Telstra Prepaid
Review & Comparison

  • Impossibly large prepaid selection
  • Expensive compared to alternatives
  • Innovative plan features inc data rollover
  • But : Last year Telstra suffered multiple network issues

Telstra's Prepaid Plans

Telstra

$30 Pre-Paid Extra

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

2.5GB

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$30.00

Telstra

$40 Pre-Paid Extra

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

5GB

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$40.00

Telstra

$50 Pre-Paid Extra

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

7.5GB

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$50.00

Telstra

$60 Pre-Paid Extra

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

10GB

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$60.00

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Which Competitors Should You Consider?

Optus

Optus My Prepaid Daily Plus

4
Value

$2 a day gets you: unlimited standard national talk and text when you recharge from $10.

Data

500MB

EXPIRY

$2 Daily Level expires at 11.59pm local time. Minimum recharge is $10.

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$2.00

Minimum spend is $10
Kogan Mobile

Kogan SMALL $16.9 - 30 Days

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

1.5GB

EXPIRY

30 days

Network

Vodafone 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$4.90

Kogan Mobile

Kogan MEDIUM $29.9 - 30 Days

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

6GB

EXPIRY

30 days

Network

Vodafone 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$4.90

Boost

Boost $10 Prepaid SIM

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

1GB data

EXPIRY

7 day expiry

Network

4G on the Telstra Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$10.00

Lebara Mobile

Lebara National Plan $29.9

4
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

5GB.

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$14.95

OVO

OVO $14.95

4
Value

$500 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS in Oz

Data

1.5GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$14.95

Lebara Mobile

Lebara $2 Starter

4
Value

Add plan and recharge

Data

Depends on Recharge

EXPIRY

Depends on Recharge

Network

Vodafone 4G

Includes
Starter sim cost

$2.00

Yomojo

Yomojo Unlimited $19.9

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

2GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$19.90

Lebara Mobile

Lebara Mega Plan $39.9

4
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

10GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$39.90

Yomojo

Yomojo Unlimited $29.9

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

4GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$29.90

Optus

Optus Prepaid Ultimate Plus $40

5
Value

Unlimited standard national talk and text

Data

15GB 'MyData' + 10GB Video Streaming.

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$40.00

Optus

Optus Prepaid Ultimate Plus $50

5
Value

Unlimited standard national talk and text

Data

25GB 'MyData' + 10GB Video Streaming.

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$50.00

Optus

Optus Prepaid Ultimate Plus $30

5
Value

Unlimited standard national talk and text

Data

10GB 'MyData' + 10GB Video Streaming.

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$30.00

OVO

OVO $34.95

4
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

8GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$34.95

Boost

Boost $40 Prepaid SIM

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

8GB data

EXPIRY

28 day Expiry

Network

4G on the Telstra Mobile Network

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$40.00

OVO

OVO $44.95

4
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

12GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$44.95

Yomojo

Yomojo Unlimited $49.9

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

10GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$49.90

Yomojo

Yomojo Pay As You Go

3
Value

11c per min voice and 9c per SMS

Data

5c per MB data

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

PAYG

Yomojo

Yomojo Personalised

3
Value

Plan dependent

Data

Plan dependent

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

Plan dependent

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Common questions about Telstra Prepaid

What’s special about Telstra’s prepaid plans ?

Telstra’s prepaid plan range has a number of unique features. Depending on the (specific prepaid) plan you sign up to, you might get:

  • Included sport:
    Telstra’s ‘free’ (for prepaid customers who have a balance of over $30 on selected plans) content / Entertainment is unique and, could, on its own, entice you across. Through their app, you will get one season of AFL, NRL or Basketball when you have an appropriate SIM.
  • Included streamed audio:
    Telstra also offer a 6 month subscription to Apple Music. Streamed audio through this service is free.
  • Remember:
    Both of these entertainment options provide the user with zero rated data.

We explain these, and every other unique Telstra prepaid ‘value add’, in our article, below.

How can I maximize the value in my plan ?

We encourage prepaid shoppers to try alternative service providers to Telstra. One of the best elements of using a Prepaid service is that you are not tied in to a contract. Other providers who resell the Telstra Mobile network will provide better value inclusions.

Consider :

  • Boost Mobile a prepaid provider for plans with relatively large 4G data allocations on the Telstra Mobile Network – now with 4G.)
  • Belong Mobile : A postpaid SIM Only plan provider which also uses the Telstra Mobile Network.

What are Data Top Ups and Plus Packs ?

In a postpaid agreement between you and Telstra, you agree that any services you use, on top of the core arrangement, will be charged to you automatically at the end of the month. For example, if you buy a plan which has just Australian Domestic call minutes (core product) but you want to call overseas this month (you’ll be charged automatically for that at the end of the month.) This is just one of the reasons that postpaid plans can end up being more expensive than prepaid plans.

