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AT&T Offers Up to $1,000 Off New iPhone, Galaxy Upgrades Ahead of the Holidays

AT&T has brought back its "up to $1,000 off" deal for the holiday shopping season.

AT&T logo on a phone
Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're on AT&T and have been debating getting a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone this holiday season, you may find yourself with a better deal now even though we're well past Black Friday. The carrier has upped its promotion for new and upgrading users from $800 off a new Apple or Samsung device to up to $1,000 off, so long as you're trading in a phone. 

You'll also need to have an unlimited plan to be eligible for the discount, which will be dished out as bill credits over the course of a 36-month installment plan. 

AT&T has dabbled with offering up to $1,000 off iPhones before. Most recently, it dangled the discount around the launch of Apple's new iPhone 14 line before scaling it back down in recent weeks to up to $800 off. For the Galaxy S22 launch in February, AT&T offered up to $800 off the new models so long as you were trading in any older Galaxy S, Galaxy Note or Galaxy Z phone, including those that were broken. 

To get $1,000 off a new iPhone, the device you are trading into AT&T would need to be valued by the carrier at a minimum of $230. This includes the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 line (except the 12 Mini) or iPhone 13 line; Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, S22 line, Z Fold 2 or Fold 3; Google's Pixel 6 Pro and OnePlus' 10 Pro. 

If you have an iPhone XS Max, 11, 11 Pro or 12 Mini you could get up to $800 off. And if you're trading in one of a variety of Android devices from Samsung (Galaxy S20 and S21 lines, Note 20 line, original Galaxy Fold or Fold 2 and the Z Flip 3 5G), Google (Pixel 5, 5A and 6) or other Android makers like OnePlus and Microsoft, you can also get up to $800 off a new phone so long as AT&T values the trade-in devices to be worth between $130 and $229. 

Other devices including the iPhone 8 line, SE (second or third gen), X, XR and XS as well as a much wider range of Samsung, LG, Google, Motorola and OnePlus phones can get up to $350 off of a new phone so long as AT&T values those trade-ins to be between $35 and $129. 

This deal works for the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max though the phone that you are trading in will need to be in "good working condition." (Read the full terms here.)

For Galaxy phones like the S22 line, Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 the carrier is much more lenient. Any device that the carrier values at $35 or more could make you eligible for up to $1,000 off of one of Samsung's latest handsets. The carrier's terms for S22 and the Z Flip and Z Fold deals also don't specify that the phone that you are trading in has to be in "good working condition." 

In either scenario, if you leave AT&T before the 36-month installment is up -- or want to unlock your phone to use internationally -- you'll be on the hook for paying off the balance of what's owed and you'll forfeit any outstanding credits. 

All that said, it still is a surprising post-Black Friday deal from the carrier as the wireless industry at large looks to lure in upgraders and switchers this holiday season. 

Verizon has been pushing its recent holiday offer of up to $1,000 off a new phone with trade-in, though that deal requires you to switch to the carrier. If you're already on Verizon, the company is offering up to $800 off with a trade-in, though for this deal you also would need to be on one of its pricier Play More, Do More, Get More or One Unlimited plans. 

Verizon similarly requires you to stay for 36 months, though it will accept even broken or damaged phones so long as they don't have battery damage. 

If you're on T-Mobile, the carrier is offering up to $800 off Samsung Galaxy phones with trade-in, but only if you're on or are willing to upgrade to its pricier Magenta Max plan. Those on other plans could save up to $400 with a trade-in, not as generous as AT&T or Verizon's offers. In fact, most of T-Mobile's deals right now seem to require adding a new line, switching over from a different carrier or bumping up to Magenta Max. 

On the plus side, T-Mobile's credits are generally over a 24-month period instead of 36 months like AT&T and Verizon so you are not tied to the carrier or a device for three years.