iPhone 13 launched a few months ago, and December is still brimming with incredible deals on the hottest new smartphone. Some of the details have changed – and you might need a better trade-in device to earn a full discount – but there are plenty of ways to snag the expensive phone at a surprisingly low price.
Samsung and Google products are also seeing steep discounts in December. If you’re looking to save hundreds of dollars on your holiday shopping list, here are the best smartphone discounts of the season.
Recommended Deals on Android Smartphones
Save $350 on the Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Galaxy S20 FE 5G – Sale Price: $349.99 | Regular Price: $699.99
Trade in an eligible device, and you can pick up the budget-friendly Galaxy S20 FE at an even friendlier price. Products in the Galaxy S10 family are eligible for the full $350 discount, along with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. New iPhone products, such as the 12 and 12 Pro, offer a massive $550 discount — making the Galaxy S20 FE an interesting choice if you’re looking to save a bit of money on your phone bill.
Your purchase also comes with two months of YouTube Premium and six months of SiriusXM Streaming.
Eligible Trades Get the Galaxy S21 5G for Free
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $799.99
T-Mobile is giving away the standard Galaxy S21 5G with eligible trades, including any device in the iPhone 11 family, Galaxy Note10 series and more.
It might lack the massive 6.7-inch display, but beyond that, the phone is virtually identical to its larger (and more expensive) sibling. Considering it’s available for free during this promotion, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal.
The Revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Sees a $900 Discount
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G – Sale Price: $899.99 | Regular Price: $1,799.99
What was once a niche product for enthusiasts with bundles of disposable income is now available at a slightly more palatable price. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is currently available to pre-order and is discounted $900 with eligible trades, making the foldable phone a serious contender for your next upgrade. That price tag comes with a massive 7.6-inch Infinity Flex Display, a lightning-fast Snapdragon 888 5G+ chipset and a unique Flex mode camera system to keep you in focus while filming hands-free video.
The New Galaxy Z Flip3 5G Is Free With Eligible Trades
Galaxy Z Flip3 – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $999.99
Speaking of foldable phones, one of the hottest new folding phones on the market is available for free through AT&T. As long as you have an eligible phone to trade — such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max or Galaxy S21 5G — you’ll receive $1,000 in trade credits toward your purchase.
You’ll also need to spring for a new line or upgrade to an unlimited plan, but there’s not a better way to pick up the Z Flip3 than this.
Get an Underrated Android Smartphone for Free
OnePlus Nord N200 5G – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $216.99
It might not be the most well-known smartphone on the market, but with nearly 29 hours of talk time on a single charge — not to mention a triple-camera setup — the Nord N200 5G is a surprising little phone. Just activate a new line with an unlimited plan and sign up for monthly payments to get the underrated phone for free.
Visible Is Bundling the Pixel 6 with Free Earbuds and a $100 Gift Card
Google Pixel 6 – Regular Price: $600.00
Although its price isn’t being reduced, Visible is throwing in a free pair of Google Pixel Buds A-Series and a $100 virtual gift card when transferring your number to a new line. A few restrictions apply – and you won’t get your gift card until you’ve completed three months of service – but this is currently one of the only discounts on Google’s latest smartphone.
Recommended Deals on Apple iPhones
Get the New iPhone 13 for Free With Eligible Trades
There’s no shortage of great iPhone 13 deals, but AT&T and T-Mobile have two of the best. Both retailers are giving the phone away for free with eligible trades. T-Mobile is going a step further and offering a guaranteed $800 trade credit every two years towards your next iPhone upgrade. If you know you’re sticking with Apple for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to pass up that offer.
- iPhone 13 (AT&T) – Sale Price: $0.00 | Regular Price: $799.99
- iPhone 13 (T-Mobile) – Sale Price: $0.00 | Regular Price: $799.99
Everyone Is Giving Away Free iPhone 13 minis
No matter where you look, you’ll probably spot a promotion for a free iPhone 13 mini. As usual, you’ll need to have an eligible trade, but AT&T’s requirements are surprisingly lenient. Trade-in any smartphone worth at least $95, opt for monthly payments and join an unlimited plan to get the iPhone 13 mini for free.
