Lebara’s focus is on international calling, but it also provides a range of prepaid plans for domestic phone users.
Lebara launched in 2009, was purchased by Vodafone in late 2016, and is still going strong providing Aussies with prepaid mobile services for nearly a decade. Lebara offers a standard 30-day prepaid plan along with longer-term plans and pay-as-you go options all operating on Vodafone's 4G network.
Lebara 30-day prepaid plans
Lebara has an abundance of 30-day prepaid plans, offering five options that all include unlimited standard national calls and texts along with data caps ranging from 500MB up to 14GB. Other than the cheapest plan, they all come with international call credit as well as unlimited calls to select countries.
Lebara's 30-day prepaid plan line-up is as follows:
- Extra Small: Includes 500MB of data for $14.90 every 30 days
- Small: Includes 2GB of data and $24.90 of international call credit for $24.90 every 30 days
- Medium: Includes 5GB of data, unlimited calls to 12 select countries and $5 international credit for $29.90 every 30 days
- Large: Includes 10GB of data, unlimited calls to 15 select countries and $10 international credit for $39.90 every 30 days
- Extra Large: Includes 15GB of data, unlimited calls to 50 select countries and $10 international credit for $49.90 every 30 days
Countries included in the unlimited international calls are:
- Medium plan: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the USA
- Large plan: All of the above plus Japan, Peru and Thailand
- Extra Large plan: All of the above plus Argentina, Austria, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, French Guinea, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Réunion, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland, along with fixed line calls only to Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and Venezuela
As an added bonus, the Medium and Large plans let you register up to three numbers in India and call them for free without restriction, while the Extra Large plan supports unlimited calls to up to three registered numbers in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
If you use more than your monthly quota of data on any of Lebara's 30-day prepaid plans, you'll be automatically charged for excess data at a rate of 2c/MB, with data tallied in 1KB increments.
Lebara long-term prepaid plans
Whether it's soft drinks or soup cans, buying in bulk is always the thriftiest way to go. Prepaid plans are no different. By fronting the full cost of six or more months' worth of recharges, you end up paying less over the long term while still receiving your call and data inclusions on a monthly basis.
Lebara's long-term prepaid plans follow this same principle, allowing you to purchase either 180 or 360 days of its Medium or Large prepaid plans at a reduced price by paying the total cost up front. Here's how the costs break down:
- Medium 180 days gets you 5GB of data and $5 of international credit every 30 days for $160 upfront – equivalent to $26.67 a month
- Medium 360 days gets you 5GB of data and $5 of international credit every 30 days for $300 upfront – equivalent to $25 a month
- Large 180 days gets you 10GB of data and $10 of international credit every 30 days for $225 upfront – equivalent to $37.50 a month
- Large 360 days gets you 10GB of data and $10 of international credit every 30 days for $420 upfront – equivalent to $35 a month
It's worth noting that Lebara's long-term plans don't include the unlimited international calls that its 30-day plans do, making them less attractive for those who want to chat to friends and family overseas.
It's also important to be aware that all call and data inclusions are doled out on a monthly basis, so even though you might have paid for a total of 60GB over 180 days, you can only ever use a maximum of 10GB every 30 days. Similarly, if you have any data remaining from one 30-day period, it won't roll over to the next 30 days.
Lebara pay-as-you-go prepaid plans
Lebara's single pay-as-you-go prepaid plan is aimed at those who only use their phone infrequently, whether it be purely for emergencies or on an as-needed basis. The plan features a 365-day expiry and supports recharges in $10, $20, $30 or $50 increments.
Here's how much you'll pay for general usage on Lebara's pay-as-you-go plan:
- Standard national call: 15c/min + 29c flagfall
- Standard national SMS: 15c
- Data: 2c/MB
How does Lebara compare?
With three categories of prepaid plans available, Lebara can cater to a wide range of mobile needs and budgets. At the same time, this means there's no shortage of competition striving to serve up a better deal than Lebara can. So how does Lebara fare?
