Can you save money?
The contract plans often give you a discount on a phone or a free phone typically when you re-up every few years. If you are a heavy user and cautious these plans are the way to go.
• Lower device cost
• New more feature rich phones
• More stable network
• Lower per minute/byte costs if you don’t get hit with overages
• Long term contract with penalties
• Difficult balancing data and other expenses
Pre-Paid & Monthly Plans
Monthly plans are offered by a wide number of carriers. In fact several of the major providers will offer both a contract and a monthly option (T-Mobile the un-carrier is killing with this approach). These plans are super flexible and get very cheap if you go to the Cricket/metro PCS/ Straight Talk type carriers
• Lower monthly bills
• Cancel any time
• Device Cost is more
• You are effectively piggybacked on another network so it may be less reliable.
The real answer here is can you save money? May be. You need to be the right type of user who doesn’t chew up data and who is consistently in a certain low data/voice usage range. If that describes you the monthly savings can be 50% or more over a typical Big 3 contract.