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[Verizon] How To Upgrade and Keep Unlimited Data

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Cyber Warrior #1

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Posted Sep 28 '13 @ 1:32 PM



- 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.

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Ahowe125 #2

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Posted Sep 30 '13 @ 8:48 AM

Humm, I always wondered about this, but had no idea that I could "transfer" an upgrade. I have 5 lines on my account, and only 1 of them is not eligible for an upgrade because she got an iPhone 5 when it first came out.


So If I read this correctly, I should be able to just transfer that upgrade to her line, order the phone, and then activate it on my line.


But how does that work for the 2 year contract? Because I transferred my upgrade does my line then get locked back into the 2 year contract? Because hers is already on a 2 year 2GB contract.  

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Cyber Warrior #3

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Posted Sep 30 '13 @ 5:46 PM

No do not activate it on your line first or you will lose unlimited. You need to transfer the upgrade from your line to your wife's line. Activate the new subsidized phone on your wife's line first, which will remove the iPhone from her line and put the new phone in place. You're then going to de-activate the new phone on your wife's line and put back the iPhone. You can now take the new phone and swap devices on your own unlimited line.. It's usually just swapping SIM cards.

What's great is whatever line you transfer the upgrade from, is the line that gets the new two year contract. So if you're transferring your upgrade from the unlimited data line, it resets your upgrade date and you'll be eligible in 20 months for a new upgrade again and also extend your unlimited data for another two years. The line that the transfer goes to, in this case your wife's iPhone, goes untouched.

Also I'm not sure if Verizon still allows this, but I've heard you can actually take anyone's upgrade, even if they're not on your plan.. It can be a complete stranger for example. If they're willing to give up their upgrade, you both would have to be present at a Verizon store and they can take the other persons upgrade and transfer it to your account. They 'must' be in the store with you though.
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Lee Bo #4

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Posted Oct 1 '13 @ 7:18 AM

My son had a dumbphone and wanted a smartphone.  I had the Bionic and wanted to upgrade but couldn't since I have the grandfathered unlimited plan without paying full retail for the new phone.  So I upgraded my sons line to a data line with the Note II, then switched the Note II to my line and the Bionic to his line.  I kept my unlimited and my son has a 2G plan (that I have set to turn off at 2G limit so I won't get charged an additional fee).  Since he uses wireless primarily anyway, it's not really a big deal.  Funny thing is, it was the VZW employee that told me I could do that.  Sometimes I think that being a long time VZW customer does have it's privileges....................sometimes.


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