Which phone plan is for you?

Learn about the differences between pre-paid, post-paid and month-by-month plans.

Which phone plan is for you?

Don’t get locked in to the wrong plan. Learn about the differences between pre-paid, post-paid and month-by-month plans to understand which option is the best for you.

Pre-paid

A pre-paid plan means that you will pay a small fee to purchase a sim card, after which credit will be subtracted from your sim card account each time you make a phone call or send an SMS. You can purchase more credit from most supermarkets and newsagencies.

Pros: Prepaid credit can be purchased when needed, and you won’t find yourself overlooking a bank statement to discover that you’ve been overcharged.

Cons: Pre-paid is usually the most expensive option per call/SMS, so heavy phone users may want to consider alternatives. Credit expires, so make sure you know how long yours will last before you go pre-paid. You must also provide your own phone, so remember to check whether it is compatible with the provider you choose.

Post-paid

Also commonly referred to as ‘cap plans’ or ‘contracts’, post-paid plans allow you to use your phone as much as you want for a monthly fee. However, if you exceed a certain amount of use, you will be charged extra at an inflated price. Post-paid plans require you to pay at the end of the month and often include a phone in the plan.

Pros: It’s convenient, as you can have a phone included in the plan, which is usually good value for money.

Cons: Bill shock can devastate post-paid phone plan users, but recent changes to laws have made it harder for the big three telcos (Tesltra, Optus and Vodafone) to get away with this. Customers of these companies will be updated by SMS if they are approaching their usage limit. Most contracts require a 24-month lock-in period. So if you want to end the plan early, you will have to pay a substantial fee.

Month-by-month

These plans function in the same way as post-paid plans, except they do not require a lock-in contract or, if so, a very short one. Some may also require more than one month’s notice if you are cancelling your plan.

Pros: Allows you to enjoy the pre-paid feeling of freedom with no lock-in contract, meaning you can change plans whenever, whilst also enjoying the post-paid cost efficiency, but you will need to have your own phone.

Cons: Month-by-month users are still as susceptible to bill shock as post-paid users.

On which type of phone plan are you on? Do you have any advice for your fellow members?





    COMMENTS

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    Dotty
    30th Jun 2015
    10:51am
    I have been on prepaid with Vodafone for over 12 years and have never had any problems with doing it this way !
    As what I recharge for last me up to usually the last day of my payment !!
    Dotty
    Margo49
    30th Jun 2015
    10:59am
    I personally have tried them all. Aldi seem to have the best one to suit myself. I have found their XLarge plan excellent and seeing I live in the outer suburbs the 3g they use on the Telstra network copes very well.
    Tara
    31st Jul 2016
    11:09pm
    I am soo ignorant re mobiles. Aldi has just opened nearby. Can they organise it all for me? - sorry i don't even what questions to ask. Have my own mobile phone.
    Johno
    30th Jun 2015
    11:40am
    I've had a $49.95/month unlimited calls to Oz home lines and mobiles for around five years. Very pleased with this arrangement. Has saved me $'000. None of the other providers have been able to match this arrangement. I live in the country and have had no coverage issues.
    Pinky
    1st Jul 2015
    3:06pm
    What company isthisthrough please?
    quirke
    30th Jun 2015
    12:21pm
    At the moment I am with Telstra on a contract, my main concern is if I changed to for instance to (aldi) can I take my existing mobile number with me.
    LiveItUp
    30th Jun 2015
    12:40pm
    Yes you can port your number to ALDI. Just buy a $5 Aldi starter pack and follow the instructions.
    westy50
    30th Jun 2015
    1:07pm
    I am with Boost which in essence is Telstra selling of there 3G network. I pay $40 a month for unlimited calls and text and yes I was able to port (keep) my phone number.

    30th Jun 2015
    2:13pm
    Years ago I bought a $20 Nokia and leave it in the car for emergency use if alone, as my wife always has a smartphone with her. I got a Vodafone $30 for 365 days plan which rolls over unused credits with annual recharge. Local calls are 89 cents a minute with a 35 cents per flag fall which may seem a bit steep, but as an emergency option with rollover credits it suits me to the ground. To each their own.
    micky d.
    30th Jun 2015
    6:12pm
    AMAYSIM Pay-AS-You-Go. No locked in contract. Just a simple 12cents a minute call charge (no flag-falls etc). Buy into their pre-paid option for as little as $10.00 which, if you haven't used up by the 90th day, can be rolled over into the next 3 months. You don't lose it. GREAT for those who make only a few calls. Bring in your own telephone number. Walk away whenever you want. I've been using mine for 2 years without a single regret - but I only make a few calls and they tend to be of short duration. If you work it out you will see that you can actually speak for 83 minutes before your $10 is used up.
    Pinky
    30th Jun 2015
    11:57pm
    Hey, this is great reading all these different ways of using phones/plans! Thanks everyone so far.
    westy50
    1st Jul 2015
    2:51am
    Yes Pinky, just depends if your a heavy user or a light one. We found it was better value for us to get rid of the home phone and just have an unlimited mobile, anyone who wants us just rings and then we ring them back, so they don't have to pay a lot to talk to a mobile phone.

    1st Jul 2015
    7:36am
    I put in $70 with telstra pre paid and that has an expiry of one year. As I only use my phone for emergencies I have a large credit built up...not by choice but that is how it has turned out. You cannot build up too much credit and you must make sure you keep below $500 credit. Hubby has the same deal. He uses his to call interstate every fortnight and his $70 has never run out.

    This suits us but as I said we are extremely light users and we are not long talkers on the phone. Use email most of the time.
    Erin
    1st Jul 2015
    11:11am
    I have my own mobile phone (DORO 6123) and am on 'Pay as you go' with AMAYSIM - definitely the cheapest available.


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