iPhone X Prepaid vs postpaid plans

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by anitak1982, Jun 13, 2019 at 6:31 PM.

  1. anitak1982 macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2017
    West Central Ohio
    My son went with Verizon Prepaid 15 gigs at $50 and $5 auto pay. He bought an iphone X with cash.

    He got a good deal at Best Buy and they told him that he will be happy with it. I have Verizon postpaid and my sister thinks I am silly for not going with prepaid. What do you think?
  2. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    My general view

    Post paid:
    - you use the service first and pay later when the bill arrives
    - when you decide to cancel the service, usually your bill is prorated so you only pay for the days you use the service
    - usually comes with a contract and an option to get a phone at subsidized price
    - option for large quotas if you’re a really heavy user
    - gets priority in congested situation
    - detailed statement on calls made
    - some carriers provide “better” support for postpaid customers

    - you pay for the service first in full, then you use it
    - when you decide to cancel the service, no money is returned to you. You already pay for the month full in advance
    - usually no subsidized devices or BYOD. Upside, usually no contract involved
    - lower starting cost but usually no option for larger quotas
    - lower priority traffic in congested situation
    - no detailed statements for calls being made

    I myself had never used post paid until recently (family plan). My data requirement is not that huge so I can get by with many prepaid plans.
  3. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    I see zero reason to pay via pre-paid. There's no benefit, just obligation.
  4. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    The typical benefits of prepaid are:
    - no credit checking
    - no additional taxes or fees, the advertised cost is usually the only cost you pay
    - tend to offer better value, especially if your data requirement is not big
    - since there’s no contract, you can easily switch providers around whenever you want to
  5. NoBoMac, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:14 AM
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    NoBoMac macrumors 68020

    Jul 1, 2014
    This, imo, is the thing.

    I used to be on the grandfathered ATT unlimited plan, however, what with wifi at home and most places I go to, I'm only going though about 1.5-2GB/month. If doing a road trip, then might hit 5-6GB. So, cut my bill in half ($95-100 before fees vs $40 with auto-pay) and still have plenty of data via ATT pre-paid (8GB/mo with roll-over). Still get LTE speeds (vs post-paid cheaper plans that generally cap speeds and streaming quality), wifi calling, hotspot capable.

    Oh and: BYOD is an option, at least on the big vendors, with pre-paid. Or more to the nature of this forum, most providers will let you activate an iPhone with them.
  6. VineRider macrumors regular

    May 24, 2018
    I have both at&t postpaid and prepaid. biggest difference I've noticed is coverage. I recently went on a trip to some fairly remote places in Utah and Arizona. several places the prepaid phone had no service while my postpaid phone did. also, prepaid doesn't get the at&t spam call blocking features either.
  7. JBGoode macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2018
    I’m not sure I follow. There is zero obligation with a prepaid account while the benefits for some are numerous.
  8. BlandUsername macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2016
    In yer server room, fixing the tubes
    ATT had prepaid @ 45 per month , unlimited data, no Hotspot and was doing a 50 buck rebate after 3 months on the plan. It all depends if you are willing to shop and like being able to move your plan at will with an unlocked phone. I will never EVER sign a post paid plan again.
  9. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

    Jul 1, 2014
    Thanks for mentioning the coverage issue. Was thinking about adding that, but then thought, how many people are driving the back roads (heck! even I-70 from Green River to Richfield UT is one giant deadzone no matter plan) of America's west? From what I've seen on the maps, NE to CA border is the iffy coverage areas outside of metro areas and or off interstates.

    Re: spam blocking: for ATT, can use the Hiya app, which ATT uses for their database and app. Add in that iOS 13 will have the silence unknowns feature, the lack of vendor provided call blocking is not a big deal, imo.
  10. BlandUsername, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:36 AM
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    BlandUsername macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2016
    In yer server room, fixing the tubes
    It doesn't get much more middle of nowhere than Tennessee, I don't have any issue with the ATT prepaid coverage. This includes going from Mid TN into Northern Alabama, sticksy as it comes, but every major Car company has plants or suppliers here.
  11. kilcher macrumors 65816


    Jul 3, 2011
    We've been on Cricket for a few years now, absolutely love it. Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses AT&T towers, noticed no difference when we switched from AT&T. We have 5 lines and pay $25 per line for unlimited data (as someone mentioned previously, that is what we actually pay, there aren't any fees or taxes tacked on). I'd say look past the stigma and go with what gives you the best bang for the buck.
  12. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I've been on AT&T for years and years, but recently their plans haven't really reflected my needs and provided value. I looked at Verizon and saw basically the same things. They tend to want to bundle up a lot of stuff I don't care about.

