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Why You Should Read the Fine Print on Verizon’s Big April 5th ‘Deals’

Here’s the deal(s). There’s a lot of press going around about an upcoming Verizon promotion. Starting tomorrow, Verizon is offering a few interesting deals that you can take advantage of to score a flagship smartphone on the cheap. However, they might not be the best deals for your particular situation. Here’s why.

Verizon’s Crazy April 5 Deals

Starting tomorrow, Verizon is letting you trade in an older phone to get up to 50 percent off a brand-new device. We wrote that sentence to be intentionally vague, because Verizon’s announcement is intentionally vague. The company is promoting the deal as a way to get half-off a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, but buries this information toward the end of its press release:

“For a limited time, you can get up to 50 percent off the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ and other top phones with eligible trade in*****.”

What’s a “top phone?” We’ll get to that in a bit. First, if you’re not the type of person who regularly reads the fine print for anything, you’re definitely going to want to follow the dots—five asterisks, in this case—because it exposes a critical aspect of Verizon’s promotion:

“Up to $999.99 device payment purchase req’d. Less up to $499.99 trade-in credit applied to account over 24 mos.; credit ends when balance paid or line terminated; 0% APR. Trade-in must be in good working & cosmetic condition”

In other words, you’re going to have to stick with Verizon for a full two years—and enjoy that trade-in credit spread across that time period—in order to benefit from the promotion. That might not be a big deal for some people, but if you’re on the fence about switching over, or were expecting to just get a brand-new smartphone for half-off immediately, this deal suddenly looks a little less sweet.

Or, as one Slickdeals user put it: “Bill credits. GTFO.”

Which smartphones can you get? What can you trade in?

The phrase “up to” in Verizon’s promotion is important, because the carrier isn’t just going to give you a huge discount if you bring in a crappy (or older) smartphone. Here’s the full list of options you can buy and trade in, as cataloged by BGR:

Which smartphones you can buy on a discount:

  • Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
  • Apple’s iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 8
  • Moto’s Z2 Force
  • LG’s V30

Easy, right? It only gets more complicated from there.

For a 50 percent discount on the iPhone 8, Galaxy S9, Pixel 2, or Moto Z2 Force, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, 7 or 7 Plus, or 6S Plus
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge, GS8, GS8+, or Note 8
  • Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL
  • LG’s G6 or V30
  • Moto’s Z2 Force or Z Force.

For a 35 percent discount, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or 6S
  • Samsung’s GS7, Note 5, GS6, GS6 Edge, or GS6 Edge+
  • LG’s G5 or V20
  • Moto’s Z Droid or Z2 Play
  • An HTC 10

For a 50 percent discount on the iPhone 8+, Galaxy S9+, Pixel 2 XL, or LG V30, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone X (ha!), iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, or 7 or 7 Plus
  • Samsung’s GS8, GS8+, or Note 8
  • Google’s Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
  • LG’s V30
  • Moto’s Z2 Force

For a 35 percent discount, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone 6S or 6S Plus
  • Samsung’s GS7 or GS7 Edge, or Note 5
  • Google’s Pixel or Pixel XL
  • LG’s G6 or V20
  • Moto’s Z2 Play or Z Force
  • An HTC 10

For a 50 percent discount on the iPhone X or Galaxy Note 8, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone X or 8 Plus
  • Samsung’s GS8+ or Note 8.

For a 35 percent discount, trade in:

  • Apple’s iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, or iPhone 8
  • Samsung’s GS8
  • Google’s Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
  • LG’s V30

Phew. Before you run on down to your local Verizon store, the usual caveat remains: You should scout third-party trade-in or reseller sites to check the estimated value of your older smartphone. If you can get more selling your device to, say, a Craigslist buyer or Amazon’s trade-in program, Verizon’s deal makes no sense for you.

Otherwise, Verizon’s deal isn’t too bad (if you don’t mind the bill credit aspect). Additionally, Verizon is throwing in a free Google Home Mini, a Google Chromecast, and two free months of YouTube TV, which might make that bill credit sting a little less. Just a little.