Contract deals with nothing to pay upfront have much to recommend then. Not least because they allow you to get a top smartphone for a far, far more affordable price by paying it off over two years.
Best no upfront cost phone deals this week
Need a bit more help choosing a deal? We've got you covered.
For the table above, our experts have handpicked the best phone deals with no upfront cost on offer this week. We've chosen to bring these deals to your attention because we think they represent great value.
That might be because they come with generous monthly allowances on a network that stands for its high quality coverage and fast speeds.
Or because the deals offer great freebies, such as a free voucher or a free subscription to a video streaming service.
Either way, you can rest assured you're getting a standout deal.
What does the term 'no upfront cost phone' mean?
What it means is that you sign up to a contract that has no charge today. The phone itself is given to you 'free' - that is, you get it without paying anything upfront right now.
Instead, the cost of the phone is spread out over the course of your contract. It's incorporated into your bill along with your monthly tariff on a SIM.
Sometimes, the bill is even split up in two, so you can see how much you've paid towards the handset and pay it off whenever you like. O2 Refresh, Sky Mobile Swap, and giffgaff contracts work a little like this.
Find out more with our one-stop guide.
Is it cheaper to get a phone contract with an upfront cost?
We've crunched the numbers and found that there's negligible savings to be made by paying up front. If you save anything at all.
Generally if you compare contracts with no upfront cost with those that demand some payment upfront and that have the same monthly allowances, you'll find that your total outlay is the same over the course of your contract term.
However, if you can afford to pay a bit upfront you'll have less to find each month. So if you're not great with money and you've got cash to hand, it could be smart to pay a lump sum to begin with for lower premiums.
Cheap contract phones with no upfront cost
Mobile contracts on the latest iPhone or Samsung models with no upfront cost will push up your monthly costs - as you’re essentially spreading the cost of the phone over the course of your contract.
But... there are cheaper contracts available on a variety of phones. Check out the no upfront cost contracts on handsets such as:
No upfront cost iPhone contracts
iPhones don’t come cheap - this we know. Going for a slightly older iPhone model can often save you money, as each time Apple launch a new phone, the older models come down in price.
Spread over 24 months, there’s no upfront cost to pay and you’ll have a nice, new iPhone in your hand without forking out a large lump sum at the start of your mobile contract.
Can I get a phone contract with bad credit and no upfront cost?
Unfortunately, most networks perform credit checks on anyone signing up for a mobile contract that includes a handset.
However, if you are concerned about your credit history, you’ll have more luck with a contract on a cheaper phone.
A good rule of thumb: the more expensive the phone is, the harder it will be to pass a credit check.
If you do find a cheaper phone you like, use our comparison table to find the best available deals - and see which deals come without an upfront cost.
If you do have bad credit, don’t panic. Believe it or not, there are a lot of deals available for those with bad credit. Hit the button below to find out everything you need to know.
It’s worth noting, you may have more luck with deals from resellers, rather than direct from a network.
If you try and fail to sign up to a contract because of your credit history, however, the best thing to do is save up and buy a phone outright - and get a cheap SIM only deal to go with it.
What's good about no upfront cost phones?
- You can get a phone straight away without breaking the bank
- They make the cost of expensive phone more affordable
- There's lots of choice
- Special offers and deals are often available
What's bad about no upfront cost phones?
- Monthly bills are higher
- They can cost more in the long run - it's better value to buy a phone outright and go SIM-only
- Long contracts - they usually last two years
- Plans aren't very flexible