Do you feel trapped by your wireless carrier or find that your phone bills are consistently through the roof? Prepaid service providers offer an enticing alternative that could be a better fit for some consumers. The following are five reasons to take a closer look at prepaid phones or SIM cards and get rid of your long-term contract.
1. You’ll get all the same features.
Many people are scared off by prepaid phones or SIM cards, thinking that they won’t be able to access the same range of services that a full media contract would provide. Today’s prepaid options give you the same SMS, phone calls, and mobile internet that you would expect from any regular contract. However, it’s always a good idea to compare features carefully to find the best fit. There may be different rates for data or texting between providers.
2. You won’t go over your monthly budget.
When you sign up for a phone contract, you usually agree to a basic monthly rate. However, when your actual phone bill arrives, the charges may be far higher than what you’ve agreed to. This could be due to you going over your allotted minutes, data roaming, or service fees. With prepaid phones, you can avoid these surprises by paying for everything in advance.
3. You can save on international calls.
Whether you travel frequently or have friends and family living abroad, per-minute rates for international calls can add up quickly. Choosing a prepaid SIM card specifically designed for your main calling destination can let you make cheap calls abroad. As with any international calling service, it’s best to compare rates carefully to find the best deal. Look for extra connection charges or other fees that will eat up your prepaid allowance.
4. There won’t be any surprises on your phone bill.
In addition to overage fees and high international rates, another type of surprise may come in the form of fees for downloads, ringtones, or other services you don’t want or need. It’s easy to sign up for subscription services accidentally, by responding to mystery texts or not explicitly opting out.
5. You can choose your own device.
One of the usual arguments in favour of choosing a contract is that your mobile device is subsidised. You can usually choose from an array of new smartphones, some of which will even be available at no added cost. However, with this plan you’re bound to the selection offered to you, and it can be difficult to stray outside of this. Furthermore, if you want an updated model you’ll have to wait until you’re eligible for your next upgrade. If you go prepaid, you can purchase any device you wish, whenever you wish. Those worried about upfront costs might want to consider buying a used model. The market for used smartphones is rapidly growing. Many of these have hardly been used and already come unlocked.
A phone contract can be right for many people, but not for everyone. Rates and phone usage will vary according to each individual situation. It’s worth exploring prepaid options to see if this could potentially be a way to save money and enjoy the independence of going contract-free.
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