Technology


Wireless Carriers Eliminating Discounts on New Phones

If you renew a contract with AT&T or Verizon Wireless, choose a cell phone you can live with for a long time. Both carriers are scrapping the option to buy a new phone at a discount after 20 months. The new rules, which affect Verizon customers whose contracts expire in January 2014 or later and AT&T customers whose contracts expire in March 2014 or later, require you to wait two years to get a phone at a subsidized price.

SEE ALSO: Cut the Cost of an iPhone in Half

If your phone bites the dust (or falls in the water) early, you needn’t pay full freight for a new one. Both carriers allow a member of a shared account who is eligible for an upgrade to transfer it to a fellow account member. Or you could reactivate a device you’ve used in the past or buy a used or refurbished phone on a site such as Amazon or eBay.

Don’t overlook manufacturer warranties, which often cover malfunctions for the first year. If you bought the phone with a credit card that provides an extended warranty, you may get an additional year of coverage. A warranty won’t cover damage that you cause. But if you use a card with purchase protection and damage the phone within three months of buying it, you might get a reimbursement, refund or replacement. Insurance probably isn’t worth it; you’ll typically pay $5 to $7 a month per phone plus a deductible of about $100.

Editor's Picks From Kiplinger


You can get valuable updates from Kiplinger sent directly to your email. Simply enter your e-mail address and click "sign up".

More Sponsored Links


DISCUSS

Permission to post your comment is assumed when you submit it. The name you provide will be used to identify your post, and NOT your e-mail address. We reserve the right to excerpt or edit any posted comments for clarity, appropriateness, civility, and relevance to the topic.
View our full privacy policy


Advertisement
Get valuable updates from Kiplinger directly to your e-mail
Advertisement

Market Update

Advertisement

Featured Videos From Kiplinger