How to See if You’re Eligible for an iPhone Upgrade

You’ve heard that a new iPhone is coming out, and you want to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade with your carrier. For those that don’t buy off contract, early upgrade fees can be extremely expensive for smartphones like the iPhone.

There’s actually a really easy way to check your upgrade eligibility from your iPhone on AT&T. Verizon lets customers check eligibility from its website. Here’s how to see if you’re eligible for an iPhone upgrade…


You can easily check your upgrade eligibility from your current AT&T iPhone. Dial “*639#” in your Phone app and call the number. AT&T will tell you that “a message will be sent to your phone.” You should immediately get a SMS message with the details on your upgrade eligibility and contract commitment.

It’s unclear as to how AT&T determines early upgrade fees, but TUAW notes that the more you spend on your iPhone, the more likely you are to receive favor from the AT&T gods. Obviously, a two-year contract will be part of the deal.

I’ve personally had multiple experiences where AT&T retail employees have been able to fudge the early upgrade date to offer an early iPhone purchase at a reasonable price. When you’re in the store, negotiating and complaining can sometimes cut you a deal on early upgrade fees, but it all depends.


iPhone users on Verizon can call “#UPG” or “#874” to quickly check eligibility. Verizon’s website will also show the information under the “My Verizon” page. Each phone tied to your account will be displayed with its upgrade eligibility date.

If you are eligible for an iPhone upgrade, make sure to check out our list of tips for reselling your used iPhone. Retailers are offering reasonable prices for iPhone buybacks, and people continue to get good offers for used iPhones on sites like Craigslist.

You can always just pay the extra $200 for an early iPhone upgrade.

Let us know your experience with early iPhone upgrades in the comments below. Will you be upgrading to the new iPhone after it’s unveiled next week?