How to trade in your old phone and save with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

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Have you been thinking about picking up a new phone, but want to squeeze some extra value out of your old handset? Well, Vodafone, Optus and (as of October) Telstra are each accepting no-longer-wanted devices and offering trade-in credit for eligible models.

Each telco provides a similar trade-in deal that gives you credit for your old handset, which you can put towards a new phone or device. Keep in mind that, from all three telcos, you don’t get money for these phones: rather, you’ll get a store or account credit – that way no money leaves the telco, and if you pick up a device from them, everyone’s a winner! Read on to learn more about phone trade-ins.

Should I trade-in my old phone?

If you’ve got an old phone sitting around and doing nothing in your home, or better yet, if you’re intending to upgrade your current phone, trading in your old phone might be right for you. Phones that don’t get used are just gathering dust, and even if you’re keeping a handset in case your current phone breaks, it’s probably an older device with a battery at the end of its life cycle.

Trading in an unneeded phone can help offset the cost of a new, higher-end device, even on a telco plan. But keep in mind that there’s no guarantee about what your old phone will be valued at, or if it’s actually eligible to be traded in: after all, a phone from five years ago is certainly not going to be worth the same as a phone from last year. Likewise, a phone in great condition is also going to be valued higher than a damaged phone with a scratched-up screen.

All in all, trading in your old device is a great ethical thing to do and great for your spending, as the phone you sell is recycled or reconditioned for further sale. Getting some extra money is a nice bonus too, but of course, terms apply per provider.

Several used phones piled up, ready to be recycled

Telstra phone trade-ins

Telstra has partnered with Kingfisher Mobile Australia to offer phone trade-ins. Trading in with Telstra gets you credit on your Telstra bill, on a Telstra phone plan of your choice. You can use the My Telstra app to get an assessment of your phone’s value, or take your handset into a Telstra store if you need some in-person help. The trade-in offer comes from Kingfisher, and this company will decide if your phone is eligible or not: if it is, you’ll receive a satchel in the mail, with instructions on what happens next and where to send your old device. Once Telstra verifies the phone and the assessment, you’ll be issued credit to your account.

Telstra’s service is new, and as of the announcement, only Apple, Samsung and Google phones are up for trade-ins, as are Apple and Samsung tablets. Telstra will be assessing new phones on a monthly basis. If this seems like something you’d be interested in, consider picking up a new device through Telstra, and sending off your old phone in your own time. Below you can find Telstra plans that you can couple to a new device.

The following table shows selected Telstra postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vodafone phone trade-ins

Trading in a phone with Vodafone will get you credit on your next bill. The telco says that trade-in value depends on the condition of the device, and that it accepts one trade-in per 12 months and two trade-ups (trade-ins with a new device upgrade).

On the Vodafone website, you can look up your device details to check your eligibility for a trade-in. After this, you can download Vodafone’s trade-in app, which will assess the condition of your device. Make sure you’ve prepared for a trade-in, and removed any SIM cards, cases or storage devices, and wiped your phone clean with a factory reset. Finally, you’ll need to head into a Vodafone store, or call 1300 650 410 to discuss the trade-in information. Vodafone says you’ll need a valid drivers licence with you, so don’t forget!

If you’d be interested in picking up a new device through Vodafone, check out the telco’s phone plans below. You can couple these plans to a phone plan at the checkout.

The following table shows selected Vodafone postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Optus phone trade-ins

Optus also offers trade-ins for old devices, partnering with Alegre to give you credit on your Optus bill. On the Optus website, you can search for your device, and get a quick online quote depending on the condition. After this assessment, Optus will send you a small, phone-sized satchel, which you can use to send off your old device from a Post Office. Alternatively, you can complete your trade-in over the phone, or in an Optus store.

If you’re interested in trading-in with Optus, you can check out phone plans below, which you can couple to a phone on a plan.

The following table shows selected Optus postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Other phone trade-in services

There’s plenty of other trade-in services in Australia right now, which might be perfect for you if you’re after the best deal for your old device. Here’s some of what’s on offer:

  • Both Apple and Samsung offer trade-ins for new devices, if you’ve got an older device.
  • Mazuma Mobile offers trade-ins for old devices.
  • Mobile Monster offers trade-ins for old devices.

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