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Choosing a Mobile Plan cover image

Prepaid or postpaid?

There are a wide range of pre and postpaid plans available on the market. The main benefit of using postpaid is that you can buy a new phone with these plans, while prepaid plans may be better if you want to avoid unexpected extra charges and already have a mobile phone.

 

Mobile phone with alert and payment symbols

In many cases, it’s cheaper to buy a new phone or other device outright and then bring your own (BYO) phone to the plan. Consider what you can afford and what you need from your mobile plan.

  Prepaid Postpaid Difference

Signing up

Can purchase SIM card and credit from various shops as well as online from telcos.

 

Purchase SIM card with identification check (like a driver’s licence). No credit check required.

Can purchase SIM card and plan from telcos.

Purchase requires identification and credit check.

 

Postpaid – only available from telcos. Prepaid – widely available from various shops.

Postpaid requires a credit check.

Ongoing payments

Phone credit can be purchased online, through apps and various shops.

Phone service will only work when there is credit on the account, but you may be able to receive incoming calls after credit runs out.

 

Monthly billing with various payment options.

You can be charged extra fees (e.g. for excess data) plus your monthly fee.

 

Prepaid - can only use phone service where there is phone credit. Postpaid - will continue to work and will charge you for use later.

Prepaid - no risk of unexpected high phone bills.

 

Graphic of phone with symbols showing some plans can be less expensive

How to find the right plan?

Comparator websites like WhistleOut and Finder can be useful tools to quickly compare phone plans.

Look for the Critical Information Summary (CIS) for each plan and use it to compare plans from a range of telcos.

The CIS contains information about the plan such as the price, inclusions, contract length and any extra charges if you cancel your plan early.

Icon for web search  Icon for changing plan  Icon for cost

Make sure that the telco has coverage in the areas you will most often use your phone (e.g. at home, work, school). You can check coverage maps on telcos’ websites or give location information to the sales person in store or over the phone so they can check coverage for you.

How to choose data pack size

 Key Green tick = suitable = suitable  Yellow Tick = Caution= caution  Red tick = Need more data= Need more data

 

Activity 3GB 10GB 15GB 20GB
 Email  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable
 Web surfing  Green tick = suitable Green tick = suitable   Green tick = suitable Green tick = suitable 
 Facebook Green tick = suitable   Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable Green tick = suitable 
 Skype Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable 
 Music Streaming  Yellow Tick = Caution  Green tick = suitable Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable 
 Online gaming  Yellow Tick = Caution  Green tick = suitable Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable 
 YouTube Red tick = Need more data  Yellow Tick = Caution  Green tick = suitable  Green tick = suitable 
 Streaming TV  Red tick = Need more data Red tick = Need more data   Yellow Tick = Caution Green tick = suitable 
 Downloading movies and TV  Red tick = Need more data  Red tick = Need more data  Yellow Tick = Caution Green tick = suitable 
 Downloading video games Red tick = Need more data   Red tick = Need more data  Yellow Tick = Caution Green tick = suitable

 

 Icon for mobile network  Icon for mobile reception  Icon for mobile coverage