For a long time the best thing to do to save money in the mobile phone world was to sign a contract. A phone contract generally got you a good price on a hand set, with a few freebies thrown in like free minutes and the such like. But as phone contracts get longer, and companies get greedier, it may now be worth your while to switch back to the old pay as you go (PAYG) model. The benefit of PAYG is that you only ever pay for what you use. And yes, rate may be a little higher for PAYG customers than for contract customers- with phone minutes costing a little more, for example- but that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to lose money. There are an awful lot of add ons in your monthly contract bill that may cover the additional expense. Switching isn't for every one, but it may be a solution for some. Read on to find out who can benefit most…
If You Don't Care About Upgrading
If you're not fussed about getting the latest model of a phone, switching to a SIM only PAYG model may be for you. Using an iPhone PAYG system for your older iPhone 4S can save you money if you're not too bothered about trading in for an iPhone 5. Buying a new hand set would cost you a lot of money, but if you're happy with what you've got, then don't worry about it.
If You Never Use Your Minutes
If your monthly contract is full of things that you're not actually using, then why are you paying for them? Most of us have a good percentage of left over minutes and text messages on our phone plan at the end of the month, and if you're not using your plan to its capacity, then it may be worth switching to PAYG, where you're only going to pay for what you use.
If You Already Own Your Phone (or you don't mind buying one)
The biggest disadvantage of a PAYG plan is that you will be forced to buy your own phone out right. There's no instalment plan for PAYG, which is part of the thing that saves you cash. Buy paying the whole amount up front, you avoid being charged interest and making extra payments on your device. Of course, if you already own your own phone then switching is no big deal. Be aware though, that if you're thinking about buying a phone and then going PAYG depending on where you purchase your phone and where you purchase your PAYG SIM card, you may have to deal with unlocking issues. A T-Mobile locked phone will need to be unlocked before you can use it with a Vodaphone SIM card, for example.
If You're a Careful Spender
If you're not liable to spend all your credit on a twenty minute internet surfing session, then PAYG is a great plan for you. Knowing how much you have to spend, rather than waiting for the end of the month to find out how much you have already spent, can mean a lot more cash in your pocket if you're careful with the pennies.
Phil Turner bought each of his daughters an iPhone PAYG phone. It seems to be working out all round.