In prepaid plans, additional services like international calls, calls to satellite numbers, the use of premium SMS numbers etc may all be required by customers at some point. Where these services are not included in your prepaid plan, you can buy a ‘Plus Pack’ to enable their use. A Data Top Up plans is the same deal. You use it to add more data on top of the initial allocation you were given in your Freedom bundle.

Imagine you have taken a Telstra Prepaid  plan at $30. You have used all of the international minutes included in your plan but you want to make an international call. Buying a Bonus Pack would allow you to do that.

I need to compare the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks to be able to decide.

Telstra experienced a number of concerning network problems during 2016. Since Telstra’s main justification for their unusually high pricing is the quality of their network, this is a concerning new aspect to their service.

This is an understandable question before you commit to a service. We’ve written a separate page on this very subject, to track the most important Australian network facts.

What phone options do I have with Telstra Prepaid ?

Telstra have a reasonable range of phone hardware targetted at their prepaid shoppers.

You don’t have to take a new phone from Telstra to get a Prepaid SIM from them, however. Any SIM you get should work in just about any phone you bought in Australia. If you do need a new phone, Telstra has an inexpensive range with some 4G models. You’ll find them on the Telstra website.

We generally recommend Kogan for new phones.

How can I compare Telstra prepaid against Telstra postpaid plans ?

We have a separate page for Telstra’s postpaid SIM Only plan range.

I live in a city. Is it worth paying the extra for Telstra coverage ?

In our view, no. Independent studies have shown that, in cities, Optus and Vodafone’s coverage is just as good as, if not better than Telstras.

This is a big news story for telco. Read more about Telstra’s competition’s network coverage.

Should I compare Telstra’s Prepaid Plans with their Postpaid plans?

Yes. In reality, when it comes to SIM Only plans, there are few differences between a prepaid service and a postpaid service. Prepaid services are paid in advance. Postpaid SIM Only services are paid for at the end of the month in which you used them. If you’re not sure of the differences, we have a dedicated article on the subject. 

Most people are looking for the most data they can get for the lowest price. You would be surprised at how much difference that can make to the amount of data you’ll get. We show you some examples, in the article, below.

What's good

  • Undeniably the best 4G network in Australia
  • Useful plan features - e.g. different night time data allocaiton
  • Prepaid better value than postpaid on Telstra's plans at $30
  • Most expensive in market - consider Boost as alternative

What's bad

  • Inflexible procedures - can be hard to work with
  • Better value available if you live in / near a city

Telstra Prepaid - Everything You Need To Know

Telstra’s prepaid plans’ best feature is their unique content. However, we think there are better deals out there for most people than Telstra’s prepaid range.

A 60 second intro to Telstra Prepaid

  • Telstra revised their plan line up, including their prepaid plans in late 2017.
  • Telstra prepaid is also about the chespest and most effective way you can get on the Telstra network.
  • Telstra offer some unique entertainment options (streamed voice and video) and some other value add services to their prepaid range.
  • Telstra prepaid will be right for you if you like those entertainment options.
  • For most, however, we think there are better prepaid plan / prepaid SIM offers out there beyond Testra.
  • Telstra’s range is bewilderingly large.
  • To be sure you’re getting the best value for data, make sure you compare first with their SIM Only plans
  • Then compare with Belong Mobile, the major alternative to Telstra.
  • Belong offer twice the amount of data at each spend level that you’ll get from Telstra.

Belong’s data inclusions are twice those of the Telstra Retail brand.

  • And Belong use the Telstra Mobile Network.

 Belong’s data inclusions are twice those of the Telstra Retail brand.

 

Telstra’s Prepaid Plans Offer a Bunch Of Value Adds

Telstra’s plans and positioning, place them at the top of our telco value pyramid for 2017. In essence, going with a big phone company like Telstra means you’ll get a bunch of value adds provided ‘free’ on top of the prepaid plan they give you. If these value adds are of no use to you, however, then you may well have been better off choosing a core plan from an alternative SIM Only or prepaid provider.

Telstra’s prepaid plans are right at the top of this Pyramid. If you go with Telstra, you’ll get a lot of value adds, on top of your core Telstra Prepaid Plan.

 

When comparing Telstra prepaid, to what else is out there, we recommend you consider these factors. Telstras voice, minutes and data inclusions are well understood. What you might like to compare them on is their value added plan components which are not well understood.

