All carriers charge upgrade fees. If you upgrade online, the cost is cut in half. The only way not to be charged an upgrade fee is if you bought an unlocked phone outright and popped in your old sim card.
numbersix1, how exciting that you're looking to upgrade your phone with us. We know the importance of having all the information regarding expected charges to help in your decision-making. Here's a link that provides detailed information regarding the charges associated with upgrading https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/upgrade-device-faqs/#item4 as well as our Device Payment upgrade information: https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/device-payment-faqs/#vzn-device-payments. TanishaS_VZW