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Why I Upgraded My Cell Phone at Costco

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Sent from reader, Casey:

Hi! I wanted to share a tip for warehouse club members for upgrading their cell phones. When you’re ready to upgrade, check out Costco and Sam’s Club! My last two phones were done at the kiosks at Costco and they tend to offer some great deals.

For example, I upgraded in November and received a free accessory package, a waived upgrade fee, and a $300 Costco giftcard! The prices are the same as any other Verizon store or retailer too! Even when they don’t offer rebates (they change monthly so take a peek at website first), they never charge the upgrade fee that others charge you!

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Comments 46

  1. RadMom3

    Funny to see this posting! My husband and I were just talking about going to Costco tomorrow to upgrade my phone. I have the Samsung Galaxy S7 and when I got it about 2 years ago, they gave me a free tv. Glad to see they are still running great promotions!

    • Holly (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Wow, a free TV is a pretty sweet bonus for sure!

    • retiredchick

      I’m a retired Verizon person, and I always upgrade at Costco. Some of the perks for doing do are, cash rebates of $100 and up.. free accessories bundles, TV’s, and others incentives( none of which are offered by Verizon), just more reasons for me to still be a Costco member, after 25 years.

    • Teri Lincoln

      Careful because my.father chose to do this at a costco.also and what a nightmare! Costco wouldn’t do anything to help when TMobile screwed my dad over and TMobile wouldn’t.help because it was purchased at Costco as opposed to a TMobile store! Never again

      • Angela

        I tried TMobile through TMobile and they still would do nothing to help me when they screwed me over. TMobile was a nightmare, I would never use them again. I can almost guarantee you that if they didn’t have Costco as an excuse, they would just use another excuse.

  2. Donna

    How much do you pay monthly for service? I’m on a very limited budget on disability.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Donna, my hubby and I are also on a tight budget. We just signed up with a company called Mint SIM. Our monthly plan is only $16! We are very happy with the service and have used them for about 1 year so far. We both have Android phones. Just make sure your phone is unlocked.

    • Casey

      Ours is $200+, but that includes the phone payment plus 20 gb of data for 4 lines. Though I upgraded my phone at Costco it is still a Verizon plan.

    • Svetla

      The big companies are expensive but if you have to chose one i’d suggest T-Mobile. With them you pay what you see on the website, I.e. the taxes are already included and they give you free Netflix. The only catch is that the price is quoted after auto pay. If you are not doing auto pay you should add $5 per line. Besides that you get unlimited everything and they have a feature called kickback that gives you $10 per line if you used less than 2GB of data for the month. Currently they have buy one get one free on iPhones and I believe some Samsungs. This is pretty good deal. Also their prices are the same at the store or at Costco for example. So you don’t have to worry about being scammed.

  3. MAJ

    Does anyone know if you upgrade if they offer the option to spread the payment out over 12 months?

    • Casey

      They offered me the Verizon standard payment over 24 months!

      Thanks H2S and team for featuring my story 🙂

  4. Michele

    I’ve always been told by AT&T to manage our family plan through them directly. Going through a third party retailer results in a higher service plan rate. This happened to my MIL wHo upgraded at Costco and had to pay more than the rest of us for 2 years! Just FYI. It helps to do the research.

  5. Jackie

    Wow! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jen

    Do they have iPhones?

    • Casey

      Yes! If you go to Costco’s website under Electronics you will find the cell phone link. You can view their current promos by which service carrier you have.

  7. Heather

    Virgin Mobile. We pay $30/month. We travel an incredible amount and the coverage area has been surprising pretty awesome.

    • Vironika

      How much data do you have, and pricing for phones??

    • coupon

      I would like to do Virgin Mobile but it’s sparse in my area, at least last time I checked. A few years ago…

  8. Tolu

    Yeah, very true. We got our phones at Costco and left with 2 free 32 inch Samsung tv’s and free accessories kits. Love Costco

  9. April Rose

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
    For those on disability &/or low income, you may qualify for a free Lifeline phone. These come with a certain number of minutes/texts per month. Go to the official government site: http://www.lifelinesupport.org and it will show you the providers in your state/area.

  10. Donna

    Jennifer I’m with Republic Wireless at $15 month. My only issue is I cannot do Shopkicks, Coupons .com digital coupons or some other savings apps because they can’t verify my number. Republic Wireless is voice over and some apps see it as a landline so they won’t verify it.
    Also in order to connect to the internet I need WiFi. My Walmart doesn’t have guest WiFi I can connect to. They did. Up until a few months ago I could hook into their WiFi. No more.
    Are you able to verify your phone number on Shopkicks and other apps.
    I can do ibotta, checkout 51, Savingstar, Fetch. Apparently they didn’t take the short cut method when setting up their apps.
    And can you connect to Walmart WiFi with your phone?

    • Lu

      I never heard of Republic Wireless and was wondering why you’re paying at all for voice over when you can do that for free with various apps, so I checked them out…To clarify, it’s not voice over – you are paying $15 for talk/text on 4G (anywhere, not on wifi) and just paying nothing for data which is why you need wifi to connect to the internet. It’s nice that they give you the option to buy data though. That’s not a bad deal for unlimited, I’m on tracfone and pay less per month but it’s not unlimited talk/text.

    • Diane

      We have been with Republic Wireless for years. We pay under $70.00 per month for 3 phones. We purchase our phones upfront although they do allow for monthly phone payments. They are great as long as you have access to wifi most of the time. You are only charged for data that you use while not connected to wifi.
      One of our sons who is a programmer has Google phone. He likes it.

  11. Sam

    They only have Verizon. I wish they have at&t too.

