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