    I'm intrigued by your experience with Cricket. It looks to be a better value to me for just voice, text and data.
    But you are right about the stigma, I have a hard time getting past the feeling that I am better off with the "major carrier".
    Had the same problem with car insurance, but finally dropped State Farm after over 45 years and went with Progressive for 1/3 the cost for same coverage.
    So I am more open to change now, but can you elaborate a bit more on Cricket and your coverage, service, experience?
    I am starting to read their fine print now...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2019 at 1:11 PM ---
    Looks like the Hotspot feature is an additional add-on for $10
  13. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    This is the plan I've had on my iPhone 8 for some time now. Actually started with the 3 GB plan with data rollover for $40 (averaged 5 GB/ month available with my usage) and then changed to this one when it became available a few months ago. I love it! Normally use only 2 or 3 GB per month and maybe 5 to 6 on vacation. But for $45 ($45.68 with taxes - no fees), it feels like a reasonable price to pay for all the data I'll ever need. I like to buy my phones directly from Apple, so not at all interested in any bundling or payment plans that Verizon might offer via post-paid.

    I've heard stories about the 2nd class priority in congested situations, but can't say that I've ever actually noticed it.
  14. kilcher macrumors 65816


    Jul 3, 2011
    We live in central Illinois so not near any real big cities. We go to Florida, Chicago, and St. Louis about once a year and haven't had any issues. The great thing about trying pre-paid is that there's no contract - try it for a month and if you don't like it you're not really out anything. To get the $25 a line I think you need to have 4 lines, otherwise I think it's $45 a line but I haven't looked at their prices lately. Also, try to do everything online. The Cricket stores are franchised locations and they'll charge you to do things you can do online for free.

    I tend to be more loyal to companies than I should be but I haven't regretted this move at all.
  15. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Did you compare this to the AT&T pre-pay plan(s) at all?
    And do you have the hotspot add-on?
  16. kilcher macrumors 65816


    Jul 3, 2011
    I have not compared it to AT&T pre-paid and don't have hotspot. We did add hotspot briefly last summer for vacation, I believe it was $10 per 1GB.
  17. prospervic macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2007
    I tried AT&T and Verizon prepaid plans last year, and was dismayed to discover they both do NOT include VISUAL VOICEMAIL, which was a deal breaker for me. Also, AT&T prepaid has NO Wi-Fi calling.

    2nd-class treatment, indeed!
  18. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    Prepaid service often doesn't include roaming, so in areas where primary coverage isn't present, the result is no coverage at all.

    OTOH, if a carrier has sufficient tower coverage, there can be no problem. I spent a week all over the island of Hawaii with an AT&T MVNO expecting some issues, but the only dead spot I encountered was in the middle of one particular town.

    Features such as VVM, VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, tethering, or even MMS (due to Apple's lockdown of APN settings) may also be part of the sacrifice for lower cost. There can also be sacrifices in basic functionality such as network speed and prioritization.

    Carrier-owned prepaid services are more likely to include those features. Cricket, owned by AT&T, does, but to separate it from the mother offerings, data speed is capped to a maximum of 8Mb/s. There are some services, such as Straight Talk, owned by other companies that have endeavored to meet Apple's qualifications for a carrier that can also have such features. They are included on Apple's list.

    The overall point is that while prepaid can be cheaper, it does involve sacrifice, and hands-on research and maintenance are needed to find the service with the particular combination or price and features one finds most suitable. It's not a route that's advisable for those used to passivity.
  19. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    Well, What do you expect? You want those features, then pony up. For those not needing those features, at least there’s a cheaper offering.
  20. prospervic macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2007
    True. But I was reporting, not complaining, and providing evidence for those concerned about the lower status of prepaid accounts.
    Perhaps some can do without visual voicemail, but for me it’s a must-have.

    So yes, I did move on to a postpaid account. Got a great deal on T-mobile for my wife and I — with international voice/data included.
  21. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    There have been changes. With compatible phones, such as iPhones, ATT Prepaid now offers Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE. As well as does Verizon Prepaid.

    I switched from ATT Prepaid to Verizon Prepaid to get their 8+7GB plan (now they offer double data). Speeds not as good where I live, but better coverage in places like Nebraska where I visited family last month.

    No support for my LTE Apple Watch. But I'm not willing right now to spend the extra per month for postpaid to get that.
  22. eyoungren, Jun 15, 2019 at 10:25 AM
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 10:33 AM

    eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two

    As far as I know, Sprint was the last holdout on this. It took them a full three years to stop offering contracts after the other carriers.

    If you can find a subsidized phone, perhaps it's not with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint?

    Sure, leasing a phone is a contract. But that's separate from your service. And with leasing there is no subsidy. Maybe you get a promo deal, but you pay the full price (whether that's actually full price or the full promo price).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2019 at 10:32 AM ---
    I would just mention one difference between prepaid and postpaid that is significant to me.

    You don't get certain things on prepaid that you do on postpaid.

    For instance, with T-Mobile postpaid I have two SyncUP Drives. These are devices that allow me to have WiFi in my car. Essentially they are mobile hotspots. But they also offer vehicle data monitoring and come with free roadside assistance and towing. They are not offered to T-Mobile's prepaid customers.

    I have a 4G LTE Cellspot (a femtocell) in my home due to inadequate signal. It uses my home network as backhaul to T-Mobile's cellular network. Not offered, nor given to T-Mobile prepaid.

    I'm sure other people on other carriers using postpaid have something as well that is not offered prepaid.

    For some people none of this matters, but for me it's a major reason I stay postpaid.

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21 June 13, 2019