Originally posted on CNN Money:
Verizon’s new no-contract smartphone plans are a good deal no matter how you slice them, but there are ways to maximize the bang for your buck.
A quick recap for the uninitiated: Verizon (Tech30) has ended contracts for new customers and existing customers buying a new phone. There are literally just four plans to choose from: small (1 GB of data per month), medium (3 GB), large (6 GB) and extra-large (12 GB).,
The new plans have no down payments, activation fees or two-year contracts. You can either pay for the entire price of the phone up front, or you can pay the phone off every month over the course of two years.
Here are the ways to save the most amount of money with Verizon’s new plans:
Best scenario: The best way to save on Verizon’s new no-contract plans is to keep your existing phone and buy a big data package.
Let’s say your two-year contract on your Samsung Galaxy S4 is up, and you’ve been using 12 GB of data every month.
You’re currently paying Verizon $140 a month, and you’d keep paying $140, even if you decide to keep your phone. Under Verizon’s new plan, you’d pay just $100 a month if you decide to keep your phone — a $40-a-month savings.
The less data you use, the less you’ll save. If you’ve been using 6 GB a month in data, you could save $30 a month. Using 3 GB of data would save you $25 a month and using 1 GB would save you $20.
Already a no-contract customer: Verizon already had a no-contract plan formerly known as Edge, which let people save money by buying their phones up front or paying them off over the course of two years.
If you’re an Edge customer, you’ll likely want to switch to Verizon’s new plans too, since they are cheaper than Edge — just far less-dramatically so.
The new plans are $5 a month less expensive than the old Edge plans (except if you were using 3 GB a month, in which case the new plan is actually $10 a month less expensive). Still, cheaper is cheaper.