Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone's most value for money prepaid plans: Here's how to pick the best one for you

From dozens of prepaid plans on offer, here are the best options that cater to the majority of consumer needs.

Top mobile network providers in India like Jio, Airtel and Vodafone offer dozens of prepaid plans each, making it hard for consumers to decide which is the right plan for them. Generally, a user simply opts for a plan that the store person suggests or one that their friends or family members use. Often it ends up being either under-utilised or inadequate.

Before you choose a prepaid plan, you have to think about the type and quantum of usage. Do you use your mobile network primarily for calling or also for data? Do you make a lot of calls in a month or very few? Is your mobile data usage high or do you have access to Wi-Fi most of the time, where the maximum data consumption happens? Once you have answers to these questions, then you can opt for the best value for money plan from your respective operators.

 Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

In this article, I’ve divided users into three categories as follows:

Type A: Those who make very few calls and hardly use data on their phone, which is primarily used for incoming calls and a handful of outgoing calls.

Type B: Those who make a lot of local and national/STD calls, but their mobile data usage isn’t that high due to easy access to Wi-Fi for the better part of the day.

Type C: Those who are mostly on the move and need access to a high amount of mobile data for work and entertainment. They also prefer an unlimited calling option so that they don’t have to worry about low balance.

So, let’s take a look at the best prepaid plans for each of these users from Jio, Airtel and Vodafone.

Best Prepaid Plans from Jio

For Type A users, Jio has a Rs 98 plan with 28 days validity that gives you 2 GB high-speed data, 300 SMS, and unlimited Jio-to-Jio calling. To make calls to other networks, you will need to add a Rs 10 topup that gives you 124 minutes of talk time for calling non-Jio numbers. Unfortunately, Jio does not have any lower value recharge options like in the case of Airtel and Vodafone.

For Type B users, I would recommend the Rs 329 plan that has a validity of 84 days and gives you 6 GB of high-speed data, unlimited calls to Jio numbers, 3,000 minutes worth of calling to other networks, and 1,000 SMS. I would recommend this plan for Type A users on Jio too because it costs you just Rs 5 extra over 84 days as compared to three recharges of Rs 98 + 10, and the benefits are significantly better.

For Type C users, Jio has ample prepaid options. You have to decide how much daily data is enough for you. If 1.5 GB per day is good enough, then you have the Rs 199 plan with a validity of 28 days and up to 42 GB of high-speed data at 1.5 GB/day, unlimited calls on the Jio network, and 1,000 minutes to other networks. The 84 days 1.5 GB per day plan is more cost-effective as you get 3x the total data and 3,000 minutes to other networks for Rs 555; a saving of Rs 42 every 84 days.

If you prefer 2 GB daily data plan, then opt for the Rs 599 plan with a validity of 84 days and up to 168 GB of high-speed data. Other benefits are the same as with the Rs 555 plan above. The Rs 599 plan works out a lot more cost-effective as compared to a similar 28 days 2 GB/day plan that is priced at Rs 249. You end up saving Rs 148 over 84 days.

For those looking for 3 GB of daily data, there’s only one plan priced at Rs 349 for 28 days. All these daily data plans offer you 100 free local/national SMS per day. You get a complimentary subscription to Jio apps with all plans.

Best Prepaid Plans from Airtel

For Type A users, the best option is the Rs 79 plan that offers Rs 64 talk time with a call rate of 60 paise per minute across all networks. You also get 200 MB high-speed data, and a validity of 28 days.

For Type B users, you have the Rs 379 plan with a validity of 84 days. You get 6 GB of 4G data, 900 SMS, and unlimited calling across all networks. If you prefer a long term commitment, then you can opt for the Rs 1,498 plan with a validity of 365 days. You get unlimited calling, 3,600 SMS, and 24 GB 4G data for a year. Both plans give you complimentary subscriptions to Wynk Music and Airtel Xstream Premium, with access to over 400 live channels, movies and TV shows, among other things.

Type C users have access to 1.5 GB/day, 2 GB/day and 3 GB/day Airtel prepaid plans with different validity. The best options in 1.5 GB per day plans are Rs 598 plan with a validity of 84 days, or a Rs 2,398 plan for the year.

Currently, you get Rs 40 cashback on the Rs 598 plan if you pay using Airtel Money. The Rs 449 and Rs 558 plans are the best options if you are looking for 2 GB or 3 GB of daily data respectively. Both plans have a validity of 56 days. All these plans offer unlimited calls to all networks and 100 local/national SMS per day, along with access to Wynk Music and Airtel Xstream Premium.

Best Prepaid Plans from Vodafone

Vodafone too has a Rs 79 plan for Type A users. Benefits include Rs 64 talk time with a call rate of 1 paisa per second across all networks, and 200 MB 4G data. If your usage is even lower, you also have a Rs 95 plan with Rs 74 talk time but at 2.5 paise per second and 200 MB 4G data with 56 days validity.

Type B users on Vodafone also have Rs 379 and Rs 1,499 prepaid plans. Rs 379 prepaid plan gives you 84 days validity, 6 GB of 4G data, 1,000 SMS, and unlimited calling across all networks. The benefits of the Rs 1,499 plan are the same as Airtel’s 1,498 plan described above. You get complimentary access to Vodafone Play and Zee5 with these plans.

Vodafone is a great option for Type C users in certain circles (assuming they get a strong network coverage in their region) as the company is currently offering double the daily data on certain plans. The pick of the lot would be Rs 399 and Rs 449 plans that offer 1.5 + 1.5 = 3 GB and 2 + 2 = 4 GB high speed data per day respectively for 56 days.

Their 84 days validity plans are priced at Rs 599 and Rs 699 respectively for the same daily data limits. You get unlimited calling to all networks and 100 local/national SMS per day with each of these plans, along with, of course, complimentary access to Vodafone Play and Zee5.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd which publishes Firstpost

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