No contract phones work because instead of signing a contract and guaranteeing you will remain loyal to a carrier...
Flexibility and Mobility Combined
No contract phones work because instead of signing a contract and guaranteeing you will remain loyal to a carrier for two years (or pay large early termination fees if you change your mind) you purchase your device outright, at a higher price than you would pay if you singed a contract.
This not only gives you freedom to change devices and networks as needed, but also gives you control over your bill.
If you don’t want the service, don’t pay the bill or add minutes to your account. You won’t be charged fees for breaking your service with the carrier, as no contract is involved.
Prepaid phones offer the same service as post paid, or contract phones. You’ll get the ability to make phone calls and send text messages, and if you opt for a smartphone plan, you’ll also have the flexibility of a data plan. The difference is, you don’t have to pay for service if you can’t afford to, and you can downgrade to a more affordable plan if you want to.
Though there used to be considerable differences between the phones and plans available from the various carriers depending on whether you went with a prepaid plan or a contract, the gap is closing quickly, with most major carriers offering the same exact phones, and unlimited talk, text, and data plans at a rate very similar to, if not exactly the same, as their contract plans.
How it Works
When you sign up for a no contract phone, you:
- Choose your device. Some carriers may have a limited number of devices, but these carriers typically offer lower plan pricing than those who offer the hottest and most current phones. You’ll save even more if you don’t need a smartphone. Shop online, in a major retail store, or in a carrier’s local brick-and-mortar store.
- Pay for the device and service. Once you purchase your device, you’ll be given the choice of service plans available. You can opt for a monthly plan that includes a set amount of minutes, texts, and data (unlimited plans are available) or you can choose to pay for only what you use ($X/$X minutes, texts, and data) adding money as you use the minutes, text, and data. The pay as you go plan is best suited to those who only use their phones in emergencies, as per minute, per text, and per MB rates are generally higher with a prepaid device.
- Activate your phone. Activate your phone with the carrier, either getting a new number, or porting an existing number to the carrier.
- Use the service and add money to your account either monthly or as needed, depending on the plan you choose. Put money on your account every month for a monthly finite plan, or as you need to in order to keep your service active. Most carriers allow deposits to keep the line active for 30 to 90 days, so you will at least need to put money in your account often enough to keep the service active.
No contract phone plans are simple. You can change your device as you like, simply by purchasing a new phone and activating it with your current number. Though you are free to change providers whenever you want, you will likely have to purchase a new device with each carrier change, so if you want to change carriers, think of it as a chance to upgrade to a better device.