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AT&T Next Plan

How does AT&T Next plan work?

What is AT&T Next?

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.

COMPARE NOW: Cheap AT&T Cell Phone Plans starting at $10

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!

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AT&T Next 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 Explained

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 Next Every Year Explained

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.).

AT&T Cell Phone Plans

AT&T features a variety of plans that are compatible with AT&T Next, ranging from Unlimited & More to Mobile Share Flex (also known as mobile share value plans).

AT&T Unlimited and More

  • Features unlimited talk, text, and data.Includes over 30 channels of live TV, playing 24/7
  • 480p DVD quality
  • No overage fees
  • Unlimited international texting to 120 countries
  • Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada
  • Free roaming in Mexico and Canada

AT&T Unlimited & More Premium

  • Includes everything from AT&T Unlimited & More
  • Choose one of seven entertainment perks - HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, VRV, Amazon Music, or Pandora Premium
  • 1080p HD quality, streaming at the fastest 4G LTE speed
  • 15GB personal hotspot

Mobile Share Flex

  • Ranges between 1GB and 20GB (though the 1GB data service may not make you eligible for the AT&T Next financing plan)
  • Features unlimited talk and text
  • No overage charges
  • Rollover data is included (expires after 1 billing cycle)
  • Stream Saver allows you to stream in DVD quality, essentially saving data

Best Value Option

So is AT&T Next better than your typical two-year contract? If you'd like to pay overtime, then yes, especially when you need that latest phone. After all, you can choose between 24 months or 30 months to completely pay off your phone (meaning you could be facing lower monthly payments than what the competing wireless provider charges), or you can simply upgrade to the next cell phone once you're eligible - or even whenever a certain percentage is paid off - meaning you don't even have to pay the phone completely off before you can upgrade.

But what about AT&T Next versus AT&T Next Every Year? Well, when it comes to the battle of financing plans, AT&T Next comes out on top over AT&T Next Every Year, simply due to the lack of interest offered. Over time, you can pay less, especially if you have a down payment handy.

Let's break down pricing. If you put down nothing as a down payment for a Samsung Galaxy S9, which sports a full retail price of $789.99 at the time of this writing:

  • Financed Price: $789.99
  • AT&T Next (30 months): $26.34/mo.
  • AT&T Next Every Year (24 months): $32.92/mo.

In other words, you would pay $26.34 per month compared to $32.92 per month, even if it means that you'll take longer to pay off your phone with AT&T Next compared to AT&T Next Every Year. At the end of the day, you're paying the same amount.

Furthermore, while a shiny new phone looks fantastic, you may be better off keeping your current phone until it is completely paid off. AT&T Next Every Year makes it all too tempting to upgrade to the next iteration of phones, which tend to be pricier each year.

COMPARE NOW: Cheap AT&T Cell Phone Plans starting at $10

Money Saving Alternative

Save More by Switching to an AT&T MVNO

While AT&T Next and AT&T Next Every Year are OK financing plans, you are, overall, better off to save your money and purchase 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 Red Pocket Mobile, ROK Mobile, Consumer Cellular, or Straight Talk.

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.

Let's do the Math!

So how exactly does it add up? We've already told you that AT&T Next is a better deal than AT&T Next Every Year but how do those plans add up next to the cost of buying a refurbished phone outright and switching to an MVNO? Check it out!

iPhone 8 with AT&T Next Plan

Refurbished iPhone 8 with AT&T MVNO

Phone Price Upfront$0$500
SIM Starter Kit$20$0
Total Upfront Cost$20$500
Monthly installment Price$23.00$0
Monthly Next Cost$26$0
Monthly AT&T Unlimited &More Price (one line)$70$0.00
Monthly ROK Mobile 10GB Data price on network$0$55.00
Total Monthly Cost$119.00$55.00
Total Cost for 2 years$2,856.00$1,320.00

Total Cost for 2 years + Upfront Cost

$2,876.00

$1,820.00

Buying a refurbished phone and switching to an MVNO on the same network you already pay for will save you over a thousand dollars over two years. Granted, the AT&T Next will give you the newest version of the iPhone with the upgrade program

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.

Rob Webber

Rob Webber

AT&T FAQs

How do I switch to AT&T?

Switching to AT&T is smart, quick and simple. You don't have to buy a new phone, since you can bring your device to AT&T. You can keep your old number. All you need to do is order a AT&T SIM card and once you have that, you can switch your phone service in as little as 2-3 minutes.

Does AT&T have network coverage in my area?

AT&T is powered by AT&T, meaning you get the same nationwide 4G LTE coverage as you would if you signed up to AT&T directly.

Can I keep my phone number when I switch to AT&T?

Yes! It's easy to port your existing phone number to AT&T during the activation process.

Can I bring my phone to AT&T?

Yes! Most unlocked smartphones that have a SIM card slot will work with AT&T. If your phone is locked to a carrier you will need to contact your existing carrier to get it unlocked.

Is my device compatible with AT&T?

You can check your devices compatibility on the AT&T website before you signup.

Is there a contract or credit check with AT&T?

No. AT&T works on a prepaid month-to-month basis, meaning there is no credit check or commitment so you can switch carriers as often as you like.

Does AT&T offer unlimited data plans?

Most people don't need unlimited data, the average person only used 2-5GB per month. Typically, it's better to choose a customized AT&T plan and only pay for the data you actually use.

Does AT&T offer family plans?

AT&T plans are already extremely low-cost, so they do not offer further discounts for families.

How does AT&T billing work?

AT&T plans are prepaid with no contract. This means that you pay for 30 days when your plan starts, not afterwards. AT&T allows AutoPay to ensure you automatically renew your plan every 30 days.

Can I share my AT&T plan across multiple devices?

Additional lines can be added for $20 per line on all of Reach’s shared data plans. Up to 4 lines can exist on an account.

Does AT&T allow tethering?

Yes, AT&T allows tethering but it may depend on the plan you select, so you will need to check on the AT&T website.

Does AT&T offer international calling?

Yes, AT&T includes calls to international countries, more information can be found on the AT&T website before you sign up.

Does AT&T have a refund policy?

AT&T offer a refund within 7 days if you are not satisfied with the service. Be sure to check the full details on the AT&T website.

Who should switch to AT&T?

AT&T are perfect for anyone that is looking to save money on their cell phone plan, without compromising on coverage. Whether you're a family, senior, student, cord cutter, business owner or just a savvy consumer, there's a customized plan suitable for everyone.

AT&T Network Specs

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Network:AT&T
Technology:GSM
3G Bands:850, 1900MHz
4G LTE Bands:1900, 1700/2100, 850, 700, 2300Mhz
Bring Your Phone:Yes
Keep Your Number:Yes
Contract:No - Postpaid
Credit Check:Yes

AT&T Company Info

Founded:1882
Headquarters:208 S. Akard St. Dallas, TX 75202
Employees:273,000
Customer Service:(800) 331-0500
Website:Go to Website
Wikipedia:Go to Wikipedia
Facebook:Go to Facebook
Twitter:Go to Twitter
The Best Prices on the Best NetworksAll low-cost carriers are powered by the major US networks
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