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How to get a free iPhone 5c and a cheap iPhone 5s at Best Buy

October 10, 2013|By Chris O'Brien
  • Best Buy is offering a $100 trade-in credit on smartphones that can be used to buy the $99 iPhone 5c.
Best Buy is offering a $100 trade-in credit on smartphones that can be used… (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg )

With the iPhone 5c still widely available, the deals from retailers keep coming.

First, Best Buy announced this month a promotion that gave a $50 gift card to customers who bought the iPhone 5c at one of its stores. That gift card could be used at the time of the sale to cut the price of the 16GB iPhone 5c from $99.99 to $49.99.

Then Wal-Mart tried to top that by cutting the price of the iPhone 5c to $45 with a two-year contract. Wal-Mart had already been selling the device for $79.

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Now, Best Buy is firing back in the iPhone 5c discounting arms race. 

On Thursday, Best Buy announced a new smartphone trade-in deal that runs from Oct. 13 to -19. 

Customers are guaranteed $100 trade-in when they bring in any working smartphone (not just an iPhone). They can use that trade-in credit toward buying an iPhone 5c or an iPhone 5s.

That would cover the $99 price of the 16 GB iPhone 5c 16 GB. The iPhone 5s (if you can find one) would be cut from $199 to $99.

"This is part of our Customer Promise — that our customers will enjoy everyday low prices online and in store," said Best Buy spokesman Jon Sandler.

THE FINE PRINT:  A few things to know before rushing down to the store.

First, your phone needs to be upgrade eligible and you have to get a two-year contract.

Second, there probably will be a carrier activation fee of about $35 or so.

And, in California at least, consumers must pay sales taxes based on the full cost of the smartphone's unlocked price. In the case of a 16GB iPhone 5c, that unlocked price is $549. So expect to get hit with sales taxes of roughly $45. 

That means that to walk out of Best Buy in California with a "free" iPhone 5c, it might still cost you $75 to $80, even with the trade-in program. 

Still, that's $100 less than what you pay today. 


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