Updated – 05/Feb/2021

Let’s look at why you should opt for a postpaid plan or a prepaid plan currently in India. There are pros and cons of both and let me discuss some of the key points which will help you make the right choice.

Prepaid Vs Postpaid Plans

Telecom business has changed in last one year in India, with the launch of Reliance Jio. Reliance JIO launched the unlimited Voice calling plans and 1 GB / day data, unlimited SMS, no roaming charges.

Had you asked all of these in a postpaid plan in the Pre-Jio era – Airtel, Idea or Vodafone would have given you Rs. 2499 postpaid plan, but not anymore. That’s the change I wanted to highlight.

Fundamental Difference between Postpaid and Prepaid:

Postpaid Prepaid
With postpaid plans you don’t need to pay anything upfront, you get a monthly bill after you use your telecom connection.On the other hand with Prepaid, you can recharge with a fixed amount up front and only then can consume the benefits.
Postpaid – You use first, and then pay later.As the name suggests “Prepaid” – you pay first, and then use later.

Let’s Look at Some Key Advantages of Postpaid Plans and Why to take Postpaid?

Postpaid Plan Advantages in India

1). Postpaid plans have become cheaper, most of the operators are offering unlimited calls and SMS, and 1 GB/day data for Rs. 299 to Rs. 399.

Similar plan offers are there from Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and at slightly different MRPs, depending upon your state.

Your maximum bill will be close to Rs.300 to Rs. 400 a month but beware of VAS and other feature charges which the operator can slap on, plus there is also 18% GST tax.

JIO is even cheaper with 199 rental (for unlimited calls and 1 GB /day data) or an Rs. 399 Rental offering 75 GB of data, unlimited calls, and also a subscription to several services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and VIP Hotstar to name a few.

Once you consume the 75 GB data you will have to pay –  Rs 10/GB which means if you consume 50 GB more data you will have to pay Rs. 500 more.

2). Postpaid has an advantage you need to pay the bill after you have used the service hence named as postpaid.

Also, it is a convenience in comparison to prepaid where your phone will just stop working on your prepaid pack or balance gets over.

With postpaid, you get a few days even after your due bill date to pay the bill, and you can continue to use your mobile without any issues.

3). Several attractive postpaid plans are there depending on your needs if you are a low user you can opt for a low-value plan, as low as Rs 99 or 199.

4). You get a detailed bill every month with the postpaid plan and can also use that proof of address at several places.

5. Disadvantages of Postpaid Connections


1). Bill Shock- Well at one point or the other you will get a bill shock due to many reasons. Suppose, you go on roaming and your plan has high roaming call rates, you may get a higher bill.

In case your ISD service is active and by-mistake some calling to ISD destination happens, you can get a very large bill.

In case you exceed your data usage limit, you may get a very high bill as operators charge 4P per 10KB or Rs 4000 per GB for data on default data charging.

2). Plan Change – Changing a plan can also lead to a very high bill due to pro-rata charging. I recently downgraded my plan from a 999 to a 499 plan and got an Rs. 2000 extra bill for data used as pro-rata data charging is applied when you change the plan mid-cycle.

3). Lack of Control on Expenses – Postpaid doesn’t allow you to keep tight control on the expenses, you get the bill after a month, though can track the bill from operator App and other means but at times you can incur charges which can lead to additional bills.

4). MNP is difficult for Postpaid – My MNP request was rejected 3 times by my operator stating ridiculous reasons.

Postpaid customers are high paying and companies don’t want to lose them easily, so they mostly try to prevent a port-out using fair and unfair means. You can read my MNP experience here.

5). In the case of High Bill – No matter how the charging is done or whatever the issue was if you have got a high bill you are at the operator’s mercy to waive it off or not. You will have to pay the amount to keep using the number.

Prepaid – Why it Better? Advantages and Minor Cons

Prepaid comes with several advantages over postpaid in the current scenario, especially after the JIO launch.

The Prepaid plans have become insanely cheap after telecom operators (JIO, Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone) launched cheap unlimited Voice calling plans with a high amount of data for Rs. 300 to Rs 350 per month.

You can read more about the cheap and best-prepaid tariff plans from all operators here.

6 Advantages of Prepaid Over Postpaid

1). No Bill Shock – In Prepaid you recharge your phone and you get the balance or your calling pack is activated which comes with fixed validity and if you consume it earlier you just need to recharge again.

There are no hidden charges, no chance of spending a huge amount of money like postpaid.

