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What is a ‘Pay As You Go’ Cell Phone Plan?

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When it comes to cell phone plans you have a number of options. If you are currently considering changing your phone plan then it makes a lot of sense to check out what is available. One of the more popular plans available is ‘pay as you go’ and this is certainly something that is worth considering – although it probably won’t be the best option for everyone.

How Pay as You Go Differs From a Standard Plan

In order to better understand a pay as you go package it is useful to compare it to the other popular cellular phone package – the standard plan. Hopefully by seeing the difference between these two options you will be better able to decide on which is the best option in your case.

  • With a standard plan you usually pay a certain amount every month and this means that you get x number of call minutes which you can use during this time. For example you could have a $20 plan which could give you 200 minutes of phone calls for the month.
  • With ‘pay as you go’ you purchase the amount of minutes you want and when this is gone you can add more.
  • With a standard plan you will almost certainly have a contract which you will need to need to stick with for a certain period of time – usually one or two years. This means that you are locked into staying with this package and won’t be able to change to a better option easily if you find one.
  • With ‘pay as you go’ you have no real contract and can easily change to another option if you so choose.
  • When you choose a standard package you will usually also get a free phone as part of the deal. This phone might be something brand new and top of the range; depending on which package you choose. If you decide on a smart phone you might also get internet services as well as part of the deal.
  • With ‘pay as you go’ you need to have your own phone and you will just insert the sim card for the pay as you go service. Mobile phones can be expensive and some of them are tied in with package deals. A great advantage of pay as you go is that all you have to do is change your sim card if you want to change company – it takes less than a minute.
  • With a standard package you will usually be charged at a premium rate if you go above your allotted minutes each month; this could be expensive. You can buy extra minutes with most packages though.
  • With pay as you go you just keep on buying minutes as you need them. The downside of this is that you can run out of credit and not be in a position to buy more. This can be annoying if you have an important call to make.
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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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