How to Save Hundreds on Your Next Cellphone

Woman holding a cellphone and cash
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If you’re in the market for a new cellphone and are comparing handset prices across carriers, you could get a discount by trading in your current phone. It’s a move that could save you hundreds of dollars if you have an eligible model of a working phone.

Limited-time offers

Trade-in offers change regularly, with carriers mixing up the discounts offered and eligible phones from time to time. Here are some of the top trade-in offers available today (correct at time of publishing).

Verizon: Up to $300 off

Verizon is currently offering a $300 discount off various new smartphones when you trade in an eligible phone and activate a new line. Your discount can be applied to a new:

  • iPhone X, XR, XS, or XS Max
  • Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9, S9, S9+
  • LG G7 ThinQ, V40 ThinQ

The great thing about this deal is that Verizon accepts more than 50 phone models as trade-ins, including iPhones as old as the 5s and Samsung Galaxy models as old as the S4. They also accept various Motorola, LG and HTC phones.

To be eligible, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly installment plan and your discount will be applied to your monthly bill (spread out over 24 months).

If you’re already a Verizon customer, you can still get a discount with a trade-in phone, but you’ll only get $100 off.

T-Mobile: Up to $390 off

T-Mobile has a similar deal in which you can get credits on your account when you trade in an eligible phone. You can get up to $390 off a new iPhone XR, XS or XS Max, or get up to $360 off a new Samsung Galaxy Note9, S9+, S9, S8 Active or S8.

The actual discount will vary depending on the age of your old phone. Similar to the Verizon trade-in deal, you’ll need to buy your new phone on monthly installments and your discount will be applied as monthly billing credits spread out over the life of your monthly installment plan.

Ongoing trade-in programs

In addition to limited time trade-in offers, a number of carriers have ongoing programs that allow you to trade in your phone for account credit.

Google Fi: Up to $500 in credit

With Google Fi, you can trade in an eligible phone and get up to $500 in Fi credit (or a credit card refund). Note that you’re more likely to receive around $300 in credit for your trade-in device, unless it’s an iPhone X.

The good thing about Google Fi’s offer is that you can trade in the phone even if the screen is cracked or doesn’t work, although that will reduce the value. If your phone won’t turn on however, Google Fi won’t accept it for trade-in credit.

Sprint, AT&T and Verizon trade-in programs

Sprint, AT&T and Verizon all have their own trade-in programs that allow you to swap an eligible device at any time in exchange for account credit. The value of your phone will depend on the phone’s model and memory capacity. Here’s an example of what you’ll get back if you trade certain cellphones to Sprint:

  • iPhone 7 32GB: $125
  • iPhone X 64GB: $385
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8: $215
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: $185

Sprint and AT&T will credit your account with the trade-in value of your phone, which you can use to pay your phone bill or buy accessories for your phone or tablet (AT&T customers only).

If you’re a Verizon customer, you can request your trade-in value to be credited to your PayPal account or get a Verizon gift card. You’ll receive your credit or gift card within one to two billing cycles after Verizon has received your trade-in cellphone.

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