You can't choose your family, but you can choose your family plan.
Telstra Family Mobile Plan Bundles explained
There are a couple of ways to bundle your SIM services together if you're looking for a Telstra family plan. The provider offers a bundle type of family plan, and also offers a more streamline data sharing option. You'll need to pay the usual Telstra premium for both of these options, but in this guide we break down exactly how Telstra's shared phone plans work, and whether they are any good for you and your family.
Telstra family plans: Bundling discounts
Telstra has a bundling option for its mobile customers on an "Essential" Upfront plan or better add up to five discounted plans to their account.
Customers paying for a $72 per month Upfront plan (or better) can pick between two discounted plans: a $50 per month mobile plan with 25GB, or a $10 per month mobile broadband plan with 10GB.
Here are Telstra's Upfront mobile plans for are eligible for bundling:
Is the Telstra family plan a good deal?
On the face of it, $50 per month for 25GB is a bad deal, but if you're insistent on keeping the whole family on one Telstra account it may be better value than having seperate SIM-only plans.
All Upfront Plans, including the bundle options have a feature called Data Sharing. Data sharing means every connected SIM draws from a singular pool of data, rather than having its own monthly allowance.
Telstra's cheapest Upfront plan is currently $62 per month and includes 50GB of data. It also has a speed capped of 250Mbps. If you were paying for two, you'd be looking at $128 per month with a shared data pool of 100GB.
Alternatively, if you take up the $72 per month plan and the $50 bundle plan, you're looking at $122 per month with a shared data allowance of 205GB. 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, and every plan still gets unlimited data at 1.5Mbps if you happen to go through it all.
You can add up to five bundle plans onto your account, and the math holds true even when you max it out. If you take the $72 plan and five bundle plans, you're looking at $322 per month with 305GB to share. Alternatively, six of Telstra's cheapest Upfront plans would set you back $372 per month with 300GB.
Here is how the data-to-dollar would look for a family of four using a Telstra family plan vs individual Telstra SIMs.
There is more money to be saved if you're happy to have seperate phone bills for your whole family. Telstra MVNOs (small providers on the Telstra network) offer better data-to-dollar value than Big T does.
Opting for four individual plans with around 50GB of data with these providers will always be a better cost-saving decision than any deal Telstra has to offer.
numobile, and Tangerine both offer 50GB of data for $38/mth on the Telstra wholesale network. You can't share data between these plans like you can with Telstra upfront plans, but the cost saving is significant.
Here is how these plans compare to Telstra's family plan, and Telstra individual SIMs for a family of four.
Below are the best value Telstra MVNO plans with at least 40GB of data.
Telstra data sharing plans
The other Telstra shared phone plan option is a data sharing plan. Similar to the Upfront bundle plan discussed above, these plans take all your data and pool it together for every connected SIM to pull from.
The difference between a Telstra Bundle plan, and a data sharing plan is that you can share data between any Telstra Upfront Plans on the same account - there is no minimum spend. So you could have your whole family on Telstra's cheapest $62/mth plan, and all pull from the same data bank but you wouldn't be eligible to add on the $50/mth bundle plan.
Yes it is confusing, but lets simplify it. If your whole family is with Telstra, then opting for a family bundle plan in the better value option at the current prices.
More providers with data sharing
If Telstra is looking too expensive, but you still want the ease of sharing data then there are a handful of other options. The three big telcos (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone) all offer data sharing as standard across their postpaid plans, but smaller providers on the Telstra network offer similar perks.
Belong, ALDI Mobile, Everyday Mobile, Tangerine, and More all have some way to share your data with people on the same provider. Some offer traditional family plans, other have data sharing and discounts, but the most popular option at the moment is data gifting.
Providers with family SIM plans
ALDI and Optus both offer traditional family phone plans with a shared data pool across a handful of SIMs.
ALDI's plans are simple - how many SIMs you need will determine which plan you should get. You'll pay $55 for 50GB across two SIMs, $95 for 100GB across four SIMs, or $125 for 150GB across six SIMs. Each of these prices are per 30-day renewal, and operate on the Telstra Wholesale network.
Alternatively Optus has a family plan that will cost you $165 per month with 320GB of shared data that will cover up to four users.
Both of these options are better value than picking up individual SIMs with the same providers. Here are the plans for comparison.
Providers with bundle discounts
Vodafone and Yomojo offer bundle discounts up to 20% off your final bill on eligible plans.
Vodafone is the most well known Bundle and Save option, offering 5% off every additional plan up to 20% off total. These plans aren't limited to just SIM plans either, Vodafone NBN, SIM, tablet, and data plans can all stack up the discounts across phone and internet plans. Notably, you can also share data across eligible SIM plans under the same account so the more you opt for Vodafone the better the value becomes.
Yomojo - a prepaid provider on the Optus network - has a similar bundle and save structure. This provider lets you save up to 15% off across six different prepaid plans, but data is not shared between the SIMs.
Here is how the discounts compare side-by-side.
Vodafone Bundle and Save
- 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
Yomojo bundle discounts
- 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
Providers with data gifting
Everyday Mobile (formerly Woolworths Mobile), Belong, More, and Tangerine, all let you gift data to other customers with the provider.
Each of these providers have slightly different gifting rules, but you'll be able to send data in increments of 1GB to others on the network. While it is a less convinient way to share data, it is still a way to keep your family's data footprint down across the board.
Here are the most popular plans from these providers.