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Upgrading phones is expensive!


Key points

  • Trading in your old phone can get you decent credit for a new iPhone 14.
  • Getting a model with a smaller screen or less storage space can bring the price down.
  • Your expensive iPhone purchase could be enough to earn a credit card sign-up bonus, getting you $200 in cash.

It’s September, which means Halloween supplies are hitting shelves, pumpkin spice lattes are back — and new iPhones have been announced. That’s right, the iPhone 14 has been officially announced!

Although you can only start playing with the new models in October, you box pre-order now to ensure you’re one of the first. Of course, if you’re already salivating at the thought of the latest iPhone in your hands, you’ve probably seen the four-figure price tags that many options are sporting this season.

While many of us are already battling inflation and housing booms, savings accounts are getting tighter. But while there aren’t any amazing pre-order discounts to grab, there are still a few ways to save when pre-ordering the new iPhone 14.

1. Trade in your old phone

The best way to get a deal on a new iPhone 14 is to trade in another phone. Whether you have an older model iPhone, a recent model from Samsung, or a relatively new Google Pixel, you can trade it in to Apple for a discount on your iPhone 14 pre-order.

Phone must be in good condition to get full trade-in value. An iPhone 13 Pro in good condition will fetch up to $720, while one with a cracked screen tops out at $280. Also, the older the phone, the less you will get for it. You can trade in iPhones up to the iPhone 7 – but it’ll only get you $40, and that’s if it’s in good condition.

2. Choose a smaller screen

The first choice you’ll make when pre-ordering a new iPhone 14 is which model to get. If you want all the new bells and whistles, your options are between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The only difference? Screen size — and $100.

Both the Pro and Pro Max feature the upgraded camera system, the latest software (including the much-loved Dynamic Island) and the A16 Bionic chip. But the Pro has a 6.1″ display, while the Pro Max has a 6.7″ display.

If you can live with a slightly smaller screen, you can save $100 on buying the larger Pro Max. Essentially, you’re paying 9% less for a screen that’s, well, 9% smaller. It looks like fair trade.

3. Opt for less storage

Love it or hate it, the current trend for modern smartphones is to skip the SD card in favor of outright buying a phone with more storage. Of course, the more storage you want, the more you pay.

An iPhone 14 Pro with 128GB of storage will set you back $999, while one with 1TB of storage will set you back $1,499. If you know you won’t be loading your phone with media, going with the smaller storage option can save you a lot of money.

4. Get a carrier-locked phone

When you buy your new iPhone 14 from Apple, you have the choice between a completely unlocked phone – which can be connected to any mobile carrier – or a phone locked to one of four carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. Locked phones can usually only be used with this operator.

There is no price difference regardless of the carrier option you choose for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. But if you’re looking to pre-order a cheaper iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, getting an unlocked phone from Apple will cost you an extra $30.

For example, the base iPhone 14 Plus model costs $899 for all four carriers, but $929 if you choose the “Connect to any carrier later” option. If you’re a loyal carrier and you know you won’t be switching anytime soon, choosing a locked phone can lower the cost of your purchase a bit.

5. Use it to earn a sign-up bonus

It might be an unconventional savings option, but a credit card sign-up bonus can definitely be a solid way to get some cash back on your iPhone purchase. How it works? Simple:

Sign up for a new cash rewards credit card with a great sign-up bonus. (Ideally, choose one with no annual fee.) Then, use your new card to purchase an iPhone 14. Depending on spending needs — and the model of iPhone you buy — that purchase alone could earn you the bonus. (If you need to spend a little more, buy gas or groceries.)

And that’s all it takes. You can easily find cards with $200 bonuses for spending $1,000 in the first three months. This means that a new iPhone Pro Max could earn you a $200 bonus in just one transaction.

Even better, most cash back cards these days also come with a 0% APR introductory offer. That means you could pay off your iPhone in a few months without worrying about interest. and earn more rewards and the sign-up bonus. It’s a win-win-win!

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