Hoping to buy a new iPhone? The smart move is always to buy it outright (and unlocked), and then take it to the carrier offering the best deal on service. Alas, that's the expensive-up-front move, too: Even the "entry-level" iPhone XR starts at $749, hard to swing for most folks.
The Big Four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) offer financing deals, sometimes with 0% interest, but then you're locked into a service contract as well -- usually for at least 24 months. The phone is usually locked as well.
Don't like that idea? Check out Mint Mobile's latest deal: 0% financing on any unlocked iPhone and three free months of service. If you decide to go elsewhere after that, there's nothing stopping you. Your only obligation is to pay off the phone over 24 months.
The iPhone models available here range from the 6S (which would run you as little as $18 per month) to the XS Max (starting at $46 per month). The sweet spot is arguably the iPhone XR: $32 per month for the 64GB model. All the phones are new, not refurbished; the financing is provided by Affinity, and of course you'll have to get approved first, same as with any such deal.
The service plan is pretty generous: unlimited talk and text, plus 8GB of 4G LTE data per month. After that, you buy service in 3-, 6- or 12-month chunks. Another 3 months on the same plan, for example, would cost you $60 (which works out to $20 per month, an extremely competitive rate). See all of Mint Mobile's plans here.
This is really an outstanding way to buy a new iPhone, because you can finance it interest-free and use it with pretty much any carrier you want. Three free months of service: icing on the cake.
Read more: The best phones for 2019
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