Long expiry plans give you more time between recharges and are a great money-saving option if you're not a heavy mobile user. They're essentially the same as a prepaid plan, but don't expire as often - many lasting up to a year before you need to recharge.
Long expiry plans are typically suited for light phone users.
Not usually a good match for heavy data users.
Best 365 Day & Long Expiry Prepaid Mobile Plans in Australia for July 2020
Every month, our team of experts looks for the best 365 day and long expiry prepaid mobile plans from dozens of products in the market. We break down plan details and costs to find you the best value plans. Keep in mind that our "best" picks may not always be the best for you, and you're always welcome to use our long expiry plans comparison table to find one that works for you.
Best 365 day expiry prepaid mobile plan
Catch Connect unveiled a whole new set of mobile plans last month to provide better value for its customers, and you'll be far fetched to find a better 365 day plan than the one they've got on offer. You get 120GB to use throughout the year, which means ideally you'd be using 10GB a month which should be enough for a moderate user. At the $150 price point, other providers will only be giving you around 60-80GB, so this is a great value plan.
Alternatively, if you're not a very active mobile user, check out Catch Connect's 60GB plan. It might not be as great data to dollar value as the 120GB, but why pay more for data you won't use?
With 365 day expiry plans, we've tried to be realistic about what an average user would need for a phone plan that lasts them for a year. That means, we'll preference plans with data inclusions rather than those with none or low data allowances. We've therefore focused on plans that give you the most calls and data per dollar, but with enough data to allow you to lightly browse the Internet during the year.
Best 180 day expiry prepaid mobile plan
Lebara's 180 day expiry plan is a great choice for people who don't want to commit to a year-long plan. Your data gets split into monthly allowances so you don't have to worry about using it all up at once. This plan is best suited to those who don't need to burn through a whole lot of data. You can even bank up to 200GB of extra data you've got left over at the end if you choose to recharge for another 6 months.
Similar to our best 365 day plan, we've put preference on plans with data inclusions rather than those with none or low data allowances for our choice of best 180 day expiry prepaid mobile plan. We've looked at plans that give you the most calls and data per dollar, but with enough data to allow you to lightly browse the Internet during the year.
Best low usage long expiry mobile plan
If you're not after any data and honestly don't even need to use your phone regularly besides a spontaneous call or text every now and again, take a look at amaysim's As You Go plan. It works like a normal pay-as-you-go plan, with the plan costing only $10 to activate for a year and charges being incurred for each call or text you make. Data plans are also available as an add-on, but we suggest going for one of our other best picks for long expiry plans if you do need data, since those will offer you better value.
While most providers like to pack on the data on their long expiry plans, if you know you're not a heavy mobile user or don't even need any data, why should you pay more for a plan with high data limits? Pay as you go plans are often the cheapest plans available, since you only pay for what you use. We've looked at plans that give you little to no data for the cheapest price available.
Best long expiry on the Telstra network
Boost's prepaid plan includes a massive 240GB of data with unlimited calls and texts, all valid for 12 months. You've also got the option to pay extra for international roaming, which you can use in 15 selected countries. Unlike the majority of Telstra's MVNOs, Boost uses the full Telstra network so you get access to its extensive reach without the hefty price tag.
We've looked at mobile plans with 90-365 day expiries that are on the Telstra network to help you find the best deal. This includes plans from Boost Mobile, ALDImobile, Woolworths Mobile, Better Life Mobile, and Telstra themselves. We've put preference on plans with a decent amount of data, and unlimited calls and texts in Australia to make sure you can stay connected whether you're on- or offline.
Best long expiry on the Optus network
We've gone for two best picks this month for long expiry plans on the Optus network. If you're not looking for a heap of data, consider the Optus My Prepaid Daily Plus plan. The prepaid plan recharges can be as little as $30 and includes 500MB data, with 186 days expiry. If you need extra data, you can get another 500MB block for $2. Optus also has some other great long expiry prepaid plan options, depending on what your needs are.
