You must have seen that many telecom companies offer a range of mobile phone plans for customers like business plan, students plan, lease plans, internet or Wi fi plans or even international plans. But one thing common in all of these plans is that either they are prepaid plans or postpaid plans. Many a time you feel a bit confused over these two main categories of plans. So here you will get an idea of what these plans are and how they differ and which you feel is of the best value.
The prepaid phone plan
A prepaid mobile phone plan is one with which you pay the provider a certain amount of money upfront, which is then converted into mobile credit for you to use as you please, on either calls, texts or mobile data, or a combination of them.
Some prepaid plans come with a set amount of call time and messages, while others come with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) rates, whereby you are simply charged specific amounts for what you use. Prepaid plans with unlimited talk and text are now very common, leaving data as the main point of difference. Prepaid plans mainly appeal to users who just prefer to pay for their service upfront and not run the risk of incurring any extra charges.
Prepaid phone plans do not come with a new handset, so if you’re keen on the latest smartphone, you will need to buy it outright and then subscribe to your preferred SIM-only deal.
Advantages of prepaid plan
- Prepaid plans are flexible simple and easy to use
- There is no contract as such
- No huge sum to pay at the end of the month. Once you’ve used up all your credit, you can simply buy more, usually called a ‘recharge’.
- Even if you are not using your phone you are not bound to pay for it so there’s no obligation to recharge and spend money on credit you won’t be using.
- Leave your service provider whenever you want which helps you to change your carrier or switch to a new one in which you feel better.
Disadvantages of prepaid plans
- You are restricted to a set amount of credit, and if you run out you will need to recharge again, which can prove quite costly.
- You could be left in a position where you have to go a period of time unable to make calls, send messages, or go online if not recharged.
- Prepaid credit also expires after a certain period of time, like 28 or 30 days also when you have consumed all the data you are left with no credit unless you recharge.
- Some cheap prepaid plans can be as short as a single day whereas other long-expiry plans can last for an entire year (365 days).
- Also, you often miss out on additional bonus features offered by the providers which they reserve for post-paid customers like best deals, including things like music or video streaming.
The postpaid phone plan
In a postpaid mobile phone plan, you pay a fixed amount of money or your phone bill you can pay at the end of each month, in exchange for a set amount of calls, texts and data to use during the billing period. The idea behind retrospective billing is that it allows users to exceed their plan’s limitations if they need to, and pay for it later.
Postpaid plans are available over three lengths – an auto-renewing month-to-month basis, 12 months or 24 months. Monthly and 12-month postpaid plans will be SIM only, with those over 24 months usually including a new handset.
Advantages of postpaid plans
- With postpaid plans, you have the secure and safe mind of being able to call, text, or go online whenever you want. You’ll never be stuck in an emergency because you have no prepaid credit to call someone when you need it.
- Postpaid plans also provide the convenience of auto-renewing every time, meaning there is no manual recharging required.
- Postpaid plans also have a reputation for offering better value than prepaid deals as a reward for sticking with your provider every single month and not taking a break.
- The benefit of 24-month postpaid plans is that you can bundle a new handset into the deal. Suppose if you can’t afford to buy the latest iPhone you can simply pay it off monthly in addition to your plan features.
Disadvantages of postpaid plans
- In postpaid, you need a hefty sum as well as pay extra charges for exceeding your plan’s limitations. Excess data charges in particular can be costly, usually about $10 per GB, but this varies between providers.
- Postpaid plans also require a little more effort to cancel. Unlike prepaid where you can simply not recharge again, postpaid plans need to be cancelled through your provider, otherwise, they will keep billing you.
- Having a postpaid plan over 12 or 24 months means you lose the flexibility of being able to switch at a moment’s notice when you spot a better deal elsewhere.
- Also, you receive a fixed amount of calls, texts and data for a set price every month so these plans are limited as said above
Postpaid or Prepaid Mobile – Which plan suits you the best
The answer to this question lies in how you use your phone and also in your personal choice. If you’re a fairly light user who doesn’t require unlimited talk and text, a cheap prepaid plan with a long expiry period could be the way to go. However, there are also some very cheap postpaid plans which can provide the backup of unlimited calls just in case you ever need them.
You need to check and compare the wide range of offers and find the best plan according to your specific needs and requirements. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and various other providers offer great post-paid as well as pre-paid plans for you to explore.
Whichever way you decide to go, just be sure to compare a wide range of offers to find the best plan for your specific needs and preferences.