Prepaid Mobile Plans

Compare prepaid mobile plans with Savvy to help you find the best deal available through our trusted partners.

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on October 10th, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Digital wallets - Mobile Payments Australia

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

If you’re looking to get an affordable mobile phone plan which allows you to stay on track with your phone usage, a prepaid mobile plan might be the best option for you. These allow you to use what you paid for and no more, ensuring that you don’t exceed your plan’s limits and avoid experiencing the financial shock of a bill which you can’t afford. Find out how to compare your prepaid mobile plan options and what to look for to get the best plan for your situation here.

What is a prepaid mobile plan?

A prepaid mobile plan is a type of mobile phone plan which you pay for upfront. As such, prepaid mobile plans that you will only use the features and limits you have paid for. Once your plan’s limits are reached, your services such as data or international roaming will end; this ensures that you will avoid any fees for excess usage. At this stage, you will need to recharge your current plan or switch to a new one. A prepaid mobile plan requires upfront payment and will provide you with the flexibility of having no contract. If you’re looking to be in control of your phone usage and spending, or are on a budget, a prepaid mobile plan may the best fit for you.

There are three options to choose from with prepaid plans: monthly plans, long-expiry plans or pay-as-you-go plans. Each serves a different purpose and has different benefits.

Type of prepaid plan Prepaid plan explained…
Monthly plan
Monthly prepaid plans are the most common option. They come in 28 or 30-day periods. During this period, you will have your plan’s set limits – this may include limits on data or international roaming. After these limits are reached or your plan has expired, you will have to recharge to renew your prepaid mobile plan’s services.
Long-expiry plan
Long-expiry plans come in 90, 180 or 365-day prepaid plans. These plans give you greater limits to last longer durations and are usually far cheaper than monthly plans. However, it can often be difficult to budget your plan’s limits month to month as you’re given a lump sum of data at your plan’s commencing date. This makes it hard to ensure you don’t run out of data or other features well before the plan’s expiration. If you’re good at controlling your mobile phone usage, this could be the best and the cheapest prepaid option for you.
Pay-as-you-go plan
Pay-as-you-go plans are less common nowadays but involve an upfront payment towards credit for your plan. You may pay for $15 worth of credit, as well as any calls or messages made, and any data used will be charged to your plan’s credit. Once your plan’s credit has run out, you will need to recharge your credit to keep using your phone’s services. The rates charged for calls, messages and data used will vary so check with your provider. This plan best suits those who are very rare users of their mobile phones. If you’re a regular mobile phone user, the value offered by pay-as-you-go plans is very poor and you should choose another option.

What are some of the features of a prepaid mobile plan?

Prepaid plans are designed to be more basic than post-paid plans and will usually offer less features or lower limits than post-paid plans. The features of your prepaid mobile plan depend largely on the type and price of the plan you opt for.

Your prepaid mobile plan’s features can include:

  • Unlimited calls and texts – depending on your type of prepaid mobile plan, your plan can include unlimited calls and texts. This will allow you to make as many calls and texts as you wish to Australian numbers.
  • Data – prepaid mobile plans can feature a or even unlimited data depending on the plan you choose. Data limits on prepaid mobile plans can be as little as 1GB or as much as unlimited data until their expiry periods. It's important to note that unlimited mobile data will be delivered at reduced speeds after you reach your plan’s full-speed data limit, after which it could be slashed to as slow as 1.5Mbps.
  • Data rollover- certain prepaid mobile plans may offer data banking/rollover. This allows your unused data to roll over to the next month instead of going to waste.
  • International roaming – certain prepaid mobile plans will provide an international roaming allowance which lets you make calls and text or use data whilst overseas. Cheaper plans may not offer this feature, but more expensive plans can offer an international roaming up to an unlimited allowance.
  • Data-free music streaming – an increasing number of prepaid mobile plans will also offer data-free music streaming. This will allow you to listen to music all day long, without it hindering your plan’s data limit.
  • Data-free video streaming – a limited number of prepaid mobile plans will provide data-free video streaming. This feature is normally only included under more expensive prepaid mobile plans.

Features specific to prepaid mobile plans include:

  • Upfront payments – upfront payments allow you to choose what you’re paying for and no more. This ensures you can budget for your mobile phone usage and take charge of your finances.
  • No lock-in contract – prepaid mobile plans don’t involve a lock-in contract. Because of this, and the fact that you pay upfront, you are free to change your plan during or after your plan’s expiry period.
  • No excess usage – once your plan’s limits have been reached, you will no longer be able to access phone services such as data or international roaming. This ensures that you don’t incur charges for excess phone usage.

How do I compare prepaid mobile plans?

