The best Prepaid plans available in January 2021

TPG nabs the top spot for best value Prepaid plan, while Telstra offers some great Prepaid perks.
  • Best value overall

    TPG

    Deal: $20 for first three months
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    55GB p/recharge
    $20 p/month recharge
  • Best budget Prepaid

    iiNet Mobile

    Deal: $10 for first six months
    5 out of 5 overall
    6GB p/recharge
    $10 p/month recharge
  • Best Prepaid perks

    Telstra

    Deal: 17GB bonus data
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    30GB p/recharge
    $30 p/recharge
  • Best long-expiry

    Kogan Mobile

    Deal: 14% off usual price
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    500GB p/recharge
    $285 p/365-day recharge
  • Best big data

    Amaysim

    Deal: $15 for first recharge
    4 out of 5 overall
    80GB p/recharge
    $50 p/recharge
Recent Updates: 1 week ago
Popular Prepaid picks remain mostly unchanged at the start of 2021, but TPG and Telstra take out the top spots for best value and best perks categories.
1 month ago
The two big changes for the start of the month are TPG offering some fantastic value and iiNet killing it with a data-packed budget Prepaid plan.
2 months ago
Best value, best budget, and best big-data Prepaid plans are all taken out by amaysim after some recent data buffs, while best perks goes to a new Woolworths Mobile plan this month.
Less than 6 months
While the popular Prepaid picks between months remain the same for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, four of the five other remaining categories have new winning plans from amaysim, Woolworths Mobile and Lycamobile.
Less than 6 months
Half of our eight categories have changed for September, with a tweaked amaysim plan offering plenty of data at a great price (scoring double category wins) and a couple of change-ups for the most popular Prepaid plans with Telstra and Optus.
Less than 6 months
Five of our eight categories have newcomer victors, including a double appearance from data-loving Lebara.
More than 6 months
This July, we've revamped our prepaid plan round-up to include the best perks and deals on the market, as well as the most popular MVNO picks on each network.
More than 6 months
ALDI Mobile takes the top spot again with its $25 recharge option.
More than 6 months
In May, TPG takes the top spot for best everyday prepaid plan while ALDI Mobile continues to reign in the best Telstra MVNO category.
More than 6 months
In April, TPG takes the top spot for best everyday prepaid plan while Aldi Mobile continues to reign in the best Telstra MVNO category.

There’s no better way to embrace the ‘new year, new you’ motif than with a shiny new Prepaid plan. And while a handful of categories remain unchanged between the leap from the end of 2020 to the start of 2021, those seeking great value or plenty of perks can embrace our new picks from TPG and Telstra, respectively.

Outside of those two category changes, iiNet continues to impress with its Mobile 6GB Plan for those looking for a chunk of data on a budget, and Amaysim still has the best big-data pick for monthly Prepaid users in its $50 Unlimited Plan. Meanwhile, Kogan’s Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan has even better pricing (if you get in quick) and more data for those seeking a great value long-expiry Prepaid plan.

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Prepaid recharge durations

When is a month not a month? When it comes to a telco’s understanding of a month in Prepaid terms. TPG offers an actual month for its Prepaid plans, which means it’s the same day every recharge whether the month has 28 days or 31 days. Telcos like amaysim treat a month as 28 days, while others like ALDImobile offer 30-day recharge periods. When determining first-year value in our comparisons, we count 30-day recharges 12 times and 28-day plans 13 times.

Things get slightly more complicated with Vodafone offering 35-day Prepaid recharges and Optus stretching that to 42 days.

From here, there’s a massive jump to six months, like those Prepaid plans offered by TPG, 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 UNLIMITED 120GB Long Expiry from amaysim.

Best value Prepaid plan

TPG Extra Large Plan

TPG Extra Large Plan at a glance:

  • $39.99 per month
  • First three months $20 apiece
  • 55GB data
  • Vodafone network

In December, TPG took out the top pick for best value Prepaid plan with its TPG Large Plan. While that value is still great, the dollars-to-data ratio for a monthly Prepaid plan is even better if you’re willing to spend more on the TPG Extra Large Plan. Normally, the TPG Extra Large Plan costs $39.99 per month – an actual month, by the way; not the 28-day or 30-day logic of other telcos – but it only costs $20 a month for the first three recharges ($419.91 first-year cost).

That price nets you 55GB of data, which is a fair chunk for everyday use (and beyond) on the Vodafone 4G network. While the dollars-to-data value is great, TPG Prepaid plans don’t tend to come with perks outside of promotional pricing.

Below, you can see a list of the five most popular Prepaid plans this month (updated daily).

