6 Things to Watch for in Your Cell Phone Contract

Cellphones. We use them for everything these days. It seems like you just can’t live without one. However, you can make sure that you get the best deal on the cellphone that’s right for you. Let’s talk about what you should look out for when entering a cellphone contract.

Provider Reliability

Before you enter into a contract with a cellphone provider, you will want to make sure it offers reliable service. You also will want to make sure it has a fast network. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on super-slow downloads or dropped calls. By purchasing a cellphone through a provider like T-Mobile, which was recently named the fastest 4G network in the United States, you can be sure that you’ll be provided with reliability and speed.

Contract Type

Once you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll want to consider what type of contract you want to sign. You can opt for a contract that requires you to pay a monthly fee or the provider will charge you for a prepaid plan. With a contract, you will be required to pay a set amount for an extended time period, usually for two years. The provider will also run a credit check. With prepaid plans, you pay as you go, so you don’t have to worry about paying for unused data or credit checks.

Financing Versus Paying In Full

One major factor in cellphone expenses is the cost of the phone itself. Most providers offer the option of financing a phone instead of paying for it in full on the day of purchase. While some providers require an additional down payment, making financing more expensive than paying in full, others do not. For example, if you were to purchase an LG G6 from T-Mobile, you would have the option of either paying $17 a month (plus tax) with $0 down payment or you could pay $408 (plus tax). You would pay the same price for the phone with either option.


Depending on how much time you actually spend talking on your cellphone, you may want to opt for an unlimited minutes plan so you don’t have to worry about any overage fees. Most providers offer unlimited nights and weekends for customers who don’t have an unlimited minutes plan. If you decide against the unlimited plan, your provider should still offer several different levels of usage plans, so be sure to choose the one that best fits your needs and be aware of when the unlimited nights and weekends start.

Data and Messaging Services

things to watch in cell phone contract

Image via Flickr by garryknight

If you text more than you talk, you want to make sure you have the right data and messaging plan. If you go over your data and messaging limits, your provider may charge you per text. The same goes for data used for uploads and downloads. On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t use a lot of data or text that much, you’ll want to opt for a smaller plan so that you aren’t paying for data that you aren’t using. Just like minute plans, your provider should offer several different levels of data plans, so choose wisely.

Roaming Charges

If you travel frequently around the United States, you may want to opt for a national calling plan. That way, you won’t have to pay roaming charges when you want to use your phone while on the road. Roaming charges occur when you venture outside your provider’s coverage area. This tends to happen for consumers who choose a regional phone plan. While regional plans are cheaper than national plans, they can quickly become more costly if you use your cell phone while traveling. Roaming charges apply to both voice and data usage and always apply when you travel outside of the United States.

By planning ahead and determining your exact needs according to these factors, you should have the knowledge and confidence to make the best decision when it comes to taking on a cellphone contract. Good luck and enjoy your new cellphone!

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