After a phone plan that's a little more than just a phone plan? There's plenty of choices if all you want is talk, text, and data, but some telcos are now offering a whole lot more. Here's a few of our favourite bonuses that you can get with a new phone plan right now.
Free Foxtel Now
One of the highest value bonuses you can get with a phone plan is a free Foxtel Now subscription, especially when you consider the new $25 starting price.
Foxtel has changed the way it prices its streaming-only Foxtel Now service, and not for the better. A change to the structure of its already confusing entry packs and starter packs means that the cheapest possible subscription has jumped from $10 to $25, with the Pop pack (which houses Game of Thrones) going from a $15 commitment to a $25 one. And Sport? Where once you could unlock it for $39 the minimum price is now $54 a month. Boooo.
Telstra will throw in 12 months of free access to the Foxtel Now starter pack with its $89 SIM-only plan, on a year-long contract. This plan currently gets you a massive 90GB of data, and includes international roaming at no extra charge with a monthly 2GB overseas data allowance. Normally, with Telstra you’d pay a minimum of $10 per day to use your phones abroad.
A two-year Foxtel Now subscription is also available on Telstra 24-month handset plans worth at least $99 per month (excluding handset repayments).
Data-free Spotify and Google Play Music
Optus mobile plans are packed full of freebies, but we think data-free streaming of Spotify and Google Play Music take the cake. You can stream music willy-nilly without eating into your monthly quota on pretty much any Optus postpaid plan with at least a 12-month contract. We've got a selection of Optus SIM-only plans below.
You can also add data-free streaming for Netflix, Stan, and ABC iview to Optus postpaid plans for an extra $5 per month. Note that unmetered streaming of these services is limited to standard definition.
Free international phone calls
International talk and text might not be the most exciting phone plan bonus, but it's worthwhile for those of us who have friends and family overseas. And still actually make phone calls. While the big three telcos typically save international calling inclusions for their pricier plans, many MVNOs have international inclusions as part of cheaper plans.
Boost Mobile is a good pick, with its $30+ recharges getting you unlimited talk and talk to 10 countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, UK, USA, and Vietnam – and at least 100 minutes of talk to another 40 countries.
amaysim includes unlimited talk and text with its $30+ recharges, but the 10 countries you get are ever so slightly different: China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, UK, and USA.
Belong plans include unlimited talk and text to 36 countries on plans as cheap as $15, in addition to its $30 and $40 plan. It is however worth noting Belong’s $25 plan doesn’t come with any international inclusions.
Free headphones and wireless charger
After a phone plan bonus that's a bit more tangible? Optus and Vodafone are both taking pre-orders for the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro right now, and if you get in before October 31, you'll get a bonus wireless charger and a pair of Huawei FreeBuds. These extras are valued at $149 and $199 respectively.
If you're keen, we'd say Optus' $85 per month plan is the best Huawei Mate 20 Pro deal going right now, including 50GB of data, unlimited national talk and text, plus unlimited talk and text to 35 countries.
Data rollover - also known as data banking - is a neat little extra that lets you carry unused data over to your next billing month. Belong is the king of the pack when it comes to data banking, letting you store as much unused data as you want with no expiry, for as long as you're a customer.
If you use data rollover strategically, you can easily maximise the value of your unspent data. For example, if you're on Belong's $40 15GB plan and you get through only 5GB in the month, you can switch down to the telco's $10 1GB plan and carry on until you burn through your banked data. This definitely isn't a set-and-forget option, but it's not a bad way to save money if you're diligent.
Data banking is also available on Telstra prepaid, Optus prepaid, Woolworths prepaid, Boost Mobile and ALDI Mobile, but restrictions apply as to how much data you can bank.
Alex Choros is Associate Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.