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How to Get a Free iPhone 15

by Stewart Wolpin on September 19, 2023

That headline is not a come-on. If you’re considering upgrading to a new iPhone, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all are offering a “free” iPhone 15 – if you qualify as the right kind of customer, have the right type of phone to trade in, and you choose an iPhone that costs less than $1,000.

AT&T ad showing the iPhone 15 Pro with the text: Get it on us with any iPhone trade-in. Any model. Any condition. Guaranteed. With Unlimited Ultimate.

When the carriers say you can get an iPhone 15 “on us” – which implies you can get a free iPhone 15 – what they actually mean is you’ll get an eligible trade-in credit up to the cost of a new iPhone 15. Say you want a 128GB iPhone 15 Plus, which lists for $899. If you’re eligible for up to a $1,000 credit from your carrier, you’ll get the $899 to cover the cost of the phone – which means you’ll get your iPhone 15 Plus for free with your trade-in. However, if you want a 256GB iPhone 15 Pro Max, which lists for $1,199, the $1,000 credit will be applied, and you’ll have to pay the difference.

The $1,000 credit will not be immediately applied to cover the cost of your new iPhone 15. Instead, you will pay for your iPhone 15 with a 24 or 36-month installment plan, and your carrier will credit your account every month to cover the cost of your iPhone 15. Only after it’s paid off do you own the phone. There also may be separate “connection” or other add-on fees you’ll have to pay.

If you don’t qualify for one of these trade-in credit offers, all carriers offer a standard trade-in upgrade program if your current device is at least 50 percent paid off.

Of course, all these tempting iPhone 15 trade-in offers are accompanied by the usual fine print carrier conditions and caveats. My advice: make sure you completely understand all conditions, restrictions, and possible additional fees or subscription costs accompanying your trade-in credit deal before you sign. These deals are only worth taking advantage of if you plan on staying with the carrier for the next two to three years, have good credit, and don't mind paying for a premium plan.

Below, you’ll find an overview of what Apple and the major carriers are offering as part of their “free iPhone 15” promotions. To make sense of what offers apply to you and whether you qualify, gather together the following information:

  • The model of phone you plan on trading in. For iPhones, if you’re not sure, we have instructions on how to find your model number and a chart listing iPhone models back to the first iPhone in 2007. For Android phones, go to Settings > System and look at the model number under "About Phone."
  • Is your iPhone paid off? If not, what is the name of your payment agreement with your carrier, and how much have you paid off? Did you subscribe to any services that allow you to upgrade early?
  • What is the name of your cellphone plan?

If you find out that you don't qualify for the $1,000 credit, check to see what Apple is offering for your old phone as a trade-in credit. If it's a similar amount, you can avoid locking into a 24 or 36-month agreement with a carrier if you take your credit from Apple.

How to get trade-in credit from Apple

You can’t get a “free” iPhone 15 through Apple – an up to $1,000 trade-in credit – just through one of the three national carriers. But you can get a trade-in credit when you trade in an iPhone 7 or later – estimated values range between $40-$650, depending on the model and condition of your phone. And if you have a Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, or OnePlus phone, estimated trade-in values range from $30 to $325. Go to apple.com/shop/trade-in to find out the value of your trade-in phone. The benefit of getting your trade-in credit through Apple is that it is applied as soon as Apple processes your trade-in.

How to get the free iPhone deal from AT&T

AT&T iPhone deals page showing the iPhone 15 Pro for $0 per month, the iPhone 14 for $0 per month. The fine print says limited time offer, requires 36-month agreement, for well-qualified customers, terms and restrictions apply.

AT&T is offering up to $1,000 for an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max and up to $830 for an iPhone 15 or 15 Plus for new and existing eligible unlimited plan customers. If you are an existing customer and have an AT&T Installment Plan with Next Up on your current phone, and you have paid off half of your current installment plan, you can receive up to $500 off an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max and up to $350 off an iPhone 15 or 15 Plus. To qualify for one of the offers, you need to:

  • Trade in an eligible phone in good working condition. Your phone must be fully paid off. If you purchased your phone with an AT&T Installment Plan with AT&T Next Up and you’ve already paid off 50 percent, you can pay off the remaining cost and become eligible for the trade-in offer. Next Up costs an additional $6.00 per month, and that $6.00 does not go toward paying off your phone.
  • With Next Up, once you’ve paid off half of your current device’s installment plan (50 percent) and turn in your device in good condition, you don’t have to pay off the rest of your phone’s installment balance to upgrade. However, instead of an up to $1,000 credit, you'll receive an up to $500 credit.
  • Subscribe to an eligible unlimited voice and data plan (minimum or $65 per month) for 36 months – the time it will take AT&T to issue credits towards your new phone.
  • Pay a $35 activation/upgrade fee.

