How Do Verizon Upgrades Work? (Your Full Guide)

When the latest Samsung or iPhone drops, it’s only natural to want the next best thing in smartphone technology. With some cell phone providers, upgrading your device can be a hassle. But with others, the company rewards you for swapping devices.

If you have a Verizon phone, you might consider upgrading your device, but you’re wondering: how do Verizon upgrades work? What steps are involved in upgrading? I’ve looked into it and here’s everything I discovered about the matter!

How Do Verizon Upgrades Work In 2023?

Verizon gives you the option to upgrade your device once every 24-months, although you become eligible for upgrades after 20-months of service as of 2023. If you’re willing to pay the full retail price for the new device, you can upgrade anytime you want. Also, you can choose to upgrade your device in-store or online.

Do you want to know more details about the process of a Verizon upgrade and how to figure out if you qualify? Read on to find all of the information you’ll need before you upgrade!

Does Verizon Still Do Upgrades?

Verizon is still doing upgrades, and you become eligible for an upgrade after your 24-month contract is up. However, you can upgrade at 20 months through the Early Upgrade Program.

Furthermore, Verizon gives you these four months early so that you can research and plan which phone you’d like to upgrade to if you’d like to upgrade at all.

Depending on your preference, Verizon allows you to upgrade your device either by going to the Verizon store or doing it all online.

How Do I Know If My Phone Is Eligible For An Upgrade With Verizon?

To know if you’re eligible for an upgrade, simply go to the Verizon Upgrade page. Then, type in the phone number of the device you’d like to upgrade to see if it’s eligible.

Additionally, you can log in to your My Verizon account if you’re the account owner, click “Upgrade my Device,” and you can see if the device is eligible.

Do I Have To Pay Off My Phone Before Upgrading With Verizon?

No, you don’t have to pay off your phone before upgrading with Verizon.

Instead, you can upgrade to a new device anytime you want, but you’d have to pay the full retail price for that particular device.

However, if you wait until your contract is up, you won’t have to pay for the price of the phone and only will be charged the upgrade fee, which is significantly smaller.

Additionally, you can upgrade to a device that you’ve purchased outside of Verizon if that’s the way you want to upgrade instead.

What Is The Verizon Upgrade Fee?

Verizon charges a fee of $35 to upgrade your device regardless of what device you own or will upgrade to. But, Verizon will refund this fee if you return the phone within 30 days.

Why Does Verizon Charge An Upgrade Fee?

Why Does Verizon Charge An Upgrade Fee?

Verizon charges an upgrade fee because you’re changing to a different device on the Verizon network.

Furthermore, the upgrade fee pays for the services, support, and tools that Verizon will offer you as a customer, including:

  • Ability to use Ship-to-Store services
  • Online order two-day shipping
  • Troubleshooting Verizon SIM cards
  • Personalized tech support for 30 days (extended to 60 days for online purchases)
  • Smart Setup service which will assist you when it comes to transferring information, setting up your new device, backing up your phone information, and more

Do I Have To Trade-In My Phone To Upgrade With Verizon?

No, you don’t need to trade in your phone to upgrade on Verizon. In fact, some people choose to keep their old phone just in case something happens to their new phone.

However, you can trade-in your old phone to get a Verizon Wireless gift card, which will be the phone’s value after Verizon appraises it.

Also, visiting the Verizon Device Trade-In Program page allows you to see what your phone is worth and if you’d like to trade it in, follow the instructions on the page to complete the process.

Additionally, you can use the Verizon gift card for any services or products at Verizon, like purchasing accessories or paying your phone bill.

Can You Upgrade Non-Smartphone Verizon Devices?

Verizon allows you to upgrade all of your devices as long as they’re eligible, including smartwatches, tablets, and more.

However, if you’re going on a payment plan for the newly-upgraded device, you’ll only be allowed to upgrade for the same type of product, such as upgrading a tablet to a new tablet.

Still, you can upgrade to any device you want, say, from a tablet to a smartwatch, if you pay in full at the time of the upgrade.

To know more, you can also see our posts on how do Verizon hotspots work, if Verizon works in Puerto Rico, and if Verizon is CDMA or GSM.


Verizon allows you to upgrade your devices every 24-months, although you can become eligible after 20-months, and you only have to pay the $35 upgrade fee.

Additionally, you’re able to upgrade anytime you want with Verizon as long as you pay the full retail price for the upgraded device at the time of the upgrade.

Finally, Verizon offers a trade-in program where you can get a Verizon Wireless gift card if you trade in your old device, although you can choose to keep your old device.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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