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Everything There is to Know About Verizon’s Device Payment Plan (Updated)

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Last week, we broke news on a new device payment plan that Verizon was planning to introduce on April 21. Since today is April 22, naturally that new plan is now live, so we figured a recap of the dirty details was in store. With upgrade cycles moving to 24 months yesterday, and 1-year contracts long gone, many of you will be looking to other options for upgrades, this being one of them. 

So here is the deal – qualified Verizon customers will have the opportunity to purchase phones or tablets at full retail price (greater than $349.99), but spread the cost of that device out over a 12-month period. The term “qualified” in this case means that a Verizon store rep has looked in their system and magically determined that you are eligible to participate in the program. Verizon has not released details beyond that, hence the “magical” reference.

Payments for the device are broken down into 12 installments, along with a $2 per installment finance charge. When you make your first payment, you also have to pay the finance charge. From there forward, your payments and finance charges will appear on your monthly Verizon bill.

You can pay off the remaining balance of your smartphone or tablet at any time. There is a maximum of two open installment plans per customer at a combined balance of $1000.

The device payment plan does not impact your current contract.

Update:  Verizon has confirmed to us that customers can use the Device Payment Plan as a way to upgrade phones while keeping unlimited data.

Here is the bulleted list of details:

  • Full retail priced smartphone or tablet price must be a minimum of $349.99.
  • Pay for the full retail priced smartphone or tablet in 12 payments.
  • Finance charge of $24, which is just $2 per installment.
  • Device Payment Plan customers can take advantage of Share Everything pricing and data sharing.
  • First payment, including $2 finance charge, due at time of purchase. Your next payment will appear on your next Verizon Wireless bill.1
  • Feel free to pay off the full balance of your new full retail priced smartphone or tablet anytime you want.
  • Maximum of two open Installment Plans per customer, subject to credit approval.
  • $1000 combined Installment Plan balance limit per customer.

Does this plan interest anyone? If anything, it’s a way to continue on with your unlimited data and then upgrade to a new phone without having to fork out the full retail price up front. Sure, the finance charge isn’t fun, but this is essentially like financing a phone after all.

Via:  Verizon

Cheers Jigga_Z!

  • Jules

    I will just buy a phone from places like Amazon Ebay etc. Do away with unlimited and expect me to pay them full retail ha!

  • Jules

    I will just buy a phone from places like Amazon Ebay etc. Do away with unlimited and expect me to pay them full retail ha!

  • bbrutcher

    Verizon can piss up a rope for all I care on this one! they runan actual credit check and if you don’t have an a1 credit score they reject you!! uhmmmm…hello dumbasses I pay my bill on time every month for 13 years and you ARE NOT putting an inquiry on my credit report for a stinking phone! just got off the phone with them and this is what I was told!

  • Kyle Daniels

    Think about this, it is $30 for a subsidiary phone upgrade charge, or with the device payment plan it is $24 for the upgrade.

  • Alix8821

    Can you “put down” money at the beginning? Like with cars. To help cut down monthly payments… Doubt it. But that’d help. Save up, put down 100-200,pay the rest off. Keep unlimited data

  • Doesn’t apply if you are on the “OneBill” program.

  • Soo… my contract doesn’t end untill next year ……… can I use this walk into the VZW store and grab a new phone w/ this new plan?

  • youdoneyo69

    So a friend of mine went to VZW to get the Note 2 using this program and they looked up to see if he qualified and he did. So he picks out the color and cover and blah blah blah then she does everything in the computer and he signs approving everything and….then the computer tells her he isn’t approved The worst part is that even they don’t know why or how you get disapproved.

  • Verizon told me that if I am eligible for an upgrade, I cannot do the payment plan. Hence, Now that I have upgrades available, I cannot do an upgrade or this program without losing unlimited data..:(

  • Simon Belmont

    Well, this sucks. Verizon double dipping.

    You get to pay full price monthly + $2 for 12 months AND your bill never reflects a discount after that phone is paid off. The cost of subsidizing continues to be built into your plan despite you paying for the phone outright. In essence, you’re paying double for a subsidized phone that isn’t even subsidized. Your only benefit is keeping your grandfathered unlimited data plan.

  • Note: this is in store only. Online and over phone can’t do it.

  • Hothfox

    Since the contract vs. no contract monthly plan payments will not change, I’d rather just go buy a phone from somewhere else for less and activate it on my line, avoiding the financing charge. This change would only make sense if they lowered your monthly plan after you finish paying off the cost of the device.

    The whole point of their upgrade/subsidy pricing is to keep you in your contract for 2 years to keep paying that monthly bill so they can recoup the cost of that “discounted” phone you bought. Once you aren’t taking their upgrade pricing, you can leave whenever you want, so I would have figured they’d give you a discount on your plan after you pay the device off to try and encourage you to stay on their network. Then again, what are you going to do with your CDMA/LTE device once you’ve fulfilled your debt? You can’t take it to another network.

