The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Mobile Phone Contract

By Sara Hickman

There are pros and cons to cell phone contracts.
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Cell phone shopping can be stressful because you want to find a plan or provider that best fits your needs. There are many aspects to consider before settling on a cell phone provider. The first thing to explore is the pros of cons on settling on a phone contract instead of purchasing pay as you go or month-to-month bills.

Minutes and Data

When you sign a contract with a cell phone company you have a set limit of texts and minutes you may use each month. Any texts or minutes you use over the limit will be charged extra to your bill. An advantage to having a contract is you pay a set amount for this limit of texts instead of a fluctuating rate that charges you per minute or text used as is done in a pay-as-you-go plan. Most plans also allow you to choose an unlimited option. If you have a set limit and you go over the number, it can make your bill quite high.


The variety of phones that accompany cell phone contracts are the newest models and often are the best variety of phones. With a phone contract you will find cheap phones to purchase, sometimes even free. When you renew your contract you may also receive a discount on a new cell phone. If you purchase a cell phone without a contract it can cost hundreds of dollars, especially for the newest models.


Internet access is required to run a variety of features on cell phones today. For example to access email or social networking sites you must use the Internet. A mobile contract often includes unlimited data so you are not charged per MB transferred. Without a contract it can cost extra or high rates for data transferred.


One of the biggest downfalls of a cell phone contract is you are locked into a contract you must pay for without knowing what to expect from the company. If you experience poor customer service or coverage you may want to switch providers, you can't do this without paying a large cancellation fee. With month-to-month or pay-as-you-go plans you are not committed to any provider.