In our opinion, a pay monthly deal that comes with a handset of your choice is simply the best way to buy that handset. It covers both bases – the handset itself without forking out a fortune, and an allowance of minutes, data and texts on your chosen network. Let's take a look at the advantages.
Unlike a broadband deal or energy deal, a pay monthly mobile contract is a formal credit agreement, where your provider extends you an amount of credit covering the cost of the handset. You will pay this off over the course of the contract in monthly instalment, with your allowances in minutes, texts and data combined with that monthly payment. This is why all pay-monthly handset deals come with compulsory credit checks, just as they would a loan or consumer credit agreement.
There are two types of pay monthly mobile deals.
Before you go rocketing ahead, it's worth knowing there are a whole bunch of other types of mobile deals beyond the classic pay monthly with handset type we focus on here. Taking a look at what else is out there before making a final decision could be well worth your while. The most important thing is that you find the type of deal that's right for you.
There are a vast array of handsets out there from a wide variety of manufacturers. If you're a total mobile phone newbie, it can be rather dazzling. So where's the best place to start? Consider the following factors.
Not all providers offer handsets. Some providers offer SIM-only monthly or rolling 30-day deals, as pay as you go is becoming a thing of the past. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of providers to choose from.
One aspect you should definitely make yourself aware of is that there are only four actual mobile networks in the UK, despite many more providers. They are Three, O2, Vodafone and EE. Other providers lease network capacity (often referred to as piggybacking) from one of those four providers.
Some providers out there that you may stumble across don't offer handsets at all. They only offer SIM only and/or PAYG SIMs. They are: Plusnet Mobile and SMARTY.
Not with a mobile provider. They will always want you to have a SIM. What you can do, though, is purchase your phone outright from a retailer on hire-purchase consumer credit. It is pretty much the same thing.
A pay monthly mobile deal combines the cost of the handset and the cost of your monthly allowances of minutes, data and texts and spreads it over the length of your contract. It is similar to a hire-purchase arrangement in that you will own the handset by the end. As pay monthly mobile contracts involve extending credit, there will always be credit checks.
A pay monthly phone is a mobile phone on a contract, combined with the cost of your mobile services which you pay for in monthly instalments.
The answer is going to be different for different people, depending on what you consider 'best'. Cheapest? Highest-spec handset? Best free gift or offer? Best value for money. There is no 'best' – there is only what is best for you. And that this something only you can decide, using the tools we provide you at the top of this page.
If it has to be as cheap as possible, you should consider a pay as you go deal where you pay a small sum to own the handset outright up front. You won't get a great phone, but your costs will be at an absolute minimum.