Go to Reviews.org US Edition
Here are the best Telstra prepaid plans and recharges
Stacking up Telstra prepaid, BYO and MVNO deals.
Telstra’s market-leading network has always been a bit of a luxury for metropolitan users and an expensive necessity for some rural areas. That’s always been the appeal of Telstra’s prepaid range. Access to Australia’s biggest mobile network at a fraction of the cost with no long-term commitments. But the line between postpaid and its prepaid is blurrier than ever (especially after Telstra's move to Upfront plans), with most big providers opting for flexible BYO plans with buckets of data. So are you better off on a bill, should you stick with a trusty Telstra recharge or should you try out a Telstra MVNO? Before we dive into Telstra's prepaid plans and recharge options, let's take a look at the most popular prepaid offers from Telstra and its various MVNOs:
Telstra prepaid plans and recharge options
Telstra prepaid recharges can cost you anywhere between $10 and $300 depending on your data usage needs. All plans come with unlimited standard calls and text to national numbers and recharges over $30 come with international call minutes to selected destinations. Telstra prepaid plans last for 28 days, six months or 365 days, depending on your preference. Check them out below.
Telstra prepaid vs Telstra MVNOs
It’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to sign-up with Telstra to access the Telstra 4G network. While only Telstra and Boost Mobile have access to the full 4G network (which covers 99.4% of the population), most Telstra Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have access to Telstra's wholesale network, which still looks after an impressive 98.8% of the population. These days, you've also got Telstra 5G to consider. At the time of writing, Telstra doesn't offer 5G access to any of its MVNOs.
To see how the Telstra and Telstra Wholesale networks compare, check out the coverage map below:
Keen to give one of the little guys a go? Here’s just a small selection of popular Telstra MVNO plans sorted by value and how they stack up against the real deal.
Telstra SIM-only vs Telstra prepaid
This is where things become a little more complicated. If you’re looking to spend below $50 per month, prepaid is the best choice for you. But if you’re data-hungry and willing to stretch your budget a little, Telstra’s Upfront SIM-only plans should cater for your gluttonous ways.
They all come with the added bonus of no excess data charges, meaning once you've used up your data, you'll still be able to access the internet (albeit at the super slow speed of 1.5Mbps). All plans except for the cheapest also include 5G access, so you can get lightning-fast downloads at no extra cost. Yes, Telstra SIM-only plans are a little dearer, but you may find the extra data and added goodies well worth it.
Here's a full list of Telstra's Upfront SIM-only options.
Telstra prepaid phones
Few prepaid providers these days offer handsets along with your plan, but Telstra isn't one of them. They've got a decent selection of prepaid phones to choose from, including (at the time of writing), the Apple iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy A12 and A21s, the OPPO A5 (2020) and a handful of Telstra's own Blue Tick phones (e.g. Telstra Evoke Pro 2 and Evoke Plus 2).
See below for a selection of Telstra prepaid phones currently available.
Where can I buy a Telstra prepaid recharge?
Telstra scored high for customer service options in our mobile provider analysis, meaning there’s a bunch of ways you can recharge your prepaid service. Including online, over the phone, or in-app with Telstra 24x7.
Whether you’ve purchased a recharge in-store or online, head to https://recharge.telstra.com and enter your Telstra prepaid mobile number. You will then be asked to either enter your pre-purchased voucher or select one of the recharges listed above.
If you’re browsing from your Telstra prepaid smartphone, you can access the Telstra mobile site m.telstra.com free of charge (even if you’ve used all your data) and top-up from there.
If you prefer to do business over the phone, you can call #101#. That’s a free call from Telstra prepaid mobiles. Once you get through, just follow the prompts and either enter your pre-purchased voucher number or select an alternate payment method.
Recharge via the Telstra 24x7 app
Telstra’s 24x7 app allows you to manage all of your Telstra services in one place. The Android and iOS apps allow you to check usage, pay your bill, recharge your prepaid service and more. This option is particularly handy for parents who need to recharge their kids’ prepaid Telstra accounts remotely. Say if your child is stuck at the beach because they spent their last $5 on potato scallop roll.