Sponsored: Pre-paid vs Post-paid – What’s the difference?

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Image from: Anne Mole/Flickr (Creative Commons)

When purchasing a new mobile phone we are faced with the dilemma of choosing between a post-paid service (such as a contract or cap plan) or a pre-paid offer.

Post-paid mobile phone plans generally offer free calls to the same network bundled with special offers and a generous amount of data that will allow you to surf the net. Prepaid plans offer a set monthly amount of dollar value to spend on calls, voicemail, retrieval, text messages, internet browsing and more.

Prepaid plans offer more flexibility in that you can choose to recharge the minimum amount as and when you see fit. There are however pro’s and con’s to each option available. Below are a few comparisons between pre and post-paid plans that should be taken into consideration before making a decision.

The handset

Provided you commit to a contract term, post-paid plans will include a handset of your choice free of charge. The cost of the mobile will however be weaved into your annual spend. When choosing a pre-paid plan you will need to purchase your handset separately. Mobile phones can range between $50 and $1000, so it is important to factor in the cost of the mobile phone as well when selecting a pre-paid billing arrangement.

Call usage and costs

When using a prepaid service you can monitor your usage more closely than one could on a post-paid plan. A simple text to your service provider can inform you of your available credit and once this has run out you won’t be able to make calls.  Consumers can easily exceed their cap on a post-paid plan resulting in unexpectedly high bills. Calls on prepaid are not necessarily more than post-paid, however this will vary between service providers.

Credit Check

When taking out a post-paid plan you will be required to undergo a credit check which involves submitting identification, bank and proof of address details. If you have poor credit history a prepaid plan may be more suitable.

Contract terms and commitment

A post-paid plan requires you to commit to a contact for 12 or 24 months, a prepaid service on the other does not tie you in to any stringent terms or conditions.

Telecommunications providers offer a wide selection of plans to suit your requirements. Research the market place and ensure you look into all options available. For example, Vodafone offer three different prepaid options (a 365 day cap, a flexi cap and text and talk recharge) and 2 different post-paid options (an infinite plan and standard caps)

This post is brought to you by Vodafone Australia. Please note that this post is a sponsored post and does not reflect an editorial standpoint by TECHGEEK.com.au. More information about Sponsored Posts can be found here.