Finding a phone plan that is perfect for you can be rather tricky. You may find that you always exceed your data allowance, or you may have an abundance of minutes that you don’t need and feel like you’re throwing money down the drain. If you can’t live without your smartphone and find data invaluable, we can help make your decision that little bit easier.
Firstly, you need to decide whether you’re better off with a contract, prepaid pay as you go SIM, or SIM-only plan.
Pay as you go SIMs
Pay as you go SIMs are best for light users who spend less than $10 to $15 a month. With a pay as you go tariff, there will be no fixed monthly fee to deal with and you don’t have to sign up any direct debit agreements, i.e. you aren’t contracted into any payments. Instead, you will pay for your phone by topping up your credit whenever needed. There is a plethora of benefits that come with pay as you go, particularly if you don’t use your phone often. Firstly, there are no nasty bills, as you’re only able to use what you have paid for - and, as there is no contract, you can opt out whenever you like. There is also no credit check, which is ideal if your credit history isn’t the best.
Pay as you go SIMs are also available to under-18s - meaning that, if you’re looking to buy your child a phone, this is the perfect plan for them, as they can top their phone up using their own allowance and, once they’ve used their minutes, texts and data, it’s up to them to top it up again. T-Mobile are one of the carriers with the best pay as you go plans - for just $3, you can receive 30 texts and 30 minutes. This deal is the perfect choice for you if you seldom use your phone.
Pay monthly contract plans are best for users who are buying a pricey top-of-the-range smartphone and use their handset a lot. Pay monthly plans afford users a fixed minimum monthly fee by direct debit as well as a free or heavily subsided handset. Included in the price, you will receive a fixed number of minutes, texts and data. Carriers often have a range of plans on offer, so you’re able to choose what is best suited to your needs - whether you use a huge amount of data and texts and rarely use your minutes, or you’re a talk-a-holic, use all of your minutes and only use your data for the odd glance on Facebook. Alternatively, it might be the case that you need all three equally.
Paying in advance for a set amount of minutes, texts and data is often much cheaper than pay as you go - and you can be safe in the knowledge that you can’t be cut off, as you’ve already paid for all of your credit. It’s also a good option as you receive that free or heavily subsidized handset, which can be an attractive option if you fancy an upgrade. That said, it should be remembered that, if you do choose a contract SIM, you will have to commit to a contract of 12 to 24 months.
It’s a good plan for heavy users or those who seek a pricey smartphone but can’t warrant paying a large upfront charge. Sprint offers some brilliant contracted plans that can save you a fortune on upfront and monthly costs. For $60 a month, you can receive an iPhone 8 with unlimited texts, calls and data - just one example of their many fantastic offers should a contract phone be up your street.
With a SIM only plan, you will receive an allowance of calls, texts and data, but the monthly cost will be much lower than that of a regular pay monthly contract, as you’re simply paying for the SIM card and not the cost of a new phone. Your carrier won’t be subsidizing your handset as they usually do with monthly contracts, so your calls, texts and data bundle will be much cheaper - and, if you don’t like the sound of being tied down to a contract for up to two years, this may be the best option for you.
Whilst pulling out over $1,000 for the new iPhone may seem like a lot, over the course of two years, it may be that you actually save money due to the cheaper monthly payments. There are some fantastic SIM only deals on the market - and, whilst the carrier US Mobile may not yet be a household name, its customer base is continuing to grow. The carrier offers a $15 saving on your first month of coverage when you purchase one of the company's SIMs.