How to Switch to Verizon
Step by Step Guide

How to Switch to Verizon

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It's a familiar story: you start out with a great deal from your mobile service provider, yet over time your bill creeps higher and higher. Or maybe your wireless carrier's plans no longer meet your needs. We've all been there. Maybe it's time for a change.

If you're thinking about switching to Verizon Wireless for your cellular service, there are some things you'll need to know. According to many industry measurements, Verizon offers the best mobile network available. Whether you're looking for some fantastic senior cell phone plans or you're on the prowl for a cheap iPhone plan, now is a great time to switch to Verizon.

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Are you ready to learn how to switch to Verizon Wireless? In this guide, I'll tell you about current deals this wireless carrier is offering, as well as whether you can bring your own device with you. I'll also answer some basic questions you should be asking before you make the change.

Promotion to Switch to Verizon

Verizon's cell phone plans offer promotions which make it a little easier and cheaper to change service providers. Just make sure you read the fine print in order to know exactly how to qualify for these deals. You may claim any of these promotions for each phone number you switch to Verizon, up to 10 lines. You can choose from a limited amount of high-speed data, or the Verizon unlimited plan, which includes unlimited talk, text, and data.

Contract Buyout

Verizon offers a contract reimbursement program similar to most of the other major cell phone companies, with a couple of notable differences.

  1. You must participate in the Verizon trade-in program and purchase a Verizon phone.
  2. You must port your old phone number.
  3. You must pay off any contract amount owed to your old carrier.
  4. You must submit your final bill to Verizon.
  5. Your new line must remain active for six months.

Once you've met all requirements and made your claim, you will receive up to $350 in ETF (early termination fee) reimbursement in the form of a prepaid Visa card.

If you are no longer under contract with your current carrier and you don't owe any device payments, you may still be eligible for a Verizon switch promotion.

Device Payment Reimbursement

Verizon will pay you up to $650 to help cover any remaining device installment plan payments you owe to your old carrier. You need to follow the same steps as above, in addition to turning in your old device through the Verizon trade-in program and ordering a new Verizon phone. Your device must have a trade-in value higher than $0. You will receive a prepaid Visa card in the amount you owed your old carrier for your device, minus the trade-in value of your phone.

You will receive a prepaid Visa card in the amount you owed your old carrier for your device, minus the trade-in value of your phone.

$100 Credit for Switching

If you are no longer under contract with your current carrier and you don't owe any device payments, you may still be eligible for a Verizon switch promotion. The carrier offers $100 prepaid Visa card for each line that you switch over. You must port your existing phone number in order to qualify.

How to Switch to Verizon

Switching from T-Mobile to Verizon

You can switch to Verizon from T-Mobile either by purchasing a new device and having Verizon transfer your phone number, or you may be able to bring your old device over. Some global phones, LTE devices, and newer iPhone models are compatible with the Verizon LTE network. The carrier is fairly restrictive about devices they allow on their network, however, so be sure to check with them about compatibility.

Pro Tip: Conversely, if you switch to T-Mobile from Verizon, you may also be able to bring your device.

Read More: Interested in the available cell phone plans T-Mobile has? You can read more about T-Mobile's plans here.

How to Switch to Verizon from T-Mobile

  1. Pick a new device or check compatibility for your current phone. Getting the early termination fee and device payment deals for switching to Verizon requires purchasing a device from the carrier on their installment plan. If you'd rather forego these incentives, you may be able to bring your phone over from the T-Mobile network.
  2. Choose a data plan. You'll need to shop for a plan that fits your budget and usage requirements. The good news: there is now a Verizon unlimited plan, which comes with unlimited data and of course unlimited talk and text.
  3. Request a number transfer. Verizon will transfer your phone number to your new account, as long as it's eligible for transfer. You can submit a request through their website. If you're buying a phone from this carrier you will be able to enter the relevant information during checkout.

If you're bringing your device with you, you will also need to submit a request to T-Mobile so that they can unlock your phone for use on another carrier. Do not cancel your old account until your new Verizon phone is activated, as this will result in losing your current phone number.

