What should I say when talking about a payment plan I have with my mobile carrier? Should I call it Phone lease? or Phone leasing?

what is the difference between these two words if there's any?

2 Answers 2


Mobile phones have contracts associated with them.

The contracts are what tell you what "plan" you have.

Mobile phones are not leased; they are purchased and used. You own the phone.

You should say "My plan, according to my contract" or something like that.

Leases are for property (real estate) or large pieces of equipment.

  • Yes. If someone really was leasing a phone for some odd reason, I'd expect they would be expected to return it after some specified time period.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 21:25
  • Actually some providers like Sprint have started to offer lease options so that it's easier to upgrade. Sprint calls it a "lease", so it's reasonable to describe it that way. The rest of the providers fake leasing via various "upgrade" plans, that end up costing more or less the same, in which case, as you say, it's a "monthly payment plan".
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 21:30
  • @Andrew We'd have to know the carrier. Most people don't lease their phones. It's really a rental with some sort of balloon payment at the end. Verizon had a thing like that and they didn't call it a lease. I have only ever heard of leasing real property and heavy equipment. They're trying to shift the lingo to confuse people...
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 0:38

"Phone lease" is a noun and refers to the agreement you have entered into with your carrier. "Phone leasing" is the act or process of leasing a phone – it is an action. If you're talking about the plan itself, use phone lease. E.g., I just entered into into a phone lease agreement with Verizon. If you're talking about what you're doing with your phone carrier, say "phone leasing." Actually, you should probably drop the "phone" part. Example: "I am leasing a phone from Verizon." I say drop the "phone" part because as of yet, I don't think "to phone lease" is a recognized verb in English.

  • Well, I see you have Verizon, too. So expensive. However, I would avoid saying lease at all costs. How many mobile phones have you ever known to be leased? I have a contract with them, not a lease.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 19:37
  • Hi Lambie. Actually, I have a TracFone. I just used Verizon as an example. Your point is well taken though. Thanks for your attention to detail.
    – Don B.
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 19:39
  • 1
    You and I both know, you don't have a lease. Go dig your contract out of the box, drawer or rabbit hutch, you will see :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 19:41

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