Device Agreement vs. Paying Up Front

Phone with money coming out of it

Device Payment Plans or Paying Up Front?

Your money is valuable, and, let’s face it, phone payments are just another expense we all wish we could skip. It may be that you have been holding off on upgrading your phone because you want to save yourself the headache of having to enter into another agreement. Despite there being a lot of factors that go into purchasing a device, it may be easier than you realize. At Cellcom, we want to find the best solution for you, so here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing a new phone and the payment options available to you.

Device Payment Plan:

Device payment plans, or “Flex agreements,” are agreements to pay off devices over a period of time - typically 24, 30, or 36 months. Unless there is a promotional discount, your monthly cost can be determined by taking the retail price of the phone divided by the length of the agreement. Device agreements are typically at 0% APR, so you don’t need to worry about paying more for your phone in the long run. If you are in an agreement and decide you would rather just pay off the phone, you are able to do that, too. Having said that, we certainly recommend making sure you understand the terms of your agreement so there are no surprises!

Device payment plans become extra attractive if the phone you want is on sale, but it adds a few more things to be aware of. Because carriers want you to stay with them, the discount on the phone is applied monthly over the length of the agreement. For example, if you see a sale for “$300 off,” and it requires a 30 month agreement, the monthly price will be $10 lower than the non-sale pricing. If after 20 months, you decide to pay off the phone, you will miss out on 10 months of discounts and pay the remaining balance as though it were not on sale. You can’t finance multiple phones on one phone number, so make sure you’re satisfied with your choice of phone. This also means you can’t upgrade again until your current phone is paid off, though early upgrade options may be available.


    • Less money due up front
    • Often cheaper in the long run


    • Requires a term of 24-36 months
    • Restricted ability to upgrade

    Paying Up Front:

    For customers that don’t want to worry about entering agreements, there is always the option to pay for a phone up front. By going this route, you would not have a monthly phone cost, only charges for your service plan. As soon as you pay for the phone, it is yours. Typically, these kinds of transactions do not get discounted, but you have more freedom to change phones on your own schedule. Nowadays we are lucky that most of the biggest manufacturers’ phones are compatible across most networks, so if you would prefer to buy the latest iPhone from Apple and use it on Cellcom’s network, you have the freedom to do that. (Please be aware that this is not the case with every phone and it’s best to check with your provider if you’re not sure.)


    • No monthly phone payment
    • More freedom to upgrade when you want


    • Full cost of phone due all at once
    • Fewer discounts on phone price

    At the end of the day, there are no wrong decisions for your phone payment choice, as long as you are informed on the path you are choosing. Sales representatives can help you decide which option might be best for your wallet and your lifestyle, so feel free to ask questions – we are here to help you!