pro Low ongoing pricing
pro 4GB data
pro Optus 4G network
con
Cons
con No real perks
con International calls cost extra
con 30 days could be a month

If you're looking to pick up a prepaid plan for less than the price of a burger, the biggest decision you'll need to make is whether you want a fixed price or want to take advantage of a timely discount. With the former, you know what you're getting. Meanwhile, the latter will give you more bang for your buck but only for a limited time. You'll eventually have to change providers or get stuck paying a higher price.

For the purposes of this list, we're going to go with the first one and specifically the Catch Connect 30 Day 4GB Prepaid plan. It's a little lighter on the data allowance than some of the promo-packed options but comes with all the same coverage you'd expect from any provider on the Optus network. It’s a good pick for families, though there aren't any perks or bundling bonuses to speak of.

For comparison, check out the list of popular Prepaid plans below that come with at least 1GB of data and don’t cost more than $15 per recharge.

How much Prepaid data do I need?
Info Box

While this question is akin to answering ‘how long is a piece of string?’ there is some guidance on what you might need from the ACCC. According to the ACCC’s Communications market report 2020–2021, Aussie prepaid users only go through 6.3GB of data on average per month, which is around 9GB of data these days (according to the ACCC’s 20%-increase-every-six-months logic). Contrast this with the 30GB median data allowance for prepaid plans. While we use a mix of price and data to refine our category picks, generally speaking, a 10GB plan should be enough for the average prepaid user, and we’d recommend sticking to 30GB and above for those with bigger-data monthly needs.

Best 5G Prepaid plan

ALDI Mobile $55 Mobile Plan

pro
Pros
pro Telstra 5G coverage
pro 60GB data
pro Unlimited calls to 20 selected countries
con
Cons
con $5 up front cost
con 30 days could be a month

If you're looking for a prepaid option that includes access to the faster speeds offered by 5G, price differentiation might not matter as much as coverage. While both Optus and Vodafone have significantly grown their respective network footprints when it comes to 5G, Telstra still leads with over 80% of Australia's population.

For that reason and especially if your biggest or only concern is being covered by Australia's 5G networks, Telstra's own $60 Pre-Paid Mobile Plan is a good place to start. That said, it's not necessarily going to be the best place to end your search. This month we're giving the edge to ALDI's $55 Mobile Plan as a result of the lower standard pricing, unlimited international calls (to selected countries) and longer expiration period.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular Prepaid plans with 5G and at least 30GB of data.

Best unlimited data Prepaid plan

Felix $35 Subscription

pro
Pros
pro Great typical pricing
pro Unlimited data
pro Nifty perks
con
Cons
con Telstra 5G would be nice
con Iffy value for roaming bolt-on

Prepaid mobile plans with unlimited data can be hard to come by. It used to be the case that there were no options for those Australian consumers who didn't want to choose between unlimited data and prepaid. There are plenty of prepaid plans with lots of data, but not all that many with unlimited data. Still, there are a few good options out for those willing to look for them.

Our pick of the lot is the Felix $35 Subscription. This prepaid month-to-month plan will last you a full month (as opposed to 28 or 30 days) and comes with unlimited data (speed capped to 20Mbps). You also get a bunch of nifty perks including WiFi calling, unlimited SMS and calls within Australia, eSIM and automatic renewal. Felix will even plant a tree for each month you stick with them and throw in the first month for free.

At the time of writing, the other prepaid provider that those looking for unlimited data might want to consider is Vodafone. As with its postpaid mobile plans, Vodafone's prepaid SIM-only plans come with both a standard data allowance and a speed-limited pool of 'infinite data' that kicks in if you exceed that limit. If that arrangement works for you, be sure to check out the round-up of Vodafone's prepaid plans below.

Best Prepaid plan for international calls

Lebara $49.90 Extra Large Plan

pro
Pros
pro Good dollar-to-data value
pro Unlimited talk and text to 60 countries
pro 200GB data bank
con
Cons
con Vodafone network reach in rural areas
con 30 days could be a month

Prepaid mobile plans may not be as perk-packed as SIM Only alternatives, but there are still a handful of telcos that offer unlimited international calls.

