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Telstra prepaid plans

Buy a prepaid mobile plan from Telstra and enjoy Australia’s widest coverage, plus plenty of entertainment extras.

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Telstra is Australia's largest mobile provider, so naturally, it has a decent range of prepaid plans on offer for customers. Whether you're looking for lots of data that will take ages to expire or you need decent coverage around the country, there's a prepaid SIM to suit.

Why consider Telstra?
  • It's the largest Australian network reaching 99.5% of the population
  • International inclusions are common on its plans
  • PAYG options available for people who don't use their phones a lot
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Grab a Pre-Paid Complete plan if you're looking for normal prepaid or Long Life Plus if you're not much of a data user and want your credit to last for ages. Expiry periods for Pre-Paid Complete depend on price – more expensive plans will last longer.

What's the best Telstra prepaid plan?

The best Telstra prepaid plan depends on what you're looking for. Telstra's prepaid options come in two forms: Pre-Paid Complete and Long Life Plus.

The two plan types suit different kinds of users. Pre-Paid Complete plans are normal prepaid deals where you pay for all your inclusions upfront, and are better for regular, day-to-day customers. Long Life Plus plans involve buying a certain amount of credit to start with, and then subtracting usage charges from that when you use your phone. These plans come with no data inclusions, so they're better off for people who don't use their phone very much.

Pre-Paid Complete

Wondering what $30 on a Telstra prepaid plan can get you? Well, this is what's on offer as far as Pre-Paid Complete goes:

  • $10 Pre-Paid Complete. 1GB for $10 with a 7-day expiry period.
  • $30 Pre-Paid Complete. 8GB for $30 with a 28-day expiry period and 17GB of bonus data on the first 3 recharges (for 25GB total).
  • $40 Pre-Paid Complete. 18GB for $40 with a 28-day expiry period and 17GB of bonus data on the first 3 recharges (for 35GB total).
  • $150 Pre-Paid Complete. 60GB for $150 with a 6-month expiry period.
  • $300 Pre-Paid Complete. 150GB for $300 with a 12-month expiry period.

These plans also have a whole host of additional features, including Telstra Air Wi-Fi, a data bank and more.

Are Telstra's long expiry plans good value?

Long expiry plans usually offer you better value since you're paying for your total usage for the period upfront. Here's how Telstra's long expiry options compare to their monthly versions in terms of savings over a year:

PlanExpiry periodGB available over a yearHow does it compare?
$30 Pre-Paid Complete28 days147GB/12 months (25GB for 3 recharges, 8GB for the rest)Over 365 days, you'll be spending $360 for 147GB. In subsequent years, the value drops substantially (since there's no bonus data).
$150 Pre-Paid Complete180 days120GB/12 monthsOver 365 days, you'll be spending $300 for 120GB – saving $60. Each 1GB of data is actually more expensive, however ($2.5/GB vs. $2.45/GB for the monthly).
$300 Pre-Paid Complete365 days150GB/12 monthsOver 365 days, you'll spend $300 for 150GB – saving $60. This is all around better value than the monthly plan.

From this breakdown, we can see the 12-month plan is the best value out of all since its 180-day plan oddly comes with a slightly higher data-to-price ratio.

Prepaid Long Life Plus

Telstra's three Long Life Plus plans all operate the same way but have different starting credit and expiry periods:

  • $30 Long Life Plus. Credit has a 180-day expiry period.
  • $40 Long Life Plus. Credit has a 180-day expiry period.
  • $150 Long Life Plus. Credit has a 365-day expiry period.

Each plan has the same pay as you go rates: 30 cents per minute for calls, 30 cents per SMS text and 7 cents per MB of data.

Long Life Plus plans will suit users who need almost no data at all. You're paying around $70 per 1GB of data, which would be dreadful on any other plan. Pick up a Long Life Plus plan if you only intend to use your phone occasionally over the next six months to a year.

How do Telstra's prepaid plans stack up against the competition?

To see how much value is in Telstra's $30 prepaid SIM, we've lined it up against Optus and Boost Mobile (one of Telstra's MVNOs that uses its full network coverage).

TelstraOptusBoost Mobile
Plan namePre-Paid Complete $30Prepaid Epic Data $30Prepaid $30
Plan cost$30$30$30
Data allowance8GB (+15GB on first 3 recharges)10GB (+25GB on first 3 recharges)20GB (+15GB on first 3 recharges)
Included extrasData bank, international inclusions, data-free sports and music streaming, Telstra Air Wi-FiData rollover, bonus streaming dataData rollover, international inclusions, data-free Apple Music streaming

All three of these plans offer lots of data for the first three recharges and then sharply fall off. When comparing the base data from the fourth recharge onwards, you can see that Telstra comes last, 12GB behind Boost Mobile.

In terms of features, Telstra has far more on offer than any MVNO can match. Price-wise, Telstra will almost always be more expensive, charging more to cover costs like network maintenance and construction.

