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Pick the best - compare 1300 and 1800 number call rates

  • 13 and 18 numbers may inflate your bill
  • Usually not considered standard calls
  • Consider plans that offer the best call rates across the board
Written by Mikaella Clements

They're the sneaky calls that fly under the radar and bring up your bill without warning, the call charges you figure vaguely must be local ones, until your mobile phone bill looks like it belongs to a fourteen year old who likes to gossip to friends on the other side of the world.

13, 1300 and 1800 numbers can be blamed for a lot, and when you're calling on a mobile, they can be shockingly expensive.


Smartphone power

Too often, we think that 13 or 18 numbers must be covered in our phone plans, either as local calls or for free. We're used to picking phone plans and considering whether they will cover national calls or mobile calls, looking at how much data they have. We forget about the calls we make to banks, phone and internet providers, gas and electrical providers, or even most government numbers. These days even takeout delivery numbers will sometimes be a 13 or 18 number.

Calling from a mobile can result in a call charge in the tens of dollars. What's worse is that many of the numbers you call are for services that will put you on hold, meaning you might be racking up dollars in order to listen to "We Are Australian" play tinnily on repeat in your ear.

What to do? Here's our advice:

  1. If possible, call on a landline. From a landline, most 13 and 18 numbers are priced as local calls, somewhere between 25-35c flat for the entire length of a call. Calling from a landline will keep charges minimal. But sometimes that just isn't possible and in that case...
  2. Factor call charges into your choice of mobile plan provider. We're sure you already do this, but if you're someone who calls institutions who use 13 and 18 numbers a lot on your mobile – whether because you don't have a landline or because it's simply more convenient for you – make sure to look at those call charges, too. Very often providers will try and hide these call charges on obscure parts of their website or in the terms and conditions, but frustrating as it is, try and chase them down.

To help, we've put together a chart of some of the most common providers and their call charges for 13 and 18 numbers so you can compare them quickly and easily.


Compare 1300 and 1800 prices

A few notes about this chart: for the most part, we've tried to use similar types of plans – basically, your standard cap plans that will give you a certain amount of $ that you can use on any type of phone calls. When possible, we have used "unlimited" plans, where the provider will give you free calls to all numbers.

As it stands, only Club Telco (1300 138 155) and Amaysim (1300 209 198), each on their respective unlimited plans, will include free calls to 13 and 18 numbers. Both their plans are great value and especially useful for those who don't have a landline and rely on their mobile phone for all calls.

After them, Virgin (1300 768 103) comes in next with a 25c only fee for 1300 numbers and 33c/minute for 1800 numbers. We love the flat fee for a 13 number – and coupled with their bargain Prepaid $19 Cap it's a great plan for light users.

After Virgin, most providers tend to be around the same, though transACT is notable for their 50c/minute call rate with no call connection charge, and TPG are the most expensive.

It's worth noting that Amaysim only recently added 13 and 18 numbers to their unlimited plan – a clear sign that customer feedback does work! If you are mostly happy with your current provider, but their call rates to 13 and 18 numbers annoy you, let them know. Enough customer feedback may just motivate your provider to change!


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