What is AT&T Next Up?

AT&T Next Up installment plan
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By
Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob Webber

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About Rob

Rob has 15+ years experience running price comparison & review websites that empower consumers to find the cheapest cell phone services, cell phone deals, home phone, and internet providers available. He has been published in Forbes, US News, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Inc.

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5G wireless networks, cell phone plans, cell phone deals, MVNOs, internet services, tablets, comparison shopping, money saving, reviewing telecom products & services

- Last updated on March 28th, 2023

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AT&T is offering an interesting financing program for AT&T customers who are unable to afford the latest and greatest phones.

These programs have been dubbed AT&T Next and AT&T Next Every Year, and they serve the purpose of spreading the retail price of your new phone across monthly payments.

AT&T Next allows you to upgrade to a new smartphone every two years with an eligible device trade-in. While the AT&T Next Every Year program allows you to upgrade to a new smartphone each year.

Is the AT&T Next plan good or bad? What exactly are the differences between the two? How are they better than your typical trade-in program?

Read on to find out!

What is AT&T Next Up?

AT&T Next Up Plans

Before opting into AT&T Next or AT&T Next Every Year, you must understand that you are required to sign an installment agreement and will face included monthly charges for your smartphone until the phone's retail price is paid off. You will not be able to cancel AT&T Next plan unless the phone is 100 percent yours.

AT&T Next Up

If you opt into AT&T Next's program, you'll be spreading your payments over 30 monthly installment payments, but you'll be able to upgrade to a new smartphone every two years - in other words, the typical amount of time other major carriers allow you to upgrade your device.

To be eligible for the trade-in:

  • You may need a down payment of either 30 percent or a range of $0 to $600, depending on a variety of factors

  • You'll need either a financed smartphone or a phone of the same make and model, that is both fully functional and in good physical condition, to make the trade

  • You are required to have, at the minimum, a $45/mo plan - after AutoPay and paperless billing discount

  • You can only upgrade once you've exceeded two years of phone ownership or have paid 80 percent of the device's cost

AT&T Installment Plan

AT&T Next Every Year is similar to AT&T Next, but with a few differences, with the first being that you're able to upgrade to a new smartphone every 12 months rather than every 24 months. Furthermore, you're able to pay off your smartphone in 24 monthly installments compared to 30 monthly installments.

As for eligibility requirements of this program:

  • You'll need an eligible service plan that will cost - at a minimum - $45/mo with AutoPay and paperless billing discounts.

  • You can upgrade when you've had your phone for a year or if you've paid 50 percent of the device's cost.

  • You may need a down payment of 30 percent or a range of $0 to $600, depending on a variety of factors including credit score, etc.

  • You'll need a phone that is either currently financed or a phone of the same make and model as the financed phone, and it must be in fully functional and in good physical condition (no scratches, cracks, etc.).


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Switch to a cheap AT&T plan

While AT&T Next and AT&T Next Every Year are OK financing plans, you are, overall, better off saving your money and purchasing a refurbished phone. Plenty of phones are available in the used phone industry, and many of them are none too different from the current generation of phones.

To save even more money, you should consider switching to an AT&T MVNO, such as Boost Mobile, Good2Go Mobile, and Red Pocket Mobile.

An MVNO leases coverage from the major wireless carriers, and they don't have to worry about overhead fees or marketing costs, so they'll reflect those savings in their plan prices.

Combined with a used phone, you could save hundreds - potentially thousands - of dollars yearly on your cell phone bill.


Best AT&T phone deals

Device

Price

Apple iPhone SE

$14/mo

Apple iPhone 13 mini

$22/mo

Apple iPhone 13

$26/mo

Apple iPhone 14

$30/mo

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro

$33/mo

Apple iPhone 14 Plus

$35/mo

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

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Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

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AT&T Next FAQs

What is AT&T Next?

AT&T Next is a device finance plan to spread the cost of a phone over monthly payment plans. It also gives you the option to upgrade your phone every two years with a trade in deal.

How does AT&T Next work?

With AT&T Next you'll be signed up for a contract and you won't be able to cancel AT&T Next until your phone has been paid off. The payment is spread across 30 monthly installments and you'll be eligible for an upgrade once you have paid at least 80% of the phone off or after two years. You also have to sign up to one of their plans to qualify for the Next plan.


Recap

AT&T Next and AT&T Next Every Year are two of AT&T's phone financing plans. While they are good options for financing the latest phones - as they each allow you to either pay off your phone over the time periods of 30 months and 24 months or upgrade to a new phone every two years or every year.

Respectively - you're better off saving hundreds of dollars by purchasing a refurbished phone and switching to an AT&T MVNO.