Telstra phone leasing: How does it work?

10 February 2017

If you've looked at Telstra's range of phone plans lately, you might have noticed the option to lease your phone in order to save some money. Dubbed "Go Mobile Swap Lease Plans", which is a bit of a mouthful to be honest, Telstra is letting customers nab select devices on a contract for a cheaper price, and then upgrade after 12 months.

What Is Telstra Leasing?

Telstra's Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan are plans give you the option to lease your phone from Telstra, rather than buying it. As such, you pay a little less per month, but not much. At most, you'll save up to $10 per month on your plan, depending on what phone you're looking at and the inclusions you're after.

After you've been on a Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan for 12 months, you're able to upgrade to a new device for an extra fee of $99, but you'll have to sign a new 24 month contract and hand your current device back. If you stay on your plan for 18 months, Telstra will waive the upgrade fee.

However, if your phone is damaged, you'll have to pay extra: $229 if you've got a cracked screen, or $499 if the device isn't in working condition.

Is leasing your phone a good deal?

Not really. You're saving a max of $120 a year, which isn't great. If you're not taking advantage of the upgrade offer, you'll save $240 over the length of your two-year contract. In most cases, you can comfortably sell a second hand two-year old phone for much more than $240. Especially if it's an iPhone.

If you actually want to save money - in most cases - you're better off buying the phone you want outright, and then grabbing a cheaper month-to-month or BYO phone plan.

How does leasing compare to "new phone feeling"?

Go Mobile Swap Lease Plans are very similar to Telstra's New Phone Feeling, which is a standard inclusion on all postpaid plans.

With New Phone Feeling, you've got the option to pay $149 and get a new phone and a new 24-month contract after 12-months. You do have to give your current phone back though, and it has to be in good shape. However, if you don't want to take up the upgrade offer, you keep your phone.

With Go Mobile Swap Lease Plans, you have to give your phone back no matter what, even if you see out your contract to the end of the 24-month term. You can offer to purchase your device from Telstra at the end of the lease, but the telco hasn't provided any information in regards to what this would cost.

Leasing New Phone Feeling
Upgrade fee $99 $149
Save on your monthly bill Up to $10 No
Have to return your current phone on upgrade Yes Yes
Can keep your phone at the end of your contract No Yes

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