Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

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Admiral
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Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Admiral » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:09 am

Since phones can now be financed at 0% (the full price is spread over 24 equal payments), I'm wondering how Bhs approach this.

Assuming that paying the full price of a $700-$900 iPhone in not a financial hardship, for example, do you just buy it and have a monthly bill that's $27-$32 less per month than it would be if the cost was spread out?

Is there any advantage (financial or otherwise) in paying the full cost upfront?

I've usually felt that if someone's willing to give me 0% financing it's silly not to take it. But maybe I'm missing something. The only thing I can think of is that if you own the phone, you have the option of selling (or trading) it earlier in its life, thus recouping some of its value. But, of course, the savings usually just goes to a new phone!

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dm200
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:11 am

Admiral wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:09 am
Since phones can now be financed at 0% (the full price is spread over 24 equal payments), I'm wondering how Bhs approach this.
Assuming that paying the full price of a $700-$900 iPhone in not a financial hardship, for example, do you just buy it and have a monthly bill that's $27-$32 less per month than it would be if the cost was spread out?
Is there any advantage (financial or otherwise) in paying the full cost upfront?
I've usually felt that if someone's willing to give me 0% financing it's silly not to take it. But maybe I'm missing something. The only thing I can think of is that if you own the phone, you have the option of selling (or trading) it earlier in its life, thus recouping some of its value. But, of course, the savings usually just goes to a new phone!
DW and I got Moto 4 new smartphones in December 2017 - and paid $6.00 each per month for 18 months - added to the monthly phone fee. Then, we paid the balance remaining in full (about $36 each). I cannot recall what the amount we would have paid in full for the phones at the beginning of the contract.

stoptothink
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:14 am

I see no point in "financing" something that we are usually buying for <$200. If we just had to have every iteration of the latest $1k+ Iphone, maybe we'd consider it.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:15 am

I’m not as into phones as I used to be so I can’t say I know for certain, but it’s my understanding you’re only getting free financing from the major carriers postpaid divisions. Those services are far more expensive than prepaid.

For example the cheapest Verizon postpaid plan on offer with the free financing is $80/mo plus tax—so probably $85-$90/ month.

I have Verizon Prepaid 15gb plan I pay around $27/mo for (about $55 for 2 lines, 15gb each line).

Perhaps it works out if you’re a big family buying 4 or 5 phones and have a deep discount for a large family plan postpaid service. But for my 2 person household it doesn’t make sense.

So on a 2 year cost:

Prepaid
Two iPhones at $750 = $1500
24 months service = $1320
Total cost = $2820 - residual value of phones

Post paid:
2 lines cheapest post paid plan with financing: $172/mo = $4110 total cost - phone residual value.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:16 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:11 am
Admiral wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:09 am
Since phones can now be financed at 0% (the full price is spread over 24 equal payments), I'm wondering how Bhs approach this.
Assuming that paying the full price of a $700-$900 iPhone in not a financial hardship, for example, do you just buy it and have a monthly bill that's $27-$32 less per month than it would be if the cost was spread out?
Is there any advantage (financial or otherwise) in paying the full cost upfront?
I've usually felt that if someone's willing to give me 0% financing it's silly not to take it. But maybe I'm missing something. The only thing I can think of is that if you own the phone, you have the option of selling (or trading) it earlier in its life, thus recouping some of its value. But, of course, the savings usually just goes to a new phone!
DW and I got Moto 4 new smartphones in December 2017 - and paid $6.00 each per month for 18 months - added to the monthly phone fee. Then, we paid the balance remaining in full (about $36 each). I cannot recall what the amount we would have paid in full for the phones at the beginning of the contract.
I think I vaguely recall that the cash in full back in December 2017 seemed higher - or at least no lower - than spreading the payments out over 18 months. When we get our next phones - I will evaluate more in detail. The service is Sprint.
Last edited by dm200 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Admiral
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Admiral » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:17 am

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:14 am
I see no point in "financing" something that we are usually buying for <$200. If we just had to have every iteration of the latest $1k+ Iphone, maybe we'd consider it.
I'm speaking of three iPhones (2 teens and a spouse). It's not cheap! And I'm not even talking about the latest and greatest. You can assume we're talking about $2800.

