Prepaid vs. Postpaid: Which One Should You Choose?

Last Updated: November 28, 2021By

Man using black smartphone

Do you have a phone? If so, then you’ve probably had to choose between prepaid and postpaid plans. Most people don’t know what the difference is or which one they should pick for their needs.

Choosing between prepaid and postpaid is not an easy task. Before choosing one, there are many different factors to consider, so it can be hard to know where to start.

That’s why we’ve compiled all the information you need in this article! We’ll go into detail about what each option offers, how they work, and which might be better for your needs.

What Is a Prepaid Plan?

A prepaid (or pay-as-you-go) plan requires an upfront payment of a fixed amount for a set number of minutes, texts, or data usage. Most will have a specified expiration date, such as a month. If you don’t use all that you bought before the month ends, it will expire and be lost.

The phone company doesn’t charge anything more than what’s already on your account when you use it. It has no contract obligations, so if something better comes along, just change to it!

Prepaid plans give you total control of your budget and allow you to avoid the risk of getting hit with unexpected charges on your bill.

What Is a Postpaid Plan?

A postpaid plan is when you pay for your phone or data plan at the end of the month. When you sign up for a postpaid plan, you will have to sign an agreement that says how much it will cost per month.

This means that if you want to cancel your service before your billing cycle ends, then there may be some fees associated with that. A significant benefit of this type of plan is that it usually has unlimited talk and texts.

Pros and Cons of Each Plan


Prepaid: You don’t have a contract with prepaid, but you do need to keep track of your minutes and texts.

Postpaid: You are locked in for the length of time covered by your agreement unless you want to cancel before it ends, at which point there may be extra fees involved.

The Ability to Change Plans Easily

Prepaid: You can always change your plan if you find that it’s not what you were looking for. Most prepaid providers have a large variety of packages, so if one is lacking features, just switch to another!

Postpaid: If you want to cancel the agreement with your provider before its end date (usually 30 days), you might have some extra fees to pay.

Data, Texts, and Minutes Limits

Prepaid: You can only use the minutes you have already purchased.

Postpaid: You might not have a limit on your call and text, but if you go over the limits of data, then it will cost extra money to continue using that features.

The Ability to Customize Your Plan

Prepaid: You can easily change the minutes on a prepaid phone plan. Many providers also let you add more text messages and/or data if needed for an additional price.

Postpaid: Postpaid plans are usually all-inclusive with no customization.

Which Should You Choose for Your Needs?

The decision between prepaid and postpaid plans often comes down to your budget. If you don’t want a contract, then you should go for prepaid.

It’s also worth it if you like the idea of changing your data provider when something new comes along because there is no locking in costs involved with prepaid.

Postpaid is better if you want to lock in your price for the length of time covered by your contract and don’t mind paying extra should you need more than what’s included with your plan, such as data usage.

It can be a great option if you have a high call or text needs because most postpaid plans include unlimited talk and text.

It’s a good idea to think about your usage habits before you choose which plan is going to work better for you, as it will have an impact on the features that are available with each one.

For example, if you’re someone who doesn’t make many calls but uses lots of data, then prepaid may be more cost-effective.

If you want to customize your plan, then prepaid is the better option for you because it offers more customizations than postpaid plans do.

However, if you don’t mind paying a little extra and having fewer choices to get unlimited talk and text minutes, then go with postpaid.


There are a lot of benefits and disadvantages to each type of plan, so it’s essential that you weigh your needs against the features offered with each one.

The decision will depend on how much control you want over your phone usage and what types of features you need.