iPhone X Carrier Deals Sell People Short

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Right now a lot of people are looking for the best iPhone trade-in options, but the “deals” offered by major carriers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s a quick overview of the carrier promotions, plus an alternative that pays more.

Verizon: Up to $300 off the iPhone X when you trade in a qualifying phone in good working and cosmetic condition

  • You must sign up for Verizon Unlimited
  • The discount is applied as bill credit (not cash) paid over 24 months
  • Only certain phones qualify for the $300 (the most recent flagships), but the promotion has tiers of $200 and $100 for older models

T-Mobile: Up to $300 in trade-in credit off the iPhone X

  • You must sign up for T-Mobil’s Equipment Installment Plan
  • The discount is applied as bill credit paid over 24 months
  • You’ll pay $279.99 down

Sprint: Up to $350 credit for qualifying trade-ins

  • You must sign up for Sprint Flex Lease with Trade-In, which means you’ll give your iPhone X back to Sprint when the 18-month lease is up
  • The discount is applied as bill credit paid over 18 months
  • If you want to keep your iPhone X at the end of the lease, you’ll pay the difference between what you’ve already paid and full price (around $250)

AT&T: Up to $300 in trade-in credit for the iPhone 7 Plus and up to $200 for other select devices

  • You must sign up for AT&T Next or AT&T Next Every Year plans
  • The discount will be applied as credit or on a promotion card that can only be used toward AT&T products and services, or to pay toward your wireless bill

None of the carriers offer cash, and each has caveats like down payments, delayed payouts, and credit-only payments.

Selling your old phone to a dedicated trade-in/buyback company is a better deal because:

  •  They pay in cash
  • They pay quickly (within a few days)
  • They pay more money
  • There are no restrictions or compulsory plan sign-ups

Here’s a breakdown of the net cost you’d pay for an iPhone X via wireless carrier iPhone X promotions versus the best trade-in offer Flipsy.com found for an iPhone 7 Plus (32GB black on the Verizon network):

  • Verizon (up to $300 credit, applied over 24 months): $699
  • T-Mobile (up to $300 credit, applied over 24 months with $279.99 down): $699
  • Sprint (up to $350 credit, applied over an 18-month lease with buyout option at end-of-lease): $649
  • AT&T (up to $300 credit, used to purchase iPhone X): $699
  • Flipsy.com (guaranteed cash offer of $371): $628

Trading in to a dedicated buyback company yields a lower net cost for the iPhone X. In this scenario, that $371 payout could be used toward the full price of an iPhone X, a down payment, or simply pocketed (since you can still make monthly payments on carrier plans).

Instead of falling for carrier promotions, you can get more money by comparing the top online trade-in/buyback offers via Flipsy.com, which also:

  • Shows iPhone blue book values
  • Shows which companies offer price locks (lock in a price now, sell later)
  • Shows which local stores are buying used iPhones for instant cash payments

You can see how it works for the iPhone 7 Plus here.

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