Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Skinny mobile plans
Don't want to be tied into a contract? Skinny offers affordable prepaid plans with options to suit every lifestyle.
Is Skinny right for me?
- What does Skinny offer: Prepay plans for either one or four weeks
- The highlights: Affordable plans, cheaper roaming than other providers; bring your number; Buddy Rewards
- Watch out for: Reduced speed when you hit a data cap on unlimited plans; no physical stores; whether your phone works with a Skinny SIM.
Plans are stripped back and easy to understand, plus there are many add-ons to purchase if you need extra data or talk time. Skinny uses Spark’s 4G network and also provides broadband services.
Types of plans offered by Skinny
Skinny provides prepay only mobile plans, with weekly or four-weekly options.
All plans include minutes and texts that can be used for New Zealand and Australia apart from Skinny’s $5 Weekly plans which is for New Zealand only.
Renewing every seven days, a weekly plan gives you a set amount of minutes, texts and data to use.
The Auto Renew Bonus on the $5 Weekly plan gives you an additional 500 minutes and 500 texts to use for contacting friends and family who are also on Skinny. The bonus lasts for 7 days.
4-Weekly plans last for 28 days and come with minutes, texts and a data allowance.
Apart from the cheapest weekly and 4-weekly plans, all are rollover or endless data plans. Rollover plans allow you to carry over any unused data or minutes over to the next billing cycle. Endless data plans have a maximum data allowance, after which the speed is reduced to 1.2Mbps until your plan renews. Do note that maximum speeds may vary depending on factors such as your location and the device you use.
To top up your Skinny mobile, you can do so online using Visa Debit or credit card; Eftpos through its mobile app or by purchasing a voucher from a participating retailer. You need to make sure you have enough credit for your plan to renew.
If you have a 4-weekly plan, you can set up the auto-top up function so that your plan charge is automatically deducted from your credit or debit card.
When you need a little extra, you can purchase various add-ons for your Skinny mobile plan. Depending on your plan, you can purchase extra data, texts, minutes or Skinny minutes and texts. Costs range from $1 for 250 texts through to 5GB of data for $30. You can also add an International Calling add-on, and for $10 it gives you 300 minutes to call 42 countries over 30 days.
If you’re going to use a lot more data than usual over a specific time frame, you can take advantage of Skinny’s Data Binge. The Data Binge allows you access to unlimited data, for a set amount of time, which you can use when you activate the add-on. 10 minutes of unlimited data costs 50c, 1 hour is $1, 4 hours is $2 and 12 hours is $4. You can also use Data Binge to top up your max speed data when you have used up your data allowance on on endless plan.
When it comes to roaming, Skinny provides affordable roaming packs that you can use while travelling to over 30 countries. You can choose between either a 3- or 7-day pack that includes data, minutes and texts, or a data-only pack for 7 days.
NZ Travel SIM
Visitors to New Zealand can pick up one of Skinny’s NZ Travel SIMs from either Paper Plus or an i-SITE centre and activate a plan to use while in the country. Plans last for either 30 or 60 days, then the SIM is still valid to use on one of Skinny’s other mobile plans. Details of the plans available with the NZ Travel SIM are in the table below:
|Plan type||Data||Minutes (NZ & AU)||Minutes (International)||Texts (NZ & AU)||Cost|
|30-day travel plan||2GB||200||200||200||$28|
|60-day travel plan||6GB||200||200||200||$48|
|60-day data only||20GB||N/A||N/A||N/A||$88|
International minutes can be used to call 24 countries (China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands or South Africa).
Extras and rewards with Skinny
- Buddy Rewards. If you refer a friend to Skinny and they sign up on a $16 or over, 4-Weekly plan, you receive $20 credit. Your friend also benefits, with a free 4GB of data once they are all set up.
- No contracts. By prepaying, either weekly or monthly, you have more flexibility to change or cancel your plan.
