Choosing the best mobile contract

Find out the differences between 12- and 24-month phone contracts.

Choosing the best mobile contract

Q. Hi Ryan,

I currently have my mobile phone with Telstra and my 24-month contract has recently finished. My iPhone 3 has started to freeze up and run slower than I am used to, so I’m thinking of ending my contract and starting a new one which includes a brand new iPhone. When looking at the available plans, I noticed some companies are now offering 12-month contracts as well as the traditional 24-month contracts. Can you explain the differences? 

Thanks, Tom.

A. Hello Tom,

The main difference between a 12- and 24-month plan is the duration in which a minimum amount has to be paid over the set period. Generally speaking, the price per month of a 12-month contract will be almost double that of the 24-month contract. At the end of a 12-month plan you’ll own your phone and be free to do what you want with it. You could hand it on to a friend or family, sell the phone and use the money towards your next plan, take out a new plan or even switch over to pre-paid.

The biggest advantage of a 12-month plan is that at the end of it, your phone isn’t out-dated and you can sell it easily on second-hand websites such as eBay or Gumtree. This then allows you to use the money towards upgrading to the latest model outright or by taking out a new contract.

Considering you’re still using an iPhone 3, I will assume that upgrading each year might not be as important to you as it may be to some. In most cases a 24-month plan might be the way to go as you receive the newest phone and pay off the costs over the course of two years with your plan. 

To help you decide on which plan you feel best suits your needs, I’ve compiled a list of plans available for the newest iPhone model, the 16GB iPhone 5s, with the three major telecommunication companies.

 Provider

12 month contract

24 month contract

Telstra

See below for information.

$68/month, $550 of calls and text, 500mb data.

Minimum total cost $1632

Optus

Not available.

$57/month, 300 mins calls, unlimited text, 500mb data. Minimum total cost $1368

Vodafone

$120/month, unlimited calls, 3gb data.

Minimum total cost $1440

$61/month, $300 of calls and text, 300mb data.

Minimum total cost $1464

 
Telstra's "New Phone Feeling" offer allows you to upgrade your phone every year. By paying an extra $10 per month for your phone on a 24-month contract, you can swap it for a new model at the 12-month point. The drawback is that whenever you upgrade your phone, you must take out another 24-month plan and you won’t get to hang on to the old phone, which you are already half way to paying off. You can read more on Telstra's website.

Disclaimer: All prices were correct as of 7 July 2014. Please refer to the companies for more information and to confirm these details.





    COMMENTS

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    justjanet
    23rd Jul 2014
    11:08am
    I suggest you buy your own phone from a retailer the load your numbers from you pld phone via your sim the go with Amaysim the plans are very reasonable and your not locked in to a set time
    Tom Tank
    23rd Jul 2014
    2:20pm
    Completely in agreement. I have been with Amaysim for a couple of years now and apart from difficulty with coverage in the outback, Optus network, I am very satisfied.
    I can also recommend Officeworks for good prices on mobiles that are not locked into any service provider. Check around for the best price you can find on the internet for your chosen phone from a local supplier, print out the price and then go to Officeworks who will beat it by 5%.
    buby
    24th Jul 2014
    10:40am
    im with you JJ and TT, lol i've just done that and couldn't be happier
    harold
    23rd Jul 2014
    12:56pm
    I am waiting for my 24 month contract with Telstra to expire next month, then will go with Boost pre-paid which costs $40/month unlimited (BYO phone) plus 2GB data and uses the full 3G network.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:54pm
    My sailor son in Sydney is happy with Boost pre-paid mobile. He first used them last year when being posted to Sydney from Perth and drove across the Nullarbor. He had coverage nearly all the way and had good reception wherever he camped including down at Fowlers Bay. We kept up on his progress on Facebook and I rang him while he was at Camp Jaffa.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:54pm
    My sailor son in Sydney is happy with Boost pre-paid mobile. He first used them last year when being posted to Sydney from Perth and drove across the Nullarbor. He had coverage nearly all the way and had good reception wherever he camped including down at Fowlers Bay. We kept up on his progress on Facebook and I rang him while he was at Camp Jaffa.
    muckey
    23rd Jul 2014
    1:16pm
    I hardly use my mobile phone, so I use a prepay with Aldi 3G network.
    They have good month by month plans too.
    Oh! My phone was purchased outright too.
    harold
    23rd Jul 2014
    1:34pm
    Aldi is also excellent in that there's plans that last 365 days. However, Aldi no longer has their unlimited plan, and as I don't have a landline I use my mobile for all calls I make. Also, where I live there is only Telstra and as Boost uses Telstra's network it's the best and cheapest for me.
    buby
    24th Jul 2014
    10:42am
    Amaysim is cheaper than Boost , not by much but a bit and better price for the net. www.amaysim.com.au ... its all there to read
    Coachman on the box
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:11pm
    Amaysim has the very best deals with NO lock-in contracts - they're unbeatable and have the awards to prove it (and no, I'm not on commission, just a very satisfied and smug customer). They also have offers on unlocked phones through mobi-city. You'd be mad to use any other mobile provider.
    harold
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:17pm
    No Optus coverage where I live, so have no choice but to go with a Telstra re-seller.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:41pm
    I don't understand why anyone would want a plan these days with so many options around. Owning your phone outright and having sim only to change carriers if wanted is definitely the BEST way to go. Also why only the big three carriers be noted above?..... I'm with Vaya through Optus and for $17 a month I get $750 worth of all calls, $900 Vaya to Vaya, free texts and 2G of data.
    buby
    24th Jul 2014
    10:44am
    gee thats not bad either Penqueen, i think Amaysim is via Optus lines also.
    Who know why they don't list the others.
    Perhaps cause they know we will list them lol
    Jabbathe Hut
    23rd Jul 2014
    3:44pm
    Try VAYA - BYO Phone and the $18/mth plan with no contract is amazing $650 in calls 1.54Gb data and$4000 vaya to vaya - all this each month. It is on the Optus network so no help to Harold.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Jul 2014
    4:01pm
    I've been with Vaya not long after they started business in Brisbane so have a slightly better deal. See my above post. My friend who put me onto them is now with Telechoice as his reception has gotten progressively worse on the Optus network. Telechoice are also through the Telstra network and now my friend has excellent coverage.
    Hillbillypete
    23rd Jul 2014
    5:11pm
    If you are a grey nomad and travel all the time you have no choice but to be with Telstra as they are the only Telco that do the coverage Australia wide, been there done that, I am out of contract with Telstra now for some 9 months but will never go on another plan as they have put all the prices way up, I will buy my next phone out right and stay were I am as nobody can match my old plan from Telstra.
    buby
    24th Jul 2014
    10:46am
    Yes that would be the only problem i guess Hillbilly, and if your in the city, the others will do
    Anonymous
    24th Jul 2014
    11:20am
    I do not pay a thing, I have no plan NO monthly contract
    Penqueen1949
    24th Jul 2014
    2:14pm
    So Anonymous I take it that you have no mobile phone, just a landline. My entire phone bill for the month is $17, what's yours? I haven't bothered with a landline for years now and do not miss it. The line rental on landlines does not even cover my entire phone bill....

    24th Jul 2014
    9:34am
    I do not pay a thing, I have no plan NO monthly contract


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