Carrier T-Mobile postpaid vs. prepaid (what would you do?)

c.s.

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 11, 2007
248
192
I currently use an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile prepaid. I'm in a good coverage area (Dallas), have been very happy with data and call quality. I love not paying cell phone taxes, so I know exactly what I'm going to pay each month. I'd like to add a line for my wife, and I've always believed philosophically in the prepaid model. But there are a few perks to T-Mobile postpaid: one bill, a few dollars cheaper, free tethering and overseas roaming (don't really affect me, though).

Prepaid (2 lines) - $50 + $50 = $100
Postpaid (2 lines) - $80 + taxes/fees (20%) = $96

Don't you have to pay a deposit on postpaid? Would there be other activation fees? I just don't know if it's even worth it to go into a retail store and talk to a brain-dead 20-year old so I can start paying the government $16/month.

I realize these are granular points, and I don't know why, but I have no problem paying full price for an iPhone but I obsess over the monthly bill.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,377
1,138
Charlotte, NC
There's a sim starter fee of $10 per line for postpaid and prepaid.

A deposit is required if your credit isn't the best for postpaid.

If you don't want to do a credit check and already have your own phones, they also offer a no credit check postpaid plan. On that plan it's a $50 deposit for the first line and $30 for the second line. It's kind of like a prepaid family plan.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,432
719
So you get better coverage on postpaid then. That'd be the simple choice plans?
 

Col Ronson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2008
619
2
There is only one postpaid plan: the simple choice plans.

Postpaid generally has better customer support than prepaid as well. Pretty sure prepaid lacks call forwarding and a few other obscure calling features.
 

EbookReader

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2012
1,190
1
I currently use an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile prepaid. I'm in a good coverage area (Dallas), have been very happy with data and call quality. I love not paying cell phone taxes, so I know exactly what I'm going to pay each month. I'd like to add a line for my wife, and I've always believed philosophically in the prepaid model. But there are a few perks to T-Mobile postpaid: one bill, a few dollars cheaper, free tethering and overseas roaming (don't really affect me, though).

Prepaid (2 lines) - $50 + $50 = $100
Postpaid (2 lines) - $80 + taxes/fees (20%) = $96

Don't you have to pay a deposit on postpaid? Would there be other activation fees? I just don't know if it's even worth it to go into a retail store and talk to a brain-dead 20-year old so I can start paying the government $16/month.

I realize these are granular points, and I don't know why, but I have no problem paying full price for an iPhone but I obsess over the monthly bill.
I would go with T-Mobile MVNO Metro PCS. Lot of stores in the Dallas area.

It is now owned by T-Mobile so same coverage as prepaid T-Mobile. You can bring your own device.

http://www.metropcs.com/metro/simpleplans

$40 first line
$35 second line

= $75 total. Taxes and fees included.

$40 Unlimited Data, Talk and Text
Enjoy worry-free unlimited talk, text and data on any of our phones. Customers who purchase a 4G-ready phone will also receive the first 500MB data at blazing-fast 4G speeds. Once reached, 4G data speeds will be reduced for the rest of the monthly plan cycle. Save $5 per month per line, up to 5 lines total when you create a Family Plan.
Why stay with T-Mobile prepaid for $100 when you can get the same thing for $75 at MetroPCS?
 

Diseal3

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
1,064
46
I would go with T-Mobile MVNO Metro PCS. Lot of stores in the Dallas area.

It is now owned by T-Mobile so same coverage as prepaid T-Mobile. You can bring your own device.

http://www.metropcs.com/metro/simpleplans

$40 first line
$35 second line

= $75 total. Taxes and fees included.



Why stay with T-Mobile prepaid for $100 when you can get the same thing for $75 at MetroPCS?
Although Metro is 10$ less a month for the same plans I would keep in mind that you cannot just switch the SIM card without calling customer service. Seems to be some merging woes for now but if switching the SIM to a different device is important to you it's just something to note.
 

c.s.

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 11, 2007
248
192
Perfect! Thanks for the tip about MetroPCS. Somebody chime in if they've had customer service issues ... I'll probably go this route.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,432
719
But isn't coverage better with tmobile postpaid vs prepaid? That's what the extra is for?
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
I currently use an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile prepaid. I'm in a good coverage area (Dallas), have been very happy with data and call quality. I love not paying cell phone taxes, so I know exactly what I'm going to pay each month. I'd like to add a line for my wife, and I've always believed philosophically in the prepaid model. But there are a few perks to T-Mobile postpaid: one bill, a few dollars cheaper, free tethering and overseas roaming (don't really affect me, though).

Prepaid (2 lines) - $50 + $50 = $100
Postpaid (2 lines) - $80 + taxes/fees (20%) = $96

Don't you have to pay a deposit on postpaid? Would there be other activation fees? I just don't know if it's even worth it to go into a retail store and talk to a brain-dead 20-year old so I can start paying the government $16/month.

I realize these are granular points, and I don't know why, but I have no problem paying full price for an iPhone but I obsess over the monthly bill.
Don't you still need to pay taxes and fees with Prepaid?
 

karmamule

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2008
516
142
Waltham, MA
Depending on which postpaid you do you may also get 1/2 gb mobile hotspot thrown in, which can come in handy.

Also, does prepaid get wifi calling? That's been very helpful a few times for me.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68010
Dec 28, 2009
2,001
578
I got a T-Mobile prepaid sim yesterday. $70 + $10 for the sim. Coverage has been absolutely atrocious in the Chicago land area. T-Mobile struggles to hold onto a 4G HSPA+ signal. I am wondering if T-Mobile prioritizes their postpaid plans and give them a better signal and coverage, though I doubt it.

The T-Mobile manager said getting LTEA on an ATT unlocked iPhone 5S would be impossible, though I got it and threw it back in his face. HSPA+ speeds seem to be fast than LTE.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
I love not paying cell phone taxes, so I know exactly what I'm going to pay each month
Oh you are paying, *somewhere* it's just being bundled so you don't see it.

But never mind what they do, is the amount of the check you write each month that matters right?

5 bucks wouldn't be enough to move me from a place am already comfortable, unless you want those post-paid features.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
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Thanks to you I now understand the taxes situation. But if the plan is post paid why is the payment due 7 days before the end of the usage period? Sounds like prepaid to me. Any comment/explanation?
Because you're paying for the previous month.

For example your plan start date is the 21st of every month. But your bill is due the 15th.
In April you're paying for the date range from Feb 21th-Mar 20th and the payment for that is due on April 15th. Your Mar 21st-Apr 20th bill is due May 15th.
 
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