  • Telstra’s prepaid video entertainment options :
    Entertainment has become a part of phone plans now. Telstra’s prepaid plans and Optus include access to zero rated sports programming, available to Telstra prepaid customers through an app. If you’re in to them, Telstra’s sport inclusions will be hugely valuable. For NRL, AFR or Australian Netball fans (those are the codes that Telstra support), this single plan feature might make Telstra worthy of their monthly prepaid spend. (Note: With any prepaid plan on which the user has a recharge value of $30 or more, they’ll be able to use the Telstra app to watch the sport.)
  • Telstra prepaid streamed audio options:
    Optus and Telstra have quite different streamed audio offerings. Telstra have partnered with Apple. On some Telstra prepaid service, you can sign up with Telstra for a free 6 months Apple Music account. The ‘new aspect’ to Telstra’s support of this is that the data you use streaming the Apple Music service to your phone will not come out of your plan. Optus partners with different streamed audio providers including iHeart Radio and Spotify.
  • Other bonus Telstra features:
    Note, these are all available on Telstra Prepaid Plus. Not all of these features are available on all of their prepaid plans. Telstra also offers access to it’s users through several hundred thousand “Telstra Air’ WiFi Networks. (Which it sometimes offers free, to everyone, anyway) and some Microsoft Onedrive cloud storage.

 

Telstra prepaid – comparing within Telstra’s prepaid range

Telstra have 4 sets of prepaid plans: Prepaid Extra, Long Life, Simplicity and Day2Day.

In our view, and as we show below, this range is too big. It appears that Telstra think the same thing. They look like they’ve made their ‘Prepaid Plus’ plans so appealing that the alternatives they offer are pretty much meaningless.

Telstra’s range of SIM Only plans is confusing. You need to compare data inclusions even within their prepaid plans. Here, their Day2Day plan may offer better data value.

 

Telstra Prepaid Extra

Telstra’s range of prepaid plans is confusing. You need to compare data inclusions even within their prepaid plans. Here, their Day2Day plan may offer better data value.

 

Above, Telstra Prepaid Plus offers more minutes than any other of Telstra’s plans at a $30 limit. It is fair to say that this is not an entirely apples with apples comparison. Recharge expiry differs by plan. Specifically, the Simplicity plan has a 60 day expiry and the Long Life plan 6 months. However, unless you have a very unusual need to make a very small number of voice calls over a very long time, these Telstra Prepaid Extra plans is almost certainly going to be right for you.

 

Telstra Prepaid Simplicity

Has a 60 day tenure (on the $30, tenure increases with spend) and a per minute charge for voice and SMS / data inclusions. Simplicity charge per MB for data. These data prices are extremely high. Be careful using data on this plan. Prepaid Simplicity is probably not the right plan to add to a smartphone. We recommend you only consider Telstra Prepaid SImplicity plans it if you have a feature phone.

 

Telstra Day2Day

The Day2Day plan from Telstra’s prepaid range is unusual. Optus are the only phone company in Australia which offer an equivalent. With Day2Day, you’ll get a data allowance of 100MB per day and unlimited voice and SMS calls. As you can see from our chart here, theoretically, that means you’ll get more data for a $30 monthly spend with Day2Day than you will on Telstra’s Prepaid Extra plan. In reality, you’ll need to consider how you use your phone before you go for the Day2Day plan. Day2Day doesn’t include any data rollover. That means that you’ll have to use almost all of your daily allowance, regularly each day, to get the full value out of it. Most people don’t behave that way. Most people use their phones a bit one day and then a lot the next. Prepaid Extra is probably the right choice, whatever the theoretical maximums this chart suggests.

 

Telstra Long Life Prepaid

Telstra Long Life plans are for unusual use cases. If you have a phone you keep in the glove box of your car for emergencies, if you receive the vast majority of your calls then you might want one of these prepaid plans with extremely long expiry durations.

 

Telstra prepaid vs Telstra SIM Only (postpaid)

Prepaid has always been the lion’s share of the phone company’s sales. Despite the already enormous size of the prepaid market, usage of prepaid services is increasing quickly. A number of factors are driving the increase in prepaid and other SIM only products. One of those factors is introductory offers. Including introductory offers, Telstra’s prepaid plans are often better value than more expensive postpaid alternatives, at lower price points on their own network. And the quality of the product is exactly the same. Remember, using a $30 Telstra pre paid SIM, you can get the same network service at a great price without a long-term commitment.

As if often the case, Telstra’s Prepaid Plus plan is better value than the nearest spend SIM Only plan. This is the case consistently across the major telcos. Another reason not to write prepaid plans off before you consider them.

 

Telstra’s coverage advantage now

A key change for Telstra in 2016 was the perception of their coverage. Following improvements in 2016, Optus and Vodafone’s networks are on a par with Telstra in cities. Independent research shows that all 3 networks cover a very similar proportion of the population with 4G speeds. If you live in or near a city, there really is very little reason to choose Telstra now.

Whichever 4G network you get, the proportion of coverage you’ll receive is about the same.

 

Telstra’s coverage footprint advantage

Telstra (cleverly) jealously guard their 3G /4G  network. It’s not even sold, in it’s entirety through their network resellers.

