How does Optus’ New Phone Trade Up deal work?

Optus allows contract customers to trade up to a new phone after only a year on a two year contract, but it pays to be aware of the conditions.

Optus’ New Phone Trade Up deal is relatively new, having only launched this year in competition with Telstra’s existing New Phone Feeling offer. Both services offer in essence the same thing; after a twelve month period on contract with a handset, you can opt to change out your handset for a new one. The reasons why you might choose to change, whether it’s because there’s a better model now available or you’ve decided it’s too large or entirely the wrong shade of pink don’t actually matter to Optus, but you do need to understand fully how the offer works.

How much does New Phone Trade Up cost?

The New Phone Trade Up is included as an option on any and all 24 month Optus contract plans with no specific monthly charge for its inclusion. What you do pay is a one-off fee of $99 to make the swap when you opt to trade up for a new handset and contract deal for a further 24 month period.

At that point, your existing contract commitment is terminated, and a completely new contract and handset are yours to use for a further two year period at whatever rates and handset repayments apply at the time of your new contract for your new device.

There’s one significant caveat in play here. Optus has only offered the New Phone Trade Up scheme on contracts issued on or after 11 March 2016. Any contract prior to that date can’t take advantage of the deal at all.

What happens to my existing phone?

The core idea of the New Phone Trade Up scheme is that you effectively trade in your existing handset to Optus. In order for Optus to accept it you’ve got to pay the $99 fee and re-contract for a further 24 months with a new plan and handset, but also the phone you trade in has to be accepted as being in what Optus calls "good working order".

Specifically, Optus notes that it must be functioning normally for calls, texts and Internet access, only has "normal" wear and tear and can meet the following criteria:

  • Your device can power on and off.
  • Your touchscreen is fully functional and has no imperfections such as lines or marks.
  • Your device does not have any missing buttons or damage to other components such as charging ports or SIM tray.
  • The device (including the touchscreen) is not cracked and does not have any severe scratches (normal wear and tear such as light marks and scratches are okay).
  • Make sure any locking features are disabled (for example, find my iPhone on iOS devices).

Once traded in, your existing phone will be either used for parts or sold by a second hand dealer appointed by Optus, so it’s vital to ensure that you’ve properly wiped it prior to trading it in.

What if my phone has been replaced in the meantime?

Optus notes that it will accept phones that have been replaced under a warranty claim or though Optus’ own Yes Insurance cover product, although there’s no specific mention of allowing phones replaced through other insurance products, so you may need to check with Optus store staff if that’s what’s happened to your device.

What if my phone has been lost or I want to keep it?

Optus will allow you to keep your existing phone if you’re happy to pay off the full remaining cost of your phone, including any amount Optus was going to cover. This also applies in the case of lost phones, or for that matter phones that are damaged to a state where Optus does not consider them to be in good working order.

What happens to my contract if I take up the New Phone Trade Up deal?

Because you sign up for a new 24 month contract, your existing contract is terminated upon receipt of your agreed working phone and payment of the $99 fee.

There are two practical effects to this. Firstly, it means that you end up being under contract for at least three years, adding the 12 months of your first contract to the 24 months of your second contract. You’re also going to get whatever Optus’ current offers are at the time you make the switch. For the most part that’s likely to be a better deal, but if you did sign up for a particularly compelling contract offer, it’s feasible that the contracts on the table at the time you swap might not be as good. You can’t keep the old contract conditions and the new phone as part of the deal.

Is New Phone Trade Up worth it?

It’s a very open question, because it depends on your precise circumstances. For Optus, it gets to keep a customer under contract for at least an additional year beyond the point where your first contract would have expired, plus whatever value it can realise from your existing handset.

If you’re not happy with your existing handset for whatever reason, it can be a good and quick way to swap to something more appropriate. It’s also a good point to assess your general usage patterns. Because you’re signing a new contract after 12 months of usage, you should have a more informed position on how much you actually need in terms of data and can adjust your contract needs accordingly.

Do any other Telcos offer similar services?

Optus’ New Phone Trade Up deal mirrors in most details the New Phone Feeling offer that Telstra’s been running for several years now.

Alex Kidman

Alex is the Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for the best part of two decades, and enjoys breaking down complex topics into their component parts.

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