[Please spare me the "why do they need expensive phones?" question as that will just get us sidetracked...though I appreciate the sentiment!]

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by lazydavid » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:21 am

I've done both, but usually finance, and lately with the manufacturer rather than the carrier. There tend to be a few more perks, and also several (Samsung and Apple, at least) offer an upgrade program. So if for some reason you hate the phone after a year, you can turn it in and start over, without paying for the other 12 months. I've never taken advantage of that, but it's nice to be there.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Point » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:22 am

I’ve done it both ways. If the payment locks me into a plan I avoid it. If it locks me into options of warranty and insurance I wouldn’t buy outright, I avoid it.

Moving forward what I did is just set aside money for replacement and use that instead. It helps getting family members to see the cost of their decisions, and opportunity cost.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Tamarind » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:22 am

I like to buy outright, and I like to get my cell service from a company that does not offer phone financing, especially not at 0%.

The way I figure it, if a company is not charging to finance a phone, it's because the cost is being spread across all subscribers in the form of higher rates, so even if I'm not financing a phone I'm overpaying.

If you bring your own device, you can save a LOT by taking them to a prepaid MVNO without sacrificing signal quality or speed.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by DragonJoey3 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:24 am

I financed when with Google Fi. The phone plan was cheap ($25/month) and given there was 0 interest on the phone I saw no reason not to just amortize the cost. I had the option to pay the phone off in full anytime I wished to, and did eventually end up doing that after about a year.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by 02nz » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:24 am

Generally (at least with good credit) the financing is 0%. Some carriers call it a lease (e.g., Sprint) but it's really just financing (except you have to remember to buy out the lease at the end, otherwise you keep making the monthly lease payments forever). At 0% it's cheaper to finance, as you pay with depreciated dollars. Sometimes there's a promo that actually requires financing/leasing.

The main reason I finance is the credit card rewards. Chase Ink Cash offers 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on cell phone bills, worth at least 7% toward travel in combination with certain other cards. Generally payments made in store - like paying for the whole phone up front - do NOT count, and so by putting the cost of the phone on the monthly bill instead I get a lot of extra points.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by niceguy7376 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:27 am

I buy my phones independently from my carriers so that I have more options.
If you buy from carrier, they will load the phones with all the carrier related bloatware and then you might need to get them unlocked after you had paid them off.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:28 am

My wife pays the cell phone bill, and will not entertain the idea of shopping the service, so typically we she will buy at authorized agents for the cell phone provider.

I have a Samsung S9, DW is paying off the $480 cost over 24 months at $20/month. The $480 was a great price for an S9, when it was purchased. I can't remember if we bought it at Best Buy or Costco.

She has a Samsung S8 she is paying/ has paid off, not sure about hers.

I totally understand the payment plans can tether one to a particular service, but DW isn't going anywhere, anyway.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by rh00p » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:28 am

I buy my unlocked phones outright and stick to a mid-range level. My Moto G6 still has trickle-down technology with an excellent camera, very good screen resolution, fingerprint sensor and facial recognition. And it just received the Android Pie update. If I wanted a larger screen I would go with the G7.

If anything it's the networks that need to be upgraded. Not a $900 phone that will be obsolete in 3 years.
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by daheld » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:29 am

I've always paid all at once until recently. I usually always bought older or refurbished iPhones from Apple and would use these. They were cheap (relative to the price of a new model iPhone) and worked fine for me.

