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The best phone plans with student discounts
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Your uni days are some of the best you’ll ever have - but they don’t exactly come cheap.
From enrolment fees and textbooks to the many well-deserved post-assessment pints at the uni bar, savings can start to dwindle pretty quickly. Thankfully, most of Australia's big telcos get it, and they’re offering some pretty good discounts to cash-strapped students.
- : Optus
- : Vodafone
- : Boost Mobile
- : Amaysim
We’ll get into the nitty gritty of each provider below. But first, here’s a quick look at the cheapest (and thus, most student-friendly) plans that are available from Australia's three biggest mobile providers.
Best student discount mobile plan overall
All the eligible Optus mobile plans with student discounts are right below. To score your discount, all you have to do is click "Go" next to the plan of your choice and enter the promo code you received from Optus upon checkout.
Optus recently upgraded its student-friendly offering. It used to be that students signing up for a SIM-only plan could score a 10% discount. Now, they get an extra 50GB of monthly data on top of that. As far as student discounts go, the value is clear to see and doesn't invited too many terms and conditions to the party.
To get in on the action, all you have to do is enter your student email at their Student Hub, then apply the promo code they email you at checkout. Too easy.
That said, there is one catch you'll want to keep in mind. This discount expires after 12 months, and can only be used for month-to-month personal plans, the cheapest being the $49 Small Optus Choice plan at $44.10.
Fortunately, Optus' student savings promotion doesn't just apply to selected mobile plans. From time to time, you can also save on selected home internet plans with the telco.
If you're in the market for a 4G internet plan with a student discount, check out the widget below for a round-up of popular Optus 4G Home Internet plans to consider. Just remember to enter the promo code you got from Optus following the instructions above when you're signing up.
Telstra vs Optus vs Vodafone coverage
Three to tango.
Best cheap phone plan student discount
Vodafone used to have a small but great value selection of student discount mobile plans, however, in recent times, it has moved away from focusing on students in favour of making their plans cheaper for everyone.
That said, students seeking special treatment from Australia's third-biggest telco can still score double the usual amount of monthly data on all three of the provider's postpaid mobile plans. That means 80GB (rather than 40GB) for the $45 option, 300GB (instead of 150GB) for the $55 one and 600GB (in leiu of the usual 300GB) for the more expensive $65 option.
Those looking for stricter savings rather than added value can also still get a $5 plan through UniDays.
- The $5 discount only applies to Vodafone plans that are priced $45 or above
- You'll need to head into a Vodafone store with your student ID in tow or verify your UNiDays account via the Vodafone website if you want to sign up online
- The discount only applies to customers signing up for a new service, signing on for an additional service or a handset plan. If you're already a Vodafone customer, you can't get the discount added to your existing plan.
Best coverage phone plan for students
With Telstra themselves no longer offering student discounts, Boost Mobile has become the best option for those after the best coverage at a budget-friendly price.
Boost Mobile customers benefit from full access to the entire Telstra mobile network, which means they get mobile coverage in places that other Telstra-affiliated MVNO providers don't reach. If you're after the best coverage for the least amount of bite into your budget, Boost is hard to beat.
While Boost Mobile is not currently offering any ongoing student discounts akin to those available from Vodafone and Optus, they regularly offer opportunities for students and others to save through promotions that make their already competitively priced mobile plans an even better deal. If you want the best coverage at a competitive price, Boost Mobile is currently the best way to go about it.
Best alternative phone plan student discount
If you're looking to steer clear of the big three, Amaysim might be one of the better options out where when it comes to student discounts. The telco offers a range of student discounts and exclusive SIM-only plans through UNiDays.
How to choose the best mobile provider
The best place to start when looking for your next mobile plan provider is the choice between a SIM-only plan or one that factors in the cost of a brand new device, such as the Apple iPhone 13 or Samsung Galaxy S22. If you're happy with your current device and don't mind sticking with it for longer, you'll have a lot more choice when it comes to providers.
On the other hand, those who want or need a new phone to go with their mobile plan are likely to end up at one of the big three (Telstra, Optus and Vodasfone) as the usual alternatives steer clear of device-based plans.
One you've made that choice, the next thing to look at is data. If you're a heavy data user seeking the best bang for their buck, you may want to install a data usage tracking app on your phone to get a sense of just how much you're already using each month.
After determining how much data you need your next mobile plan to include, the next step is to get a sense of which networks offer the best coverage for your local area. Once you've done that, you should be able to thin and filter the possibilities to hone in a mobile plan that includes as much data as you need at the lowest price, while also giving you the best coverage.
How we choose the best mobile provider for students
Our methodology for choosing the best student phone plans isn't too far off how we think about choosing and recommending mobile and internet plans in general.
However, for the purposes of this guide, we're factoring in student discounts into our comparison of the market. This can change the results in significant ways as not all providers actually offer student-friendly savings options.
More popular mobile plan providers
Outside of the big three, you’ll get some pretty stellar deals without even needing to verify your student status.
Spintel, Circles.Life, Aldi and more all offer 10GB or more for less for under $30 a month. All you’ve got to do is bring your own device and you’re set to stream, video chat and game to your heart’s content. Check out the most popular mobile plans with at least 10GB and under $40 below.