No Contract Cell Phones

Written by Charles Peacock
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No contract cell phones are for those who are tired of getting locked in a contract with a service provider, as well as for those who simply need to replace their damaged or lost cell phone. Unlike phones offered in sign-up promotions, no contract cell phones are rarely free--but there are some exceptions.

How to Get No Contract Cell Phones

If you don't currently have cell phone service, you'll need to subscribe to some kind of plan in addition to buying a phone. Fortunately, several carriers offer no contract deals where you simply pay as you go. This typically involves pre-paying in fixed increments for certain amounts of minutes, and when your minutes are up, your phone stops working.

These prepaid services are the best way to get no contract cell phones. Many of them will, in fact, give you a free phone if you pay enough in advance. A friend of mine recently bought a prepaid service for only $50, and got a great Nokia phone for free. The great thing about these services is that when you've used up your $50, you can simply walk away, and you still get to keep the phone.

No contract phones are also available from the major carriers on a normal monthly basis. If you're unwilling to sign a contract, however, you will pay a lot more for the phone and for your monthly service. If a one-year contract gives you a free phone and 1,000 minutes per month for $39, a no-contract plan typically will cost closer to $75 per month--and you'll have to pay for the phone up front.

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