I'll spare you the details, but recently my wife and I both needed new phones (yes, actually needed; as in ours were non-functional or close to it). We decided to both upgrade to the new iPhone X. We could have afforded to pay for them outright, but as there's no interest or real penalty for paying for them over the course of a couple years, we did this. We plan to use them for a very long time.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by 02nz » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:32 am

Tamarind wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:22 am
If you bring your own device, you can save a LOT by taking them to a prepaid MVNO without sacrificing signal quality or speed.
I have recommended this route to many people. However, coverage and speed aren't quite the same as with big carriers: 1) With MVNOs there's often no international roaming, or it's prohibitively expensive; the big carriers generally offer it free or have semi-reasonably priced packages. 2) in the U.S. there's often no roaming onto other carriers. With Sprint my phone will roam onto T-Mobile, but a Sprint-based MVNO user will generally not be able to do that. 3) The carriers generally set either a hard limit on the speed available to MVNO users (Verizon does this, I believe) or deprioritize them when traffic is heavy, so they get less speed than their own subscribers.

Again, a good choice for many, but it's not 100% the same product.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by surfstar » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:34 am

outright

99% of the population doesn't need or use the "advantages" of a $700+ phone anyways, and they would be much better off buying a sub $200 phone that does 95% of the job of the "flagship" phones.

But consumers are easily swayed and/or vain. :oops:

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Bigt3142 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:37 am

I went to Sprint's Kickstart plan, which is $25 a month for unlimited everything. The only catch is you have to bring your own phone and financing a phone in the future is not an option. So for a significant savings on the monthly plan, I buy my phone with cash upfront.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by 8foot7 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:39 am

I run our cell phones through our business which allows me to charge a portion of the expense to some client projects, so I am not overly concerned with getting the absolute lowest cell phone plan deals. Part of our business involves app development and support on iOS devices so I can't get away with cheap LG Android phones. I also travel a lot so hassle-free coverage with unlimited data is very important to me. For these reasons I am with Verizon.

I simply have a Verizon business account and when I need a new phone, I e-mail our rep and tell her what I want, she e-mails me a thing to click agreeing to the 0% over 24 months deal, and the device arrives via overnight FedEx the next day ready to use. I've compared prices and at least on Apple devices they are the same price as in the Apple store, occasionally with $100 off or $200 off for sales. In fact I just ordered myself a new iPad and it was $100 off.

I see no reason to pay for the device outright when the cost of financing is truly 0%. I do try to keep phones 3-4 years (I put nice cases on them and treat the phones well; I've not lost one yet except for when my wife put my phone through the washing machine accidentally) and not jump on the every 2 upgrade cycle. For tablets I try to keep them for four years.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by chevca » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:44 am

DW and I pay over 2 years. We use Verizon, so would have that bill anyway and two new smartphones is a hit even if we can afford it all at once.

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Noble Knight
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Noble Knight » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:09 am

I'm always offered 0% financing for 2 years, I couldn't think of a good reason not to take it.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by donaldfair71 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:11 am

I buy outright. Usually an iPhone model 2-3 years old that can be gotten for a few hundred dollars.

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dm200
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:13 am

I probably would get (either purchase or pay monthly) the phone through the service in order to minimize the chance that something goes wrong with the new phone and the service.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by hunterg » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:18 am

Every 2-3 years I walk into an Apple store with a points earning credit card and buy two unlocked iPhones. I earn points and own the phones outright so I’m not locked to any carrier.

Used to do the payment plans but now I’d never do a monthly payment for anything if I didn’t have to.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Ketawa » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:25 am

One benefit to financing the cost that I have taken advantage of is having it available as a means to generate spend for a credit card signup bonus. For example, $5K in 3 months can be challenging for me to meet unless I shift all my spending, to include 6% cash back on groceries, to the new card. I'd rather keep using my cards with higher earning rates while only shifting my normal 2% cash back to the new card.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Housedoc » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:28 am

Bought an unlocked Moto g7 recently at Best Buy. $250 bucks. Latest Android operating system. So far I am enjoying it and the $750 I saved.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by rv26 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:30 am

I have T-Mobile and I used the 0% financing to buy my iPhone XR. I put the money I would have used to buy the phone outright in a T-Mobile money account that earns 4% and pay my monthly bill using that account.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Dinosaur Dad » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:31 am

Housedoc wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:28 am
Bought an unlocked Moto g7 recently at Best Buy. $250 bucks. Latest Android operating system. So far I am enjoying it and the $750 I saved.
+1
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by 92irish » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:32 am

I always buy outright unlocked phones.

