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The best family mobile phone plans for sharing the love (and data)
Family mobile phone plans, bundles and data-sharing options for you and yours.
Looking for the best mobile plan for your family? Once upon a time, Australian mobile and broadband providers would bend over backwards for your patronage, offering great TV bundles and family mobile phone plans for multiple plans that let you bring all your bills under a single account.
These days, bundles and family plans are far less common but there are a handful of providers still catering to you and yours. Even for providers that don’t offer family plans, there are still ways you save with options like data sharing from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
- : ALDI Mobile Family Plans
- : Optus Family Plan
- : Vodafone Mobile Bundle Discounts
- : Telstra Mobile Data Sharing and Bundles for Families
- : Belong Mobile
- : Woolworths Mobile
- : Yomojo
- : More
- : Tangerine
Do telcos offer family mobile phone plans?
Few providers offer true family plans but some still offer decent data sharing.
Yes, but every provider’s definition of a family plan is different.
There are family mobile phone plans where you get multiple SIMs with shared inclusions for a single cost (e.g. ALDI Mobile and Optus) then there are “family” plans, which are just your standard data-sharing options repackaged as a family offer. So while we're talking bona fide family plans here, we'll also touch on the next best thing offered by alternative providers. And if you're looking for the best phone plans for kids, specifically, you can read more about that here.
Before we take a closer look at your options, here's a breakdown of the top seven most popular plans with at least 20GB of data that allow data sharing or data gifting for families.
Family mobile phone plans
Currently, only ALDI Mobile and Optus offer unique family mobile phone plan arrangements where you can bundle multiple devices and phone numbers under a single plan with shared usage and costs. If that's what you're after, you'll have to go with one or the other.
As for which we think is better value...
Best family mobile plan
ALDI Mobile family plans
As one of our most highly recommended Telstra MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), ALDI Mobile gets a head-start by offering outstanding prepaid value on the Telstra wholesale network. It also so happens to be one of the only providers offering true family plan discounts.
There are three family mobile phone plans offered by ALDI Mobile at $45 for 44GB and two users, $80 for 88GB and four users and $110 for 132GB and six users. If you do the math, those deals are very decent. The $45 Family Plan works out at $22.50 for 22GB per month per user, the $80 Family Plan works out at $20 for 22GB per user and the $110 plan works out at $18.33 for 22GB per user.
Each plan includes a total data pool that each user shares. So if one family member has a stronger appetite for data than the others, it will be deducted from the overall family data pool (rather than an excess charge or top-up fee). The account owner can also set individual usage limits if one member of the family is using more than their fair share of data.
Take a look at the most popular individual phone plans from ALDI Mobile to compare them against the family value plans.
Is coverage your biggest concern?
ALDI Mobile is just one of the many affordable MVNOs using the Telstra network. Check out our guide below for a breakdown of every Telstra MVNO and their offerings.
Next best family mobile plan
Optus Mobile Family Plan
Optus's family plan isn't quite as generous or flexible as its ALDI Mobile alternative, but it's the next best thing. Priced at $165 per month, it's a family-sized mobile plan that covers up to four users and comes with 320GB of shared data. This works out to be $41.25 per user for 80GB apiece. It also includes unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers plus access to the McAfee Safe Family app, which usually costs $8.99 per month.
Not only is the Family Plan cheaper per user than a quarter of $49 Optus Choice Plus accounts, but each user also gets over double the amount of monthly data than they would on the standalone plan. When it’s time to add another SIM to your litter, you can simply add another mobile SIM for an additional $29 per month. This doesn't get you any extra data, however, so you'll be sharing your total pool between five.
Here’s a quick summary of the most popular individual Optus plans for comparison:
In a sense, yes. The plans listed below from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all offer some variation of what's commonly called 'endless data'.
Endless data plans offer an allotted amount "max speed" data (your included data amount). Once you exceed that amount of data, you can continue to use your smartphone's internet connection but your download speeds crawl to a painfully slow 1.5Mbps on most plans.
There's also a new provider on the block, felix mobile, which offers endless data with a generous 20Mbps speed cap at just $35 per month. That said, each member of the family would need to have their own individual felix plan, which could become costly very quickly.
Vodafone Mobile data sharing and bundle savings
Discounts for multiple services
For Australia’s premium budget telco Vodafone, the data-sharing system is almost the same as Telstra’s with one key difference: Vodafone offers discounts for multiple services on one account.
For example, four $45 SIM plans on the same account get a total of 160GB to share across each device. But thanks to Vodafone’s Bundle and Save system, each of the four plans would be discounted by 15%, costing $38.25 per month each ($153 in total). $153 for 160GB is pretty good value.
Vodafone’s Bundle and Save discounts are available on the postpaid phone, tablet, and mobile broadband plans. Here’s every Bundle and Save discount through Vodafone:
- 2 plans: 5% off each plan
- 3 plans: 10% off each plan
- 4 plans: 15% off each plan
- 5 or more plans: 20% off each plan
Note that the discount doesn't apply to handset repayments.
Data sharing for families
Australian providers that offer data-sharing between family members
When there’s a will there’s a way and in the case of providers that don’t offer Family mobile phone plans, the way is through data sharing. Telstra, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile, More, Tangerine and Belong might not offer traditional family mobile plans but they do offer data sharing across devices on the same account.
