Best student mobile plans and discounts

Our guide helps you get the best deal on a phone plan and looks at which providers offer special deals for students.

Home > Student guides

Updated: 23 May 2024

The breakdown

  • Lesser-known providers usually have the lowest prices, but they also operate on the networks of bigger companies like One NZ and Spark, so connectivity shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Providers have different rules on data used, with many capping speeds at a certain point. Be sure to check before making a decision.
  • Only some providers offers special deals for students, but they are definitely worth checking out.
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    Author: Kevin McHugh, Head of Publishing at Banked.

    As a student, you want to pay as little as possible for your mobile plan without sacrificing scrimping on data and other benefits. In this guide we assess the best mobile plans available by two categories:

    • Best big data plans: Either plans that offer unlimited data or a large amount of data for a reasonable price.
    • Best budget plans: Plans that cram as much in for the lowest possible price.

    We also look at all mobile plan providers that offer a student discount or special benefits. Let’s get started!

    Best big data mobile plans

    For many students, mobile data is the most crucial consideration when choosing a plan (aside from price). If having enough data to connect with people on the go, stream videos, and hotspot for your laptop without keeping a close eye on your data towards the end of the month matters to you, consider a plan with a substantial amount, or even unlimited, data.

    These are some of the best-value mobile plans with a lot of data available right now.

    Rocket Mobile Unlimited Data Plan — $25 per month

    Rocket Mobile logo

    A little-known name in the world of mobile plans, but Rocket Mobile has some eye-catching prices.

    For just $25 per month the provider offers:

    • unlimited data
    • 10 GB of hotspot data (data can be used when you hotspot your phone to another device)
    • unlimited calls and texts to New Zealand and Australian numbers.

    However, the big catch with this plan is that the speed is capped at 2 Mbps. This means it will be fine for browsing (if a little slow to load web pages at times), but you won’t have a great experience streaming video and audio. You will still be able to do it, but the resolution will certainly be lower and it will take longer to load.

    If you can afford a little more, consider Rocket Mobile’s $35 per month plan which also offers unlimited data but ups the download speed to 10 Mbps. This speed will provide a much better streaming experience, plus the plan also comes with a total of 20 GBs of hotspot data.

    Rocket Mobile operates on the One NZ network. Learn more on the Rocket Mobile website.

    Mighty Mobile Unlimited Fast Plan — $40 per month

    Mighty Mobile logo

    The name might not be familiar, but Might Mobile’s pricing stands out. Mighty Mobile is a prepaid-only mobile plan provider from popular online retailer, Mighty Ape. The company uses the One NZ network so you should have few issues with connectivity or service.

    Mighty Mobile is offering unlimited data and unlimited calls and texts to New Zealand and Australia for $40 per month on a prepay plan for 12 months. If you pay upfront for a whole 12 months (a 365 Day Plan), you will even get two months free.

    However, this is Mighty Mobile’s slowest plan and download speeds max out at 10Mbps — enough for everyday use and lower-resolution streaming, but you won’t be watching the latest Netflix movie in crisp 4K on a plan like this. The company does offer much faster plans, but the prices increase in line with the speed on offer.

    Learn more about Mighty Mobile’s unlimited data plans on its website.

    Skinny Endless Data Plan — $40 per 4 weeks

    Skinny logo

    Skinny offers an endless prepay data plan for a relatively cheap $40 per 4 week period. However, only 8 GBs of this is at max speed (suitable for high-definition streaming and other more data-demanding tasks).

    Any data used after this will be throttled, which means it will be fine for browsing and general social media use, but less capable of streaming and images will take a bit longer to load.

    The plan also comes with unlimited minutes and texts to New Zealand and Australian numbers. The company is currently also offering 8 GB for those switching to Skinny and keeping their number.

    If your budget can stretch a little further, Skinny also has a $50 per 4-week plan that increases your max-speed data allowance to 15 GB.

    Skinny uses Spark’s 4G and 5G network.

    To learn more about this plan, visit the Skinny website.

    Kogan Mobile Student special offer — $25 per 30 days

    Kogan Mobile logo

    While not an unlimited data plan, Kogan mobile’s exclusive offer to students (in collaboration with UNiDAYs) still compares well with the competitions.