How do Lebara's 30-day prepaid plans compare?
30-day plans form the core of Lebara's prepaid offerings and stack up quite well against other offerings on the market, especially in the mid-to-high price range.
For example, Lebara's $29.95 5GB Medium plan offers value on par with amaysim and OVO's similarly-priced plans, beating out the lower data caps of Boost Mobile and Woolworths Mobile's offerings. International call inclusions are also higher on Lebara's plan, giving it an edge for overseas callers.
That said, both Boost Mobile and Woolworths Mobile operate on Telstra's 4G network, which supports higher speeds and enjoys greater coverage around Australia.
Here's how Lebara's Medium plan compares against the competition:
Lebara remains competitive at higher price points, too. Its Large and Extra Large plans deliver dollars-to-data ratios up there with top offerings from OVO, Boost Mobile and ALDImobile, although both amaysim's comparable plans edge them out with higher data caps. Meanwhile, Vodafone's $40 Data Combo represents a better long-term investment thanks to its 35-day expiry:
The only area where Lebara's 30-day plans falter is at the budget price point. Instead, plans from amaysim, Boost Mobile, ALDImobile and Coles Mobile pack more data per dollar along with other benefits like 35-day expiry and Telstra network coverage:
How do Lebara's long-term prepaid plans compare?
Options are seriously limited in the long-term prepaid space, leaving Lebara with just one main competitor: Kogan Mobile. Where Lebara offers 180- and 360-day plans, Kogan's options last for 90 or 365 days, which could be a deciding factor in itself depending on your preferences. Both providers use Vodafone's 4G network, so comparing the two is relatively straightforward.
At the Medium plan tier, both Kogan Mobile and Lebara clock in at roughly the same per-month cost, but you get an extra 1GB each month on Kogan Mobile's plans. Kogan takes a further lead at the Large plan tier, where it packs an extra 6GB per month over Lebara at a cheaper monthly rate:
How does Lebara's pay-as-you-go plan compare?
When comparing pay-as-you-go prepaid plans, two factors matter most: credit expiry and rates for call, text and data. While Lebara's pay-as-you-go plan nails the first of those with its 365-day expiry, it falters with the second, as you can see in the table below:
|Lebara Standard (PAYG)||CMobile Red PAYG Annual||Vodafone Prepaid 365 Plus||ALDImobile Pay As You Go||amaysim As You Go|
|Standard national landline call||15c/min + 29c flagfall||10c/min + 0c flagfall||20c/min + 0c flagfall||12c/min + 0c flagfall||15c/min + 0c flagfall|
|Standard national mobile call||15c/min + 29c flagfall||10c/min + 0c flagfall||20c/min + 0c flagfall||12c/min + 0c flagfall||15c/min + 0c flagfall|
|Standard national text||15c||10c||20c||12c||15c|
|Expiry||365 days||365 days||365 days||365 days||365 days|
Other than its 2c/MB data rate, Lebara's pay-as-you-go plan trails behind the cheaper rates of competing offerings from Vodafone, amaysim, CMobile and ALDImobile so it represents a less compelling option in the pay-as-you-go space.
Why should you consider Lebara?
Lebara's 30-day plans also distinguish themselves with their international call inclusions. If you have people you keep in regular contact with overseas, the benefit of unlimited calls to up to 50 countries plus an allotment of international call credit every month makes Lebara well worth considering.
The international advantage is even more impressive if you have a close buddy or three in India, Bangladesh or Pakistan, since Lebara's three biggest 30-day plans let you register phone numbers in those countries and call them as often as you like at no charge.
Lebara prepaid recharge options
Getting started with Lebara requires purchasing a Lebara SIM card directly from the Lebara website. Once you've got your SIM, there are several different ways to recharge your plan:
- Online: Head to the Lebara recharge page and top up your service with a credit or debit card
- In-store: Purchase a Lebara recharge voucher from select retail stores
- Auto-recharge: Log into the MyLebara website, register your payment details and select a recharge amount to have your balance automatically topped up every 30 days
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