Bells are jingling, people are singing, and theres a chill in the air. It must be holiday season!
Do you have someone on your gift list thats pleading for a cell phone? What a great gift! But before you hit the mall, keep in mind that buying someone a cell phone can be a tad trickier than simply picking up the hottest new device from the store.
Cell phones are incredibly personal items. Think about itwe use these devices for just about everything. Theyre calendars, phone books, notepads, and communication devices.
Furthermore, when you give someone a cellphone, you often have to account for a new cell phone plan as well. As we know, theres a lot that goes into that decision!
For example, cell phone service requires a financial commitment. Will you pay the monthly fees, or will you just be responsible for activating the service and phone? Also, what type of plan is best for the recipient? Do they want data included on their plan, or are they fine to use their phone for talking and texting only?
As you can see, giving someone a cell phone for the holidays requires a lot of consideration. To help you out, weve created the ultimate holiday gift guide for all of your phone-gifting needs!
Dealing with Existing Service
When youre giving someone a cell phone, the first thing you need to determine is whether or not they already have a service theyre happy with. If so, then the only thing you need to get is a phone!
First, see if your recipient is eligible for an upgrade. Most service providers give upgrades that allow you to purchase a new phone at a discounted price. If your recipient is not eligible, youll have to purchase the phone at full price. Also know that many of these phones cannot be purchased without activation. That means if you want your loved one unwrapping the actual phone on Christmas morning, youll have deactivate their current phone and move the service to their new device. Many service providers wont allow anyone but the primary plan holder to do this, and even if you could, it might look suspicious to the recipient! We recommend using a gift card for the phone instead.
Adding to Your Plan
So, what if youre adding someone to your own family plan? This makes gifting a cell phone MUCH easier! If youre adding a line to your plan, you can buy and activate the phone before you gift it, since the recipient does not have service yet. This way, you dont have to worry about deactivating their current device, and they have a phone to unwrap!
You also dont have to choose a plan this way, since youll essentially be giving them the same exact service you currently have. This frees your recipient from financial responsibility, and allows you to focus on what type of phone would make the best gift, instead of whether or not they need extra data, more minutes, or more text messages.
No Contract Phones
If youre giving a cell phone to someone who doesnt have service (and youre not adding them to your own plan), you will have to purchase service as well. Making someone commit to a cell phone contract might not be your best bet, especially if you arent aware of how much they can afford to pay in the long term. Pay-as-you-go phones are one solution, but can get pricey quickly, especially if the recipient uses their phone frequently. Instead of locking someone into a service agreement, or making them worry about their costs each month, why not get them a no contract cell phone?
No contract cell phone plans (also known as prepaid phones) have a fixed monthly fee that encompasses a certain amount of minutes, text messages, and even data. Customers pay the same amount each month to use their phones, and can cancel their service at any time. They can also pay extra for more minutes, texts, or data, if needed. No contract plans are a great option when gifting a cell phone. They give your recipient more flexibility, while still providing the benefits of a great phone and plan. Plus, it gives you some breathing room too; there are plans for every type of user!
If youre still torn about what type of plan (or phone) to buy your loved one for the holidays, a gift card might be your best bet. Many service providers offer gift cards that can be used toward an existing plan. This can be a big help for someone after all that holiday spending!
Some gift cards can also be used for purchasing a plan, phone, or even device accessories. Or, if your recipient doesnt have service or a phone, you could use a gift card to purchase both! Gift cards give you the ultimate level of flexibility when it comes to your shopping, and it allows your recipient to choose the plan and phone they want. Its truly the best of both worlds.
Gifting a cell phone and service plan is a tricky endeavor, but it can be done! Keep in mind your loved ones preferences, needs, and financial abilities. When in doubt, ask!
Have more questions about gifting cell phones and service? Contact us and well help you pick out the perfect present.