What to compare Why you should compare it
Cost of prepaid mobile plan
When considering your prepaid mobile plan options, compare a wide range of plans at different prices to get a feel for what suits you. The more expensive plans will include more extensive features with higher usage limits, while cheaper plans will provide more basic mobile phone features with lower usage limits.
Data limits
It’s important you compare the data limits of prepaid mobile plans as what’s included will vary significantly. If you rarely use data, you can compare your options with prepaid plans which offer minimal data. On the contrary, if you rely heavily on data, you can find and compare plans which offer high data limits or even unlimited data. Always ensure that your data needs are met by your prepaid mobile plan, as running out of data before the end of your plan could leave you at a significant disadvantage.
Type of prepaid plan
Consider the most suitable type of prepaid plan to your needs and budget. A monthly expiry plan is the most common option and will provide you with monthly limits on features like data. This could better suit a regular phone user and it’s easy to manage your usage. Long-expiry plans will reduce the number of payments you have to make on your plan. You will get all your features and greater limits but they have to be budgeted as they need to last a longer duration. If you don’t use your phone often, a long-expiry plan such as a 365-day prepaid plan can prove cheap and may suit you. Pay-as-you-go plans are the least common option, but can serve you well if you’re a very irregular phone user who is after a cheap prepaid option.
Data rollover
Data rollover is a feature which can prove very beneficial to your data needs. While it’s a feature which isn’t offered by all plans, you should try to find and compare plans which include data rollover, especially if you’re a high-data user.
Added extras
While extra features are less common under prepaid plans, there are inclusions which can provide your plan with better value. These can include data-free music or video streaming which is included under certain prepaid plans. In addition, many prepaid plans will offer bonus data or promotions where you can get a half-priced prepaid plan as a new customer.

How much does a prepaid mobile plan cost?

Pros and cons of prepaid mobile plans


Flexibility of payment cycle

As opposed to a post-paid plan, a prepaid plan offers flexibility with an array of options from monthly prepaid plans to 365-day prepaid plans which all offer different payment cycles.

No lock-in contract

Prepaid plans have no lock-in contracts. This allows you to change between plans at your convenience. If you find you’re not happy with your current plan or provider, you can quickly move on to find a better fit for you without any cancellation fees.

Won’t risk excess charges

Once your phone credit or data has expired, you will be required to recharge to continue using your phone’s services. This will prevent you from using more than your limits and facing the added charges at the end of the month.


Unable to get prepaid plan with a phone plan

Phone plans only come with an accompanying post-paid plan for the sim card. The only way to get a phone and a pre-paid plan together is to buy your phone outright.

Service ends once limits are reached

Once your limits for data or other features are reached, your service is ended until your next recharge. This can be problematic in many situations, such as if you’re low on money and don’t have funds to recharge at that moment in time.

Fewer features than post-paid plans

Pre-paid mobile plans often offer less features than post-paid plans. This could be lower data limits, no international roaming and less added extras.

Top tips for getting the cheapest prepaid mobile plan

Purchase a prepaid mobile plan with a low data limit

Data isn’t always a necessity and people will often pay more than they need to for a prepaid plan with data they won’t use. Make sure you figure out how much data you truly need to find the right prepaid plan for you and to save money.

Consider a long-expiry prepaid mobile plan

Long-expiry prepaid plans are usually the cheapest option across a year. You can get long expiry plans which last 90 days through to 365 days. 28 or 30-day plans are most common but will often cost significantly more over the course of a year.

Look for discounts or promotions on prepaid mobile plans

Providers will regularly offer discounts or promotions on prepaid mobile plans. You will find you can get bonus data regularly with certain providers or monthly discounts on your first three or six monthly recharges. In addition, make sure you regularly shop around to find better prepaid mobile deals. Cheap data is becoming the norm and you will find bargain prepaid mobile plans with ever-increasing data limits.

Frequently asked questions about prepaid mobile plans

Is a prepaid mobile plan cheaper than a post-paid mobile plan?

Yes – prepaid mobile plans tend to be cheaper than post-paid plans as they usually offer lesser features and lower data limits. However, the cost will depend wholly on your choice of plan; some prepaid mobile plans will be more expensive than cheaper post-paid plans.

I rarely use my mobile phone; what’s the cheapest prepaid mobile plan available to me?

If you rarely use your phone or don’t need features beyond calling and texting, there are plans out there for as little as $10 per month. These plans will include unlimited calls and texts as well as low data limits of 1GB to 5GB per month. This could suit seniors or those who don’t have a need for data but have a mobile phone for emergency purposes or to contact family and friends.

If I change prepaid mobile plans, will I be charged a fee?

No. Prepaid mobile plans require payment for your plan upfront and you are not locked into a contract. Therefore, no cancellation or switching free will be required if you change to a better prepaid mobile plan.

Can I get 5G network coverage on my prepaid mobile plan?

Yes. 5G is available under every type of mobile phone plan in Australia and you can access it as long as it has been installed in your area and you have a 5G-supported phone.

Which countries can I make calls and texts to under my prepaid plan’s international roaming feature?

Each provider will have different countries which you are allowed to call and text to as part of your international roaming allowance. Countries such as England, USA, Canada, New Zealand, China, Vietnam and Thailand are some of the most common inclusions. Check with your provider or read your plan’s terms and conditions for further details.

If I want to purchase add-on features to a prepaid plan, do I need to have an active service with a provider?

Yes. In order to purchase add-ons with a provider, you’ll need to have an active subscription. Add-ons may include things like extra data or international roaming.


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.

Digital wallets - Mobile Payments Australia

We'd love to chat, how can we help?

By clicking "Submit", you agree to be contacted by a Savvy Agency Owner and to receive communications from Savvy which you can unsubscribe from at any time. Read our Privacy Policy.