I've used Swappa for lightly used iphone 6S and iphone 7. Super great deals over brand new and no issues at all with phones. Swappa is a great site, although I did once get a "blacklisted" phone I had to return for refund. No harm, just a pain. Goes with the territory on occasion when buying a used phone. Using Swappa and paypay purchaser protection is important, don't buy used phones on the street corner or random people on Ebay.

Recently bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy S9 (day before yesterday) on Prime Day for $350. Pretty much a price for used one, so I went new.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:34 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:11 am

DW and I got Moto 4 new smartphones in December 2017 - and paid $6.00 each per month for 18 months - added to the monthly phone fee. Then, we paid the balance remaining in full (about $36 each). I cannot recall what the amount we would have paid in full for the phones at the beginning of the contract.
DW & I bought LG X Charge 18 months ago when we switched to Xfinity. They were each $1, including shipping. We didn't finance the $2 purchase. :)

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Hector » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:37 am

I don't see a problem if someone wants to take 0% loan of few hundreds $$.
If there is financial hardship, there is no point in buying expensive phones.
I personally buy cheapest (oldest) new available iPhone by paying in full. Which is generally current - 2 or 3 model.
Last edited by Hector on Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:37 am

We are on Cricket Wireless 5 unlimited lines for $125. So we pay/provide our own phones.

I recently was in the market for an iPhone XR. Replacing an iPhone 7.

Apple Exchange would give me $200. Retail $749 + tax = $803 from Apple. Less $200 eventual exchange. $603 net.

I purchased a Mint 64gb white XR on Swappa for $590. Sold my iPhone 7 locally for $170. $420 net.

I have purchased new direct from Apple a few times. The Swappa buy was pretty easy and saved $183.

There are multiple paths for most things like this. I don't like paying monthly for phones or the big 4 carriers.But that is another topic.
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Ron
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Ron » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:40 am

Just purchased 2 Samsung S10e's last week from T-Mobile to replace our J7's that we've been using over the last 3+ years. The J7's replaced our Nokia Windows phones (first smart phones we've had) many years ago. In all cases, we paid cash.

Being older, I/we don't worry about a few pennies we would get for "investing" the cost of two phones. At our age, and being debt adverse we don't buy it unless we can pay for it outright - be it a cell phone, a car, or a kitchen remodel. But then again, that's just us :wink: ...

- Ron

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by ladycat » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:46 am

Just made the last payment on our two phones. It was $20/month for 30 months (0% financing). We got a good deal purchasing from Best Buy: $50 off both phones and $100 gift cards with both phones. We saved $300 and didn't have to spend $1200 in one month on phones. But I am looking forward to next month's cellular bill being $40 lower.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by yummeemunnkee » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:52 am

Ron wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:40 am
Just purchased 2 Samsung S10e's last week from T-Mobile to replace our J7's that we've been using over the last 3+ years. The J7's replaced our Nokia Windows phones (first smart phones we've had) many years ago. In all cases, we paid cash.

Being older, I/we don't worry about a few pennies we would get for "investing" the cost of two phones. At our age, and being debt adverse we don't buy it unless we can pay for it outright - be it a cell phone, a car, or a kitchen remodel. But then again, that's just us :wink: ...