    So, they effectively have most of their customers by the proverbial balls. They have the largest coverage area, which is a big deal for people who live in the middle of nowhere or travel a lot. AT&T pricing isn’t much better, with their MVNOs only topping out at HSPA+, which is nothing to sneeze at, but no one seems to offer 2GB+ data plans anymore unless you want to pay $60+ a month prepaid, at which point you’re almost back to the cost of a “real” AT&T plan which would get you LTE if you’re in a coverage area.

    I ought to just get a pager and say F it.

  • Chris Clancy

    Yea i have about 3 other lines for family members who could care if their phones had facebook or made toast. I will just let their upgrade cycles roll over and use them for my upgrades. Kthxbai VZW!

  • So, do you still have to pay the $40 smartphone fee ($30 for non smartphones) that Verizon has currently been using, on top of the monthly payment for the phone and the service?

  • spoonman

    Isnt this the same program that they have been running on tablets for months and is no contract for the same monthly as a 2 year plan plus the cost of the device Broken Up Monthly and a lower finance charge than the upgrade fee

  • Justin Hunt

    Why would I want to pay more on top of the fee that is already subsidizing a phone?

  • donebrasko

    Once I pay the phone off will they unlock the bootloader and radios?

  • Screw Verizon. I’m just gonna switch to Sprint.

  • LostMeNuts2MeWife

    Interesting thing if you have been late in your monthly bill in the last 6 months. Surprise you don’t qualify!!!

  • Alix8821

    Unlimited Data >>>>> Over paying for phone

    At least in MY case. Charges for going over would be 3x as bad (for me). Fresh out of school, using 4+ GB a month… When you add my usage, the weird monthly access charges, & the potential of going over data limit…. I’m ok with this. OBV miss the “good old days” (or, the “better days”) But, wateva

  • master94

    All I need to know is this is just another way for VZW to screw me over everyday.

  • Azilla or Syraz

    Push my upgrade date out, 12 month payment plan instead of 24…really starting to piss me off..wonder who has next best coverage here in Portland, I do like how tmobile is set up and the phones I could get for family

  • I don’t see how anyone sees this as a good change from how its always been with a contract.


  • @sb_81st

    I think it’s a gang of original GNexus users about to shop for phones in late 3rd quarter. Vzw is strategically trying to prepare for them. I hope the Nexus 4 cdma rumors are true… if so I’ll still make that my first option… Else test out this…

  • I’m going to stick to buying directly from Google for a Nexus. Please let the CDMA/LTE rumors be true and permanent from now on!!!! With the loss of real subsidized phones, I’m likely to leave Verizon for a GSM based company anyways. Likely just move to TMobile.

  • for anyone that’s been around shopping cellular plans for quite some time, it’s pretty “common knowledge” that the cost of your subsidized device is baked into your 2 yr contract’s monthly bill. This isn’t an idea recently suggested by tmobile. The pricing schemes and termination fees of the past decade or two clearly suggests this. I dont get why suddenly so many ppl are in such denial that subsidized cost is baked into the monthly cost. Look into any argument about device ownership rights in the past few yrs especially in regards to hacking your phone and you’ll see the ‘subsidized-under-contract-pricing’ point being thrown around.

    With the ETF alone, it was clear indication cost of device was distributed across your monthly cost.

    the cost difference of the device, and sometimes even plans depending on length of contract was also a very clear indication that the cost of device was spread out over your monthyl plan cost.

    Then iphones came along, and then soon after ALL smartphones were required to have a data plan. (it was optional on smartphones prior to iphone popularity – for those of us that had smartphones that predated the iphone). The excuse was it helped subsidized the cost of affordable smartphones.

    As I have always understood it for at least the past decade, your monthly bill includes the subsidized savings.

  • jayrod71

    Can you do payments for phones bought on-contract?

  • w

    Why would someone want to keep unlimited data – unless you listen to music all day or download videos share everything actually is less expensive – we are telecom consultants and can prove it

    • Stew

      Someone might want to keep unlimited data because $30/month is a lot cheaper than the Share Everything plans + data overage charges

      • Alix8821


    • jacob

      go on…

  • Le_Patrick

    Ah, so Verizon is starting to get into the banking industry. I always thought they had the perfect mentality for it.

  • Destroythanet

    If it’s not subsidized, might it well buy it upfront like a TV, computer, or any other type of electronic. No point in paying installments, unless you’re that strapped for cash upfront (in which case, don’t buy a new phone lol).

  • Hothfox

    The lame thing is, even if you buy the phone at full-retail price, you don’t see any discount on your plan. It’s like you’re still paying to subsidize a phone you already own.

