Price difference between contract and none contracted plans are small. But none contracted plans are almost the best choice because of the on going carrier fights to entice customers, which is good for me and you!
The main take away is that if you sign-up with a company that don't offer "Contract plans" like T-Mobile for instance, you get a "GSM" phone that will work globally (meaning it will work almost anywhere) with an added "Wi-Fi calling" feature (Voice over iP). And this is important why you ask? In any case you have a crappy service or just want to switch carriers for whatever reason, YOU CAN JUMP SHIP TO A DIFFERENT COMPANY AND USE THE SAME PHONE (obviously after paying the remaining of what you owe on the phone). But-No-Contract obligations (i.e.: Termination Fees)! Also the WiFi calling feature (which is only available on T-Mobile phones...I think) allows you to make phone calls over WiFi when service is weak and that same feature will allow you to call back the states if you are outside of the country FOR FREE. Not to mention they do offer free data roaming abroad
(unlimited data in other countries = huge)
Also a carrier like T-Mobile offers rate plans with No-Overages, you can sign up for their simple $60 dollar plan for instances which comes with unlimited talk/text and more importantly 3GB...BUT it is technically unlimited. Once your surpass that 3GB, you get throttled in Speed (Meaning you drop from 4GLTE to 2GSpeed) = no overages, no surprise fee's (shout out to Verizon and AT&T ) . T-Mobile have Unlimited data for $80 (technically speaking, they can cap you at 20GB depending on your usage along with other users in the surrounding area). Also they do ROLL-OVER data, whatever data you haven't used carries over to the next month. Another important factor to some would be, Tethering. T-Mobile allows you to use your data as a hot spot.
Like others have said though, T-Mobile isn't anywhere close to having the coverage spectrum as Verizon...BUT they are aiming to take over. I doubt that will happen but it is trending that way. If Verizon offers the same plan as T-Mobile with the coverage reach they have, they will clearly take over everything.Edited by MvP07 - 8/16/15 at 1:47pm