Uniquely for you. Preorder the new Google Pixel 6.
lee1001's profile
lee1001
Celestial 50!
Supersonic 25!
#1 Star!

Mentor

 • 

80 Messages

Sat, Oct 18, 2014 10:24 PM

Note 4: Next or 2-year contract?

I'm seriously considering upgrading my Note 2 to the Note 4, but for the life of me I can't decide whether I want to go with AT&T Next or the 2-year contract option. If I go with AT&T Next, I'll do 18 months, the one with the lower payments.

 

My ultimate goal is to lower the monthly bill. Right now it always sits at about $130 per month, with 1 smartphone and 1 basic phone on an old family plan. The smartphone has a 3 GB data package with unlimited texting, while the basic phone has nothing but talk.

 

Using the AT&T rate plan calculator, I was able to compare the monthly bill if I upgrade my phone and change the plan to Mobile Share. I only need 2 GB of data, and the basic phone doesn't need anything besides talk and text. With AT&T Next 18, the Note 4 will be $34.42 per month. That means the bill will be $119.42 with MSVP and AT&T Next 18.

 

With the 2-year contract, since there is no monthly installment plan, I find that the bill is about $20 cheaper, at exactly $100. But the thing that leaves me flinching is the expensive price of the Note 4 to pay up front: $318 tax included, PLUS the activation/upgrade fee added to the first month's bill.

 

What do you think is the better option for me when upgrading to the Note 4? AT&T Next 18 or the 2-year contract? Your opinions/help will be much appreciated.

 

Thank you all!

Tutor

 • 

4 Messages

7 y ago

Make sure to calculate the higher data rate for NOT being on the next plan. I am not sure if they waive that for you on the grandfathered family plan or not. But it is either $15 or $40 depending on Next vs Contract respectively.

GeekBoy

Master

 • 

4.1K Messages

7 y ago


@KeysKorner wrote:

Make sure to calculate the higher data rate for NOT being on the next plan. I am not sure if they waive that for you on the grandfathered family plan or not. But it is either $15 or $40 depending on Next vs Contract respectively.


The older (grandfathered) family talk or individual plans did not offer discounts fo rbeing out of contract, everyone paid the same (higher) monthly rate all the time.  If they are currently on one of those plans they can still keep them.

 

To the OP, do you think you will upgrade your new phone in 24 months or less?  If not, then you need to look at when you think you will want to upgrade it.  If you use the NEXT 18 to purchase the new phone, in 24 months, your phone will be paid in full and it will be yours to do with as you please.  At that time, your bill will go down by the amount of the NEXT installment, and you will only be paying the 2GB data plus the $25 talk&text fee.  That should bring your bill down to far below the $100 amount.  If you will keep the new phone for long enough, the monthly savings there will compensate for the $20/month higher fees you will pay while on the NEXT agreement.

 

Without doing all the math, I would guess that:

  • If you think you'll be upgrading your phone in less than 24 months, then strongly consider NEXT.
  • If you think that you won't be upgrading your phone for more than 36 months, stongly consider NEXT, but look at the numbers to make sure that it will really save you enough in the long run.
  • If you think you'll be upgrading your phone in the 24-36 month time frame, strongly cosider keeping your current rate plan and get a subsidized phone.
  • If the approx $350-400 outlay up front will impact your financial situation, then consider the NEXT agreement because it may cost you slightly more, but it is dispersed across the 20-24 month period.

Like I said, I didn't do the math for the exact point where NEXT will turn around and save you morn money but based on what you have said, keeping your current rate plan and buying your new phone outright will be the cheaper option from 24 months to some point out past that where the cost difference will start favorig NEXT again.  If you think you will upgrade your phone in less than 24 months, NEXT should be the cheaper option for you.  Where the tipping point from your current plan back to NEXT would fall past the 24 month point woudl depend upon the cost difference for your NEXT agreement

 

lee1001

Mentor

 • 

80 Messages

7 y ago


@GeekBoy wrote:

@KeysKorner wrote:

Make sure to calculate the higher data rate for NOT being on the next plan. I am not sure if they waive that for you on the grandfathered family plan or not. But it is either $15 or $40 depending on Next vs Contract respectively.


The older (grandfathered) family talk or individual plans did not offer discounts fo rbeing out of contract, everyone paid the same (higher) monthly rate all the time.  If they are currently on one of those plans they can still keep them.

 

To the OP, do you think you will upgrade your new phone in 24 months or less?  If not, then you need to look at when you think you will want to upgrade it.  If you use the NEXT 18 to purchase the new phone, in 24 months, your phone will be paid in full and it will be yours to do with as you please.  At that time, your bill will go down by the amount of the NEXT installment, and you will only be paying the 2GB data plus the $25 talk&text fee.  That should bring your bill down to far below the $100 amount.  If you will keep the new phone for long enough, the monthly savings there will compensate for the $20/month higher fees you will pay while on the NEXT agreement.

 

Without doing all the math, I would guess that:

  • If you think you'll be upgrading your phone in less than 24 months, then strongly consider NEXT.
  • If you think that you won't be upgrading your phone for more than 36 months, stongly consider NEXT, but look at the numbers to make sure that it will really save you enough in the long run.
  • If you think you'll be upgrading your phone in the 24-36 month time frame, strongly cosider keeping your current rate plan and get a subsidized phone.
  • If the approx $350-400 outlay up front will impact your financial situation, then consider the NEXT agreement because it may cost you slightly more, but it is dispersed across the 20-24 month period.

Like I said, I didn't do the math for the exact point where NEXT will turn around and save you morn money but based on what you have said, keeping your current rate plan and buying your new phone outright will be the cheaper option from 24 months to some point out past that where the cost difference will start favorig NEXT again.  If you think you will upgrade your phone in less than 24 months, NEXT should be the cheaper option for you.  Where the tipping point from your current plan back to NEXT would fall past the 24 month point woudl depend upon the cost difference for your NEXT agreement

 


I am okay with upgrading every 2 years, assuming that the phone is well-made (mainstream phones are well-made). I like how the MSVP with AT&T Next provides a cheaper monthly bill, but I feel like the monthly installments negate all of those discounts.

 

On another note, I see that MSVP 2 GB is $85. I want to upgrade with a new 2-year contract, keep my current (old Family Talk) plan, and change to the MSVP 2 GB $85 option a few days later. Is that possible?

GeekBoy

Master

 • 

4.1K Messages

7 y ago


@lee1001 wrote:

On another note, I see that MSVP 2 GB is $85. I want to upgrade with a new 2-year contract, keep my current (old Family Talk) plan, and change to the MSVP 2 GB $85 option a few days later. Is that possible?


You can change your plan whenever you want, but do keep in mind that if you switch to the MSVP, that your old Family Talk plan is gone for good.  Since that plan is grandfathered, once you leave it, it is nearly impossible to get it back.  Also make sure that you are aware that for the MSVP, you will pay $40/month for your talk & text portion of your bill, plus your data partion with no discounts if you sign a new service contract now.  That would mean that your MSVP would cost $40 for 2GB of data + $40 for unlimited talk & text, and if you go over the 2GB data package, you would get charged $15/GB for all your additional data usage.

Need help?
New to the AT&T Community? Start by visiting the Community How-To.
New to the AT&T Community?
Visit the Community How-To.