    • BigRedguy

      Incorrect. There was never a “subsidy
      payment” included in the cost of their monthly plans to begin with. This
      is a farcical assumption. The monthly price plans are set according to
      overhead VS profits. When a subsidy is added in to the mix, there needs to be
      an agreement in regards to the DURATION of service because it will take even
      longer for you to become profitable to the company (Contrary to popular belief,
      they are not looking to merely break even). When there is no subsidy, there is
      no need for a duration agreement. I don’t understand how people get this so
      mixed up and skewed.

      • You’re incorrect. The prices of plans automatically included the phone subsidy. Fact is, Verizon just made more money when you didn’t upgrade with a discounted phone. The reason they are switching to this is so they can now charge you MORE money and thus increase their profits. Why do you think this new idea will allow you to keep unlimited data?

        I don’t see why anyone wants this. It will only increase their Verizon bill. Unless they announce later that their plans are all going to be decreased in price like what TMo did when they introduced this option.

      • Hothfox

        You are right, there never was any actual difference in price if you took their upgrade device pricing and signed a contract. Really, with Verizon, the only benefit to not subsidizing your device is that you can leave whenever you want. It’s Verizon, so they never will, but you would think they would offer you a plan discount if you purchase your phone at full retail without a contract to encourage you to stay. That’s what I think I was trying to say originally.

  • I’m confused. The reason I switched to T-Mobile is that without the subsidies for the phone I want to use tmo’s plans are cheaper than verizon. So now that Verizon is introducing this “Payment Plan” model are they also lowering their phone contracts by like $25/mo?

    • It’s designed to be an alternative. Think of the situation where say you didn’t have insurance and you broke your phone 7 months into your contract. You don’t have the 600-700 for a new smartphone. Instead you can pay for it monthly for up to 12 months and pay it off whenever you like. This is the only situation I could see myself using this… Except I have insurance…

  • They started this with the Galaxy Camera. That’s what I did. Finance charge of $30 for doing so. Monthly access of $5 and no contract is awesome. Can pay off at any time.

    • ddh819

      does the GalCam sim work in a tablet?

  • matt

    so upon reading this article i took it upon myself to try it out at my local Verizon store. when i asked the representative about it he said it was only available to devices costing more then $350 ,but at upgraded price. i asked him to repeat himself and he again said “the only phone that qualifies for that payment plan would be the note 2 because the phone exceeds the $350 limit at discounted retail price. went to another store and the young lady told me it was only available to tablets.

    • ddh819

      every smartphone should be more than $350 at full retail right?

  • SpikedRed

    I’d just like to say, THANK YOU to Droid-Life for breaking down a lot of this information in advance of what Verizon is going to do in the future. You’ve helped me make important decisions (except for that $%^^&* Thunderbolt purchase I made) that have allowed me to
    continue doing business with Verizon knowing full well what my options are.

    So far, I’ve kept the unlimited option (without it, I would be paying a helluva lot more, including another line that is a relative) and have locked in with them until the end of next year, on at least one of the lines. With that, I can say that with the exception (it’s really hard to let go, when you’ve done the business that I’ve done) of the issues with the one organization that will now remain nameless, I have NEVER had a service issue with Verizon in over ten years, and I have been from San Fran to Seattle to Maine, to Miami, to Ontario Canada, all while traveling in a car.

    With that, I’ve used phones by Sprint, and have people close to me have contracts with other carriers that get nowhere near the amount of signal strength, internet speed, and coverage that I have with Verizon. People may bitch about the costs with them, but in the end, you do get what you pay for.

    I’ll be more than happy to pay Verizon for an early upgrade on a newer device with the payment plan. A finance charge of $24 is still less than 6% of a phone that costs $399.99 or less. MOST people can’t even finance a car for less than 10%, and this is a cost that SHOULD be expected to be paid, in case people can’t afford to pony up the dough for their phone, for whatever reason. Think about it, you have to pay for return costs, pay more people who have knowledge about the payment plan (above and beyond everything else that Verizon offers), and still be able somehow, to make monies off of the phone. Best Buy sure as hell isn’t going to charge you less for this phone at one of their stores, now are they? As a matter of fact, most times Best Buy and other retailers usually are $50 more than the MSRP of the phone! Subsidies or no, I still go over 20 GIG A MONTH on one line alone, and have NEVER been throttled, or given notice about anything to do with using that much data usage, on average.

  • I guess the financing is cheaper than your average credit card, but our Verizon bill is already 230 bucks….I can’t imagine adding another 50 to it. I guess its a step in the right direction.

  • jonathan caruso

    Does anyone know if you caan use employee discounts (the same ones that give you discounts on your monthly plan bills) on the purchase of full priced devices through verizon?

    • Spider210

      short and only answer is no.