Which Prepaid Plans Offers The Best Text Deals?

Every telco has some form of bundle to entice prepaid customers, but keeping track of who offers what can be tricky. Here's the pick of the bunch amongst current prepaid text offers.

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I've been writing about telecommunications long enough to remember when the mere ability to send texts between different mobile networks was big news, but these days companies have to provide rather more. Optus yesterday launched Turbo Text, a prepaid scheme which lets you send unlimited texts to any five numbers you nominate provided you recharge with at least $30. The numbers don't have to be on Optus' own network, and you can change the selected numbers twice in each recharge period (the credit lasts for 30 days).

This sounds like a reasonable deal, but how does it measure up against similar prepaid plans from other providers when it comes to free texting? A quick hunt around the Internet suggests that it's actually pretty good — free calls to set networks or individuals or common, but free texts aren't. (We're looking exclusively at prepaid deals here, rather than the more complex monthly cap plans.)

Telstra's current prepaid plans include options for free calling to other Telstra phones, but no free text offers. You can send discounted texts (1 cent each, with a maximum of 100 a day), but again these can only be to other customers on the Telstra network.

Vodafone is quite similar, but with one twist: its TXT & Talk Recharge bundles include a set of free texts (100 are included with the $30 bundle). Again, you can make some free calls to other Vodafone subscribers, but free texts aren't on offer. (Similar conditions apply to Crazy John's, which uses the Vodafone network.)

3 (which is part of Vodafone these days) has a similar talk-to-other-3 customers deal, but even less to offer on the text front; its $29 plan doesn't include any free texts at all.

Virgin Mobile uses the Optus network, but doesn't offer any cross-network free texting. However, it does include free texting to other Virgin customers on the vast majority of its plans.

Know about a good prepaid texting deal we haven't discussed here? Share it in the comments.

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Comments

    Boost also offer a 5c text offer to all networks. www.boost.com.au. The Optus offer looks good though. Prepaid sim plans have really had some attention thrown at them in the past 6 months.

    For prepaid, I think virgin Bean counter is the way to go. I have been with Virgin Mobile for about 3, 4 years now and only spent $50 per year on my phone. Now I need a new one, I am on a $25 cap - so basically i get free text messages now - mainly because wouldnt spend $50 a month.

    But virgin to virgin is really good.

    Might be just me... but I thought this would have been slightly more analytical than a sentence on each? It may not be more copmlex than this - but I would have thought there were more than one option for buying a pre-paid SIM and the bundled credit etc and how long each takes to expire, use said SMS credits etc.

    I know, if you want the information, we (personally) should do the research... but then what's the point of posting an article titled "Which Prepaid Plans Offers The Best Text Deals?" without offering at least a couple of tables or something?

    Virgin Mobile has an online recharge deal called "Bean Counter" that drops the price of all text messages to anyone to only 10c, as well as dropping the call price. It does do away with the Free texts Virgin-to-Virgin sadly though

    I ditched prepaid due to the whole "only the same network" business. Much happier on a plan. I think if youre spending more than $70 a month on texting have a look and find a plan. some plans around that range offer free SMS, which has come in handy in months where ive sent 2000 or more :P

    Telstra prepaid has talk and text. I use $100 recharge and get 500 minutes and 1000 texts to any service provider. More than enough for me.. Spend $59 on 750mb which is poor but I got nothing else to spend the other cred on.. Poor research guys..

    Telstra Talk & Text + offers free minutes and text to any network. For example, a $30 recharge gives you normal $30 credit to use however. Plus, 100 minutes of talk time to any network and 200 text messages to any network. I believe this offer is best in market for both talk and text if you communicate with people on every network.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

    So how does that effect prepaid Alex?

    Virgin has a well hidden "Message Monster" prepaid online offer for $25, $0.10/txt to other networks and free Virgin to Virgin. Online only.

    I recently switched to the Optus "Turbo Text" plan to try it out, and now I'm having trouble understanding why my "unlimited" text messages expire after a week (and well before the 30 day period is up). I don't believe that part of the deal is mentioned anywhere on the site. Unless I can figure this out I'll be moving to a different pre-paid offer, on my next recharge.

    Optus has promised an answer within two working days, so we'll see...

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