The best Prepaid plans available (September 2022)

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 45GB Mobile Plan
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$15
per recharge
Data
45GB per recharge
🔥Deal
Limited-time 5G network trial
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best cheap
Coles
Coles Prepaid $20 for 30 Days
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$20
per recharge
Data
15GB p/recharge
Deal
Unlimited calls to 15 countries
Network
Optus 4G
Best perks
Woolsworth Mobile
Woolworths Mobile $40 Recharge
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$40
per recharge
Data
52GB p/recharge
Deal
10% off monthly Woolies shop
Network
Telstra 4G
Best big data
TPG
TPG 60GB Mobile Plan
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$20
per recharge
Data
60GB per recharge
🔥Deal
Limited-time 5G network trial
Network
Vodafone 4G
Best long-expiry
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile $300 Prepaid
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$300
per recharge
Data
240GB p/recharge
Deal
40GB bonus data
Network
Telstra 5G
September 11, 2022
10 min read

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It’s great to see telcos competing in the Prepaid space because it means you can pair a handset—iPhone 13 (hold off, though, because iPhone 14 is out this month!), Google Pixel 6 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.

TPG has refreshed its Prepaid plans recently, which has led to some big category shake-ups. For starters, two TPG monthly Prepaid plans take out the top spots for best value and best big-data Prepaid plans. Meanwhile, you can get plenty of data for just $15 a month with our best budget winner. As is the trend, we’ve also vetted every returning category winner for the most recent plan details.

Scroll on for the full breakdown of all our winners.

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Best value Prepaid plan

TPG 45GB Mobile Plan

pro
Pros
pro Great promo pricing
pro 45GB 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). Typically, this category goes to a 28-day or 30-day Prepaid plan, but TPG has shaken things up after some recent plan refreshes.

The best thing about TPG Prepaid plans is they offer actual monthly recharges. That’s the case for the TPG 45GB Mobile plan, which has great first-year value. Typically priced at $30 a month, new sign-ups pay a $15 monthly fee for the first six months. This TPG Prepaid plan also includes a limited-time 5G network trial (just get in by 26 October 2022).

For comparison, check out the daily updating list below for popular Prepaid mobile plans with at least 40GB of data.

Light Bulb
Prepaid recharge durations
When is a month not a month with no-contract Prepaid mobile plans? When it comes to a telco’s understanding of a month in Prepaid terms. 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. Things get slightly more complicated with Optus offering 42-day and 90-day recharges, but these odd-duration plans aren’t as common. From here, there’s a massive jump to six months, like those Prepaid mobile plans offered by Amaysim and Boost Mobile, or Woolworths Mobile’s six-ish months in its 180-day Pre-paid $60 Long Expiry Recharge. Finally, 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 cheap Prepaid plan

Coles Prepaid $20 for 30 Days

pro
Pros
pro Unlimited calls to 15 countries
pro Optus 4G Plus network
pro 15GB data
con
Cons
con Average overall dollar-to-data value
con 30 days could be a month
con Light on perks

We keep this category maxed out at $20 a month, which used to be typically won by an incumbent Woolworths Mobile plan. Catch Connect had better value last month, but that promo pricing is over. Now it’s time for Woolworths big supermarket competitor to return this month and reclaim the top spot.

The Coles Mobile Prepaid $20 for 30 Days plan comes with 15GB of Optus 4G Plus data per recharge. While light on other perks, this Coles Mobile plan does include unlimited standard calls to 15 selected countries.

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

Best Prepaid plan for perks

Woolworths Mobile Pre-paid Mobile $40 Recharge

pro
Pros
pro International calls and texts
pro 52GB data
pro 500GB data rollover
con
Cons
con Telstra wholesale network premium
con 30 days could be a month

The big battle for the top spot in this category has been between Gomo and Woolworths Mobile in recent times. While Optus snuck in to nab the top spot not so long ago, this category is back to Woolworths Mobile again this month with the better-value Pre-paid Mobile $40 Recharge.

Prepaid plans don’t tend to be as perky as their SIM Only counterparts, which is why we love seeing the many inclusions of this Woolworths Mobile winner on top of the $40-per-30-day price. For starters, this plan’s 52GB of data is served on the widespread Telstra wholesale network. This Woolworths Mobile plan also comes with unlimited talk and text to 22 selected countries, 500GB of data rollover (up from 300GB), plus you can gift data to eligible Woolworths Mobile customers. Our favourite perk, though, is 10% off a Woolies grocery shop once a month.

