PrePay Card vs. subscription - What is the best option?

18 Jun 2020

Most mobile users have asked themselves this question at least once: What is the most advantageous option? Considering that the main mobile telephony operators have provided us with so many offers over the years, we can appreciate the differences between subscriptions and PrePay cards.

First of all, in Romania, the price for mobile telephony services are low compared to those abroad. Moreover, the speed of Internet access is much above average, whether we are talking about subscriptions or PrePay cards. Thus, in our country, with just a few Euros you can have access to tens of gigabytes of unlimited mobile data, calls and SMS in the same network, along with a large number of minutes in other networks.

Another consideration that we can take into account is the existence of dual-sim phones, quite widespread on the Romanian market. Many prefer this type of phone, in which they can insert both a subscription card and a PrePay, in order to benefit from the advantages of both. Ignoring this situation, however, it remains to discover which of these two options is more advantageous:

Subscription contract

The main advantage of the subscription contract is the offer to buy a phone. There have been many situations in which, for a subsidized or even free phone model, thousands of people have chosen to subscribe. Another advantage is that, after subscribing to one of the mobile operators, you will pay the bill after consumption, compared to the card, where you will have to pay in advance. Moreover, you can choose to pay more bills in advance, and if you are a little late with payment, your services will not be interrupted.

However, from a financial point of view, a PrePay card is much more cost-effective, given the options / price ratio. Let's see what it's all about:

PrePay card

If, 10-15 years ago, the differences between the two options were imperceptible, now you have more benefits with a PrePay card, compared to a similar subscription. Slowly, the minutes, SMS and mobile data included in the PrePay offer began to exceed those offered for subscriptions. Moreover, the advantages offered by a phone included in the subscription offer may be attractive, but we must also keep in mind that you will be connected to the same operator with a contract for at least two years.

Instead, in the case of the PrePay card, you may sometimes find that you have forgotten to charge your credit and that you cannot access the Internet or that you have run out of credit to make an important call. However, you will not be charged extra for mobile data when your credit ends (as in the case of the subscription), but you will only have to choose an online recharge service.

If we talk about roaming, we recommend a PrePay card for trips for a few days, such as city breaks. If you have a subscription, depending on the country you travel to, the prices for mobile data can be really exorbitant, especially in countries outside the European Union.

So, at the moment, if you don't necessarily want a phone on offer or if you prefer to recharge your credit when you want, without "surprise costs", a PrePay card is the best option!