The hidden perks and bonuses you get with your phone plan

02 May 2017

The big four phone providers - Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin - might not always be the cheapest option, but they also tend to cram their plans full with perks and bonuses. They don't always do a good job of advertising these offers, but if you've got a plan with one of these telcos, there's a decent chance you're entitled to extras you might not know about. 


Telstra has a reputation for being Australia's most expensive telco, but some of the extras included with its plans could make spending a little more on your phone bill worth it.

Every Telstra mobile customer gets the follow with their plan or recharge:

  • Data-free music streaming through Apple Music
  • 200GB of cloud storage through Microsoft OneDrive
  • Free access to Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots in Australia
  • Free access to Fon public Wi-Fi hotposts when overseas 

Customers spending at least $30 on their plan or recharge also get AFL, NRL, and Netball Live Passes, which allow you to watch every game of the season live and data-free. 

Most of Telstra's 12 and 24 month plans also include a free subscription to Apple Music.

Telstra customers also get access to the Telstra Thanks perks program. This includes: 

  • $12.50 movie tickets for Event and BBC cinemas, excluding sessions after 5pm on a Saturday, public holidays, and special events
  • A free movie rental through BigPond Movies every Thursday
  • Discounted tickets to select AFL, NRL, and Netball games
  • Presale tickets for select concerts and events

Browse more Telstra plans here.


Optus has taken to including a couple of entertainment related bonuses with its phone plans. These include:

  • Data-free music streaming through Google Play Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora
  • Data-free video streaming through Netflix, Stan, and ABC iview, although this is limited to standard definition

If you're on a pricier phone plan, you'll also get an Optus Sport subscription, which now encompasses the English Premiere League and the cricket.

Optus customers also get a few bonuses through the Optus Perks program. These include:

  • Discounted movie tickets for Hoyts cinemas, starting at $11.50 for an adult ticket or $26 for LUX, excluding sessions after 5pm on a Saturday
  • Discounted movie tickets for select independent cinemas
  • A three-month free trial of Spotify Premium
  • Discounted tickets to theme parks
  • Discounted tickets for "over 3000 experiences" across Australia and New Zealand, including activities such as jet boating and hot air ballooning 
  • Presale tickets for concerts and sporting events 

Browse more Optus plans here.


If you're spending more than $40 a month on Virgin, you'll get data-free music streaming for Google Play Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora.

The biggest beneficiaries of Virgin bonuses are however Velocity Frequent Flyers. If you're a member, you'll get 10% off phone plans priced $50 a month or more (excluding handset repayment fees), a 1,000 point bonus, and earn an extra 2 Velocity points for every $1 spent.

Best of all, signing up for a Velocity membership is free, so it's pretty easy to save a bit on your plan.

Browse more Virgin plans here.


Vodafone doesn't too much in terms of perks or bonuses,  but you are however able to earn a nice chunk of Qantas Frequent Flyer Points when you fork out for select contracts.

While it's not exactly a "hidden" bonus, Vodafone's $5 per day international roaming offer is still going strong. You also get free roaming in New Zealand for up to 90 days per calendar year.

Browse more Vodafone plans here.

Surprised friends image from ShutterStock.


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