- Ron
+1

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:59 am

I buy brand new unlocked iPhones every few years when the new models come out in Sept/Oct. I buy one for my wife and one for me. It's painful, but I like owning what we have. The financial advantage is that we stretch our phones as long as we can; our upgrade cycle is every three to four years instead of every two years. I'm getting ready to bite the bullet in a few months and upgrade from our 6s phones. I might buy just one this time and stagger our new phone purchases because only one of our phones is buggy, we'll see.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:00 am

I wouldn't borrow money to buy a phone, even at 0%.

Sure, I could invest the money in a risk-equivalent investment and maybe come out twenty bucks ahead after two years. But that's just not enough to justify the time, effort, and hassle.
Stay on target...

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dm200
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:01 am

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:59 am
I buy brand new unlocked iPhones every few years when the new models come out in Sept/Oct. I buy one for my wife and one for me. It's painful, but I like owning what we have. The financial advantage is that we stretch our phones as long as we can; our upgrade cycle is every three to four years instead of every two years. I'm getting ready to bite the bullet in a few months and upgrade from our 6s phones. I might buy just one this time and stagger our new phone purchases because only one of our phones is buggy, we'll see.
Why couldn't you just keep the phone from the service (Sprint, etc.) longer and get the new replacement from the Service as well?

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by 123 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:06 am

There comes a time when things like "free financing" just doesn't seem worth the effort to track it and know when it's done (and how much longer you have to go) on lots of consumer purchases. I feel the same way about vehicle purchases. If you can't pay cash it's likely not worth fiddling with. Just buy it if you need it (or want it strongly), be done with it, and move on to more important things.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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dm200
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 am

123 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:06 am
There comes a time when things like "free financing" just doesn't seem worth the effort to track it and know when it's done (and how much longer you have to go) on lots of consumer purchases. I feel the same way about vehicle purchases. If you can't pay cash it's likely not worth fiddling with. Just buy it if you need it (or want it strongly), be done with it, and move on to more important things.
There is, though, the convenience factor. Seems to me that just paying monthly can often be the most convenient choice.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by DoctorPhysics » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 am

I got 2 phones on a buy one get one with zero financing over a 2 year plan.

I can afford them outright but time value of money working for me is worth more.

I set them on auto pay and forget about it.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by anonenigma » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:14 am

We switched from Verizon for the T-Mobile over 55 plan for $60 per month for two lines - unlimited talk, text and data, and free text/internet anywhere in the world. Taxes included. Amazing price, I think.

When it came to phones, T-Mobile had a Buy One, Get One Free promotion on iPhones at the time. Actually, the maximum rebate of $700, but each of the iPhone 8 Pluses cost $799 plus tax. We financed at 0% and when the $700 rebate came, I paid down the equipment balance.

As long as the plan and monthly charge are really good, why not take 0% financing? The monthly bill is charged to a credit card which gives me 1% cash back and coverage on loss of cell phones.

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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:35 am

I bought unlocked iPhone SE years ago. Still working like charm. No need to upgrade.

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Admiral
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Admiral » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:40 am

Thanks for all the replies. There's really very little "hassle" in the 24 payment plan thru Verizon: it's just a charge tacked on.

Our situation is that none of the iphones were the "new model" when we got them: We're talking two 6S phones and one 7. So, while they were "new" as in new out of the box, they are pretty old technology now (in fact the 6S will not even support the next version of iOS).

I've already had to replace one battery (cost: $59). The phones are def ripe for replacement even though they are only two years old. Would that they would last another year, but I don't think they will.

I've had some luck buying from Apple's refurb store (though not phones) but the savings is usually on the order of $100 on non-current phones...not a lot in the scheme of things.

I think maybe the best strategy is to look for a buy one get one sale and jump on it.

