- At least two lines on a family plan.
- At least one line WITHOUT unlimited data.
- At least one line eligible for an upgrade (does not matter if it is the unlimited data line).
1) Log in to MyVerizon and go to "Upgrade Device".
2) If the device that is eligible for an upgrade is an Unlimited Data line, select "Transfer Upgrade" and transfer the upgrade to your line WITHOUT Unlimited Data. (If that device is already not Unlimited Data, skip this, and go to #3)
3) For the line WITHOUT Unlimited Data, choose "Upgrade Device".
4) Go through the store prompts, choosing your phone, any accessories, etc.
5) Optionally, choose "Ship to Store" (if you want your phone right now, rather than in a day or two)
6) Activate the phone on the line WITHOUT Unlimited Data.
7) Go home, because a lot of Verizon employees seem to become *extremely* unhelpful after this step.
8) Log in to MyVerizon and select "Activate or Switch Device".
9) Choose the line that currently has your new phone (and no Unlimited Data)
10) Choose "Activate Device" and then "I am activating a device that I previously used with this account", and from the drop down menu, select the old phone that was previously on that line. Follow all of the transfer steps (for most phones, it is likely just "swap SIM cards").
11) Log in to MyVerizon and select "Activate or Switch Device".
12) Choose the line that DOES have Unlimited Data.
13) Choose "Activate Device" and then "I am activating a device that I previously used with this account", and from the drop down menu, select your brand new phone. Follow all of the transfer steps (for most phones, it is likely just "swap SIM cards").
14) Be happy that you now have a brand new phone, at a not-insanely-outrageous price, and still have Unlimited Data!
Credit: xda member Icehawk78
Additionally, you can do all of this in-store as well. I suggest going to a Verizon retailer and not the corporate store because they can be a bit more anal and not very helpful. While this isn't illegal in any way, Verizon will do anything in its power to make money and have you lose your unlimited data. They're also known for lying and telling you the swapping can not be done or could even try charging a fee for dropping the temp data when making the switch. You can also call 611 from your Verizon phone if you need help, I've never had any issues with call reps helping me resolve a problem that may occur.
If you decide to do this by going to a Verizon store, which is what I ended up doing, here's what you do:
In this example I'll be using the two lines on your account.. a GS3 and a dumbphone. As well as the new upgrade phone.. a GS4.
Walk in and tell the sales associate that you want to upgrade to a newer phone (GS4) but you want to make sure you don't lose your unlimited data. Tell them that you would like to upgrade a different line on your plan that doesn't have unlimited data (dumbphone)... if the other line doesn't already have a data plan, tell them to add the cheapest plan (2GB)... don't worry it will get dropped once the switch is over and will not cost you a thing.. some Verizon stores may charge a small $15 fee to drop the data but if the guy is cool, he won't charge anything. Make sure you DO NOT upgrade your own line with the unlimited data (GS3). If the upgrade is available on your line, tell them to transfer the upgrade to the line that doesn't have unlimited first. Once the new phone (GS4) gets added/activated, they're going to de-activate it from the line and put back the old phone that was previously there (dumbphone).. you're doing a quick switch-a-roo. Once again, if you temporarily had to add a data plan to that line, it will be removed during the de-activation at no cost.
You are now back to where you left off.. you should have your current phone still with its unlimited data (GS3) and the other line that you were using to make the swap should now be back to normal with whatever smart/dumb phone that was originally there (dumbphone)... and you are left with a brand new phone and free to do whatever you wish with it (GS4). At this point you can now take the new phone and activate it on your unlimited data line... usually just by swapping SIMs. And thats all there is to it, its completely legit.. all it is is a workaround. If something goes wrong don't be afraid to go to the store or call Verizon support and explain exactly it is that you are doing... they may not like it but there's nothing they can do about it. In my experience, the stores and call reps have always been very helpful.. just be honest.