Maverick’s Guide To Finance – Postpaid vs Prepaid mobile plans

Almost everyone has a mobile phone, many people choose Postpaid mobile plan over Prepaid plan which in my opinion is a bad choice. Let me give my perception on that. I’ll take my personal example of AT&T, although this post can be applicable to all carriers.

There was a difference between Postpaid and Prepaid plans, few years ago in terms of service and features, however that gap was filled in recent years. I was using Postpaid plan for most of my life until I realized it was more expensive than Prepaid plan. One day, I switched from Postpaid to Prepaid, ever since it was pleasant and liberating.

I was paying more than $90, sometimes more than $100 with Postpaid plan which is 3 GB, 450 minutes and 20 cents per text. Now I’m paying $40 with unlimited talk, unlimited text and 3 GB high speed and throttled speed after that. Below are my observations I noticed during my one year’s usage with Prepaid plan, with Pros and Cons.

PROS:

  • No, the service is no different, you get same coverage, same call quality, same data speed.
  • With Prepaid, you won’t be charged for extra data you use, you just get slower data. For example, If you use Post paid, you end up using a 10 MB over 3 GB, you will be charged $10 fee. To add insult to injury, that extra data won’t be rolled over for next billing cycle.
  • Liberation from stress in order to monitor data usage every day.
  • You know what you are paying before hand, so you can plan your finances ahead for that month.
  • In life, given a choice, a no contract is always better than a contract. That can be applied to mobile plans as well.
  • You don’t get charged for text messages with a prepaid plan unlike postpaid plan.
  • Your unused data for that billing cycle will be rolled over to next month with Prepaid plan.
  • You can save $5 every month, when you enroll auto pay option.
  • You can keep the same phone number when switching to prepaid from postpaid.

CONS:

  • Customer Service is not that great for prepaid when compared to postpaid. However, I don’t use customer service that frequently, even if I did, the reason is to whine about data overage charges with postpaid which wouldn’t exist with Prepaid anyway.
  • There is no mobile app just a simple website where you can pay and monitor usage. On the bright side, it is very simple, you can just pay and monitor usage without having cluttering information and options.

To add icing on the cake, you can even save further by buying gift cards using AMEX which I explained in the post

A Maverick’s Guide To Credit Card – AMEX Blue Cash Preferred

If you are trying to take control of finances in your life. I advise you to try switching from postpaid to prepaid. You can visit following link for the plan I’m using right now.

AT&T Gophone prepaid plans. 

 

 

Maverick’s Guide To Credit Card – AMEX Blue Cash Preferred

Before we talk anything about finances and credit cards, I hope you already paid off all of your existing credit card balances. This is the single most important personal financial rule – not to horde outstanding balances on your existing credit cards.

I used multiple credit cards in the past and, in my opinion, the best credit card for your everyday usage is American Express Blue Cash Preferred if you live in United States. Let me give you reasons for that.

Pros:

  • 6% cash back on Grocery Shopping.
  • 3% cash back on Gas.
  • 3% cash back on Departmental Store purchases.
  • 1% cash back on anything else.
  • Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • When you apply by 02/01/17 earn 10% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
  • You can use cash back dollars to pay off the balance.
  • Purchase protection. (A lot of people don’t know that if you buy an eligible purchase and you lose or damage it in 90 days, you can file a claim with AMEX.)
  • Extended warranty (Remember the suggestion for purchasing extended warranty you get as soon you buy an expensive product? Well, if you use this AMEX card when you purchase, there is an automatic 1 year extended warranty on top on manufacturer’s warranty applied. This is an underrated financial tip.)

Cons:

  • There is a $95 Annual fee.
  • You would need a good credit score to get approved.
  • Some grocery stores and most warehouse outlets (Like Costco, Sam’s Club) do not qualify for 6% cash back. You can find more information here.

Now, you can say “Damn, there is $95 annual fee. What the hell?”. Worry not my friend, I’ll guide you through the strategy. In order to maximize the full potential of this card, you would need to think broadly. You can get 6% cash back on grocery shopping up to $6000 an year. So, you need to consider your supermarket (ex: Shoprite, Whole Foods, Acme, Stop and Shop etc.,) as your personal mall for all your needs. The awesome way is to buy gift cards from those stores that you would use in general. I personally use gift cards like Chipotle, Starbucks, Apple, iTunes, Amazon, etc. If I shop at Amazon for $100, I’m essentially paying just $94 because of cash back. I also cook most meals on my own so I buy my meats and ingredients at the grocery store, which also helps to follow the Intermittent Fasting diet.

So, you can max out $340 cash back just from grocery shopping alone without even taking gas and departmental purchases into account. On top of that you can add your initial $150 cash back when you make purchases of $1000 in your first three months.

There you have it, you can use the following the link to apply for American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. It usually takes less than a minute to get the approval decision.

Apply American Express Blue Cash Preferred Here.