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Verizon offers $200 gift card to certain iPhone adopters

Customers who bought a phone between November 26 and January 10 but now want the iPhone are eligible for a $200 gift card, but they'll still have to pay the nonsubsidized price for an iPhone.

Verizon Wireless

Upset because you just bought a Verizon phone but now crave the new iPhone? The good news: Verizon will give you a $200 gift card if you swap your current phone for an iPhone. The bad news: You'll still need to pay the full retail price for the iPhone.

Nestled about halfway down on Verizon's iPhone FAQ is a reminder to customers still under contract that they can't upgrade to the iPhone at the promotional pricing, namely $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. That means subscribers who don't want to wait for their contracts to expire would have to pay the full retail price for a Verizon iPhone: $649 for the 16GB model and $749 for the 32GB model.

But customers who bought a new smartphone, feature phone, or certified pre-owned phone between November 26 and January 10 can soften the blow with a $200 Visa debit card from the carrier if they pick up an iPhone by February 28. The deal requires that subscribers return their current phone and is only available for accounts with five lines or fewer. Customers must also buy the iPhone through Verizon Wireless, either online or at a retail store.

OK, so what if you bought a phone before November 26 but your contract still has a ways to go? Verizon also offers a Wireless Trade-In Program that calculates the value of your "used" phone and will offer you a gift card based on its worth.

Verizon's iPhone will make its debut on February 10, though existing Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order one on February 3.

If you want to learn more about the Verizon iPhone and find out the pros and cons of buying one, check out CNET's FAQ and the latest Ask Maggie column by Maggie Reardon.