The iPhone 15 Is Here: How to Save Money on Older iPhone Models

Women laugh as they hold up iPhone 15 models at an Apple Store in NYC.
People look at the new iPhone 15 at Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City. Photo courtesy of Apple
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The release of a new iPhone is always an exciting event for tech enthusiasts, but it can also leave many wondering how to save on older models.

With rising inflation, most of us are watching our wallets these days. You might be in the market for a new iPhone, but you’re hesitating about the price — we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will explore how you can save on older-model iPhones now that the iPhone 15 is out, as well as how you might be able to snag a deal on the newest one.

How to Save on Older iPhone Models

One of the most immediate ways to save on an older iPhone model is to take advantage of the price drops that typically occur when a new iPhone is released. Apple reduces the prices of its older models — usually by about $100 — to make way for the latest and greatest.

Here are some other key points to consider when looking for a discounted older iPhone:

1. Look for Official Refurbished iPhones

Apple offers certified refurbished iPhones through its website and retail stores. Currently, Apple offers certified refurbished iPhones up to the iPhone 13. These devices have been thoroughly tested, repaired and come with a warranty, making them a reliable choice. While they may not be the latest models, they are often as good as new and can save you a significant amount of money compared to buying brand new. Discounts vary by iPhone model.

2. Explore Carrier Deals and Trade-In Programs

Many carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile offer special deals and trade-in programs when a new iPhone is released. It’s sometimes possible to get a new iPhone totally for free if you open a new line. These deals can help you get a discount on the older models, or even provide you with a credit for your old iPhone when you upgrade to a newer one. It’s worth checking with your carrier to see what promotions they have available.

Here’s a quick, side-by-side overview of the current carrier deals offered on many different iPhone models from Apple’s website. You could save even more money, on your monthly wireless service, by bringing your new iPhone to a cheaper carrier.

3. Consider Buying from Authorized Resellers

Authorized resellers and retailers like Target and Walmart and offer discounts and promotions on older iPhones. In fact, Target offers iPhone discounts ranging from $21.50-$50 off if you pay with a Target RedCard, depending on the iPhone model. Keep an eye on their websites and physical stores for special deals, especially during the launch of a new iPhone.

4. Explore Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces such as eBay, Swappa and Gazelle can be great places to find discounted older iPhones from individual sellers. Swappa offers used and refurbished older iPhone models for as little as $100. However, exercise caution and ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable seller. Check the device’s condition and request details about its history before making a purchase, if possible.

How to Find the Best iPhone Deals 

When it comes to finding the best iPhone deals on the web, it’s essential to be vigilant and do your research. Here are some tips and strategies to help you find fantastic deals:

1. Monitor Apple’s Official Website

Apple occasionally has special promotions and offers on its website, during Black Friday for example. Be sure to check Apple’s website to see if there are any further discounts on older iPhones when you start your holiday shopping.

2. Compare Prices Across Retailers

Use price comparison websites, apps and browser extensions like Honey and Capital One Shopping to compare prices across various retailers. This can help you find the incredible deals on the specific iPhone model you want, without having to do the legwork. Don’t forget to factor in any additional perks or discounts offered by the retailer, such as free shipping or extended warranties.

3. Subscribe to Deal Alerts

Subscribe to deal alert services or follow tech deal forums like Apple Insider to stay up to date on iPhone deals and discounts. These websites often share information about limited-time offers and discounts on iPhones, helping you stay updated on the latest deals.

4. Consider Certified Pre-Owned Options

Certified pre-owned iPhones from reputable sellers can be a cost-effective choice. These devices are typically inspected, refurbished and certified to be in good working condition. They often come with warranties, ensuring peace of mind with your purchase.

5. Keep an Eye on Seasonal Sales

Major retailers often have seasonal sales events, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and back-to-school promotions. These are excellent times to score significant discounts on older iPhone models, as well as accessories like cases and chargers.

How to Save on the iPhone 15

If you’re dead set on getting the iPhone 15, no judgment from us. Because, let’s face it, we’d all like the newest iPhone.

The iPhone 15 starts at $799 for the standard 6.1-inch model and $899 for the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus. Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone always comes with a premium price tag, but with a few strategic moves, you can still enjoy the cutting-edge technology without emptying your wallet.

1. Trade-In Your Current iPhone

One of the most straightforward ways to reduce the cost of an iPhone 15 is by trading in your current iPhone. Apple and various carriers offer trade-in programs that allow you to exchange your old device for credit toward your new purchase. The value of your trade-in depends on the model and condition of your current iPhone, but it can make a substantial dent in the cost of your new iPhone 15.

2. Take Advantage of Carrier Subsidies

Many cellular providers offer subsidized pricing when you sign up for a new contract or switch to their service. These subsidies can significantly lower the upfront cost of the iPhone 15. Be sure to compare the terms and conditions of your current carrier and others to choose the one that offers the best deal for your needs.

3. Consider Financing Options

If paying for the iPhone 15 upfront is not feasible, consider financing options offered by Apple and some carriers. Apple’s installment plans allow you to spread the cost of the device over several months with no interest, making it more affordable every month.

4. Take Advantage of Apple’s Upgrade Program

Apple’s Upgrade Program is an option for those who want to stay on the cutting edge of iPhone technology without the burden of large upfront costs. With this program, you can get a brand-new iPhone, including the latest iPhone 15, and pay for it in monthly installments starting at $39.50 per month. What makes this program particularly appealing is the option to upgrade to a new iPhone every year, which means you’ll always have the latest device without worrying about the resale value of your current one. Additionally, AppleCare+ is included, providing added peace of mind with extended warranty coverage and priority access to Apple’s support services.

How to Save on iPhone Accessories

In addition to saving on the iPhone itself, you can also unlock additional savings by being smart about the accessories you purchase. Here are a few tips:

1. Buy Generic Accessories

While branded Apple accessories are known for their quality, generic alternatives can often provide similar functionality at a fraction of the price. Consider purchasing third-party cases, screen protectors and chargers to save money without compromising on quality.

2. Look for Bundles

Some retailers offer bundles that include essential accessories like cases, screen protectors and headphones when you purchase an iPhone. These bundles can provide you with valuable accessories at a reduced cost compared to buying them separately.

3. Consider Wireless Charging

If you’re purchasing a newer iPhone model that supports wireless charging, invest in a wireless charging pad. While the initial cost may be higher, it can save you money in the long run by reducing the wear and tear on (and the need to replace) your charging cables frequently.

Bottom Line

With the release of the iPhone 15, there’s no better time to find excellent deals on older iPhone models. Whether you opt for certified refurbished devices, take advantage of carrier promotions, or scour online marketplaces, there are plenty of ways to save money on an iPhone without sacrificing quality.

To maximize your savings, be patient and do your research. Compare prices, explore different purchasing options and consider the value of bundled accessories. By following these tips and being savvy in your approach, you can enjoy the benefits of an iPhone without breaking the bank or emptying all of the cash in your wallet.

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to create content on all things saving and making money. His work also appears on The Smart Wallet, FinanceBuzz, Yahoo! Finance, JoyWallet,, and The Money Manual.