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

Best big-data 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

While we keep the winners of this category capped at $50 per recharge, we sometimes lean towards Prepaid plans with a stack of data. In the past, we’ve pushed that self-imposed spend limit for plans that offer up to 100GB of data. This month, though, we’re deferring to better first-year value.

It helps that TPG has recently refreshed its plans, too. The TPG 60GB Mobile Plan costs $20 per month initially for 60GB of data. From month seven, this TPG Prepaid plan reverts to its typical $40 monthly pricing. Get in before 26 October 22 with a compatible 5G handset, and you can take advantage of a 5G network trial. That’s the only real perk, though. For a perkier alternative, consider the Gomo $35 Mobile Plan.

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

Best long-expiry Prepaid plan

Boost Mobile $300 Prepaid

pro
Pros
pro Telstra 5G network
pro 40GB bonus data
pro Unlimited calls to 20 countries
con
Cons
con Average dollar-to-data value
con 240GB renewal data
con Light on perks

Typically, the Kogan Mobile Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan wins this category because it has excellent dollar-to-data value. And if you want stacks of data to play with, that Kogan Mobile plan has the most for Prepaid plans in our comparison engine (486GB). Still, it’s expensive at $529.90 per year (up from $300 for 500GB).

Because of that price, our winner this month is the Boost Mobile $300 Prepaid plan. That $300 12-month fee includes 240GB of base data and 40GB of bonus data for the first year (just get in by 26 September 2022), with great speeds thanks to the Telstra 5G network. That works out to just over 23GB a month, which is enough for most Prepaid users. This Boost Mobile plan also comes with unlimited calls to 20 selected dialling destinations, plus 3,600 minutes to a further 30 selected countries (basically, 300 minutes per month).

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

Best budget Prepaid plan

Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 18GB

pro
Pros
pro Low ongoing pricing
pro 18GB data
pro Optus 4G network
con
Cons
con No real perks
con International calls cost extra
con 30 days could be a month

Paying $15 or less for a Prepaid plan tends to mean you don’t get a lot of data. But that isn’t the case with the Catch Connect 30 Day Plan – 18GB. For $15 per 30-day recharge, you get 18GB of data, which is a solid ongoing Prepaid price for the Optus 4G network.

Admittedly, paying around $15 for a plan does mean you shouldn’t really expect any perks, and you’ll have to pay $5 a month extra if you want 100 minutes to 32 selected dialling destinations. If you do fancy a cheap Prepaid plan with some perks, consider the Gomo $15 Mobile Plan, which comes with 8GB of data, 200GB of data rollover and WiFi calling.

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 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 is the Coles Prepaid $20 for 30 Days plan, which offers unlimited international calls to 15 countries.

This month, we still fancy the Lebara $49.90 Extra Large Plan. The Lebara winner comes with unlimited talk and text to 60 selected countries, plus 300 minutes to 16 selected dialling destinations, and 50 minutes to a further 10 countries. International inclusions aside, this winning Lebara plan also comes with 80GB of data to use every 30 days. Sign up and activate by 31 October 2022 to score 20GB of bonus data, which can be used every 30 days or stored in a 200GB data bank.

Below is a daily updating list of some of the most 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).

Most popular Telstra Prepaid plan

Boost $30 Prepaid

Not so long ago, Prepaid users on the Telstra network had shuffled away from Boost Mobile, but the Boost $30 Prepaid plan is back yet again to reclaim its undisputed popularity at the start of this month. That $30 recharge price happens every 28 days for 20GB of data, though you also score 20GB of bonus data on the first three recharges (just get in by 26 September 2022). You can roll over data from one recharge to the next (though not in perpetuity), plus this Boost 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.

Most popular Optus Prepaid plan

Amaysim $30 Unlimited Plan

Typically, Optus Prepaid takes out the most popular spot at the start of the month. This month, though, Amaysim has edged out a win with its $30 Unlimited Plan. This Prepaid plan comes with 30GB of data for $30 per 28-day recharge. Sign up by 30 September 2022, though, and you get a bonus 25GB of data on the first recharge plus a $9 first-recharge cost.

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

Most popular Vodafone Prepaid plan

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 at the start of the month. 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 with a reasonable price.

Prepaid FAQs

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

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.
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).
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.

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.

With Prepaid plans, you pay for the calls, texts and data you think you will need before using them. Postpaid plans, on the other hand, 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).

Both offer their own peace of mind. Prepaid mobile plans simply restrict your network access when you’ve burned through your data, whereas excess usage on a Postpaid plan will result in additional charges on your bill at the end of the month. But 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.

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).
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.

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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