Prepaid Phone Service

Leap Wireless and MetroPCS, both smaller prepaid carriers, are starting to offer handset financing programs for their devices. One of the issues facing carriers that only operate on a prepaid basis is the high up-front cost of handsets. Even though the customers will be saving lots of money in the long-run, the $500 or more required to buy a high-end device may turn some away. 

Leap, which operates the Cricket Wireless brand (which is somewhat confusing,) started offering its financing plans a couple weeks ago and now have them rolled out to all of its stores nationwide. Purchases of $200 or more -- both phones and accessories -- can qualify for financing of up to 90-percent of the purchase price. If the loan is paid off within 90 days, there are no fees or interest charges as well. This means that someone buying a device that is normally $500 will be paying just over $100 out the door for the device and the first month's service paid in full. MetroPCS wouldn't comment specifically on its financing plans, but intends to launch a similar setup of handset financing to its customers very soon.

Even with the financing plans, neither Leap nor MetroPCS will require a contract for its services and will remain completely prepaid. Both operators aren't requiring a credit check for financing either -- just an active bank account -- which is a big deal to many customers. Anything that can help users make the choice on going to prepaid to save money on their cellphone service is a good thing.

Source: FierceWireless


Reader comments

Leap Wireless and MetroPCS starting handset financing programs


Considering Cricket sells the S3 (and iPhone if people care) for ~$100 off list price already, I could see this being very appealing. I suspect most can pay off $200 a month for three months to assure no interest as well.

They're still CDMA carriers. I don't see much point in CDMA prepaid; you can't switch phones by moving a SIM card like you do on GSM.

CDMA still has better call quality, though...

a smile comes to my face cause when I see that $35 bucks a month sign for virgin mobile, i know i made the right choice.. and my evo v 4g (evo 3d) aint too old either... wouldn't mind an upgrade to the s2 though...

Yeah, where as I'd get 2 bars of 3g on general and a horrible phone on Sprint's network I now have a Nexus 4 with full bars of HSPA+ on Tmobile...