Best* long expiry prepaid phone plans

Want your SIM recharge to last up to 365 days? Check out all the options below.

If you just need a number for others to call you, or a basic service without the hassle of topping up regularly, long expiry plans could be for you. Light users with emergency contact needs might also benefit, as they're a simple, set-and-forget way of maintaining communication.

Data inclusions won't typically be competitive with standard shorter period mobile plans - if you're a heavy user, these probably aren't for you. Some plans offer a 365-day charge for as little as $5.
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Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades.

Info last updated 22 Aug 2018.

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Get a whopping 80GB for $189 - 30% off 365-day expiry SIM

Get a whopping 80GB for $189 - 30% off 365-day expiry SIM from Catch

New customers get 30% off on first 365 days, thereafter recharge $270. Offer ends 11am 02.10.2018 Sydney time

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Long expiry prepaid plans: Overview

Most prepaid phone plans have traditionally run on a 30-day monthly cycle, although we have been seeing a surge in plans that only last 28 days, which has alarming consequences for overall value.

But what if you don’t want the hassle of making monthly payments, or only want to make a single, preferably small payment for continual phone service? That’s where a long expiry plan can make sense.

There are a new class of long expiry plans that offer better value. Kogan Mobile's long expiry plans, for example, will refresh your data allowance every 30 days, so it acts more like a standard monthly plan than a pure prepaid plan.

Pros

  • Investment lasts a long time - set and forget about regular payments
  • Low-usage appeal - let others call you and use their credit
  • Good for kids, the elderly, or emergency contacts

Cons

  • Value not great compared to standard plans
  • Some plans charge per call/text on a pay as you go basis
  • Data inclusions typically very low - heavy users would likely struggle
  • Not a lot of choice or market competition

How should I compare long expiry prepaid plans?

Not all long expiry plans are made equal, but there’s a few key areas to consider:

  • How long is "long" expiry?: The shortest period we’d consider a "long" expiry plan to run would be 90 days, but you can opt for plans with either 180 days or 365 day expiry as well
  • Do I want to use it, or just be called on it? This is quite key, as you’ll generally have to spend quite a bit more for a long expiry plan if you make lots of calls, send texts or use a lot of mobile data. Conversely, you can pick up quite cheap plans if all you want is a phone you can get calls and texts on, or that you’ll use for data only when you absolutely can't use nearby Wi-Fi sources.
  • Do I just want to keep the same number? If you're travelling overseas for an extended period of time, it can make sense to buy the cheapest long expiry plan possible if only so that you can keep your mobile number, but be aware that the vast majority of plans don't support any kind of global roaming. As such, those would be SIMs that you'd be best served buying and associating with a number before securely storing somewhere until you return.

Long expiry prepaid plans: Best choices

There are four long expiry plans that really stand out for overall value in the long expiry space, depending on your needs.

ALDImobile's PAYG plans can be recharged for as little as $5 with that full amount lasting 365 days, which makes them a good choice if you just want a contact number and not much else. ALDImobile has recently shifted over to using Telstra's 4G networks, but its data prices aren't spectacular at the PAYG level, so if you did need data, it might pay to look elsewhere.

If you're in an area where your Optus coverage is better than Telstra's, consider amaysim's As You Go plan. Like ALDImobile, amaysim offers a long expiry pay as you go solution with a minimum upfront payment of only $5 for 365 days expiry. amaysim has access to the full Optus 4G network where ALDImobile only gets parts of Telstra's 4G offering, but like ALDImobile, data prices on this plan are rather high.

That's where Kogan Mobile's Large 365 day option stands out. Kogan's approach to prepaid 365-day plans is subtly different to the rest of the market, because what you get is essentially a discount on the monthly plan price if you pre-purchase all 12 months at once. It's significantly more expensive than any other comparable "Long Expiry" plan, but if you just wanted to pay once for a year's service and not have to think about it again, it's worth consideration.

Vaya has also launched a range of 12-month prepaid plans, and like Kogan's plans the data allowance is renewed monthly. All of Vaya's 12 month plans include unlimited standard national calls and texts, plus unlimited voicemail, and runs on the full Optus 4G Plus network.

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to and are not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of the terms "best" and "top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer.

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Alex Kidman

Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades, and enjoys breaking down complex topics into their component parts. He has written for just about every major Australian technology publication, and is a former editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, and CNET.com.au.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MattApril 12, 2017

    Hello, great article, but it seems as though none of the pre-paid plans listed allow calls to be received when roaming internationally? What prepaid long expiry plans allow you to receive calls internationally?

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldApril 13, 2017Staff

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Our company finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers to make a better decision. Please note we do not represent any company we feature on our pages.

      On this article, you may need to contact the providers to inquiry if they have an offer to receive a call from overseas.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. Default Gravatar
    AldimobileNovember 15, 2016

    Can these SIM cards be used in a Telstra mobile phone?

    • finder Customer Care
      JasonNovember 15, 2016Staff

      Hi Aldimobile,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      You can use any of the SIM cards featured on this page if you have an unlocked mobile phone, however, you can only use a Telstra SIM card on a Telstra locked phone. You can get in touch with Telstra for assistance in unlocking your Telstra locked phone.

      Cheers,
      Jason

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