Pre or Post?

If you have been looking at the various offers in market today, you will be bombarded with choice but lets simplify the decision by stating that the difference between a prepaid and postpaid mobile plan is all about when you pay your bill. On a prepaid plan, you pay for your phone service upfront. On a postpaid plan, you pay at the end of the month based on your usage.

This means that a prepaid plan is the best choice is you’re looking to control your spend. On a prepaid plan, once you’ve used the data allowance you’ve paid for, your service will be cut off, meaning you avoid paying excess fees. 

If you are currently a light user of data and you are on a Post Paid plan, chances are that you paying way too much for your plan each year and you should look to see what other products are out there in market such as 365 day Pre Paid plans which offer exceptional value

Postpaid plans, meanwhile, often come with better value for money and the option to get a mobile handset included in your monthly bill. 

Postpaid plans can also come with lock-in contracts, whereas prepaid plans are strictly no-commitment. However, no-contract postpaid plans are becoming more and more common in the marketplace, and it’s now possible to get a good deal without signing a contract from either type of plan.

What is a prepaid plan?

A prepaid plan is a plan where “recharge” your account with a dollar value, and then you can use the data, calls and text that you have paid for. Recharges come in a range of prices with varying inclusions, and you are free to switch which recharge option you choose every time you top up.

Prepaid recharges don’t last forever. Most will come with a set expiry, like 30 days. That means, whatever inclusions come with the recharge, you have 30 days to use them or lose them.

If you use up all of your credit on a prepaid plan, you will need to recharge your account before you can use this service again.

These days, many prepaid plans with a one month expiry come with a tonne of value.

Note that some recharges expire in 28 days, rather than 30 days. If you take up a 28-day expiry plan, you will end up recharging 13 times per year, instead of 12.

To provide better value, some prepaid plans come with a data bank, which means you get to hold on to any data you don’t use before expiry. Depending on the plan, data might roll over indefinitely, or only until the next recharge or a set maximum.

Other prepaid plans come with a long expiry of 90, 180 or even 365 days, which can be handy if you don’t use your phone very often and as suggested earlier, provide real value for money

Some suppliers offer prepaid starter kits which include a SIM card and often apply a discounted price or bonus inclusions on your first charge. The important point is, when you need to recharge, the discounts/bonus may no longer apply. 

What is the difference between prepaid and a subscription SIM?

Recently some telcos have come out with a prepaid option dubbed a Subscription. The difference between traditional prepaid and a subscription prepaid SIM is simply that a subscription auto-renews.

Sign up once, and your account will be debited every 28 or 30-days (depending on the recharge term). It is ultimately the same as switching auto-recharge on for your regular prepaid SIM.

What is a postpaid plan?

On the other hand, a postpaid plan is a contract where you use your plan’s inclusions, and agree to pay the set price at the end of the billing cycle (usually on a monthly basis).

You choose a plan and every month your telco will bill you and automatically refresh your plan inclusions on the first day of your billing cycle. Postpaid plans can be SIM-only which means you only pay for the phone service. Or they can come with a mobile phone included.

SIM-only plans are usually better value than plans with phones included, as there are more competitive options to choose from. Choosing a SIM-only plan just means you will have to bring an existing handset or buy one outright (if you can afford to).

Postpaid plans almost always include unlimited talk and text, which means the main point of difference is how much data you get.

If you use up all of your credit on a postpaid account, your telco will let you continue to use its services, either for an extra fee, or with data capped at much slower than normal speeds. 

Plans with slower back-up data are sometimes referred to as unlimited data plans, but this term is misleading, as a speed limit is still a limit. That’s why carriers give them other names like plans with “endless data”.

So at the end of the day, have a close look at your usage with your Mobile phone as this should be used when making your final decision on whether to go Pre Paid or Post Paid. Connect My Tech can help to decipher which is the best fit for your scenario


Patrick Larobina