- Keep your number. If you are transferring to Skinny from another provider, you can keep your existing number whether you were a prepay or pay monthly customer.
- Purchase a new mobile. If you need a new mobile, Skinny has a selection of phones from Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Nokia, Oppo and Skinny’s own brand to purchase.
- Kiwi support. Skinny has a local Customer Care Team, available Monday through to Sunday. There is also a dedicated roaming helpdesk if you are having issues while overseas.
What to be aware of
- Skinny doesn’t have its own physical stores, so all communication is done by phone, live chat, email or Facebook. The Customer Care Centre is usually closed on public holidays.
- If you use up the minutes and texts on your plan, you are charged overage rates. For 4-Weekly plans, these are 20c per minute and 20c per text. On other plans, you are charged 43c per minute and 8c per text. Once you reach your data limit, your access stops so you need to purchase a data add-on to get online again.
- When choosing a Skinny Endless Data weekly plan, your speed reduces once you hit 10GB. On 4-Weekly plans, speed reduces after 4.5GB per 28 days with the $36 plan, after 12GB with the $46 and after 40GB with the $70. Unused data does not roll over to the next billing cycle.
- Some mobiles are locked to specific networks, so there is a chance yours won’t work with Skinny. Phones purchased from Skinny or Spark work, but for other mobiles, enter your phone’s IMEI number on the Skinny website to check before purchasing a SIM.
- Since Skinny does not offer pay monthly contracts, you need to pay the full price of a new phone upfront rather than enjoying interest-free payments across a set period.
How to switch to Skinny
Whether you are a new mobile customer or you have an existing plan with another provider, you can join Skinny by buying a SIM online or from a retail partner or branded dairy. Retail partners include selected supermarkets, petrol stations and electronics stores.
Skinny Trio SIM accommodates three sizes – Standard, Micro and Nano. If you are purchasing online, you can expect to receive your new SIM within three working days.
Once you have your SIM, you need to dial 456 to activate it and then sign up for an online account. If you want to keep an existing number, you can submit a “Keep my number” request for Skinny to transfer the number to its network.
Skinny is worth considering if you are looking for a cheap mobile plan and don’t want to be locked into a contract.
We like that you can choose between 4-Weekly or Weekly plans so you have the flexibility and can change your plan at any time. There are plenty of add-ons to keep you going when you run out of data or minutes, and Skinny has one of the most (if not the most) affordable roaming packs of any New Zealand provider.
While there are no physical stores, Skinny’s local support team are reachable by phone or online. However, this could be a dealbreaker if you like to speak to someone in person when you have an issue.
More guides on Finder
The best stock trading apps in NZ (2022)
An overview of the best investing apps available in NZ, including pros, cons and fees.
How to make NFTs
Find out all you need to create your own NFTs – the new application of blockchain technology that enables digital ownership of assets.
Lazy Tax Report 2021
Finder’s Lazy Tax Report found 9 out of 10 Kiwis are missing out on a better deal by sticking with the same provider.
My Food Bag discount codes December 2022 | 30% off your first order
Want scrumptious, healthy meals for the family? Make the most of your time with My Food Bag. Easy to cook. No shopping required.
How to buy Heartland Group Holdings shares (HGH)
If you want to buy HGH shares but don’t know how, these are the steps you need to follow.
How to buy Property for Industry shares (PFI)
Want to buy PFI shares on the NZX but don’t know how? Find out what to do here.
How to buy The City of London Investment Trust shares (TCL)
If you want to buy TCL shares on the NZX but don’t know where to start, this is the guide for you.
Where to buy bamboo towels online 2022
Tired of towels that don’t seem to dry properly? It’s time to give bamboo a go.
11 romantic getaways in Western Australia that will take your breath away
Get ready to be swept off your feet with the best romantic stays Western Australia has on offer.
Setting up the Internet, mobile phones and home utilities in Australia
Now that you’ve arrived in Australia, there are a few things you should organise to help you set up the internet, mobile phones and household utilities.