If you are visiting New Zealand or live in New Zealand you obviously need a good phone plan to use. The best thing about New Zealand phone plans is that they are not much expensive and if you are a visitor to this country roaming is also cheap or free even without a local SIM. Here are the 4 best phone plans in New Zealand.
Few local terminologies used for mobile plans in New Zealand
Before you get to know the four best phone plans in New Zealand, here are a few terms to get familiar with:
- Prepay: This is a type of phone plan that has no contract. You pay as much or as little in advance towards you phone bill.
- Plan: It is a general term for the offer that you will be using to use your phone. It is often monthly but can also be weekly.
- Pay as you go: Paying per text, call, data usage at a flat rate. It is the opposite to a “plan”.
- Combo: It is a type of Prepay Plan. Each cellphone carrier offers multiple combos on their prepay offer to suit different needs. Combos are also known as “Bundles”, “Value Packs” or “Packs”.
- Add-On: An Add-On is an extra small bundle added to a Combo to complement it. Let’s say that you are running out of data before the end of a month, you can get an Add-On of data to keep surfing our awesome website.
- Mb: Mb stands for Mega Bytes, this is the unit of measure for any data charge on a plan. If a plan includes 1gb of data, this equivalent to 1000mb.
- Min: Min stands for “Minutes”. This is the unit of measure for any call charge on a plan. If a plan includes 1 hour, this equivalent to 60 minutes.
- Text: Those are text messages sent from one phone to the other. Be aware that picture texts are called MMS and do not fit in this category.
Note that in New Zealand you will only be charged a minute or a text when you are calling or texting somebody. You are not charged when receiving a phone call or a text.
Four best phone plans in New Zealand
1. Vodafone best plans
The three phone plans from Vodafone are Advantage Lite that offers 2.5 GB for 300 min and umlimited text for NZD$39.99 for a month. Red plus Lite costs NZ$59.99 with 10 GB of data a month with unlimited talk and text. Red plus essentials come with 22 GB of data for NZ$79.99 for unlimited talk and text.
If you’re a Vodafone postpaid customer from Australia, you’re almost certainly eligible for free-roaming in New Zealand: you can talk, text, and surf away using your Australian inclusions for no extra cost. This would normally cost $5 per day. You are, however, only able to make use of Vodafone’s roaming for 90 days per calendar year, after which you’re billed at pay-as-you-go rates. The free-roaming promo runs until January 31, 2018, but there’s a good chance that Vodafone will extend it again.
2. Optus best plans
Optus offers phone plans and SIM plans. The SIM plan with 1.5 Gb data will cost you NZ$35 per month. It offers unlimited talk and text 6GB data you can get at NZ$50 a month. It offers unlimited talk and text and 9 GB of data costs 500 international limits at NZ$60 a month.
Australian customers on Optus’ high-end $130 and $160 postpaid plans respectively receive 1GB and 1.5GB of roaming data. You can use this data each month in all “Zone 1” countries. Conveniently, New Zealand is one of these.
If you’re on a different Optus postpaid pl021 you can purchase a Travel Pack. $10 will get you a day of unlimited talk and text, and 100MB of data. Essentially, you’re looking at $10 per day you’re overseas.
You’re also able to stack data by purchasing multiple packs at once; so if you buy seven passes for $70, you’ll get seven days of unlimited talk and text. You will also get 700MB to use over a week of roaming. Also if you’re paying-as-you-go on a prepaid plan, you’re looking at $1.50 per minute to make and receive calls, 50 cents per text, and $1.00 per megabyte of data.
3. Virgin Mobile best plans
This SIM plan starts at NZ$30 per month with 5 GB of data and NZ$50 international calls and texts. NZ$35 a month plan with 1.5 GB data gives you $300 international calls and texts and 12 GB data. It will cost NZ$40 per month offering you $200 international calls and texts.
If you’re a Virgin Mobile postpaid customer, New Zealand is one of the countries where you can buy a “Data Pack” for the above plans. In case you want to talk and text on Virgin; you’ll need to pay pay-as-you-go rates – you’re looking at 50 cents per minute of talk and 50 cents per text. If you burn up your Data Pack, you’ll be billed 20 cents per megabyte of data at pay-as-you-go rates.
