At Finder, we compare the prepaid mobile plan market to help you make the best possible decision. In the prepaid space, providers are highly competitive in their offerings, and increasingly, the value they offer is rising (especially data inclusions).
Telstra's prepaid plan offering is listed below, with further analysis. Be sure to filter the results to suit your data, call/text and budget requirements with the "Filter results" button.
Telstra prepaid plan comparison
There are two Telstra prepaid plan categories on offer:
Pre-Paid Max. This includes unlimited domestic calls and texts, as well as unlimited calls to 18 countries. If you spend more on your recharge with this plan, you'll get more included data and a longer time to use it up. The plans range from $10 for 2GB over 7 days, all the way up to $300 for 150GB over 12 months.
Long Life Plus. This plan lets you purchase a set amount of credit that can be used over a certain period of time. Money will be deducted for calls, texts and data usage. Within Australia, you'll be charged 30c for each minute of a voice call or text that you send, and data is charged at a high rate of 10c/MB. International calls are not supported on this plan, only texts at 35c a piece. The more you recharge, the longer your credit lasts.
Can't overspend With a prepaid plan, you can't end up paying more than you intend to. Services are cut off when you reach your credit limit.
No monthly bill Buying credit ahead of time means you won't have to face a phone bill every month. Pay for how much service you need, when you need it, and lock it in ahead of time.
Telstra Air access All of Telstra’s prepaid plans qualify for access to Telstra’s national Wi-Fi network.
Telstra Plus rewardsPrepaid plans are eligible for Telstra's rewards program, where you earn reward points for every dollar you spend to recharge.
Premium pricing Telstra tends to charge more for its services than its competitors, and this includes for prepaid services.
Expiry Prepaid offers flexibility, but unused credit still expires. Many plans only last 28 days, meaning you have to pay for an extra 20 days a year if you recharge regularly after running out.
Topping up It may be a minor inconvenience, but you may find yourself often having to top up your credit at inconvenient times to make a call.
We've compared Telstra's 20GB Pre-Paid Max deal to others on the market.
As you can see, Telstra's only real bonus over competitors for the extra price is that the data lasts longer before expiring. Otherwise, you can get a comparable amount of data from providers like Optus or Boost for less.
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 said, Apple Music subscribers do get data-free music streaming on all Telstra prepaid plans, and all prepaid customers get access to Telstra's sports streaming services at no extra charge and can stream without impacting their data cap.
Telstra also provides free access to its public Wi-Fi network Telstra Air to all prepaid customers. Telstra Air is built into most public payphones – you can tell by the giveaway pink "Telstra Air" tops – Telstra stores and any Telstra customer's home 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.
Telstra offers plenty of options for recharging your prepaid plan. Always check your plan's details, since some offer rewards for recharging ahead of the expiry date.
Online at m.telstra.com. You can visit Telstra's web portal on your browser, create a Telstra ID and recharge using most payment methods. If you use your prepaid phone to visit the site, it will automatically detect your mobile and won't charge you for data.
Via Telstra’s 24/7 app. This app will detect your sim automatically from your prepaid phone. The Telstra 24/7 app is available free of charge for iPhone (you can download it here) and Android (download here).
Via credit card/PayPal. Telstra supports payments via Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express or PayPal to recharge mobile services, but you will have to go through Telstra’s prepaid payment gateway to access the service. You can recharge your own mobile service or the service of any other Telstra prepaid mobile this way.
With a 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. You can set up an automatic recharge with most payment methods using the app or online portal. Be aware that if you set this up, you'll be paying regularly even if you aren't using the service until you explicitly cancel it.
When you're making a payment, Telstra accepts the following:
Credit/debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express
PayPal and Visa Checkout
Direct debit from a bank account
Recharge vouchers, which can be purchased at supermarkets and other retailers
Don't cancel your existing plan if you want to retain your phone number.
Purchase a new prepaid plan with a SIM online or at a store.
When signing up, ask to transfer your existing number over.
Activate your new SIM when it arrives. You should be good to go within a few hours.
If you're not already with Telstra, you simply need to purchase an appropriate prepaid plan either online or at a Telstra store. New plans will come with a SIM card that you'll need to install in your phone and activate, after which you'll be able to access your credit and recharge like normal.
If you're on a postpaid Telstra plan and want to switch to prepaid, you can usually keep your SIM and number by either contacting Telstra or going to one of their stores to get it sorted. If you have a prepaid plan and want a different one, it's possible to change your offer via account management on their online portal or 24/7 app.
What are the international inclusions?
Long Life Plus plans don't offer any free international calls, but they do offer cheaper calls to the USA, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada. Pre-Paid Max customers can call up to 18 countries for free, and a ton of others at a low cost, outlined in the table below.
International call rate
Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam
Ireland, Bangladesh, France, Germany, Japan, Philippines and Sri Lanka
Andorra, Austria, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Finland, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Nepal, New Caledonia, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Vatican City and Virgin Islands (US)
What cheap prepaid phones does Telstra sell to go with a plan?
Be aware that if you buy one of Telstra's prepaid phones, you will get a good discount on the regular price but you won't be able to switch to another carrier. This means that if you insert a non-Telstra SIM, it won't work.
To unlock your phone, you'll have to pay a fee. It's $80 within the first 6 months, $25 up until 2 years and free after that. Here are the prepaid models Telstra currently has on offer:
Alex Kidman was the tech and telco editor at Finder and is now a freelance technology writer. He's been a technology writer with experience spanning more than 20 years, writing and editing at Gizmodo, CNET, PC Magazine, Kotaku and many more. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a serious passion for retro gaming.
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