Can I Get a Switch From a Verizon Contract to a Prepaid With the Same Number?

by Leslie Renico

If you don't want the commitment or expense of cell phone service with a contract, you can buy a Verizon prepaid phone that will give you the same calling area and features. You can even transfer your phone number to the new phone when you move from a contract plan to a prepaid device. Transferring your number is known as "porting."

Current Rate Plans

As of June 2011 you can sign up for a prepaid monthly plan with Verizon Wireless starting at $44.99 per month. That rate gives you 450 minutes; for $20 more, you can have unlimited texting, too. Additional minutes cost 45 cents each. There are also data plans available if you want a prepaid monthly contract for a smartphone or Blackberry.

Available Devices and Amenities

Just as with contract plans, you can use smartphones, Blackberry phones, or "feature" (ordinary) phones with a Verizon prepaid plan. If your phone has the capability, you can still download songs, ringtones, send video or picture messages, and log onto the Internet. Adding a data package with a smartphone or Blackberry starts at $30 per month, as of June 2011.

Terminating your Contract

Go to a Verizon Wireless store or call (800) 922-0204 to terminate your contract and buy a new prepaid phone, if your current device is not compatible with prepaid service. There is no fee for this if you've already fulfilled your original contract length. As of June 2011, there is a $350 fee for early termination of a contract.

Porting your Number

Once you've terminated the contract, ask the representative to port, or transfer, your phone number to your prepaid account. This can take as long as one business day to fully transfer. When the process is complete, you'll get a text message on your new phone teling you it's ready for use. This process also works for porting numbers from outside Verizon -- even landline numbers. In those cases, though, the process can take up to four business days.

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