Which Telstra recharge offers the best value?

Stacking up Telstra prepaid, BYO and MVNO deals
  • Telstra $50 Pre-Paid Max

    Best value recharge

    4.5 out of 5 overall
    28GB per 42-day recharge
  • numobile Medium

    Best MVNO alternative

    3.75 out of 5 overall
    30GB for $30 p/mth
  • Telstra $60 Medium

    Best BYO alternative

    4.5 out of 5 overall
    60GB for $60GB p/mth

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, 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? Let’s take a look.

Telstra prepaid plans and recharge options

Telstra prepaid recharges can cost you anywhere between $10 and $300 depending on your data usage needs.

The best value recharge comes at $50 for 28GB per 42-day recharge. It’s only slightly better value than the $40 for 20GB deal but it’s better value, nonetheless. There’s also a limited-time deal that scores you an additional 15GB (for a total of 43GB) for the first three recharges (deal expires 17 February 2020).

At its cheapest, a $10 Telstra recharge will get you 2GB of data, unlimited standard calls and text to national and select international numbers, data-free sports streaming (AFL, AFLW, NRL and more), data-free Apple Music and access to Telstra Air Wi-Fi. The catch is it expires every 7 days, meaning you’re really paying roughly $40 per month for 8GB of data.

At the other end of the price range, you can spend $300 for 150GB with all the previously mentioned inclusions and an additional 100 minutes to countries outside of the unlimited zone. This one has a 12-month expiry, so you can use your 150GB at your own pace. If you break it down, it’s roughly equivalent to $25 for 12.5GB per month. That’s not a bad deal, and the long-expiry is a great feature for some but power users are going to want more monthly data.

Telstra BYO vs Telstra prepaid

This is where things become a little more complicated. If you’re looking to stick below $60 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 $60 Medium Mobile plan offers more value than any of the prepaid plans above.

Telstra’s $50 recharge offers more value than the closest comparable BYO plan, the $50 Small SIM plan, which comes with 15GB of data per month, but paying an extra $10 per month for the $60 Medium plan will nab you a sumptuous 60GB of data to use on the Telstra 4G network (plus a free 5G trial that expires June 2020 and bonus Telstra Plus points). And if 60GB per month is just the entree in your eyes, you can feast on 100GB per month with Telstra’s $80 Large SIM Plan.

Telstra vs MVNOs

Lastly, it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to sign-up with Telstra to access the Telstra 4G network. There is a long list of Telstra MVNOs that offer budget access to the big blue’s premium coverage. Here’s just a small selection of popular Telstra MVNO plans sorted by value and how they stack up against Telstra.

Where can I buy a Telstra 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 24×7.

Recharge online

Whether you’ve purchased a recharge in-store or online, head to https://recharge.telstra.com and enter your prepaid Telstra 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 prepaid Telstra 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.

Recharge over the phone

If you prefer to do business over the phone, you can call #101#. That’s a free call from prepaid Telstra mobiles. Once you get through, just follow the prompts and either enter your pre-purchased voucher number or select an alternate payment method.

Recharge Telstra 24×7 app

Telstra’s 24×7 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.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

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