Telstra's prepaid plans are better suited towards regular mobile users with modest data needs, or those who need a lot of data but only for a few months. Since all three plans provide data rollover, you could bank up the bonus data if you're a low-data user and rely upon it for a longer time.

To see how Telstra's plans do against other prepaid options, you can compare them against all other options on the market using the Mobile Plan Finderâ„¢.

What about against the other two big providers?

Telstra is the largest provider in Australia, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. Let's take a look at how it compares to the other two networks in terms of the features available on its prepaid SIMs:

FeatureTelstraOptusVodafone
Automatic prepaid recharge
Auto data top-ups
Entertainment extras (e.g. access to sports, music streaming, etc)
Data-free media streaming
Roll-over data
International calls/texts included
International roaming
Rewards program

Telstra has the most extra features compared to any other provider, but these features are only useful if you're going to take advantage of them. If you're paying extra for features like music streaming or international inclusions but not using them, you could be better off choosing a different provider with cheaper plans.

As an overview, here are the ups and downs of Telstra's prepaid plans:

Pros

  • Tons of bonus features on plans.
  • Australia's largest mobile network.
  • Data bank preserves unused data

Cons

  • Data value plummets after three recharges.
  • 28-day expiry period means extra recharges in the year.
  • Some of the highest prices on the market.

Telstra prepaid roaming

Telstra's roaming comes in the form of "Plus Packs" that you can add on to your prepaid SIM, though roaming is active by default in eligible countries. For the most up-to-date list of these eligible countries, have a look at Telstra's website. The following packs are available:

  • Small. $29 for 100MB of data with a 30-day expiry period.
  • Medium. $85 for 300MB of data with a 30-day expiry period.
  • Large. $160 for 600MB of data with a 30-day expiry period.

Any data you use past the limit is charged at a huge $3 per MB. As with most providers, we recommend you pick up a travel or local SIM instead of activating roaming, since roaming costs balloon quickly.

Telstra prepaid phones

Telstra offers a small collection of prepaid mobile devices that you can buy outright, either online or at a Telstra store. Don't expect any of the hottest new handsets to be on offer. Most of them are Telstra's own branded phones and tend more towards the basic side of things.

These handsets are locked to the Telstra network and will only function with a Telstra SIM.

Can you unlock a Telstra prepaid phone?

You can unlock your Telstra prepaid phone by paying an unlocking fee, depending on how long you've had it:

  • $80 for devices activated 6 months ago or less.
  • $25 for devices activated between 6 months and 2 years ago.
  • Free for devices activated more than 2 years ago.

You'll need your phone's IMEI number to unlock your phone – instructions on how to find this number and how to unlock your phone from a network are here. Unlocking your phone will let you use it with a SIM card from another provider, meaning you don't have to buy a whole new handset to switch mobile plans.

How does the Telstra prepaid recharge work?

No matter how you choose to recharge, Telstra allows the following payment methods:

  • Credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
  • PayPal.
  • Visa Checkout.

Choose your payment method, and pick one of these options for recharging.

Desktop Icon

Online

Phone Icon

Over the phone

mobile phone icon

Using the My Telstra app

How do I check my Telstra prepaid balance?

You can check your balance via many of the same methods you use to recharge it, including the following:

  • The My Telstra app.
  • My Account (sign in via the Telstra website).
  • Visit m.telstra.com on your prepaid device with Wi-Fi off.
  • Dial #100# on your prepaid device.

What happens if I don't recharge my Telstra prepaid?

If you fail to recharge your prepaid SIM before the expiry date, you'll lose service and won't be able to make calls, send texts or use mobile data. You will still be able to receive calls for 20 days and emergency calls for 90 days.

Failing to recharge will also empty out any data you've stored in your data bank.

Telstra prepaid mobile broadband

A Telstra prepaid mobile broadband plan functions in much the same way as a regular prepaid phone plan, with one important difference: you will only get data, not calls or texts. You can buy a standalone SIM that can be inserted into any SIM-enabled device or modem, or sign up for a contract and get a modem with your plan.

For more information on Telstra's prepaid mobile broadband plans, see here.

Frequently asked questions about Telstra prepaid plans

Can I change my Telstra prepaid plan?

Since Telstra's prepaid plans are only offered on month-to-month contracts, you can change your plan at any time. As long as you're recharging with at least $30, you can keep any data you have saved in your data bank.

The only exception to this rule is Telstra's long expiry plans since they last for up to 365 days. You're free to leave these plans at any time, but you'll be losing a big chunk of money if you don't see it out till its expiry end date.

How long do Telstra prepaid plans last?

Your inclusions will last until the end of your expiry period. Expiry periods for Telstra prepaid SIMs range from seven days to a full year, so check the plan you're on.

Can I transfer Telstra prepaid credit?

