Pay As You Go Mobile Plans

Compare PAYG mobile phone plans and providers online with Savvy today!

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, updated on October 26th, 2023       

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Digital wallets - Mobile Payments Australia

We’ve partnered with Econnex to bring you a range of mobile phone plans to help you compare them.

Pay as you go (PAYG) mobile plans can be a great option for people who want flexibility and control over their mobile spending. If you are looking for a PAYG plan in Australia, Savvy is on hand. With our online comparison service, you can easily compare rates for calls, texts, data and additional features, helping you find a plan that suits your needs. Start comparing today!

What is a pay as you go mobile plan?

A PAYG mobile plan is a prepaid option that provides users with the flexibility to pay for mobile phone services in advance. Unlike contract-based plans, PAYG plans don’t involve long-term commitments or fixed monthly bills. Instead, users purchase credit, which can be used for making calls, sending texts and using data. Credit is deducted for every text, minute of call time or unit of data. These plans can be a good option for people who:

  • Do not use their phone very often
  • Are on a budget
  • Want a flexible plan with no contracts
  • Need a plan for short-term use, such as for a vacation or business trip

What is the difference between pay as you go, prepaid and postpaid mobile plans?

In Australia, there are several types of mobile plans, each designed to cater to different user preferences and needs. The most common options are PAYG, prepaid and postpaid.

Pay as you go: PAYG plans require users to pay for specific services such as calls, texts and data as they use them. There are no fixed monthly fees or contracts – users simply have to top up to use their phone. PAYG credit typically has a long expiry date – for example, you may be able to get a 365-day pay as you go mobile plan that only expires after a year.

Prepaid: Prepaid mobile plans are similar to PAYG plans in that you purchase credit upfront and use it for services until it’s depleted. However, prepaid plans typically have expiration dates for your credit. Prepaid plans also come with bundled features such as call minutes, texts and data, and may include bonuses or extras for recharging.

Postpaid: Postpaid mobile phone plans are paid after you have used the services. This means that you will be billed at the end of each month for the services you have used. These plans are generally the most expensive type of mobile plan, but also offer the most features and benefits, including features such as unlimited talk and text, data plans, international calls and roaming.

What factors should I consider when choosing a pay as you go mobile plan?

When choosing a pay as you go plan, several factors should be taken into account. These include:

  • Rates for calls, texts and data: different providers may have varying rates for these services, so it’s essential to choose a plan that offers competitive rates based on your usage patterns.
  • Handset compatibility: ensure that your existing phone or the one you plan to use with the pay as you go SIM are compatible.
  • Coverage and network quality: check the provider’s coverage map to ensure you'll have reliable service in the areas you frequent most. A strong network ensures uninterrupted communication.
  • International calls or roaming: if you frequently make international calls or travel, look for a plan that offers affordable international rates or includes roaming options.   
  • Provider’s reputation: research the provider's reputation for customer service and network reliability.
  • Expiry: be aware of any expiration dates on credit or unused services. Some plans may require regular top-ups to keep the service active.
  • Top-up options: consider how convenient it is to top up your credit. Look for options like online recharging, auto-top-ups or physical recharge locations, depending on your preference.

Pros and cons of pay as you go mobile plans



You can top up your credit whenever you need it, and there are no contracts binding you.


You have complete control over your spending. You can choose how much money you want to top up, and you can monitor your usage to make sure that you’re not overspending.

No surprises

You’ll only be charged for what you use, so there’s no risk of going over your budget.


PAYG mobile plans can be a cheap option if you don’t use your phone very often.

No need for a credit check

PAYG mobile plans do not require a credit check, which makes them a good option for people with bad credit or no credit history. 


Higher rates

PAYG mobile plans generally have higher rates for calls, texts and data than prepaid and postpaid plans.

Limited extras

PAYG plans may offer fewer additional features, such as international calling or data bonuses, compared to other types of plans.

Regular top ups

If you use your phone a lot, you may need to top up your credit regularly, which can be inconvenient.

Less cost predictability

Since usage can vary, it may be more challenging to predict monthly costs accurately.

Frequently asked questions about pay as you go mobile plans

Can I keep my phone number when switching to a PAYG mobile plan in Australia?

Yes – users in Australia can typically keep their existing phone number when switching to a PAYG mobile plan. This process, known as number porting, allows you to retain your existing phone number while enjoying the flexibility of a PAYG plan.

How can I monitor my usage and remaining credit on a PAYG mobile plan?

You can monitor your usage and remaining credit on a PAYG mobile plan through the provider's online portal or mobile app. These platforms typically provide real-time information on talk, text and data usage, as well as the current account balance.

How do I know if my PAYG plan supports international roaming?

To determine if your PAYG plan supports international roaming, you should refer to the terms and conditions provided by your mobile service provider. This information is typically available on the provider's website or in the plan's documentation. Additionally, you can contact the provider's customer service for specific details on international roaming options available with your PAYG plan. Keep in mind that some PAYG plans may require activation or additional settings for international roaming to function, so it's advisable to confirm with your provider before travelling abroad. 

Do PAYG plans support 4G and 5G networks?

Yes – PAYG plans are generally compatible with both 4G and 5G networks, depending on the capabilities of your mobile device and the network coverage offered by your provider. If you have a 4G or 5G capable device, it should be able to connect to the respective networks offered by your PAYG plan. Keep in mind that network availability may vary based on your location and the coverage provided by your mobile service provider.


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of mobile phone plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys a mobile phone plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing a mobile phone plan. For further information on the variety of mobile phone plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.