Verizon officially launched its new Device Payment Plan today, an option more and more of its customers seem to be clamoring for, especially now that T-Mobile has allegedly "killed" its own smartphone contracts. In an ideal world, Verizon would respond in kind with interest-free, 2-year financing of any smartphone you want, contract-free on your existing plan, subject to credit approval. The reality is a little more complex, something I think most people kind of expected.
Here are the key takeaways for Verizon's new plan:
- You can finance any smartphone or tablet over $349.99 MSRP, up to $1000 total credit available for each customer (meaning account, not line), subject to credit approval.
- You can only finance up to two devices at any time, subject to credit approval and the $1000 combined limit.
- The financing period is 12 months, but you can pay off your balance early at any time.
- And no, there is no special service plan rate / discount for those who finance a phone.
- There is a $2 finance charge per month ($24 total if you go the full 12 months). It sounds like this is per device, as well.
- Your contract will not be extended by using the plan (the big benefit).
Unknown: You may need a Share Everything plan to be eligible, based on the language on Verizon's site. We're waiting on confirmation of this with Verizon.Update: You do not need a Share Everything plan to enroll in a Device Payment plan.
- Unknown: You may need to currently be in a contract (not going month-to-month) to be eligible. We're waiting on confirmation of this with Verizon as well.
So, yes, you can finance a smartphone on Verizon now, and upgrade your device early while on a contract. There are still a few unknowns to sort out here, though, such as whether you're truly able to go "contract-free" on Big Red now, and whether you'll have to give up your sweet, sweet unlimited data. We'll update this post when we learn more about those potential caveats specifically.