Consumers often have trouble deciding whether a cellphone contract really is a better deal than rather opting for a prepaid handset. Doing some quick calculations in one’s head, it’s easy to conclude that you’ll pay more in the long run when signing up for a cellphone contract with your chosen service provider.

However, there is a range of factors that may influence what cellphone users ultimately pay for their mobile usage every month, and in this regard – and contrary to popular belief – there may actually be a lot of merit in deciding to sign up for a cellphone contract. Here’s why.

Prepaid: the pros and cons

When consumers are on an extremely tight budget and already have a cellphone that fulfils all their mobile needs, prepaid is the obvious choice for many. When you have a prepaid agreement, you aren’t “tied down” to a specific mobile service provider for two years, and can specify exactly how much data and airtime you want every month, based on the amounts you typically use.

Things get difficult to pin down when we start talking about exactly how much data and airtime a person might use every month, though. Mobile offerings have started to include data-focused deals to account for the needs of users who are increasingly spending the time on their devices in the online sphere – but as any mobile user will attest, the internet can be pretty data-hungry.

When prepaid users run out of data or airtime, they need to immediately recharge to remain connected, whilst contract customers will have instant access to the web (albeit at out-of-bundle rates) and their friends and family, regardless of whether a data or airtime bundle has run out.

Of course, prepaid users aren’t required to undergo a credit check before signing up, and can decide to limit their mobile spending without having to pay specific amounts every month.

Contract: the pros and cons

Signing up for a cellphone contract makes a mobile user subject to a credit check in order to ascertain whether they will be able to make monthly payments on the contract. However, once a user has been approved, they will be able to take advantage of the many benefits of being a contract customer. Benefits often include free text messages and special airtime or data rates, based on the network provider.

Contract users also get their mobile device upgraded every two years, which means that they will be able to replace their current cellphones before these start acting up, and that they’ll always be up to date with the latest mobile technology.

The price for different cellphone contracts differs, based on the type of handset one chooses and the included benefits that come with the contract. Higher-end flagship smartphones will make a contract more expensive than the many alternative, more affordable phones that are available today.

Contract options are no longer as limited as they used to be, and service providers now offer a wide range of tailored products that suit the varied needs of clients. Even with a limited budget, there are contract options that will give you more bang for your buck and won’t drain your wallet. Speak to your network provider to find a deal that works for you.

Why going for a contract is the better option

Most cellphone users don’t meticulously keep track of just how many times they recharge or purchase data bundles in a month. This means that they may inadvertently be spending far more than they think they would as contract customers.

To truly gauge whether a cellphone contract will be cheaper in the long run, users should calculate the exact amounts they spend on airtime and data every month and compare this to what they’d pay on a contract with similar included benefits. Considering that they’d be getting a brand-new handset as a part of the deal, and that they’ll have access to special rates on data and airtime as a contract customer, it really makes a lot more sense to seriously look into contract offerings.

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