How To Get a Free iPhone 5s

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - As Apple (AAPL) gets closer to releasing its next generation iPhone, with media reports now saying the phone could go on sale as early as August, the trade-in wars for older models are heating up as retailers look to clear out their excess inventory of iPhone 5s and 5c models. Best Buy (BBY) is the latest company to promote trade-in deals, allowing customers to upgrade their phones.

Best Buy announced last night customers can receive up to $200 in guaranteed trade-in credit now through Sunday, May 11 when they upgrade to an iPhone 5s or 5c model, making the iPhone potentially free for customers who trade in older working models.

With this specific offer, a customer is guaranteed a minimum trade-in credit of $100 for a 16GB iPhone 4, $150 for a 16GB iPhone 4S and $200 for a 16GB iPhone 5, Best Buy said.

Best Buy is selling the 16GB iPhone 5s for $99.99 ($100 savings) on Sprint and Verizon Wireless, and $199.99 on AT&T (T). The iPhone 5s 32GB and 64GB models are available for $100 off on Sprint and Verizon Wireless, making them $199.99 and $299.99, respectively. The iPhone 5c 16GB is selling for $49.99 ($50 savings) on Sprint and Verizon Wireless and $99.99 on AT&T with the white model priced at $1, Best Buy says.

"With Best Buy's sale prices on iPhones and guaranteed Trade-In credit, customers trading in an iPhone 5 for the iPhone 5s on Sprint (S) and Verizon (VZ) Wireless can walk out of our stores with a free phone and a $100 gift card. Customers trading in an iPhone 4s receive a free phone plus a $50 gift card," according to an email sent by a Best Buy spokeswoman late Thursday.

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The offer is only available in store, so check where the nearest Best Buy store that allows for trade ins is to you. If a customer's phone is worth more than the guaranteed credit, they receive the difference in the form of a Best Buy gift card.

Here's more details on the Best Buy trade-in deal:
  • Trade in iPhone 5, Get the iPhone 5s for FREE on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless: Customers trading in a working iPhone 5 will receive a guaranteed minimum $200 Best Buy gift card when they trade-up to the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c, making the iPhone 5s 16GB FREE on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless
  • Trade in iPhone 4s, Get the iPhone 5s for FREE on Sprint and Verizon Wireless: Customers trading in a working iPhone 4s will receive a guaranteed minimum $150 Best Buy gift card when they trade-up to the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c, making the iPhone 5s 16GB FREE on Sprint and Verizon Wireless and $49.99 on AT&T
  • Trade in iPhone 4, Get the iPhone 5s for FREE on Sprint and Verizon Wireless: Customers trading in a working iPhone 4 will receive a guaranteed minimum $100 Best Buy gift card when they trade-up to the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c, making the iPhone 5s 16GB FREE on Sprint and Verizon Wireless and $99.99 on AT&T.

As usual, customers must be eligible for an upgrade and activate the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on a two-year contract with one of the three named carriers. The only upfront out-of-pocket costs for the customer will be any applicable sales tax on the new phone and any applicable carrier activation fees, Best Buy says.

Target (TGT) is running a deal this week through Saturday, May 10, offering customers who trade in a working smartphone up to $300 toward the purchase of a new iPhone 5s or 5c. And here's the kicker that Target is throwing in - customers are not required to sign up for a two-year contract in order to get the deal.

Even Apple is looking to get rid of excess inventory by emailing Apple iPhone users due for an upgrade to come into a retail store for the latest model.

Course there's always the appeal of trading in your phone for cold, hard cash. Customers who trade in their phones via Glyde.com, for instance, can receive:

Apple iPhone 4, AT&T, 16GB: $86

Apple iPhone 4S, Verizon, 16GB: $124

Apple iPhone 5, Sprint, 16GB: $254

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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