You will usually receive either ‘included value’ or ‘credits’ -, a dollar value or a number of minutes you can use to make calls and send SMS - when you recharge a prepaid service or sign up to an included value plan (a post-paid service when you will receive monthly bills).
The included value or credits will expire when either you have:-
- Used it all up on phone calls and/or SMS
- Passed the expiry date (for example, many plans have a monthly included value, and pre-paid services have an expiry period such as 30 or 60 days).
Some services allow you to rollover unused included value or credits to the next month.
Some providers also provide you with free calls to landline or mobile numbers of customers whose services are with your provider.
If you are on a post-paid mobile service (included value plan) you will incur additional charges if you exceed your allowance. Look out for spend management alerts that will inform you when you have used 50%, 85% or 100% of your included value.
If you are using a post-paid mobile service, you will also find useful information in its Critical Information Summary (CIS), such as the cost of a two-minute standard national mobile call, and the number of two-minute standard national mobile calls you can make within your monthly included value.
If you are on a pre-paid mobile service, you may be disconnected if you exceed your credits!
Some plans include unlimited national calls (to local and long distance landlines and mobiles) and/or SMS. However, you need to be aware of possible exclusions for different types of phone numbers, such as international calls, 13/1300 numbers and premium SMS.
The best source of information for call charges for the service you are using, is its Critical Information Summary (CIS). CIS provide a range of important information, such as inclusions, exclusions and call charges.