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What is a prepaid phone?

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What's a prepaid phone?

Prepaid phones are cell phones offered outside of a contract. If you're on a prepaid phone service, you'll pay for service before you use it. Travelers and tourists often use prepaid phones since the cost is upfront, and thus exempted from over-limit penalties. Prepaid phones are available through many of the major carriers across the United States.

prepaid cellphone with cashDisadvantages of prepaid phone service

Unfortunately, prepaid phones are deactivated when the monthly service term ends or when the prepaid minutes are used. This abrupt end to the provided prepaid service is the most significant disadvantage. While cell phone users on contracts retain service even after a missed monthly bill or late fee, prepaid phone users’ service is immediately deactivated if they don't pay for more minutes or service ahead of time.

Another disadvantage of prepaid phone service is the availability of smartphone and other high-tech device options. Many carriers offer basic options for their prepaid phone selection. The more recent smartphones with the best technology are often not available as a prepaid option.

Benefits of purchasing a prepaid phone

Cost reduction is often the reason many people choose the prepaid phone option. While service bills come after service provided on contract plans, prepaid phone services charge users at the beginning of service. This pay-before-you-use option is beneficial because you'll always know exactly how much you're paying for service. If you struggle to stay within your data allowance on a regular monthly cell service contract, it might be a better choice to switch to a prepaid option. Or if you struggle to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you'll find that prepaid phones are a more affordable and budget-friendly option.

prepaid phone devicesMany carriers require a credit history check when you buy a device on a contract plan. In contrast, prepaid phones don't require a credit check. In addition, the process to sign up for a prepaid plan is typically is shorter and easier than the carrier contract process.

Another benefit of the prepaid phone plan is that they're often more flexible and more affordable.

Best prepaid option on the market

The nation’s best network's prepaid plan includes no activation fee, no credit check, and no commitment. This provider allows you to get a prepaid phone in three easy steps: choose your device, find the plan that is best for your budget, and sign up to manage the wireless service online. The last step makes it nearly impossible to forget to pay for your next round of service. Signing up for AutoPay is a smart because you'll never worry about your service being deactivated without notice.

Recommended reading on prepaid phones

A prepaid phone may or may not be the best option for your cell service needs. It's best to talk with a phone carrier about charges and plan options before making a decision. For more information on prepaid phones, visit the following articles:

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