Cell phone companies have changed the way they provide their customers with cell phones. At one time, customers had to pay top dollar for phones or enter into a restrictive contract to get a discount. Even if they entered into a contract, they still had to pay a lump sum to own the device. Now, companies are allowing people to enter into payment plans to pay for phones. This gives people the chance to own the latest devices without breaking the bank. Companies like AT&T offer installment agreements so people can pay monthly as they move toward owning the phone.
Sprint has changed the rules, though, by offering customers a leasing option. The first of its kind, Sprint Lease gives people the opportunity to pay less without getting locked into a restrictive service agreement. It also gives customers the chance to upgrade devices on a yearly basis.
Overview of Sprint Lease
Customers who sign up for Sprint Lease will get to lease a new smartphone or tablet from Sprint. They will pay a low monthly fee to lease the device, and at the end of the leasing period, they will return it to Sprint or pay an additional amount to own it. The amount usually falls between $150 and $200.
Customers must return the phone in good working order in order to keep the agreement. Otherwise, they will have to purchase the phone.
Sprint offers three lease options. It has the standard Sprint Lease, the iPhone for Life Plan, and the iPad for Life Plan. All plans last for 24 months.
The standard Sprint Lease plan allows customers to lease popular Android devices, while the iPhone for Life Plan allows customers to lease iPhones. Customers can lease iPads with the iPad for Life Plan.
Only select devices are available through Sprint Lease. Customers can get the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 5S through the iPhone for Life Sprint Lease agreement. Customers can get one of the iPhones for as little as $20 a month and $0 down.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are available for lease with the iPad for Life Plan. Devices start at $17 a month and $0 down on this plan.
Sprint offers a variety of Android devices through Sprint Lease.
Customers can lease the:
Samsung Galaxy S 6
Samsung Galaxy S 6 edge
Samsung Galaxy S 5
Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport
HTC One M9
LG G Flex2
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Customers can get an Android device for as little as $10 a month for 24 months when factoring in promotions and discounts.
While people with good credit can lease devices with $0 down, leasing agreements are also available for people who do not have good credit. They have to make a down payment, which typically ranges from $150 to $200. Once they make the down payment, they pay less per month than people who pay $0 down do. By the time the agreement is over, both parties have paid the same amount of money. Having good credit does not save Sprint Lease users money. It simply allows them to avoid making a down payment.
Early Upgrade Options
Some consumers don't want to wait 24 months for an upgrade. They want a new device every year, which is why Sprint offers early upgrade options.
Consumers have two early upgrade options available. First, they can get the Unlimited Plus Plan. This plan is available for people who lease the Samsung Galaxy S 6 or S 6 edge.
Customers can also upgrade any device early by using Easy Pay and adding the Early Upgrade option. The option costs $10 a month. Customers must add the early upgrade option within 30 days of activating the leased phone. Once consumers make 12 consecutive payments, they can return the phone to Sprint and lease or purchase a new one.
Consumers will stop paying the early upgrade fee as soon as they return the device. Then, they can add it to their next device if they wish so they can upgrade in a year once again.
Extending the Lease
While some people want to upgrade early, others want to keep their devices past the end of the lease. Customers can extend the lease on a month-to-month basis by continuing to make monthly lease payments. Those who paid $0 down continue to make the same monthly payments. Those who made a down payment will pay more each month because the down payment will no longer offset the monthly price. Instead of paying the lower amount, they will pay the same amount that $0 down customers pay. These consumers should peruse their leases before extending them to make sure they can afford the monthly payments.
Some consumers want to buy their Android or Apple devices after the lease period is over. Each Sprint Lease agreement includes a Purchase Option Price. Consumers should locate the price on their lease. It is typically around $200 or less. Once their lease agreement is over, they can make the Purchase Option Price payment at a Sprint Store. At that point, they will own the device.
Ending the Lease
Consumers who do not want to finish out their leases have the option of ending them early. In order to end a lease, they must make the rest of the lease payments, plus pay the Purchase Option Price. At that point, they own the device.
Those who do not want to keep the phone can return it to Sprint after making the final lease payments and paying the Purchase Option Price. Those customers receive an account credit in the amount of the Purchase Option Price.
Savings with the Sprint Lease Plan
Consumers typically want to know if they will save money if they choose a Sprint Lease agreement. This plan saves consumers money in two ways. First, they pay less for the device than they would if they paid for it outright. For instance, consumers pay $20 a month to lease a 16GB iPhone 6. That comes out to $480 over the span of two years. They pay $7 more a month if they go with Easy Pay, which comes out to $648. If they choose to buy the phone at full retail price, they pay $649.
Consumers also have the option of signing a 2-year agreement with Sprint and purchasing the phone for $199 but there is a catch. If they use Sprint Lease or Easy Pay, they get an Unlimited Plan for $50 a month. If they sign a 2-year contract, the Unlimited Plan is $85 a month.
In other words, someone who leases a phone has to pay $0 down and has a $70 a month bill. That comes to $1680 in two years. Someone who chooses Easy Pay has to pay $0 down and $77 a month, which comes to $1848 over two years. Some who signs a 2-year contract has $199 in upfront costs, plus a $85 monthly payment. That equals $2239 over the course of two years.
The catch continues with people who buy the phone outright. They pay the $649 retail cost, plus the plan price. Unlimited Plans aren't available for these customers, so many go with the 4G Family Share Plan at $65 a month. That comes out to $2209 over a two year span.
It is important to note that unless customers pay the Purchase Option Price, they have to give the phone back so they cannot sell it. Some phone owners recoup some of the purchase or contract prices by selling their devices when they own them outright. People need to consider that before entering into an agreement.
Protecting the Device
Because the device still belongs to Sprint, people must keep it in good working condition or they have to pay for it. Many consumers choose to protect their devices through Sprint. Consumers who have Total Equipment Protection can head to a Sprint store for minor repairs, as well as electrical or mechanical failure issues. They can also make an online claim if the device is lost or stolen. The standard Total Equipment Protection plan ranges from $9 to $11 a month, while the Total Equipment Protection Plus plan is $13 a month. It includes additional features, such as a built in antivirus protection and online device tutorials.
Those who use Sprint Lease for a tablet need to get the Advanced Protection Pack. With the Advanced Protection Pack, consumers file an online claim, regardless of the issue. The Advanced Protection Pack costs $13 a month. Consumers who want to lease a device can do so at Sprint retail locations, Apple Stores, and Best Buy locations. They can also set up a lease agreement on Sprint's website. Once the agreement is in place, consumers can keep that device until they are ready for an upgrade.
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