May 24, 2011

Prepaid vs. Contract

There are many opinions about what type of cell phone is best for an individuals needs, you have many things to consider, (i.e. smart phone, dummy phone, prepaid or contract etc). I've owned both types of phones at different times of my life and, the question now is which is the best value? Of course I have an opinion on which is best, but why not look to the facts first. The prepaid phone (on the left) is considered a "dummy phone" which means it has no bells and whistles. The contract phone (on the right) is called a "smart phone" because it's full of apps and programs designed to streamline your needs. I did some research and decided that I will select the plans that comparable to each other in terms of service, minutes, web access & texting which often appears to be the most used services among cell phone users.

Prepaid (dummy phone) offers

  • 30 days of unlimited service
  • Unlimited nationwide long distance minutes
  • Unlimited texting & picture messages
  • Unlimited mobile web access
  • Unlimited free 411 calls
  • No contracts
Total cost per month $45.00 before taxes

Contract (smart phone) offers
  • 2 year contract required
  • Unlimited nationwide long distance minutes @ $69.99
  • Data plan required for phone service @ $15-45.00
  • Unlimited text messaging & mobile to mobile calling @ $20.00
Total cost per month $134.99 before taxes

In addition to the requirements of the contract phone, most people like to include applications to there phones that do have a cost associated. Also, they offer insurance for these types of phones in case of damage or theft at an additional cost. The information I gathered above comes from Straight talk prepaid program found at Walmart and AT&T 2 year contract I-phone program. It's obvious that only you can make the best decision for your needs, but look at the bottom line, it's safe to say that I have converted to a prepaid phone, it offers many of the same things that a smart phone does, but I pay $90.00 less each month. The point is, I can still make phone calls, text, use 411 and more without having to commit to a contract. There are many other prepaid companies out there that offer similar products, and quite a few contact vendors that offer decent individual plans, but for me, it's all about what is cost effective. I can't consider myself a savvy shopper if I own a contract phone knowing that there are cheaper phones out there that offer the same products. 

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