How to qualify for an up to $1,000 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to $1,000 trade-in credit, your phone trade-in value must be at least $230. Here are the phones that qualify.

Manufacturer Models
Apple 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max
Samsung S22 Ultra 5G, S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, Z Flip4, Z Fold4, 
Google Pixel 7 Pro

How to qualify for an up to $830 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to $830 trade-in credit, your phone value must be $130-$229. Here are the phones that qualify.

Manufacturer  Models
Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, iPhone 12mini, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro, 13 mini
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 5G, S20 FE, S20 FE 5G, S20+, S20+ 5G, S20 Ultra 5G, S21 Ultra 5G, S22 5G, S22+ 5G, Note20, Note20 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 Ultra 5G, S21 5G, S21+ 5G, S21 FE 5G, Fold, Fold 5G, Z Flip3 5G, ZFold2 5G, Z Fold3 5G
Google Pixel 6 Pro, 7
OnePlus OnePlus 9 Pro 5G, 10 Pro

How to qualify for an up to $350 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to $350 trade-in credit, your trade-in device must be worth at least $35-$129. Here are the phones that qualify.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone SE (2d Gen), iPhone SE (3rd Gen) X, XR, XS, XS Max
Samsung Galaxy A32, A32 5G, A42 5G, A51 5G, A52, A52s, A52 5G, A53, A70, A71, A71 5G, A72, S9, S9+, S9+ Duos, S10, S10+, S10 5G, S10e, S10 Lite, Note9, Note10, Note10 5G, Note10 Lite, Note10+, Note10+ 5G, Z Flip, Z Flip 5G
Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a 5G, 5, 5a, 6, 6a
LG Stylo6, V50, V60 ThinQ, WING 5G
OnePlus OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, 7 Pro 5G, 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G, 8 5G, 8 Pro, 8T, 8T+, 8, 9 5G
Motorola Moto G Stylus, Razr 5G, Edge, Edge+, Edge+ 5G UW
ZTE Red Magic 3
Asus Rog Phone3
Redmi Note 10 Pro
Microsoft Surface Duo

How to get the free iPhone deal from T-Mobile

T-Mobile ad for iPhone 15 Pro. Copy reads: for new and existing cutomers get iPhone 15 Pro ON US. The fine print reads: via 24 monthly bill credits when your trade in an eligible device on a Go5G Plus or Go5G Next plan.

T-Mobile offers up to $1,000 trade-in value for its Go5G Plus or Go5 Next customers, up to $650 for its Magenta MAX customers, up to $350 for its Go5G or Magenta customers, and $200 for everyone else. To qualify for one of the offers, you need to:

  • Trade in an eligible phone in good working condition. Your phone must be fully paid off.
  • Activate or keep an eligible unlimited voice and data plan for 24 months – the time it will take T-Mobile to pay down your phone as monthly credits on your phone bill.
  • Pay a $35 activation/upgrade fee.

How to qualify for an up to $1,000 trade-in credit

If you’re a member of T-Mobile’s Go5G Plus or Go5 Next upgrade program, you can get up to a $1,000 credit on any iPhone 15 model when you trade in an eligible device. Here are the devices that qualify.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, S22 Ultra, S23 Ultra, Z Fold 3, Z Fold 4, Z Flip 3, Z Flip 4, Note20 Ultra

How to qualify for an up to $650 trade-in credit

To get $650 off any iPhone 15 model, you need to be a Magenta MAX plan subscriber and trade in one of these eligible devices.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, SE (3rd generation)
Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, S10, S10e, S10+, S10 5G, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S20 FE, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S21FE, S22, S22+, S22 Ultra, S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, Note9, Note10, Note10+, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 Ultra, Z Fold3, Z Flip 3, Z Flip4, Z Fold4
OnePlus OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, 9 Pro 5G
Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a

How to qualify for an up to $350 trade-in credit

To get $350 off any iPhone 15 model, you need to be part of the carrier’s Go5G or Magenta plan and trade in one of these eligible devices.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, SE (3rd generation)
Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, S10, S10e, S10+, S10 5G, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S20 FE, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S21FE, S22, S22+, S22 Ultra, S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, Note9, Note10, Note10+, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 Ultra, Z Fold3, Z Flip 3, Z Flip4, Z Fold4
OnePlus OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, 9 Pro 5G
Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a

How to qualify for an up to $200 trade-in credit

Having almost any other T-Mobile plan gets you $200 off any iPhone 15 with a trade-in one of these eligible devices:

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, SE (3rd generation)
Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, S10, S10e, S10+, S10 5G, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S20 FE, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S21FE, S22, S22+, S22 Ultra, Note9, Note10, Note10+, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 Ultra, Z Fold3, Z Flip 3
OnePlus OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, 9 Pro 5G
Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro, 7a

Buy one, get one $700 off

And, if you buy any iPhone 15 model straight out, you can get $700 off a second iPhone 15 if you add a line to almost any T-Mobile plan.

