Prepaid mobile plan on a budget

Jacqui needs help finding a pensioner friendly prepaid mobile plan.

Prepaid mobile plan on a budget

YOURLifeChoices member Jacqui’s plan is ceasing in the next two weeks and she needs help finding a pensioner friendly prepaid mobile plan.

Q. Hello,
I’m desperate to find another mobile phone company which offers me a prepaid mobile service, especially for someone on a budget as I’ve just received advice from ‘ONE Seniors’ that they’re no longer able to continue the supply of their prepaid mobile services. 

The prepaid plan which I’m currently with will cease to operate in the next two weeks. The plan features:

  • 3 hours of talk time
  • 200 SMS’s
  • 1GB data
  • Unlimited Facebook
  • Expiry period of 90 days.
     

This plan was perfect for me. I’m doing it really tough financially and I barely have enough money to survive each fortnight.

I’ve done some basic research on the net, but up to now everything I’ve seen has an expiry period of 30 days.

Would your team know of any alternatives similar to the one above?

A. Hi Jacqui,

Thanks for your question. There are several smaller providers which offer services similar to what you currently receive. I have outlined two providers below which I believe fit your needs.  

Amaysim
Having established a reputable name in the Australian market over the past five years, Amaysim’s services are powered by the Optus 3G network. The two major upsides of the Amaysim prepaid system is that the credit has a 90-day expiry period and you receive unlimited social networking (Facebook and Twitter). The rates seem fairly reasonable at 12 cents per minute standard calls and 12 cents per SMS. The only issue you may have is when it comes to mobile data, as their data packs all come with a 30-day expiry period, excluding the 10GB pack which lasts a full year ($99.90).

You can find out more at www.amaysim.com.au.

Dodo
Slightly less expensive call-rate wise than Amaysim, Dodo gives you the option of 60, 90, 180 or 360 day expiry on credit depending on the prepaid option you take. Standard calls cost 11 cents per minute with no flagfall Australia-wide, while sending an SMS will cost 11 cents. The only downside of Dodo is that they are not data friendly. If you are looking for a no-frills plan on a phone with no internet access, then this is a very solid option.

You can find out more at www.dodo.com.

Are you on a prepaid plan? Who do you use and how do they measure up? Do you know of a plan which may suit Jacqui? 





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Eastgardens
    19th Sep 2013
    10:46am
    I'm with TPG. $17 per month with about $500 worth of calls and 2GB of data. You keep your phone number. You need to buy the new SIM card and have the monthly payment by automatic deduction from your account. I have never used my allowance. Check latest information on www.tpg.com.au.
    Jurassicgeek
    19th Sep 2013
    1:57pm
    They dont make that one any more mate,,but for $19.90 and $500 calls 1 GB data with TPG
    Penqueen1949
    19th Sep 2013
    2:07pm
    Eastgardens, my $17 a month with Vaya gets me $750 of talk with free texts plus $900 Vaya to Vaya as well as 2GB of data. For $17 a month I have not seen better. Vaya goes through the Optus network.
    Penqueen1949
    19th Sep 2013
    9:19pm
    I forgot to add that I only use a sim only unlocked phone, no landline for over two years so no Hellstra. The $20 a month I spend on two sim only plans for two phones would not even cover line rental on a landline..... I sometimes use my smart phone for the net but mostly I use my Virgin wifi plan which costs me $29 a month for 6GB of data. My other mobile phone has $10 of calls with expiry of 3 months and I can call any landline for 35 cents and talk to up to 3 hours but I don't chat for that long. Calls to any mobiles on this Hello Mobile prepaid sim only plan are 12 cents per minute. I only use this phone if I've used 80% credit on the Android phone and this rarely happens.
    Penqueen1949
    19th Sep 2013
    9:19pm
    I forgot to add that I only use a sim only unlocked phone, no landline for over two years so no Hellstra. The $20 a month I spend on two sim only plans for two phones would not even cover line rental on a landline..... I sometimes use my smart phone for the net but mostly I use my Virgin wifi plan which costs me $29 a month for 6GB of data. My other mobile phone has $10 of calls with expiry of 3 months and I can call any landline for 35 cents and talk to up to 3 hours but I don't chat for that long. Calls to any mobiles on this Hello Mobile prepaid sim only plan are 12 cents per minute. I only use this phone if I've used 80% credit on the Android phone and this rarely happens.
    Karl
    19th Sep 2013
    11:22am
    I'm about to change over from Telstra prepaid to Aldi prepaid. I only use the phone for text messages. The main problem with Telstra is that the prepaid credit expires in 30 days, so I'm wasting money. The Aldi credit lasts for 365 days so I won't waste credit. The Aldi sim costs $5.00 at Aldi and has $5.00 credit, so it's really free. Aldi uses the Telstra network which I believe is superior to the others. You keep your own number. It cost $27.50 to unlock the phone. Other than the pain of setting up I expect it to be a good move.
    minnie
    19th Sep 2013
    11:25am
    Karl thanks for that information, I've got a Telstra phone which I rarely use, the sim is no longer working due to inactivity (didn't know they did that) so I'll look into the Aldi on and unlock it again.
    Princess Mary
    19th Sep 2013
    11:29am
    We are with Vodafone prepaid. $30 for 365 days.
    BUT if you use the mobile a lot, wouldn't recommend it, as the calls are expensive.
    My husband and I use it for emergencies only, and people can ring us!
    Wstaton
    19th Sep 2013
    11:29am
    You should also check out Aldi Mobile. Prepaid lasts 365 days 12c mobile,sms,local,std
    5c megabyte

