A common criticism of Telstra's prepaid mobile plans is that they don't include credit rollover options, so unused value goes wasted when the credit period expires. Telstra's new Beyond Talk prepaid plans incorporate that option, but you'll pay a clear price in terms of how many calls you can make.
Picture by Karl Baron
There are five recharge options: $30, $40, $50, $70 and $100. The $50 and above plans include unlimited texts, and all the plans include various bonuses, such as additional calling minutes and data allowances, as detailed below:
Outside the bonus minutes, calls are charged at 78 cents per minute or part thereof, plus a flagfall of 39 cents. Texts are 29 cents each. Unused credit rolls over at the end of each month if you recharge, though you can't have more than $300 credit in total.
The basic calling rate across the plans is actually cheaper than on Telstra's Cap Encore plans (which charge 89 cents per minute), but you get rather less call credit even when you include the bonus calling minutes. Using the standard of the number of 2-minute calls you can make (which providers will have to quote from October), here's how Cap Encore and Beyond Talk compare:
|Recharge Value||Cap Encore||Beyond Talk|
As you can see, on a $30 recharge you would get more 2-minute calls on Beyond Talk, but on every other recharge Cap Encore offers better value. Given that Cap Encore also includes free calls to standard Australian numbers in the evening, it looks like better value on this measure unless rollover is particularly important to you. Calls may not be your main focus -- data and texting are important considerations -- but that comparison is a reminder that you need to think beyond the notion that rollover is valuable purely for its own sake.