I agree with you on paying off the device. Before I pre-ordered yesterday I had a remaining balance of $136 and some change as I had put a little down when I ordered my 6+ using Edge. There was no way I was going to give my current 6+ 64GB back to VZW for $136. I could sell it with a smashed screen for more than that. I'll list it on eBay and see what I can get...if that fails I've got a co-worker who currently has an 5s and has offered me $350 for it.
>>...the benefit of using Verizon is the line access discount you get by using their device payment plan. If you order directly from Apple...there is no guarantee that Verizon will still offer said discount to you...
I spoke with a Verizon customer service rep about this. She confirmed that buying the device via another source (i.e., Apple, etc.) results in the loss of the the 'line access discount'. (This is worded as "$25 SP DEVICE PAYMENT DISC" on my monthly bill.) That made my decision easy; I paid the balance on my existing device (after arranging to sell it online) and then ordered the 6s Plus through Verizon.
Did you ask though, if you could then add the month to month discount for the same amount? You didn't ask the right question.
Ditto to this - I'd lose the $25 line discount if going to Apple. Ordered mine Saturday.
Interesting that you ask that. I specifically asked what would happen if I purchased the device through Apple and then activated that device on Verizon's network. The CSR told me that I would lose the discount.
I wasn't aware there was a difference between the 'device payment discount' and the 'month to month discount' -- so I didn't know to ask. I've noticed, however, that my bill now states '$25 OFF SMARTPHONE MONTH2MONTH' en vez de "$25 SP DEVICE PAYMENT DISC". So perhaps I could have purchased through Apple, after all. I don't know what the difference is nor do know how to go about getting a clear answer.
FYI: Even I could purchase through Apple, I'm not sure I would want to. I find third-party insurance (e.g., SquareTrade) to be much more cost-effective and useful than Apple Care (which, it's my understanding, inflates the price of the device if purchased under Apple's new upgrade plan).
If you're not in a 2 year contract you should qualify for some sort of line discount. If you lose your line discount for finishing your device payment plan, you can just login to your account and add the month to month line discount for the same amount.
According to this article you will still get a discount as long as you are not under contract - Verizon to give discounts to customers with off-contract phones | iMore
I contacted Verizon customer care and was told the discount would still apply, at $25 per line, as long as I was still on the more everything plan. If I updated my plan to one of their new plans that discount would go away, but it would be replaced with a $20 discount that applies to their new plans.
TL;DR - You should be able to keep your $25 discount unless you change plans, in which case it will be $20.
Forgot to mention: I typically sell my devices, privately, each year.
Not that I would be complaining about it, but why does Verizon provide a month-to-month discount (whether $25 or $20)?, especially for devices not purchased through them? What are customers agreeing to so as to get the discount? Why don't they just state that the line price is $40-$25 = $15 or $40-$20 = $20?
When you buy a phone at the discounted 2 year contract price, Verizon is recovering the difference through the increased line access cost ($40). That was still the case back before the shared data plans and device payment plans; the increased cost was just hidden and there were no real incentives to be out of contract.
Now that more carriers are ending device subsidies, plan costs go down since the carriers no longer have to recover these subsidies. So, the customer is simply agreeing to NOT have Verizon subsidize their phone with a 2 year contract - whether that means paying full retail price through Verizon or buying a phone elsewhere.