    For $25 per 30 days on a prepay plan, students can get 15 GB of data as well as unlimited standard calls and texts for use within New Zealand. Once this data is used up, you will have to look for alternative sources for your data (while some of the plans described above allow you to keep on surfing, albeit at a slower speed), but the low price of Kogan’s plan reflects this.

    Kogan uses One NZ’s network.

    For more information or to sign up, visit the Kogan Mobile website. Remember that this offer is exclusive to students so you’ll need to to prove that you’re studying.

    Best budget mobile plans

    If you still want to get as much bang for your buck, but can’t afford a plan with tons of data, consider our pick of the best budget mobile plans.

    Here we look at some of the best prepay plans you can find if you have a budget of $20 or less.

    Kogan Mobile — 1.5 GB per 30 days for $15

    Kogan Mobile logo

    Kogan Mobile may just have the best budget mobile plan out there. For $15 per 30-day period, customers can get:

    • 15 GB or data
    • unlimited calls and texts to numbers in New Zealand or Australia.

    Not only is this cheaper for 1.5 GB of data than the competition, but unlimited calls and texts is also uncommon at this price point. While Kogan Mobile’s student deal has much more data (see ‘Best big data mobile plans’), it’s still a good deal for just $15 per 30 days.

    Learn more on the Kogan website.

    Warehouse Mobile — 1.25 GB for $15

    Warehouse Mobile logo

    While not as generous as the Kogan Mobile plan, Warehouse offers a $15 combo that includes:

    • 1.25 GB of data
    • Unlimited texts to New Zealand and Australian numbers 200 mins to New Zealand and Australian numbers.

    However, one benefit of the Warehouse Mobile plan is that unused data rolls over to the following month. This means if you still have 200 MB of data left when your plan renews, it will simply be added to next month’s allowance.

    Find out more on the Warehouse Mobile website.

    Spark — $20 Value pack (plus student upgrade)

    Spark logo

    For $20, Spark’s Value Pack comes with

    • 1.25 GB of data
    • Unlimited messages to NZ numbers
    • 200 mins to NZ numbers.

    Which is not great value when compared to other plans we’ve looked at there. However, with this plan, students (or those under 25 years of age) can also take advantage of Spark’s U25 Pack at no extra cost. This pack gives you:

    • an additional 1.5 GB of data
    • unlimited calls to landlines and other Spark mobiles.

    However, you can only take advantage of this student offer for a max of 1 year.

    Learn more about Spark’s prepaid plans and its U25 Student Pack.

    Student discounts and special offers

    While it’s not common, a handful of mobile plan providers do have special deals for students studying in NZ. We cover each of them here.

    Spark

    With Spark’s U25 pack customers get a bonus 1.5 GB of mobile data plus unlimited calls to both other Spark mobiles and landlines at no extra cost for one year. However, you must already be on one of its eligible prepaid plans or pay monthly plans.

    The U25 pack is not exclusive to students as those under 25 years of age can also take advantage of the offer. To prove you meet these criteria, you must present a valid photo ID or your student ID when you sign up (either in-store or online).

    For more information on Spark’s U25 plan, including all eligibility criteria and more details on how to sign up, visit Spark’s website.

    2Degrees

    For students and those under 25, 2Degrees offers 1 GB of bonus data every weekend on all eligible plans. Eligible plans include most of the company’s prepay and monthly plan so there should be no problem on that front.

    While limited to the weekends, unlike Spark’s offer it does not end after one year.

    To take advantage of the offer you have to go into any 2Degrees store and with a valid student ID to get a voucher code for the offer from a member of staff. Once you have this code you can claim the offer by entering the code on the 2Degrees website.

    Learn more about this student offer by visiting the 2Degrees website.

    Kogan Mobile

    Kogan has a strong offering for students who want to get a good deal on data while saving as much as possible.

    In collaboration with UNiDAYS, the mobile plan provider offers 15 GB of data as well as unlimited calls and texts within New Zealand for $25. This is on a prepay plan that rolls over every 30 days.

    In order to take advantage of the offer you must have (or create) a UNiDAYs account. Learn more or sign up on the Kogan Mobile website.

    Picture of Kevin McHugh

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin is the founder and Head of Publishing at Banked. With years of experience working in personal finance, insurance, and related areas, Kevin created Banked to help Kiwis make better financial decisions.