Telstra prepaid mobile plans give you access to Telstra's 4GX network with the ability to control your spending as you see fit.
What services does Telstra offer?
Just as it does with its contract plans, Telstra’s prepaid mobile services operate on its Australia-wide 4G network. There’s no difference in terms of data speed or call quality for prepaid customers. Telstra’s network has the widest coverage of any provider in Australia, covering both metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.
Telstra’s prepaid plans do vary in terms of how long your prepaid credit lasts. Telstra’s Freedom Plus plans have a 28 day expiry, while its Simplicity Plans have 30 day expiry periods. The expiry on its Long Life plans varies depending on the amount of your recharge, with terms between 60 and 365 days.
How much does Telstra Mobile cost?
Telstra’s prepaid plans operate on a prepaid basis, which is to say that you pay a set upfront fee for access over either 28, 30 or the variable periods with Long Life recharges. The cheapest recharges start at $20 on the Simplicity and Long Life packages, while Freedom Plus offers $30 recharge tiers, generally going upwards from there.
Unlike most contract plans, and many of its competitors, Telstra doesn’t offer all that many "unlimited" calling options on its plans, instead giving you a value that’s either directly related to your recharge amount, or derived from it. Calls are then charged at 89c/minute (Freedom Plus), 78c/minute (Long Life) or 15c/minute (Simplicity). Some upper tiers of the Freedom Plus plans do offer unlimited calls, as well as data inclusions, but other plans offer either low data caps or charge a flat fee per MB of usage (Simplicity/Long Life).
What extras does Telstra Mobile offer?
Like most prepaid plans, Telstra’s prepaid offerings aren’t particularly endowed with lots of additional features; if you want extra goodies you’ve generally got to sign up for a contract plan.
That being said, Telstra does currently offer a 200GB Microsoft OneDrive subscription to all of its mobile customers, including prepaid customers.
If you also use Telstra for your broadband or home phone services, it may be worth checking if you can get a bundled discount for having your mobile number with it as well. These kinds of discounts are more commonly applied with contract phones, but it cannot hurt to check as you may be able to save a little that way.
Telstra also provides access to its public Wi-Fi network, Telstra Air to prepaid customers across all plan types. Telstra Air is built into most public payphones -you can tell by the giveaway pink "Telstra Air" tops - Telstra stores and any Telstra customer willing to become part of the Telstra Air network from their home broadband connection. You do have to log into Telstra Air to take advantage of it, however.
- Can't overspend The key appeal for any prepaid plan is that you can’t spend any more by accident than you’ve already given upfront.
- Telstra Air access At least until 27 March 2018, all of Telstra’s prepaid plans qualify for access to Telstra’s national Wi-Fi network.
- Premium pricing.Just as it does with its contract plans, Telstra’s prepaid offerings generally charge more for calls and data than its competitors; this is especially true for the Simplicity and Long Life Plans.
- Inconsistent expiry. Generally, Telstra’s best value prepaid plan is its Freedom Plus plan, but that expires after only 28 days. Equally, you can only get 365 day expiry on Long Life plans at the top recharge tier.
How to recharge Telstra prepaid
If you’re using a Telstra prepaid service, you have a number of different ways to recharge your credit once it has expired. For some plans there may be a benefit to recharging before you hit your expiry period as some credit inclusions may roll over into your new expiry period.
Telstra prepaid recharge options
- Online at m.telstra.com: If you’ve got your prepaid phone to hand, you can access Telstra’s web portal at any time with no data cost. From there, you can access your credit balance and recharge via credit/debit card, Visa Checkout, PayPal or CreditMe2U services.
- Online from your desktop: The same interface that you can use at Telstra’s mobile portal is also open to you from your computer’s web browser, although because it won’t be able to detect your mobile automatically, you will have to register for a Telstra ID, or link your Facebook ID with your Telstra account to manage and recharge your prepaid service.
- Via Telstra’s 24/7 app: Telstra’s mobile app for Android or iOS provides you with an easy way to check your prepaid balance. If you have other Telstra services you can log in with your Telstra ID, but if you’re using your mobile device directly and you’re not on a Wi-Fi connection, it can detect your SIM and service status, as well as letting you recharge your service. The Telstra 24/7 app is available free of charge for iOS (you can download it here), Android (download here), Windows Phone 8 (download here) or BlackBerry 10 handsets (download here)
- Via Credit Card/PayPal: Telstra supports payments via Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express or PayPal to recharge mobile services if that’s your payment gateway of choice, but you will have to go through Telstra’ prepaid payment gateway to avail yourself of the service. You can recharge your own mobile service, or the service of any other Telstra prepaid mobile this way.
- Via voucher: You can opt to purchase recharge vouchers at most supermarkets and other mass-market retailers, which you then apply to your mobile service through the Telstra 24/7 App or mobile web portal.
- By phone: If you’d rather use your phone to recharge, you can access recharge services by dialling 125 888 from your handset.
- Via automatic recharge: If you simply don't want to forget to recharge, you can set your account to automatically recharge on expiry through Telstra's 24/7 app or web portal. Bear in mind if you do opt for this feature, it will keep going even if you're not using the service any more until you explicitly tell it not to.
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