Best Buy offers trade-in deal for free iPhone 5

Customers who swap their existing smartphone for an iPhone 5 with the usual two-year contract will get a minimum credit of $100. But the deal is short-lived. It ends Monday.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Best Buy customers can score a free 16GB iPhone 5 by trading in their current smartphone.

Starting today and ending Monday, the deal offers a minimum of $100 for any working smartphone. Best Buy is selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for $99.99, making the phone free after the trade-in deal -- or close to free.

Buyers will still need to pony up the sales tax on the iPhone 5, as well as any carrier activation fees. The offer is good for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon subscribers eligible for an upgrade and requires the standard two-year agreement.

The in-store-only deal is available at the 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across the US that offer trade-ins. The phone you trade in must be able to turn on and have no water damage or cracks in the screen.

The actual trade-in value depends on the model phone and its condition. If your phone is worth more than $100, you'll get the difference in the form of a Best Buy gift card. Curious consumers can determine the worth of their phone through Best Buy's online trade-in page.

Best Buy is, of course, also selling Apple's new lineup. The iPhone 5C is available today for preorder, as is a free 8GB iPhone 4S . The 5C, 5S, and 4S will reach Best Buy store shelves starting Friday, September 20, for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon customers.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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