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The Apple Trade-In program is device agnostic, which means you can trade anything you’re no longer using to get money off a new purchase. Your purchase doesn't need to be an iPhone, either. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Trade-In Your Old iPhone for Store Credit

The Apple Trade-In program lets you trade in your iPhone, Watch, iPad, Mac, or Android device (yes, really) and receive credit with Apple that you can use on whatever you want. If you’re buying a new iPhone you may get slightly more money than if you accept a gift card.

Apple's iPhone Trade-In program is even better

This is perfect if you have an old iPhone in a drawer somewhere, collecting dust, that you don’t have a plan for. The longer you wait to sell or trade it, the less money you’ll eventually get. Whenever a new iPhone comes out, Apple tends to revise the prices of older devices down, so time is of the essence.

At the time of writing in October 2023, Apple is offering the following maximum trade-in values for old devices:

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: $650
  • iPhone 14 Pro: $570
  • iPhone 14 Plus: $470
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: $580
  • iPhone 13 Pro: $480
  • iPhone 13: $370
  • iPhone 13 mini: $320
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: $450
  • iPhone 12 Pro: $360
  • iPhone 12: $250
  • iPhone 12 mini: $200
  • iPhone SE (3rd gen): $160

The list goes on and on, with Apple offering gift cards for even an iPhone 7 or second-generation iPhone SE. To get this much for an older device it will need to be in good working order. If your device is damaged then you may still be able to get some money for it, but you’ll have to settle for less.

Check trade-in eligiblity on the Apple Trade-In website

You can do this by taking your old device to an Apple Store retail location near you, or by filling out the form on the Apple Trade-In website. You can also recycle even older devices (and devices that are broken beyond being eligible) for free using the program.

Just make sure you follow our guide to selling or donating your old iPhone to ensure that there’s no personal data or other restrictions in place first.

Step 2: Buy AirPods (or Other Apple Gadgets)

Once you’ve accepted the trade-in value and done the deal with Apple, you’ll have a gift card that you can use in retail locations or online to buy whatever you want. This can be a great opportunity to pick up something that you might otherwise have not been able to justify, like a new set of AirPods.

Wearing the 2nd generation AirPods Pro outside near a hedge
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek

The second-generation AirPods Pro cost $249, which is $4 more than what Apple will give you on a gift card for trading in your iPhone 12. For a set of third-gen AirPods, you’ll pay $179, or $6 less than the gift card trade-in value for a good-condition iPhone 12.

The HomePod mini is a fine little smart speaker, especially for Apple Music users. It’s yours for $99, or $14 more than the trade-in value of a good-condition iPhone 8 Plus. You could trade a good-condition iPhone X and pay just $19 more to get a new Apple TV 4K.

Alternatively, Sell or Trade Your iPhone Elsewhere

It’s no secret that Apple’s trade-in prices aren’t the best, and the same is true of many other retailers. You’ll get more for your old iPhone if you sell it yourself, either using online auction sites like eBay or in person on Facebook Marketplace or similar.

Retailers take a cut of the street value but they offer convenience. You can have the money (or in Apple’s case, the gift card) right now and avoid having to take photos, deal with sellers, and get your money out of services like PayPal. For some, it’s a more attractive proposition but you do end up paying for it in the end.

Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of using Apple Trade-In.