The cheapest in our comparison engine is the Coles Prepaid $20 for 30 Days plan, which offers unlimited international calls to 15 countries. However, if you're ranking your options by the number of destinations you can dial, then we still fancy last month's pick for this category: the Lebara $49.90 Extra Large Plan.

This prepaid plan comes with unlimited talk and text to 60 selected countries, plus 500 minutes to 12 selected dialling destinations, and 50 minutes to a further 10 countries.

International inclusions aside, this particular Lebara plan also comes with 80GB of data to use every 30 days. Sign up and activate by 31 January 2023 to score 20GB of bonus data for the first three months, which can be stored in a 200GB data bank if you don't get through it.  You'll also score access to Lebara's 5G trial, which is currently slated to run through until the end of January 2023.

For a better sense of how this compares to some of the other popular Prepaid plans from the telcos in our database that offer unlimited calls on plans with at least 10GB of data (Gomo, Coles Mobile, Lebara, Aldi Mobile, Exetel, Amaysim, Lycamobile, Boost Mobile, Woolworths Mobile and Optus) check out the widget below.

Best on Telstra

Aldi Mobile $25 Mobile Plan

Last month, the Boost $30 Prepaid plan was the popular choice for the prepaid plan on the Telstra network but this month the users are choosing the $25 Aldi Mobile plan. 

That $25 recharge price happens every 30 days for 22GB of data, though you also score 25GB of bonus data on the first six recharges (just get in by 31 January 2023). You can roll over data continually from one recharge to the next, plus this Aldi Mobile Prepaid plan comes with great international call inclusions.

Note that the plan above may change throughout the month based on the most popular Telstra network Prepaid plan in our comparison engine.

Best on Optus

Catch Connect 365 Day 120GB plan

Optus' $30 prepaid plan is usually the people's choice when it comes to the most popular Optus mobile plans. However, this time around, the homegrown hero has been dethroned by the Catch Connect 120GB long expiry option. Get in before the 7th of February, and you'll be able to get 120GB for $120. 

For a sense of how this plan compares to some of the other options available from Optus, check out the widget below.

Note that the plan above may change throughout the month based on the most popular Optus network Prepaid plan in our comparison engine.

Best on TPG

TPG 12GB Mobile Plan

The TPG 12GB Mobile Plan is one we consider each month for our best budget category, and it’s once again the most popular pick on the Vodafone network.

We like that it has an actual monthly renewal cycle (instead of 28 or 30 days) and comes with 12GB of data for $20 a month. Currently, new customers get $10 monthly pricing for the first six months.

Note that the plan above and the ones below may change throughout the month based on the most popular Vodafone network Prepaid plans in our comparison engine.

What to look for in a Prepaid plan

Photograph of a woman holding a prepaid SIM card

When choosing a Prepaid plan, it’s important to note the differences between plans (recharges), subscriptions and starter packs. Prepaid plans are the best indicator of ongoing value, especially when compared to starter packs. Subscriptions, on the other hand, are a convenient auto-recharging option that can offer SIM Only-like value.

Pick a plan duration that works for you. If you need data in a pinch, you can opt for plans with fewer than 28 days. Most Prepaid plans in our comparison engine, though, hang around that monthly point: either 28 days, 30 days or an actual month. Monthly plans are the easiest way to determine ongoing costs, and you’ll want to factor in an extra recharge per year for an ongoing 28-day Prepaid plan.

Cost and data are the main indicators of value, but also keep an eye out for the network. The Telstra network is the largest, followed closely by the Telstra wholesale network and then Optus, with Vodafone not far behind. Quality coverage should result in a better Prepaid experience, from call reliability to download and upload speeds. Note that the areas where you use your phone for work and play may have better mobile reception from one of the smaller networks. Finally, it’s worth factoring in any perks, such as international calls, but perks like this aren’t essential if you don’t intend on using them.

How we choose the best Prepaid plans

At the start of each month, we compare all relevant Prepaid recharges and subscriptions to pick new winners or confirm the continued reign of incumbent victors. Most of our categories involve monthly plans, which offer either 28 days, 30 days or a full month. When determining first-year value in our comparisons, we count 30-day recharges 12 times and 28-day plans 13 times.

