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Which mobile provider is right for you - Prepay plans

The classic pay as you go system still holds strong and it’s popular for a very good reason.

Image: Wally Santana/Press Association Images

A MORE CONTROLLED VERSION of bill pay, prepay plans usually encourage you to top up by certain amounts every month for additional perks, making it more like an optional version of bill pay.

The good part is there’s no obligation for the user to follow this process, meaning they can avail of these perks and allow their credit to last longer.

While the initial payment for a phone is higher than usual, the likelihood of you spending the same amount as on bill pay is lower as your credit may last longer.

Here is how the prepay plans for the major providers stack up.

Note: Add-ons are paid with the credit you have on your phone. Some may be monthly and will be deducted from your total amount. Total cost is in brackets.

Read first: Here’s what you should consider before signing up for a plan >

Looking for a breakdown of bill pay deals? Go here.

Looking for a breakdown of SIM-only deals? Go here.

Vodafone

€20 every 30 days
Data Extra - €10 goes to 5GB data, 4G speeds, unlimited Vodafone calls and texts.
Any network texts and data - 250MB data, unlimited any network texts.
Vodafone calls texts and data - 250MB data, unlimited Vodafone calls and texts.

€30 every 30 days
Any network texts and data - 500MB data, unlimited any network texts, 100 international minutes.
Vodafone calls texts and data - 500MB data, unlimited Vodafone calls and texts, 100 international minutes.

Add-ons 
Unlimited calls, texts and 3GB data (€30), unlimited calls (€20), unlimited texts (€15), 3GB of 4G data (€15)

Fiver add-ons
500MB data (€5), 30 minutes to Irish mobiles/landlines (€5), 100 texts to any network (€5), 30 international minutes.

Red extra (monthly)
Spotify Premium and 500MB extra data (€5),  TV Pack 1 - Sky Sports 1 & 2 (€5.99), TV Pack 2 - Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 & 4, F1, Sky Sports News (€12.99).

*Unlimited generally means 5,000 texts per month, and 5,000 minutes. 

90344483 Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Three

Note: Perks below are added on top of current credit. Eg: Topping up by €5 adds 100MB data and 4G access on top of €5 credit.

€5 every 30 days - 100MB, 4G access.
€10/15 every 30 days - 200MB, 4G access, 50 texts to any network, 50 minutes to Three numbers.
€20 every 30 days - All you can eat, 4G access, Unlimited any network texts, unlimited weekend calls for any network, unlimited calls to Three numbers.

Add-ons (monthly)

500MB of data (€4.99).

*Unlimited refers to 3,000 minutes per month regarding Three to Three calls, 10,000 flexi-units, and All you can eat data has a cap of 15GB where going over it could result in limited access. 1 flexi-unit is equal to 1 call minute, 2 text messages or 500KB internet.

90354478 Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Meteor 

€10 every 30 days - 7.5GB data or unlimited calls
€20 every 30 days - 4G speeds, unlimited calls & 15GB data or unlimited texts and 15GB data or unlimited calls and texts.
€30 every 30 days - 4G speeds, unlimited calls and texts and 15GB data

*Unlimited means 45,000 minutes and 10,000 texts.

00088574 Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

Tesco Mobile

€5 per month - Free texts to Tesco Mobile numbers.
€10 per month - Free calls and texts to Tesco Mobile numbers, 250 free webtexts.
€15+ per month - Unlimited calls to all mobile and landline numbers, free calls and texts to Tesco Mobile numbers, 250 free webtexts.

Add-ons 
Monthly bundles: 1GB data (€1), 5GB (€10), Unlimited texts (€10)
One-off bundles: 50MB – 1 day (€0.79), 350MB – 1 day (€2.99), 1GB – 30 days (€5), 5GB 30 days (€10).

*Unlimited means up to 10,000 minutes, 10,000 texts, and 15GB of data.

90313950 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

iD Mobile

Due to the nature of ID’s plans, there are numerous variations to choose from so listing all of the possible combinations would be both long and impractical.

All SIM-only bill pay plans are 30-day contracts and all amounts (minutes, calls and data) offered are listed alongside their cost.

Minutes - 100 (€3.50), 250 (€5), 500 (€6.50) 1,000 (€7.50) and 5,000 (€8).
Texts - 100 (€3.50), 250 (€5), 500 (€6.50) 1,000 (€7.50) and 5,000 (€8).
Data - 125MB (€3) 500MB (€5), 1GB (€7), 3GB (€10), 20GB (€13).

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€10 per month - 1GB data, 300 minutes to any mobile network, unlimited texts to any mobile network, unlimited WhatsApp messaging, 60 landline minutes
€15 per month -  15GB data, 50 minutes to any mobile network, 100 texts to any mobile network, unlimited WhatsApp messaging
€20 per month - 8GB data, 1,000 minutes to any mobile network, all texts to any mobile network, unlimited WhatsApp messaging, 60 landline minutes.

Add-ons

60 minutes to mobile network (€3)
1GB of data (€3)
10 minutes of landline calls (€3)
50 texts to any mobile network (€3)

Read: What should you keep in mind when buying a smartphone or tablet? >

Read: What you should consider before purchasing a laptop? >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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