    Also their unlimited is $35 month plus 5gb data. They use the telstra 3g network.
    Princess Mary
    19th Sep 2013
    12:10pm
    that sounds good - thanks
    Wstaton
    19th Sep 2013
    12:20pm
    Should have also mentioned any topup is $15 and is added to what is already there. Topup extends the 365 days.
    Lee
    19th Sep 2013
    11:46am
    Is there anyone out there using Viber? Is it as good as it sounds and safe to download.
    Mary
    19th Sep 2013
    12:17pm
    The $19.99 Amaysim's plan is great - no contract - but 30 day expiry - and the unused portion of the previous month is added to your current month - I cannot use all the data that is on this plan - having said that my partner only puts on $10 on their Amaysim prepaid and it lasts about 6 weeks depending on your usage Perfect for occasional users Only pay for what you use 12c/min standard calls and /SMS 5c/MB data
    and unlimited Facebook
    PlanB
    19th Sep 2013
    12:30pm
    I still use land line as I have ADSL plus if you just have a mobile it is too dear for others to ring you if they are using a land line.

    Good luck with Voda, as you will be lucky to get out at all in a LOT of places

    I use Telstra NEXT G they give the best coverage
    Jurassicgeek
    19th Sep 2013
    2:03pm
    Plan B did you know you can get naked DSL and not pay line rental for your internet? I had this for a few years and the voip system is as good as a standard landline Ask your provider about this...you can save heaps..
    bubyshka
    19th Sep 2013
    11:23pm
    Jurassic but with naked don't you need wifi equipment, or am i not correct.
    i have wanted to try this but not sure what i need to do to get started please can you tell me how it all works> thanks=buby
    Johnny
    19th Sep 2013
    12:42pm
    Try Boost
    Lormun
    19th Sep 2013
    1:03pm
    Lee, I downloaded Viber a couple of months ago, but found that because it runs in the background all the time, it flattened my battery completely overnight every night, so I have removed it. You can only ring people who are on viber - like skype without the picture.
    Anonymous
    19th Sep 2013
    1:15pm
    Be aware that Viber requests full access to your list of contacts, so they can build a huge database!

    Once you allow this, your entire list of phone contacts become listed as users of Viber! - without their knowledge!

    Do some Googling on "Viber access contacts" and be very careful about using Viber.

