Where to get deals on the iPhone 6

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Tomorrow is the day Apple lovers have been waiting for! The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus officially hit stores. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hype. I’ve been getting emails from my bank and credit card companies about Apple Pay which of course requires me to have an iPhone 6.

Luckily, it seems everyone is invested in helping you buy a new iPhone. Just about every carrier and retailer in the smartphone biz has some sort of trade-in deal. Most are offering the iPhone 6 starting at $199 and the 6 plus starting at $299. The no contract starting price is $649.99.

First, here are some important things to note:

  • Pre-orders are now backed up until October. If you want a phone TOMORROW, your best shot is to go to a carrier and wait in line. Note, I did not say the Apple store.
  • If you are not upgrade eligible with your carrier, you cannot take advantage of trade-in promotions. What they will offer you is some form of a pay-in-installments plan that lets you pay the full cost of the phone over two years (in addition to your service fees.) Your other option is to go to T-Mobile where all phones are full-price (more on this below) but they will pay out your contract.
  • If you’re the type of person who likes to lease things, you can look into Sprint’s “iPhone for Life” which is a zero money down plan that charges $20 a month to lease an iPhone and a $50 unlimited plan monthly fee. At the end of 24 months you give the phone back and get the latest model iPhone. I’m not endorsing this, just letting you know about it.
  • If you’re the type of person who can wait, consider waiting. Another month won’t kill you, and since the most fun part of this (to me anyway) which is Apple Pay, doesn’t launch until October, why not just wait until then?

Here are some of the promotions for folks looking to get the iPhone 6/6 plus:

AT&T: A local AT&T rep says customers who already preordered should avoid stores on Friday as their phones will be shipped to their billing address. Other customers can line up early. If you are signing up for new service, you can get it for no money down and $100 bill credit. Until Sept. 30, you can trade-in an iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s and get a $300 credit for 5s and $200 for everything else. (Note: This is not an early upgrade program.) The offer requires an eligible trade-in and the purchase of new smartphone on AT&T Next, a 2-yr wireless agreement, or a purchase at regular price with no annual contract. You get the credit on a card instantly if you trade-in at AT&T owned retail stores.  Check in-store for more details and restrictions.

Verizon: All metro area Verizon stores open at 8 a.m. Customers can get a 16GB iPhone 6 with a new, two-year contract when they trade in any iPhone 4, 4s, iPhone 5, or iPhone 5c in good working condition for a $200 gift card or an iPhone 5s for a $300 gift card. You must take your current iPhone to any Verizon Wireless Communications Store (when inventory is available) or complete an online request by Tuesday, September 30, or send via mail for receipt by Saturday, November 15 in order to receive the gift card. If you are eligible for an upgrade on or before Nov. 15, Verizon will let you upgrade with this promotion to the new phone now.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile will match any carrier’s trade in offer — they specifically mention AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Not only will they pay you the difference, but for a limited time they will give you $50, so you can trade up to the new device you want. You will need it, since T-Mobile does not subsidize phones like other carriers. Whatever money you get will go toward paying at least $650 for an iPhone 6. T-Mobile does pay early termination fees if you’re stuck in a contract.

Walmart/ Sam’s Club: These shops are offering the lowest prices on the iPhone 6 at $179/$177 and $279/$277 for the 6 plus. They will also accept trade-ins on your old phone, but not for a promotional value.

You can also buy or preorder the new iPhones tomorrow at the following retailers: Best Buy, GameStop, Staples, Target, Radio Shack, and of course, the Apple  store. Most of the deals are comparable, except at the Apple store, where deal is a dirty word.

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