2). Ease of changing tariff packs – You don’t get any pro-rata data charging bills when you want to change the pack.

You have a lot of choices in prepaid from unlimited voice and data packs, bulk minutes packs, rate cutters, and special data recharges.

3). Many Choices – As mentioned in the previous point you can opt for any type of pack and control your spending.

The choices and pack availability is much higher in comparison to postpaid.

The flexibility of changing your packs and options is huge in prepaid in comparison to a limited number of postpaid plans.

4). 100% Control on Spending – You can keep your spending as low as you want and you don’t need to pay the fix Rs 549 monthly rental which you took when you needed to use your phone more.

In prepaid you pay what you use, but not on the basis of the plan you signed up for.

5). No tension of High Bills or misuse – Your kids made some ISD calls from your postpaid mobile by mistake and you get the enormous bill which you will have to pay or they just watched youtube on Full HD for a couple of hours and your data limit is exhausted in postpaid.

Prepaid the only thing that can happen is your account balance becomes zero and nothing else.

Concluding Thoughts – Prepaid Vs Postpaid

While Postpaid was a cheaper option before the Reliance JIO launch. There were plans having better benefits in comparison to prepaid. But after JIO the scenario has changed, and unlimited monthly packs are dirt cheap.

It makes sense to shift to prepaid if you want to have 100% control over your spending and want to keep the expenses in your control.

On the other hand, if your company is paying the bill and you don’t have to bother much, postpaid is desirable.

In fact, you don’t need to recharge or do anything. Postpaid just works.

For individual users who pay their bills or can recharge, I think prepaid is great in India.

You can take an unlimited pack for 3 months and keep a Rs 100 balance on your phone.

Moreover, you don’t need anything else, just recharge once in 3 months and you are all set.

So, you may want to look at some of the best-prepaid plans available in India.

Check out the below articles to know more about the topic.

Related Articles – Best Prepaid Plans India or Best JIO Recharges For You.

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Author: Kanuj Sharma

Full-Time Blogger & Entrepreneur, Tech Enthusiast. A decade of experience in Telecom (Engineer & MBA) Read My Story,  Connect On Twitter, Linked-In, Youtube

9 Replies to “Prepaid Vs Postpaid Plans – Better Choice In India 2021

  1. One thing, in prepaid unlimited plans, user is limited to data limit per day. While in postpaid data limit is per month basis.

    I use special 399 airtel plan with 75GB data per month. I can use all 75 GB data in a day or use none at all in month and I get left data roll over. I also get Amazon Prime membership and Zee 5 premium.

    It is especially helpful if I’m downloading/uploading or streaming some surgery videos in high quality, as they usually breach daily data limit of prepaid.

    I don’t use fixed line ethernet/fibre because I change job often in senior residency and due to fellowships.

    PS: I also use prepaid Jio plan, but I found postpaid better suited to my needs.

    However I understand for an average user who usually has broadband at home, postpaid doesn’t make sense when prepaid now is so much cheaper.

    1. Valid point mate. What is the data charging after you reach 75 GB? Companies have overcharged postpaid subscribers shamlessly in the past.

  2. Good write-up. In my case story is different. I opted for corporate postpaid almost a decade ago as it was cheaper than prepaid. Now days, prepaid are cheaper than corporate postpaid and we have added benefit of hassle free MNP as well.

    I was planning to migrate to prepaid but after reading your article I realized that I am receiving 2 very good facilities for free of cost in postpaid. i.e. Call conference and detailed billing statements and call records. Keeping my business in mind, I think both features are very useful for me.

    Do you still suggest that I should move to prepaid.

    1. Call Conference is available on most of the prepaid plans/operators – detailed call logs and billing statements are not provided by most of the operators for prepaid subscribers. However, you can use your phones call logs or even try some dedicated App from playstore to keep a record, if you wish to use that function in prepaid. If you are happy with the postpaid connection and bill is in control than I guess there is no need to switch.

  3. Very good write up. Just what I needed at this point of time, as my Prepaid connection (Vodafone) , after years of hassle free usage, suddenly issued a notification that I needed to recharge immediately to retain my connection, and when I contacted the store, I was asked why not change to Postpaid. I needed time to think and see whether the change is worth it. Thank you for helping me make a decision.

  4. i am a prepaid customer and am happy with the arrangement.
    only problem – when travelling abroad, i a. ad ised to use the plan at least once a month for my number to remain valid. this, they say, is tp prevent misuse of the service. i have never been able to understand the reason.

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