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Optus prepaid plans and recharges: Are they the best value?
It all depends on how often you use your phone.
There was a time when prepaid plans ruled supreme. Back in the days of free chat happy hours and dodgy ringtone scams, the lives of Australian teenagers revolved around how much prepaid credit they had in the tank.
The alternative was an expensive and risky phone contract, so many parents looked to prepaid to better manage their talkative teens’ expenses.
These days, the line between postpaid and prepaid is blurrier than ever, and both options offer buckets of data with low-risk excess options.
We’ve taken a look at all the Optus prepaid plans available to find out which is the best value these days and whether or not you’re better off on Optus postpaid.
Optus prepaid plans and recharge options
First, it’s important to work out how much data you’re going to need every month. If you don’t regularly use up your monthly allowance, you might want to consider paying for less data or dropping down to a prepaid option with a longer shelf life, such as a year-long Optus Flex plan.
Optus Epic Data prepaid plans
Optus Epic Data recharges are typically suited to people with moderate data usage habits; if you stream a lot of YouTube or listen to Spotify on your daily commute, this could be you.
The data allowances are probably too small for those who regularly use mobile hotspot feature and tether their mobile to a more data-intensive device, like a laptop or gaming console.
The one catch is that Optus Epic Data has a 28-day recharge cycle, meaning you need to top-up every 28 days, whether you use your allowance or not. Still, whatever you don't use will rollover with up to 200GB of data banking.
If you recharge before expiry, any remaining days will also roll over, up to 84 days.
Optus Flex prepaid plans
The largest part of Optus' prepaid offering is made up from its Flex plans. These start at $1 per day with 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text on 4G, or $2 per day with 2GB of data if you want 5G.
You can pay for these plans day by day, or you can pay for 30 days in advance.
Optus Long Expiry prepaid plans
Optus' Long-Expiry plans now fit under the "Flex" plan label. You can pay for a whole year in advance, but these plans only have 4G connectivity.
Prepaid Optus MVNOs
If you're on the hunt for a prepaid plan from Optus, it's highly likely value is your top priority. If that's true, Optus might not necessarily be your best option. Some of the best-value prepaid plans on the Optus network come from MVNOs like amaysim, gomo and Coles mobile.
Not sure what an MVNO is? Head over to our explainer on Australian MVNOs.
The short version? MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) lease their services from network providers like Optus. They often operate with fewer overheads and charge less for their mobile plans. Optus MVNOs use the same network as Optus so you shouldn't notice any difference in coverage and reception if you opt for an MVNO.
Here's every MVNO that uses the Optus network:
- amaysim (acquired by Optus)
- Aussie Broadband
- Australia Post
- Catch Connect
- Coles Mobile
- Dodo (owned by Vocus Group)
- gomo (Optus sub-brand)
- iPrimus (owned by Vocus Group)
- Moose Mobile
- Southern Phone
- Vaya (acquired by amaysim/Optus)
However, it's important to note that only a few of these providers offer prepaid plans. Take a look at the most popular plans from Optus MVNOs offering prepaid options below.
How do Optus prepaid plans compare to the competition?
Optus have some great value prepaid plans, but they’re by no means the cheapest. Whether you’re after more data or simply want to save a bit of extra cash each month, there are some seriously competitive prepaid options out there with other networks. Here are some of the most popular ones with at least 5GB data per month.
Which Optus recharge offers the best value?
As is typical with mobile plans, Optus prepaid plans tend to give you more value the more you spend. Considering the Optus Epic Data require you to recharge and therefore spend more often, it’s the prepaid option that offers the most data per dollar value.
However, at the moment Optus is offering bonus gigs on the first three Epic Data recharges, which actually flip the old more-money-more-value proposition with each tier getting a flat extra 30GB, making these plans the best value - especially when you factor in data rollover.
Best budget Optus prepaid plan
The best value prepaid plan is its year-long Flex plan. For your first, you'll get 100GB for $150, that you can use across the whole year. You also get unlimited talk and text.
This works out to be the equivalent of $12.50 per month for 8.3GB. The only catch is that you need to pay Upfront, but its hard to find a better deal on Optus.
Optus prepaid phones
Keen to get your hands on a shiny new handset to match your shiny new plan? Take a look below at the list of what phones are available with Optus prepaid plans.
- Optus X Swift 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
- OPPO A16s
- Optus X Lite 4G
- Samsung Galaxy A12
- Realme C2
- Optus X Pro
- Optus X Tap
- Optus X Delight
- Optus X Sight 2
- Optus X Start 2
Optus prepaid vs postpaid: What’s better value?
Now that we’ve pinpointed the best value Optus prepaid plans, let’s move on to comparing it with Optus’ postpaid options. Honestly, the two are pretty neck and neck.
For comparison's sake, we'll look at the $40 Epic Data prepaid plan and the $49 Optus Choice postpaid plan. The prepaid plan comes with more data for your first three recharges, but the postpaid option gets you more data in the long run.
The postpaid plan comes with access to the growing Optus 5G network but the prepaid plan comes with unlimited talk and text to 15 selected destinations. Additionally, the postpaid plan resets every month, but prepaid customers lose out with a slightly shorter 28-day expiry.
Considering the postpaid plan is more expensive, it's all about working out what features mean the most to you.
See our guide on the difference between prepaid and postpaid plans generally for more information. Alternatively, here's a look at Optus' postpaid SIM-only plans.
How can I buy an Optus prepaid plan?
If you’re committed to no commitments, then you’ve probably already made up your mind on prepaid. If you have signed up to Optus prepaid and you want to recharge with one of the plans mentioned above, there’s a number of ways you can go about doing that.
Optus recharge online
If you head over the prepaid section on the Optus website, you will be given two options for topping up: Recharge Now and Download My Optus App (more on that in a tick).
If you click Recharge Now, you will be redirected to a secure payment site where you will be asked to enter the prepaid Optus Mobile number you wish to recharge. Next, you will be asked to choose your payment method; VISA, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, and Vouchers and Gift Cards are all accepted. At this stage, you can also set up Auto Recharge if you’ve got a debit or credit card.
Lastly, you will be asked to select your preferred recharge option and voila. You’re done.
Optus recharge number
If you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone, you can still call Optus to recharge your prepaid plan on 555. Just follow the prompts and select the name of the recharge you want to apply.
My Optus recharge
Lastly, there’s the My Optus app which is surely the most convenient way to recharge a smartphone. If you download the My Optus app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android), the app will register your Optus mobile number, giving you access to user information and top up options. Once you’ve entered your payment details in the app, they are stored there securely, meaning you don’t have to whip out your card every time you want to recharge. You can also check your prepaid credit balance and contact customer service through the app.
Can you recharge an Optus prepaid plan with another prepaid SIM?
Depending on what phone you have, once your Optus prepaid plan runs out, you're free to recharge with whichever provider you like. The benefit of prepaid is that you're not locked into any kind of contract. You will need to change your physical SIM card if you opt to recharge with a different plan or provider though.
It's also worth noting that if you've chosen an Optus prepaid SIM and purchased an Optus brand device to go with it, the devices are often modified in a way to be compatible specifically with the Optus network. Luckily, this means that they'll work with Optus MVNOs.