There was a time when the whole “buying a cell phone” process was relatively simple. You picked the one you wanted, agreed to a service plan to make it affordable and got your phone. Now things are different. Cell phones are more expensive than ever before and get more functional every year. For some, having a new phone as soon as it comes out is a necessity. So is it better to buy a phone outright, or should you lease your cellphone?
What to Consider for Leasing a Cell Phone or Buying Outright
You need to take a look at a few things to make the best decision for leasing or buying your phone. Here’s what to consider:
- Cost: When it comes to the cost for a cell phone lease vs. buying outright, there are a few factors to consider. While a new 64G phone usually costs $800 (spread out over 24 months with your contract on a pay for phone monthly plan), to lease a phone will usually cost about $30-$35 a month. It can be slightly cheaper to lease, depending on the phone you get and the carrier you choose. However, this does not take into consideration the fact that you can sell your phone at a technology resale site like TheWhizCells.com once your contract is over and your phone is paid for — which can take a serious chunk out of the price of your next phone.
- Commitment: If you’re an iPhone-for-life type of person, you may not mind the idea of holding onto your iPhone for at least two years until it’s paid off, and perhaps beyond. You might even want to keep your old iPhone when you get the new model. But if you’re someone who always has to have the newest phone, regardless of brand, a cell phone lease program where you get an automatic upgrade every year with no significant change to your bill, may be better for you.
Renting to Own
What about rent-to-own cell phones? Is this an option? With the right plan, you can get the best of both worlds. Some early upgrade plans allow you to pay for the phone monthly as if leasing but decline the upgrade when it becomes available. If you choose to go this route, you simply keep paying, but now you’re paying to pay off the existing phone, which you own once you fully pay it off. To get an upgrade, you will have to buy a new phone and possibly agree to a new contract.
It’s hard to believe, but these days, cell phones are treated like cars. Some prefer to buy, appreciating the benefits of ownership. Some people lease, understanding they are paying for a depreciating asset, and others try to split the difference with a lease-to-own plan. Which route will be right for you will depend on your own individual phone preferences, but now you have the facts you need to make that decision.