Choosing between a prepaid phone plan and a postpaid plan can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t covered the bases. But the key here is to know your goals and lifestyle because your choice will greatly depend on these two factors.
Here is a guide to help you decide on which phone plan is best for you.
What’s the Purpose of Your Phone?
When choosing which type of mobile phone plan to get, it is crucial for you to consider the purpose of your phone. Ask yourself, “What will I be using my phone for?”
If you are going to use your phone for calling your family and friends and nothing more, a prepaid plan is the way to go. This option tends to be cheaper. But if you regularly run something from your phone, such as delivering packages and driving for Uber, you need to get a postpaid plan.
Choose a plan that comes with unlimited talk, text and data.
Can You Live Without Whistles and Bells?
Opting for a prepaid cell phone plan makes sense if you hardly play video games, surf the Internet or if you aren’t a social media enthusiast. This is also your best option if you want to reduce your expenses so you can save money for spending on other priorities.
Can You Handle the Stress Related to Contracts?
If you want to get a postpaid plan, the service provider will have you sign a binding contract, which can last for 12 to 24 months, to protect their profits. If upon using it, you happen to dislike the service or your phone, you will be stuck with it until your contract expires. You will then be able to either stop the service and switch to another service provider or upgrade your phone.
Cancelling such contract before it expires can mean a hefty penalty.
If you dislike contracts and would want to have the flexibility to change phones, choosing a prepaid plan is a better option for you. This option allows you to pay in advance for their service without the possible penalties and commitment required of a contract.
Some users are switching to prepaid plans to avoid the hefty penalties associated with contract plans. Also, users who can’t guarantee enough funds for their monthly phone bill can make use of prepaid plans to have service whenever they can afford it without having to worry about imminent payment deadlines.
Since a prepaid plan charges you before the term of service starts, you’ll know exactly how much you are paying for the service. But if the monthly term of service ends or your minutes run out, your plan gets deactivated.
You can reactivate it immediately by activating a prepaid mobile recharge voucher. Contract phone plans, on the other hand, are often deactivated if you fail to pay your bill for two consecutive months. It can only be reactivated once you settle your unpaid bills.
Can You Keep Your Number After Your Contract Expires?
Decades ago, subscribers had no option take their phone number once they leave a phone plan provider. So most people had to stay with their phone plan providers longer because they did not want to switch numbers, most especially for those who used their number for business purposes.
But today, you can already take your number with you wherever you want to go. Most carriers allow you to switch your existing number when switching to a prepaid plan. This way, you don’t have to change anything to get started.
When is a Postpaid Plan Cheaper?
Most people do not want to get a postpaid plan because they think this is way more expensive than a prepaid plan. But there are situations where contract plans are cheaper.
For instance, getting a family phone plan tends to be cheaper than a prepaid plan. If you have a group of friends or a large family who are willing to share it with you, then you can negotiate a better deal on your postpaid plan.
Most carriers allow multiple users in the same household to share minutes on a contract family plan. They can even offer you free phone units.
Whatever plan you choose, you must make sure that you’re making the most out of your plan. Check your last couple of statements to determine how many minutes you used, how many text messages you received, and how much data you consumed. From there, decide if you really are getting the most out of your contract plan or if it is time for you to switch to a prepaid plan.
Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA. The company was the first operator in the Middle East to commercially launch the 4G/LTE network. Zain serves +10M customers, has extended its network coverage to 94% of the population, and attracts thousands of new customers daily.