Keeping your old phone to get the best contract


Getting a new, technologically advanced smartphone is incredibly expensive. While many are tempted to upgrade their smartphones with each new release, this can turn into a truly costly habit. Instead of doing so and throwing money out the window, there are still viable alternatives which you could take into account. And maybe the most advantageous alternative that you have when your contract with a particular carrier expires, is keeping your old phone while switching to a friendlier carrier. When you signed the service contract, you might have made a mistake in terms of monthly expenses and settled for a pricey plan or services you don’t particularly need. Regardless, now that your contract expired, you have the option to begin your research and see if you can find a carrier with less expensive monthly plans, or switching to a SIM only option, all that while keeping your old phone. Below are more details and things that you must keep in mind while doing so.

Why should I search for a mobile service contract without a phone included?

You might wonder yourself why not simply choose another advanced device while you’re at the step of finding a contract and a carrier? Well, chances are you already have some devices left from your previous mobile phone service contracts which included a device as well. While the temptation of investing in a new one once again is high, only think of the fact that in several months, that new device of yours will already be outdated, with the frequency of the technological novelties nowadays. And you also have to think of the fact that the costs implied by a contract with a phone included are ridiculously high.

Generally, mobile service plans with phones included, revolve around 30 USD monthly. In this case, the carrier is “loaning” you the money to purchase the mobile, and you monthly pay for it, from the instalment, until your contract ends. Also, if you want to prematurely terminate your collaboration with a carrier or another, you will have to pay on the spot the rest of your “loan”. This, obviously is a costly measure, as the experts at claim. Some experts also recommend to consider the option of keeping your old phone and purchasing a SIM card for it, while the advantages are numerous.

Alternatively, since 2015, all carriers allow all clients to sign contracts without any obligations to purchase a mobile phone with those. However, if you still want a recent, unlocked device, you will still have to pay anywhere between $500 and over $1000, if you want the latest iPhone. And while the chances for you to have that money cash are slim, you will most probably end up paying high interest to your Mastercard.

The last thing that you have to take into account is: Do you really need the latest iPhone version? Well, chances are, most probably, not. Unless you are a tech blogger or journalist, this option is not worth the financial efforts involved by investing in a new piece of technology.

What are my options if I want to keep my old phone?

First, you could consider the option of prolonging your contract with your current carrier, and skip the phones proposed by the company. This way your monthly bills will be lower since you won’t have to pay a “loan” for your brand-new phone. This will be ideal, because you also know that your old phone is compatible with the mobile network since you were a client in the past and used the same device on the same network.

The other option that you have is switching carriers. This is a bit more complicated, and you have to take into account network compatibility matters, the matter of unlocking your phone (if it was purchased before the new regulations in force). However, there are some tips on the Internet, Pinterest Sims boards being a popular place to begin the research process. And while getting all the notions right is somehow difficult, because you will have to wrestle with the entire alphabet in your encounters (LTE, CDMA, GSM and other network variations), the best option that you have is identifying a carrier with an appealing monthly plan and asking if their services are compatible with the smartphone that you have. They will be able to give you all information needed, but keep in mind that some may be trying to make you invest in a piece of their own.

You can also keep your old phone and invest in a SIM card, which is the best option that you have in your current situation. These usually come with unlimited mobile data and network minutes and texts available, at prices that are literally pocket change, and you’ll also be stress-free.

Keeping your phone while switching carriers/service method for a better monthly plan is possible.

Are there any downsides to keeping my old phone?

Nothing is perfect in this world, and choosing to keep your old phone does have some downsides as well. However, some of those are small, especially if your old phone was a popular one back when you purchased it. If it was a “sell-and-forget-about-it” type of phone, with a poor quality and a dubious operating system, the not-so-pleasant parts of the matter multiply. On this type of phones, the operating system (especially when it comes to Android) becomes easily outdated and updates are impossible on those. However, if the phone was popular, some updates will be available and you will have a functioning device for some years ahead.

You may want to use an up-upgraded Android phone daily, but this is a major security concern. Experts recommend only using an old device if it can be upgraded. Otherwise, your data will be at risk. Also, you have to consider the fact that the more upgrades you make to your phone, the slower it will become. But if it’s a relatively recent version (2-3 years old), you should get away with using it just as long from now on.

Also, you will have to consider the fact that on phones that are very old, not all apps will function properly. If you are the techy kind, it would be advisable to have a relatively recent phone model.


Yes, keeping your phone while switching the carrier or opting for a SIM card without a phone included is possible, and in some cases recommended. However, you will have to take into account all the matters presented above, as you may encounter major security concerns, as well as functionality ones if you have a very old phone model.