Pros and Cons of Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

Pros and Cons of Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

You are probably wondering what type of cell phone plan is right for you. There are several different plans such as a regular contract or a prepaid plan. There are several advantages as well as disadvantages to a prepaid phone plan. Here is what you need to know before you decide if a prepaid cell phone plan is right for you.

The Pros


Your only going to pay for the minutes that you end up using. You will end up saving a lot of money especially if you’re not using the phone frequently. There’s also no contract that you need to lock into with a prepaid plan.

No Credit Check

If you apply for a longer plan with some providers, they will do a credit check. You will need to pass the check before you can get their plan. If you have poor credit, you may not be able to get the phone and plan that you want. In this case, you may be better off with a prepaid plan.


You’ll get a lot of great features with a prepaid plan such as call display, voicemail, call waiting, and group calling. The features will vary depending upon the provider you go with so you’ll need to check to see what you’ll be getting with the plan. When you apply the plans are usually flexible as to the features you end up with.


Since you’re not tied down to one plan, you have more flexibility. If you find a better provider or plan, you’ll be able to change when you want to as there’s no lengthy contract that you have to adhere to.

More Control

If you have children and they use their phone a lot, this can cost you a great deal of money. With a prepaid plan, they can only use the minutes assigned to the plan. This can save you a lot of money as you’re charged if you happen to go over your limit with other plans. You have more control over your usage as you only get a set amount.

The Cons


The price is also a con with a prepaid plan. The price of the prepaid phone is usually less than other plans, but the per-minute rate is often higher. If you want a lot of minutes on your phone, you’ll need to chop around to get the best rates. You need to buy the phone yourself so the upfront cost can be high especially if you want one of the newer phones. If you change your cell phone carrier company, your phone is locked and you’ll need a new one. You will also find a lack of specials or deals on prepaid phones which are quite common with other plans.

A Time Limit

You have a time limit with your minutes and you need to use them. You usually get around 30-90 days to use up the minutes. Some carriers will let you use them for longer but there is a set limit on the time you have. If you don’t use up the minutes then they are gone and you will need to buy more which end up costing you more money.

Phone Choices

On prepaid plans, the choice of phone you have is usually very limited. There may be just a few phones that work with the plan so you don’t have a lot of options with repaid plans. Many of the plans won’t work with the latest and greatest phones.


If you want extras like data, this will cost you extra. The same can apply for sending and receiving text messages with a prepaid phone. You will have to buy a data plan to add those features to your phone. Many basic prepaid phones won’t offer web browsing support or email so you’ll need to shop around to find a phone that works for you. With prepaid plans, you also can’t add other individuals like you can with other plans.


It’s important to compare cell phone plans to find one that meets your current need. You will find a wide range of prepaid plans as well as other plans to suit your current needs and it pays to shop around.