No. Telstra prepaid plans used to have a feature called Credit Me2U that allowed for credit transfer between prepaid accounts, but that is no longer available on any of Telstra's current prepaid plans.

Does Telstra prepaid credit rollover?

So long as you recharge before the expiry date, you can roll over credit between recharges. Unused data is sent to a "data bank" that can store up to 200GB of unused credit, which is accessible anytime.

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    borger11981@gmail.comMarch 28, 2019

    I get the $30 recharge it lasts about 28 days or so. I just want 2 get a $20 recharge will it last about 14 days.

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiMarch 29, 2019

      Hi borger11981@gmail.com,

      Thanks for reaching out! To $20 recharge will last depending on your usage. For additional information, standard national calls is 3 cents/minute, no free text messages, and no data included. Keep a close watch on your consumption to make sure it will last you at least 14 days.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    WalleonFebruary 15, 2019

    How long is one’s mobile service connected to the Telstra network if one has omitted to recharge timeously on the Telstra 4G Prepaid Long Life Plus $30?

    Thanking You Kindly
    Walleon

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiFebruary 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Walleon,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Generally, Telstra SIM cards will expire if it is not recharged. Six (6) months after your credit has expired, if you have not recharged in this period the SIM will expire and be cancelled. This timeframe goes the same with a Telstra 4G Prepaid Long Life Plus $30.

      If your SIM gets expired, you need to purchase a new SIM and get a new service/number. The page above will show you available plans that you can take advantage.

      Hope this helps. ​Please feel free to contact us back should you require further assistance.

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

  3. Default Gravatar
    KenOctober 23, 2017

    I have a Telstra mobile and if I buy a $30 recharge, is it still Good for 6 months and not lose my credit?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlOctober 24, 2017

      Hi Ken,

      Yes, if it’s Telstra Long-Life $30 offer you’re referring to. A recharge of either $30, $40 or $50 has an expiry of 6 months. Please be guided of the call and text rates for this pre-paid plan as listed above.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  4. Default Gravatar
    gaileSeptember 11, 2017

    does all standard calls include mobile and home phones and is it to telstra only

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 11, 2017

      Hello Gaile,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, it includes mobiles and home phone calls in all providers.

      You may refer to the Critical Information Summary of the Telstra Pre-Paid Mobile Offers for further details.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    JonathanNovember 21, 2016

    I have a prepaid service on the Telstra Pre-Paid Plus offer.

    I used to be able to recharge my telstra service, and use my credit on the Google Play Store by selecting bill my telstra service.

    Obviously, this was a useful feature of the telstra prepaid plan, but now, after I recharge, the credit still applies to my data/voice/messages, but it seems it is no longer possible to use the credit as I did before.

    What happened? was it removed? Is there a recourse available for telstra removing a major benefit of the offer?

    • Default Gravatar
      ChesterNovember 22, 2016

      Hello Jon!

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. Please note that we do not represent TELSTRA or any company we feature on our pages.

      In regards to your comment on our page about Telstra Pre-Paid Plus payment via Google Play Store, the Prepaid offer where you can Purchase from Google play was the Freedom plus offer, and since you have the Prepaid plus offer on your mobile before, Pre-Paid Plus $30+ recharges do not come with recharge credit but include Plus Credit ($5, $10 and $15 with $30, $40 and $50 recharges respectively). Plus Credit can be used on international calls and text, roaming and Premium SMS. Plus Credit excludes calls, text and MMS to Australian numbers, diversions, MessageBank retrieval, internet browsing within Australia and Google Play Content purchases.

      Now, since the Plus credits excludes Google play Purchases for you to be able to Purchase on Google Play store, You need to use your credit card when processing your payment.

      I hope I was able to address your concern today.

      Regards,
      Chester

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanNovember 23, 2016

      Hi Chester,

      Thank you for your reply, although you pretty much said exactly what is on the telstra webpage.

      The thing is, I was able to use my credit to purchase items on the Google store, but for the last two recharges, I cannot. I have been on prepaid plus for 3 months.

      I suppose another way to ask my question is when did freedom plus become unavailable, and when did prepaid plus become the default?

      Kind regards,

      Jon

    • Default Gravatar
      ChesterNovember 23, 2016

      Hello Jon!

      Thanks for your response.

      The Freedom Plus offer was disconnected on August 22, and that is also the date the Prepaid Plus was launched to the market.

      I hope that helps.

      Regards,
      Chester

    • Default Gravatar
      JohnApril 12, 2017

      My wife is a pensioner and wishes to have a mobile phone in case of emergency when in the car. Average use over past months is two local calls a month. What would you recommend?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JasonApril 13, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Although I cannot recommend a specific mobile phone plan because your circumstances, budget and needs may vary quite markedly, but you may check out this link for some options and tips on which mobile plans would possibly fit your or your wife’s needs. The selections on that link is categorized based on usage, budget and other things that would matter when selecting a mobile plan.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Jason

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