Are 5-Cent Texts The Best Deal?

5CentOptus subsidiary Boost Mobile is offering 5-cent texts to any network as part of a prepaid plan. That offer might be appealing to teenagers, but does it really make financial sense?

Picture by Wikimedia Commons

Given the complexity of many mobile plans (which offer, for example, free texts but only to other phones on the same network, or only outside business hours), five cents a pop no matter what sounds pretty good. However, given the relatively brief recharge periods (15 days for $15 or 25 days for $25), those offers aren't particularly flexible.

I'm not a TXT-crazed teenager (or a stressed parent), though, so I don't know that I've got the best perspective on these rates. Does that sound like a deal worth considering, or do other factors come into play? Share your youthful or youth-watching wisdom in the comments.

Boost Mobile


    Optus Post paid plans are way better. An excerpt from my last bill:

    Date - Description - Quantity - Rate - Amount
    09 Oct - Optus SMS - 2203 - 0.000 - 0.000

    0c < 5c :)

    You'd have cheaper effective rates and more flexibility with a cap. This plan subjects you to all the negative aspects of a cap such as expiries with only one benefit. This plan gets even worse if you use it for calling people.

    If its within the same network then surely Virgin and Optus Data Blaster are better? They're pretty much free for optus prepaid to optus prepaid and I suppose Virgin to Virgin.

    The $X cap prepaid plans from any other mobile provider (apart from telstra, maybe?) are roughly equivalent. For example, on the $29 cap which gives $150 'value' at 25c a text, assuming no calls, you get 4.8c texts, with the advantage of much cheaper calls.

    You still have to recharge every month though, and if you're using that much credit you might as well be on a plan and get a free phone every 2 years.

    Well im currently on Telstra Pre-Paid and im only paying 1c per message to anyone on the same network. But were im from we dont really have an option who were with as telstra own all the lines and are the only people who offer decent reception.

    Depends how much you SMS, surely. I get 100 free SMS/month as part of my current plan with Vodafone, and had the same as part of my ($10/month) "Yes 9" plan with Optus before that. 100/month is plenty for me, and much better value for me than the other bonus options I could have chosen (free calls after 8pm to other people on the same network, or whatever).

    Im with Telstra prepaid and i get 1c texts to other Telstra mobiles. My credit at the moment doesn't expire until june 2011 so that seems flexible. But when you factor in the ridiculous high call rates and the fact that they don't offer caps, you are left with a cheap way to communicate inefficiently.

    I had a 59.00 plan that included some SMS then I had to pay for the rest. It got really stressful, was I over my free limit? was I under? I should check before sending a message..arghhh

    Now I have the 99.00 all you can eat plan and my phone usage stress has gone.

    The best mobile deal is by far TPG Mobile. You pay per month like a plan, but there is no contract.
    $50 a month gets you $1000 worth of calls (at a decent rate) plus 500mb of calls. Plus it runs on Optus network which is quite good these days.

    I remember reading somewhere that sending an SMS doesn't cost the network anything anyway, as the character limit means they are small enough to fit within the regular communications of the phone/network, so really 5c is an outrageous price.

    Capped plans surely offer more value and they don't have contracts but they are revolving. The benefit of prepaid is that you need to recharge in order to incur a cost, so you have ultimate control, which is what parents like about them. With monthly plans, if you keep using it they will keep charging you as you need to cancel them. Also as mentioned above, if your friends are on a particular network, then its a good idea to stick with that network as txts and calls within the network are usually free (with a limit) or very cheap. 5c is cheap, Virgin offers free V to V txts, and Telstra has 1c txts.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now