Contract or pay as you go

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Contract or pay as you go

PostPosted by stuart » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:34 pm

The days where PAYG tariffs were only cheaper for lower users are long gone. PAYG phones are now far more competitive, with contract-style bundles available when you top up by a minimum amount.

The main reason for choosing a contract is wanting a new handset, as they're heavily subsidised on contracts. But be careful you're not paying for it with a higher monthly premium.

Contract

Pay a monthly fee and get an inclusive bundle varying in minutes, texts and data.

Smartphones cheaper with a contract
Often better for heavy texters/callers
More likely to get free mobile data
No risk of running out of credit
Decided a contract is better? Read on

Contract

Pay a monthly fee and get an inclusive bundle varying in minutes, texts and data.

Smartphones cheaper with a contract
Often better for heavy texters/callers
More likely to get free mobile data
No risk of running out of credit
Decided a contract is better? Read on

PAYG & Sim only

No fixed contract, pay for what you use via top-ups, online or on the phone.

No credit check for payg
Can be cheaper for light users
No contract commitment for payg (30 day rolling for sim only)
Easier to budget
Prefer pay-as-you-go? Jump to deals

How to get the cheapest contract

First work out what you need, then get the cheapest tariff. Only after that should you find the deals. It's a simple three-step plan:

Step 1. Pinpoint your exact usage

Knowing how much you use your phone and what you do with it the most is crucial to getting the best plan.

Match free mins/texts closely to your usage. If you don't, go over and you'll overpay for calls. Go under and you'll overpay on the package.

The easiest way to check usage is to simply dust off your last 3-6 months' bills, jot down what you use every month and then work out the average. Or if you ring your provider, it'll usually tell you - you may also be able to check online. Once you've got the info, check the following:

How many minutes or texts do you use?
How much do you use the web?

Step 2. Find the perfect tariff

Once you know your usage, you need to find the cheapest and best mobile phone tariff to match it.

Give yourself some leeway, as a slightly higher monthly fee will be cheaper than paying extra call costs.

Are you happy with your existing handset?

If you already have a decent handset in good nick, you'll get a far cheaper deal if you opt for Sim-only. Here you simply get the Sim card with the tariff, and no handset.

If you want a new handset, first think about what features you want and will use. A useful site that allows you to compare handsets is GSM Arena. It lists full specifications for each model so you can see at-a-glance if it has what you need.

Step 3: Get the right discount

Now you know the best mobile phone tariff for you, use the comparison services again. This time, find out which will give you the biggest discount on your chosen tariff. Don't be tempted to switch to a different tariff to get a freebie - let the tariff rule.

Always pick the right tariff first. Then even if your promo falls through, as many have, you're still on the cheapest package.

Omio* and MobilePhoneChecker* both allow you to find the right tariff and then search for specific deals for that tariff.

On Omio, to find deals, click on the tariff for more details and then "see all deals for this tariff".

On MobilePhoneChecker, simply click on the "view offers" dropdown. It'll show you which retailer offers cashback or gifts with that specific tariff.

The mobile market is rife with a variety of discount packages, meaning the same tariff on the same network can cost vastly different amounts. Discounts include free gifts, but it's most important to understand the difference between these:

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones ... st-cutting

Source www.moneysavingexpert.com

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stuart
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