Telstra mobile data sharing for families and bundle plans
Telstra’s current range of Upfront SIM plans all offer data sharing. Essentially, that means you can sign up for a big data plan and multiple cheaper plans to access one combined pool of data. For example, say one family member signs up for the 180GB $68 Upfront plan and two others sign up for the 40GB $58 Upfront plan. That gives you 260GB to share with the family for $184 per month in total. It’s not cheap but Telstra still charges a premium for its market-leading network coverage (which is even more valuable now that Telstra’s 5G rollout has begun).
In addition, Telstra customers on the $68 per month Upfront plan or better can add up to five discounted plans to their account. You can pick between a $47 per month mobile plan with 15GB or a $10 per month mobile broadband plan with 10GB.
On the face of it, $47 for 15GB might not seem great, but if you want to keep your whole family with Telstra, the maths checks out.
Telstra's cheapest Upfront plan is currently $58 per month and includes 40GB of data. It's also speed capped at 250Mbps. If you were paying for two, you'd be looking at $116 per month with a shared data pool of 80GB.
Alternatively, if you take up the $68 per month plan and the bundle plan, you're looking at $115 per month with a shared data allowance of 195GB. You're also not subject to the speed cap. While this is only a small saving, you get more than twice the data to share. This trend continues even when you max out the number of bundle plans you add.
Customers on bundle plans can also get a new device. Just note that if you cancel or downgrade the $68 per month Upfront plan, you'll stop being eligible for bundles.
Belong Mobile data gifting
Belong doesn't offer data sharing or family mobile phone plans, but does have data gifting. If you have spare data, you can gift to it any other customer on Belong, whether they're a friend or family member.
Even better, Belong allows unlimited data banking - and that includes gifted data. So, theoretically, if one person in the family didn't use much data at all, they could either send it to another family member or keep it for a rainy day.
Belong now has access to the Telstra 5G network, but speeds are capped at 100Mbps on all of its mobile plans.
Best data gifting plan on the Telstra network
There's also Woolworths Mobile. Yet another Telstra MVNO, Woolies doesn’t offer family plans or bundles per se but it does offer great value on the Telstra wholesale network and data gifting on all plans of up to 50% of your included data. However, data can only be gifted in 1GB increments and cannot be regifted. Still, anything unused will roll over into your 500GB data bank for future use, which is a bonus.
Woolworths Mobile also offers 10% off your grocery shop (up to $500) once per month. That’s a potential saving of $50 per month depending on the size of your monthly shop.
Woolworths Mobile's overall value makes it a constant front-runner in our recommendations for the best mobile phone plans every month.
Optus MVNO Yomojo offers a discount if you take up multiple prepaid plans from it. It's not quite the same thing as the Family mobile phone plans found through ALDI Mobile and others, but it's a decent way to save. Discounts start at 5% with two plans and go as high as 15% with six plans.
Here's the full breakdown:
- 2 plans: 5% off each plan
- 3 plans: 7.5% off each plan
- 4 plans: 10% off each plan
- 5 plans: 12.5% off each plan
- 6 plans: 15% off each plan
Data is not shared between SIMs.
More Mobile data gifting
As with Belong, More doesn't offer full-blown data sharing or dedicated family mobile phone plans but it does cater to those looking for data gifting. If you have spare gigabytes kicking around, you can give them to a friend or family member, so long as they're with More.
There are a few catches here. You can only gift up to half of your standard monthly data allowance, there's a gifting minimum of 1GB per transaction and you cannot give away any bonus data.
More mobile plans typically include access to the Telstra 3G and 4G networks, but some plans do include 5G. However, speeds are capped at 100Mbps on all of its 4G mobile plans and 250Mbps for the provider's 5G offering.
Tangerine Mobile data gifting
Tangerine is another Telstra-backed MVNO that offers data gifting. As with the alternatives above, you can send that excess to a family or friend.
That said, Tangerine's take on this particular perk comes with many of the same constraints. You have to be gifting to another Tangerine customer, you have to be giving away more than 1GB, you can't offload any bonus data and you're capped at 50% of your standard data allowance.
Still, for some, this might make a lot of sense as a way to use up the generous amount of data that a Tangerine SIM-only plan gets you.
Family Plan FAQs
Telstra does not currently offer traditional family mobile phone plans bundles but recently moved to offer bundling options for its mobile customers that allow them to add up to five discounted "family plans" to their account.
Not always. However, depending on your data needs, a family plan might be a budget-friendly option when it comes to keeping you and your household connected.
For example, Optus' family plan gives you 320GB to use across four users. Getting a comparable 100GB per month on a mobile plan from the same provider would ordinarily cost you around $59 per account. That works out to be a significantly higher total of around $236 per month (though it does work out to an extra 80GB of data).
So long as the individuals sharing your family mobile plan aren't regularly exceeding the data allowance, then it does come out to be a little cheaper than the alternative. However, if your household is a little more hungry for data than dollars then it might be worth investigating one of the data gifting plans we've included above.
When it comes to bundling your monthly bills with family mobile phone plans, our pick of the lot is ALDI. This provider offers not one but three different family plans, all of which are competitively priced and run on the Telstra network.
The number of devices and lines you can have on a family plan depends on the provider and how the mobile plan is structured. For instance, Optus' family plan supports up to four users (with extra users able to be added at $29 per month) while Telstra's family plans cost $47 per extra user.