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How to pay for an iPhone

You might be able to get 0% APR financing through Apple, your carrier or another lender.

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With the latest iPhone model nearing $1,500, financing a new smartphone has become the norm. You have several options to spread the cost over two years with 0% interest through Apple, your carrier or credit cards. Or, you can take out a personal loan if you prefer to go without a contract.

How can I finance an iPhone?

You have several options if you can’t foot the money up front, from Apple’s financing programs to your standard personal loan.

iPhone Upgrade Program through Apple

The iPhone Upgrade Program is for customers who have strong credit and regularly upgrade their phone. Members are eligible for 0% APR financing for a new phone and AppleCare+ coverage, split into 24 monthly installments.

After you’ve made 12 payments, you’re eligible to trade in your current phone for a newer version. Trading in your phone starts a new 24-month installment loan.

Apple partners through Citizens One for this program, though you can apply through the Apple website. During the application, Apple connects you to your carrier. Here’s how much it costs per month by model:

Model Storage Cost per month
iPhone 11 64 GB $35.33
iPhone 11 128 GB $37.41
iPhone 11 256 GB $41.58
iPhone 11 Pro 64 GB $49.91
iPhone 11 Pro 256 GB $51.16
iPhone 11 Pro Max 64 GB $54.08
iPhone 11 Pro Max 256 GB $60.33
iPhone 11 Pro 512 GB $64.50
iPhone 11 Pro Max 512 GB $68.66

Want an older model? Consider other options.

Carrier financing

You have a couple of options when it comes to financing through your cell phone provider.

Installment plans

Many wireless providers offer installment plans, often with 0% APR if you sign a two-year contract. You might have to make a down payment, unless you have a phone to trade in. In some cases, you also might have to pay an activation fee of around $20 to $40.

iPhone upgrade programs

Companies like Verizon and AT&T offer upgrade programs that allow you to finance a new phone ahead of time. Typically, you need to pay off at least 50% of the cost of your current device before you can trade it in for a new phone. You also might have to meet additional requirements, depending on your current device and carrier.

Apple Card financing

If you have an Apple Card — Apple’s credit card — you’re eligible for 0% APR financing over 24 months. You also get 3% cash back on your new phone as soon as you make the purchase, rather than having to wait until you’ve fully paid it off. And if you have a phone that’s eligible for a trade-in, you could reduce your monthly cost.

Barclaycard Apple financing

Barclaycard offers special financing on Apple products if you make a purchase within 30 days of opening an account. If you buy an iPhone, you could be eligible for 0% APR financing for 12 to 18 months, depending on the model and storage space.

This could be a good option if you want to buy an unlocked phone or aren’t tied to any specific carrier. But it’s only available to new customers, so you can’t qualify if you already have a Barclaycard.

Retailer financing

Retailers like Best Buy and Target often offer financing for all of their products, including iPhones. Some offer credit cards that come with 0% APR promotional periods, similar to the Barclaycard. Others offer financing through third-party lenders like Affirm.

Financing through a third-party lender is one of your few options if you have fair or poor credit. But it can get expensive, since it typically comes with interest and fees.

Personal loans

A personal loan allows you to finance an iPhone without signing on to a two-year contract. It also gives you more flexibility with repayments by offering longer terms. And you aren’t restricted to which model you can buy.

But it can be more expensive, with interest rates typically running from 6% to 36%. Many personal loan providers also don’t offer loans under $2,000, so your options can be limited.

Compare personal loan offers

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How much does an iPhone cost?

iPhones can cost between $449 and $1,449 depending on the model and storage space. Here’s how much you can expect to pay as of January 2020 without a trade-in:

iPhone 11 Pro Max

  • 64 GB: $1,099
  • 256 GB: $1,249
  • 512 GB: $1,449

iPhone 11 Pro

  • 64 GB: $999
  • 256 GB: $1,149
  • 512 GB: $1,349

    iPhone 11

    • 64 GB: $699
    • 128 GB: $749
    • 256 GB: $849

    iPhone X

    • 64 GB: $599
    • 128 GB: $649

    iPhone 8 Plus

    • 64 GB: $549
    • 128 GB: $599

    iPhone 8

    • 64 GB: $449
    • 128 GB: $499

        You also may be able to buy older models at authorized resellers. However, the costs can vary and you might not be eligible for all financing options.

        5 tips for financing a new iPhone

        From buying an older model to not overdoing it when it comes to storage, here are a pointers to keep in mind when buying a new iPhone:

        • Trade in your phone. Trading in your phone can lower the monthly or upfront cost of your financing. Plus, it opens you up to more 0% APR options.
        • Check your current contract. Make sure the type of financing you’re considering doesn’t conflict with the contract you have with your current carrier. If you’re not sure, call customer service. Otherwise, you could end up paying a fee.
        • Consider buying an older model. Last year’s model typically costs at least $100 less than the current model. Prices fall even more the further you go back.
        • Minimize storage space. Be realistic about how many gigabytes you need and stay within that amount. Going down even one storage level can shave hundreds of dollars off the price.
        • Wait for a good deal. Retailers often offer discounts on iPhones during sales — especially on Black Friday.

        Bottom line

        iPhones come with several 0% APR financing options. But often you’re restricted to a two-year term and can get tied into a contract with your carrier. If you’re considering taking out a loan instead, check out our guide to personal loans to compare lenders and learn about how it works.

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