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How to get the best iPhone deals

Joe Supan

Jul 21, 2020 — 5 min read

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Accounting for nearly half of all smartphones in the U.S., iPhones are by far the most popular mobile devices around. But with prices over $1,000 for the latest models, it’s not cheap to upgrade to a new phone. Fortunately, there are plenty of deals out there to help you save some money on a new iPhone. 

As we sorted through all the deals out there, we favored ones that weren’t entirely dependent on trade-in value. Phone companies like to boast that you’ll get a phone for practically nothing when you trade in an eligible device, but the amount you get is entirely dependent on their evaluation of it. 

With the exception of the refurbished iPhones straight from Apple, almost all of these deals require you to open a new unlimited data line. If you want to stay with the same carrier and add a new phone, you’ll likely have to pay close to the sticker price.

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Lowest iPhone prices available through each carrier

The prices above show how much you’ll pay for each phone after committing to a monthly contract and opening a new line with the carrier. In general, you’ll typically pay full retail price if you’re sticking with the same provider. We didn’t include any trade-in deals here, as the values assigned to used phones fluctuate greatly from carrier to carrier. 

Verizon: $350 off iPhone 11 and 11 Pro 

Maximum savings: $1,350

  • $350 off iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: When you order online, choose monthly payments and activate a new Unlimited plan.
  • $1,000 off second iPhone when you buy two: Money is credited to your account over two years.

You’ll get $350 off both iPhone 11 Pro models right away just for ordering online. That brings your total to $650 for the 11 Pro and $750 for the Pro Max. 

You can save even more if you buy two iPhones at the same time. Verizon will dock another $1,000 off the second one in the form of monthly credits on your phone bill.

T-Mobile: Free iPhone 11 with trade-in

Maximum savings: $700

  • Join T-Mobile from another carrier: Current T-Mobile customers aren’t eligible for this deal. You’ll have to switch over from another carrier.
  • Purchase the iPhone on a 24-month payment plan: You may also have to make a down payment in some cases. 
  • Trade in an eligible phone: You’ll have to trade in a newer phone to get the iPhone 11 for free.

This deal from T-Mobile is entirely dependent on the phone that you trade in. If it’s a relatively  newer model, you can get $700 of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. In the iPhone 11’s case, that means you’ll get it entirely free. Here’s the list of phones that are eligible for the $700 credit:

  • Apple: iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
  • Samsung: Galaxy S20 series, Galaxy S10 series, Galaxy Note10 series, Galaxy Note9
  • Google: Pixel 4, Pixel 4XL
  • OnePlus: 8, 8 Pro, 7T, 7T Pro 5G McLaren
  • LG: V60 ThinQ

If you have an older model that didn’t make the list, you might still be able to get some value for it. T-Mobile also offers $500 credits for slightly older phones. 

AT&T: Half off iPhone 11 + $300 trade-in credit

Maximum savings: Up to $650

  • 50% off iPhone 11: Add line to new or existing account, activate unlimited data plan and commit to 30-month installment plan.
  • Up to $300 trade-in credit: With eligible phone trade-in.

You’ll need to commit to a 30-month installment plan for the iPhone 11, but you can currently get the popular smartphone half off through AT&T. This device is also eligible for AT&T’s trade-in program, for a maximum credit of $300. The credit is then applied in equal amounts over the course of your 30-month contract. 

This half off deal is for the 64 GB model of the iPhone 11, but you can also get credits applied for the 1268 GB and 256 GB models — they just won’t quite add up to 50% off. 

AT&T: iPhone XR for $150 

Maximum savings: $600

  • $5/mo. for 30 months: Commit to a 30-month payment period, open a new phone line and pay taxes on the full retail price upfront.
  • $150 Visa Reward Card: When you order an iPhone XR online on an installment plan and add a new line.

This iPhone deal has surprisingly few strings attached for the amount of money you save. You can essentially get a new iPhone XR ($600) for free through AT&T when you open a new wireless line and sign on to a 30-month installment plan. You’ll get the first $450 off for opening  a new line, and another $150 for doing it online in the form of a Visa Reward Card.

Sprint: Lease iPhone 11 for free with trade-in

Maximum savings: $525

  • Return the phone after 18 months
  • Switch to Sprint unlimited plan from another carrier
  • Trade in current phone in any condition

This deal from Sprint is unique in that you’re not actually purchasing the iPhone 11, you’re just leasing it for 18 months. If you’re someone who always wants to have the latest iPhone, this is a great way to go. After 18 months, you can upgrade to a new phone or pay the purchase option price to buy your current phone.

Unlike most trade-in deals, Sprint takes phones in any condition. Keep in mind, you’ll still have to switch to one of Sprint’s unlimited data plans to take advantage of this deal. 

Apple Store: Up to $350 off refurbished phones

Maximum savings: $350

If you want to save money on an iPhone without switching to a new carrier or opening a new line, purchasing a refurbished phone is one of your best options. And in most cases, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

In a Consumer Reports survey of 3,211 people who bought a refurbished phone, 67% said they had no complaints — just slightly under the 69% of people who bought new smartphones. And if you’re going to buy a refurbished phone, it’s best to go right to the source. 

All refurbished phones from Apple come with a new battery, a new outer shell and are backed by a one-year warranty. Apple also puts them through a round of functional testing and replaces them with brand new parts whenever necessary. 

Verizon: iPhone SE for $120 

Maximum savings: $280

  • $5/mo. over 24 months: Only customers who open a new Verizon Unlimited line and choose monthly payments are eligible.

If you’re looking for one of the cheapest iPhone deals without having to jump through a lot of hoops, Verizon’s iPhone SE for $120 is as good as it gets. The model is already one of the most affordable iPhones available at $400, but Verizon’s deal gets it to you for just $5/mo. You don’t have to worry about trade-in value, either — this deal is entirely separate from the phone you already have. 

Joe Supan

Written by:

Joe Supan

Sr. Staff Writer

Joe oversees all things wireless and streaming for Allconnect, from music services to live TV sites. His streaming service reviews are among the most popular articles on the entire site. Joe graduated from O… Read more