It can be difficult to choose a new cell phone plan. Companies offer a wide variety of plans and phones and it can be confusing to determine what will best suit your needs. This article will help to explain some of the differences and benefits of various types of cell phone plans.
Pay As You Go Plans
These plans are ideal if you do not use your cell phone frequently. Many of the phones offered on these plans are very basic and do not offer a lot of features – if you’d like to play games or surf the internet on your phone, you should choose something else.
To use a phone on one of these plans, you will need to purchase both the phone and “talk-time” to use on the phone. Talk-time can be purchased at the same store that you purchased the phone from. There is a per minute rate for calls and for text messages. You should check to see how long your talk-time will last when purchasing it.
These plans offer more choices than pay as you go plans. Generally, you pre-pay a set amount every month, but do not have a contract. This means that you can change your plan or discontinue your use of the service whenever you’d like.
The phones on these plans are much more advanced – some pre-paid plans even offer Android and Iphones now. This, however, comes with a price: the phones are much more expensive than the phones on the pay as you go plans. You will often pay hundreds of dollars to get one of the latest phones on a pre-paid service provider.
It might be worth it, though, to pay more for the phone, when you consider that you will be saving money over the long run – most pre-paid plans are cheaper per month than contract based plans, and if you need to change plans or providers, you can do it without a penalty.
These plans offer more choices than pay as you go plans, but are similar to pre-paid plans. One advantage of a contract-based plan is that they often have family sharing plans, which pre-paid plans do not. You may be able to receive a discount on a contract-based plan for various reasons – your employer, clubs you belong to, or other affiliations.
Contract-based plans offer subsidized phones, which means that getting the latest phone will not cost as much as it would on a pre-paid plan. However, since you are on a contract, you are not free to upgrade your phone whenever you’d like – often, you must wait until the end of your contract to be able to upgrade.
Another downside of a contract-based plan is that, if you should need to cancel your plan, you will most likely need to pay a termination fee. Some providers will let you cancel your plan without a charge if you do not have cell service where you live, but this is not a guarantee. If you think you might move soon, you should see if service will be offered in your new area so you do not get stuck paying a fee.
Contract-based plans often offer other services along with your phone plan. You may be able to pay for additional roadside assistance, which is nice if you travel a lot. You will be able to insure your phone, so that if it breaks or is stolen, it will be replaced for you. You may be able to pay for service for your phone if you travel overseas. You may also be able to have additional features – like a spending limit – placed on your phone so that you do not run up a high bill without noticing. If you are interested in becoming a photographer, contract-based plans often have better phones with better cameras, which might be a better option for you.