There are around 2.5 million Australians who live in Rural Australia (that’s towns with less than 1000 inhabitants and includes everyone from farmers to downsizing retirees who have moved from city areas.) For them, Telstra could appear to be the only choice.

Telstra have 2 national networks, their 3G and, separately, their 4G networks. Whatever phone you have, it will work with the Telstra 3G network. The Telstra 3G network covers 98% of the Australian population. That’s 1.26 million square kilometers – a larger network footprint area than any other Australian phone company network. Their 4G network currently covers 90% of Australians with a 4G signal.

Just to make it clear, this does not call in to question what was said above. Telstra do cover some very rural parts of Australia. Those rural parts are very sparsely populated. That means that, for people in the city, for the vast majority of the country as a whole, Optus’ coverage is as good for them as Telstra’s. However, for those living in the coverage area that only Telstra services (usually with a 3G signal), there is no alternative.

 

How Telstra’s network outages affect their prepaid customers

Telstra’s network is provided with equal priority to both prepaid and postpaid customers. When the network stops working, it is most likely to stop working for both prepaid and postpaid customers at the same time.

Telstra suffered a series of embarrassing network outages in 2016. Despite efforts and a great deal of PR, the perception of their network as the most reliable in Australia has been sorely dented.

 

Alternatives to Telstra prepaid – Optus and Vodafone prepaid

Telstra’s major competitors are well known in Australia

  • Vodafone’MyMix’:
    Vodafone ‘MyMix’ plans allow you to tie together whatever combination of SMS, data and voice you need. We think that the value Vodafone include on these prepaid services is never as good as Kogan Mobile which use the same network. The international rates are simply not as good as those offered by Lebara Mobile, which, again use exactly the same Vodafone 3G and 4G network. We also believe that the Vodafone MyMix plan configurator is complicated and an outdated concept. Yomojo, for example, do the same thing, much better.
  • Optus prepaid:
    Not only does Optus compete with Telstra extremely effectively on data inclusions at the moment, we think Optus’ Streamed Audio offering is better than Telstra’s. We have a dedicated page to compare Optus vs Telstra.

Outside the major phone companies, you will get a lot more for your money. We recommend you compare all prepaid SIM Plans side by side.

 

Summing Up : Telstra’s prepaid service looks very different already and seems set to change a great deal more – from a coverage point of view

As we’ve seen in the plan inclusions, 2016 was an enormous year for prepaid all over. We believe 2017 will be even bigger.

There have been many changes but probably the key adaptation to their prepaid service, since you last checked in, are Telstra’s entertainment options. They are mind-blowingly good and, in line with the reason Telstra are prepared to spend so much on them, these alone might cause you to pick Telstra as your prepaid provider. If you choose Telstra prepaid, their ’Prepaid Plus’ range will be right for 90% of those reading this article.

The nature of the prepaid service is that it’s highly competitive. Prepaid services do not require customers to sign up to contracts. Customers’ short recharge commitment period ( 28 days ) gives a great deal of ‘switching power’ to consumers. Essentially, the minute they’re unhappy with the deal they’re on, or they see something better coming, they can leave and go to the new deal.

That works in favor of every prepaid shopper. Simply put, the phone companies have to provide headline stealing introductory offers to get your attention. It has to be worthwhile for you to get you to move away from the competition. That even applies to Telstra who have, uncharacteristically, started competing in this way with special introductory offers.

These days, headline grabbing introductory offers involve including more data which is just what Telstra have done. Incredibly, as we’ve shown above, you’re more likely to get bigger and better data inclusions from Telstra prepaid than if you spend an equivalent amount on their own postpaid range.

Unfortunately, Telstra’s plans are often too expensive for everyone except those in deeply rural areas who have no alternative. One reason for Telstra’s inflated pricing is the charge they impose for 4G services. If you are a feature phone owner (and many prepaid customers are) then paying for 4G speeds even although you can’t use them is wasteful. Compare on our prepaid plans page to get the best value.

Beyond the entertainment, these must be terrifying times for Telstra. They’re forced to match (what they consider to be less worthwhile rivals like) Optus and Vodafone on data inclusions. The famed reliability of the network they used to be able to charge more for, is now seen as in need of some maintenance. This seems to be the start of a network perception problem which could get worse for Telstra. To this, we add the burden of the proposed national roaming agreements. If they go ahead, as seems likely, Telstra will not have a better network at all. Telstra’s prepaid offering will be even more interesting when Optus and Vodafone can access that extra rural footprint. That seems like to accentuate what’s already happening. Telstra having to add more and more data and more and more value adds to justify their very high pricing.

 

Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users

  • Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
    You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
  • Entertainment options are becoming common :
    You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
  • Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
    We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
  • Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
    The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
  • Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
    It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
  • Data Rollovers :
    Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.

And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.

 

Compare all of our prepaid plans

If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.

COMPARE THE BEST PREPAID PLANS