Prepaid Mobile Cap Plans: Telstra v Optus v Vodafone (June 2017)

In the ever-competitive prepaid mobile market, Australia’s big three carriers are ramping up the stakes in trying to win your business.

In this comparison article, we’re comparing Australia’s big three carriers, and their prepaid monthly cap plans and weighing up the pros and cons of each to help you pick the best plan that’s right for you!

Telstra

First up is Telstra, with their Freedom Plus plan offer. The main draw of Telstra‘s Freedom Plus cap offer is the following bonuses:

  • Recharge Credit: Recharge credit that can be used for Google Play and Window Stores purchases and other premium purchases
  • International Calls to Selected Destination on $40/$50 plans: Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, UK and USA

We’ve summarised the pros and cons of the Telstra offer here:

Pros

  • Australia’s largest mobile network, offering coverage across 2.3 million square kilometres, approximately 99.3% of Australia’s population

Cons

  • In general, less generous than Optus and Vodafone in terms of call credit and data allowance
PlanCreditInternational CreditCost per minute callCost per standard textDataExpiry
Telstra Freedom $30$700 call credit + unlimited calls to standard Telstra mobiles$5 Plus Credit$0.89 + $0.40 connectionUnlimited1.5GB + 1.5GB night data (8pm-8am)28 days
Telstra Freedom $40Unlimited national calls and text$10 Plus Credit + unlimited calls to selected destinationsUnlimitedUnlimited3GB + 3GB night data (8pm-8am)28 days
Telstra Freedom $50Unlimited national calls and text$15 Plus Credit + unlimited calls to selected destinationsUnlimitedUnlimited4GB + 4GB night data (8pm-8am)28 days

Optus

Optus have recently introduced the My Prepaid Ultimate and they’re even better value than ever before. Perfect for heavy users, these plans include unlimited calls and texts to standard national numbers across all recharge options above $30, plus data rollover (up to 10GB). Each plan also has a small ‘extra’ credit allowance ($5-$20 depending on the recharge), which can be used for international calls (at highly competitive rates) or on premium services.

Also, for a limited time only, Optus are upping the data for 5GB for your first recharge on the $30 recharge and 10GB for recharges $40 and above.

We’ve summarised the pros and cons of the Optus offer:

Pros

  • Unlimited national calls and texts across all options – perfect for heavy users
  • Data rollover (up to 15GB)
  • International Calls are competitively priced
  • International Calls to Selected Destination on $40/$50/$60 plans: Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, UK , USA, France, Indonesia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland

Cons

  • Network is significantly smaller than Telstra, covering approximately 1 million square kilometres, approximately 98.5% of Australia’s population
PlanStandard National CallsStandard National TextsExtras credit DataExpiry
Optus Prepaid Ultimate $30UnlimitedUnlimited$51.5GB28 days
Optus Prepaid Ultimate $40UnlimitedUnlimited$104GB28 days
Optus Prepaid Ultimate $50UnlimitedUnlimited$156GB28 days
Optus Prepaid Ultimate $60UnlimitedUnlimited$208GB28 days

Vodafone

Last but not least, we’ve got the low down on Vodafone‘s Prepaid Caps

In addition to these limited time offers, we’ve summarised Vodafone‘s pros and cons:

Pros

  • Unlimited national calls and texts across all options – perfect for heavy users

Cons

  • Smallest network of the three main carriers, covering approximately 96% of Australia’s population
  • No extras credit for premium services
PlanCombo CreditCost per minute callCost per standard textInternational CallsDataExpiry
Vodafone Combo Cap $30$30UnlimitedUnlimited + 50 internationalas part of Cap Credit3GB28 days
Vodafone Combo Cap $40$40UnlimitedUnlimited + 50 international90 minutes to selected countries6GB28 days
Vodafone Combo Cap $50$50UnlimitedUnlimited + 50 international1000 minutes to 10 countries + 90 minutes to some countries8.5GB28 days
Vodafone Combo Cap $60$60UnlimitedUnlimited + 50 international1000 minutes to 10 countries + 120 minutes to some countries11GB28 days

Analysis

So which option should you choose?

  • If you need the widest Australian network coverage, we recommend Telstra.
  • Optus generally offers the most generous data allowances.
  • If you need as many national calls, texts and data as possible, any option apart from the Telstra $30 option offers unlimited calls and text.

Do you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions about this article? We encourage all discussion and feedback (both positive and negative), so feel free to comment below!

Check out more of our phone plan analysis here:

3 Responses

  1. Henry says:

    Great comparison and review of the products. Would appreciate it if we can have some information with regards to data tethering for their prepaid plans. I have encountered instances where the prepaid card does not allow users to share their data via hotspot.

  2. LisaC says:

    Thanks for this comparison, it was very helpful as i am with Telstra and wondering if i should change to Optus…this article has helped me make a decision…very much appreciated

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