How to Get an Early Cell Phone Upgrade

By Erika Duncan Bryant

Cell phones have become increasingly popular due to cheap cell phones and rate plans. Advancements in cell phones are never ending, making the commitment to a particular cell phone hard after a few months. Cell phones now have the ability to browse the Internet, stream video, download music and more. When it comes time to purchase a new phone, check to see if you are eligible for an upgrade. If you are not quite eligible, don't worry, there are still ways to get an early upgrade.

Step 1

Visit your local cellular retailer. You can find the nearest retailer by searching online via your cellular provider's website and using the store-locator. Or you may dial *611 on your cell phone to be connected to customer service and you can ask them to find the nearest retailer.

Step 2

Ask the customer service representative when you will be eligible for an upgrade. Usually the upgrade is available four months prior to the end of your contract, according to AT&T Wireless.

Step 3

Ask if there is an option to pay a small fee and receive the upgrade early. Most cellular companies will allow you to pay a fee, usually between $50 and $100, to receive an early upgrade. For example, there may be a Blackberry regularly priced for $200, but you may be able to pay the fee of $50 or $75 to get an early upgrade, making the cost of the Blackberry "free." Therefore, the total cost of the phone goes from $200 down to the price of an early upgrade, saving you a lot of money.

Tips & Warnings

  • T-Mobile is introducing two tiers of upgrade options in order to compete and follow the leaders such as Verizon and AT&T. According to BGR, if you have owned your phone for one to eleven months you will receive a "tier 1" discount as an early upgrade and if you have owned your phone between 12 to 21 months you will receive the "tier 2" discount.