Prepaid Vs. Contract: Which One Should You Choose?
We are all faced with the decision of whether or not we should take up a prepaid or contract cellphone package. Here are the differences.
Published: Tuesday, December 27th 2016
Choosing a new phone isn't as simple as deciding on your favourite brands or the features you want or need the most. It's also about selecting the right network provider for your needs, and then deciding whether to get a contract or to go prepaid.
If you already have a smartphone and you're not interested in upgrading every two years, or you just don't feel like being tied to a specific network for two years, then prepaid is the option for you.Prepaid means you’ll only pay for the services you need and can use any device you want to. Summer specials, which are usually offered by networks every year in South Africa, are usually targeted to prepaid users.Prepaid also tends to have special, time-based offers, which contract users do not get.Another advantage of going prepaid is that you don't have to undergo a credit check.By going prepaid, you won't ever have to worry about out-of-bundle rates and having to spend more money than you'd budgeted for at the end of the month.
If you're a high-end, always-on-your-phone kinda person, use your phone for business, or you just want to upgrade to the latest phone every two years, then contract is something that you should definitely look at.Contract users tend to get more included benefits than prepaid users. These include texts, special rates, etc.If you always need to be able to make a phone call, or stay connected, then that's another reason why you should consider getting a contract.Networks tend to have a wide variety of contracts and the odds are that you'll definitely find one that meets your needs.
Having said that, networks, like Telkom, have disrupted the service provider industry as we know it with the launch of their FreeMe plans.Focusing on data and then including things like texts and talk time minutes (to make phone calls) makes FreeMe a very attractive offering. Especially when you consider that the prepaid FreeMe offerings are very competitive (in terms of benefits and cost) to contract offerings. But, remain without the credit checks and the need to be tied into a two year contract.
Questions To Consider Before Deciding
At the end of the day, deciding whether to get a smartphone contract or prepaid is determined by your needs.A few things to consider are:
What is your monthly budget?
Can you afford the cost of possibly going over the allotted minutes / data / texts included in your contract?