Verizon Wireless Fees

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Think Twice

In terms of fees, Verizon does little to win over consumers. Activation and upgrade fees are about the same as other carriers', but data overage costs are higher. International travelers may be limited by Verizon's use of CDMA technology, although rates are competitive.

Verizon Wireless stands out as the provider with comparatively high fees but a huge coverage area and the most subscribers. The company no longer offers plans with unlimited data, for example, and the hefty overage fee hits $15 for a gigabyte or 500 megabytes, depending on the plan; both T-Mobile and Sprint now sell unlimited-everything plans. Verizon Wireless fees for exceeding plan allotments for text and voice run 45 cents a minute and 20-25 cents a message, about on par with the competition. Customers wishing to back out of a contract pay up to $350 (an industry high matched only by Sprint), with $10 deducted for each month of completed service. Verizon Wireless fees also include a 90-cent administrative charge and 16-cent regulatory charge.

As with the other carriers, there is no charge for roaming, but here Verizon Wireless goes one step better and refrains from meddling with service should the user spend too much time outside the coverage area.

Verizon fees for international travelers are competitive, particularly with an upgrade package. Access to reduced-rate calling while overseas costs $4.99 a month, as it does with Sprint. As for data, a $25 a month package entitles users to 100MB, which is cheaper than the $80 for 85MB exacted by Sprint and about equal to the $30 for 120MB (in select countries) available through AT&T. Without a package, call rates depend on the country but start at 20 cents a minute, text charges top out at 50 cents a message, and one MB of data can cost more than $20. On the downside, Verizon Wireless uses the CDMA network for its phones, so customers cannot insert a SIM card while traveling overseas and, depending on the region, certain phones may not connect to a cellular network (Verizon rents so-called global phones to customers) but should work with Wi-Fi. Like AT&T and Sprint, Verizon offers an upgrade package that opens the door to reduced voice and data rates for communications originating stateside and going overseas; the fee is $4.99 a month for calls and $25 a month for 100MB.

Wide coverage keeps Verizon Wireless in the game despite fees that hit comparatively high levels.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting louisdenicola.com.

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