Postpaid vs Prepaid: In today’s world, Prepaid cell phone plans are mostly cheaper but most times come with fewer features and perks. Postpaid cell phone plans on the other hand, are mostly more expensive but they have more perks e.g. discounts when you purchase new devices, more reliable data speeds and many other benefits.
The question is; between postpaid and prepaid cell phone plans, which is better? The truth is: it depends on what you want, your rate of data consumption etc. Postpaid plans might work for some persons but not for others and vice versa.
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What are postpaid and prepaid plans?
Let’s begin this explanation with some basic definition. What are postpaid plans, and what are prepaid plans?
A cell phone plan that allows you to pay your bill after you’ve received service each month is known as a postpaid plan. And this plan also give you option for buying a new phone on installment. You get to pay for the phone over many months. Now, because you’re not paying before getting the service, postpaid providers or carriers most times require a credit check before you can sign up.
Any cell phone plan that requires you to pay for your bill before you receive a service is referred to as a prepaid plan. Since you’re required to pay every month, these phone plans don’t usually require contract. Plus, if you don’t pay your bill, there won’t be service and you might also be cut off from using the service.
So to make it very clear, time of payment is the major difference between postpaid and prepaid plans. Another difference is that, postpaid plans are more expensive and offer more perks to users, while prepaid plans are cheaper and are also more flexible.
For sake of clarity, let’s take some few examples to help you understand what we mean. Normal postpaid plan from Verizon Wireless has the following benefits; You enjoy unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data. There is no contract required, but a credit check is compulsory before you can sign up.
Aside from the benefits above, this plan also has some other perks like, a free six month subscription for both Apple Music and Disney+. When new devices are released, you’ll be eligible for some great discounts and deals.
Now, a very similar Prepaid Plan from same Verizon has the following features; Just like the postpaid plan above, it come with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data. And it is about $10 cheaper, but you won’t be getting those other side benefits and deals as the postpaid plan above.
That covers prepaid and postpaid plans from a major provider, like Verizon. But there are other prepaid options out there, and they may offer much better deals.
The Difference between Prepaid Vs Postpaid Data Plans
|Payment is made at the end of the month
|Payment is made at the beginning of the month
|It is cheaper
|Most times requires credit check
|Does not require credit check
|Come with more perks
|Has very limited additional benefits
|Can be based on contract
|Hardly based on contract
|Get deals on new devices
|Rarely get deals on new devices
Prepaid vs Postpaid plan pricing
Everyone wants to save money on their cell phone bill. And choosing between the right postpaid and prepaid plan can actually help you save allot of money on your cell phone bill monthly.
As we discussed above, prepaid customers tend to have cheaper bills. But how much cheaper? Let’s look at a comparison. Here are some leading unlimited data plans from prepaid companies.
If you have been following, you’ll note that we said prepaid customers usually have cheaper cell phone bills. But how much cheaper? Is it enough to actually save some bucks? Let’s look at a comparison of data plans from postpaid and prepaid plans. Below are some of the popular unlimited data plans from prepaid companies.
Prepaid unlimited data plans
Most of the unlimited prepaid plans cost about $40. And they include unlimited talk, text, and data. But, there is almost no benefits like free subscription, hotspot data, or discount and deals on new and preowned devices.
Meanwhile, take a look at the cheapest line of unlimited data plans from each of the three major postpaid carriers—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Postpaid unlimited data plans
Cost of these plans ranges from $60-$70 monthly. Which means you’ll spend extra $20-$30 monthly compared to the prepaid plans. Calculate that yearly and you’re spending about $240-$360 and that is allot of money.
Going by the pricing of the plans, prepaid carriers wins by a mile. And if you just want to have cheaper plans for some gossiping online, then these prepaid plans make sense. But, when it comes to performance, there are some benefits of postpaid plans that is worth the money spent.
Prepaid vs Postpaid plan performance
Well, postpaid plans are better than prepaid plans not just because of little perks like a free Apple Music subscription. Most times, the overall network performance is also better. This comes down to the details of the data throttling and deprioritization.
Throttling usually happens when the speed of your data slows down. And this happens when you’ve used up the data amount allocated for high-speed data. All cell phone plans have throttling built in, but the data cap where the throttling begins differ. Usually, the cap is around 40-50GB of data.
Postpaid plans most times have more data caps compared to prepaid plans. Take for instance, a prepaid plan will give you about 35GB of full-speed data before throttling begins, while a similar postpaid plan will give you about 50GB before throttling begins (15GB difference is huge).
Deprioritization is when the network slow down your data speed when the network is busy. A typical example is during big sporting events, rush hours etc. This is another way your data can get slowed down.
Sometimes, this is a problem with almost all single prepaid plans, and it also affects the cheapest of postpaid unlimited plans. To solve this problem, you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Long story short; if you need fast, reliable data speed mobile plan, then stick to using the more expensive postpaid plans.
We hope that this information helps you decide which kind of mobile plan is right for you. Check out our lineup of the best cell phone plans—both prepaid and postpaid—if you still need help deciding!