Postpaid or Prepaid: Which one is better?
Deciding whether to go postpaid or prepaid is an old dilemma that we encounter whenever our mobile communication needs change. Choosing which one to pick has become more difficult nowadays because you have to take in plenty of factors like the device you’re getting, data allocation, call, and text benefits, and your financial situation as well. So, how do you choose? Let us help you by listing down the pros and cons.
Device installment plans
One of the reasons why people opt for postpaid plans is because telcos include devices that can be had through installment means. Subscribers need to pay for the cash-out, and the rest can be paid monthly on top of your bill. When you compute for the total contract amount, sometimes you’ll notice that it’s lower or close to the SRP of the device without the plan. It’s like getting a discount on the device or the plan itself.
Having a postpaid plan eliminates the hassle of having to reload your account. You also don’t have to worry about running out of credits when you’re in the middle of a call or while texting. When you exceed your plan limits, the telco will charge you for the excess usage.
Better plan benefits
Depending on the plan, postpaid options usually have better plan benefits or inclusions like bigger data, text, or call allocations, and customer service perks. Make sure that the benefits will satisfy your needs before you subscribe to a plan.
Once you have satisfied your contract with the telco, you’ll be eligible for a contract renewal, and most of the time, it comes with extra perks. Either you’ll be allowed to get a new device at a discounted cash out, or you can stick to your current plan but at a discounted price.
Unlike prepaid, customers need to submit requirements when applying for a postpaid plan. That means filling out forms, presenting your IDs, and other documents. The application is also subject to approval depending on the plan you’re getting. Some postpaid plans, though, like those with lower monthly payments, are easy to get and often require an ID to be approved.
Subscribing to a postpaid plan is a financial commitment as you’ll be mostly locked in for 24 months or two years. It’s best to assess your budget to make sure you can finish the contract and put yourself in good credit standing.
Utilization has to be closely monitored
Unlike in prepaid wherein services (data, calls, SMS) automatically get cut off once you have consumed your ‘load,’ prepaid plans allow you to go above your monthly allocation. You’re just going to incur additional costs for the excess usage. Although telcos implement policies to prevent these things from happening, it’s still advisable that you closely monitor your usage, so you don’t go above your budget.
The device is locked to the network
Although postpaid plans make it easy to obtain a device and pay for it in monthly installments, note that most of these devices are locked to the telco you got them from. It’s not much an issue if the device has dual-SIM dual-LTE connectivity as only one SIM slot is locked, this can be a problem with single-SIM devices. Hello, iPhones!
Can be easily purchased
If you need a prepaid SIM or want to change your number, all you need to do is go to a store that sells them and buy it. No need for forms or other requirements. These things are available in the telco’s official store or mobile phone stores in malls.
Aside from accessibility, prepaid SIMs are affordable and only costs PHP 40.
No lock-in periods
One of the biggest reasons why you should go prepaid is that it doesn’t impose lock-in periods. If you don’t want to use your current prepaid number, you can easily buy another one.
The budget can be easily managed
Want to spend PHP 1,000 on prepaid load this month? Sure, no problem. How about PHP 500 next month. That’s not a problem as well. The good thing about going prepaid is that you can adjust your budget depending on your needs. You’re in full control, and there are no monthly bills as well.
Easily change subscription with promos
Just like with your budget, you can also adjust how you want to spend your credits with promos. There’s plenty of options available for different kinds of users. You can even subscribe to multiple promos so you can maximize your credits. You’ll even find some promos with better benefits compared to postpaid plans.
Doesn’t come with a device installment plan
If you want to get a device through installment plans, sadly, it’s not offered via prepaid means. Some devices can be purchased from the telco store, but you have to pay for the whole amount.
Requires frequent reloading
Probably the most inconvenient part of being on prepaid is you have to reload your account regularly. You also have to be mindful of your credits, especially if you’re not subscribed to any promos. No one wants to receive an “insufficient load” notification when you’re in the middle of a call or SMS conversation.
Which one is for you?
We recommend going postpaid if you want to acquire a flagship smartphone through installment means. It will also allow you to enjoy the renewal benefits, especially if you’re going to upgrade to a newer device after your contract expires. Add to that the convenience of not reloading frequently.
As for prepaid, we recommend this to those who don’t like lock-in periods, want to take advantage of the telco promos, and want to have more control over their budget.
Or you can have both. Most smartphones nowadays have dual-SIM card slots. You can put a postpaid SIM on one and a prepaid on the other and maximize the benefits.