Did you know that cell phones lose around 60 percent of their value in one year? A year ago, an iPhone 13 would have cost you $900 and today, its resale value has dropped to $400. The longer you wait to switch to a new phone, the more money you lose on your old phone. Such is the nature of this ever-evolving world of technology. 

To help you become the trendiest techie on Geek Street, AT&T Mobility has rolled out its AT&T Next Up program for early upgraders. Now for a small fee of just $6 per month, you can change your handset to the newest model after every 1.5 years. 

So, Next Up to level up!

What is AT&T Next Up Program?

AT&T’s Next Up program is an exciting opportunity for an early upgrade to the new generation of smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches available at the AT&T store. It allows AT&T device users to upgrade to new devices as long as they have paid off 50 percent of the cost of their old phones. By paying an additional $6 per month on top of their monthly installment plan, AT&T customers can switch to the latest device with AT&T Next Program after 18 months of usage instead of waiting around for 36 months.  

It is the best deal in town for those who love to stay on top of trends. After paying off half of the original price of your old AT&T phone, you are eligible to get a new phone for as low as $35 per month. In most cases, AT&T waives off the upfront down payments and interest on the new devices bought through its store. However, if your credit score is low (less than 600 points) or the device that you are upgrading to is too costly, you may be required to make an upfront payment of between $300 and $600 to secure your new device and gradually pay off the rest. 

Want to Upgrade to the Latest Phone?

  • Select an AT&T installment plan.
  • Choose an AT&T wireless plan.
  • Get Your New Phone with AT&T Next Up!

Pros and Cons of AT&T Next Up Program

AT&T’s Next program may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Those who prefer using the same cellular mobile device for several years will find it to be a waste of money, especially if it results in the loss of trade-in credits. However, those who are tech-savvy and can’t wait to get their hands on the most recent gadgets will consider this a beneficial investment. 

Listed below are some of the pros and cons of the AT&T Next Up program. 

Pros:

  • Early upgrades on AT&T devices that have been paid off 50%.
  • You can opt out of AT&T’s Next Up anytime without making changes to your current installment or mobile plan.
  • Get a new cell phone every 1.5 years.
  • You don’t have to worry about completely paying off your AT&T phone before switching to a new one.
  • Just pay $6 extra per month. 
  • You get $350 in bill credits 

Cons:

  • You don’t get your money back if you decide against an early upgrade.
  • You should be subscribed to a 36-month installment plan and a $75 per-month mobile plan. 
  • For an early upgrade, you will have to trade in your AT&T device and it should be in good working condition. 
  • Your trade-in credits for the previous phone will not apply to your new phone. 

Eligibility Criteria for AT&T Next Up Program

To be eligible for this offer, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You should be an AT&T Mobile customer and subscribed to an AT&T mobile data plan.
  • You should purchase a new mobile device through the AT&T store.
  • You should select the 36-month installment plan to pay for your recently bought AT&T device. 
  • You should have a credit score of above 600 points
  • You should subscribe to the AT&T Next Up program within 14 days of your purchase.
  • Your installment plan must be $75 per month and above. 

What is an AT&T Installment Plan?

An AT&T installment plan is the device payment plan that you will subscribe to in order to pay for your AT&T device in monthly installments. For example, you buy a new Samsung Galaxy smartphone at the AT&T store and its price is $1000. Your credit score is good, and you are not asked to pay any down payment on the phone. The cost of your phone, $1000, will be split into 36-months-long payments. It means that every month, you will be required to pay around $28 for your Samsung Galaxy phone. 

At AT&T, the installment plan is combined with the customer’s mobile data plan, allowing them to use the new phone, make calls, send and receive texts, and use 5GB of mobile data for as low as $58 per month ($30 prepaid mobile plan + $28 device installment). 

Please note that if you opt for the AT&T Next Up scheme within 14 days of buying a new device from AT&T, you will have to pay $6 per month on top of your installment plan. Therefore, your monthly mobile bill will amount to $64 ($58 installment plan + $6 AT&T Next Up charges).

AT&T Mobile Plans for AT&T Next Up Program

AT&T offers a wide range of prepaid and postpaid plans to its customers who are looking for affordable plans with limited to unlimited calls, texts, and data usage. Although AT&T’s 5G coverage is available in a few selected areas around the country, the superfast service can be accessed by nearly 281 million people in the US. Its mid-band 5G mobile data plans are as follows:  

AT&T Prepaid 5G plans 

Currently, AT&T is offering five different mobile plans with the latest 5G technology to its prepaid customers. 

