Getting a contract mobile phone means that you never have to worry about running out of credit or remembering to top-up your phone again.
Sign up for a mobile phone contract and you'll pay a fixed fee every month by direct debit for a set number of inclusive calls minutes, texts and a mobile internet allowance.
Mobile phone contracts are also hassle-free because you don't have to worry about sticking within the limits of those calls or texts. If you go over the prepaid mobile phone contract amount, the cost of those additional minutes or texts are simply added to your monthly bill.
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The benefits of a mobile phone contract:
Unlike pay as you go mobile plans, mobile contracts or pay monthly call plans generally include a whole range of calling and multimedia incentives thrown in.
While you are, of course, obliged to make a minimum payment every month to cover your line rental and cost of handset, you are likely to pay far less for your mobile calls and texts if you are on a pay monthly mobile phone plan than if you chose to pay as you go.
The beauty of mobile contracts is that you can always find one tailored to your needs. There are so many contracts available from all the mobile phone networks that you are almost certain to be able to pick the exact handset, number of inclusive minutes and texts and size of data allowance that you want to use each month.
If you are a person who surfs the web a lot on your mobile, you can sign up to a mobile phone contract that gives you an unlimited download allowance. You'll also find that you end up paying far less per MB if you sign up for a mobile phone contract than you would on a pay as a you go tariff.
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Maybe you're one of those traditionalists who loves to use their phone to just call people? If you love to chat, then you should make sure you find a mobile phone contract that gives you enough minutes to keep you in touch with friends and family as often as you want without breaking the bank.
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Want to find out more about contract mobile phones? Read our guide to mobile phone contracts Guide to mobile phone contracts
One of the biggest bonuses of a contract mobile phone is that you have a great chance of being able to get the handset you want for free.
The latest phones do sometimes come at a small price, but in most cases it is cheaper to get hold of the handset of your choice with a contract than it is with on a pay as you go call plan.
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Contracts with freebies:
Competition for your business is high and the networks are prepared to go the extra mile to offer some great deals to get you to sign for a 12, 18 or 24 month contract.
As well as providing mobile contracts with free calls, free texts, and in some cases free unlimited data, many of the major networks offer a whole range of incentives to make their mobile contracts more appealing to customers. These include:
- Free Nexus 7 tablet
- Free Nintendo 3DS
- Free Beats by Dre headphones
- Free Nintendo Wii
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Paying monthly makes the latest phones affordable
With a pay as you go deal, you have to pay upfront for a handset. And if it's a new, high-tech model, you're looking at an asking price close to £600. Even mid-range smartphones now can cost up to £400.
However, with a mobile phone contract you can take your pick from the latest phones on the market and won't have to find a lot of money upfront. Instead the cost of the phone is spread over the course of your two-year contract term.
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Who offers mobile phone contracts?
Networks offering contracts include:
Early upgrade contracts
Recently, a number of carriers have tried to capitalise on huge demand for the latest phones by introducing innovative contracts that made it easier to upgrade to a new model midway through a contract.
O2's Refresh contracts, for instance, separate the cost of the phone from the monthly cost of minutes, texts and data. That means that if you decide to upgrade you only need to pay off whatever you owe on your current handset.