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What is the Sprint Flex Lease program?


Jul 31, 2020 — 5 min read

Find out how it works and learn what you need to know about this pay plan to determine if it could benefit you.

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Keeping up with the latest and greatest technology can be challenging. There are always flashy new models and system updates that can completely change the way your gadget works. On top of that, figuring out how to afford these new electronics can be a hurdle in itself.

Phones are no exception. We rely heavily on these devices for our personal and professional lives. As much as we use them to stay connected, it makes sense to want the best options available. Plans like Sprint Flex Lease can make it easier to affordably keep up with new cellphone technology without breaking the bank.

Let’s dig into what Sprint Flex Lease is, how it works and whether it’s the right phone plan for you.

What is Sprint Flex Lease?

Sprint Flex Lease is an option offered by the wireless provider to help you afford your new device. When you choose one of their lease plans, Sprint owns your phone. As part of this flex lease option, you’ll enter into an 18-month lease with low out-of-pocket costs and set monthly payments. Sprint Flex Lease also offers annual upgrades you can make after at least one year has passed on your lease.

When choosing whether to go with a Sprint Flex Lease, it’s also important to pay attention to the fine print, particularly if your credit score isn’t great. If you have a low credit rating and decide to lease a phone, an extra fee, known as “rent charges,” may be written into the lease and applied to the monthly payments.

What to do when your lease is up

You might be asking, “What happens when I pay off my Sprint lease?” You can return your phone, but there are also several other options available to you. 

  • If you decide you like the Sprint Flex Lease, you can continue it, but on a month-to-month basis. If you choose this option, you are not locked into another 18-month agreement should you choose to go with a different type of plan. In this case, the phone is still owned by Sprint.
  • If you decide you like the leasing option but want to get a new phone, you can get an upgrade and continue to lease your phone through Sprint. To do this, you must return your former device to Sprint. Remember, it must be in good condition.
  • You can also opt to own your phone either before the Sprint lease is up or at the end of the term. To do this, you’ll have to pay the “purchase option price” — the remaining balance on your phone — either in a sweeping one-time payment or (if that’s not financially viable) a nine-month payment plan.

Keep in mind, though, that whether you’re returning your phone or upgrading it for a new one, you must give back your original device in good condition. This means your phone must have no physical damage, still be able to power on and stay on, have all activation locks disabled and no engravings or items attached. If this is not the case, you may be charged a damage fee. To return your phone, you’ll have to contact Sprint for a return kit.

Canceling your Sprint Flex Lease

You can cancel your lease if you decide to part ways with your Sprint Flex plan before the term is up. However, this will come at a cost: You’ll have to pay the remaining balance left on your lease. You’ll also need to return the phone to Sprint (be sure to contact them and get a return kit).

Is the Sprint Flex Lease worth it?

Whether or not you can save money by leasing a phone will vary based on your situation. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Generally, however, there are a few things to take into account if you’re considering the Sprint Flex program.

If you don’t mind not owning your phone, feel confident in your ability to keep your device in tip-top shape and want annual upgrades, leasing a phone might be the best option for you. In the short term, you’ll save money because you won’t be spending extra money every year paying for that new, shiny device.

However, leasing a phone has its downsides too. Once you finish out the terms of your Sprint Flex Lease, you still don’t own the phone — unless you decide to pay the additional purchase option price. This will prevent you from selling your phone or trading it in at Sprint.

Sprint Flex Lease chart

Compare the costs of leasing vs. purchasing

To decide if leasing would work for you, it helps to choose a particular phone you’re looking for and break down the costs. 

For example, if you’re eyeing a Samsung Galaxy S10 with 128GB of memory, the Sprint Flex Lease will cost you $33/mo. with $0 down. After 12 months you’ll have paid $396. Once the lease is up, it will have cost you, in total, $594. On the other hand, if you go with Sprint’s 24-month financing program, you’ll pay $31.25/mo. — $750 by the end of the term — and own the device at the end of the two years. 

Another example: An Apple iPhone 11 with 128GB on a Sprint Flex Lease will come down to $29.17/mo. with $50 down — $350 after 12 months and $525 at the end of the lease (not including the down payment). 

Meanwhile, financing that same iPhone for 24 months will have a monthly cost of $31.25 and $0 down. Bear in mind, these examples do not include potential rent charges.

The bottom line

So, when deciding on a new phone plan, ask yourself what your priorities are. Is getting an annual upgrade more important to you than owning your phone? If the answer is yes, you should consider the Sprint Flex Lease program. Just be sure to read the fine print and make sure you’re comfortable with the terms of your contract because canceling a lease comes at a stiff cost.

By Amanda Push