Best perks Prepaid plan

Telstra $30 Pre-Paid Complete

Telstra $30 Pre-Paid Complete at a glance:

  • $30 per 28 days
  • 8GB data
  • 17GB bonus data (first three recharges)
  • International calls
  • Data rollover
  • Data-free streaming
  • $5 credit
  • 5G access
  • Telstra network

Telstra tends to be the telco Prepaid users look to for a far-reaching mobile network with robust support. When it comes to perky Prepaid plans, that space tends to be dominated by whatever Woolworths Mobile is offering. But not this month. The Telstra $30 Pre-Paid Complete plan isn’t particularly perky at first glance on its top-level merits: $30 per 28 days for 8GB of data ($390 first-year cost).

Get in by 1 February 2021, though, and you’ll score 17GB of bonus data on your first three recharges. Don’t fret if you don’t use it all: there’s a 200GB data bank for any unused megabytes between recharges. This Telstra Prepaid plan also includes international calls, $5 credit for use on additional international talk and text, as well as 5G network access. Additionally, to help preserve precious megabytes, there’s also data-free streaming from Apple Music as well as on selected sports services.

Best budget Prepaid plan

iiNet Mobile 6GB Plan

iiNet Mobile 6GB Plan at a glance:

  • $19.99 per month
  • First six months $10 apiece
  • 6GB data
  • Vodafone network

For our monthly best-budget Prepaid picks, we tend to look for plans that offer at least 1GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, and cost $10 or less. Sometimes we recommend plans that come with 2GB of data, but this month iiNet Mobile has a killer deal that comes with 6GB of data.

While it normally costs $19.99 per month, new iiNet Mobile customers can pay just $10 a month for the first six months. If you do hang around for 12 months, the first-year cost is $179.94, but we’d absolutely recommend checking this page again in six months to see what other budget Prepaid plans are on offer.

Here are some other great budget-friendly Prepaid picks below with at least 1GB of data as well as unlimited standard national talk and text.

Best big-data Prepaid plan

amaysim $50 UNLIMITED Plan

Amaysim $50 Unlimited Plan at a glance:

  • $50 per 28 days
  • 80GB data
  • Limited-time discount
  • International calls and texts
  • Optus network

In October last year, the Lycamobile Unlimited Plan XL took out the top spot care of 60GB of data as part of a $50 Prepaid plan. In November, December and now again in January, take that same price per 28-day recharge and chuck another 20GB on top of the data count with the Amaysim $50 Unlimited Plan. That $50 per recharge nets you 80GB of data, which you should try to use in a month because there’s no data rollover here.

While this was a limited-time promo last year, Amaysim has kept it around in 2021. While there’s no discount on the first recharge like last year, $50 per 28 days for 80GB of data is great value for plenty of gigabytes ($650 first-year cost). This Amaysim plan also includes unlimited standard calls to mobiles and landlines in 28 countries, plus standard SMS and MMS to 42 countries.

For other big-data Prepaid alternatives with at least 50GB of data, have a gander at the plans below.

Best long-expiry Prepaid plan

Kogan Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan

Kogan Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan at a glance:

  • $285 per 365 days (was $355)
  • 486GB data
  • 14GB bonus data
  • Vodafone network

Long-expiry Prepaid plans suit the person who doesn’t mind forking out a sizeable amount upfront with the promise of not having to think about paying again for months. Or, in the case of this month’s winner, for a year. Kogan has dropped the price of its Extra Large – 365 Day Flex Plan from $529.90 to cover 365 days to a tweaked $355, and if you get in by 10 January, you’ll pay just $285.

Even at that price, it’s a fair chunk of coin to pony up initially, but it works out to under $30 a month. You also get 500GB of data (with 14GB of recently added bonus data) to use throughout the year, which comes to a sizeable 41.5GB-ish each month.

For long-expiry alternatives, check out these popular Prepaid plans below.

Most popular Telstra Prepaid plan

Boost $30 Prepaid

Boost Mobile $30 Prepaid at a glance:

  • $30 per 28 days
  • 20GB data
  • 20GB bonus data (first three recharges)
  • International calls and texts
  • Data rollover
  • Telstra network

Prepaid fans have again stuck with the Boost $30 Prepaid plan this month, which may have something to do with the tweaks to bonus data. While it’s restricted to your first three recharges, this 20GB Prepaid plan packs a bonus 20GB per recharge. The good news is, despite the three-recharge limitation, Boost Prepaid plans come with data rollover, so you can put any leftover data (bonus or regular) towards later months.