We compare ongoing recharge pricing with included data, making sure to treat short-lived bonus data as a perk rather than an indicator of long-term value (though data rollover can potentially change this). To stop costs from blowing out, we cap the spend of our best value ($50), best cheap ($20), best big-data ($50) and best cheapest ($15) category contenders at specific max prices to find a balance between cost and data.

For the long-expiry category, we evaluate all of the plans in our comparison engine that have durations of 180 days up to a year. With this category and others, we also consider the network that the plan is offered on in the context of its pricing. Finally, for the international-calls category, we choose the plan that offers the greatest number of countries, albeit at a reasonable price.

Prepaid FAQs

Below are the answers to some of the more pressing Prepaid plan questions.

How do I change Prepaid plans?

Switching Prepaid mobile plans and telcos is nowhere near as stressful as switching Postpaid plans, partly because Prepaid plans have no contract. The process will be different for every telco but, typically, all that’s required to switch Prepaid mobile plans is to select a different recharge type next top-up. Other telcos will ask you to switch rate plans via an automated service over the phone, and some let you do it all from their app.

How do I change Prepaid telcos?

If you want to switch telcos and keep the same number, make sure you approach your new telco with the mobile number you would like to switch, the associated account number (if available), and your personal details for security purposes (e.g. name, date of birth, driver’s licence number).

Are prepaid plans locked?

You might run into trouble when using one telco’s Prepaid handset with another’s Prepaid SIM. Unlike contract phone plans, Prepaid phones tend to be network locked. Unlocking your Prepaid handset will come with a small fee, which may vary depending on the make and model of your phone and the date of purchase.

What is the difference between Prepaid and Postpaid plans?

Postpaid plans are usually associated with contract terms and included handsets (though there are some decent month-to-month SIM Only plans available these days) whereas Prepaid mobile plans are low-commitment plans that give you more control over your spending, and they have no contract.

In short, the difference between Postpaid and Prepaid plans has to do with the terms and whether there is a contract involved.

What do you pay for in Prepaid vs Postpaid plans?

With Prepaid plans, you pay for the calls, texts and data you think you will need before using them. Postpaid plans calculate your usage at the end of your billing month and bill you for the calls, text and data used over that period (typically with excess fees if you go over your plan’s inclusions).

How do Prepaid plans approach data vs Postpaid plans?

Prepaid mobile plans simply restrict your network access when you’ve burned through your data, whereas excess usage on a Postpaid plan may result in additional charges on your bill at the end of the month (unless telcos use shaping). Prepaid plans come with the risk of getting cut off without notice, which can be dangerous if you forget to recharge, whereas Postpaid plans will only cut you off if you fail to pay the last month’s bill after it’s due.

Which providers offer prepaid plans in Australia?

At the time of writing, the 17 Australian providers in our database are offering prepaid mobile plans:

  • TPG
  • Optus
  • Amaysim
  • Catch Connect
  • Felix
  • Kogan
  • Lebara
  • Coles Mobile
  • ALDI Mobile
  • LycaMobile
  • Woolworths Mobile
  • Vodafone
  • Telstra
  • Boost Mobile
  • Exetel
  • Yomojo
  • Gomo
Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card in Australia?

Looking for the cheapest Prepaid SIM you can find? You don't need to go far. Prepaid SIM cards are fairly easy to come by in Australia. You'll be able to find prepaid SIMs in major supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles, specialised outlets like Telstra and Optus Stores as well as online through the website of a given provider.

Many of Australia's mobile providers tend to throw in a SIM with any given prepaid mobile plan at no additional cost when you sign on for a plan.

However, some like ALDI Mobile charge a nominal $5 upfront fee to set up an account with them. Depending on the savings offered by the prepaid plan provider you happen to be weighing up, that tradeoff may or may not be worth it so do your research before you get out your wallet.

Where can I buy prepaid mobile plan in Australia?

Australians after a prepaid mobile plan can find them in many of the same physical and digital locations as their postpaid counterparts, including major supermarkets, specialised telco and electronics outlets and online.

More Prepaid plans

Take a look at the most popular Prepaid plans in Australia according to WhistleOut’s comparison engine.

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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