Prepaid Phone Deals
Prepaid phone service has long lost the stigma it once suffered. In fact, most major carriers and a slew of smaller carriers offer a variety of prepaid cell phone plans with no contract.
It's a great way to avoid commitment, overage costs, and early termination fees.
The plans are affordable and widely available - but how do you go about getting a good quality phone to use with your prepaid plan?
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In this guide, we'll show you how to get the best prepaid phone deals, plus how to find the cheapest no-contract phone plans. Keep reading!
Buy Refurbished to Get the Best Prepaid Phone Deal
Buying used gives you the opportunity to get a great high quality smartphone without shelling out $600 to $1000 just for the privilege.
Benefits of buying a used cell phone:
- Save money: Get your next mobile phone upgrade for less than half the retail price.
- Go green: Tech waste is a global issue. Extending a smartphone's life by purchasing secondhand is an environmentally responsible option.
- Get huge value: Since there are only a few minor changes to each new smartphone or iPhone version, you'll get way more bang for your buck when you buy refurbished or used.
- Own your phone - and your freedom: Buying your phone outright and using it on a prepaid phone plan means you're in control of everything. You can switch carriers any time if you find a better deal.
- Compatibility: You can choose a phone compatible with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon or even unlocked (so it can be used with any network).
The Best Prepaid iPhone Deals
The Best Prepaid Galaxy Deals
Key Considerations When Buying a Used Prepaid Phone
There are a few things you need to know in order to get the best deal and ensure that you're getting a gently used phone in great working condition.
Keep the following in mind as you compare prices on used (sold as-is) and refurbished (tested, cleaned, and repaired) prepaid phones:
- Warranty: Reputable sites offer warranties with their used smartphones. Depending on which seller you buy from you might get 30 days, which is what Gazelle give you, or even a full year like Decluttr offers.
- Return period: This is another layer of protection for your peace of mind. Most sellers give you the chance to return your phone if it doesn't meet your expectations. Check the website you buy from for details.
- Certified pre-owned: A certified phone has been thoroughly inspected and tested to make sure everything functions properly.
- Compatibility: You need an unlocked cell phone in order to activate it on your own carrier. Make sure the model you're buying will work with your network (you can usually check on your carrier's website).
- Timing: Get the best cell phone deals when a new model of your desired phone comes out. In other words, if you want the best Google Pixel 2 deals, now is the time since the Pixel 3 just dropped.
- Payment options: It is possible to buy a used phone with installment payments, just watch the interest rates (you will undergo a credit check). It's typically much better to just pay in full at the time of purchase.
How to Save Even More Money
Buying a prepaid phone is a great start to saving money on your wireless expenses. We're not done yet, though - there's more you can do to free up room in your budget for other things.
Sell Your Old Phone Online for Cash
Sell your old phone online if you want to make more than you would trading it in. It's as simple as that. Buyback sites make it easy - they typically even provide product photos - and you get cash, not trade-in credit.
Switch to a Low-Cost Carrier
You don't have to go with a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan in order to save huge and avoid a contract. Instead, you can take your prepaid phone to an MVNO - Mobile Virtual Network Operator.
What is an MVNO? It's a smaller mobile service provider that rents space on one or more of the big four wireless networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint - and resells it to you at a cheaper price. They can do this because most of them operate online selling prepaid plans, thus their overhead is much lower than the major carriers'.
Benefits of MVNOs:
- Cheaper by up to 50%
- Cell phone service on the same reliable high-speed network you're used to
- No-contract plans
- Custom plans - pay only for what you need, similar to pay-as-you-go plans
- Great customer service
- Bring your own phone and keep your number
In short, you can put together a monthly plan that fits your needs, at a lower cost than the big four carriers charge. Whether that means an unlimited data plan with unlimited talk and text, or the cheapest cell phone plan you can find, the options are out there.
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Prepaid phones are a whole different ballgame than they were in the past. Now, you don't have to sacrifice anything in terms of your smartphone and wireless service:
- See the best refurbished phone deals with no contract using our smartphone price comparison tool.
- Switch to a cheaper cell phone plan on your favorite wireless network.
- Sell your old phone online for cash.
Following these tips can put an extra $1,000 more per year in your pocket!
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