Just make sure you recharge before your current 28 days expires to take advantage of this feature, and get in by 1 February 2021 to take advantage of the bonus data. Outside of data, this Boost Prepaid plan still has a $390 first-year cost and includes unlimited standard calls and messaging to 20 selected countries, with 100 minutes, 100 SMS, and 100 MMS to another 35 selected dialling destinations.

Disclaimer: The most popular Prepaid Telstra plans may change throughout the month, but this most popular pick was accurate as of 8 January 2021.

Most popular Optus prepaid plan

Optus Prepaid Epic Data – $30 Recharge

Optus Prepaid Epic Data – $30 Recharge at a glance:

  • $30 per 28 days
  • 10GB data
  • 25GB bonus data (first three recharges)
  • International calls
  • Optus network

Optus has recaptured the attention of purchasers this month after Amaysim snatched the popularity crown a few months ago. At first glance, $30 per 28-day recharge for 10GB of data doesn’t seem like a flash deal ($390 first-year cost). But this Optus Prepaid Epic Data – $30 Recharge plan is very likely popular because of the bonus data.

For the first three recharges, you score a bonus 25GB of data for 35GB in total to use. Unused data can also be banked up to 200GB, so those unused megabytes today can help you out in data-intensive months down the track. This Optus Prepaid plan also includes standard talk and text to 15 selected countries.

The most popular Prepaid Optus plans may change throughout the month, but this most popular pick was accurate as of 8 January 2021.

Most popular Vodafone Prepaid plan

Kogan Large – 365 Day Flex Plan

Kogan Large ¬– 365 Day Flex Plan at a glance:

  • $225 per 365 days
  • 243GB data
  • 7GB bonus data
  • Vodafone network

Normally, the Kogan Large – 365 Day Flex Plan hovers around the $250 pricepoint. While not cheap, that cost covers a full year, which breaks down to just over $20 a month. This long-expiry Kogan Prepaid plan also comes with 250GB data – which includes 7GB of bonus data – so you’ve got just over 20GB of data to use a month, too.

There doesn’t appear to be an expiry date on the 7GB of bonus data, but you’ll need to get in by 11.59pm AEDT on 10 January 2021 to take advantage of $225 promotional pricing. We’d wager that promotional pricing at the start of the new year is why this plan is so popular on the Vodafone network. Once the promo ends, it’s likely the incumbent TPG Small Plan will resurface at the top of this popular-plans list.

Have a look below to see which Prepaid plans are the most popular on the Vodafone network.

The most popular Prepaid Vodafone plans may change throughout the month, but this most popular pick was accurate as of 8 January 2021.

How do I change Prepaid plans?

Switching Prepaid plans and providers is nowhere near as stressful as switching Postpaid plans. The process will be different for every provider but, typically, all that’s required to switch Prepaid “plans” is to select a different recharge type next top-up. Other providers will ask you to switch rate plans via an automated service over the phone, and some let you do it all from their app.

Switching providers is almost as simple, but not quite. If you want to switch providers and keep the same number, make sure you approach your new provider 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 license number).

Where you might run into trouble is using one provider’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 plans available these days) whereas Prepaid plans are low-commitment plans that give you more control over your spending.

With Prepaid plans, you pay for the calls, text 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 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.

Which Prepaid plans allow tethering?

You would be stretched to find a Prepaid provider and plan that doesn’t allow for tethering these days. We reviewed every Australian Prepaid provider and couldn’t find a single provider that didn’t offer tethering on its prepaid plans. The Optus website states that Prepaid tethering is available on “most plans” but we checked with the customer service team who confirmed it was available on every Prepaid plan.

So, here are the prepaid providers that allow tethering:

  • ALDI Mobile
  • amaysim
  • Boost Mobile
  • Coles
  • Dodo
  • Hello Mobile
  • Hive Mobile
  • Jeenee Mobile
  • Kogan Mobile
  • Lebara Mobile
  • Lycamobile
  • Optus
  • TeleChoice
  • Telstra
  • TPG
  • Vodafone
  • Woolworths

What is the best Prepaid plan for international calls?

We’ve already mentioned amaysim’s stunning value on its Prepaid options above but one added bonus you get on these plans is international call and text inclusions. On the highest recharge option, amaysim offers 300 standard international minutes to 22 countries every month (and unlimited standard international calls to another 10 countries). ALDI Mobile also offers unlimited calls to 15 countries and an extra 400 minutes to 35 more countries. Both outstanding, all-rounder Prepaid plans but if international calls are your number one priority, look no further than Lebara

Lebara already offers top data-per-dollar value on its XXL Plan but it also offers unlimited calls to 56 selected countries and an additional $10 for calls to every other zone.

More Prepaid plans

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

Not into recharging every month? Try postpaid

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