- iPhone 13 mini – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $699.99
AT&T Makes It Easy to Get a Free iPhone 13 Pro
AT&T strikes again – this time with an impressive iPhone 13 Pro deal. As usual, you’ll need to sign up for monthly payments and an unlimited plan and trade in your old device. Any smartphone worth more than $290 qualifies for a free iPhone 13 Pro, and there are not many other retailers that are holding such a generous promotion.
- iPhone 13 Pro – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $999.99
However, Verizon isn’t far behind – in fact, it might be the better option if you have an eligible trade-in device and switch lines from another carrier. Not only will that net you a free iPhone 13 Pro, but you’ll also get a $1,000 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard. Just make sure you hang onto your receipt and visit VZW.com/rebate within 60 days of activation (and use promo code SWITCH21 to get the Prepaid Mastercard).
- iPhone 13 Pro – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $999.99
Save $1,000 on the Ultra-Powerful iPhone 13 Pro Max
As the most high-end smartphone in the iPhone 13 lineup, no retailer is giving away the Pro Max. However, you can save up to $1,000 through AT&T when trading in an old phone worth at least $290. A similar promotion is also running at T-Mobile, although Verizon’s discount is the most enticing – as it offers a $1,000 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard with your purchase.
- iPhone 13 Pro Max – Sale Price: $99.99 | Regular Price: $1,099.99
Verizon Offering $1,000 to Most New Customers
Aside from the iPhone and Android deals mentioned above, be sure to check out the full Verizon catalog before making an upgrade. We’re not sure how long it will last, but the service provider is currently offering a $1,000 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard when adding a smartphone worth at least $699.99 to your cart and paying with monthly payments. You’ll also need to activate the device on a new line of service with an Unlimited plan, but meet all that criteria and you’ll qualify for the offer. Even if your prospective phone doesn’t qualify for the $1,000 gift card, many products at Verizon still come with a $500 Mastercard.
Just make sure you hang onto your final bill – as you’ll need to update it to VZW.com/rebate and use promo code SWITCH21 to finalize the transaction.
Tips for Saving Money While Shopping for Smartphones
Don’t Assume You Need the Newest Model
Let’s be honest, most users don’t need the latest and greatest phone out there. This is especially true considering the hefty price tag that’s usually attached.
Related: 13 Reasons You Don’t Need an iPhone 13
But if you really want to be one of the first owners of the next flagship phone, the best thing to do is to keep an eye out for pre-order deals. There is always some risk in opting for a product that is not out yet, and for that reason, companies are often more generous with their discounts and offers.
Sell Your Old Phone
Another way to save on a new phone is to sell your old phone. While trading in your phone at a retailer is quick and painless, you often lose out on a bit of value for your phone. But with a little effort, you can sell your phone on eBay or Craigslist and get more money than vendors usually offer. On that note, make sure you always safeguard your phone with a screen protector and case. A single scratch on the screen may make a huge difference in what you can sell it for.
With all the brilliant marketing out there, it can be easy to cave in and buy that shiny new phone. But with a little more grit, you can save a lot of money if you wait until the next big holiday. Black Friday sales often see some of the best savings of the entire year, so if you’re not in dire need of a new phone, it’s best to just keep waiting.
Utilize No-Interest Financing Offers
Sometimes it can be hard to drop $1,000 right then and there on a new phone. In the past, financing usually had a negative connotation. Sometimes the interest could add up and tack on another 20% or more to your original purchase price. However, many retailers have been offering zero-interest financing for purchases paid in full for certain lengths of time.
This is a great risk-free way to get the phone of your dreams, and it also helps as a credit builder. With improved credit, you can save even more money by enjoying other low to no-financing offers on future purchases.
Ultimately, saving money on your next smartphone boils down to being patient. Skip a generation of phones, hold out for a better discount or wait to pick up a new device until yours stops working. Phones today may not last as long as they used to (Nokia sure did make some bulletproof products), but they can still serve us well for many years. Take care of your phone, keep your eye out for sales and all that patience will pay off when a great deal comes around.
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