Getting a regular cell phone connection in the United States can be quite a hassle. Most of the times, you’ll have to sign a two year contract or more with the provider, with exorbitant exit charges should you choose to terminate services.
Furthermore, the fixed monthly charges are generally steep. Most importantly, your credit record needs to be squeaky clean and the deposits requested by the companies are usually prohibitive.
In fact, even something as innocuous as a single late payment years ago can make it difficult for you to get a cell phone connection. Under such circumstances, what you can consider is the increasingly popular option of a prepaid cell phone.
A Prepaid cell phone follows the pay as you go model, not binding you to any contracts. You just need to go to the store, buy a handset and pay for some talk time which gets credited to your account. Once you have finished all the minutes on your prepaid cell phone, you simply go out or pay online or set up an automated payment and get some more. As it is no doubt evident, such a plan is simple and has a lot of freedom, in addition to the fact that it does not implode at a simple blemish on your credit record.
Most carriers offer a prepaid cell phone to almost all possible types of users. Hence it is the only way to get a cell phone if you are a student or have just started working. Even the lack of a credit card offers little hindrance when you wish to get yourself a prepaid cell phone. Since there is no risk on the company’s side with regards to failed payments and the like, a prepaid cell phone is very easy to get.
When it comes to the question of which type of cell phone connection is best for you, the answer is variable. It depends to a great extent on the type of person you are and the amount you talk. A prepaid cell phone is convenient in many ways but you may find yourself running dry with a prepaid cell phone at the most inopportune moments. Hence if you are a person who needs to make numerous emergency calls at certain times, a regular cell phone is your best bet.
For high volume callers, the plans offered by regular cell phones are generally a better deal. However, if you are a person who does not use his cell phone for long periods at a time, fixed monthly charges are an unnecessary expense for you and a prepaid cell phone will be the better choice. Also if you want to control the amount you talk over your phone, a prepaid cell phone is the answer as the connection will be disconnected once the prepaid talk value is over.
A prepaid cell phone is a great option for parents who wish to keep in touch with teenagers. Since young people are the most liable to rack up a huge bill, a prepaid cell phone exercises control over the amount of time they can spend on their cell phones. A prepaid cell phone is also good as an auxiliary cell phone connection for your family along with a regular connection.
A great number of positives aside, a prepaid cell phone does have some serious drawbacks. Firstly, the call rates offered are generally higher than their regular counterparts. This is a mixed bag, however, because analysis of the call rates of various competitive cell phone operators have shown that even with higher rates, a prepaid cell phone is a better option for low volume callers, especially users below 200 minutes per month.
Furthermore, a prepaid cell phone often needs to be purchased at its full price without the massive discounts offered on handsets for regular connections. Thirdly, a prepaid cell phone rarely functions if taken out of its home circle (which is usually your home state and a few neighboring ones). Hence if you travel a lot, a prepaid cell phone is not really an option.
More recently, call rates on prepaid cell phone have dropped considerably. Especially for Virgin Mobile and Net 10 users, the call rates are pretty competitive now and can give regular phones a run for their money. BoostMobile offers an unlimited calling plan on prepaid as well. While variety is the forte of Virgin mobile, Net 10 offers a flat 10 Cents charge per minute which makes it an attractive option. Hence the fight just keeps getting closer.
Cell phone or prepaid cell phone is a question that, even in the recent past, usually had a definite answer based on the type of consumer you were. But the recent price cuts mean that you will have to do some more market research and find out whether you should stick to regular or go prepaid.
By geralt from Pixabay