4. Telstra best plans
It offers many SIM only plan, phone plans, and casual SIM-only plan. The SIM-only plan starts at NZ$39 per month with 2 GB of data and $500 national calls with unlimited text. The 10 GB data gets you an online plan for $49 per month with unlimited talk and text. The 15 GB plan NZ$59 per month also gives you the same service. A little higher 30 GB plan costs NZ$99 per month.
If you happen to be on Telstra’s $195 Premium Plus plan; you’re able to roam in New Zealand at no extra cost. You’ll get 1.5GB of data per month, and unlimited talk and text.
If you’re on any other Telstra postpaid plan, you’ll want a Travel Pass. New Zealand is Telstra’s cheapest destination in terms of its Travel Pass system. You’ll pay $5 per day for unlimited talk and text, and 75MB of data. There is one slight catch. You have to buy these in 3, 7, 14, or 30-day bundles with options like $15 for 3 days of unlimited talk and text. It also includes 225MB of data, $35 for 7 days of unlimited talk, and text, and 525MB of data, $70 for 14 days. You get unlimited talk and text, and 1.03GB of data and $150 for 30 days of unlimited talk and text, and 2.20GB of data
If you’d prefer to pay-as-you-go for some reason; you’ll be billed $1.50 per minute of talk, 75 cents per text, and $3.00 per megabyte of data.
3 Telcos in New Zealand
The three main telcos in New Zealand are Vodafone, Spark, and 2degrees. In terms of coverage, Vodafone and Spark are your best options. With Spark having a slightly bigger footprint than Vodafone, especially in more remote areas. Few other things to note are as follows:
- Pay-as-you-go roaming is a little cheaper in New Zealand than in other countries, but it can still get expensive fast. Virgin is the cheapest option on postpaid. It’s 50 cents per minute of talk, 50 cents per text, and 20 cents per megabyte of data. That works out to be $20 for every 100MB.
- On prepaid, Optus, Amaysim, Aldi, Coles Mobile, OVO, and TPG – all offer identical PAYG roaming rates. $1 per minute of talk, 50 cents a text, and 50 cents per megabyte of data.
- Vodafone New Zealand has a couple of SIM options specifically designed for visitors. Notably, the call and text inclusions can be used both for local numbers in New Zealand. And for international calls back to Australia like NZD$29: 1GB of data, 200 minutes of talk, 200 text messages; NZD$49: 3GB of data, 200 minutes of talk, 200 text messages, and NZD$99: 8GB of data, unlimited talk and text to standard New Zealand numbers, 200 minutes of talk to Australia, 200 text messages to Australia. All three plans last 60 days from activation.
Plans from Spark have similar plans like NZD$29 – 500MB of data, 200 minutes of talk in New Zealand. You will find 200 texts in New Zealand, 100 minutes of talking back to Australia, and 50 text messages back to Australia. It includes NZD$49: 3GB of data, 200 minutes of talk in New Zealand, 200 texts in New Zealand. You will also get 200 minutes of talking back to Australia, and 100 text messages back to Australia. The NZD$29 option will last for a month, while the NZD$49 option has a two-month expiry. Both plans also include 1GB of data through Spark’s public Wi-Fi network per day.
What is the best plan to save money?
If you are looking for the best plan to save some money; there are also great options to only check the internet or to call. Then you can choose the offer from a minimum of 60 min, 100 texts and 50MB of data from the following telcos
- Spark: 1 Gb / 50 min / 500 text / Price: $19/month
- 2Degrees: 100 mb / 60 min / 250 text / Price: $14/month
- Vodafone: 750 mb / 150 min / Unlimited text / Price: $19/month
- Skinny: 240 mb / 240 min / 400 text / Price: $16/month (Paid $4/week)
If you want to call abroad every carrier has a different “Overseas” minute add-on. For instance, Skinny offers 300 minutes to 20 selected countries for $10 and Spark offers 200 minutes + 100 Text to 20 selected countries for $10. Calling cards are your final option for calling overseas. These can be purchased in convenience stores. They offer cheap calling rates to selected countries. This will still use your minutes on top of an extra small fee.
Remember that calling overseas is not included in any Prepay plan in New Zealand. Most travelers will choose to use either Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, or Facebook to call overseas. Calling using any of these apps will use your data rather than your minutes. Note that all the plans mentioned here were as at the time of writing and are subject to change.