In the coming months, many will not only choose a new smartphone but will also have to choose between bill pay offers and pre-pay offers. We’ve already seen this question pop up as Three customers are free to leave contracts. To say the very least, this can be a difficult maze to negotiate, so we’ve created a calculator which can hopefully make your decision a little easier. First, a little context.

Bill pay offers

Bill pay offers are provided by Ireland’s mobile service providers; namely Vodafone, Three, Meteor, eir, iD and Tesco Mobile. These companies provide customers with contracts, spreading the cost of minutes, texts, data and a new shiny phone over a period of 12, 18 and 24 months. Every month, throughout the contract period, the customer will pay a set amount of money for the package they’ve picked, but may also pay for usage outside this package (such as roaming). Depending on the phone and bill pay offer in question, the customer may also pay an initial fee to get a phone.

Chances are you’ve seen a few advertisements in store or heard from a sales person that a phone is “free” on certain plans, but is this really the truth? Well, that depends.

Prepay offers

While bill pay is paid monthly (after you’ve used your phone – a.k.a post pay), pre-pay, as the name suggests, requires the customer to already have some money, or credit, on their phone account in order to gain service. Sometimes, this credit will unlock bundles of minutes, texts and data in order to offer greater value. Unlike bill pay, there is not a large discount applied to the price of getting a handset, though there is a small saving for choosing a network. This small saving is essentially the difference between purchasing a locked and unlocked or SIM free handset.

Bill pay offers or pre-pay offers

Choosing between bill pay or pre-pay isn’t always straight forward. While the message “free” on certain plans is tempting, you should consider bill pay to be more like a hire purchase agreement. The contract isn’t to get you a free phone, but instead to offer you the convenience of not paying a large up-front sum of money for a new smartphone. Sometimes, paying that large sum of money in one go and choosing prepay, will save you money in the long run.

Bill pay offers versus pre-pay offers calculator

Our handy calculator will let you help you to compare the cost of bill pay versus pre-pay over a period of time. Simply tell us how much your phone will cost up front on bill pay and prepay, along with your monthly spend details and how long your contract is. We’ll work out which is better value.

We understand that this is only part of the decision-making process and that sometimes the convenience of bill pay will override prepay. Should you ultimately choose bill pay, there is one other great trick you can use to ensure you are getting the best plan for you.

KillBiller: Reduce your mobile bill

KillBiller is a free app which, when installed on your phone, can view your usage details before providing you with a detailed insight into which plan suits your needs most. You might very well be surprised at how little or much you are using your phone and how much you could be saving. The best thing about KillBiller is that your results are just that, yours. As always, if there are any questions that you may have, pop them in the comment section below where we will get back to you.

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