Stacking up Telstra prepaid, BYO and MVNO deals.
Here are the best Telstra prepaid plans and recharges
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?
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.While not every Telstra-backed MVNO offers 5G access, some (like Woolworths Mobile) do. To see how the Telstra and Telstra Wholesale networks compare, check out our in-depth comparison or 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 on a budget, in a hurry and just looking to spend less than $50 per month on your mobile plan, prepaid is probably going to be the best choice for you.
That said, if you’re data-hungry and willing to stretch your budget a little, Telstra’s Upfront SIM-only plans are more than able to cater to your gluttonous need for data. These plans 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 right now there's a good chance you may find the extra data and added goodies well worth it.
Here's a full list of Telstra's Upfront SIM-only options.
Vodafone prepaid plans and recharges
The essential info on Vodafone Prepaid plans, including what’s on offer, pricing, recharge options and the recharge process.
Telstra prepaid phones
Few prepaid providers these days offer handsets along with your plan, but Telstra is one of them. They've got a decent selection of prepaid phones to choose from, including (at the time of writing) the Samsung A13 4G and 5G, the Nokia C30 and G20, the ZTE Blade A52, the Oppo A16s, the Vivo Y55 and the Vivo Y21s.
Telstra also field their own roster of Blue Tick phones, including:
- Telstra Essential Pro 3
- Telstra Essential 2
- Telstra Lite 3
- Telstra Smart 4
- Telstra Essential Smart 2.1
- Telstra Flip 3
- Telstra EasyCall5
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 top up your Telstra prepaid connection 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
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.
Most popular prepaid plans in Australia
Telstra prepaid mobile plans not buttering your bread? Check out the most popular prepaid plans for the last week in Australia. This list is updated every week with the latest deals, including Optus prepaid plans and Vodafone prepaid plans.
Optus prepaid plans and recharges: Are they the best value?
It all depends on how often you use your phone.
You cannot get unlimited data on a Telstra prepaid plan, nor can you get the excess speed-capped data available on the provider's postpaid SIM-only plans.
If you're looking for the options that offer the most data, your best bet is likely to be the $60 Telstra Prepaid Mobile plan as it includes 60GB per recharge for the first three months. After that point, it'll fall to 40GB. However, if you're sticking with it for the long-run, you do get a little more for your money than the more expensive $300 Telstra Prepaid Mobile plan.
Telstra recharge vouchers can be bought digitally via the Telstra website or physically via a Telstra store.
Want to confirm how much data you have left before you need a Telstra top up? There are three ways to do so.
The first and fastest way to do this is via the My Telstra website. Once you've logged in, head to the Services section of the site and you should able to view the status of your account.
A Telstra prepaid balance can also be checked via the My Telstra app. As with the website, all you need to do is to go to the services section, select your pre-paid service and view your balance.
Lastly, if you're in a pinch or don't have access to the internet, you can check your prepaid balance over the phone by dialing #100# on your device and following the prompts.