Alternatively, if you need more data to tie you over for half a year, amaysim's prepaid plan should do the trick. With 125GB to use over 6 months, you'll get to use over 20GB a month with an added bonus of unlimited international calls to 28 selected countries.
Since Optus has the largest number of MVNOs under their belt, it's pretty easy to find a long expiry plan that will match what you're looking for. We've decided to choose two best picks - one with a lower data limit if you're not a heavy mobile user, and one with a higher one to make sure you're covered during the period. If you're looking for a different plan on the Optus network that we haven't picked, you check out more long expiry plans offered by Catch Connect, Coles, and amaysim.
Best long expiry on the Vodafone network
Kogan has a decent rage of long expiry plans, and their Small 365 day plan came out as our best pick this month. It was a close call between this and their Large plan, but if you're not looking for a crazy amount of data to use per month, 80GB over a year should be enough to tie you over. If you do find you need more data though, check out Kogan's other long expiry plans which have higher data amounts.
In terms of long expiry plans, many of them seem to be under Vodafone's network, which means there's a lot to choose from. We've looked at keeping the balance between data and price in choosing our best pick. If you're looking for international calls to be included, you can check out long expiry plans from Lebara and even some from Vodafone themselves. If data isn't a big deal for you, CMobile offers long expiry plans that have little to no data.
How do long expiry prepaid mobile plans work?
Long expiry plans are prepaid plans where credit lasts longer than your usual month-to-month grind, up to a full 365 days. You pay upfront in return for a 3-, 6- or 12-month expiry period, meaning you won't need to recharge for ages so long as your credit holds out.
Long expiry plans typically suit infrequent mobile users, people with minimal data needs, or even people who just want to park a rarely-used number on a cheap, long-lasting plan, though that's less prevalent these days.
These plans come in two types:
Pay as you go (PAYG). Under the PAYG model, you plonk down some credit upfront and then are charged a flat rate for minutes of talk, texts and MB of data use. Usage charges are deducted from your credit until it's exhausted. Some versions of this plan deduct a flat fee for each day you use your phone, rather than how much you use it.
Set inclusion. Pay upfront and get an allotment of data that you can use as you wish during the expiry period, just like regular prepaid plans. Set inclusions plans tend to come with unlimited talk and text in Australia. Be aware that some plans may come with a monthly allocation for data amounts. For example, a six-month plan might come with a total of 60GB of data but only give you access to 10GB each month.
If you're unsure whether a long expiry mobile plan is right for you, we've broken down the pros and cons for you below:
Credit lasts a long time. You can simply pay once, and you don't have to think about it again until your expiry period comes up.
Good for receiving calls. If you just want a phone so that family and friends can stay in touch by calling you, a long expiry plan is a great way to save money.
Good option for the elderly. Long expiry plans are usually simple and suit light mobile users.
Use it to reserve your number. For as little as $5, you can secure your number on your SIM card for up to a year, whether you're travelling or just want a back-up number.
Lower value. Compared to a monthly prepaid or postpaid plan, you trade value for a long expiry period.
Not great for heavy data users. Even for the plans with bundled data inclusions, you're looking at less data than if you paid monthly.
You've got to pay upfront. Long expiry plans are all prepaid, so you've got to stump up the cash before you've even made your first call.
Locks you into a provider. The beauty of a prepaid plan is that typically you can change providers on a whim. That's a less attractive prospect if you've already sunk a lot of money into a 365-day expiry plan.
Compare more long expiry prepaid mobile plans below
If you'd prefer to compare long expiry plans for yourself, check out the table below. You can click the 'filter results' button if you're looking for a specific data amount, price or provider.
Alex Kidman was the tech and telco editor at Finder and is now a freelance technology writer. He's been a technology writer with experience spanning more than 20 years, writing and editing at Gizmodo, CNET, PC Magazine, Kotaku and many more. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a serious passion for retro gaming.
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