Pay monthly contract mobile phones explained
With a contract mobile phone you often get the best deals, the best phones and the best value, but there are a few things you should be aware of before signing up.
When it comes to contract mobile phones there are loads of different offers to choose from to help you find the right deal to suit your needs.
What does pay monthly mean?
When you take out a pay monthly phone, you'll have to sign a mobile contract, tying you to that provider for a certain amount of time.
You'll pay a fixed amount each month for your pay monthly line rental which will usually give you a certain amount of inclusive minutes and texts. Anything you use outside of your pay monthly allowance will then be added to your next bill.
The pros and cons of pay monthly mobile contracts
The right pay monthly contract will give you the best possible value for your money with a range of inclusive minutes, texts and even data allowances so that you can go online with your contract mobile phone.
You'll also have access to a huge selection of top of the range pay monthly handsets for free or for a far lower price than pay as you go customers are charged. You'll also get a free upgrade each time you renew your pay monthly contract, allowing you to get a new phone every 12 to 24 months.
However, you will be tied into your pay monthly mobile contract for a set amount of time. Contract lengths on pay monthly tariffs range from 12 months all the way up to a mammoth 24 months. If you find that your pay monthly tariff doesn't suit you, you should be able to switch to a more appropriate pay monthly plan mobile contract but you'll have to stay with your provider until your pay monthly contract has expired.
What you need to think about when choosing a contract mobile phone
There are a few things you need to bear in mind before you sign up for a new mobile contract:
Network coverage. Some rural areas don't have the best mobile phone coverage so check how your chosen provider fares before signing a new pay monthly contract.
How you'll use your phone. The pay monthly tariff you choose will differ depending on whether you make a lot of calls, or send more texts or want to use the internet on your mobile so think about your needs before signing up.
Contract length. Try to avoid signing a 24 month contract, even if it means that your chosen contract phone will be free - it will be another two years before you qualify for an upgrade or can switch provider.
If you're looking for your first pay monthly mobile phone contract or simply want to switch to a new provider, use the free mobile phone comparison service from uSwitch to search for and compare the best deals.
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.
The idea behind a mobile phone contract is that you pay a fixed fee every month for a set number of inclusive calls and minutes. You pay a single monthly fee for your mobile phone contract, often by direct debt, which means that you don't even have to remember to go in to the shop to pay your bill!
Mobile phone contracts are 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 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 facilities thrown in. Whilst you are obliged to make a minimum payment every month to cover your line rental and inclusive call package, you are likely to pay far less for your mobile calls and sms 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 that you want to use each month.
If you are a person who sends a lot of texts, you can find a mobile phone contract that gives you a massive text bundle. You will find that you end up paying far less per text if you sign up for a mobile phone contract with texts, than you would otherwise.
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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 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 the case of almost every mobile on the market, 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 to 18 month contract. As well as providing mobile contracts with free calls and mobile contracts with free texts, many of the major networks offer a whole range of incentives to make their mobile contracts more appealing, these include:
- Free X-box 360
- Free Playstation 3
- Free Wii
- Free iPod Nano
- Free Laptops
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Paying monthly makes the latest phones affordable:
Whereas with a Pay As You Go deal you may end up paying a higher price for the latest and most sought after phones, with a mobile phone contract you can take your pick from the latest phones on the market at a much cheaper price.
Great new handsets can be literally at your finger tips from as little as £20 per month if you sign up for a mobile phone contract.
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Who offers mobile phone contracts?
Networks offering contracts include: