Optus is one of the three main telco companies in Australia, and has some very competitive offerings if you compare their plans against the other two big players, Telstra and Vodafone. Optus is often seen to be the more affordable option that will still provide you with comprehensive coverage.
What's good about it?
With a $30 recharge of Optus's Prepaid Epic Data plan, you get standard unlimited national talk and text plus a solid 10GB of monthly data. Unused data automatically rolls over up to a maximum of 200GB when you recharge before the expiry date, saving it from going to waste during months of lighter use. To top it off, you get an extra 10GB of streaming data for watching services like Netflix, Stan and ABC iview on the go, saving your regular monthly cap for browsing the web and checking social media.
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After Telstra, Optus is Australia's biggest telecommunications company. While Telstra tends to charge top dollar for what they claim is an unrivalled service, Optus has a range of usually more affordable options while still providing the security and coverage of a major carrier. 98.5% of Australians have access to the Optus network, even outside of major metro areas.
Prepaid mobile plans offer flexibility and the certainty that you'll never end up paying more than what's advertised, and Optus's offerings are no exception. They have plans tailored to people who like to stream or who don't use their mobile much, with recharge costs from as little as $10 to as much as $180.
- Flexibility. The four different plans from Optus appeal to a wide range of customers with different needs, be it lots of data or a long period to use up their credit.
- No bill shock. Since you pay for all your credit ahead of time and get your service cut off when you run out, you'll never end up paying more than you want to.
- Rollover features. Optus's Epic Data and Epic Value plans feature data rollover between recharges, and you can rollover your expiry period with early recharges on Epic Value.
- Add-on customisation. All of Optus's prepaid plans allow for a set of bonus features for an extra cost, like 300 international minutes for $5 dollars to certain countries, extra data, and more.
- 28 day expiry on Epic Data plans. 28 day recharge cycles mean you'll be left paying for an extra bunch of days that you wouldn't on a month-long recharge cycle.
- Long Expiry plans have fixed charges. The higher rates on Long Expiry texts and calls means that your credit might run out sooner if you make lots of calls, even if it doesn't expire as quickly.
- Limited international calls. Unlimited international calls to 18 countries are only included on a few of the Epic Data plans, and none of the others.
Optus offers four different prepaid plans. Nearly all of them have the ability to be customised a little with add-ons.
- Epic Data. This plan is for people who like to stream or have heavy mobile Internet use. Plans range from 5-30 GB, with more expensive plans offering a bonus 25 GB on the first three recharges, and unlimited talk and text in Australia. Additionally, you get a free 10 GB when streaming Stan, Netflix, or ABC iView, plus data rollover when you recharge early.
- Epic Value. These plans are for people who want to make the most of their credit. Plans range from 21 to 42 day expiries, plus a year-long expiry option. Data offered is much lower than the Epic Data plans, from as little as 500 MB to around 15 GB. Includes unlimited domestic calls and texts, plus data rollover for early recharges.
- Daily Plus. A simplified plan where you get charged $2 for the day if you use your phone, and nothing for the day if you don't. Ranges from one month to 186 day expiries, with unlimited domestic calls and texts, plus 500 MB per day. Using a GB of data will double your charge for that day.
- Optus Flex. Highly flexible plans with variable expiry periods. Pay as little as $1 a day for 1GB, and change your subscription anytime using the My Optus app. Plans range from 1GB for $1 with a 1 day expiry up to 30GB for $30 with a 30 day expiry period.
- Long Expiry. If you make calls rarely and barely use data, this is the plan for you. Expiry periods range from a minimum of 45 days to a year, and you'll get charged 25c for each text or minute of conversation to domestic numbers. Data charges are steep at 7c per MB.
We've chosen a couple of similar prepaid plans on the market to see how Optus' Prepaid Epic Data $30 plan fares.
Even though Optus has a fair amount of providers on their network, their $30 prepaid plan stacks up pretty well against others in the market. It offers the most value data-wise (although it's only for the first 3 recharges) making it a very attractive offer.
How do I switch to Optus prepaid?
Changing from one plan to another and keeping your existing number shouldn't be too much of a struggle. Here's what to do:
- Make sure you don't cancel your previous service outright. Doing so will prevent you from keeping your number.
- If you're with a different carrier, buying your desired prepaid plan online will provide you with a new SIM, or you can purchase a SIM in-store. If you're already with Optus, you can reconfigure your existing SIM to the new plan either online or by SMS (send 'MENU' to 9999).
- When you're signing up, you'll be given the option of moving your number from your old carrier to Optus.
- Once you receive your new SIM (unless you bought it in-store), you can activate it. Once it's activated, which can take a few hours, your old number will have been transferred to your new service.
If you're currently on an Optus postpaid service and want to switch to prepaid, you can do so by contacting Optus's support team on 133 937 to organise it. Keep in mind if you're on a postpaid contract, you may incur fees by switching.
How do I recharge Optus prepaid?
There's a wealth of options when it comes to recharging your prepaid plan with Optus:
- Online. You can access Optus's payment portal on their website. If you connect using your prepaid phone's data, it will be automatically recognised.
- MyOptus app. The MyOptus app allows you to see your plan details and manage your payments. It's available via the Apple Store and Google Play.
- Phone. If you wish, you can call 555 (at no cost) and navigate payment options.
- Autorecharge. Optus customers have the option of setting up an autorecharge function for their account where payments will be made automatically. Be aware that once you set this up, you'll continue to be charged even if you aren't using the service, until you cancel it.
Whether you're paying through Optus's web portal or using the MyOptus app, Optus accepts the following payment methods:
- Credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, JCB, and American Express.
- Recharge vouchers, which can be purchased at Optus stores or approved retailers like 7-11, Target, or Australia Post. The full list of retailers is here.