Ask LH: What's The Best Prepaid Plan Under $30 With The Most Data?

Dear Lifehacker, What is the best prepaid plan under $30 month that offers the most data? Thanks, Prepaid Cheapskate

Phone picture from Shutterstock

Dear PC,

It's our considered opinion that you need to spend around $40 a month to score a really good prepaid deal — every plan we list in our roundup of the best prepaid deals in Australia falls into that area. But if you really can't afford more than $30 a month and want to maximise your data, the following deals might be worth considering. This isn't an exhaustive list — just the deals we know of that offer more than 1GB of data for $30 or less a month, including some suggested by readers:

Telstra Encore Cap: The $30 Encore Cap only includes 500MB of data, but also includes $30 of "recharge" credit. Spend $20 of that virtual credit on a 700MB Browse Plus Pack and you have 1.2GB. Outside that pack the excess data rate is stupidly high though ($2/MB).

Amaysim Flexi: The $19.90 Flexi deal includes 500MB of data, and you can add an additional 1GB of data for $9.90, giving you 1.5GB for $29.80. Excess data is charged at a reasonable 5 cents per MB, so depending on your call patterns you could also get more data that way. The one downside? It's 3G (on the Optus network) rather than 4G.

TPG T3G: Also on Optus' 3G network, for $30 you score 1.5GB of data. The $500 of included call credit potentially gives you more calls than the Amaysim deal, though that would depend on your calling patterns.

VayaPower Plan 20: This $20 plan includes 1GB of data, and excess is charged at 4 cents per MB. There aren't any standalone data packs, but if you want Optus-based 4G, this is the most obvious choice. (In theory, you could use Optus' $2 Days and score 14.5GB of data for $30, but you would only be able to use it every second day — not a practical choice for most people.)

Lebara Unlimited: For $29.90, you get 2GB of data. It's on Vodafone's older and slower 3G network. Excess coverage is charged at 3 cents per MB. This appears to be the best Vodafone-network plan that meets the criteria.

If readers have other recommendations, we'd love to hear them in the comments.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    The new TPG plans include a $30 option with 1.5GB of data and $500 calls. I could be reading it wrong, but I think the first 6000 texts per month are free as well. It's probably a slightly better deal than Amaysim.

    It's also worth looking at the way data is counted - be it per kb or in 1mb blocks. This can make a huge difference, depending on how "sessions" are defined.

    Amaysim AS YOU GO (no monthly line charges) + 10 for 1GB or 20 for 2.5GB.
    For calls, sms, etc, you pay for what you use.

    Im with Amaysim and for $39 a month you get 4gb of data with unlimited calls/sms. Pretty good for an extra $9 . For the last 3 months they have also been giving 5gb (1gb free per month).

    http://www.lebara.com.au/national-unlimited
    29.95/Unlimited Domestic Calls/2GB Data

    Always check the T's and C's and it's on the Vodafone 3G network from memory

    nodemobile is not too bad, http://www.internode.on.net/residential/phone_and_voip/nodemobile/

      Nodemobile is only available to Internode customers though. (That used to be the case with TPG but isn't anymore, hence I've added that and Lebara, but not Internode.)

    virgin 29 a month gives me unltd calls and texts to australian mobiles and landlines plus $600 credit plus 1gb of data that i can expand to 1.6gb using the 29 credit, bit like the telstra encore

    LiveConnected - their $29 plan gives 1.5GB (billed per kb - watch that one - I've been stung by others) , 300 2min calls, unlimited TXT, tethering and Optus 4G where avaialble. Excess data at 4c/MB.

    Only downside is support is all on-line / forum - can be slow but stick with it. They get a bad rep in Whirlpool forums because they have in the past 'parted company' with people who complain to the TIO - but I had the family on them for years with quite low levels of grief.

    So for 4G reception, the best prepaid options at the ~$30 price range would be Telstra?
    Are there any other prepaid options that are 4G and what are the data amounts?

    wtf, i'm Telstras $60 plan and that only has 1000MB of data. Sure it includes my phone, but surely i should be entitled to more data than a prepaid plan

    Last edited 03/03/14 9:55 pm

    A table directly comparing the value per kb, and value of any additional add ons ^_^

    Tables ftw.

    I was on Boost when they had the 3GB unlimited calls/sms plan, but switched to amaysim when they changed to 2GB. Amaysim has a 39.90 unlimited plan with 4GB of data, but... I found an even better plan if more data is what you're after. I use my mobile data as my source of internet access so I require more than 4Gb a month. Optus has changed their $2 day plan to include unimited calls/sms AND 500MB data each day. What this means is that you can add credit to your account from as little as $5 up to $100, and it will deduct $2 a day EST from your credit. If you go over 500Mb in the same day, they will automatically deduct another $2 from your available credit and give you another 500MB for that same day, giving you a total of 1GB max per day for $4. Only downside is that you are limited to 1GB per day, and I am not sure if the left over data will rollover the following day or reset to 0. I highly recommend this plan if you need a data heavy prepaid option. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, it is on 4G and 4G plus if you have a phone that can use the 2300 MHz band for 4G plus.

    Seriously, they are all too expensive. For what you get, and the pathetic speed. The large telecommunications companies set the pricing for maximum profit. The Telcos should never have been allowed to become ISPs. How can we hack free internet again LH?

    Wow, what's happened here in Australia?

    When Woolworths was selling their own prepaid sims (2, 3 years ago?) they were selling 5 GB of data for $30, on the Optus network.

    How have things gotten so bad?

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