Phone trade-in programs
If you’re in need of a new phone right now, consider trading in your current phone to save a bit of money.
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Major phone providers have trade-in schemes where they accept certain older models that are in good condition. They then put some of that value towards your phone bills or a new handset.
How do trade-in schemes generally work?
While the exact process depends on the provider, here's the general gist for trading in your device.
- Check eligibility. Companies only have a narrow range of older phone models that they'll accept. Not only does your phone have to be an eligible model, it must also be in "good condition" (described below).
- Prepare your device. This includes backing up any data you want to keep, disabling any location or locking features, pulling out your SIM card, and resetting the device to factory settings.
- Send it in. Mail in your device or hand it in at a store and receive your credit.
What does "good condition" mean?
Every provider has its own definition, but "good condition" usually means that your device works fine and isn't too banged up. This means your device is:
- Able to power on and off normally
- Free from any cracks or major dents and scratches
- Not damaged by liquid or locked to a network
- Free from any locking features like Find My Device or Find My iPhone
Major provider trade-in schemes
Here's how Australia's three largest telecommunications providers handle trade-ins.
Telstra's trade-in program is available to Telstra postpaid account holders and those on its Upfront mobile plans. Your eligibility and the value of your trade-in is assessed through the My Telstra app. If successful, your trade-in credit will be applied in full to your bill (or card/account if you're on an Upfront plan).
A couple of things to note with Telstra:
- Only certain Apple, Samsung and Google phones are eligible
- Device must be returned in Telstra's registered satchel they send you
Optus' trade-in program is available to account holders with an active, billed Optus service. Your eligibility is conducted through a questionnaire on Optus' website.
If successful with your trade-in request, your credit will be applied in full to one of your next two bills.
Optus has flexible trade-in options too:
- Device can be returned in a prepaid satchel or traded in at an Optus store.
Vodafone's trade-in program is available to all postpaid Vodafone account holders. Similarly to Telstra, your eligibility and value is assessed through the Vodafone trade-in app. Your credit is only applied in full if you sign up for a new device payment plan. Otherwise, it's credited over 12, 24 or 36 months of your Vodafone plan.
A couple of things to take note of:
- Your old device can be handed in at a Vodafone store or arranged over the phone for delivery
- Limit of one device per year
Compare new phone plans below
Want a look at what's on offer from each provider? We've listed plans for the latest iPhone and Samsung models below, just click on the different tabs to view them.
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