How To Keep Unlimited Data On Verizon

Some terms

  • Alternate Upgrade - Using an upgrade available on Line A to replace a phone on Line B. Line A loses it's upgrade and Line B gets a new phone.
  • Verizon Max 6GB - Only available to current Unlimited Data customers. Converts your Unlimited Data plan to a 6GB/mo Data Plan for $30/mo.
  • Ineligible Device Offer - Something only a support rep can tell you. Apparently if you have a phone on your account which you can no longer buy, they give you a hidden discount off a new phone bought at retail price. This is used for the people who break their phone before their upgrade is available. In our case, could buy a $600 phone for $400.


Verizon Approved:

  • Buy a device at full price (~$600) and activate it on your unlimited line
  • Use your upgrade and downgrade to a normal 2GB (or whatever) shared plan
  • Use your upgrade and downgrade to the special unlimited-customer-only 6GB plan (Verizon Max 6GB)

What doesn't work:

  • Using an upgrade from another line to your line (this will downgrade you from unlimited). This is known as an “Alternate Upgrade” and this loophole for keeping Unlimited data was closed late June 2012.

What might work:

  • Using an upgrade from another line on that line and then after you leave the store, swap the SIMs or use MyVerizonWireless. A Verizon Rep told me they don't track what happens to your phone, just don't tell them you're planning on swapping the phone to another line because they may give you a hard time.

What works now:

  • Have an unlimited plan with an upgrade, apply the upgrade to another line with an existing phone, then when you leave, swap the new phone to your line and re-active the original phone. (This is my method, see below)

My Method

My account as of yesterday morning:

  • 555-1234 = HTC DNA - My Line, Unlimited Plan, Has an upgrade available
  • 555-5678 = LG Cosmos 2 - Mom's Line, Normal Family Shared Plan, No Data, No Upgrade Available, had an “ineligible device offer” of $200.
  • 555-9000 = LG enV Touch - Uncle's Line, Normal Family Shared Plan, No Data, No Upgrade Available.

My account as of yesterday night:

  • 555-1234 = LG G2 - My Line, Unlimited Plan, No Upgrade Available
  • 555-5678 = LG Cosmos 2 - Mom's Line, Normal Family Shared Plan, No Data, No Upgrade Available, had an “ineligible device offer” of $200.
  • 555-9000 = LG enV Touch - Uncle's Line, Normal Family Shared Plan, No Data, No Upgrade Available.

You should be able to go into a Verizon Wireless store, tell them you want to do an alternate upgrade on a family member's device using your upgrade and that is all. I was able to use my upgrade on the 1234 Line to upgrade the phone on the 5678 Line without giving up my unlimited data plan. I walked out, then later swapped the new phone to my line, then re-activated the original LG Cosmos 2.

A few thing you'll need:

  • An unlimited plan with an upgrade (what most people's situations are)
  • Another phone on the account
  • A Verizon Wireless rep who is willing to help the customer.

Of the 8 reps I've dealt with, three have been more than helpful about telling me what is and wasn't allowed. One of the other ones was very upset about how I was “trying to buck the system” and lied to me about the Verizon 6GB Max plan, saying I would have to enroll in Edge (Pay full price for a phone, but make payments over the two years of your contract).


  • Just keep trying until you find a VZW Rep who is laid back and knowledgeable.
  • Gather as much information as you can. Call Verizon several times and flat out ask them how to keep unlimited. A lot of them will tell you “you can't” right off the bat, but if you keep asking about different scenarios you can work your way through Verizon's loopholes into keeping it.
  • Keep checking every step of the way and make sure your unlimited account does not get destroyed. In my case, I took a chance, you will have to using this method.

The Story

After being frustrated at some Verizon Wireless people flat out lying about what you can and can't do, my data usage etc, I started cold calling the Verizon Phone support reps and talked to someone useful. They told me that there is no way to keep the Unlimited data on my account and use that upgrade. If you use the upgrade it will renew the plan, even if you transfer the upgrade to a different line. If you use an upgrade from a different line (which I didn't have anyway) on to your line, it would also force it to a 2GB/mo or 6GB/mo plan. I talked with the guy and found I had the “ineligible device offer” option on my Mom's phone that would give me $200 off full retail. That would mean I could get an LG G2 for $400 and keep my unlimited. That sounded like an option to me.

I walked into the Verizon Store and told the guy I needed to upgrade my Mom's phone. I wanted to upgrade her LG Cosmos 2 to a LG G2 and I don't want him to do anything that would affect my unlimited plan. He seemed like a nice guy and we were casually talking and I mentioned how I wish I could have used my upgrade on my Mom's line so I could save an extra $200 (paying $200 instead of $400). He mentioned the “Verizon 6GB Max” plan and I figured I don't really usually use 6GB and if I go over once in a while, I'll still be saving money.

At this point we're going to be using my upgrade on my Mom's line (since he thinks I getting this for my Mom), which will convert my Unlimited Plan to a 6GB, which I'm fine with. This is called using an “alternate upgrade”. While hes ringing me up he says “huh, it didn't tell me you were going to lose anything so it looks like you got to keep your unlimited.” I was surprised and after I talked to him some more it looks like their system only takes into account using a different line's upgrade on the unlimited line (getting a new phone on the unlimited line and therefore downgrading the unlimited plan). If you take your unlimited upgrade and apply it to a different line, you renew your unlimited plan. I assume some programmer or manager somewhere didn't take into account the possibility of someone using an unlimited upgrade on another line.

I left the store with my HTC DNA activated on my line and an LG G2 activated on my Mom's line. I gave it about a half hour then swapped the SIM from my DNA to my G2, then re-activated my Mom's LG Cosmos 2 on her line and removed the data package. It's been 24 hours and I still have unlimited data.

howto/how_to_keep_unlimited_data_on_verizon.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/07 22:24 by smark
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