Think the new flagship is out of your price range? These options might help it fit the budget, or at least score you a great freebie.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
The Samsung Galaxy S10 has arrived, and although it's a premium phone that's priced accordingly, there are deals to be had. In fact, whether you're looking for the S10E, the S10 or the S10 Plus, you may be able to find a discount that works for your budget.
Although there are a few exceptions, many of these US promotions require you to trade in a phone and/or sign up for lease agreement and/or service contract.
Best Buy's deal is all about the trade-in: It's good for up to $550. The exact amount, of course, depends on the brand and age of your current phone. An iPhone 8, for example, fetches the full $550. An LG V30 would net you $300.
However, the trade-in must happen at a Best Buy store, and it must accompany an S10 activation on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. (All three carriers also have buy-one-get-one-free promotions you can leverage as well.) The bigger caveat is that your trade-in is good for a Best Buy gift card, not cash.
Where's the missing $100 in the "up to $650" headline? You'll save an extra $50 if you activate your S10 with Verizon or $100 if you go with Sprint.
At the price club, the Galaxy S10E starts at $750. Preorder it and you'll get a $100 Sam's Club gift card. Preorder the S10 for $900 or S10 Plus for $1,000 and you'll get a $200 gift card (and, as noted above, Samsung's Galaxy Buds).
Those are the starting prices for the respective models. If you opt for more storage, the prices jump accordingly. To get any of these deals, you'll have to sign up for service with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or US Cellular.
When you buy a Galaxy S10E, S10 or S10 Plus from Samsung, you have the option of getting a trade-in credit of up to $550 -- potentially giving you the single best deal on the new phone.
The amount varies depending on the make and model of your old phone, of course, but just by way of example, any iPhone 8 or later is good for the full $550 amount. At the other end, something like a Motorola Z3 would net you $150.
Sprint's preorder deal offers lease-one-get-one goodness: You'll score a Galaxy S10E when you lease another S10E, or an S10 or S10 Plus. Whichever option you choose, the free Galaxy Buds are in it for you as well.
The cheapest option is the S10E, which requires $0 down and costs $31.25 per month (not including service, of course; Sprint's unlimited plans start at $60 per month for a single line). After 18 months, you can return it and upgrade to a new model or buy it outright (for one lump sum or over another six months).
The "free" phone comes in the form of statement credit, meaning you'll start by paying for two phones but then (after two months) see a credit that covers the cost of one of them. Make sure to read all the fine print for further details.
Prefer to buy your new Galaxy phone outright (which you can do from Samsung)? You can defray the cost by $200 if you bring it to US Mobile for service.
It works like this: You buy a US Mobile SIM card, then sign up for the service plan of your choice. Every month you stay with US Mobile, you'll receive a $16.67 discount on that plan. Total savings after 12 months: $200.
Like other carriers, Xfinity Mobile offers lease deals on the Galaxy models: $31.24 per month for the S10E, for example, $37.49 per month for the S10 and so on. When you choose one of those (or an earlier Galaxy, including the S9 or S8), activate a new line of service and port your number to Xfinity, you'll receive a $250 prepaid Visa card.
Not right away, though: The card will arrive 16 to 18 weeks after activation. The offer is good for up to five phones.
When you buy any one of the three new models -- the Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10 or Galaxy S10 Plus -- you'll get a 128GB Galaxy S10E for free. Alternately, you can apply $750 toward the purchase of a more expensive model.
To get the deal, you'll need to activate a new line of service and sign up for Verizon's monthly payment plan instead of buying the phones outright. The 24-month plan features a zero-percent APR, however, so there's no interest tacked on. Read more about Verizon's BOGO deal here.
Originally published on Feb. 25, 2019. Update, March 8: Added Best Buy and Verizon.
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