In 2018 Apple sold over 217-million iPhones, so it’s safe to say these devices are popular all over the globe. As common as they are, Apple does not give any breaks on the price to own one of them. On top of the price of the phone, you also need to pay for a service plan to use your iPhone. This guide will help you find the plan that’s best for you and will help you save money along the way.
iPhone 11 Plans
The latest and greatest iPhone is here—the iPhone 11 series! Costing only $699, the iPhone 11 is Apple’s follow-up to last year’s iPhone XR, and it doesn’t disappoint. It has an updated dual-camera system, the fastest processor yet, improved battery life, and sophisticated photo and video editing software. The iPhone 11 is available from Apple, and carriers, such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. You can buy it outright or pay on monthly installments, which vary depending on the carrier.
iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max Plans
The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are touted as sophisticated devices for pros and non-pros alike. With an impressive triple-camera system, the highest quality video in a smartphone, powerful video editing tools, and a durable stainless steel design, these phones are a must-have.
iPhone XS and XS Max Plans
If you want one of the best iPhones, then check out the iPhone XS and XS Max. Both iPhones are available from multiple carriers with different payment options—buy outright, lease, or pay monthly installments.
These are among the most expensive iPhones available now—if you’re looking for something cheaper, consider the iPhone XR below.
iPhone XR Plans
If you don’t want to spend upwards of $1,000 for a new phone but still want a great camera, awesome screen quality, and most of Apple’s signature iPhone features, then check out the iPhone XR. The latest of Apple’s offerings, this phone is sure to impress while also being a little bit more budget-friendly.
Other iPhone Plans
Apple makes it easy to use your iPhone without a service plan. Using Wi-Fi you can send iMessages and make calls over FaceTime audio and video. But for those moments you’re not texting with another iPhone user or you don’t have Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to have a service plan. You can choose from either prepaid plans or postpaid plans.
While you’re searching for a new iPhone, keep in mind that newer iPhones have more plan options
As you search for plans, keep in mind you will find more options with a newer iPhone. For instance, the most recent iPhone XR has over 200 plan options, while there are just over 70 plans to choose from with the older iPhone SE. It’s also good to know that the Big Four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile) almost always offer postpaid plans, whereas smaller carriers, known as MVNOs, usually only offer prepaid plans.
Prepaid iPhone Plans
With a prepaid plan, you pay for your service before you use it. Some prepaid iPhone plans are set, while others are pay-as-you-go. With pay-as-you-go plans, you load money onto your account and every text message, phone call, and data usage draws from it. Generally, you can reload your account as often as you need. If you have a set prepaid plan, you will get the exact plan you paid for and will not be able to reload more money or minutes onto your account until the following month (unless specified).
Postpaid iPhone Plans
Postpaid plans are the ones you see advertised by larger carriers where you pay for your service after you use it. Most postpaid iPhone plans offer unlimited talk and text, and you will pay more money depending on how much data you need or want.
Buy an iPhone
Before you begin using your service plan, you first need to have an iPhone. There are basically three ways you can buy or use an iPhone. You can buy one outright, you can pay for one over time with monthly payments, or you can lease one.
iPhone Monthly Payments
Many cell phone carriers offer a monthly payment option to buy an iPhone. Those payments are added to your phone bill each month until you’ve fully paid off the device. Installment plans generally last around 24 months, but some carriers offer shorter or longer terms. Normally there isn’t any interest with monthly payments so once you’ve paid off your phone you haven’t paid more than the original price.
However, be sure to read the fine print as some installment plans (usually from MVNOs) charge up to 30% interest. These payment plans are usually managed by a third-party financing company and are more like loans.
Paying monthly installments instead of buying an iPhone outright is beneficial for one big reason: You don’t have to spend a large sum of money at the point of purchase. Keep in mind that you’re tied to the carrier until you have paid off the phone completely.
Some monthly payment plans will charge you up to 30% interest
Rent or Lease an iPhone
Let’s Talk Tip: Leasing an iPhone is a great option if you like to upgrade to the newest model every year.
Other monthly payment plans allow you to rent or lease your phone instead of buying it. These programs will generally let you upgrade yearly to the newest and best phone models. The only catch is you could be paying more over time because you’ll always be renting a phone, and you won’t ever own one.
Buy an iPhone Outright
Buying a phone outright just means you pay the full price for the device upfront. You can buy an iPhone (as long as it’s not discontinued) from Apple directly, or you can go to your preferred wireless provider. To find a discounted iPhone, bypass Apple and look at different wireless carriers as they often have iPhone deals for new customers.