The Difference Between Prepaid And Postpaid Plans In 2023

Updated on
min reading
prepaid vs postpaid

Prepaid vs Postpaid? There have been heated debates and discussions about this subject on social media and the internet. Do you what the difference between postpaid and prepaid recharge plans is? When it comes to making a decision between prepaid and postpaid, there are multiple factors to consider. However, before we delve into those factors, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two types of plans. Let us look at the exact definitions of both concepts- prepaid and postpaid plans provided by various mobile service providers.

What Is A Prepaid and Postpaid Plan?

Currently, the top operators in India providing prepaid and postpaid options include, Airtel, Reliance Jio, BSNL and Vodafone Idea.

Let us help you understand exactly what it meant by the terms:-

  • Prepaid Plan
  • Postpaid Plan

What Is A Prepaid Plan?

Prepaid plans are mobile network plans that require subscribers to pay for the plan in advance. Prepaid customers are usually people who may not have a high volume of usage during the day. Usually, prepaid plans are less costly than postpaid packages, but they do not have as many added benefits or features. Prepaid mobile phone packages are also described as no-contract cell phone plans, as there is no need for a monthly contract.

A Prepaid Recharge means that subscribers on this plan can prepay for a certain number of minutes of usage and data of every minute, day, week, and month.

What Is A Postpaid plan?

A postpaid plan is a mobile network service in which subscribers are billed at the end of every month. For a postpaid account, you will get a monthly net bill based on a predefined amount, which might vary based on your monthly usage. This plan is best adapted to those who have a steady source of revenue.

Most mobile operators prefer customers to stay on postpaid plans as it assures them of a longer contract with the customer and a fixed amount. Hence, customers tend to get multiple benefits with postpaid SIMs. For example, Airtel offers a number of perks and advantages like Airtel Thanks subscriptions and priority customer support to their customers who have a postpaid account.

The pricing method seems to be the most significant distinction between the two mobile phone network packages; how you bill for each plan is just what counts.

Prepaid Vs Postpaid Plans: What To Consider Before Choosing One

There’s no doubt that prepaid and postpaid plans have certain pros and cons. However, to choose which one is really suitable for you, you need to compare and consider many factors.

Factors to consider
User Requirement
User Financial Situation
Customer Care
Network Coverage
Price of Plans

You have to consider your internet requirements and your current and near-future financial situation before taking any decision on buying Prepaid or Postpaid Connections.

Moreover, you need to analyse what’s more important to you; better customer and network coverage, or more flexibility when it comes to changing your current plan or recharging your plan.

So, if you’re looking for a long-term connection for your business or for yourself, consider choosing a postpaid connection. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a connection for a short duration and aren’t planning to keep the number for a long time, consider opting for a prepaid connection.

Prepaid Recharge vs Postpaid Recharge- A Detailed Comparison

Prepaid cellular network contracts allow subscribers to purchase minutes or airtime and then use it wherever they like, with a long expiration date. Although Postpaid cellular network contracts require subscribers to reimburse for their coverage at the end of each month and would be sent the final bill.

Now that we've established the significant differences and similarity between the two plans, let's dive into each function that is added to or aligned with either of the phone plans. The following factors have been taken into consideration in this comparison:

  1. Duration
  2. Customer Care
  3. Recharging Your Connection
  4. Changing Tariff Plans
  5. Cost and Payment Effectiveness
  6. Invoice
  7. Plans
  8. Getting A New Connection
  9. Data Usage
  10. Network Coverage


By its definition, postpaid plans are supposed to outlive prepaid plans. While postpaid plans are billed once every 30 days, you get multiple prepaid options that last for a month as well. However, in addition to monthly plans, you can also avail yourself of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly plans with prepaid connections. So, there’s no doubt that the first round goes to prepaid as it offers more options and flexibility to customers.

Customer Care

The VIP service is another tried-and-true experience. If you have a Postpaid cellular network contract and wish to contact your network's customer service, you will get a smoother and more accurate response to your complaints.

On the other side, as a prepaid customer, you’re more likely to get a long wait time on customer service calls and stand in long queues when you visit the branch. Hence, this round surely goes to postpaid customers who truly enjoy a VIP treatment when it comes to customer care.

Recharging Your Connection

Prepaid plans require you to recharge your account before you could even access it. Postpaid policies, on the other hand, encourage you as a user or client to conveniently make calls, send texts, and so on, and you would be charged at the end of each month.

While recharging on prepaid plans, you can choose from a variety of prices with different additions, and you can change which recharge selection you use each occasion you top-up. When your purchased package is eventually depleted, you will need to refill your credit before you can access these services again.

Postpaid packages are almost like agreements. Where you choose a package and your mobile phone network charges you each month and instantly refreshes your plan additions on the very first day of your billing period.

In contrast to a prepaid contract, once you use up all of your allowances on a postpaid account, your telecommunications network will still allow you to utilize its services, for which the cost will be charged to your bill amount the following month. So, this round goes to postpaid plans again as it offers better flexibility and reliability.

Changing Tariff Plans

If you have a prepaid package, you can quickly move and switch to some other tariff plan by following simple steps and guidance. Postpaid plan subscribers, on the other hand, are not provided with this option; they must adjust or move to some other plan, which is not as simple or as quick as the former.

