Contract or prepaid? A guide to cell phone deals in South Africa

Contract or prepaid? A guide to cell phone deals in South Africa

Ah yes, the excitement of getting a new phone. Researching and comparing specs, checking out devices in-store, holding them and imagining they're your new intriguing and thrilling - it's all fun and games until you see the cost of the phone you plan to upgrade to.

If you're like us, every two years, you start counting down the minutes until you get to start browsing through the new smartphones on the market. But if you're brand new to the game (or just want to know more about the cellular world of unlimited options), you've come to the right place.

Contracts, carriers, minutes, and data — sometimes it all seems too much, and you just go with the first iPhone MTN (or Vodacom or Cell C) offers you. But there's still fine print to worry about, not to mention your monthly installments. Are you really getting the best deal in the long run?

Why you should sign up for a cell phone deal

When you start looking at contracts, it can be tempting to jump at any deal that seems like good value. Who doesn't want a shiny new phone that comes with free minutes, SMSes or data? 

However, it is important to understand exactly what you are signing up for and make sure that the terms of your contract are suited to your needs - there's no point paying for things you don't need, right? Especially in this economy when we're all trying to save as much as we can.

That's why, in this guide, we will explore some key considerations when evaluating cell phone contracts in South Africa, including the different types available and how to find a plan that fits your usage habits.

Cell phone contracts in South Africa: Finding the best deal

There are several different cell phone providers and plans available in South Africa, each with its own set of features and terms. Some of the key factors to consider when evaluating these options include the length of your contract, the types of devices that are included, and any add-on features or bonuses that may be offered.

To start your search for the right cell phone deal, it is a good idea to assess your usage habits. Do you typically make a lot of calls or send texts, or do you use data-heavy applications such as streaming services or social media? By understanding what activities you engage in on your mobile device, you can better evaluate the plans offered by different providers and find one that best suits your needs.

Another key factor to keep in mind is which devices are included in your plan. Some providers offer special rates on certain phones, while others may require you to pay an additional fee for any new device purchases.

To get the most out of your cell phone plan, be sure to take advantage of any add-on features or bonuses that are offered as well. For example, many providers offer free or discounted subscriptions to popular streaming services or may include bonus data with your plan which is useful if you stream, game, or use social media regularly.

If you SMS or make calls a lot, you may want to consider a plan that includes lots of free SMSes and minutes - this can save you quite a bit of money in the long run, Overall, choosing the right cell phone contract in South Africa can take some time and research, but by understanding your usage habits and evaluating all of your options, you can find a plan that offers excellent value and meets all of your needs.

Pay-As-You-Go (Prepaid) vs. a two-year contract

One of the first things to consider when evaluating cell phone contracts in South Africa is whether you want a PAYG plan or a two-year contract.

PAYG plans are ideal for those who only use their phones occasionally, as they typically offer lower monthly rates and no long contract commitments. However, these plans often come with higher per-minute rates and do not include any data or text messaging extras.

On the other hand, two-year contracts are popular among those who use their phones frequently, as they typically include more features at a lower overall cost. However, signing up for a two-year contract often means committing to paying a high monthly fee for a set time, regardless of how much you actually use your phone.

But what if you want the latest iPhone or Android device? With prepaid, you will need a lot of cash to buy the latest model phone while you can get the same phone at a significantly lower monthly cost on contract. If you're in the market for the latest iPhone 14 or Samsung S23, then a contract might be your safest bet, as having R25,000 - R30,000 cash lying around isn't an option for most people. This way you can get the latest tech at an affordable rate, plus some extras like free airtime or minutes for the duration of the contract. 

Ultimately, the choice between a pay-as-you-go plan and a two-year contract will depend on your specific usage habits and budget. To find the best option for your needs, it is essential to carefully evaluate both types of plans and consider all of their pros and cons before making a final decision.

What to do if you're blacklisted

If you have been blacklisted and are looking for a cell phone contract in South Africa, there are several steps that you can take to improve your chances of getting approved.

One of the first things to do is to try and get your name removed from the blacklist. This may involve either making payments on any outstanding debts or filing a dispute if you feel that you were unfairly blacklisted.

You may also want to consider working with a third-party credit repair agency, as these services can help you build up a positive credit history and improve your overall credit score.

Additionally, it is important, to be honest and transparent when applying for a cell phone plan. This means being upfront about any credit issues or blacklisted history, as well as providing accurate information about your income and employment status.

By taking these steps, you can improve your chances of getting approved for a cell phone contract, even if you have been blacklisted in the past.

Find the best cell phone deals with Mobile Store

Deciding between prepaid and contract can be difficult, especially when there are so many pros and cons to each. Your best bet is to sit down and be honest with yourself about what you want from your next device and how much you can afford. Once you've made your decision, though, getting the actual device and plan is easy! How easy? It's as easy as visiting our deals page or getting in touch with one of our experts to apply and sign up for your next phone.

Sure, there's a lot you'll need to consider when upgrading but we offer you a simpler solution to unlock the latest deals on the greatest devices! At Mobile Store, we do all the work for you so you can just sit back and browse the top brands, deals that feel like a steal, and more!