How to get the free iPhone deal from Verizon

Verizon ad for iPhone 15. The text reads: Newphoria. Get it on  us with any iPhone trade-in. Any model. Any condition. Guaranteed. With select Unlimited plans.

Verizon is offering up to $1,000 trade-in value for new customers and existing customers of select unlimited plans adding a new line, and up to $830 in trade-in value for existing customers on select unlimited plans looking to upgrade their device. To qualify for one of the offers, you need to:

  • Trade in an eligible phone that has been fully paid off. For most customers, your phone will need to be in good working condition. However, if you’re a new customer who is subscribing to Verizon’s Unlimited Ultimate plan, you can turn in any iPhone in any condition.
  • Subscribe to an eligible unlimited voice and data plan for 36 months – the time it will take Verizon to issue credits to pay off your phone.
  • Pay a $35 activation/upgrade fee.

How to qualify for an up to $1,000 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to a $1,000 trade-in credit toward an iPhone 15 model, you must add a new line to the carrier’s top Unlimited Ultimate Plan – either as a new or existing customer – and trade in ANY previous iPhone in ANY condition.

How to qualify for an up to $830 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to $830 in trade-in credit toward an iPhone model, you must be a Verizon Unlimited Plus or Unlimited Ultimate subscriber. Here are the models that qualify for trade-in.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, SE (3rd generation)
Samsung GalaxyS10, s 10 5G, S10 Lite, S 10+, S 10e, S 20, S20 5G, S20 FE 4G, S20 FE 5G, S20 Ultra 5G, S20+, S20+ 5G, S 21 5G, S21 FE 5G, S21 Ultra 5G, S21+ 5G, S22 5G, S22+ 5G S22 Ultra, S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, Note 9, Note 10, Note 10 5G, Note 10 Lite, Note 10+, Note 10+ 5G, Note 20 4G, Note 20 5G, Note 20 Ultra 4G, Note 20 Ultra 5G, Fold, Z Flip, Z Flip3 5G, Z Flip4
Google Pixel 4, 4a, 4a 5G, 4 XL, 5, 5a, 6, 6a, 6 Pro, 7, 7a, 7 Pro, Fold
OnePlus OnePlus 8, 8 5G, 8 Pro, 8T, 9 5G, 9 Pro 5G, 9R, 10 Pro
Motorola Moto razr, Moto razr Plus 5G, Motorola One 5G, Motorola One 5G UW Ace
Microsoft Surface Duo 1, Duo 2
LG Wing 5G, V60 ThinQ
Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3, DuraForce Ultra
Nokia Nokia 8 V 5G

How to qualify for an up to $415 trade-in credit

To qualify for up to $415 in trade-in credit toward an iPhone model, you must be a Verizon Unlimited Plus or Unlimited Ultimate subscriber. Here are the models that qualify for trade-in.

Manufacturer Models
Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus, SE (2nd Gen), SE 5G (2nd Gen), X, XR
Samsung A01, A10, A11, A12, A13, A14, A20, A20s, A21, A21s, A23, A23 5G UW, A30, A30s, A31, A32, A42, A50, A51, A51 5G, A52 5G, A53 5G, A54 5G, A70, A71, A71 5G, A72, S8, S8 Active, S8+, S9, S9+, Note 8,  XCover Pro, XCover Field Pro
Google Pixel 2, XL, 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL
OnePlus Nord 2 5G, Nord CE 2 5G, Nord N10 5G, Nord N100, Nord N200 5G, OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 7T Pro, OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren
LG 30 LE, 30 V 5G, G7 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ, LG K92, Stylo 6, V30, V40 ThinQ, V50 ThinQ, Velvet 5G UW
Orbic Orbic Myra 5G
Razer Razer Phone 2
Kyocera DuraSport 5G UW

[Image credit: screenshots via Techlicious]

Stewart Wolpin has been writing about consumer electronics for more than 35 years, including news, reviews, analysis and history, and has attended and covered nearly 50 Consumer Electronic Shows and around a dozen IFA shows in Berlin. For the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), he is an elector for and writes the official biographies of the annual CT Hall of Fame inductees, and is the keeper of the industry’s official history.


Topics

Tips & How-Tos, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones


Discussion loading

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From brook hefty on September 24, 2023 :: 8:02 pm


Half the adds half the articles sound good but a bunch of dream smashers I mean my kid want a i phone 15 i would to but i don’t haw a 500 depositor or any freebies my credit 710

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From Peter on September 27, 2023 :: 5:53 pm


Know that the was a website that can give me an iphone 15 thanks techlicious for this opportunity

Reply

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