Updated for clarity:
Here is what I know. Verizon has heard from many formerly disgruntled note 7 owners, some of which are long time loyal customers, who currently are in a 2 year contract with a "replacement phone" after being forced to surrender their recalled note 7.
For some of those customers (their process isn't declared but seems to have to do with how long you have been a customer, when you traded in your note 7, and what phone you replaced it with) they will forgive the remaining balance on your phone. For me it was a Samsung s7 edge on which I still owed 500 dollars. After I hung the phone up, my account went from saying on contract, to eligible for upgrade. The phone is forgiven and is not collected or asked to be returned. Consider it a good will gift from Verizon (who is probably making Samsung pay for it) to customers stuck with a loaner. Not all customers are being offered this, but it's worth a call to see if it applies to you.
Suddenly upgrade eligible, I then went to Sams club to buy my note 8. It costs 40 per month x 24 months, but until the 24th comes with a 200 gift card to Sams club/Walmart as well as the Samsung promotion of free camera or charging pad.
Speaking with Verizon regarding my now obsolete replacement s7 edge, I am free to either keep it as a backup, or trade it in to Verizon for a discount on my note 8. 2 different reps confirmed that even if I bought the phone from Sams club, Costco, or wherever, as long as I activated a note 8 during the eligible window, and went through the online trade in of an eligible phone, they would credit the new note 8 with a 20 dollar per month discount, making it half price when it's all said and done.
So Verizon gave me 500 instantaneous credit allowing me to own my S7 edge, and will give me 480 more (over 24 months) if I trade it in for a note 8. Sam's club threw in a 200 gift card (in hand after time of purchase). And Samsung is throwing in a camera (arriving in 6 weeks after filling out online redemption) retailing currently for 200. Almost 1400 total to purchase a 1000 phone I was gonna buy anyway.
Don't mock the offer because it sounds too good to be true. Just verify if it works for you and take advantage if you think it's a good option. It was a blessing for me and I wanted to share.
If you are a Verizon wireless customer who formerly had a combustible Galaxy note 7 and are now locked into a payment plan with an alternate phone, Verizon may have a credit for you to get a "free" note 8. This isn't anything you've seen advertised so read this. It's not the currently advertised deal by Verizon or Samsung. Its better.
As of last week I was still stuck with 500 worth of payments on my S7 edge that I purchased when I turned in my old combustible note 7. I recently went to Sams club hoping to transfer my current line to one of my children so I could upgrade to the new Galaxy note 8 taking advantage of the sams club gift card offer. The deal wouldn't go through initially at Sams club. They didn't know why but they said for some reason it is telling us you need to go to the actual Verizon store. I was a little upset but I decided to go to Verizon and see what was going on. I'm glad I did. They opened my account and saw that there was a note on my account saying that as of 9/20/17 (the next day) I was eligible for Verizon to buy off the rest of my S7 edge, giving me a free upgrade. This isn't anything that shows up online and it isn't being advertised. I think its one of those you have to ask for it promotions. You have to talk to a Verizon representative. So I waited until the next day and I called Verizon and they indeed bought out my former phone over the phone. Best part is, they said the phone is mine to keep. Initially he thought I was gonna have to send it in, but then he came back and said actually you keep the phone, but if you wait until your first bill comes and then choose to trade it in, they will still apply it like the current trade in special which he said would be about 20 per month or half of the note 8. After the buyout was complete, I went to Sam's club and bought the new note 8 with the 200 gift card and free 360 degree camera promotions.
Just to recap: I got a 500 instant phone buy out, estimated 480 as monthly credit when I trade it in as per the current Verizon promotion that I'm still eligible for, 200 gift card from Sams club, 200 camera from Samsung, all for a 1000 phone. I come out a few hundred bucks ahead all things considered.
I suppose YMMV. The Verizon guy said only some of the accounts were flagged with the promotion depending on when you owned the note 7, when you returned it, etc. It's worth calling your Verizon or going in to see if your account is flagged. If so, Enjoy your new note 8, gift card, and camera.