Best iPhone SE Deals: Score a Free Phone With Trade-In or a New Line
Apple's third-gen iPhone SE is a good, budget iPhone and now it's available for free if you choose the right deal.
Adam OramDeals Writer
Adam Oram is a Deals Writer at CNET. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as a Senior Writer at iMore, Deals Editor at Thrifter, and as an Apple Genius. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food.
Oliver Haslam has been writing about phones, computers, games, and anything else that takes a battery or plugs in for more than he'd like to admit.
With a focus on mobile and laptops, Oliver is never too far away from whatever social network is trending today and is never short of an opinion to share.
ExpertiseApple, phones, laptops, smartwatches, mobile accessories, gaming, apps
Jared DiPane is a Managing Editor on CNET's Commerce Team. He leads a team which helps find and deliver all the best deals and tips on how to maximize your money. With over 10 years of experience, he's managed commerce content and initiatives for Digital Trends, Mobile Nations, & Future PLC. When not deal hunting, he's likely spending time with his family, building something or researching his next big purchase.
Apple makes top-notch devices, including some of our favorite phones out there -- but you don't have to go premium if you want a great phone. The just-announced iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro take the top spots in Apple's lineup, and its flagship phones start at $799. But those looking for value can check out the third-gen iPhone SE series that starts at just $429.
There are plenty of offers from both carriers and retailers available and there's a good chance you can get your hands on one for even less than that $429 price, making this one of the most affordable phones around. We've rounded up some of the best deals and discounts available right now below.
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One of the biggest additions to the newest version of the iPhone SE is that it supports 5G, so you'll be able to get faster data speeds while out and about. Apple also upgraded the processor to its A15 Bionic chip while maintaining the compact size of the previous model. The 12-megapixel camera on the back is even more powerful thanks to that A15 processor and there's a familiar Touch ID sensor on the front.
Base pricing for the iPhone SE (2022) starts at $429 (£419, AU$719) for the base model with 64GB of storage. You can bump that up to 128GB for $479 or 256GB for $579.
Watch this: Apple's 2022 iPhone SE Is Equal Parts New and Old
What colors does the iPhone SE come in?
The iPhone SE is available in midnight (black), starlight (white) and Product Red.
Best iPhone SE deals
The iPhone SE wasn't updated in 2023 alongside the iPhone 15 series, so it doesn't get quite as much attention on the deals front. There are still plenty of ways to save on one, though, and we've rounded up the best offers below.
If you prefer to buy your new iPhone right from the source, you can do that with the iPhone SE. Apple has all the carrier models along with the unlocked one. And if you're looking to ditch your old phone to switch to the new SE, Apple is offering up to $650 off with an eligible trade-in. With a base price of $429, that means that you could theoretically get the new SE totally free but bear in mind that the trade-in value for older phones is much lower than that $650 figure. If your trade-in value exceeds the cost of your new phone, you'll receive an Apple Gift Card for the remainder. If your trade-in doesn't cover the full cost, you can pay the remaining amount in full, or split it into 24 months of interest-free payments when you use an Apple Card during checkout (and get 3% cashback).
Best Buy is offering up to $200 off unlocked iPhone SE purchases when you trade in your old phone. The retailer accepts devices from Apple, Samsung, LG, OnePlus and many more. You'll also get some added bonuses, like four free months of Apple Music and News Plus, as well as three free months of Apple TV Plus (for new subscribers) and a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
While Verizon deals on upgrading existing lines are pretty slim right now, there is a great offer available if you're looking to add a new line of service. When you buy an iPhone SE on a new line with any unlimited plan, you can save $430, which gets you the 64GB model for free. Just note that the discount will be applied in the form of monthly credits over a three-month period, even if you buy the phone outright.
Other promos at Verizon include $280 off an iPad and $200 off an Apple Watch SE with your iPhone SE purchase, though you'll need to add a line of cellular service for these devices.
Save almost $360 on the cost of the iPhone SE at AT&T when you purchase on an installment plan, which drops the price down to $2 per month for 36 months. The deal requires a new or upgraded line on an eligible unlimited plan and the discount will be provided via bill credits.
T-Mobile is offering deals to new and existing customers right now. People who have or switch to a Go5G Plus, Go5G Next or Magenta Max plan can get the iPhone SE for free, and those on a regular Go5G, Magenta, or ONE rate plan can still save up to $350 with an eligible trade-in. Trade-ins on other service plans can save you up to $200.
Spectrum is another carrier that has the 2022 iPhone SE available for purchase, though the deals there are pretty slim. The only offer available is an extra $100 on top of the estimated value of your device with a qualifying trade-in and a new line of service.
Metro has one of the best prepaid offers of any retailer or carrier out there at the moment. When you purchase an iPhone SE at full retail price and switch your existing number over to Metro's $40-per-month unlimited data plan, you'll get an instant $330 rebate. Meaning you're getting the iPhone SE for a single $100 purchase, rather than discounted via monthly credits. If you're looking to purchase your phone outright, this is the best offer you'll find, though you'll have to actually go to the store in person to claim it. Those who don't have a number to switch over can still save $100 with the activation of a new line on a qualifying Metro plan, and this can be completed online.
Note: Because Metro is owned by T-Mobile, this offer is not available to those switching their number from an existing T-Mobile plan.