    Viber is an Israeli company whose corporate headquarters are in Cyprus - the country of shonks! Do you think the company might have a lot to hide, by doing this?
    Smee
    19th Sep 2013
    1:17pm
    Jacqui, We use Internode. www.internode.on.net They use Optus 3G network for their pre paid wireless broadband and their mobile phone acct has data attached so we can tether the phone and use that data as well. Their customer service is excellent and they sound (and are) Australian. All based in Adelaide. We also have a small Amaysim acct for mobile phone only but could use it for data if the old phone could handle it.. Both providers are just as good as each other. Thanks to Telstra, we don't have ADSL.
    Wstaton
    19th Sep 2013
    1:51pm
    It would appear that you need to sign up for a home phone line before you can get nodemobile in any case their call charges are excessive (35c flagfall and 90 cents a minute) if you compare them to what people have mentioned above. e.g. Aldi 12c minute with no flagfall charges.
    Smee
    19th Sep 2013
    2:57pm
    Almost correct Wstaton. Our internet service costs $24.95 per month for 3Gig.. We are old customers so we get a little extra data for our $$.
    With the mobile phone we have the node mobile 3G value plan for $20 per month with data thrown in as well. While the calls might appear excessive we get $450 worth before incurring any charges. The closest we have ever come to that amount was $380. Last month we made 92 calls and texts and used part of our data (not sure how much) on 31 occasions. Still worth a call to internode I think.
    Sconny
    19th Sep 2013
    1:35pm
    I've been with quite a few providers, none of which can compare to ALDI with Prepaid expiry of 365 days and overseas calls at 10 cents per minute no connection fee. Five bucks for the sim with five bucks of starter credit and easy reloads at $15 for 365 days subject to how you use your phone of course. Finally they use Telstra Network and as I live in rural Tassie that network is the most reliable
    Barnacle Bill
    19th Sep 2013
    2:26pm
    I am with boost on a $39.95 prepaid plan. Unlimited calls and texts and 3g of data. I tether my smart phone to the laptop for internet access.Telstra 3g carrier, so good coverage.
    Scottie
    19th Sep 2013
    3:27pm
    I just want a post-paid or pay for what you use, with cheap calls. Don't want much, do I? But it's what I have now, with a $10 per month charge plus whatever I use. Calls are VERY cheap. It's an old One-Tel plan we have had for years, now run by Optus and they are trying to phase it out.

    Beware, with some of the cheap plans, if you let it lapse for a month or three, you will LOSE YOUR NUMBER. And since I have had this one for nearly 20 years, I have no intention of letting it go. Had been planning to go with Amaysim as we recently got one of thei mobile braodbnad (dongle) plans for a computer and that has proven quite good so far. But will check out ALDI
    tjayz
    19th Sep 2013
    4:49pm
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Savvytel. They have a "call credits never expire" plan which I have been on for ages with no problems. You can get a starter pack for only $5 and they use the Optus network.
    Lee
    19th Sep 2013
    5:22pm
    Thanks Lormun and Aaron for the excellent feed back on Viber. I did think it sounded too good. Cheers
    ADvisor
    19th Sep 2013
    11:23pm
    Am a Savvytel user and would also recommend their "call credits never expire plan''. You must make one call or sms in a 6 month period to keep service alive. Competitive call rates and easy to set up an automatic top up via Credit Card. Ideal for seniors or the younger set as you can keep an eye on costs. Check out their website for full details or give them a ring in Eastern States - office hours - no 24/7 service that''s I understand how the costs are so reasonable.
    bubyshka
    19th Sep 2013
    11:31pm
    thanks everybody very interesting. also i'd like to add that in victoria if you own your own mob phone. you can sign up to Virgin for two years its not prepaid, its called a 29 dollar plan, and i never ever exceeded past 20dollars a month and called everywhere to my hearts content. NOT prepaid, but not bad either. but don't buy the sony of them........NOT worth it....... cheers ppl
    The Good Egg
    20th Sep 2013
    7:10am
    It is important to remember your location when reading these recommendations. If you live in rural Australia or just outside a major centre some providers will have limited or no access to networks. Vodaphone is a great example.
    Here on the Mid North Coast the service only works in the very centre of towns. If you need service on the highway or off the beaten track do not take this option.

    Last time i checked the Aldi pre paids (which are great value) only used part of the Helstra network - not 3G so again the service that is offered is not that equivalent a full Helstra service.
    januszka
    22nd Sep 2013
    12:24pm
    Thanks everyone. Any hints on smart phone brands especially for old always cold stiff fingers?
    Wstaton
    22nd Sep 2013
    1:16pm
    Januszka, Any smartphone is OK. What you need is one of those little pens that you can use to press all those tiny things on the screen. Mine cost me $2 from the $2 dollar you know who and works great.
    musicveg
    23rd Sep 2013
    11:08pm
    No one has mentioned that excess charges can arise calling 1300 or 1900 numbers,make sure it comes off your cap as they can be really expensive from a mobile.
    bubyshka
    24th Sep 2013
    6:19pm
    Yes your right there musicveg. so i just use the home phone for those as they are a steady 25 cents, well last time i looked they were?
    Fair Go
    26th Sep 2013
    10:48pm
    I just buy a $30 prepaid for 6 months. I'm not a big user, only text and the occasional call made/received. Am with Optus. No frills, internet etc. Don't need that, have it at home and that will do me. I am a pensioner and feel that I need to have the mobile, but can't afford either the frills or a "plan". If I don't use all the credit it swings over to the next 6 months provided I load another $30 at the end of the 6 months. Suits me.
    januszka
    27th Sep 2013
    8:38am
    Thanks to everyone.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles