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Phones

Verizon now pays you to ditch your carrier (better late than never)

The wireless carrier will pay customers up to $650 to break a rival network's contract and sign on with it instead.

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Porting your phone number to a Verizon phone like this Droid Maxx 2 can get you up to $650 per line.

Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive


Verizon Wireless wants your business badly enough to pay for it. On Monday, the carrier said it will give new and returning customers up to $650 per line when switching over from another carrier.

The company is the last major US network to trot out a contract buyout offer, which typically pays for the remainder of your device if you haven't paid for your entire lease as well as early termination fees for any broken contracts, something that carriers are increasingly dropping in favor of no-contract rate plans.

In the mobile industry, churn, or bouncing from one provider to another, is common. By paying you to switch, carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile hope to bank revenue now and entice customers to stay.

The fine print

Here's what you need to know:

  • Verizon will buy out your contract when you transfer your wireless number from another carrier.
  • You must buy a new smartphone and trade in your previous phone as well. (Trade-in must be in good condition, and valued at more than $0.)
  • You must sign up for a new device payment activation.
  • Verizon will give you up to $650 on a prepaid card. In Verizon's words: "The installment plan balance less the device trade-in value (or up to a $350 prepaid card for early termination fees less the device trade-in value)."
  • You'll need to pay for the new line for at least six months.
  • Verizon will give you 2GB more data for XL and XXL plans if you switch through January 6.