Vodafone now has 35-day prepaid recharge: how does it compare?
$20 for 6GB seems a tough deal to beat, but check carefully.
Vodafone is revamping its prepaid mobile plans, extending most of them to offer a recharge every 35 days rather than every 28 days and offering a special deal which includes 12GB of data for just $20. While an extra week of data and calls for your recharge might seem like good value, the expiry period on its own isn't a good indicator of how much value you'll get. Here's the deal.
What do the new Vodafone plans look like?
Vodafone is revamping two of its Talk Combo and Data Combo plans. The $40 Talk Combo plan includes 6GB of data; the $50 plan includes 9GB (up from 8.5GB previously). Both include unlimited calls and text within Australia, and 90 minutes of calls to 58 selected countries. On the $40 plan, you also get 1,000 minutes to 15 selected countries; on the $50 plan, you score 1,000 minutes to 25 selected countries. (The full country lists are below).
If you don't care about international calls at all, there are two data-only prepaid combos. The $40 Data Combo offers 9GB of data (up from 8.5GB), while the $50 includes 12GB (up from 11.5GB). Those also include unlimited Australian calls and texts.
To launch the new plans, Vodafone is offering a half-price deal on the $40 plans, meaning you can score 12GB of data only for $20, or 6GB of data with unlimited calls and texts plus a decent wodge of international calls for $20. That offers runs until 6 June 2017 (but it's a starter pack, so you can only use it once).
Here's the full suite of current Vodafone prepaid plans (not including the one-month $20 special). Note that the $30 plan is still running on a 28-day expiry, and that the Data and Talk combos are essentially identical.
|Vodafone Plan||Data||Recharge period||AU calls and text||Some international|
|$30 Talk Combo||3GB||28 days||Yes||No|
|$40 Talk Combo||6GB||35 days||Yes||Yes|
|$50 Talk Combo||9GB||35 days||Yes||Yes|
|$30 Data Combo||3GB||28 days||Yes||No|
|$40 Data Combo||9GB||35 days||Yes||No|
|$50 Data Combo||12GB||35 days||Yes||No|
Is that really better value?
In recent years, most prepaid mobile plans have dropped their recharge period from 30 days to 28 days. While that might sound like it means you'll get less for your money, providers have also often increased the amount of data on offer at the same time. Given that most prepaid plans now offer unlimited Australian calls and texts, the relevant metric for comparing plans is how much data you get per day and how much that costs.
On that metric, the Vodafone plans are good value, but not quite as good as you might first assume, because the data allowances haven't changed substantially. On the $40 plan over 28 days, you could use around 214MB each day. Over 35 days, that drops to 171MB. Similarly, on the $50 deal, the effective amount of data you can use per day falls from 303MB to 257MB.
At the $20 price, there's no complaining. But at regular prices, while a good deal, it's still worth checking your other options. You can compare prepaid plans from a wide range of carriers using our Mobile Plan Finder.