If you're in the market for the new iPhone 12, you can get a return on your investment if you sell your old iPhone first. If you don't want to be in charge of the direct sale, however, you can simply trade-in your old iPhone for a new one, get store credit, or get cash on the dollar. Just Make sure you prepare your iPhone for sale before you send it away.
Trading-in your iPhone isn't only useful to cover some of the cost of your new iPhone 12, it's also good to use the money for extra accessories you might want. The best iphone 12 chargers or any of the MagSafe accessories will cost you extra. Here's how to trade in your iPhone.
The next generation
The newest flagship iPhone.
With fancy new colors — like this gorgeous blue —and the new powerful A14 Bionic chip, the iPhone 12 is the new iPhone we all know and love. This time around, it has 5G, meaning you can get the fastest connection speeds. Plus, Apple included MagSafe for charging and cases, meaning it's never been easier to use accessories with your iPhone.
- Trade in your old iPhone for a new one
- Trade in your old iPhone for credit at your favorite store
- Trade in your iPhone for cash
Trade in your old iPhone for a new one
If you know what you want, and know what you want to get rid of, the fastest path to getting your new iPhone for less is to trade it in for a new model directly. If you are able to visit a retail store, it's even faster. Here are the best places to trade in your old iPhone for a new one.
Apple's iPhone Trade-Up Program
Apple provides a simple way to exchange your old iPhone for a new one. You don't even have to go into an Apple Retail Store if you don't want to. You can mail in your old device for a gift card that you can use at Apple online or at a retail store near you to put toward your new iPhone or any store purchase. You don't even need to trade in an iPhone, either. You can trade in a different phone, or even a computer.
Similar to Apple, AT&T offers an easy-to-use trade-in program for trading in your old phone for a new one, including online. You can search for the value of your model on AT&T's website and either visit a retail shop to trade in your old iPhone for a new one or mail it in for a gift card you can put toward your next iPhone purchase or phone accessories. You can also use the gift card toward your monthly service charges, or as a down payment for AT&T's Next program.
Verizon allows you to trade in up to 10 devices at once. So, if you've got a pile of old iPhones lying around, you can pile up the trade in funds to put toward your new one. Verizon gives a slight increase in trade-in value for devices on its own carrier. There doesn't appear to be a way to visit a Verizon retail store to trade in your iPhone, but you can do so online and mail in your device. You can use the gift card to put toward your new iPhone or accessories or to pay your monthly service charges.
T-Mobile's trade in program makes it possible for you to trade in your old iPhone for a new one, but if you've already bought your device, you can use the credit toward your monthly bill instead. You just have to let T-Mobil know what your phone invoice is and you can request to put the funds toward your bill. T-Mobile's trade in value is lower than other carriers.
Trade in your old iPhone for credit at your favorite store
Maybe you already purchased a new iPhone and want to trade your old one in, but want to use the value toward something else entirely. You can trade in your iPhone for store credit at these participating retailer.
Amazon has a crazy-good trade in program. It also keeps track of everything you've purchased and shows you what all of it is worth in trade. You don't have to have purchased your iPhone with Amazon originally. Just pick your model, storage capacity, and carrier (or unlocked) and you're ready to go. Amazon offers a 28-day lock-in price, which means you can hold onto your current model until you receive your new one and still get the same quoted price, even if your current model becomes last year's outdated device. You can put your credit toward any of the millions of products Amazon sells.
Best Buy's trade in program lets you find out the estimated value of your device online, and then you can either mail it in for a gift card, or take it into your local store for credit. You can put your trade-in credit toward anything Best Buy has to offer, including movies, appliances, and electronics. Currently, Best Buy offers the highest trade-in value for iPhone of any on the list.
Target has an electronics trade-in program so you can rid yourself of your old iPhone and use store credit toward anything the company sells. Target is willing to take your iPhone 4 off your hands, though you won't get much for the trade-in. Target doesn't have an on-site trade-in department, so you'll have to go online, but you can also use your gift card to shop at Target online, so you can be as lazy as you like.
Walmart will take your old iPhone off of your hands and send you a gift card toward any purchase at its stores. You'll get a higher price for your trade in than most other places (though, not the highest), which makes the value of your trade in even higher since Walmart's prices are so ridiculously low. The trade-in process has to take place online, but you can use the gift card at your local Walmart or on the website.
Trade in your old iPhone for cash
Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned cash value trade in. With it, you can literally buy anything that's for sale. If you just want the Benjamins, there are a few options that provide an easy trade: Your iPhone for cash.
Gazelle is one of the most popular sites for trading in your iPhone for cash. It's easy to use and you can lock in the estimated offer for your device for 30 days. You can get your currency in the form of a check, Amazon payment, or PayPal exchange. It's easy to use and you can even get additional store credit toward purchases made on Gazelle's resale site. Gazelle has one advantage over other cash-for-device services: You can trade it in-person at a participating ecoATM for cash right away.
Swappa is usually the highest-paying trade-in value of the cash-for-device services. That's because it's an auction house for technology, only you don't have to do the work yourself. You create a listing for your devices, just like you would on eBay, but Swappa takes care of the exchange. It's a lot less of a hassle than the Wild West that is eBay.
Do you have any questions about how to trade in your iPhone or which trade-in option is right for you? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.
Updated October 2020: Update information for the launch of the iPhone 12.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).