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Pay monthly mobile plans

Not sure if a pay monthly mobile plan is right for you? We break down what you need to know so you can make the right decision for your needs


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When it comes to choosing a new mobile plan, the first decision that you need to make is whether you want to do prepaid or pay monthly. Each option has its own pros and cons, and which one is right for you will depend on how you want to manage your phone account and the level of flexibility that you require.

In the past, there were very clear differences between prepay and pay monthly mobile plans, but in today’s market, some of the lines are being blurred. Previously pay monthly plans were known to be better valued than prepay, and while this is true to some degree, there are many prepay plans that still offer a decent allowance.

If you’re wondering if a pay monthly plan is right for you, read on to find out more about the benefits and how you can compare plans to find the best one for your needs.

Compare pay monthly mobile plans

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Price (per billing period):
Spark 1GB Rollover Data
1GB Rollover + 1GB Bonus
300 NZ Rollover
Unlimited NZ
Spark monthly plans renew every 30 days.
2degrees Prepay Monthly 40GB
2degrees prepay plans renew every calendar month.
Slingshot Basic
Slingshot mobile plans must be bundled with their broadband service. Slingshot plans are billed every 30 days.
Vodafone Monthly Small Plan (4GB Max Speed Data)
Vodafone monthly plans are billed every calendar month.
2degrees Monthly 4GB
2degrees Monthly 10GB
2degrees Monthly 25GB
2degrees Monthly 40GB
2degrees monthly plans are billed every calendar month.
Vodafone Monthly Large Plan (40GB Max Speed Data)
Vodafone monthly plans are billed every calendar month.
Slingshot Value
Slingshot mobile plans must be bundled with their broadband service. Slingshot plans are billed every 30 days.

Compare up to 4 providers

The benefits of a pay monthly plan

  • Value for money. Even though there are some great prepay plan options, you’ll find that in many cases, pay monthly plans offer more for the same price.
  • Easier to manage. Once you’ve signed up for a pay monthly plan, your monthly charge will automatically be deducted from your account or credit card.
  • No topping up. With prepay plans, you need to think about topping up your account each month or when you run out of data, but on pay monthly, your plan automatically renews. Even if you use up your monthly allowance, you will still be able to make calls and use data with the additional charges added to your bill.
  • Benefits. Pay monthly customers enjoy more benefits and bonuses than prepay customers.
  • Credit rating. Making regular payments on time can be beneficial to your credit rating when you want to apply for finance in the future.

The downsides

  • Some providers will lock you in for at least 12 months on a pay monthly plan, giving you less flexibility if you want to change companies before your contract is finished.
  • If you are late or default on your payments for your pay monthly plan, it will go against your credit rating. Defaults can stay on your record for up to five years and may affect your chances of getting credit in the future.
  • Unlike in other countries, Kiwis don’t have the advantage of being able to get a free phone with their pay monthly plan. If you want to get a new mobile from your provider, you have to pay cash upfront, or you can spread the payments out over 12, 24, or 36 months. However, this means locking yourself into that provider and you may be restricted to signing up for one of the more expensive plans for that period of time.

How should I compare monthly mobile plans?

When comparing pay monthly mobile plans in New Zealand, you should take the following points into consideration:

  • Data allowance. If you are out and about a lot and aren’t able to connect to Wi-Fi, you will likely need a higher data allowance if you check emails and social media frequently throughout the day. If you use Wi-Fi the majority of the time, a smaller allowance of data may suffice. You even want to consider an unlimited data plan.
  • Minute and text allowance. Most plans come with unlimited texts but pay attention to the number of minutes included. While some plans offer unlimited minutes, you may be comfortable with 200. You should also check if the minutes and texts can be used for both New Zealand and Australia if you like to keep in touch with friends and family across the ditch.
  • Carryover data and minutes. Some plans include carryover data and minutes. This means that any unused data and minutes in a month rollover to the next month, so you still have a chance to use what you’ve paid for.
  • Add-ons. Depending on your mobile usage, there may be times when you need additional data, national or international minutes, or roaming add-ons. Look through what a provider offers so you are aware of what you can get should the need arise.
  • Term length. Pay monthly plans used to always be for a particular contract length of at least 12 months, however, some providers are now giving the pay monthly benefits on an open-term plan. If you would prefer the extra flexibility, open-term allows you to change providers and plans when you want to.
  • Additional benefits and signup bonuses. To draw in new customers, it’s common to see sign up bonuses such as half-price payments for the first three months or free data when you start a new plan. You can also get free subscriptions to streaming services with certain plans. While these benefits and sign-up bonuses are appealing, make sure to consider whether the plan is the right one for you and if it comfortably falls into your budget.

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