Verizon Wireless offers customers the ability to upgrade more frequently with Verizon Edge

By Paul OíReilly

Wireless customers who are looking for greater contract flexibility, and the ability to switch to the latest smartphones, got a boost yesterday with the unveiling of Verizon Edge, a brand new upgrade program from Verizon Wireless. Verizon Edge follows on the heels of similar programs introduced by T-Mobile and AT&T.

Under Verizon Edge, new customers and upgrade-eligible existing customers will be able to select a brand new phone of their choice and finance the cost of that device over a maximum period of 24 months. Within that two year timeframe, Verizon customers will have lots of flexibility in how they structure their payments. They can purchase their new smartphone outright or spread out the payments interest-free. The low upfront cost option is just one of the advantages that Verizon Edge has over upgrade programs offered by other carriers.

After a minimum of 6 months, and assuming they have paid least 50 percent of the full retail cost of their phone, Verizon Edge customers can then trade-in that phone and upgrade again. Smartphones surrendered under this trade-in program will need to be in good condition, otherwise a trade-in penalty might apply. However, no activation, upgrade, or other fees are payable.

Hereís an example of how the program might work. Say you want the latest Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Verizon is currently offering the S4 for $650 without a two-year contract. You pay one month upfront and agree to spread the remaining cost over 24 months. (That's $27.08 per month plus tax).

Now, assume that after 12 months Samsung releases the Galaxy S5 and you want to upgrade. Having waited at least 6 months, and having paid off at least 50 percent of your existing phone, you are upgrade eligible. You trade-in the S4 and start a new payment plan for the S5. You donít have to pay off the rest of the cost of the S4 and there are no early-termination, activation or upgrade fees.

Keep in mind that existing Verizon customers will still have to wait until they are upgrade eligible under their current contracts before they can switch to Verizon Edge. Also keep in mind that Verizon Edge is a hardware financing program. You will still have to choose a Verizon service plan for talk, text and data. However, under Verizon Edge you are paying for your service month-to-month and have complete flexibility to change your plan at any time. You can even leave Verizon and switch to another carrier, although you would still be responsible for any remaining payments under the Verizon Edge plan.

Even with Verizon Edge, itís likely that most smartphone users will continue to commit to two-year contracts to take advantage of the large phone subsidies that come with the two-year commitment. But if you want some financial flexibility, and you always want to have the latest and greatest devices, then Verizon Edge is well worth a look.

Verizon Edge will be available from August 25th, 2013. Sign up here to get the latest information.

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The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless.

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