Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 are now available for pre-ordering. But before you hit the purchase button, you should shop around for deals. You’ll be able to save yourself some hard-earned money and possibly even get the new iPhone for free.
Yes, you can get an iPhone 12 for free, but you need to stack the right combination of deals.
Most carriers are boosting their trade-in offers, so you will get more than usual for your older phone. To get the biggest trade-in amount, you’ll need to trade-in the newest phone possible. It also has to be in good working and cosmetic condition.
You can boost your discount even more by opening a new line instead of upgrading. When you open a new line, carriers will give you a better deal. Some of these discounts may be monthly credits applied to your account and require a monthly installment billing plan. If you try to cancel before your term is over, you will have to pay the remaining balance on the phone.
Lastly, to get the iPhone 12 free, you’ll need to switch carriers as most carriers give you an extra discount when you change.
Bring a recent model phone to trade-in, add a new line of service, and switch carriers and you may be able to get the iPhone 12 free and the iPhone 12 Pro for about $200.
Be Prepared for Fees
When you earn an iPhone for free with one of these promotions, there are some hidden fees you should be prepared to pay.
First is the activation fee, a one-time fee you pay when you activate a new phone. Prices vary, but it is typically $30 per line of service. Carriers sometimes waive this fee when you purchase a full-priced phone, but they usually charge it when receiving a discount on the phone.
Don’t forget that you’ll also have to pay taxes on the MSRP of the phone and not the discounted price that you are paying. Many people are surprised to be hit with taxes during checkout.
Walmart is offering $130 off the price of the iPhone 12 without any trade-in. You need to sign up for an installment plan, but you may cancel at any time and pay off your phone without any additional fees. This offer is available to either AT&T or Verizon customers and can be used for a new line or an upgrade.
Verizon is offering a trade-in program that’ll give you up to $550 for an older device when you sign up for a new line on an Unlimited plan. If you are switching carriers, you can score another $250, raising your discount to a whopping $800 off. That’ll score you an iPhone 12 for free and an iPhone 12 Pro for $200. If you prefer to use up an upgrade, Verizon will give you up to $440. This promotion applies the discount over 24-months as a bill credit.
T-Mobile is offering up to $850 off an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro with an eligible trade-in. To get the full amount, you must trade in a newer iPhone model in good condition. These newer phones include an iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max. You can view the list of phones and their values here.
The discount is spread out over 30 months as monthly bill credits. If you cancel, you will forfeit the credit and are required to pay off your phone balance.
T-Mobile is also offering a discount on two iPhone 12 Pro devices. You can buy two iPhone 12 Pro phones for $100 per month on the carrier’s Essentials Plan. You must trade-in two eligible iPhones and agree to 30-months of bill credits. If you cancel early, the credits will end, and you are responsible for the remaining balance on the phone.
Best Buy is partnering with AT&T on its discounts. Customers can snag to an iPhone 12 for free with a 30-month agreement and the iPhone 12 Pro for $6.67 per month for 30 months. You’ll need to sign up for an unlimited plan from AT&T and agree to the 30-month installment billing plan. You’ll also need to trade-in a qualifying phone at AT&T, even though you purchased your iPhone 12 at Best Buy.
AT&T took the lead on iPhone discounts, announcing its free iPhone 12 promotion right after Apple’s iPhone press event. Customers can get a free iPhone 12 with an eligible trade-in. The deal is applied over 30-months as bill credits.