Verizon moves all installment plans to three years, dropping 24 and 30-month options

Verizon moves all installment plans to three years, dropping 24 and 30-month options

Not too long ago, carriers in the United States tied device purchases to service contracts, locking many people into using a phone or a network they might not have wanted to use. Devices and cell service were eventually decoupled, but carriers kept the extended installment plans for phones and other products. Verizon is now stepping that up.

Droid Life pointed out (via Android Authority) that Verizon has quietly discontinued its 24-month and 30-month contract options for paying off devices, leaving only the longest 36-month option left. That means if you want to buy a phone, tablet, mobile hotspot, or most other electronics from Verizon, your only choices are to pay the cost upfront or do it over the course of three years. You also still have the option to pay off the remaining balance on an installation plan.

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Verizon product page for Galaxy S21 FE, showing $19.44/mo over 36 months and full retail price as the only options

Verizon product page for the Galaxy S21 FE

This change comes after AT&T made the same switch last year, but T-Mobile still seems to sell most of their phones on 24-month plans. If you want to buy a phone from a major carrier and pay it off in less than three years, and financing through a third party isn’t an option, T-Mobile appears to be the only game left in town.

Verizon’s official FAQ says, “Your specific terms and payment amounts are shown in your first bill and your device payment installment agreement. If you had a 24-month or 30-month device payment agreement before 2/3/22, your terms will stay the same.”

Verizon just rolled out its C-Band 5G network in January, at the same time as AT&T deployed its C-Band 5G, giving both carriers an answer to T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G. However, the rollout didn’t go off without a hitch, as concerns about plane equipment interference led to a brief disruption of international air travel.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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