Switching from Sprint to Verizon

To make the switch to Verizon from Sprint, simply follow the steps outlined above.

As far as bringing your own Sprint phone to Verizon, you may or may not be able to do so. Even though Sprint operates on the CDMA network, Verizon may not accept all Sprint phones for use with their service. If you do have a compatible CDMA phone, you will have to ask Sprint to unlock it for use on other carriers.

Read More: If you need to know more about Sprint's cell phone plans, we've got you covered.

Switching from AT&T to Verizon

AT&T's cell phone plans operate on GSM rather than CDMA. This means that it may be difficult to bring your own device from AT&T to Verizon, because it may not be compatible. Some GSM phones designed for the LTE network may work, however, you'll get the most reliable service with a CDMA phone.

If you're looking to take the carrier up on their ETF or device repayment incentive, however, the switch to Verizon from AT&T is as simple as choosing a device and data plan.

How to Switch from AT&T to Verizon

The steps for switching to Verizon are similar among all carriers. If you're keeping your own device, you may need to perform additional steps, such as activating your Verizon SIM card.

  • Choose your device and data plan.
  • Follow the instructions at checkout for transferring your phone number.
  • Wait until your new service is activated before canceling your old account.

AT&T phones are carrier locked. You can submit a request for the carrier to unlock your phone for use on Verizon as long as you meet all of their criteria. Typically you cannot have any remaining contract or device balance, and the phone cannot be reported lost or stolen.

Pro Tip: You may be able to bring an Android device like the Samsung Galaxy to Verizon, however, if you want to use the newest Apple phone, you'll likely need to buy a Verizon iPhone 7. The latest GSM iPhones won't work well with a CDMA carrier.

questions to ask before switching to verizon

Other Carriers

If you aren't currently on one of the big four mobile networks, you're probably wondering how to switch to Verizon from a smaller carrier. You may not be able to take advantage of the Verizon special offers, however, you might still be able to bring your own phone. For instance: let's say you've got a Straight Talk phone. Straight Talk uses all four networks.

Here's the catch: only certain devices are designed to work on the CDMA network. You can either talk to Verizon customer service or check their website to see about compatibility.

Questions to Ask Before Switching to Verizon

Before you switch to Verizon, make sure you understand the answers to the following questions.

How Do You Activate a Verizon SIM Card?

If you've ordered a new device from Verizon it will arrive with activation instructions. If you're bringing your own device, you can order a 4G LTE SIM card from the website or by phone, or get one in a Verizon retail store. You can then activate the card online or by phone. For more information on SIM cards, you can direct yourself to our article on "What is a SIM Card?"

Can You Take Your Existing Phone to Verizon?

As I outlined earlier, you may be able to bring your phone if it meets Verizon's 4G LTE capability requirements. The AT&T and T-Mobile networks are GSM, while Verizon is CDMA. You can check with Verizon customer service about compatibility.

Will Verizon Buy Out My Contract?

While offers do change from time to time, at the time of this writing Verizon is offering up to $350 for ETF reimbursement and up to $650 for device payment reimbursement.

Can I Transfer My Phone Number to Verizon?

Yes. Verizon will allow you to bring your number - in fact, you are required to do so in order to qualify for their switch to Verizon promotion.

Does Verizon Have Coverage in My Area?

Verizon boasts LTE coverage to 98% of Americans. This means you are most likely covered by the carrier, however, you'll want to check the coverage map to make sure.

How Do You Port a Phone Number?

Verizon will take care of porting your current phone number into your new service. Do not cancel your old carrier account until the transfer is finished and your new device or SIM card activated, as you will lose your phone number.


There you have it: now you know what to do if you want to make the switch to Big Red. They're not the cheapest wireless carrier, however they are top rated in 4G LTE coverage and reliability. Bring your own device, or get a new Verizon iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and reap the benefits of their switch promotion. If, after reading this guide, you've decided against the change, don't forget to compare cell phone plans using our simple, innovative tool.

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