  12. Liz

    A while back we switched to the t-mobile plan at Costco. We brought our own phones, ordered out sim cards off of Amazon for ten bucks each (they are 25 at the stores and kiosks) and ended up getting fifty dollar Costco cash cards each! We signed up for the 35 per line unlimited plan. I think one of us had to be fifty and over for that deal. It was a great deal!

  13. kylie

    I have Verizon phones on a Verizon plan from a Verizon store and pay 200$ for 8-10g plan.How would Cisco work for me? Is it possible if your plan is from a Verizon store? Also,Holy Cow!How do you get 20 gig for 200$? I am not happy I’m paying that much for HALF!

    • Casey

      I double checked my plan: we have 16 gb but this month we had 22gb because of carryover.

      I would talk to the guy at the kiosk, ours was very helpful. We almost upgraded to the new unlimited plan, but based on our usage it wasn’t beneficial to us. Verizon has re-worked their plans a few times in the last couple years so it is worth taking another look to see if things changed. Also, see if your employer offers a discount. We save an additional 18% because of this (you cant use discount on unlimited plan– another reason we didn’t go for it).

    • Melissa

      The data plan and the amount you are paying for your actual device are added together, so maybe the other poster has already paid off their phones and are only paying for data.

    • Svetla

      As I posted above you should check out T-Mobile. You’d pay a lot less and you’d get a lot of benefits as well. I can elaborate if you need me to.

      • Angela V.

        I agree! We were with Verizon for 10+ years and just switched over to T-Mobile about 6 months ago. I wished we would’ve much sooner! The coverage is comparable where we live, and we now both have unlimited data for $70 less per month than we were paying with Verizon. The customer service is also excellent!

  14. Mrs. K

    I just checked and looks like for the iphone they are only offering a $25 gift card at Costco. Would love a $300 gift card rebate, does anyone know if there is a special month they offer better deals? Would appreciate any more tips.

    • Casey

      This deal was done in November. I’d say the best deals I’ve seen are between black friday and Christmas.

  15. Maggie

    + 2% cash back if you have Costco’s Visa AND 2% additional cash back if you have Executive

  16. Amber

    My husband and I have At&t. We have gotten awesome deals at both Costco and Target. Costco offers the same plans as the carrier, but if you have an older plan that is no longer offered, when you upgrade they will match you to a new plan that sometimes results in a higher monthly payment. In Jan. We upgraded at Target to the new S8. Target offered buy one get one free and $600 in Target gift cards.
    I have 4 lines on my plan, 20GB with rollover data and we pay $183 after city and state taxes.

    • kylie

      SUPER!

  17. kylie

    I factored out my 1 phone payment when I said I was paying 200$ month.My phone is almost payed off anyway.I have always been told by the verizon store that I signed with them so I can get no plan anywhere else with my phones.I’m wondering if that is true or can I take my verizon phones anywhere.I have no contract.Only have to pay last payment on phone.

    • jiggi

      Once the phone is paid off. you do not need to be with Verizon. The verizon works off CDMA towers that means that any carriers using CDMA tower can provide your service. Do google search and see who uses CDMA towers in your area. You have to call verizon and unlock your phone from their network and once you have paid off your phone, you are not under any obligation to stay with them.

  18. kylie

    BTW,this is a great forum.This should become a regular.Giving and sharing infomation about services we use everyday.We comparison shop for everything else.Service Source,exellent.

    • Kylie

      Thanks a bunch!

  19. Mary

    Mu Lg Xcharge is from Comcast – I paid $180 for my phone AND I rcv a $150 gc after 90 days. I keep my data turned off and use ONLY in FREE WiFi areas. The result? Less than $17/mo IF I keep the $12 insurance coverage. I’m considering dropping that – which will bring me down to under $5/mo – UNLIMITED TALK & TEXT. In the end my phone cost me $30. Ibhad had a flip ☎ that was talk only 4 over 13 years and it was over
    $42/mo.

    • Day-to-day

      I got 3 LG Xcharge phones for $1 each when Comcast had a $200 off any phone promo last year. I have 4 lines use about 2gb data (mostly WiFi like you) and I’ve never had a bill over $36 total after taxes and fees. Comcast/Xfinity only used Verizon towers. I switched from 16 years of Verizon and will never look back. Lol

  20. Whitney

    I’ve used Costco for my cell for several years and they’re great!

  21. William

    We bought 4 phone’s from Costco over past 5 years and have not received anything but a 150 dollar plus bill every month.
    Can’t believe that phone’s are not free any longer for the prices they charge for services.

  22. Renee

    So I would keep my same AT&T plan but upgrade the phone itself? Do I pay the phone outright or can I do a monthly plan for paying it off?

  23. Sharon

    I bought Samsung at Costco, I have Verizon. I was quotes plans for various data plans etc. I took a plan but my bill was 30.00 more. I called Verizon that my plan for more data etc. Verizon told me Costco is NOT a company store as they deal with othet companies and could not honor what Costco told me and if I had purchased phone from a Verizon company store they would honor what I what told. I was already locked in with what I signed at Costco. Would not buy a plan with phone at COSTCO because of this. I now only deal with cell phone company like Verizon. Also if you cancel service through any company like Costco or Kiosk in mall that carries various service like sprint, A&T. You will pay about Double cancellation fee, one to whoever you went through in store or kioske PLUS another cancellation fee to your server such as Verizon. Be careful. I bought my last through Amazon about 300.00 less than store for new not refurbished Samsung Note 3 then took it to Verizon store to transfer photos etc. to my new phone at no charge and NO contracts.

  24. Leslie

    Is there a way to find out which month has the best deals on a iPhone upgrade from a 6+ to an 8+. I would imagine if I upgrade today, it would be the July deal, will it change to a different deal if I wait until August 1st?

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