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Best prepaid plans with long expiry

  • Find an expiry date that suits you
  • What's more important: credit or expiry?
  • Prepaid plans can sometimes be a great 'back up' option
Written by Mikaella Clements
06/04/2012

Prepaid plans are a great way to manage your monthly phone bill, precisely because they don't necessarily have to be paid monthly. They allow complete control over your expenses, because rather than hitting the limit unknowingly and racking up hundreds of dollars in excess usage charges, a prepaid account will simply cut you off when you reach your limit – annoying, perhaps, but not nearly as devastating as bill shock.

Click here for the best prepaid plans.


However, rather than just considering how much value you're getting for your money when you sign up for a prepaid plan, make sure to keep an eye on a sometimes overlooked factor – the credit expiry date. In this way, you'll avoid the frustration of signing up for what seems like a great value plan that can last you months for only $30, only to find out that it expires after twenty-eight days.

Here, we'll go through some of the best prepaid mobile plan providers and see whether or not they have the credit and the expiry date to suit your needs.

Amaysim


Amaysim


The plan: Amaysim keep it short and sweet with their Unlimited Pre-Paid SIM Only Plan. A great value plan, for $39.90 with every recharge it offers you unlimited calls to all Australian numbers including 13/1800 numbers, unlimited texts, and 4GB of data. Note that the plan is SIM only, meaning you can keep your old phone or purchase a new one – Amaysim doesn't sell handsets. Call Amaysim now on 1300 791 895.

Expiry: After 30 days.

Who it's good for: Heavy users, particularly those who don't have a home phone. The Amaysim plan covers all the calls you might want to make, gives you a hefty bit of data, and is extremely good value for an unlimited plan. However, the thirty day expiry means that for a lighter user, it might not be the best use of your money, unless you don't mind having to pay $40 every month.

Virgin Mobile


Virgin

The plans: Virgin offers a range of great prepaid plans, but they tend to offer the best bargains down the lower end of the price tiers, simply because of their relatively short expiry dates. The $99 Cap Recharge Plan gets you a whopping $1500 worth of included value, but only 1GB of data and it expires in 28 days. If you're that heavy a user, we'd recommend you go with Amaysim instead.

However, Virgin is great in offering prepaid plans catering to the needs of different types of customers. Let's look at three of them.

The Virgin Mobile Prepaid $19 Cap gives you $50 of included value for text messages and calls, and 1GB of data, along with unlimited calls and texts to other people on Virgin plans. The plan is SIM only, and doesn't include a handset, although you can buy handsets direct from Virgin. Call Virgin now on 1300 768 103.

Expiry: After 28 days.

Who it's good for: Light users will love this cap, particularly light users who have a smartphone. With a relatively generous data allowance, this plan will allow you to manage your phone needs without worrying about exceeding your data limit. Just watch out for those 90c per minute call rates! The expiry is fairly quick, but for $19 per recharge, that's not such a big deal.

The Virgin Mobile International Prepaid Plan is directly targeted towards those customers who want to be able to make cheap calls to international numbers. The plan includes $19 of credit and no free data, but more importantly, calls to the US, India, Canada, and China are only 5c per minute. It is $19 per recharge. The plan is yet again SIM only. Call Virgin now on 1300 768 103.

Expiry: After 28 days.

Who it's good for: Another plan targeted towards light users, but this time with a very specific audience in mind. If you have family or friends in the US, India, Canada, and China, this plan is a great one, with call rates as cheap or cheaper than you'll find with most landline providers, and it gives you the ability to call whoever you want wherever you want, with Virgin's great network coverage.

The Virgin Mobile Prepaid Bean Counter is $25 per recharge and includes $25 of credit, no free data, and very low call rates – 10c per minute to any Australian number, and free calls to Australian voicemail accounts. The plan is SIM only and does not come with any phones attached. Call Virgin now on 1300 768 103.

Expiry: After 45 days.

Who it's good for: The low call rates mean that this plan is ideal for users who want to be able to make most of their calls on a mobile, but still are relatively light users. The 45 day credit expiry is especially useful, and could mean that you end up paying no more than $200 per year on your phone bill – a more than reasonable price!

Vodafone

Vodafone

The plans: Vodafone offers a wide range of plans to suit light and heavy users, catering to different options and while all their plans are SIM only, the Vodafone website offers discounted phones to buy outright. Vodafone are particularly notable for their great long expiry dates. Once again, we'll pick three favourites to detail.

The Vodafone TXT & Talk Prepaid Plan is $20 per recharge and includes $20 of credit, 10 minutes of free talk time, and 20 free text messages. The plan is also available in separate tiers for $30 per recharge and $50 per recharge. Call Vodafone today on 1300 850 518.

Expiry: After 60 days.

Who it's good for: The great value in the free minutes and free texts coupled with the long credit expiry period means that light users will revel in this plan. Heavier users may want to go up to the $50 per recharge strata of the plan for 200 free texts and 100 minutes of free talk time.

The Vodafone Flexicap Prepaid Plan is a great bargain plan. For $49 per recharge, the plan includes $350 of credit, 3GB of data, and free access to social networking sites like FaceBook, Ebay, Twitter, and LinkedIn, along with bonus $350 credit to use when talking to other Vodafone users. The plan is also available for lighter users in a $29 per recharge option. Call Vodafone today on 1300 850 518.

Expiry: After 30 days.

Who it's good for: Medium users who still want to maintain control over their mobile bill will revel in this plan. The generous allowance of data along with the plentiful credit make it a great plan, although we wish the expiry date wasn't quite so close to when you recharged. People attracted to this plan may also want to consider a cap plan – where, for the price of a contract, you can get the same kind of value along with a new phone.

The Vodafone $50 Prepaid Plan is a strange but welcome beast. For $50 per recharge, the plan includes $50 of credit and 300 minutes of free talk to other Vodafone users. The huge advantage of this plan, though, is in its far-off expiry date. It is also available as a $20 and $30 recharge. Call Vodafone today on 1300 850 518.

Expiry: After 365 days.

Who it's good for: Do you have a mobile through work that you're not entirely comfortable with being your own device? Are you using a provider who only has good coverage in metropolitan areas? Do you avoid using a mobile phone unless you're going away from home for a while? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, this is the plan for you. The long expiry date means that you can tuck this phone, or SIM card, in a drawer until the day that you really need it – whether it be for travelling, emergency use, or to lend to a friend. The international call rates are low, too, making it ideal for lending to an overseas visitor. This prepaid plan may not be your first choice, but as a back-up, it's an invaluable plan that we're very grateful exists!

 

Still having trouble deciding? Call Compare Mobile Plans on 1300 850 518 and we'll help you find the best plan for you! If you looking for mobile broadband instead of mobile phone plans, take a look at Amaysim broadband instead.

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