We could save a few bucks using T-Mobile but their coverage was awful for the year we had it. Sticking to Verizon. It looks like BYOD prepay would be the cheapest option: $83/mo for 15GB shared plus tax and fees. We pay about $130/mo now (with taxes and fees, postpaid) so the difference would not be a lot. Maybe $30/mo.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:45 am

I guess if you are looking at iPhones it may not make much difference (they seem to be price-fixed - not to mention overpriced).
But with any other brand you should never buy from the Carrier.
Example: Just bought a Brand New Samsung Galaxy S10.
If from Verizon I would have paid List price of $899 (although with a free 2-year payment plan).
But on Amazon the same phone is $699 unlocked AND on Prime-Day it was only $599.
BUT I didn't just save the $300 - if I bought from Verizon they would actually also charge me an "activation charge". By buying an unlocked phone all I had to do was move the SIM from old phone to new phone and it came right up - no activation fee required.

So with iPhones - You are overpaying a "fixed" price it seems.
With any other brand - you can get discounts if you don't buy from Verizon.
(Although you might be able to save an activation fee/charge if your current SIM card is compatible with new iPhone)
Last edited by DaftInvestor on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Admiral
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by Admiral » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:47 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:45 am
I guess if you are looking at iPhones it may not make much difference (they seem to be price-fixed - not to mention overpriced).
But with any other brand you should never buy from the Carrier.
Example: Just bought a Brand New Samsung Galaxy S10.
If from Verizon I would have paid List price of $899 (although with a free 2-year payment plan).
But on Amazon the same phone is $699 unlocked AND on Prime-Day it was only $599.
BUT I didn't just save the $300 - if I bought from Verizon they would actually also charge me an "activation charge". By buying an unlocked phone all I had to do was move the SIM from old phone to new phone and it came right up - no activation fee required.

So with iPhones - You are overpaying a "fixed" price it seems.
With any other brand - you can get discounts if you don't buy from Verizon.
True. But we are an Apple family. So it goes.

DaftInvestor
Posts: 4704
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:48 am

Admiral wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:47 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:45 am
I guess if you are looking at iPhones it may not make much difference (they seem to be price-fixed - not to mention overpriced).
But with any other brand you should never buy from the Carrier.
Example: Just bought a Brand New Samsung Galaxy S10.
If from Verizon I would have paid List price of $899 (although with a free 2-year payment plan).
But on Amazon the same phone is $699 unlocked AND on Prime-Day it was only $599.
BUT I didn't just save the $300 - if I bought from Verizon they would actually also charge me an "activation charge". By buying an unlocked phone all I had to do was move the SIM from old phone to new phone and it came right up - no activation fee required.

So with iPhones - You are overpaying a "fixed" price it seems.
With any other brand - you can get discounts if you don't buy from Verizon.
True. But we are an Apple family. So it goes.
I just realized (edited above) if you buy it unlocked from Apple Store (or elsewhere) you might be able to save the "activation fee" that Verizon charges. I did this with my daughter's phone - we just moved the SIM card from old iPhone to new and it came right up.

mmmodem
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by mmmodem » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:02 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:14 am
I see no point in "financing" something that we are usually buying for <$200. If we just had to have every iteration of the latest $1k+ Iphone, maybe we'd consider it.
Oppositely, I see no point in paying off something I can finance at 0%. The difference in interest is negligible. But I will pick up a quarter if I see it on the street. I've always financed my phone's. Literally, just last month, I paid off 2 LTE tablets that I financed $10 each a month for 24 months.

I did pay off one of my phone's early one time because I wanted it unlocked to give to a friend on a different network. (The BOGO promotion required the purchase of 2 phones.) T-Mobile required full payment before unlocking the phone.

bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by bob60014 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:11 pm

I financed my unlocked Samsung S9 plus through Samsung. It was on sale and included the dedicated wireless charger if I financed, a no brainer to me. Should I desire to change carriers, unlikely, I would just pay it off as there is no penalty and set it up on the new service.

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msi
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Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Post by msi » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:14 pm

I buy the phone outright and then put it on an MVNO rather than a postpaid plan at a major carrier.

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