Best Prepaid Plans January 2020
What are the best prepaid plans available this month?
‘Bill shock’ is a dirty phrase you never need to hear again if you opt for a Prepaid mobile plan instead of a Postpaid alternative. The logic is simple: by investing upfront instead of at the end of the month, you’re in greater control of what you’re spending.
While this logic makes Prepaid an easy go-to option for those who fall into senior or student demographics, it also means there are dollars to be saved for anyone else seeking to avoid a potentially mammoth end-of-month mobile phone bill.
Best Prepaid phone plan for everyday use January 2020
There are many factors that go into determining our monthly victors. The amount of money you’re exchanging for data is certainly paramount for everyday use, but we also compare other considerations that can help a Prepaid plan win a monthly top prize, sometimes in consecutive months.
Take OVO’s Small Mobile Plan, for instance, which includes unlimited talk and text in Australia as standard. On the surface, you’re paying $19.95 per 30-day recharge, which nets you 10GB of monthly data, for a first-year cost of $239.40. Dig a little deeper into this Optus 4G Plus network Prepaid plan and there are some shiny perks. Included Family Zone is great for greater security, while OVOPlay offers live radio and sports streaming.
Get hooked on OVOPlay and you’ll be rewarded outside of unmetered entertainment, too, with extra monthly data gifted based on how often you use the service.
Best Prepaid plan on the Telstra network January 2020
The same best Prepaid plans return for another month of dominance in this Telstra network category. For the cheaper option, look no further than ALDImobile’s L Value Pack $25. That $25 Prepaid cost operates on a 30-day recharge cycle and includes 18GB of data a month, which’ll cost $300 for the first year. You’ll also tap into no-expiry data rollover (up to 30GB), while you can also take advantage of unlimited calls and text to 15 selected countries, with 50 bonus SMS and 100 minutes for 35 additional international locations.
Spend $5 more on Boost Mobile’s $30 Prepaid plan to access a smidge more data (20GB per month), including 15GB of bonus data on your first three recharges, albeit on a 28-day recharge logic for a first-year cost of $390. Those first three months of extra data are handy to get your data rollover started, while you can also make use of unlimited SMS and calls to 20 selected countries, alongside 100 standard minutes and SMS to 35 other countries.
Cheapest Prepaid mobile plan January 2020
If you want a dirt-cheap Prepaid plan, scroll down to read more about TPG’s T4G PAYG Plan. But if you want a decent amount of data and call minutes, check out OVO’s Mini Mobile Plan, which takes out our top-spot recommendation once again. For $9.95 per recharge (every 30 days), you’ll score 2GB of data and 500 minutes of standard national calls (alongside unlimited national text) for a first-year cost of $119.40.
Best Prepaid phone plan for high usage January 2020
If you’re wondering why amaysim consistently dominates the high-usage Prepaid category with its $30 UNLIMITED Plan, allow us to break it down for you. You’ll spend $30 per 28-day recharge in exchange for 40GB of data for a first-year cost of $390. Previously, this same amaysim plan used to dominate when it offered 30GB of monthly data.
The catch is you have to sign up before the end of January to score the extra 10GB of data, but that price-per-data is yours for as long as you keep recharging. In terms of that ‘UNLIMITED’ part of the plan name, you’re looking at unlimited standard calls to landlines and mobiles in Australia, unlimited text, as well as unlimited standard international calls to 10 selected international destinations.
For some alternatives to compare it to, you can stick to the Optus 4G Plus network with OVO’s Medium Mobile Plan for $29.95 per 30-day recharge (which costs $359.40 in the first year) and some great perks (scroll up for more about those). Alternatively, for a Telstra mobile network contender, Woolworths Mobile has a 30-day recharge cycle on its Pre-paid Mobile $30 Recharge (first-year cost of $360) for 30GB of data, bundled Family Zone, as well as unlimited calls and text to 22 selected countries.
Best PAYG plan
Maybe you don’t need any data inclusions and would prefer to only pay for what you use or maybe you simply need to park a mobile phone number while you travel abroad, you might be looking for an old-school Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan.
These types of plans aren’t typically associated with great value. In place of inclusions, like a set data or call amount, they offer rates for calls, texts and data that are deducted from the amount you recharge with. For example, if you have a PAYG plan that charges 12c per minute and you recharge with $15, you will have 125 minutes to use (assuming you don’t use any text or data, which each come with their own charges).
The absolute lowest amount of money you can pay per month is $1 with TPG’s PAYG plan. It will cost you $30 upfront to set up the SIM but after that, you will have 50MB of data per month to use and will be charged 9.9c per minute (plus a 10c flagfall fee) for calls and 9.9c per message. That’s incredibly low usage but if you’re after a PAYG plan, that’s probably what you’re after.
How do I change prepaid plans?
Switching prepaid plans and providers is nowhere 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
- Boost Mobile
- Hello Mobile
- Hive Mobile
- Jeenee Mobile
- Kogan Mobile
- Lebara Mobile
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.