Verizon is completely revamping its payment plans, and now you can save some money. Say goodbye to two-year contracts and smartphone subsidies; if you're a new customer, there's a new tiered system that simplifies things and could save you. But if you do it wrong it might cost you extra.
The previous business model, for Verizon and other carriers, was to lock you into a two-year contract. That meant your cost for a new smartphone was low, because the balance of what the phone is really worth gets paid to the carrier over the course of two years.
Verizon's new system with no subsidies and no contracts mean you'll be buying your smartphone at the full cost upfront, but you paying slightly less per month for your calling, texts and data. There's also a financing option if you don't want to pay $500 or more for a new phone up front.
For existing Verizon customers: If you want to keep your two-year contract plan for the future, you can. However, the new plans basically come out to the same cost, so you aren't going to be saving much.
On the plus side, once you buy the phone, or pay it off through the financing, you own it free and clear. You don't need to feel pressured to spend a chunk of money or extra monthly fees to upgrade it.
You could even buy used Verizon phones online for a fraction of the original price and bring them to your plan. No need to spend a bundle on a new one.