How to Buy a Cell Phone for an Existing Plan

by Louise Balle

When you already have a cell phone plan in good standing, it's fairly easy to buy a new cell phone to go with your service. Your cell phone company knows that without a handset, you aren't going to hold on to the service for much longer, so they will do everything they can to get you a phone that you like for your existing plan. When you have the service for a certain period of time, you may even be able to upgrade for free or at a discounted rate. Be sure to ask plenty of questions when you're ready to buy a new phone for your existing cellular plan.

Call your cell phone company and ask the representative if there are any special deals available for existing customers. The representative will be able to give you options that fit with your needs and order the phone on your behalf. You can also walk into a store owned by your current cellphone provider to pick out a new phone, buy it on the spot, renew your contract (if this is an upgrade) and activate it the same day.

Log in to your online cell phone account and select the option to shop for phones. You will be given a list of all of the phones that are available for your service plan along with pricing information. When you find a phone that you like, click the upgrade price (if any) to see if you are eligible at that time to renew your contract and get the phone at a discount. You will either have to pay for the new phone with a credit card or the equipment cost will be added to your next month's bill.

Browse for phones online at popular websites like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, or BestBuy.com. You can also visit CNet.com to look at reviews and get suggestions for places where you can buy a new phone for your plan. Check that the phone you like is compatible with your cellphone service---some phones have GSM technology (they use SIM cards) while others, like Verizon phones, work with CDMA technology (no SIM). Some third-party sellers also work with your cell phone provider to give you special discounts when you're eligible for an upgrade and agree to a new contract.

Buy a used cellphone from a website like Craigslist.org or eBay.com. As long as the phone is being sold by the original owner and compatible with your service, you should be able to reactivate it under your existing plan.

Warning

  • close If you have a Verizon phone, be extra cautious of used cell phone sellers. If the Verizon phone was reported as stolen you will never be able to reactivate the phone under your own name.

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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.