For example, if you want to change your prepaid plan, all you need to do is get a recharge done of the same. On the other hand, if you’re looking to change your postpaid plan, you’ll have to first reach out to a customer care executive. They will require a bunch of your information. Once the plan is changed, you’ll have to wait for the current billing cycle to get over for the new plan to be activated. That’s surely a lot! So, this round goes to prepaid plans for providing more ease and simplicity.

Cost and Payment Effectiveness

Prepaid cell network services are far less expensive than Postpaid plans; however, customers on Prepaid plans should have an eye on the end date of their plan, as they can quickly recharge their cell phone sim card at any moment.

Postpaid plans are marginally more expensive than Prepaid plans, but they are more successful and provide more user advantages. Postpaid packages cannot be canceled easily and have no end date. Even though at the end of each month, if you do not pay the bill on time, your telecom will prolong the time period slightly.

However, it’s important to note that as postpaid plans are a monthly contract, you don’t need to worry about last-minute recharges or ever running out of data or Talktime in the middle of the night. In this case, both prepaid and postpaid have their fair share of pros, hence, this round can be considered a tie.


When it comes to businesses, you might be confused about which plan will be more suitable for you while invoicing. As prepaid accounts don’t offer an official bill or invoice, you might not be able to submit these plans as proper proof.

On the other hand, postpaid plans come with a proper and legitimate bill. You can get a bill every month if you want postpaid. You will use that as a piece of billing evidence whether it's written on paper or delivered by email. Many financial firms recognize telecom bills as legitimate evidence of billing.


Prepaid has a predetermined schedule that is charged in real-time. The relevant amount is deducted from your daily limit after you recharge. The deal is valid till it expires or you've used up all of the programs it provides. Let's presume you signed up for a week's worth of 2GB files. If you use it up regardless of how many days are left, you will be charged with the daily load.

This will have an immediate effect on your wallet. If you've used up your limit, you won't be able to use its facilities any longer. If you want to continue using services, you’ll have to make another recharge.

Postpaid services are more adaptable than prepaid services. You will be charged a fee, but you'll still be able to access those programs even though you have exceeded the cap. You won't see much of a difference in your budget until your bill arrives.

While in this round postpaid plans may seem more beneficial, the winner of this round should be prepaid plans. This is because while postpaid plans allow you to keep using their services after the data cap, you’ll most likely get a shock when you see the bill at the end of the month. However, with prepaid plans, you can track your usage in real-time and always be aware of how much you’re spending.

Getting A New Connection

You could switch your prepaid SIM service and plans at any time. SIM cards can be purchased at almost any store or even on almost any road. You can also buy at the entrances of shopping centres. If you'd like to upgrade your phone number or if you've misplaced your old one, you could get a new card at any time. It's also easy to switch network providers. Simply put your new SIM card into your phone and you're ready to go.

On the other hand, a postpaid connection requires a lot of legal and technical changes if you want to cancel your plan, upgrade your phone number or change your plan. Hence, this round's winner is prepaid for its adaptability.

Data Usage

Most mobile operators provide multiple price options and data caps for both postpaid and prepaid options, ensuring all their customers are able to afford a plan. However, when it comes to data, most postpaid connections offer unlimited data, while prepaid plans usually have a data cap.

Moreover, if you don’t use all your data in the given period, a postpaid plan will allow you to roll over the data to the next month. For example, if you have a postpaid plan that offers 30GB of data every month and you use only 20GB in a particular month, the remaining 10GB of data will be rolled over for usage in the next month. This option isn’t available for prepaid plans; once the validity is over, you will lose all the leftover data from your package.So is postpaid better than prepaid? Well, for more efficiency, this round surely goes to postpaid.

Network Coverage

A couple of years ago, telecom providers wouldn’t differentiate between postpaid and prepaid customers when it comes to network coverage. However, with more people buying data plans and limits on network capacity, recently, telecom providers have started offering better and faster speed.

For example, Airtel announced the “Priority of 4G Network” plan for its Platinum postpaid users which will let them enjoy even faster 4G speed in their smartphone and connected devices.

Hence, this round goes to postpaid customers who tend to get better service and support from telecom providers.

Prepaid Vs Postpaid Plans: Benefits

Here is a short brief of the top 5 benefits of both Prepaid as well as Postpaid recharge plans

  • Benefits of Prepaid Recharge Plans
  • Lower Pricing Per Month
  • No Credit Checks
  • No Overage Fees
  • Flexibility of plans and payment
  • Additional Features Available
  • Benefits of Postpaid Recharge Plans
  • No Stress On Low Balance
  • Plan Based On The Minutes
  • Convenient Auto-Renewal
  • Better Knowledge Of Mobile Usage
  • Better Perks And Offers

Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to choose the right service provider who offers high-quality services, features, and customer support.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the payment differ in prepaid and postpaid connections?

For Prepaid connections, you have to pay or recharge before using the mobile service. And for postpaid connections, you can use the service first and then pay the bill later.

Which would be the best plan for me?

Choosing the best plan depends on how much usage you have. You also need to consider how much you can spend. Always check with the customer service team for better information.

What is a bill shock?

A bill shock is when you use more than expected in a postpaid mobile plan and you receive a much larger amount in your bill.