How to Check your Phone Plan Balance

check phone plan balance

Who should check their phone plan balance?

Everyone should know how to check their phone plan balance. As long as you have an active phone plan, it is highly important that you know how to check your plan balance.

Checking the balance of any aspect of a phone plan, be it voice, messages, or data, is grossly overlooked. While deemed unimportant, it is one of the most essential aspects of operating on a mobile network.

By knowing and monitoring your plan balance, a slew of avoidable charges and accidents over your mobile network usage can be avoided.

You can check your plan balance on all telcos.

Telcos offer several ways for customers to check their balance. Source

What are the benefits of checking?

There are numerous benefits to checking your data bundle, such as:

  • Avoiding steep overage charges
    According to Deloitte, 43% of Australians exceed their monthly data allowances — and on a regular basis. Collectively, overage charges Incurred on a monthly basis could add up to millions of dollars.By checking your phone balance, you can avoid incurring excess charges on data, voice calls, and all forms of messaging. Although all Australian telcos are required to notify their subscribers via text when they have burned through 50%, 85% and 100% of their data, these messages do not always come in real time. While some do come in real time, some are received as much as 48 hours later. This is enough time to burn through more chunks of data that may put you over your plan quota.
  • Review of expenditure
    Checking your plan balance regularly can help you gain a full grasp of how your minutes, messages, and data are really spent. Gaining an understanding of this makes it easier to describe what exactly you need on your phone plan, and how much of it.

What are the methods of checking your plan balance?

Each telco provides different was to check any aspect of a phone plan. Here are some of the most common ways:

  • The phone company’s self-service app;
  • The telco’s call centre;
  • SMS; and
  • SMS; and

The phone company’s self-service app

Each of Australia’s ‘big three’ telcos (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone), alongside a slew of MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) have mobile apps for their services. Where these apps allow customers to perform a number of plan and account-related tasks without having to contact the telco, they’re referred to as self-service apps.

On these self-service apps, subscribers can recharge their plan, pay their bills, check their phone plan balance, etc.

With each telco, the app and steps to checking your balance may differ. However, they can all be accessed on the platform.

What are the benefits of using the app vs. other ways of checking your plan balance?

Here are some of the benefits of self-service apps:

  • Real time results — With mobile self-service apps, subscribers can access real-time usage results of any aspect of their phone plan. Unlike text message results which may be delayed by several minutes or hours, apps give subscribers completely accurate readings of their mobile plan.
  • Usage breakdown — Subscribers can gain access to usage breakdowns when they view their balances — particularly data — from the mobile application. With the application, users can detect how their data is spent, on what applications/services and even access daily breakdowns of usage.
  • 24/7 availability — Unlike other methods such as call centres and going physical stores that may only operate at certain times of the day, self-service apps give subscribers round-the-clock access to their plan balances.

Calling the telco’s call centre

By putting a call through to the network’s customer care line, subscribers can easily check their plan balances. Each telco has its own unique number, which can be contacted with a registered SIM card on the network.

Send an SMS

By sending an SMS or typing in a USSD code on a registered phone number on the mobile network, you can access the balance of your phone plan. As with call centres, each telco has its own unique number and process.

Go to a physical store

The option of going to a physical store is majorly limited to larger telcos such as Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Most MVNOs (think Amaysim, Woolworths), do not have physical stores where consumers can visit.

Final words: Which option is the best?

Self-service apps present the most convenient option for checking your plan balance. These apps are also quick, when compared to other methods such as call centres which will require you wait on the line for a while before reaching a human customer care representative, and brick-and-mortar stores which require your physical presence and may only operate at certain times.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.