If you own or have owned a cell phone within the last decade, then you are probably somewhat acclimated with the options out there. And there is one term that you may have heard but never really explored: prepaid.
When it comes to cell phone service, there are a ton of different providers out there and each brings something different to the table. The biggest names in the industry – Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon – carry the most recognizable names but also have their own networks.
Having their own networks allows them to provide users with the best speeds and reliability available. Of course, it also carries with it a much higher cost than some of the alternatives out there.
Alternative carriers, like Mint Mobile, offer the same services that your traditional carriers do but at a fraction of the price. Why is that? Well, the biggest reason is that alternative carriers don’t have their own networks. Read any Mint Mobile review and you’ll see why more people are switching.
There is, of course, the prepaid option versus the traditional option.
Traditional Phones vs Prepaid
We’ve all seen the commercials out there for prepaid phones and wondered what they offer versus traditional cell phone plans through one of the aforementioned providers. And while there are downsides to prepaid selections, there are benefits to.
The benefits of a prepaid plan are pretty straightforward. Since traditional cell phone plans require a credit check, that could create some real issues for those who have no credit or bad credit. If you get approved at all, you could be paying a premium on the same phone that someone with better credit has.
Positives of Prepaid
Prepaid won’t require credit checks, meaning that you can get the cell phone that you need without having to worry about qualifying. That can be hugely helpful for those who have hit a rough patch in their credit history.
You can potentially bring your own device as well. If you picked up a cheap cell phone you might be able to bring it with you instead of taking on an expensive payment plan for a phone through one of the main carriers.
Negatives of Prepaid
Of course, prepaid means just that: you pay in full up front. This takes away the risk of someone buying a phone and then deciding to just not pay anymore.
Not only that, the selection ends to be limited as the options are for much older generation phones. Sure, there may be newer options available, but you aren’t going to find the latest iPhone or Galaxy in the prepaid options.
Flexibility and cost are there for the prepaid option but you also have to pay a lot more up front and won’t get access to the latest and greatest.