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.
- 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
Woops! Looks like you can't buy Telstra prepaid plans via Finder right now. You can still browse its plans here and check out our guide. To make a purchase, head to Telstra's website or compare a bunch of other prepaid mobile plans with Finder.
Compare all Telstra prepaid plans here
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.
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:
|Plan||Expiry period||GB available over a year||How does it compare?|
|$30 Pre-Paid Complete||28 days||147GB/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 Complete||180 days||120GB/12 months||Over 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 Complete||365 days||150GB/12 months||Over 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?
|Plan name||Pre-Paid Complete $30||Prepaid Epic Data $30||Prepaid $30|
|Data allowance||8GB (+15GB on first 3 recharges)||10GB (+25GB on first 3 recharges)||20GB (+15GB on first 3 recharges)|
|Included extras||Data bank, international inclusions, data-free sports and music streaming, Telstra Air Wi-Fi||Data rollover, bonus streaming data||Data 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 Finder™.
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:
|Automatic prepaid recharge|
|Auto data top-ups|
|Entertainment extras (e.g. access to sports, music streaming, etc)|
|Data-free media streaming|
|International calls/texts included|
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:
- Tons of bonus features on plans.
- Australia's largest mobile network.
- Data bank preserves unused data
- 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.
- Visa Checkout.
Choose your payment method, and pick one of these options for recharging.
Go to the Telstra recharge page. From there, you can log into your account using your Telstra ID and password to recharge. Alternatively, visit the page on your phone with the Wi-Fi off and enter your mobile number.
Over the phone
You can call #100# to check your balance and recharge using any payment method listed above. Follow the prompts on your screen.
Using the My Telstra app
Download the My Telstra app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. It lets you check your usage, see your balance and recharge your service.
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?
How long do Telstra prepaid plans last?
Can I transfer Telstra prepaid credit?
Does Telstra prepaid credit rollover?
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