AT&T Mobile Plans
Price Data Calls Texts International Contact AT&T
$25/mo 1GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited to Canada, Mexico Call Now
$30/mo 5GB Unlimited  Unlimited Unlimited texts to 230 countries Call Now
$33/mo 8GB Unlimited Unlimited  Unlimited to Canada, Mexico Call Now
$40/mo 15GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited to Canada, Mexico Call Now
$50/mo 25GB Unlimited  Unlimited Unlimited to Canada, Mexico Call Now

AT&T Unlimited Plans 

All three AT&T unlimited plans come with ActiveArmor security (an app that allows you to block spam calls). 

PlansPriceDataCalls & TextsHotspotInternationalContact AT&T
Starter$65/mo10GBUnlimitedN/AUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now
Extra$75/mo50GBUnlimited15GBUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now
Premium$85/mo100GBUnlimited50GBUnlimited Canada & MexicoCall Now

AT&T will not restrict your mobile data usage in its unlimited plans, but you will experience speed reductions after you exceed the data cap associated with your chosen mobile plan. 

You can combine any one of AT&T’s prepaid or unlimited data plans with your installment plan to sign up for the AT&T Next Up program and enroll for an early upgrade.  

How Does the AT&T Next Up Program work?

When you purchase your new mobile device through the AT&T Mobile store, you can enroll for the AT&T Next Up program right before checkout. Let’s say that you plan to purchase your new iPhone 14 Pro from AT&T. As you proceed with online shopping, you will see the full retail price of your phone and the applicable AT&T installment plan. Underneath these prices, you will notice the option to sign up for AT&T Next Up for just $5 a month. You can either select this option, or hit “No, thanks”, and continue to purchase your iPhone 14 Pro at the AT&T website. 

The procedure will be almost the same if you purchase your device at the nearest AT&T physical store. 

In case you are unable to make up your mind during the checkout, you will have 14 days to enroll for the AT&T Next Up and avail of an early upgrade after 1.5 years. 

You can opt out of AT&T Next Up anytime and stop making those extra $5 payments every month. However, you cannot claim a refund for the months you paid.

AT&T Next Up and Early Trade-In

Once you have paid off 50 percent of the cost of your AT&T mobile phone, you can stop paying your installments and start shopping on the AT&T online store for a new device. Once you have found the device that you would like to upgrade to, you can trade in your current phone. 

For your device to qualify for a trade-in, it must be in good working condition. If your mobile is damaged (cracked screen, doesn’t work properly) but has a device protection plan, you can file a claim at AT&T, and once approved, the carrier will send you a new smartphone.

AT&T will assess your device after receiving it and send you a quote with the final trade-in value stated on it. You will receive this amount as monthly credit towards the payment of your new phone. For example, the full retail price of your existing AT&T phone was $1200. You paid off half and the AT&T Next Up charges, so your phone’s trade-in value is now around $500. You will receive these $500 either over the course of 36 months ($14 per month) if you cancel AT&T Next Up on your upgraded phone, or 18 months ($28 per month) if you again enroll for the scheme. 

Apart from giving you your trade-in credit, AT&T also gives all Next Up account subscribers $350 in bill credits. The credit will be split into small monthly payments throughout your installment agreement. 

Losing Your Trade-In Credits with AT&T Next Up 

AT&T’s Next offer will be a blow to those who were quoted a large trade-in value on their previous phone. Let’s assume that you are somebody who has been buying AT&T phones for years now. You traded in your previous AT&T phone and were supposed to get $800 in trade-in credit. You were told about the AT&T Next Up program and decided to sign up for it. After 18 months, and paying off half of the price of your phone, you thought it wise to utilize your AT&T Next Up privileges and went for an early upgrade. But in these 18 months, you were only given half of your $800 trade-in credit ($400 in total, or $22 per month) and the rest of the $400 is yet to be paid. Since you are upgrading midway, the remaining $400 trade-in credit will automatically be canceled, as you will now be quoted a different trade-in value for your current AT&T phone. 

Total Money Lost on Early Upgrade:

You will lose your trade-in credits from the previous phone = $400

You will lose your AT&T Next Up fee for 18 months ($6 x 18 months) = $108

Total loss ($400 + $108) = $508

Therefore, AT&T Next Up is not an attractive value deal for those who want to save money. 

Is AT&T Next Up Worth It?  

Whether or not AT&T Next Up is worth the $6 per month investment is entirely dependent on your priorities as a mobile phone user. If you think that new phones lose their charm and resale value after a year, then you should definitely opt for the AT&T Next Up program and upgrade to newer devices after every 1.5 years. However, if your priority is frugality, then you will end up losing more money with this offer as we showed you the maths for it.